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

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Texas Joker 52:
This guy wrote some stuff

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Denver
Alert! Alert! Final Boss Encounter!
Anyone and Everyone that wants to take part in the Final Boss Encounter

Bison/Bruiser

Back with the former antagonist of this story, Bison was starting to wake up after getting his lights punched out for the 4th time that day.
"....uhh-ngh....wha-...who...Eh, WHAT?!" He exclaimed as he found himself currently hanging on a coat hook (or something to that effect) in one of the transports, clad in a straitjacket and the only one that still had his World Marshall collar still on for reasons I think the last 3 years of my shit GMing should make clear.
"HEY! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! WHERE AM I?! WHY IS THERE A BELL PLAYING?! WHY ISN'T ANYONE TELLING ME ANYTHING?!" He shouted as he fruitlessly struggled, his comfort being the last thing anyone was concerned about right about now.
Bruiser meanwhile was being a bit more productive as he stayed in the transport, occasionally leaning out before kicking a stray monster that tried to get at a soft target.
"Ohhhh Arceus, I get why you hate me and all but couldn't you at least let me finish leaving the first hell before throwing me into another one?!" He whined as he did his best to stop the monsters from taking down his transport.

Leoric

Leoric was a bit more-..."Stunned" by what he was seeing, it was just like the battles he had heard of as a child, where the Horadrim of old lead by Tyrael, the Arch Angel of Justice against the forces of the Burning Hells and the Prime Evils.
But-...these people couldn't the Horadrim and this was by far the largest demon Leoric had ever seen and considering his past company was Diablo himself, that was saying something!
And thanks to his curse, he could only watch helplessly from his spectral form as it laid waste to a city who's size would rival that of Westmarch itself!
"..."
His hand bones shook for a moment as he hovered over to B.C. once more, looking almost desperate as he made her an very generous offer.
"Young Warrior, I cannot just sit here while you fight this terror alone. But if I am to aid you and your comrades, I will need my crown. In exchange, I want you to think about the biggest treasure chest you have ever laid your eyes on. Return my Crown to my head and I shall promise you both that and my Mace at your disposal..."

The Curvaceous Convict stopped in her tracks for a moment and glanced back at him with a quirked brow. There was a short pause before she finally spoke.
"Really? I'm never one to turn down treasure if I can help it..." murmured B.C. partly to herself before she turned to face him properly.
"Alright, Big, Bony and Kingly, tell ya what. I can't use your mace, because that monster is way too big for me, but I know what I can use: A promise to not harm, maim, or kill me, either directly or through any means you command." she said with a small, sly smile, adding, "Neither of us are stupid, and we both know that once you have this back, you have the perfect opportunity to crush me, the unruly peasant who hasn't done much to acknowledge your authority. But, to sweeten the deal, hun? I'll promise not to even touch your crown again, unless it's to give it back to you. How's that sound?"

"...Wha-...Oh, I-...wasn't referring to the actual mace-...Nevermind, a kings word it shall be then!" The Black King happily said as his bond to the physical realm was soon returned to him.
Soon his spirit faded as his armor and mace reformed, as did the Crown of Khanduras on his royal skull.
His imposing figure towered over B.C. as he mechanically marched into the fray and slammed the hilt of his mace against the landmass he was standing on.
About a dozen spirits were pulled from the ether before digging their way into the ground, each one prompting a Skeletal Minion to start forming on the spot to act as a line of defense for the Rising Dawn.
image

"Cursed Armies of Khanduras...OBEY YOUR KING!"

Viscus

All the while, the AI known as Viscus was fighting his own battles, but rather then waste his time and effort on attempting to disable a creature of that size, he fought a war he was the best equipped to win: The war for intelligence.
With their base in shambles and a number of their higher ranking officers openly attempting to flee, Viscus flew around the air some distance away from the actual fight in search of officials with access permissions to World Marshall's databanks.
There was a lot of equipment on that monster and, even if it's actual hardware was redacted, he might be able to find a link between the specs used in less secret projects and the ones on the monster.
After all, they wouldn't be able to make a Control Array that large unless they had a working model to base it off.


Homelands
maria's story

"The hope of salvation forces me ever onward."

Maria let her body coil around her, the scrabbling black claws toyed with her soft pale flesh as they held her body like jaws. "You are very interesting little girl," Maria's words were sweet and thick like honey. A heavy sultry sort of weight that held uncomfortably long on the nape of the neck, "why do you think that each of these things are mutually exclusive? Is it my fault? I should not have been so reckless with my words." Maria leaned forward and swept across the stone floor on those scrabbling claws until she was behind Gisella. "Please, go ahead. You don't mind do you Gisella?"

Gisella looked up at Maria, "Ah... no... not... not if you command it." Maria held Gisella like a present in a scaled frame. "If you wish it, please go ahead. I am at your mercy," Gisella held the back of her hands against the swell of her breasts.

Maria swept away from Gisella, her huge legs crashing against the stone and sending rumbles as she ascended a bookcase on the far side of the cavern. It was not long before the monster returned carrying a large leather-bound tome in her arms. She landed on the stone floor and slid across toward Katya until she was close enough that the wet sheen of her scaled reflected the warm lamplight in soft splotches across the young woman's face. Maria brought her human half down so it was eye-level with the rest of the party before her.

"But yes indeed. A story, a story. I have so many stories I could tell," she flipped through the thick cream pages of the book. What was written on the tome was not any sort of writing that Katya or Antoinette nor Benedict had ever seen. It was thick black blocks of intricate geometric shapes that wound between itself as if constructed from a single string. The more they looked at each block, the more it seemed to writhe and change, to impart emotion directly into the soul - a worming, invasive, penetrating script. Maria seemed to be bewitched by the esoteric text, "Aye, aye, aye, but which one for you to hear? The story of the Calamity, the story of the Fairy's War, the tale of the Frozen World, or even the myth of Black Logan."" She flipped through the pages more and more vigorously, the familiarity with which her hand danced on the cloth and the gentle sound of her nails tugging at the woven lattice cut through the ambiance of the cave.

Then she stopped suddenly. "Or... yes... the story of the Chosen One. I think that is appropriate." She looked up at Katya - her eyes burning brightly with that ephemeral power that belonged to storytellers - and said, "There was once a girl that stumbled her way here, much like you. This happened but when I was a child and my father would tell me about her adventures when he had the time to visit me in this place. She was strong, gallant, and well-spoken. But she was very clearly a outsider." She closed the book and set it aside, her eyes grew softer as she gazed into the darkness in the outer cavern. There was a sense of nostalgia as the fires in her eyes dimmed. "Father... how long has it been since you came to see me last?"

Maria sat down, her legs folded together and her tailed coiled around her body. She smiled with a genuine gentleness at Katya and crew. She held her hands together at her navel, as if in prayer."Would you like to hear the story of the First Paladin? She was a great and magnanimous outsider that came and delivered the will of Eden to humankind whose likeness has fallen to obscure antiquity. She had hair like spun gold and eyes that gleamed like emeralds. Aye, and all Paladins since have taken her name as their own. First of Firsts, Flaxen-Haired Selmy."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn Hanger
Alert! Alert! Final Boss Encounter!
Major Rhodes | Kazuya Mishima | Rising Dawn/G-Corp intelligence officers

While the battle raged in the city, the support teams of both the Rising Dawn and (what was left of) G-Corp's finest did what they could to both assist the heroes and try to limit the amount of civilians harmed in the cross-fire.
Kazuya watched from his make-shift office, still nursing the wounds he received while watching the Dawn fight once more, regrets about this entire operation weighing heavily on him.
As such, he soon overheard a comment made by one of his officers: "Mr. Mishima, we're detecting what appears to be a distress signal from World Marshall's HQ. But-...it's strange, there's no audio message..."
"...What do you mean there is no audio?"
"It's-...hard to tell what it is. There is a lot of data being sent out but-...it's on a secure channel with extremely heavy encryption. It appears to be heading to a location outside of the cit-"
The realization was swift as Kazuya barked "Then it's not a distress signal! It's Armstrong's golden parachute. He's sending his mainframe's data to a backup site, no doubt it's a safe house of his. Track the location of it and prepare a transport. I'll kill that bastard if it's the last thing I do on this earth..."
With his orders relayed, he then went to attempt to suit up, something he'd find a bit hard to do with only one arm.


Homelands
selmy's story

"Does it really matter what my name is? You called for me and I came. I am your salvation."

"Ah... thank you..." Gisella said meekly as she wrapped the cloak around herself. She looked at Benedict and blushed, unsure at how to react at such a display of knighthood. She put a hand to her cheek and turned away. She felt shame for causing shame - where Gisella was perfectly trained to be comfortable without wearing any clothing at all, the idea that someone in the room didn't want to see her stripped bare made her feel unusual and awkward.

Maria turned her head toward Katya and began to speak softly. In the quiet of the library Maria's voice carried on forever. It danced among the shelves and struck the stone walls. It flickered between the flames of torches red and skimmed over the water flowing. Maria hummed and the stone sang, Maria called and the darkness answered. With her voice came colors and textures, smells and tastes, as well as deep satisfaction. Once the echoes of her voice inhabited the emptiness of the library, Maria began the story in earnest. The world seemed to melt away around them, the stone turned to grass and the shadows to light. The dancing shadows on the wall became distant mountains and sweeping forests. And they became engrossed in a memory so vivid that it was indiscernible from reality.

"The story of the First Paladin."

image


"A thousand-thousand years ago, long in the time of myth when heroes had but a single name. The Age of the First Names it was called, when the fairies still fluttered through the sky and the earth was rich and heaving with chaotic magic. Humanity had first come to the land we now call Midas through the Eden Gate to flee the disaster that befell the land before. The first Calamity that mankind had ever known. Where we had reached too deeply into the realm of Gods and drew power we were unable to control.

The abyss came spewing forth from the aether and corrupted our old home - giving birth to monstrosities that could not be felled by magic nor steel. With the abyss came the abyss striders, the abyss dragons, with it came the race of witches and daemons which feast upon the fear and pain of humans. With it came chaos, who sought to undo all of life. The world then had ended, brought to destruction by the weapon now known as the Black Shard. As those chosen by Eden fled through the gate into the pure land of Midas, the king of humankind - not long ago a princeling still - stayed to guard the gate. His name was Midas, and for him this new cradle of life was named. For it was his bravery that held the abyss at bay while humanity ran."


Katya was running down the steps of the grand palace. Eden's gate loomed overhead, it's massive maw drawing in the wind and flame of the city around him. St. Alaasam had been such a beautiful city. It's massive limestone towers held huge lacrima crystals in their three pronged zenith, showering their magic over the whole city. It had once been the seat of magic, where all of humanity gathered to prosper. The food was plentiful and the river Io ran pure through the center of the city. From his perch atop the palace peak Katya could see all of the city burning. For a hundred miles in each direction there was black flame. The river ran red with blood and the call of abyss dragons echoed through the air.

A huge black shape swept over the sky and cast the entire palace in it's shadow. The abyss dragon circled overhead with sharp veins of angry red burning in it's pitch black hide. It roared, sending weakness into Katya's legs. He could not stand under the utter despair that these creatures brought. To his side wood roared in response. Ballistae ripped through the sky and tore into the wings of the creature, sending it spiraling down into the city below. It's body crashed and threw dust and rubble hundreds of meters into the sky. The smoke added to the spiral of clouds that hid the sunlight.

"Prince Midas! Prince Midas!" a man screamed at Katya as he scrambled toward him. He was a huge man clad in white armor stained with bloody hand prints. His eyes were tired and bloodshot and his thick beard was covered in soot and dried blood. He held a small girl in his arms. "I found Althia... I... I found Althia... but..." He held the small body close. His face twisted in pain.

"What happened to Althia!?" Katya screamed, his voice hoarse already from a day of screaming. He ran forward and grabbed his sister's body. It was cold, but there were no scars on her body. No blood. Yet her veins ran black and the specter of decay had taken over the beating of her heart.

"It was a strider... the entire district was just dead on the floor, rotting from the inside... there was... there was nothing... we were too late." Boros held Althia's body close. He had always been fond of the little princess, Katya knew. With the striders came death. There was nothing they could do. Even more fearsome than the dragons of the dark, the abyss striders were huge faceless monstrosities that walked on two legs. They stalked across the country alone, they paid no attention to anything. They leveled mountains and turned rivers to ash. They wilted forests and turned the crops to stone. They felt nothing and could not be stopped. Their bodies huge, weightless, ephemeral. They were uncaring, they did not seek to do harm as the flight of abyss dragons did. They did not prey upon mankind like the witches, they were the very embodiment of inevitability. They saw no friend or foe, they simply spread the corruption. "We have to get her body to the other side. She has to... she has to be remembered."

Katya drew his sword and placed it on Boros' shoulder, "No, leave her. We can let none of the corruption reach the new land. Not ever."

"But she's your sister Midas!" Boros screamed. He was shedding uncontrollable tears. So loyal, so in love. It made Katya's own heart ache.

"Don't you think I know that! Don't you think it hurts me too!?" He pointed at the line of refugees fleeing into the Eden Gate's gaping maw, "But look at that. That's humanity's last bastion. We can't do anything to jeopardize those that still yet live!"

There was a pause as Katya and Boros stared at each other. Another deafening roar flattened Katya against the ground, the very earth shook. From the sky the air broke and a line of black flame ripped through the city naught but a mile away from where the princeling stood. One of the high lacrima towers collapsed from the sudden strain on reality. The thick limestone broke into pieces and rained down in dust while the crystal above exploded, sending deadly debris raining down on the entire district. Boros threw himself over Katya as the blue crystals rained down, lodging themselves into his armor and the stone around them. When the rain was over Katya pushed Boros over. The old man had been struck on the back of the head with the crystal rain. The blue of the lacrima drew red blood from his wounded head and bits of brain oozed out of his skull. That blue crystal flickered with a black flame - a corruption that grew from each and every source of magic.

The mages had been the first to go - consumed by the sudden appearance of the abyss in the world. They could not fight it's influence and they became witches. Their flesh melted and their vices grew rampant. They could only think like animals and desired more magic. They took it where they could, from the earth, from the living, and at times out of the bodies of those few magus' that had the power to fight the corruption. Now but four battlemages remained - none of them of the Grand Magus'. Nay, they were the White Mages of the sect of Somnus. Their purification of their own bodies had kept the darkness at bay for the past few months. Enough time for them to finish the ritual to summon Eden into the world at any rate.

Another dragon descended upon the gate, drawn by mass of refugees.

"BALLISTAE!" Katya roared over the clamor of the crowd. He raised his gold sword to direct the massive batteries. With a roar that rivaled the dreadful screech of the dragon, a hail of thick metal arrows soared into the air and struck the dragon in it's breast, sending it careening into another part of the city. He didn't know how many men he had left under his command. The Kingsguard were all but dead, and the royal legions were spread thin out in the city dealing with the small spawn that sought to overrun the high ground of the palace. There could be no more than a day until the last man perished in St. Alaasam, and with him would perish the last living creature on the entire world.

From the clouds three more dragons erupted from the maelstrom. With them came another sundering of reality and soon there after the crackle of black flame as the abyss rushed to fill the empty existence. The fire raked the palace grounds and the entire palace began to crumble. The sundering had torn the ground in half and huge slabs of limestone and marble collapsed into an empty gaping maw. The earth tilted and the screams of the refugees became panicked hysterics. The legions scrambled to save as many as they could with practiced efficiency. They launched ropes from crossbows on bolts that latched themselves into what little solid structure remained, and from those ropes the knights of St. Alasaam swung and grasped the hands of those falling into the gaping ravine.

Katya stood up, legs weak. The sight of both Boros' and Althia's dead and now decaying bodies filled his stomach with dread. He felt sick. The ground shook as another of the huge lacrima towers crashed into the earth. Katya looked out at his kingdom. It had fallen. The dragons where now countless in number with more pouring in from the dark maelstrom. They could not hold out for another day, they could not even hold out for even another hour. With the palace grounds broken the last of the ballistae were inoperable, and the last battlemages were stopping the corruption from breaching the Gate. The dragons descended upon the refugees and feasted in wanton delight. The legions could not stop them, their thick black hides with lines of angry red, their eyeless black skull-like faces, and their wings as black as night. Their claws spread black flame across the stone as they landed, turning the rock into nothing but ash.

"Is there nothing that can stop this... is there truly no God that can overpower this darkness. Nothing that can save humanity?" Katya lamented. The dragons clashed against the barrier that held the corruption at bay. Their snapping maws tried to crush the magical dome. Below, the refugees ran followed closely by the legion. There were none left to fight. There was no more room for bravery. There was barely any room for survival. The young prince took several steps forward and then broke into a run.

All was lost. He had to make it to the gate. Above him the cacophony of leathery wings turned quickly into a whirlwind. Their massive bodies ripped through the air like missiles as they threw themselves against the barrier. Each time they impacted, white lightning and black flame splashed out from the wound in the barrier.

Katya got closer and closer, his legs burned with strain and his lungs no longer could find the strength to draw breath. It was a desperate sprint as the dragons overhead swept across the burning sky and lashed at the last bastion for survival.

The barrier would not hold for long. And soon the gate would close.

Then one of the dragons came barreling close to the ground, it's wings tucked close to it's body as it slammed into the barrier - and this one Katya saw got it's maw through the milky white barrier. Katya's heart sank and his legs lost their strength. The barrier exploded, launching the flight of dragons back into the sky and obliterating what was left of the palace grounds.

Katya blacked out.


It was hard to breathe, the dust was so thick. His legs hurt, his arms hurt, he felt the trickle of blood down his face and he could smell burning and rotting flesh. The world had ended. The Gate had fallen. He raised his head to look around and indeed there was nothing but black flame around him. Stone, ash, rotten flesh. The wispy remains of the abyss dragon that had broken the barrier as it's corporeal body returned to the aether from where it was born.

He looked at the gate... and it wasn't closed. One of the dragons had it's head stuck between the massive doors. It struggled, but the door could nether open nor close. But Katya couldn't move. There was no strength left in his body. Then came the beating wings of another abyss dragon as it landed before him. It's massive blank face glared at him, as if recognizing that he was the king of this ruined land. The gods knew a king when they saw one, he supposed. It opened it's maw. It was black beyond black, like a gateway directly into the underworld.

Katya closed his eyes and took a deep breath. This was it.

But death never came.

When he opened his eyes, he found a radiant figure standing over him. Her long blonde hair was whipping in the ashen wind. She had four blades that hung behind her like the wings of an angel, and her sword of gold held the struggling maw of the abyss dragon at bay. It struggled against the golden radiance of the angel.

"Hey King Midas, get up. You still have a country to lead." She said, turning her head back to look at him. She had the most beautiful green eyes - unnaturally fierce and strong. As if they were made to peer directly into the hearts of men.

"Who... no, what... what are you?" Katya whispered through his injuries.

The woman looked back and grinned, "Does it really matter what my name is? You called for me and I came. I am your salvation."

"But you can call me Selmy if it makes you feel better. Dolores Selmy."


The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Denver
Alert! Alert! Final Boss Encounter!
Anyone and Everyone that wants to take part in the Final Boss Encounter

It all happened so fast. Too fast for the mind to easily comprehend. Some... creature of truly massive proportion burst from the ground, the rubble of the streets of Denver levitating around it as from it spawned forth more monsters nightmarish in their own right. The ominous tone of bells ringing through the air from nowhere... it was a lot to take in considering moments ago Kalastryn had just started descending upon a much... simpler, battlefield. There was little time to ponder that however, as one of the pieces of rubble that lifted from the ground forced her into a sudden and rough landing. Rolling bodily away from the impact of being uppercut with a rock larger than her entire body, Kala had a hard time standing up after the fact. Oh, not because of the dizziness very likely caused by a concussion, nor from the absolute terror of beholding such a being. It was likely more because of the inability to separate her shoulder from an iron pipe that it had been impaled upon. Separated from the rest of the Rising Dawn at this point, there was little to calm her thoughts. She'd faced a lot of monstrous creatures in her time, even a few giants, but nothing like this. She wanted to get up, to fight back, to do something. Though, what could even be done? Utterly hopeless, she lay propped up against the wall of a ruined building wracking her brain as to how to get out of this alive, and was left wanting for answers.


In the rubble of World Marshall's prison beneath Denver, ARES was buried alive. That... is not much of a surprise, considering how many kilometers of the ground had just collapsed in letting this "instant Kaiju" out of whatever confines it had previously been subjected to. Thankfully, unlike a human woman of actual flesh and blood, ARES didn't really need to breathe. Now granted, despite having survived the cave in, being stuck underneath of it was no situation to be thankful for. Digging her way out with all her strength (which if the fact that she can even lift some of the heavier weapons she is equipped with doesn't tell you anything, she could give a professional body builder a run for their money) she was understandably shocked and awed. The extent of the destruction around herself and the fact that she was faced with a monster at least 10 times the size of the nearest miraculously-not-destroyed building would be enough to make anyone hesitate in her position. Though... if World Marshall unleashed this beast, they must have had a way to leash it in the first place. ARES went about trying to find any of World Marshall's employees who survived... but they'd get no kindness from her if she found them. She was of the mindset to beat the first World Marshall employee who refused to give her that information so hard his or her offspring would feel the pain for the next seven generations, if they survived.

Preface:
I apologize in advance if this seems a bit on the railroady side of things but I believe the time has come to finish this arc. I know that some of you have already posted your responses for the final boss encounter but I hope you'll understand that this isn't so much an F.U. to this arc so much as I think it's high time to give TheMehKingdom a chance to assume the mantle of GM. It's with this in mind that I give you the final post for the arc.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Denver
Alert! Alert! Final Boss Encounter!
Anyone and Everyone that wants to take part in the Final Boss Encounter

Snow had began to fall gently on the skeletal bones of the Denverian Ruins. It appeared that it was going to be a white Christmas that year, save for the fact that what was falling from the sky was ash and the fact that there was a giant, cybernetic bitch in the middle of Denver trying to literally paint the town red... and was succeeding for the most part. Those in the employ of the World Marshall were not a lucky bunch considering those who had been lucky enough to escape the destruction of their underground base were being snatched up by shark toothed hell babies with wings and being toted off towards their mom's nether regions to be converted into more shark toothed hell babies.

The crew of the Rising Dawn was fairing much better than those unfortunate souls belonging to the World Marshall, but not by much. While none of their number had been consumed and converted into a Nightmarish Rendition of Baby Jesus, the team was having quite a bit of trouble breaking the tree layers of shielding that the World Marshall had strapped onto the Empress' mechanical body. Affected by the gravitational anomalies, projectiles found their trajectories wildly altered while the crew members that charged up to the Grotesquerie Empress' face found themselves either pinned to the ground or jumping over their intended landing spots. Even those who could fly found it difficult to dodge the debris that was floating every which way.

Of these two groups, however, none was as unlucky as the parents of the world. You see, it was Christmas Eve and, as every good little boy and girl is aware, Christmas Eve is that magical time of year where Santa Claus piles 353,430 tons worth of goods made in China and delivers them to all the good little boys and girls (who will have the unfortunate pleasure of getting lead poisoning in the future). In order to accomplish such a feat, the Jolly Fat Man travels at 650 miles per second along a very well planned route that took him to all 91.8 million homes within 33 hours. For anyone with a mind for physics, you might have picked up on a few key numbers to be saved for later.

Normally traveling at over 3000 times the speed of sound would be protection enough from most things but when it came to wild fluctuations in gravitation fields traveling fast became more hazardous than helpful... and this was just one case of that little fact.

The first sign of trouble was the sleigh's sudden and dramatic loss of altitude, nearly 5,000 feet in a little under 3 seconds, causing a tremendous amount of strain on harnesses that caused a chain reaction of failures. The failures cause the separation of the sleigh from reindeer that had been pulling it.

"HO! HO! WHOA!!!!" The Jolly Fat Man started yelling as he found himself plunging not towards the ground, but a rather large looking woman with mechanical legs and lots of little children. It looks like he had found his next delivery.

Now for the fun stuff, grab your calculators. As had previously been stated the loaded weight of the sleigh was 353,430 tons traveling at 650 miles per second. Using simple Neutonian physics one can calculate that the force of impact on the Grotesquerie Empress would be 46217000 Kilotons of TNT. Keeping in mind that the yield for the Hiroshima bomb was 15 Kilotons of TNT, that would make the impact of Santa's Sleigh equivalent to 3081133 and 1/3 Hiroshima bombs. Fun fact, this is also the equivalent of a 1,000 meter wide asteroid impacting the Earth at 45 degrees.

Needless to say, the force of impact of Santa's sleigh was large enough to break through the Grotesquerie Empress' shielding and blast her into a parallel dimension five doors down.

But what of the crew? What of Santa? Well, since the shields installed on the Empress worked both ways, the impact was channeled through the path of least resistance, the hole that the sleigh had made in the shielding. A large pillar of light split the heavens and with it, the Final Boss was no more.

"Oh oh oh," came a grunt from bridge of the Rising Dawn as Santa Claus.

GM's Note:
This is the end of the arc. Any final reactions you want to add are entirely up to you.

Rising Dawn: Officer's Quarters ------------------------------------------------------- 10:30 PM


Lt. Dolores Selmy

"Lieutenant," Isaac said as he took a knee, "the battle reports have arrived. The fight is over. World Marshall has been defeated, and the monster has been banished." He hung his head and put his hand over his heart. My god it was embarrassing.

"Um..." I leaned forward and put my hand on his shoulder. My back cried in protest of my movement. "Isaac... you, you don't need to do this."

He looked up and his eyes gleamed in the light of my room. I could hear Laeta stifle laughter behind me. "Private Mohsen, milady," he corrected.

Did the other officers have such troublesome subordinates? "Um... no... please don't." I said. I turned away from him. His eyes were locked onto me with such... single-mindedness. I pulled my sheet over my chest to try and shield myself from him. He means well. I know he means well. But still.

"What is it milady?" he asked.

"You need to stop!" I said. It was far more forceful than I had meant. I snapped my eyes back to him, afraid that I might have hurt his feelings. Instead I found his confused face staring back at me. Olive skin, slick black hair and big brown eyes. He was like some sort of lost puppy. Despite his strangeness, he was well groomed and handsome with a strong square chin and broad shoulders.

"Stop what milady?"

"Stop this! This!" the words were practically exploding out of my chest. "The kneeling, the milady, the oaths, the swearing, all of this!" I motioned frantically in front of me with my hands. I wasn't really sure what kind of message I was trying to convey, but I wanted to make sure I encapsulated just... all of him. "You don't have to wear your dress coat everywhere and you can take your gloves off too! You don't need to have your dogtag around your wrist and you don't have to always be wearing your combat harness! And please, please, please stop calling me Lady Lola when we're in private!" I felt Laeta's chest slam into the back of my neck suddenly. I turned around and continued, "And you! It's not nice to laugh!"

Laeta doubled over and hit the floor, no longer able to contain her utter jubilation. Her stupid guffaws were almost as animated as the bouncing of her chest. Saren was smirking too, sitting on my bed with her head buried in a field manual - though she was holding it upside down.

Isaac bowed his head again, "My apologies milady... ah no..." He shook his head as if confused. "Lieutenant Selmy," he settled on.

I shook my head now, "No. You can just call me Dolores. It's okay. We're not children anymore. You don't have to do all those things I told you to do when we were kids. You don't have to call me Lola."

"I gave you my vow, that I would treat you like a princess. And that I would serve you." Which he had done. The minute he had heard that I had joined the Rising Dawn, he abandoned his position in the military to apply here. His loyalty was as baffling as it was outdated. Back then I had to call him "Captain Mohsen" but now he was kneeling in front of my wheelchair trying to figure out what he was going to use to address me.

"Ten years ago. You took that vow ten years ago. And I had never expected you to do it at all!" He wasn't so much like this through high school as much as I could remember. He had always been at least somewhat normal. "Why start all of this again now anyway?"

He stood up. I had never noticed how tall he was. Isaac was actually quite intimidating. The lines on his face were sharp and fierce. Strong and firm, and his lips were stretched thin. The shadows made him look so much older than he was. "Because of my own indiscretion you're in a wheelchair now. Not only that but it was nothing less than a miracle that you survived your ordeal at all Lola. There is none that I am more upset at for your condition than myself. As your subordinate, I should have given my own life before yours was put in danger. I should have been there to stop you."

"What's done is done Isaac. There's no point crying over spilled milk." I sank back into my chair. The canvas stretched slightly at my weight. "Just... stop your theatrics. It's really embarrassing, even if we're in private."

"Hooooo boy, Lola. This ain't private. I've been recording this the entiiiire time sis." Saren said, dropping the field manual to reveal the smartphone she held in her hands. "I'm live-streaming right now, 'cute teen cucks soldier,' it'll be all over Facebook in a few."

Laeta's guffaws came back with renewed vigor.

"Just need to get to the part where the clothes explode off your body."

Isaac was fast, faster than I had ever expected anyone to be. Saren let out a yelp of surprise as she lost her grip on her phone.

"It... wasn't on." Isaac cleared his throat and handed it back to Saren. His cheeks were somewhat flushed.

"Yeah, because it was a joke doofus!" Saren screamed as she snatched her phone back.

Isaac shuffled a little, "I... uh... I'm sorry."

Laeta continued her imitation of a dying fish.

I massaged my temples, "Let's not think too much of it all, okay Isaac? You can lighten up some. You're far too serious." I pulled several letters from within my blanket. "Here. Take these to the others. See that they deliver these to their respective charges." I handed Isaac the letters.

"I will see to it. Dolores," my name seemed forced. Almost as if it pained him to say it. He left quickly.

"Asshole," Saren spat as soon as the door closed.

I turned to face Saren, "Actually, I have a question. Couldn't you have sensed him coming? You have that electromagnetic radar thing that sharks have right?"

Saren snapped, her dark brown hair falling in long thick strands around her neck, "They're called ampullae. And it annoys me too that I didn't see him coming." She ran her fingers over the skin on her neck and traced it down her forearms on each side. Then she cupped her chest and let her fingers run down all the way down to her thighs. She was feeling up the soft jelly-like membrane that lay just below her skin - like an exo-skeleton made of hyper-sensitive nerves. "Everything's in working order too."

"Maybe you short circuited. Do you want me to turn you off and on again?" Laeta teased as she rolled over on the floor. "I bet I could really - shock - your system."

"The last thing I want is to have your masochistic ass working me over, I'll chalk it up as a freak occurrence." Saren leaned back and let her head rest on the lacquered wood bed frame.

"Oh yeah, pull Losko out of the pillow now. He's been in there for quite a long time now hasn't he?"


---


Rising Dawn: Hero's Cabin -------------------------------------------------------------- 10:47 PM


263rd Support Squadron


Homelands
maria's story

"You were never free. I just made you aware of your prison."

"Hum... I think Gisella has had lots of different things shoved up inside her, but I do believe that feathers is something that has not. At least to my knowledge." Maria mused as she clapped her hands. From some hiding place behind the bookshelves several small golems hurried out with a table, a tablecloth, some chairs, a tea set, and a lavish array of small desserts. They set up the impromptu tea-picnic in a panic before vanishing again into the darkness of the Library. "You've have had lots of sleepless nights when you were younger, right Gisella?"

Gisella didn't say anything. Instead she just stroked Katya's hair with her hand as she coddled the teen.

Maria knocked on her head with her palm, "Ah right, that's a touchy subject if I recall. I shall speak no more of it then."

She lowered herself to Benedict's height, "Instead I will speak to you with your honeyed words," Maria leaned in on him, letting her flesh get a good feel of his body. "It is as you surmise, priest. While death is not so foreign here, there are those that live in our world that we deem "heroes." And they alone possess an innate talent, a blessed spirit that returns even after they have died. They are truly remarkable. The more they kill, the stronger they become, and the stronger they become, the more they can kill." She spun around Benedict, her body wistfully curling on itself like undulating waves in a sea. "It's a strange thing really. Once they become very strong, they start to seek stronger things to slay. You know, for excitement. They collect treasures, trophies from their enemies or gear from their treasuries. They adorn themselves with these things because they believe it makes them strong. And to some degree, it does."

Maria picked up a cup of tea and began to drink from it. "Yes. To have the power to bring permanent death to a 'Hero' is an aberrant skill indeed. It goes against the very nature of our world. Our existence. In fact, I dare say that this skill comes from a place, 'outside of reason.'" She set down her cup and turned to Benedict. "Mmm, indeed. You have quite the good eye to recognize my skill. I am indeed of great prowess. And not only that, but of both beauty and intelligence as well."

There was a flutter of butterflies as blue light illuminated the area, casting the world in shadows of light lavender. "I return from my duties, Lady Maria." Jiyam said as she landed on the stone floor.

"Mmm... ah yes. Jiyamuanna, if you could I would like you to go fetch my sister. I believe she will be needed to send this troupe home."

Jiyam nodded, "Yes, Lady Maria." Then she took off in another storm of the luminous butterflies. In the distance they could see the ball of blue light leaping from bridge to bridge as she descended deeper in the abyss of the Library.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Denver
Mr. Bison Goes To Washington Arc Epilogue/Segway into the Next Arc:
Reunions and Partings

Mood Music

It was strange, how quickly the tide of one's circumstance could change so quickly. In one moment, the Empress had descended on the ruins of Denver, her song echoing in the air like an awful din - and in the next, it had been cut short by the harbinger of Christmas cheer; an almost literal example of hope triumphing over despair. After the Queen and her brood had been taken so quickly, the members of the Dawn were left to pick up the pieces.

Angelus breathed a happy, if somewhat exhausted, sigh of relief. While her pride may have dictated she take down foes with her claws and flame - this was the sole exception. Opening her mind to the pact link, another pleasant surprise found her being lead to the ruins on the ground, Caim standing over the corpse of one of the former broodlings. Giving her a friendly wave, the dragon could hear in her mind a simple, "Hey."

Anger overtook her relief, and the dragon landed heavily on the ground and stood tall, allowing her full bulk to tower over her human partner as she bellowed, "You have some nerve! Do you have any idea how worried I was about you?! I had to mind the little ones on my own and they were asking questions! 'Where is father, why hasn't he rejoined us yet?' Do you understand how much it pained me to dodge around the fact that you were captured? Possibly being tortured or gods knows what else? And you simply say 'hey' to me like nothing is wrong! Well, Caim? Answer me!"

Caim's blinked slowly at the vocal onslaught, and simply lifted a hand towards her great head. Even if he couldn't reach her, the intent was more than clear. With a huff, the dragon saw fit to lower her great head, her human's hand finding itself running up and down the bridge of her nose. A comforting gesture, and one well missed in her companion's absence. He bowed his head to the dragon before him, his forehead barely touching her snout as she heard a faint "Sorry" enter her mind. That did draw some pause with the red dragon, who blinked in surprise before speaking again, "You never apologize."
"I know. You never say you're worried about me. I'd rather you weren't."
"You shouldn't be surprised. You made yourself a distraction, got captured, and our communications were cut off."
"One, that wasn't entirely my fault.. Two, I'm not used to it, you being...Worried. Angry, or annoyed? Sure. Easy. Actual 'worry', that's kind of a new one."
"HMPH! Then you are more of a fool than I thought if this is the first time you've noticed."
"Well you do call me a fool frequently."
"..? What's wrong with you, Caim? You're supposed to blow me off or protest my claims."
Caim remained silent for a time, before pulling himself closer to the dragon, the mixture of warm flesh and cold metal making for a strange combination of sensations against Angelus' scales as his mind 'spoke' to her's again, "It's been rough. I didn't like it when it was quiet. I missed you.... Still mad at me?"
"Absolutely livid." She chuckled softly, before stretching her wings and (albeit reluctantly) pulled herself away from Caim, inclining her head upwards, "For now, let us return to the ship. The little ones will be happy to know you're safe and sound."

However, when the duo found themselves back in the hangar of the Dawn, they were immediately beset upon by one Private Jefferson, who held forth a letter that apparently addressed to the two of them by "The Lieutenant". Both partners looked at each other in confusion, before Caim "said" from the PDA on his hip, "Didn't start any trouble without me, did you?"
with a huff of hot air and some smoke the dragon answered in kind, "I am not like you, willing to start up a fight at every turn. Open the parchment."

Unfolding the envelope and with a giant dragon looking over his shoulder, Caim opened the letter to find...?

---

In the interim of his parents reuniting and having their little chat, Cadolbolg returned back to the Dawn on his own, quickly reuniting with his partner (and sometimes minder), Ton Ton. The tiny turtle dragon gave a happy wave and a "Hallow~" to his pact partner as he fluttered over. When he reached the Tonberry, his tail began wag excitedly, "So you know how father said he was gonna meet up with us again?"
Ton Ton nodded carefully, the memories from the night before with Angelus' somewhat panicked self coming to mind - at least, before Ton Ton excitedly spoke again, "Mother found Father again~! She sounded a little upset, so I bet she's kinda grumpy he took so long - not that I can really blame her. So, I decided to leave em alone for a while; Mother gets grumpy after stuff like this."

The Tonberry among them relaxed visibly when told this news and gave a sigh of relief, "Well that's good to hear. Between the stuff going down on the ground and everything else, I was getting a little worried myself! And who'da thunk that Santa of all people would come save the day? I guess the Mistress was right about him being real..."

Cadolbolg only tilted his head curiously at the sentiment, as he asked plainly, "Santa? You mean that red guy who hit that big monster?"

Now dear reader, I must reiterate - prior to being a creature of the flesh and blood, our friend Ton Ton had once been but an imitation of a Tonberry, a toy version. However, all good sentient toys in the Western world know the tale of Saint Nick and understand the importance of the magic and the spirit of giving that he brought to young children. Even if he wasn't believed to be a physical entity among his circle of toys, the very idea of a being who brought joy to a toy's child was a sacred ideal all toys wanted to live up to. For Cadolbolg, a creature that was so youthful, to be so sorely lacking in this knowledge was, frankly, shocking to Ton Ton's system. With a dramatic gasp, and his little hands landing on round green cheeks, Ton Ton couldn't help but stammer, "You don't know who Santa is?! How old are you, Cadolbolg?"
"Uuhh... Well, Mother says dragon ages can get a little murky and don't always line up with physical development like it does with humans. Why?"
"Well that needs to be fixed immediately! Come on, I saw him land on the bridge!"
Grabbing his foster brother by a paw, Ton Ton sped along as best as his little feeties could take him, Cadolbolg being curious, but not entirely unreleased at the thought of his older brother leading him to someone very important.

---

Diablo1099:
This segment was written in collaboration with dis guy.

Garm waited anxiously in the transport as it began to circle down on the ground level for remaining Dawn members from the previous battle, and found that he was beginning to pace as the transport flew around. However, that was when a familiar scent entered his nostrils. Ears pointed forward and tail going rigid still, the wolf didn't need further prompting before he lept from his spot to the ground below, ignoring the shouts of protest from those inside. Barreling forward, Garm picked up his pace, searching about until he saw a flash of white among the sea of gray and black, combined with an all too familiar scent. He was asked to describe it once, and the best he could place it was a mixture of "incense, rain, cleaning alcohol, and shampoo"; but it was a smell of a friend, a battle partner, a pack member (or as humans called them, family), and someone he had been sorely missing. He continued forward, his voice joyfully shouting, "TEAR-RI!"

At the sound, the Cleric whirled around, her eyes widening with what could be best described as joy when she called back, "GARM!" and held her arms open in a wide hug. The massive wolf was able to stop himself before he knocked the girl over, and he found he pulled into a nice, warm hug instead - a perfect compliment to the newly falling snow.

They stayed like that for a while, before Garm pulled away, his ears twitching with interest as he said, "Tear-ri, I hear something. Over there, in the rubble."
Turning back towards the mess that the (former) Grotesquirie Queen left behind, Teri gingerly poked at the rubble with her quarterstaff, to unearth a familiar figure. The young Cleric stepped back in surprise, the silver weapon raised defensively as she whispered, "It's Adel!"

Garm's ears immediately fell back, his teeth bared into a snarl, "We should leave him behind. He hurt us and dragged you off to that prison."
Teri's lips drew into a thin line as she thought over what her partner was very reasonably suggesting; after all, Adel had brought her nothing but trouble and pain before. However, she did know - even if it was a matter of knowledge she gained during her tenure as one of the Authors - that Adel was more than just a random thug and many powerful men were after him; she shook her head, "No... I think it's more complicated than that. There's a person under all that metal, and I bet Armstrong did something bad to him. Trust me on this one, please Garm?"
Garm looked ready to protest again, before huffing, "...You're too nice to people. If he hurts you - I'm not gonna be nice. Get him on my back, I can carry you both."

The Cleric smiled again and gave her wolf companion a very big hug, before going back and dragging Fulgore - no, Adelheid, out of the rubble. After several more minutes of positioning the former hellion on Garm's back, Teri pulled her tablet close and asked "Dimitri, can you get Viscus on the line? I'm gonna need both of you to help me out with something..."

With that, the Cleric and wolf began their journey back towards the now upset transport pilots, and from there - the Dawn and it's Med Bay.

---

Further away from all of this, Inuart watched as the Dawn members slowly began to pick themselves up from the madness that had consumed Denver moments ago. He shuffled, changing weight from one foot to another as he tried to think of the best course of action to take. If what he heard really was true - his comrades really were aboard the ship and he was but a hair's breadth from seeing them all again; as well as possibly bringing them to the fresh air of freedom...Only there were two big problems with that line of thought. The first of which, he was sorely outnumbered. The second, he had no resources outside of himself. Even with the virus Wesker had synthesized affecting his body; there was no possible chance he could take on the entirety of the Dawn alone. Back when he had Legna as a (somewhat) reliable helper? That made it a mite bit more plausible, but that still left a certain other red dragon, as well as the number of other air forces Inuart had seen thus far. If he wanted to do this right at all, he'd have to be sneaky, as well as patient. On top of it all, he needed to think of a plan.

A chilly gust of wind blew in his direction, the slicked back style of his hair offering no protection for his face as the flakes stung like tiny flies. In spite of that - the bard scarcely moved a muscle. He could only watch, after all; and he didn't want to miss a thing.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Denver
Mr. Bison Goes To Washington Arc Epilogue and Endings
Mood Music

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | The Rising Dawn | Canteen
"That's not good..."
Sloth | Envy | Selena | Luke | Tania la Fey

True to his reputation, Lucifer Morningstar was a cunning, crafty, and cautious individual. Even as he explained, verbally, that of course he had a job there, he was the bartender for the Rising Dawn, Envy got a very different answer, mentally. One that did little to really tell her much, despite how verbose the response was.

~Though if you mean something along the lines of what I'm 'really' doing here, that's none of your concern. My primary influence with mortals in this 'great' power struggle of heaven and hell is in the realm of mortals, is it not? It shouldn't be too strange that I stick around. I have secretaries in the Black Palace, they can manage the paperwork while I'm away.~

~That doesn't really--~ she started, only to flinch backward as a harsh, metal shearing sound seemed to echo through the Canteen.

It was odd, really. The sound itself wasn't particularly loud, but it carried well, and had a certain ominous weight to it. The kind of weight that pulled at one's insides as dread truly settled in. One of her hands trembled a little as it reached down to her belt buckle. It resembled a seven-pointed star, and it looked heavily warped and was nearly ripped all the way across, top-to-bottom.

~O-oh. Sloth...?~ she asked shakily as she turned to 'look' downward at her companion.

Sloth, who had been in the sleep of the dead mere moments before, was now wide awake, his eyes alert as he forced himself to his feet, one hand on the medallion stitched to the front of his robes. Like Envy's belt buckle, it too had a seven-pointed star on it. And the metal looked ragged as it was nearly torn in half.

"Yes, I noticed it too. Woke me up." said the Embodiment of Entropy curtly.

Lifting one hand, Sloth immediately opened a hole in the world and motioned for Envy to step in first.

"You'll have to excuse us. Something important has come up." he apologized, locking his eyes with Luke's before both he and Envy stepped in.

Then the portal closed, and they were gone.


The Escapist Avatar Adventures | World Marshall, Undisclosed Location | (Un)Secured Evidence Lockup
"Oh, you make my body talk, baby, oh yes..."
B.C.

The moment King Nothing was reunited with his, admittedly uncomfortable but totally ballin' crown, the Space Convict took his... What, resurrection? Reformation? Re-corporeal... Ah, fuck it. She took the opportunity to get the hell out of there while he went totally ham on the horde of tentacle porn-bots. The both he and the Hot Bitch were enough to really kill the good mood she had been in earlier, so she needed to step back, and get back on track.

Which meant finding her stuff, getting more guns, and causing more trouble, presumably during and after her inevitable escape. After all, they've yet to make a prison that she couldn't eventually find a way out of, and in this primitive joint, they didn't stand a chance of keeping the likes of her there. But first, she needed to find her personal effects.

As she practically skipped down the hallways, mowing down tentacle porn-bots, guards, and even fellow inmates alike in hails of uncontrolled gunfire, she checked each door she came across. Most weren't quite what she was looking for. Barracks, guard posts and security checkpoints. The checkpoints were interesting though, and she took the time there to do what she could to mess with the place. It was easy enough: Just press all the buttons. Especially big, red ones.

Still, it took her a few minutes of searching to finally find what she wanted: The Evidence Lockup. The door itself was secure and electronically locked, but that only served to keep her out for another fifteen seconds, her dancing fingers over the keypad, followed by the liberal application of a gun-butt solved that problem.

It only took her another minute to find the box her things were stored in.

"Ah, here we are. The height of prison fashion, fit for any self-conscious, interstellar criminal and anarchist!" said B.C. as she slipped into the familiar orange jump-suit.

It had her number on it, and putting it back on instantly made her feel more at-home. After all, the jumpsuits they had given her here were ugly as virtue and didn't even have a zipper that she could neglect to zip-up. Pulling out the pair of boots she had stolen from a guard at her last prison, she pulled them on and them reached in to grab her Beamer.

As an afterthought, she pulled out the sheet of hardcopy that was in the lid and looked it over to see what they had decided to label it as. She giggled when she noticed that her Beamer was listed as "Childrens Retro Blaster Toy". Really, they couldn't have been further from the truth, she thought as she hefted the red, plastic pistol.

She spun it around on one finger as she turned to leave, only to stop as she spotted the room right across from Evidence Lockup.

Armory.

After applying the same finesse on this door lock as she had on the last, she stepped in and let out a little gasp, clasping her hands between her breasts. So many beautiful slug-throwers, firearms of all shapes and sizes with multitudes of ammo and--Hold on. Were those grenade belts?


When she finally stepped out, she was in the best mood in months. A trio of grenade belts were layered around her waist with her Beamer tucked between them, and in each hand she had a fully loaded MP7, just waiting to unleash a storm of lead on any unfortunate fool that crossed her path. She was gonna have some fun!

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Selena, Icarus, Danny Boy

Icarus was within the Void, He had managed to change things he was... home. As glided through the large gate as he surprised a horde of Gate a horde of Raven took flight cawing in protest,He smiled as he flew over the keep, He landed and walked through the grand door entering the Castle. in the entrance hall he saw his sister was there along with his mother he smiled and landed the two hugged him closely "F-finally I'm home' He smiled tears welling up in his eyes. He heard someone Coming down the stairs, he turned and saw the familiar figure of his father his hood was up but He didn't care and broke free of his family embrace and ran up and grappled his father into a hug "D-Dad! I've waited so long, I did it I changed the future......"
"OH you did did you?" his father asked but something about his voice was off Icarus Looked up to see a horrifying skull that appeared to be snarling at him he tried to scream but his throat had closed up and he shuddered as he felt his body literally freeze.

Icarus awoke in his bed Someone was gently stroking his hair, he realized his head was resting on someone's Lap lap. A Lock of hair Had tumbled down and was resting on his cheek "Hmm? Mom?" he asked confused, he could hear a short laugh "No Its me ya silly" a familiar voice replied.
Icarus Blinked his vision cleared he could see Selena was looming over him. she sat up and her hair lifted off of his cheek.
"Wha, How did I get here?"
Selena sighed "You fell unconscious you weren't as fully healed as you thought, I told you to take it easy. They brought you back here So I watched over you."
Icarus blushed a bit and sat up. "Oh Umm thanks" Smiling at her Selena smiled back and leaned in a bit. "there's a bit of a celebration Party going on, We won"
Icarus sighed "that's good to know"
"What's the matter?"
"I guess I'm just upset because I wasn't much of a hero...."
"You're my hero...."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn, Canteen:Cabrion

Cabrion awoke once again he had been magically compelled to fall asleep Nythium liked to teleport him in his sleep and knock him out often, it made him feel like he was drunkenly stumbling through life, not that he didn't love getting drunk, He could really go for some whiskey right about now. He looked around and was rather confused he was in some sort of lounge on what seemed to be a blimp considering the window indicated he was up in the clouds

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

Rising Dawn: Navigation Bridge: Rugal Bernstein, Pvt. Marcus Lassirbeen

After the battle of Denver and the clean up afterwards, Rugal's first priority was his daughter and, while she seemed to be okay, she seemed more concerned with a few of the wounded of the battle then anything else.
Not unsurprising and seeing her care so much did fill him with a silent pride.
But once he had seen a news story in his PDA inbox about a "Winged Japanese Man Impaled on Mishima Statue" as well as the announcement of G-Corp's rebranding to NOD, it did take a bit of the wind out of his sails.
He was never really close to Kazuya over the years but the implied fate of the demonic CEO was still something that weighed heavily on him, making him ponder what he could-...no, should have done differently.
Needless to say, it was somewhat distracting...

"...Captain....Captain!"
Rugal was finally snapped out of his trace as he looked away from his PDA before turning towards the Private, looking somewhat embarrassed.
"Ah, apologies. My mind was-...elsewhere. What do you need?" He then asked before being handed a letter of sorts.
Giving a nod of thanks, he then shut down the news feed before unfolding the letter and reading it.

Rising Dawn: Medical Bay: Adelheid, Teri

"...uhh-..."
Adelheid couldn't remember much from before he woke up in the medical bay, his head ringing and nearly every nerve ending on his body flaring up with intense pain.
He attempted to open his eyes, an act that was just about as enjoyable as every other aspect of his existence right now, as the blurry shapes of the Rising Dawn's medical bay began to come into focus.
He gasped slightly from a rather uncomfortable breathing tube that had been inserted into his chest
He tried to move and sit up, an action that was quickly discouraged by the fact it REALLY hurt to try those things.
A number of questions were running though his mind, why was he here? What happened to him? Why were there strange robotic parts in his chest? And so forth.
"....uh-...ngh..." he attempted to speak though damaged and numbed focal cords, soon silencing himself once he realized that wasn't going to get him anywhere either.
So in the end, he just laid there, examining his surroundings as he tried to remember anything about his situation...

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

Rising Dawn: Navigation Bridge: Rugal Bernstein, Pvt. Marcus Lassirbeen

"A party?...Hm..."
Rugal's reaction was a little mixed, not that he hated the idea mind, just he currently wasn't in a very festive mood.
Still, it was on tomorrow so his mood might have lifted by the time it was on and it would just be rude to refuse a hand written invitation, something that he would know something about from the years he played host to the KOF finals.
"Do pass them on, Private. And inform her should she require assistance in catering or just setting things up to merely ask. She desires to better relations between the two factions and it seems like the least I could do." He then answered before neatly folding the letter back up and handing it back.
He thought about the letter's sender, trying to recall where he had heard that name before (as well as proving her point about the divide between the "Heroes" and staff when he had such a hard time remembering).
"She was the daughter of the Major, wasn't she? And was wounded in the battle, correct? Apologies if I seem a bit shatter-brained. I've had a lot on my mind this day..."

Rising Dawn: Living Quarters: King Leoric

"Ahhh...Truly fit for a king..." The Undead Monarch stated as he examined his new "Residence".
With the battle for the kingdom of "Denver Colorado" won, he began to seek out a new land to reign over and the strange flying metal fortress this "Rising Dawn" seemed to be as good as any.
He didn't have any nerve endings anymore, what with being a skeleton and all, but it did little to stop his enjoyment of the kind-sized bed he laid on.
It was already better then his cell in World Marshall's prison and whilst he didn't understand all the "Technology" they used, he still could picture himself being rather happy here.
Besides, he still owed B.C. both treasure and his protection in exchange for his crown and he would not be seen dead (undead?) going back on his word.
For now? It was time to rest and recuperate as well as get used to this new world around him, as well as clean himself.
He had been imprisoned for several weeks and had little else to wear but his battle armor, had he still had sweat glands, he'd smell like a cattle shed.
So clad in what he thought was Regal Attire and a pair of Strange soft shoes, he began to seek out the bath-house on this fortress.
He had heard good things from the servants and High Heavens knows, his old bones needed to be returned to their former glory.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | The Rising Dawn | Canteen
"A nice cold beer is just the thing to top off a prison break."
B.C. | Mio | Luke | Others

One she had picked up her effects, among a few other things in the World Marshall Facility, it hadn't taken her long to find her way back to the group she left. After all, it seemed like a decent idea to stick around with them for the time being, if only to get the lay of the land, maybe even mooch off of them for a little bit. Not only that, but Teri seemed like a nice enough sort, even if she reeked of virtue and goodness, and Mio seemed fun, if a little too interested in her tits.

The Space Convict was also quickly getting used to just how weird these people were, especially after catching a glimpse of a dragon on their way to what she presumed to be their home, base, hideout... Whatever they decided to call it.

As it turned out, it was a ship, which was a little bit of a surprise. From what little she encountered in the prison, the tech level of this dimension or timeline or whatever seemed kind of primitive compared to what she was used to. But the group she fell in with seemed to have a perfectly functional ship. Interesting. Perhaps she could "commandeer" it later on.

When the others went their separate ways, B.C. continued to stick with Mio, and the two of them made their way to something that she immediately recognized the moment they stepped inside.

"A bar! Mio, you sure know how to treat a girl right." she told her companion with a playful wink as she bounded over to the counter.

"Bartender! I'll take a pint of the cheapest beer you got on tap, and start up a tab for me, would ya?" she asked, giving Luke a suggestive grin before looking back over her shoulder at Mio, "And what'll you have, Mio? We can have it put on my new tab."

Shimmying onto one of the bar stools, she leaned back against the bar and looked around the canteen. It was predictably sterile given that this struck her as a very military ship, but even then it had a sort of charm that even Confederate Military Clubs she was familiar with sorely lacked.

"Not a bad little place, all-in-all. Granted, I'd prefer a seedy little dive on a backwater pirate station, but this'll do for now. You get much business?" B.C. asked, glancing back at Luke with her ever-present smirk.

Past Tense | The Rising Yawn | Anjali's Cabin
Eddie the Dead - Bikini Snake Girl

"...People seem much more accepting towards my ... condition, as well. I thought I was a freak, but it seems there are mostly freaks here." she chuckled, and he chuckled along. The Yawn sure seemed to be brimming with... unique personalities. Most of them contemptabe, and people that Eddie wouldn't wanna share the same universal cluster with, but that was besides the point. He wasn't there to talk about undesirables, but her. She looked interesting. Her plight was sympathetic. And most importantly she didn't make him wanna facepalm every time she opened her mouth.

"But I'm still not used to it. I eat ... raw meat. This is weird. But I felt like I had to."

Nothing too serious. If it'd had been living flesh, though, now that would be something to worry about.

"And then ... there were these two people - I think they were faeries, but only kind of? - they only spoke in riddles, and showed me weird dreams.Something like a bond towards the Rising Dawn, but also ..."

Faeries in the Yawn? Grand. Nothing quite like having the universal equivalent of internet trolls on the ship. They would at least provide a good source of stress relief, though.

"It's not normal here to just torture little faeries, right?"

'Course it was. He did it all the time!

"Even if they can be summoned again?"

That just means you don't have to worry about spoiling the goods!

"We are the good guys, right?"

Pointless question. Morality is arbitrary.

"Not just ... I don't know. I don't really like violence."

A pacifist? Now that was a surprise. Given her clothes and equipment she looked like she came from a hunter-gatherer society, hardly the place for those with aversion to violence. He made a mental note to try and discern her place of origin and investigate it.

"But I'm sorry, I'm talking far too much."

"You're confused. Better to let it out than keep it in."

All in all, she seemed to be handling things well. Confusion and existential angst is the least one would expect from someone who was recently returned to the world of the living. Though, he supposed that this being a ship of 'freaks' as she put it helped with that. It's easier to cope with your own unique branch of absurdity when you come into contact with others even more absurd.

"How are you doing, Eddie?" she asked, as she started getting dressed, "What is your role here, anyways?"

"Hah!" he laughed, clearly amused by the question. "Must I have a role to play? Can I not simply exist and do as I will?" he shrugged, grinning, "I suppose you could say the role that I play is the role that I myself am. People may call that role arbitrator, troublemaker, peacekeeper, hero, hell, even villain! Such labels are meaningless to me. I do as I wish, whenever I wish, whatever my mood wishes!"

"Confused, yet?" he said playfully, "Don't be. All you need to understand is that I hold nothing sacred and act accordingly. Lemme spare you further philosophising, then, and answer your first question: How am I? Rather annoyed. My ward has no interest in staying in one place or listen to me. You've met her. 8-year-old, likes needlework. So, rather than busy myself with an exercise in futility by trying to reign her in, I'll let her do as she pleases until the time comes where I have to authoritavely step in, or she comes to me." He turned his head to his left, as though staring at the wall. "To that end, I'm keeping her monitored."

He turned to Anjali "That out of the way, I don't suppose you got any plans for the day? If not, wanna hang out? We could stay in the canteen, have a drink or two, laugh at the freaks, exchange stories, that kinda stuff? Or we could take a trip to Vegas. Show you a taste of how this world's like." he scratched his cheek, "At least, that's if you feel like it. It'd be understandable if you need some time for yourself."

----

Current Time | The Rising Frown | Canteen
Eddie the Dead

He slouched on the chair, drinking tequila and smoking cigars.

They were a good brand, too. Cuban-made, the very same Castro used to smoke. He had a good supply for them, part of the reward of a job he had done some time ago.

The tequila was good too, had a sharp bite to it, and left a lingering sweetness on the tongue.

All in all, not a bad way to wait. His spirits had improved, and his irritation had lessened, though was not yet completely gone.

Then a man walked in. He was tall, muscular, and had an air of confidence about him. You could even say he reminded Eddie of someone. More importantly, though, along with him walked a pretty sweet-lookin' babe, who, given the guy's body language and words, he was looking to bang.

"I swear to you babe, my real name is Steel. Joseph's the name I picked for myself."

What kinda parent named their child Steel, anyway? Eddie smoked his cigar, watching perused the man work his 'art'. To his surprise, however, the eager, young, space cadet passed his table and left a letter.

"Oh, and before I forget. My CO wanted me to give this to you, cool guy."

Eddie lifted an eyebrow, then grinned and exhaled smoke through his nostrils. This all seemed pretty amusing. So, he searched his pocket, and pulled out two large gold coins. Aztec gold, exceptionally crafted, each coin worth many times its weight in currency.

He flipped the first of the coins in the air, and whether through luck or technique it landed right in front of the now leaving duo of Steel and and babe.

"For services rendered," he said without turning to them, opening up the letter. As he did, he flipped the other coin, which either through luck or technique landed on top of the other one. "And that's for letting your CO know that next time they want something from me they can come themselves." Uninterested in regards to their reaction, he smoked his cigar and started reading the letter.

Diablo1099:
Collabed with dis guy

Texas Joker 52:
This person helped write some parts too

The Escapist Avatar Adventures
Rising Dawn: Hanger

Angelus | Caim | Pvt. Jefferson

The man and dragon duo mulled over the simple note, before Caim said what they were both thinking, "This sure seems addressed to 'you', rather than the both of us. I'm getting the feeling I'm not invited."

Angelus huffed, sending a gust of warm air over the two humans below her, "As if it really matters. I could easily bring you with me, that's part of the letter. 'You and anyone you wish to bring'. It's rather simple, Caim."
The (former) prince crossed his arms, tapped a foot, and after a moment's thought, nodded along, "Alright, alright. I guess I don't see any reason to protest. I need to polish my armor though, it's a bit bloody."
"You're always 'a bit bloody'. The only time you don't stink of it is when you rise from the bed and when you fall into it."
"You know, I don't HAVE to deal with this, I could 'forget' to give you back the mask. I could walk away and leave you here in the hangar."
"Would you really?"
"......"
Caim 'said' nothing as he reached into the armory and presented the dragon with her mask and a simple red dress, his gaze to the floor as he 'said' over their link, "Maybe if I was a bit angrier. I'm going to go clean up. You're welcome to join me, if you'd like", and power-walked out of the Hangar, leaving Angelus with the private. One transformation sequence later, and Angelus gave the private a curt nod of her head, she said "You needn't deliver any ill tidings to Ms. Selmey; thank you. Though - I might recommend preparing enough food for two hungry hatchlings, just in case they see fit to join as well."

Following this, she made her way out of the Hangar and into the halls of the Dawn. Caim's offer was quite tempting, but it had been quite some time since she had stretched her human legs - how much had her territory changed since she last walked in it like a mortal?


Rising Dawn: Canteen
B.C. | Cabrion | Eddie the Dead | Lucas "Luke" Cypress | Mio |

When Envy and Sloth deigned it fit to take their leave and that incessant ringing had finally stopped, Luke let out a breath he didn't realize he was holding. With the Vices leaving him well enough alone, as well as the apparent demise of the monster outside, things could start getting back to normal - as normal as the Dawn could get anyway. His end of his bargain with Bernstein was done, those captured by the World Marshall were rescued. While he could not reap the benefits that entailed from such a victory (at least, not at the present moment), Luke was happy to return to a much more "mundane" state of his current stomping grounds - at least until a trio of new faces appeared.

Two were a pair of young women, one whom appeared to be an albino pirate woman - probably an offworlder; the other wore an orange jumpsuit reminiscent of a prisoner's garb, the front unzipped to reveal a garish ensemble (if it even could be called that) of a bikini top in eye offending colors that clashed with the jumpsuit, a set of grenades on her waist, a wavy high-tied ponytail and heavy boots; which made it's bearer look like she walked out of a bad 80s action movie. All that was missing was a beefy man with an AK to appear and start shooting the bar up. Luke resisted the urge to douse his eyes in the spirits behind him as his sense of fashion cried out in pain, and instead made a note of the third entering the Canteen....Which only added to the "unusual" factor when it came cluster of characters presently in his bar - the third approaching had an "interesting" sense of fashion as well, seeing fit to mix a cowboy hat with a pompadour. The only real redeeming feature was the jacket, and even then - with the rest of the dark colors it was mixed with, it gave more of an "Emo Greaser" look with a hat on top rather than anything really innocuous. But, customers were customers, and one of them started talking to him - oh, it was the aberrant whirlwind of colors, great.

She asked for the cheapest beer on tap (which in Luke's opinion, was probably water with yellow food coloring in it), identified the pirate woman as "Mio", and began to chat him up; the cowboy/greaser standing back and looking a little dazed, as if he pulled a Rip-Van-Winkle and stumbled out of faerie land,

"Not a bad little place, all-in-all. Granted, I'd prefer a seedy little dive on a backwater pirate station, but this'll do for now. You get much business?"

Luke turned his attention back to the girl in front of him, getting the glass of beer ready before gently sliding it over and answering in a polite tone, "I do and I don't. It really depends upon the time of day and whether the crew here are busy. We just got back from a doozy of a mission, so I suspect it'll be filling up soon. How about you and your friend here? I don't remember seeing your faces around."

In the meantime, Luke flicked one of his fingers towards the boy in black, an Imp following a non-verbal order to waddle over to the newcomer and take an order. In this case, the beleaguered imp in question gestured one of its tiny arms towards one of the many tables the canteen had to offer; and after waiting another moment, it made a drinking motion and pointed towards the bar; awaiting some kind of response from it's new patron.


Rising Dawn: Med Bay
Adelheid | Teri

Teri, despite having endured the gauntlet that was the World Marshall Prison, found herself bouncing back to her normal duties with a renewed vigor. While the staff on call had done the best they could to manage the Med Bay while she was away, healing magic conserved supplies and shortened surgery times; alongside with her Aura acting as equal parts painkiller and wound management, the soldier mortality rate dropped significantly. Garm had taken up his usual vigil at the entrance of the Med Bay, but Teri had noted that on occasion he gave someone entering or leaving a harder look than was typical; but he was otherwise harmless. However, barring somewhat overprotective wolves; the Cleric found herself back at the side of one Adelheid Bernstein, questions whirling in her mind. He was practically comatose when she and Garm had recovered him from the ruins of Denver, but how would he act when he woke up? Would he remember his previous mission as FULGORE and attempt to capture her again? Would he recognize the name "Bernstein"? How did Armstrong manage to enslave him?

Before she could think any further, the young man began to stir, his attention first brought to the variety of medical implements in his body, followed by his eyes flitting around to every little detail around him. Now was as good a time as any - stepping up to the bed, Teri gave him a little wave and chided gently, "Hey now, take it easy! You got really hurt down there, so moving around too much isn't gonna do you much good." She pulled out her tablet and opened a new document on it's word processing app before she continued, "My name is Teri, I'm a doctor on the Rising Dawn, and right now you're in it's Med Bay. You've been out for a little while, so I'm going to ask a couple quick questions and take some notes to gauge your condition. Nod your head for yes, and shake it for no. That sound okay?"

Adelheid remained silent, no doubt on account of the damage to his vocal cords, before slowly nodding and swallowing. In an attempt to make her patient more comfortable, the Cleric held up a cup with a straw and offered, "Thirsty? You do have an IV in that'll give you the fluids you need, but here you go. And...I know this might be a little overwhelming, but bear with me for a little longer."

She waited for him to drink faintly before he nodded again, and she continued her line of query, "Do you remember your name?"
He nodded faintly, and she began to type notes on her tablet, "Do you remember how you got hurt?"
The younger Bernstein paused at that question, seeming to think it over before exhaling and shaking his head, his expression appearing somewhere between frustrated and confused. Teri add an additional note before she continued,
"That's okay, we found you in some rubble in Denver. A number of things could have done you in. To be honest, you're pretty lucky to be alive. Do you remember anything about these?" She pointed at the implants that were currently riddling Adelheid's body. "There's a lot of them; and if you know anything about why you have any of them, that prevents me from accidentally unplugging something like a custom pacemaker."

Teri wanted to be joking when she said that, but even with Dimitri and Viscus putting their heads together to help her, the removal of the varying bits of metal and circuitry from Adelheid's body was proving difficult. A heavy inclination for healing magic always helped when one was a medical professional, but in Adelheid's case, some of the implants were so deftly mixed with his biological systems that only the most superficial of the metal (mainly, the outer chassis that acted as a sort of "armor" around his body) was able to be removed without a degree of caution, everything else being a mixture of educated guessing and lengthy discussions with the two AIs about the form and functions of everything. Without a proper blueprint, each surgery and removal had to be calculated with the utmost of care; and that wasn't even considering the amount of physical therapy Adelheid was probably going to need after all was said and done. To add another layer of difficulty to all of this - Teri's patient could only shake his head; not that the residential Cleric wasn't expecting that - it was likely he was modified without his consent if he didn't remember anything pleasant about what lead up to his current state of being. However, she was given an idea.

After a moment of saving her current notes on her Tablet, she opened up an old function that hadn't been used for quite some time, and offered the Tablet, "You know, this has a text to speech function. If you have any questions for me, you're welcome to use it until your vocal cords heal. Though - if I need to leave here, I'll be needing it back; but until then, I'll answer your questions to the best of my ability. How about it?"


Homelands
maria's story

"So I must ask you, do you truly wish to be set free?"

Maria coiled her body tight and then set herself atop of it as if she was sitting. Her expression was gentle and her ears were tapered on her head. She set her hands above her chest, resting gently on her heart. "That is most kind of you," her voice dripped with honey, "but that is not necessary." She motioned with her hand out toward the darkness of the library, "There is not one of us who live here who do not expect to die one day, but not one of us will die upon the swords of heroes. Though they seek to do us violence, the laws of this world forbids them to truly kill us and us to them. It is an ancient covenant that binds us all together - a conflict by a contract signed to magic itself."

She spun around and set down her cup, "Here is the secret," she said, "heroes must come from a world that is not ours. And so Eden protects us and them while we play. Those heroes could be born here, or they could travel here as you have, but they are not from here. The very nature of their souls are different." Her body quivered, jaws snapping, "So when I killed them, I was simply realizing that they had become part of our world - soul and all." Maria's eyes glowed brightly with the light of invisible embers, "the very nature of magic had begun to change - and the nature of our reality and the next is shifting. Where this develops, I cannot know."

The blue glow of Jiyam's butterflies returned to the darkness in the distance. "Ah, here Jiyam returns. It would be now to voice your last concerns before you leave. Or perhaps, your concerns if you wish to stay."

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

Rising Dawn: Navigation Bridge: Rugal Bernstein, Pvt. Marcus Lassirbeen

"..."
There was little Rugal could say to justify the last few weeks of action, they had suffered much and while he would have pointed to the capture of a rather dangerous man as their prize, he knew better then to try and argue that case to someone who had lost friends in this battle.
Once the Private had left the room, the "Captain" let out a large sigh before massaging his head in his hands and sitting silently on the bridge, on a chair he had no right to sit on and on a ship he had spent years trying to bring down.
"..."
Finally spurring himself out of his brooding, he then began to make his way around the halls of the ship, searching for something to take his mind off the mess that had been the last arc the last few battles they had raged.
I sure hope whoever they do end up electing as president has some ounce of common sense about them...

Rising Dawn: Medical Bay: Adelheid, Teri

"....uh-...." Adelheid managed to get out before slowly moving a finger towards the tablet, wincing and gasping from pain as his arm muscles/cybernetics were moved.
Relaxing once he had gotten his hand into position before slowly moving his index finger from one letter to the next.
He strained to do so but he managed to type out a simple question which the tablet then played back: "W-H-Y_Y-O-U_H-E-L-P?"
Once he was done, he looked glad to let his arm drop before exhaling heavily, the act of typing that out really taking a lot out of his already depleted strength.


Rising Dawn: Canteen
B.C. | Cabrion | Eddie the Dead | Lucas "Luke" Cypress | Mio |

A small but pudgy looking Imp Approached Cabrion, he took a seat at a small table near the corner.
"Hmm I didn't know there were Imps in this realm if that's the case then I wont need these"
He stated and stowed away his hat and shades revealing his horns and golden eyes.
"I'll take a whiskey on the rocks, By the way is it okay if I smoke in here?"
He asked taking out a thick black cigar. Before the imp could answer The Tiefling created a small flame on the tip of his thumb "Great" he answered no one and lit the black tube a distinct crackling sound was heard as he inhaled from the cigar, it's end lighting up. He exhaled a thick cloud of black smoke which was not the most pleasant scent, unless you were used to burnt herbs. Cabrion looked around, Waiting for his drink This place felt unusual, He took out one of his pewter wizards, setting it on the table. "Hmm Say Thelonious, Any idea why I was brought here?"
"If I had to guess, I suspect there is a powerful magical confluence in this location, Nythium needs more information on magic from other worlds after all."
Cabrion Shrugged and made a few more puffs of smoke, thinking.

The Rising Dawn


Cabin
Night
Anjali | Eddie

Eddie the Dead confused Anjali with the first words that came out of his mouth, but these words at least sounded very impressive, and philosophical. So Anjali listened to him with interest, as he explained to her his existence and his role, or rather his lack of a specific role. Her mind tried to put these things in place, but was failing to solve a paradox.

As Eddie explained that he was looking out for an 8-year-old by mostly letting her do what she wanted, Anjali nodded. While it had not been fit for a girl to be left alone in the village-society she came from, she had always hated the tasks that were put before her, like making dinner and cleaning. And she never had the chance to fully grow out of this rebellious and idealistic phase. Therefore, leaving someone to do what they wanted was what she would want to do as well.

Finally, Eddie asked her out. "That out of the way, I don't suppose you got any plans for the day? If not, wanna hang out? We could stay in the canteen, have a drink or two, laugh at the freaks, exchange stories, that kinda stuff? Or we could take a trip to Vegas. Show you a taste of how this world's like." he scratched his cheek, "At least, that's if you feel like it. It'd be understandable if you need some time for yourself."

It only took a second for Anjali to answer: "Yesss. I mean, I had enough time for mysself, thank you. I don't have any planss, so I would like to 'hang out' or ssomething. And of coursse I would like to sssee more of thiss world. Vegass, you say? I wonder what that iss.
Let me jusst put on my clothess ..."
It dawned on her that she had stood in front of Eddie half-naked the whole time, and she made a motion to cover herself with her arms before stopping herself. There was no point in doing it anymore, after all this time talking. "Yesss, let me jusst put on these clothesss, then we can do whatever."

Therefore Eddie would leave Anjali in her room until she was dressed, and wait for her in the canteen.


Morning
Anjali | Pvt. Ilana Emmerson

It knocked. Anjali had just put the top of her uniform over her head. "Hmm?" she made, trying to get it to fit correctly. It knocked again. "Ms. Khatri, I have a message for you." someone said, while Anjali buttoned up the shirt, and knocked again.

"Jusssst a moment!" Anjali called back, sounding more harshly than she had intended to sound. She struggled a bit with this many buttons, and of course the pants, as she usually just had worn a dress ... and this had been hundreds of years ago. But she had to admit, this uniform, after being fixed by Ruby, was quite comfortable.

Finally, after setting all clothes in order, and putting her hair up, hoping she did not look too creepy this way, she opened the door to her cabin.
"Sssssorry, what iss it?" she assked, as her red-glowing eyes fell on the soldier-woman standing in front of her room.


Canteen
Mio | B.C. | Luke | Canteen Interior

Mio had taken her sweet time to change back into her admiral's coat after finding the evidence locker room. Prison uniforms really did not fit a captain. Of course she kept the sword she had found, even though she also took back the cutlass and all other weapons. You usually could not have too many things at once.

Finally looking and feeling like her normal pirate-self again, and also getting used to the way her new companion B.C. was dressing herself, Mio went into the metal ship that was waiting for them with her, and it did not take long until she had found the canteen by smell alone.

"A bar! Mio, you sure know how to treat a girl right." B.C. said as she made her way to the counter, Mio following. "Of course I know." Mio stated. "You will not find anyone more chivalrous than me on this world or the next."

B.C. in the meantime already ordered cheap beer, before looking back over her shoulder at Mio, "And what'll you have, Mio? We can have it put on my new tab."
"I will have a kill-devil. Or demon-water. Or rum. However you call it here." Mio said without hesitation, not even really looking at the bartender. She was a bit more interested in the crew as she sat down on another bar stool, wondering who could be useful in a pirate crew.

And how to make as many friends as possible.


Diana | Canteen Interior

Diana had fought again, but, as the giant boss appeared, had taken her leave of absence. Until the fight was over, at least. Now she was just sitting inside the canteen again, in a slutty outfit, drowning her sorrows in annoying imps by bringing her different drinks she did not even finish. "Bring me your favourite drink." she said to one of the imps. "I wonder if you have your own mind, or are just some kind of dirty servant." Her abuse of imps limited itself to the verbal components, however.

There had been something she had wanted to do, but right now she could not even remember what it was. For now, she just got wasted. Sometimes she hated looking into other people's minds. Sometimes they could only think about dumb things like drinking, and she could not get rid of these thoughts until she did what they were thinking about. It was time to do nothing until she got an idea how to scare another person for life. Hopefully she could find someone with arachnophobia, that was always fun.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Denver | Ship's interior corridors
Hillary has never heard of a Santa before, but I'm excited to meet him!
Cadolbolg | Ton Ton | Hillary

As the little ones sped through the hallways on their adventure to see the legendary Saint Nick, they'd hear the crack of a series of sparks from a hallway intersection they were quickly approaching. The brief whiff of ozone waft through the air before they'd hear a loud splat followed by a couple hard thuds to the floor. However they decided to tackle this unknown event, there would be a rather unexpected sight.

Whenever the two found their way around the corner, they would see what appeared to be a woman approximately in her mid 20s faceplanted into the floor. Appear being a very important disclaimer since she looked to be made of the very linoleum that made up the floor. Her body however still had the normal proportions of a human, ten fingers ten toes, four limbs, a short bob cut that looked to be one solid mass. She was naked in terms of clothing, but as she propped herself up by her elbow, they'd see she was following Barbie Anatomy rules or possibly more accurately Nonhumans lack attributes. She briefly held her head in her hand before she noticed the two. She blinked with her blank eyes, no iris or pupils were visually present. Depending on their eyesight however, they'd see the speckles that dotted the linoleum translating across her eye showing that indeed she did have functioning eyes to some degree.

Sitting up a bit more the woman sat up more, placing a hand to the ground to stabilize herself, and made the biggest yawn the hatchlings had ever seen. Now when the word phagocytosis is used, it's supposed to describe single celled organisms pinching their outer membrane to make space within, but this was an appropriate description of what the woman did as her lips opened and her mouth took shape as it extended deeper and deeper until it was out of sight in the back of her throat. At that point it was hard to say just how far this process continued within her until finally. "Hmm, hello! Hillary was... finished for the day and had left for her room to see Penelope. But now I'm here... Hillary has never seen you before, did you see how Hillary tripped?" The woman asked, her disposition sounded quite friendly although it was clear she was confused as to exactly what was going on. At least she wasn't freaking out upon seeing a dragon turtle.

Off to one side of the corridor a short ways away from the woman, there also lay a figurine with three people in a group. A young girl of 8ish with long hair and a bright smile, a younger woman with a blindfold across her face, and a middle age woman with a look of great wisdom and care towards the two younger ladies was featured as she looked down on them. The figurine was also made of the same linoleum as the floor.

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