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

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The Escapist Avatar Adventures


Cloudtop Citadel: Hallways

B.C. | Cadolbolg | Caim | David West | Laeta | Mio | Ton Ton


"Have you never heard of a 'con'? Or a 'cover'? Listen honey, it's nice that you think so highly of yourself that you actually believed that I was using this as an excuse to go on a date with you, but it ain't so. You goody-two-shoes types are all too void-be-damned serious..."

"Jesus Christ, you're as bad as Katya..." David sighed, adding another reason why he didn't want to go with that cover story: B.C. was quickly starting to get on his last nerve.
"Look, I know it's a con but even so, I ain't going to entertain something like that. You know how Governments are supposed to set things up so it doesn't even look like there is corruption? Well, imagine that with my relationship, only I actually have the spine and heart to be legit about it." He then rambled until Caim showed up and explained they were leaving.
"Ohhhh, good call. And, er...I know how this is going to sound but-...I think I *Might* have caused that big ass explosion earlier. One of the people at the base asked me to do an errand for him and apparently that reawakened the Old Ones or something. I don't know what's going on either, just you know that party Dolores was trying to set up? Apparently, someone named Alice there is at the heart of all this nonsense. I don't know entirely how but odds we'll learn more there then we will here. Besides, they'll have booze and I REALLY need booze right now..." David then explained before hauling ass back to the ship, seeming a big glad when B.C. found someone else to annoy...

Cloudtop Citadel ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 10:00 AM


Lt. Abigail Martin

Abigail put her hands on Teri's and held them at bay. "I am fine," she croaked. A few stray strands of hair rolled down her face and she brushed it back up with her fingers. She tried to stand up and shakily did so, leaning against the wall as she rose. She looked at Viscus and grimaced, "You people let such an unstable AI run free?" Abigail shook her head, "Such lackluster discipline must cause unceasing trouble."

She let the Cleric see her skin, bruised and angry though it was. Though it seemed as if she was not done any lasting damage.

The other soldiers gathered behind their officer, and that's what they were. Despite their youthful appearance and playful nature, they were soldiers as well as students and researchers. Their gleaming eyes and ruby lips were stretched into pensive glares. Abigail commanded them to lower their weapons with a quick wave of her hand.

"I'm afraid that we have reached the limit of our hospitality," Abigail leaned against the wall. Her eyes were steel, "please vacate as soon as possible. Take that machine with you."

Rising Dawn ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 10:00 AM


Lt. Dolores Selmy

I yawned. There was some light filtering in through from behind the curtains, and the sheets were cold on my skin. I sat up and stretched, the cloth fell from my bare arms and pooled in my lap. My back hurt and my hips were sore. I must have been twisting and turning in my sleep, and the weight of my legs strained the muscles in my hips. I groaned, the air was cold. I reached over and grabbed my shirt and slipped it over me, taking care not to crease the silken cloth as I pulled it over my breast and stomach. I swung my legs over the bed and slipped carefully into my chair.

My name is Dolores Selmy. Everyday I have to remind myself that. I can feel the other voices nibbling in the back of my head. I had forgotten their names. All the better. I am Dolores. It means to suffer. My name is Dolores. It means to suffer.

I looked up and my face stared back at me in the mirror. Gentle sloping cheeks and a round chin, a button nose. Wide, wet eyes covered by a sheet of blonde hair. I brushed my bangs to the side and clipped it back with a pin. My skin was white, almost as pale as snow. My eyes were a bright green.

Today was the day of my party, but really it was more of John and Molli's party. I smiled. John had come up with the idea, I had just organized it. The man was something else, soft-spoken and unassuming, but an incredible intelligence agent. He had a ring made from the raw iron from Molli's first childhood project, a dune buggy that she worked on with her father. It glimmered in my memory, a dark iron laced with gleaming rivers of platinum and rose gold and crowned with a round polished sapphire to match Molli's eyes.

There was a knock.

"Are you okay?" Isaac said as he walked in. He was wearing his dress uniform, his hair was combed neatly back and his deep olive skin had been powdered lightly with some white dust. His face was twisted into a grave grimace.

"I'm fine Isaac, is something wrong?" I leaned back in my chair and covered my bare legs with a blanket.

Isaac walked in and looked at me in the mirror. The frame made it look like we were a couple in an old photo. "There's been a class 3 emergency," he said softly, "the Rising Dawn was attacked and your sister is missing."

I looked up at him. For some reason I couldn't seem to care. I knew I should be worried, frantic even. But right now I wasn't filled with anything. Not surprise, not fear, not worry. I smiled, "I'm sure Laeta will be okay."

"I didn't mention," Isaac began, his brow furrowed.

"Saren isn't one to get herself missing." I answered. It felt automatic, unthinking. Like someone else was talking for me. The day wasn't going to change. The party was still going to happen. "Would you kindly help me into the shower? It's cold." My name is Dolores. It means "she who suffers." What kind of father names his daughter that?

The Rising Dawn Adventures

The Escapist Avatar Adventures
Cloudtop Citadel: Main Concourse
Angelus | Caim | Hillary | King Leoric | Nadalia | Miia | Rugal Bernstein | Titania | Nina and Phillip


Even though Nadalia didn't have a top nor a bra ... she wasn't remotely worried about anyone seeing her cleavage. All she wanted was a new uniform, due to having literal piss stains because of a certain Lamia, which was absolutely humiliating. Yet, as she reached for the door- someone stepped into view. "You!" Nina scowled, pointing accusingly darting from one to another. Since Nadalia and Miia had stepped out for the moment, there was no one specifically that she recognized in the group here and thus her attention was passed over everyone to a degree. "I hope you're happy with yourselves! I get it, I've been to college. Hazing process for new members, throw a red sock into your whites, all your undergarments tossed onto the lawn... But this, I guess with all your fancy shmancy powers all that was probably just a walk in the park for you all. No big deal. Hell, I don't know if there even is a party at this point?!"

This definitely confused Nadalia, the Iron Queen merely raising an eyebrow at the enraged woman. However, Miia crept behind Nadalia and mentioned, "Wait ... I-I know her!! That girl, she's from Denver! What is she still doing on the Rising Dawn for??"

"Thee shan't be following thou, didn't you heed thy warning already?" Nadalia growled, making Miia wince in fear. The next thing they both knew- Caim came by and basically carried her off to be healed by the Warmth spells, which was a good thing since Nadalia was in no mood for small talk of any kind. Stepping into the room, she began searching for any clothes to change into. Meanwhile, Miia didn't really know what to do. Should she follow and risk getting burnt, or stay out here and be left defenseless in case some other shit happened to the Rising Dawn? "Aaahh, it's okay Miia! You're fine ... totally, totally fine. Doooooooon't even worry, nothing's ganna happen! Yep!" Miia said to herself, in a way to calm herself. But when a booming voice let through the halls, Miia jumped out of panic and shielded herself ... until she heard the last bit of what this person had to say. "The Rising Dawn undocks and leaves in twenty minutes with or without all of you." Titania informed everyone in proximity, making Miia start sweating bullets now.

Banging on the door, Miia had to ask, "Hey! Uh, the Rising Dawn is like ... going back to the ship in a hurry! We're going to be left behind unless you ... find something. Quick!" But no response, making Miia begin to worry more and more about their situation. She started pacing, hugging herself with eyes hardly blinking, thinking that she was definitely going to be left behind in this hell hole.

"H-hey! Nadalia ... I-I don't mean to be 'that' girl, but we reeaaallly need to-"

"I HEARD YOU." She slammed the door open, nearly smacking Miia since she was so close. This resulted in the lamia falling back, utterly frightened by Nadalia's wrath. Sighing, the Iron Queen shook her head before going over and offering Miia a hand. Surprised by this act of kindness, Miia slowly took the hand- and was brought up without effort. Such strength made the lamia wonder just how strong the pyromancer was now, but she wouldn't dare risk finding out the hard way.

As for Nadalia's new outfit, she found some armor, although it wasn't the kind she was used to back in her golden days.

image

"Huh, you actually pull that off Nadalia!" She gave the thumbs up. However, Nadalia didn't understand what 'pulling that off' meant so she responded with the following, "I question your motives .. for I shalt not be removing my armor." This made Miia give the typical anime look of disbelief, the kind of 'you're joking' expression with disappointment in the mix. Still, she knew this was no time to educate the Iron Queen on such meanings and decided to rush back towards the ship, with Nadalia easily following behind; annoyed by having to abandon her rather luxurious outfit given by King Leoric himself. Such a royal dress shouldn't be given such a cruel fate, so she wasn't going to forgive the lamia so easily for ruining it.

((Would type more here, but I am limited on time unfortunately. If anyone wants to interact with my characters, send me a PM!))

The Rising Dawn Adventures

The Escapist Avatar Adventures
Cloudtop Citadel: Main Concourse
Angelus | Caim | Hillary | King Leoric | Nadalia | Miia | Rugal Bernstein | Titania | Nina and Phillip



The light of the newly born flame washed over Hillary's form, flicks of orange and yellow overtook the glistening silver's own colourations. Hillary's trust in Angelus' words prior helped to keep her from gaining some distance, but that didn't stop her from eyeing that flame none the less. Her head tilted upwards as she watched the flame come to rest atop her head like a glorified spotlight. Hillary's mood brightened once more as Angelus offered her hand to the slime, to which she happily accepted, lightly swinging the arm back and forth as they made their way to the elevator. Because she was under the impression Yona was the owner of the mace, and she didn't need it where she was headed, Hillary would have simply left it leaning against one of the walls in the open.

The story Angelus told Hillary of her two bundles of joy brought a smile to Hillary's face. Truth be told, Hillary's interpretation of family was quite a bit broader than most, and thus didn't much bat an eye at Angelus calling the turtle dragon or the stuffed gecko fish her children. In fairness it only went to show she'd done a fine job at raising the two to be as kind and helpful as they had. She only hoped the two children knew how much they meant to her.

"Though your reverence for this Penelope is similar to mine in regards to my children - is she family to you? Perhaps a mentor?" Hillary was then asked, to which she replied, placing her other hand to her chest holding onto her figurine[1]. "Penelope? I say she's family. Like family away from family? She's helped teach Hillary many things over our travels, show her how other people do things, and make sure she doesn't get into trouble." A sheepish smile coming across the woman's face. "Some of the others say that she's more of a nanny, but Penelope is very quick to say that's not true. "It's my duty to make sure everyone on this ship is cared for, Hillary is no exception!" she'd say." Hillary stated, wagging her finger with a slight inflection to her voice as she rhymed off one of Penelope's lines. "So... maybe she's a little of all the things if you think about it? But certainly a very good friend to Hillary~" Hillary kicked her legs out excitely.

As they got closer to the elevator, Hillary turned her head to the controls for a moment before confirming they were supposed to go up. With Angelus' approval, Hillary called the elevator and waited patiently as the group following behind to gather orderly. Once the doors opened, Hillary entered and was immediately met with a loud buzzer. She would look around confused a moment before realizing the problem. "Wait, Hillary's had this happen before..." She said as she stepped back outside and offered for others to board instead. She then looked down at herself reluctantly. "I guess Hillary needs to get that apple out of her..? Just wait a second." She begrudgingly stated as she started to cough with gusto.

[1] Which I absolutely didn't forget about when she was carrying that mace, nope! XD

[[Main Scenario]]


Glimmer of Hope
luke's story

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Oblivion was absolute. There was nothing dark about this darkness, Luke found, as he traversed the eternal fog. The ancient stillness stretched on and on. He could feel nothing, not wind, nor cold. He could hear only the sounds of his own thoughts and as he weaved through unfathomable distances, he could not know for sure he was actually moving. There was nothing here, not even magic, for him to place his relative position.

For a million million miles it was pure nothing.

Then it came to a sudden end. It was that pull, that gravitational presence that guided him out of the grey miasma. He had lost it's faint pull when he entered the cloud, but it had been guiding him subtly through the barrier from the other side. Luke burst out from a world of nothingness into a world of something.

There was no sky, but there was a horizon. He was thankful for even that much. He landed. There was gravity here. And then he heard it - music. Long wailing pulls on an invisible violin, the heavy thrum of cellos, and even the soft trembling of a piano echoing through the air. There was air. Luke took a breath, the air was gently sweet, as if dashed with sugar.

If he didn't already know better he would have said that this was Paradisum, but this was not heaven nor hell nor purgatory. His feet shifted under him and he looked down. The earth below was moving as if water, thick waves of golden light swept toward the dark cloud behind him. That's where the music came from. As the liquid light ground against the thick grey walls of shifting clouds, it thrummed with the beautiful melody.

To him, this liquid light was solid, but as he looked out he saw nothing else upon the surface. It might as well have been a sea born of sunlight. Even further there were no twinkling stars, no other worlds, and not even a great burning light to illuminate the realm. It was just gold on one side of the horizon and and endless blue sky on the other. High above, some wispy clouds hung high in the false sky as some half-hearted imitation of a normal world.

As strange as this place was, he felt at ease. As if he belonged here. He took a step away from the wall of darkness, the only thing he could make out in the infinity. There was no curve as the horizon stretched out. This was no world, but an endless flat plane. He took a second step. The waves below his feet swelled as it crashed into the dark wall behind him, stripping some of the aetherial darkness off of the barrier and into the sea of light.

Then Luke felt it again, that pull. A pulse of attraction akin to love, but not right. As if a foreign entity had read about love in a book and imitated it. It felt undeniably wrong but, at the same time, not unpleasant. He looked for the source and he saw it come into existence right before him. There was no flash, no fanfare, no storm of feathers, nor glimmering portals. She was just there.

She couldn't have been older than fourteen.

Her eyes were red. Beautiful, shimmering like an ocean of blood. Her hair was white, and her skin was pale. She wore a sheer white dress over a thin petite frame, and through the fabric Luke could see she was no real girl. She was like a doll, unblemished skin, perfect and baby smooth from head to toe. She smiled, brushing away a long lock of hair. Though there was no wind her dress and hair fluttered in some false breeze.

"How do you do?" she said. Her voice did not sync up with her lips. Instead the song of the sea shifted to imitate her voice. She was merely opening and closing her mouth in an imitation of speech.

Cloudtop Citadel
Engineering

[Error: 37]
AI Dimitri | Garm | Teri | AI Viscus | Lt. Abigail Martin

Viscus froze for a moment before twitching wildly for a moment, Sadei's energies doing much to knock his system out of whack long enough for his efforts to be undone.
While Abigail was spared his wrath, the tone of her voice and the general vibe of the room made it clear they had to leave and do so rather soonish.
[...You have made an unwise choice this day...] The machine barked before standing back upright while Garm and Teri talked about their orders to return to the Rising Dawn.
It was then that the Cleric mentioned the spawn of Rugal Bernstein, something that greatly vexed the AI even more then the comments Abigail had made about "Allowing" an AI like him to act freely.
[I warned you he was a danger to himself and others...He's also still on the ship. While I am unable to remotely access the Rising Dawn's security from here, my estimates suggest he has yet to leave the airship. We are leaving now.]

Shooting one last glare at the Citadel staff, he merely picked up both Garm and Teri, one under each arm before adding [You may expect a complaint at your Human Resources department for the unauthorized dismantling of my combat armor. You are lucky I am not allowed to kill you this day. Reflect on your conduct or I will return.]
His rather hallow threat delivered, the android then began to hover before flying directly to the ship, zooming though the Citadel's hallways with his two unwilling passagers in his grasp.
The Flight back to the Rising Dawn was a short but rather memorable one, while they might have both been used to flying with Angelus and other Heroes, Viscus was a lot-..."Faster".

Within the space of a minute, Teri and Garm found themselves being brought into an airlock on the western side of the ship, not far from the crew's quarters.
[The rest of the crew are now safely on the ship. It appears we are leaving the base due to the event. I will interface with our mainframe here and try to determine the cause of the event. You may resume your search for your "Brother" now...] Viscus droned before leaving to attend to more important matters...

[[Main Scenario]]


Glimmer of Hope
luke's story

" 'Mother' is the name of God, on the lips and hearts of all children."

"How do you do?"

First memories were always the hardest to remember.

In one moment, there was nothing. In the next, he was bathed in a warm glow, as comforting as a hug and gentler than gossamer. He was granted a name - one difficult for human tongues to grasp on a whim, but it meant "Morning Star" or "He who bears Light"- and light, he bore. Everywhere he went, a light always seemed to follow, joy tinkling from a presence that was everywhere at once - a safe haven in an unseen gaze and source-less voice. A guiding principle, a hand that sowed, a direction to take.

The day he was given his duty, he would forever consider it the day he stopped being a child.

Lucifer shuddered, blinking back a strange moisture that found its way to his cheeks. Reaching up, he found that it was in fact, tears, flowing unbidden and without recollection of when they started. That feeling that washed over him moments ago, that comfort, it brought to the surface something Lucifer thought he had buried, and was wrecking havoc over his collected persona. However, it did not last - as something felt strange about it, false - an imitation, a flawed reproduction rather than the "real" he was reminded of moments ago. Longing was quickly overwhelmed by anger, boiling hot in his breast; reaching it's way to his expression, which at this point was reminiscent of an angry dog than a man.

Lucifer's wings flared out reflexively, flapping with indigence as he shouted to the doll-like creature, "Don't play cute with me! I've come a long way to get here, and it's not for something so inane as niceties!"

A moment passed, the Morning Star's chest heaving like a pair of bellows after his angry declaration - a recollection of a gentle voice played in the back of mind, reminding him to keep to his manners during all dealings - before taking a deep breath and running a hand through his hair in an attempt to smooth it out. After another moment, he exhaled, and looked back to the creature again, this time, his voice much more level as he said, "...That a bit brusque, forgive me. I am known as Luke, and I am...'inquisitive' I suppose. Who..or rather, what, are you? I can tell what I'm looking at is only an avatar - a preferred form. It was more than a little obvious when the mouth wasn't actually speaking. Second - if you're anything like what I encountered on my way here - are you the one who is responsible for the imprisonment of the collective known as the Rising Dawn; and if so - why?"

[[Main Scenario]]


Glimmer of Hope
luke's story

"Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night."

"Awadar?" she tried to say. The strings strained in the sea as it tried to replicate the hard consonants of Luke's words. She pouted and turned around, her feet dancing deftly on the surface of the golden sea. When she finished her turn her dress settled around her like flower petals. "'olle'dieb?" she tried again. She shook her head and took two steps back and two steps forward. She seemed to be frustrated.

Finally she opened her mouth to speak. To truly speak, with her voice, stemming from her flesh and blood. The music softened to make way for her voice, "a' nomae Uenia i. la nasa mae ayannala'a."

Luke's eyes narrowed at the seemingly innocent response - given what he had gone through to get to this place, he had the sneaking suspicion that this "Venia" was trying to pull a fast one on him; especially after what he had gone through just encountering the creature moments before. Unlike her little walk/dance across the golden sea, Luke remained in place, only shifting slightly to adjust his weight on the sea as he asked again, "Alright, so your name is 'Venia'. That answers one question. But two more remain. First, what are you? You don't seem.... human. At least, not like any human I've encountered."

"Hmm..." Venia said as she put her hands over her eyes. "a' sumir fala oe a i. lugo pea ha ang'a." She made a motion with her hands outward like a parent playing "peek-a-boo" with her daughter.

"That doesn't answer my question."

"'ogido ergo sum?" Venia tried again.

This was going nowhere, and while he was usually a patient fellow, Luke was feeling rather irritated by the evasive maneuvering around his question. It reminded him of a time when he spoke with a budding psychic who pointed out that Luke did the same thing when it came to Q and A - perhaps this was karma, in it's own way. Another thought that flitted to mind was a moment at the bar, when his patron smiled like a child who got away with stealing a cookie undetected, and suggested that he should be more direct with what he wanted, rather than treating conversations like a sparring match. Bad habits were hard to break, even moreso when you were in denial.

Refusing to relent, Luke answered, "I didn't ask when you came to be, I asked about your nature - what are you? An agent standing in for someone? A diversion? Or perhaps you see yourself as god, and this is your domain?"

Venia cocked her head and laughed, doing another spin, "a' Uenia i," she said as if it was the most obvious answer in the world.

""Forgiveness..? A concept personification?""

"Ahn," she said."a' ol mianni haeshi. pe'ire ua li ama'a, ludo'a awasa'a hima'a dohe'a. uedera ni noho, mi amo manda lorre - i felle hu'so mir ua. luga pea'a nya ang'a. pashi ous an'hi mosse... dolore maderi logi ang'a ai a' shihee."

"Finally, a somewhat straight answer! Was that so hard?"

Luke took a moment to parse over what was said - and then drew pause. 'dolore' - baring the strange language his conversation partner was speaking in (though the benefit of being an Angel, excommunicated or not, was that regardless of one's language capacities, magic could fill in the gaps), he noticed that word in particular was of a language he did not need magic to understand; and thought aloud, "Dolore...that was Latin. But why, when you weren't speaking it up to this point?"

Venia pointed at the wall behind him as the golden sea crashed against it, stripping sheets off the ephemeral cloud. "Dolore na shuberi, do dai aifa a' shodaia. Dolore loudea'a i. a' ei todoeia mediara"

"Hmn... you say you want to help, yet you bring oblivion. Did someone wish for you to kill them?"

"su' ollo mejioru eng'ge, lou bashi ud nomair lathri moun i edo hrisse. suun'ollo biid na maer i gossiri mendre, hos' lanlanthri'shumi ha'ad i sha shaana ud es jori'i dendann. a' uenia i ud he ollo i a' shu massu udi ollo go nam ollo."

Luke gave a false smile, the same he always gave when he tended the bar, tilting his head with a faux sympathy as he would listening to any other sob story, "Funny, I wasn't given the memo of the apocalypse. It's kind of important when it comes to my to-do list. Sorry, but I think you might be jumping the gun here. Try again in a millennia or two?"

"See," Venia said as she pointed to the golden shifting light beneath them. And as Luke looked, the more he began to see something disturbing in the shifting light. This entity had dissolved worlds. "Again and again," the string sang, "so how do you do?" Venia asked again, pointing at the wall.

It was at this point that Luke realized that she wasn't asking him how he was, but how he managed to breach the wall.

---

Titania settled into a chair at the command bridge and put on her floppy hat. When it came to playing the part of a Major, wearing her stupid floppy hat instead of her witch's hat is an important piece. The chair was comfortable, leather and stuffed with feathers for padding. The navigation map cast a soft blue glow on all the gathered captains.

Rhodes settled into the chair next to her, being the only other Major on board the dawn. The engineering captain Theiss, security captain Do, intelligence captain Donnell, and Rising Dawn Acting Captain Rugal Bernstein were the others around the map. The hum of the engines pierced the walls of the room deep within the Rising Dawn, monitors lining the walls and ceilings gave them a good view of the world around them. The Citadel hanger doors opened and the Rising Dawn lurched, tearing free from the docking arms of the Citadel drydock. The ship floated backwards before casting itself out of the Citadel, finished with repairs, but still somewhat beaten up.

Rhodes leaned forward, her comically oversized bust jammed against the table. Titania winced, putting a hand unconsciously on her chest in empathetic pain. She was somewhat glad for her modest figure, given just how impractical Major Rhodes seemed. "So what in the world was that back in the base?" Rhodes demanded, her accent peaking through in her fury.

The other captains looked at each other. They didn't know.

"Donnell, do you have any idea?" Titania asked, putting a hand on the table and switching the display to a strategic view of the immediate area. The Rising Dawn was now drifting toward somewhere in middle America.

"I have an inkling, but nothing concrete yet," she said. She looked away, a finger fiddling with her hair. She was lying. She knew exactly what happened.

Rhodes turned toward Rugal, oblivious or uncaring of Donnell's tell. "How about you? Could that have been a counter attack by your 'Bison'?"

Titania fiddled with the map some more, noticing the strange silence of the ship's micromachine caretakers. Did even they become injured as a result of that leyline collapse? Or was it the result of something even more insidious? All she knew was that something had changed in reality immediately following the event. Everything seemed off, just by a little bit.

Airship Rising Dawn
Hallways

AI Dimitri | Garm | Teri

After waiting a moment till Viscus was out of earshot, Dimitri blithely quipped to his companions, "Admittedly, that could have gone much worse than I anticipated. At least nobody was injured...mortally?"

Teri sighed and rubbed her temples before mounting up on Garm again, "We can make jokes about this later. Get back into the mainframe and search for Adel on the cameras, Garm and I will start at the med bay and work our way out from there. Also - if you could send a message to Dad that I'm back on ship, that'd be great."

"But of course, your Ladyship. Anywhere in particular I should search?"

"Hmn.. Well, if I were trying to escape the ship, where would I go?"

"Instead of the med bay, why not check the Hangar first? If he wanted to leave, that would be the most obvious exit point."

"....noted. Could you still send that message to Dad?"


The Rising Dawn: Hanger Bay

Adel | AI Dimitri | Anjali | Garm | Teri

With the power of logic (and a text message to a worried father), Garm and Teri made their way to the Hangar at breakneck speed - the Winter Wolf galloping with the speed of a horse[1], the duo found their way to the Hangar, Garm sniffing the air and voicing with dread, "I smell blood...And something else- something Mechanical..."

"That's gotta be Adel, keep looking!"

Without too much more effort - especially given that the young man was practically leaking the stuff, the wolf and Cleric duo came upon both Anjali and the very weak Adel. Teri dismounted with little effort, and gasped, "There you are! You had me worried sick!"

Pulling out a set of medical tools and poultices, the Cleric bent down to Adel's level and gently spoke, "Do you remember me? I'm the doctor from the Med Bay? I'm here to get you back there - you still have a lot of surgery that needs done, and moving around too much isn't going to do you much good. Let me try to patch up some of it..."

In the meantime, Garm turned to Anjali, and followed what he *loosely* observed from human tradition, "Thank you for finding this human. My friend was worried this one was hurt, and hurt he is," He tilted his head after saying this, giving Anjali a curious sniff as he asked, "I haven't seen you before. When did you show up on the Dawn?"

[1] True facts! Winter Wolves have the same movement speed as heavy horses, by DnD rules.

[[Main Scenario]]


Glimmer of Hope
Deborah's story

"Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,"

Deborah ran her fingers over the cream colored pages of the book as she woke the shifting runes. The golden light shimmered and the writing tore itself from the paper. They danced to an invisible song, swirling and weaving into the air, illuminated and animated by an unseen ocean. Deborah whispered into the space before her and brought the runes into alignment.

"Show me the others," she cooed, borrowing Titania's wild ancient magic to peer into the changing world of living language.

---

When Nina opened the steel double doors into the main kitchen deep in the Rising Dawn, she was assaulted by a plume of spices. Yet, despite the number of people in the massive kitchen, designed to feed 500, there was silence. Outside of quick footfalls and the singing of steel and ceramic, there was little noise. The staff here wore bright blue uniforms trimmed with golden ropes. They were clean cut, professional and moved swiftly and efficiently. Their insignia gleamed on their chests, two silver wings crossed over a knife. In neat letters on each of their uniforms they wore their names and the bold words "1021st Culinary Corp."

The counters and stoves were filled with pots closed and open with all sorts of meats and vegetables steaming within. A officer swept by the two heroes carrying a pot of thickened red sauce brimming with the fragrant aroma of roasted sesame, dried peppers, tomato, and pork roux.

On the far side some of the lower rank staff were helping a patissier prepare several trays of assorted tarts for baking. He cast a glance at Nina, his face hard and old, eyes narrow with crows feet and wrinkles. His lips were pulled then as his fingers flew over the trays, setting jams into the half-baked dough before his assistants dashed the top with a white whipped syrup.

There was a crash and a rumble as racks of meat were brought in from huge cargo doors near the end of the room. Three huge carcasses were strung up on the rack, beautiful beef, ruby red and with marbling visible even from a distance. A younger man walked up to them and grabbed a sheath at his waist, and in a movement faster than the human eye could see, he flashed a ceramic blade so long that it was more akin to a sword. Several thick slabs of meat sloughed down to the waiting pots of several younger cooks. The young man cleaned his ceramic blade with a thick black cloth and put it gently back into it's aerated sheath.

A middle aged Slavic man stood in the middle of the room inspecting some cuts of carrot woven into nets, flowers, birds, and sheets. His thick fingers held the delicate sculptures with an uncharacteristic dexterity. He put them back onto the plates of the cooks and sent them away. He turned toward Nina, now that he was not occupied inspecting the work of his subordinates, and cast to her and Phillip a piercing glare.

His thick black mustache bristled as he strode up to Nina and Phillip. He towered over her, and he spoke deeply as if his voice came ringing out of his chest rather than his throat. "I am Captain Avanovonov, and who might you be devshka?" He eyed Phillip too, untouched by the eldritch aura. He had seen far worse in his culinary pursuits.

---

Laeta kept pace behind David, sullen and quiet. Her footfalls echoed down the halls as she walked, head bobbing side to side and shoulders slack. Her mind was stuck, repeating the same loop over and over again. It couldn't be. There was no way. It was a mistake. Yet, the golden ink and smooth cursive belonged to no one else but Lola. She shook her head and she shook her head.

Her head hurt, he feet her, her heart ached. She wondered if Saren was okay, she wondered if her mother had been called into duty. And then suddenly she hit something on the floor with her foot.

"Gwaaaaaa..." came a halfhearted cry. She looked down.

"Vettya?" Laeta said. She bent down and picked up the armadillo-tortoise from the floor. His stubby legs palmed the air as he left the ground. The big head bobbed up and down. He "gwa"d again. Laeta looked amazed, she had totally forgotten that they had arrived with Losko and Vettya in tow. "Where have you been? Where's Losko?"

"Gwaa..." Vettya responded. He put his legs on Laeta's breast. "Gwa... gwaaaaaa..."

"You lost Losko?" Laeta put Vettya back on the floor where he circled her and then leaned on her ankle. "You were being chased by a young girl wearing lingerie?" For the moment her mood lightened, no longer weighed down by either Vihaan's revelation or of David's frazzled mood.

"Gwaaaaaaa..." Vettya said.

"She was looking for 'a white rabbit'?" Laeta parroted the armadillo-tortoise.

"Gwa."

The Rising Dawn Adventures

The Escapist Avatar Adventures
Cloudtop Citadel: Main Concourse
Angelus | Caim | Hillary | King Leoric | Nadalia | Miia | Rugal Bernstein | Nina and Phillip


There is a big difference between a small cough or two and a full blown coughing fit, the disparity instinctually caused quite a few people to pause as they passed Hillary for the elevator. Looking at her, she didn't seem in distress standing up straight instead of hunched like one would expect. It was also far more gutteral than the normal throaty style, what would have been her diaphram clearly working overtime. While the first load of people went up and down the elevator, Hillary would attempt to silently reassure people she was fine, waving them down and a liberal use of ok signs. It would continue for a short time more until finally she stopped, and it that brief silence a quiet rattling sound could be heard. Similar to a round stone in a bowl rocking back and forth, the sound echoed from within Hillary.

Slow, breathy air passed across Hillary's vocal cords as she exhaled, her head tilting up. The rocking would continue, slowing rising until there was a 'taaaang' sound around Hillary's collar bone area. Mouth ajar, Hillary looked around a moment at the few waiting there and then turned around to face away from everyone for the last part. She'd push her hand into her mouth, and keep going until most of her forearm was in there, the slow whine of metal on metal audible throughout the whole thing. There was a brief rattling within before her arm started to pull back. Her neck would bulge slightly as a round sphere was pulled up through her throat. With a popping sound similar to a jar lid opening, Hillary's fingers would be now clutching a mirror like apple, little dents dotted the apple from her grip.

She would then inhale sharply, before turning around to present the apple to Angelus, "Ah, sorry Hillary didn't explain, but that's a lot for her to do, and we don't have lots of time. But now Hillary won't make the elevator mad anymore!" and as luck would have it, the elevator dinged and revealed itself. Hillary would go in once more, the alarm angrily buzzing at her. This time was different as Hillary stooped down and gingerly set the steel apple down, and immediately Hillary's feet started to take on the material and appearance of the vinyl floor of the elevator. Swiftly shifting across her about half way through the elevator buzzer ceased, putting to same any weight watcher's program with such a rapid drop in mass.

Once the change was finally over, Hillary stood back up, looking quite a bit different than she had before. The visage of a freshly waxed floor smiled back at them, a dark blue leaning to near blackness with a spattering of speckles coated Hillary's body. Gone were the two large ponytail buns, replaced with a short bob cut framing her face. An additional mass sat atop her head, distinct from her hair as it appeared to resemble a hat. Grooves appeared along her body; her mid neck and both shoulders, while a semi free flowing cloth started from her hips and traveled down a quarter of her thigh. Additional grooves were present just after her elbow's on the forearm as well as a similar position for her legs. Finally while her fingertips seemed to be largely unaffected, her toes had melded together into a solid mass, now looking more like a shoe or boot. With these in mind and the location she was in, Hillary looked the fitting image of an elevator attendant; appropriate outfit included with a hat, gloves, sleeveless dress, and low heel'd boots.[1]

"Well what's everyone standing around for? Hillary remembers very clearly we need to get to the ship quickly." She announced, clapping her hands. "Please enter the lift if you would everyone?" She waved an inviting hand into the space.[2]

[1] If this description wasn't enough, here's a picture of one such elevator attendant Hillary's current look is based on.
[2] Once they rode up the elevator, Hillary would take the apple and change back into the metallic Hillary, but she wouldn't swallow it until she was on the Dawn

Airship Rising Dawn
Command bridge

Rugal Bernstein | Titania | Major Rhodes | Theiss | Do | Donnell

It wasn't often that Rugal was in one of these meetings, least since his career change.
Seeing how the main reason he even got this job was strong arming, it wasn't exactly too comfortable for him to be surrounded by those who actually got their position legitimately.
While the Major grilled other members of the Rising Dawn's management, A familiar beep came from his PDA.
As they spoke, he checked it and found a message from his daughter, giving him some much needed reassurance in this strange time.
Still, it was what it was and when the question of if this was Bison's work came up, he gave his answer

"...You have actually interacted with that man, right? He masks his weakness with the illusion of power, same with his stupidity. No, whatever happened back there couldn't have been his doing. Even his comrades, for all their knowledge of trans-dimensional technology and theory, there was no way for them to get the means to set up such an event. Now, my former-..."Personal Assistant" Viscus did attempt to get some data on the event off the base personnel but his social graces are rather "Ungraceful" so that went nowhere. Might as well call it an "Act of god", though-...my daughter...she seems unable to use her Holy abilities. Whatever happened there might have been bigger then we feared..."

It was then his gaze turned to Titania, making him recall her actions right after the blast.
"...And yourself, Titania? There any suspicions or thoughts? Whatever happened there was most likely magical in nature and, as much as it pains me to say, that is a field my knowledge is limited on..." He then pointedly asked, clearly attempting to put her in the spotlight in order to try and pry something from her.
Ever since he got here and their interactions were limited but with purpose, such as giving him a new Ki generator, but one he knew about her for certain is that she knew much more then she was revealing...

The Rising Dawn: Hanger Bay


Adel | AI Dimitri | Anjali | Garm | Teri

Adel was stable, though that was mostly out of his stubborn nature more so then actual HP levels. (Wonder where he got that from...)
Still, once Teri began to patch him up, he made little attempt to flee, merely muttering over and over again "Not again...Can't-...let it happen again..."
While much of his bandaging and prior medical attention had been undone by his escape attempt, much like another tall, blonde pile of muscles with legs, his flesh was coping with what World Marshall had done to it rather well.
Of course, having access to magical healing helped but it was rather amazing just how far you can get out of mere spite for pain and weakness.
"He's trying to get in...he's trying to get in again...Need to-..." He stammered before things took an unexpected turn.
Even while Teri was trying to get him patched up, he instead opted to try and further inflict pain on himself in an attempt to drown out that bastard's voice.
How he did it? His Slashing Aura flickered for a moment around one of his hands before he drove it into his left shoulder.

His expression said it all, the brief shock before a sort of calm began to befall him: "It's gone...it's gone..."

Cloudtop Citadel


Mio | BC | Others

Mio had heard people coming from behind her, so she was only surprised for a single second as BC reintroduced herself. Then she just leaned back slightly, to be even more engulfed by the bosom, and closed her eye. "Hey Carrie!" She put her arm back to keep her there in a soft half-hug, then answered: "No need to apologize! You are free, as am I.
I'm currently trying to get some organization back, after all, I am a captain, I know how to take responsibility."
She slightly rubbed her head against BC's bosom. "Other than possibly everyone else in this place, for others, or for themselves!

So yeah, if we get more chaos, I'm starting a mutiny, and make this place less stifling! How have you been?!" She pulled herself out of the bosom again and turned, facing BC and looking her over.


The Rising Dawn


Diana | Blade

"A party?" Diana asked, switching to actual voice again. "Seems right up my alley. So, is it invitation only? Is there a specific dresscode? You seem slightly ... unsubtle, right now." She followed him, keeping up easily despite her monster heels. "And from what is going on here, it's probably not a single source of crisis. I'll still take your Sake, though."

The Rising Dawn Adventures

The Escapist Avatar Adventures
Rising Dawn's Main Kitchen
Captain Avanovonov | Nina and Phillip


Arriving at the steel doors, Nina traced a hand over its cold frame, sending a shiver up her arm. "Well this looks promising, what do you think?" Nina asked, looking over to Phillip who was currently gyrating on her shoulder. Tugging at the brim of his chef's hat, the presumed excitement from the noodle was clear, they had arrived. "You know what we need for this?" Nina asked aloud, digging into a pocket. "Music!" she said as she pulled out her phone and handed Phillip an earbud. While one of the chunkier appendages held it close several smaller tendrils no wider than spaghetti noodles reached out from the mass and pulled the earbud inside. "You good?" Nina then asked, placing a hand on the door handle, several of Phillip's tentacles thrust expressively as if to say 'God Damn it, OPEN THE DOOR!!!'

She pushed open the door with a smirk and let it play. Although Gene's version is timeless and largely unsubstitutable, but that sax solo was fabulous.

Once inside, Nina nearly had to brace herself from falling backwards as the rush of scents washed over her. The spices, sizzling meats, steaming veggies all brushed passed her like a longing embrace. It was no wonder she was already salivating, even if she had been feeling a bit peckish in anticipation of coming here. It truly was an oasis of the culinary arts and techniques, most of which were lost largely to Nina. Sure, you can watch someone carve a beast into cutlets to be cured, but it takes a special eye to properly appreciate the art that goes into such a thing.

Phillip had that special eye, and as Captain Avanovonov approached he might make note of Phillip's mannerisms. Most of his tentacles were doing their usual squirming as they do, but several were flicking back and forth, some curled at the end like they were grasping. Deliberate, measured, yet disorderly; it was hard to judge just what each was doing as they switched over several times. "Look at them all Phillip! Bit of a step up from the kitchen we have." Nina joked, clicking pictures with her phone. Self absorbed in what she was doing, she didn't realize the Captain was approaching until his figure blocked out the fluorescent lights in the ceiling and his rumbling voice echoed from his chest.

"I am Captain Avanovonov, and who might you be devshka?"

"Holy freakin' Jesus Christ!!" Nina exclaimed, legitimately startled as she grasped furiously at her phone she nearly dropped in the scare. "A little warning next time would be nice?" Phillip however continued what he'd been doing, giving Avanovonov a better chance to watch this creature's mannerisms. "Nina Zaczoltski, new hero around here I guess? It isn't quite official, like I don't have a badge or some fancy hero name or..." Nina stopped her rambling, eyeing Phillip a moment. 'Well he might care?' the thought crossed her mind before returning to the Captain. "I was, WE were hoping that it wouldn't be too much trouble to let Phillip here have at it and make some stuff for the party? Wasn't really made clear on what was on the menu, but I will be able to vouch that he has, excellent tastes." Nina almost bragged. Let it be known, it's hard to state one's own abilities while not undercutting those of another, especially when one is a chaotic void spawn of madness. "That wouldn't be too much trouble would it, Ananovo- Ana-" Nina looked back to Phillip. "Well?! What is it then? ... Captain Avanovonov?" After a brief moment, Nina looked back to the large Slavic man. "Sorry, Captain Avanovonov. It's been a day, as you can see, I'm in a bit of shambles." Nina gestured to the tattered dress she was still wearing, having figured getting there was priority one for the moment. "So is there an extra hand your team would need or-"

At that point, Phillip ejected the earbud, released himself from Nina and adjusted his chef's hat as he splatted to the floor. "Wait hold on, we need to ask permission from Anano- Right Avanovonov... We can't just march in here when it's not our kitchen." Nina argued, gesturing to the Captain like he was supposed to take her side. "Well sure it 'technically' isn't their kitchen either, but they have it for the party, it's largely their call, I'm just trying to be civil." Nina argued back, crossing her arms. "Well if you think you can do a better job, why don't give that a try too then mister smarty noodles? Just hand over one of my dress boxes so that I can try to find at least something moderately alright to wear for this party?" And with that, Phillip engorged his body to his larger size as a large cardboard box was pushed out from within. He would then shrink back down before proceeding further into the kitchen, tentacles flailing with what could interpret as excitement.

The Rising Dawn


Anjali | Adel | Garm | Teri

"I'm not ... I don't want to hurt you." Anjali said and walked closer to Adel, not really knowing how to react. "Maybe you need to just close your eyes ..." In this moment, Teri and Garm were approaching, galloping and stopping in front of her and Adel. She smiled at them, unsurely. Teri, the healer, immediately went to Adel, seemingly knowing what was going on, which calmed Anjali.

The wolf, on the other side, spoke to her. "I am ... new, I think?" she answered, her speaking to a wolf seeming a lot less weird after all that happened. "I think yesterday? At least it tells me that. I was away for a bit and now came back." Sniffing her would give Garm the scent of the fresh raw meat she had eaten, and a smaller, not penetrant, but swampy scent of decay. There was also something else, something that seemed to be more ethereal than real.

She looked at Adel, worried as he drove his hand into his shoulder. "You should not do this. This just brings calm for a moment. What is in your head?" She held out her hand, and a silvery snake ghost came forth from it, Anjali herself being more amazed and confused by it happening than actually controlling it. It stopped in front of his eyes, looking into them.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Glimmer of Hope | Cloudtop Citadel Halls
"Breasts, boobs, tits, mammaries, sweater-puppies, flesh pillows... I could do this all day."
B.C. | David West | Ton Ton | Cadolbolg | Laeta | Mio | Others

It was nice to be appreciated for once, although the Space Convict suspected that the main reason the one-eyed, one-armed Albino Pirate Girl was glad to see her was because of the fact that she had her boobs upside her head. But, she felt the need to take what she could get, so when Mio's arm reached up to return the hug, B.C. gently set her chin against the top of the shorter woman's head.

"No need to apologize! You are free, as am I. I'm currently trying to get some organization back, after all, I am a captain, I know how to take responsibility."

"Sounds like a headache." she said blandly as her eyes darted in the direction of the stick-in-the-mud, David.

"Other than possibly everyone else in this place, for others, or for themselves! So yeah, if we get more chaos, I'm starting a mutiny, and make this place less stifling! How have you been?!"

The Black-Haired Bomber's head perked up at that, and she murmured "Ooooh, a mutiny... That sounds like fun!"

Letting go of Mio, she stepped back and put her hands on her hips before jerking a thumb back at the group she had been accompanying.

"Been better, but tell ya what: Shit's hittin' the fan, and we've gotta get back to the Dawn. So let's walk and talk, maybe even get a drink." she said, before her voice brightened and she pulled a slip of paper from her cleavage and added, "I've even got an invitation to this party that's coming up. Maybe you can be my plus-one."


The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Glimmer of Hope | The Rising Dawn Corridors
"This better not be some invisible-ink style shit."
B.C. | Mio | Others(?)

As they made their way to The Rising Dawn, B.C. largely kept both herself and Mio just out-of-earshot of the others, wrapping a companionable arm around her current cohort's waist. All the while explaining what she had been up to since they last saw one another. And, since she felt like Mio was a scoundrel after her own heart, she largely kept the explanation without lies, half-truths, or even extravagant embellishments. Well, mostly.

It started with how she had decided to "commandeer" one of the Dawn's VTOL dropships when no one was looking--nevermind the pilot she had knocked out in the cockpit, he didn't even see it coming so it still counted--and flew it to the second-closest large city after picking a random direction. From there, she set it to crash-land just outside the city while she bailed with a parachute, and made her way into the city proper where she could take care of something she considered incredibly important: Changing her look.

She had just finished a trip to a nice little beauty salon and was in the middle of shoplifting several new outfits when she was snatched from there and dropped in front of the Gem of Want, and that entire debacle with the damned brat. B.C. couldn't help but embellish that part, mainly because she couldn't stand that kid, and because she felt that he deserved some shit being flung his way.

"So, after beating the boy's ass like a cheap war drum, I get dragged into this interrogation room with Dull David over there, this other chick, and these two cute little lizard-dragon kids, and we're told that apparently, we've all been brought into *this* dimension by some entity that wants us for... Something." she told her, eyes narrowing in a combination of suspicion and confusion and adding, "The particulars of why were never really explained, but they think it isn't good."

"But, they're apparently posing as someone that doesn't belong, and Davey-boy thinks it's this Alice Marlow, Marlow Alice girl, and we've gotta capture her or some shit. All I want is answers, but that's where this invitation comes in." she said as she waved it around in her free hand, before flipping it between her fingers and finally reading it.

Please kill my daughter.

~ Charles Marlow

Her face was impassive as she read it twice to make sure she wasn't mistaken in what it said, then tucked it back into her cleavage and continued.

"That's why I figure, may as well take you along as my date so that David doesn't get his panties in a bunch about 'cheating' on his girlfriend by going undercover. As if there was a chance for anything like that to happen. So not my type." she finished, her tone remaining casual so as not to betray the sudden stab of concern the invitation had given her.

What it said wasn't at all what she had expected. She was expecting something like "Black Tie Required", or "RSVP", or at worst "BYOB". Not "Please kill my little girl, signed The World's Worst Daddy". So that was... Something. Either a confirmation of who or what Vihaan and David suspected was their culprit, or a complication. Ultimately, it didn't matter to her. She didn't plan to kill or capture this Alice, she was either going to warn her, or work with her.

"So, Mio. Credit for your thoughts?" B.C. finally asked, giving her a curious sideline glance.


The Rising Dawn


Diana | Blade

"Well, from what I gathered, it's for Heroes of the Rising Dawn. And I've been here even before Rugal, not to toot my own horn or anything..." Blade remarked, tooting his own horn so hard the rest of the orchestra was drowned out.
"So I doubt we'll have anyone my right to be there. As for you...hmmm....You're pretty new here so you might be better suited if you impersonated someone else. Be good practice for you anyway, need to cut your teeth before we get to the real work. Kinda like that one time I invaded this outpost in Africa an-Blah blah blah, blah blah blah-"
It wasn't even worth trying to process what he was saying at this point, though he might be onto something about pretending to be someone she wasn't.
Fact of the matter was, the longer she spoke to this guy, the more she wanted to knock him out, shove him in a locker and-...Suddenly his idea began to make a lot more sense.
"Anyway, so the party is just up ahead. You figure out who you are going to be yet?"

The Escapist Avatar Adventures


Cloudtop Citadel: Hallways

B.C. | Cadolbolg | Caim | David West | Laeta | Mio | Ton Ton


David was rather glad that B.C. had found someone else to bother, though it did surprise him it was another woman.
He didn't have any problems with that, what with being heterosexual male and all but it did catch his eye for a moment.
"Ahhh, still the "Anything that moves" phase. They grow up so fast..." He joked as he kept making his way towards the party, pausing only when Laeta began to address a pet of hers.
"Holy shit, a pet that can't murder me...This place is becoming soft." He remarked, right before trying to figure out where he had seen such a creature before.
"Hey, I think I ate one of those things in Mexico." He rather densely said, quashing any notion that the life altering event he had witness/caused would stop the infamous David West "Foot in Mouth" trend.
The glare from both the woman and the creature said it call as the Irishman protested "In my defense, it was still most likely the healthiest thing that I put into my body that weekend..."

It was then that Laeta started to "Speak" with it and any hopes of a "Normal" pet being on the Rising Dawn was crushed.
"...Hold up: How in the name of god did you get "You were being chased by a young girl wearing lingerie?" from "gwaaaaaa"? There weren't even any syllables in that!"
Questioning the logic of the mighty Vettya got him little but an angry snarl from the creature, prompting him to counter with "Hey, remember which one of us is the Apex Predator here!...Wow, I am seriously having this conversation right now...My life is weird..."

[[Main Scenario]]


Glimmer of Hope
titania's story

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Titania interlocked her fingers and leaned forward, her hat shifted on top of her head and fell over her eyes. She pushed up the hat and shook her head. "Major," Titania said slowly, "I outrank you Captain Rugal. Among the heroes, you might be the leader, but try to remember that I am not one of the heroes." She ran her fingers over the table impatiently, "Be that as it may, while I see where you are coming from, I am not a sorcerer nor a witch. You mistake me for my namesake."

"That being said, are you not a specialist in the supernatural, Tania?" Rhodes asked, turning her piercing blue eyes toward the small white-haired woman.

Titania shifted in her seat and absent-mindedly played with the digital map on the table, "I know a little, here and there. Mostly stories that my mother used to tell me. But far be it from me to take the bedtime stories of my mother and grandmother as military intelligence."

Captain Donnell excused herself, swinging her legs over the side of her chair and landed with a small squeak as the rubber soles of her boots hit the polished steel floor. Titania eyed the intelligence captain on her way out. She seemed uncomfortable. On her way out the dragon and the warrior with the PDA came waltzing in the closing doors.

"And who might these two be?" Rhodes asked. Her mood seemed less sour, but her thick accent made her sarcasm particularly hard to detect. Titania couldn't say if that was an accusatory tone or a genuine question.

"Allow me to say one thing," Captain Do said. He swept his hand over the air before him and switched the table from a strategic map to a video recording. He pointed at the reconstruction of a random hallway on the Rising Dawn. "One of my officers has informed me that this recording was taken several moments after the event." He hit play.

There was a flash of light. Rumbling. The space around one of the steel walls seemed to buckle and break before David appeared in the hallway, screaming and crying. Then the grown man ran down the hallway blubbering through his own sobs of fear.

Titania stifled a laugh.

"If anyone knows anything, it is probably David West. For five minutes before the event, David West entered the ship and then vanished off the grid. Whatever he did then, well, my conjecture is that it has something to do with the event. We should find and detain him." The security captain sat back down in his chair, running his fingers lightly over his chin.

---

Captain Avanovanov seemed taken aback. He watched Phillip scamper across the floor toward the stove line, tentacles flailing like pasta noodles in a blender as he went. "That thing wishes to cook?" He paused and looked at Nina, "Not that I doubt the unnatural prowess of a monster... but we have some monsters of our own. I do hope he won't take it personally if they shoo him away."

The first cook that Phillip ran into was a shorter Hispanic man with a thick mustache and carefully combed hair. He wore two hairnets over his head in a cross weave and he stood on the back of his heels, flipping skillets as he moved along the long line of stones. The name on his uniform read "Lt. Gabriel Mandez."

The Asian cook with the ceramic blade walked up with a thick cut of pork shoulder in his hands. He tossed it to Mandez who caught the shoulder in a skillet and set to work with a chefs knife. In one, two, and three cuts he pared the skin and fat and lean meat from the slab and send the pieces of flesh careening into different skillets. The skin into a boiling oil, the fat into the saucepan, and the meat into a high-rim pot filled with tomatoes and rosemary. "Yamada, what is that thing staring up at you?" Mandez asked as he worked, taking careful steps around Phillips crawling mass.

"I have no idea. Do you think it's trying to help? It's got a big chef's hat on." Yamada replied shrugging. He turned around and started back toward the meat racks. "You should give it something to do, we don't want it getting in the way of anything dangerous after all. Ted is liable to throw that thing into the pasta bin should he wander back in from the freezers."

Mandez gave a gruff "ok" before turning to Phillip. "Do you think you can make some pesto? I need to prepare some pine-nut pesto to add to the fried skins. Make it nice and spicy, with subtle earthy flavors. We have some black truffles near the spice bin if you need them. But try not to use too much. The truffle makes the pesto gamely."

---

"Gwaah." Vettya told David. The armadillo-tortoise was clearly annoyed, and he bit the air toward David in a halfhearted attempt to show his aggression.

Laeta frowned, "Vettya might not look it, but he's a nature deity. I doubt that you could actually eat him."

"Gwa." Vettya affirmed.

"Mom found both Vettya and Losko in the lost jungles in South America hanging around some abandoned shrine. They're wonderful friends and they're not pets."

"Gwaaaaa," Vettya said matter-of-factly.

"Nonetheless, we should go find Losko. I'm certain he'll know what's going on. He always knows what's going on." Laeta nodded to herself. "Losko is the White Rabbit you know, he's a custodian of time and place. He'll know exactly what happened here. Or at least, he should know more than us!"

[[Main Scenario]]


Glimmer of Hope
luke's story

When the realization of what Venia was asking of him finally processed in Lucifer's brain, he felt his blood run cold [1]. Given what the creature had shown herself capable doing, as well as her inquiries, Lucifer felt every sort of natural sense of alarm and fight/vs/flight kick in in core.

Lucifer watched the Material Plane. He walked in it, he sampled it's delights, he tempted mortals, he presented the choice of vice verses virtue; and on rare occasions he was allowed to step in when something sought to end the balance he so delicately facilitated. However, there was one big issue in this particular case:

"This is way above my paygrade."

He needed to find The Boss ASAP, try to set this to rights, and extract the Dawn + it's inhabitants from whatever strange little zone they had been thrown into.[2]

Extending his wings to their full length, Lucifer did a little mixture of a jump and a flap; barreling himself back towards the strange sky and clouds he pushed himself through before, and focused on his teleportation magics once again - earnestly and silently praying that this time, he could push through to a proper destination. Anything was better than being stuck with that thing below him, with it's veneer of innocence and 'forgiveness'. Even the oppressive darkness that Lucifer had escaped moments ago seemed more inviting. The magics swirled and shaped around him, and Lucifer jumped.

[1] or rather, whatever Angels used to substitute for blood, Lucifer was technically missing a chunk of his heart at this point, and given the dual nature of spirit/body his race facilitated, he was a little afraid to ask
[2] Which brought up another question- was where the Dawn lay even on the Material Plane as he knew it? Had the interference with the leylines enabled a dimensional hop? With the amount of difficulty it took to even get to this strange in-between, Lucifer couldn't really know.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures


Cloudtop Citadel: Hallways

| David West | Laeta


"...Right, forgot. Magic is weird as balls...Still, I could take him..." David remarked as he glanced around, not entirely sure what to make of the situation.
On the one hand, he had to get his pride back up after earlier, but surely he was above challenging cute creatures to fights to the death just so he could say that he could, right?
It was then she talked about a rabbit with apparent powers over space and time, because of course he did, but considering what just happened to him, perhaps talking to someone/thing with a bit more insight on these matters then himself might be a good call.
"...So does this Losko know-....What's going on with that explosion earlier? I mean, I know a few things about catching rabbits. Country boy and all that..." He then remarked, figuring that finding a rabbit in a place like this shouldn't be too hard.
Especially if Melethia kept putting all those traps in the air vents...
"Just when we find him, can you do me a favor and ask him some things for me? I mean, I know they understand what you are saying but me?..." He trailed off, still trying to figure out how exactly that worked.

The Rising Dawn: Hanger Bay

Adel | AI Dimitri | Anjali | Garm | Teri


An unintentional cry escaped from Teri when Adel stabbed inself in the shoulder, which quickly turned to indignace. With an angry frown, Teri grabbed Adel's hand and gently pulled it away from his now bloody shoulder, admonishing, "Stop that! I'm trying to you keep you alive, dingus!"

With a frown, Teri began to look over Adel's wounds again, when an idea crossed her mind - if what Adel said was true, and someone really WAS trying to invade his mind, she did have another option. Letting go of Adel, Teri sifted through her pockets, and pulled out a pale gem, before placing it in one of Adel's free hands, "I'm gonna want this back eventually - but if you hold onto it, it'll keep your mind safe. Now, will you please stop cutting yourself up and let me help you?"

Garm wanted to voice the displeasure at the action, but was instead intrigued by Anjali and her magic snake. The combined scents + the strange magics were enough to make him tilt his head in confusion, "You don't smell like a human. What are you? And what is that thing?"


Airship Rising Dawn
Command Bridge

Angelus | Cadolbolg | Caim | Do | Donnell | Major Rhodes | Rugal Bernstein | Titania | Theiss | Ton Ton

"'Who might these two be', she says. As if we were but random commoners stumbling into a war meeting. HMPH!"

Caim and Angelus stepped into the light of the Command Bridge, allowing the video to play before the mute carrying the PDA used his device to say, "I am Caim, a warrior of the Rising Dawn; and this is my partner, Angelus. We came here because our children said they learned something important on the base, and wanted to come to this meeting to speak of it."

Moving back a swath of her hair revealed the turtle-dragon child, who was hiding among the locks as a means of comfort through all of the madness that was happening lately. Ton Ton, on the other hand, was resting on Caim's shoulders, and deftly jumped down to the edge of the table, Cadolbolg following suit with a soft flutter of wings. With all eyes on them, Ton Ton coughed lightly to get the adult's attention and said,

"um, my name's Ton Ton, and this is Cadolbolg. When the crazy magic stuff happened, we bumped into David; and then were lead to speak to a man I've never seen before. He told us...A lot of strange things."

At this point, the two reptilian children recounted everything they were told by Vihaan while on the base; from how there was apparently someone masquerading as a member of a Dawn, the name Marlow Alice sparking interest, to how the presumed party being held by Dolores Selmy could potentially be a trap[1]; finally ending with Cadolbolg saying, "We don't think David did anything wrong - but he might know more than he thinks he does. If we do go get him, we can't treat him like an enemy; or he'll be scared and run away."

[1] I didn't want to re-reaccount everything word for word, so just assume that everything Ton Ton and Cadolbolg heard from Vihaan, the group at the bridge knows now.

Airship Rising Dawn
Command bridge

Rugal Bernstein | Titania | Major Rhodes | Theiss | Do | Donnell | Caim | Angelus | Ton Ton | Cadolbolg

"And I wasn't ordering you to do anything. I was merely asking if you knew anything of value. But noted, I shall not assume you intellect is above anyone else's in the future..." Rugal shot back at Titania, looking about as pleased with this interaction as much as anyone else back talking him.
"As it stands right now, it could be anything. And that doesn't help us. Sooner we know what it is or can even make a guess of what it is, the sooner we can react and the sooner this situation can be brought to an end before things get any worse, for all of us." He reminded those who have gathered here.
After his little speech, they were soon joined by Caim and Angelus's family, prompting a slight nod of acknowledgement, least before Do showed the tape of David having his little breakdown.
"...What in the-...David's not one of us, but for something to rattle him that much?...Must have been something major..." He remarked as he watched the tape, as well as the reply of David smashing into a wall over and over.

Listening to the recollection of events that Ton Ton and Cadolbolg informed the rest of the commanding staff, Rugal tried to think of he had ever heard of this "Marrow Alice" woman before.
"Well, I don't feel that David could ever be considered an enemy. Besides, for all his talents, he's not exactly-..." He trailed off as he motioned back to the video, now showing him run into that wall for the 5th time.
"...What I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't fear too much. He's never been an enemy of the Dawn, nor do I believe that this is proof he now is. All we are going to do is find David and this "Marrow Alice", bring them both here and we can hopefully get to the bottom of this matter. And I think that we might need to have a conversation with Dolores. I don't know this Vihaan, but this is the best lead we've gotten. It might be nothing, and I'd be personally glad if it is, but if it isn't, we need her to tell us what she knows."

Standing up from his seat and looking at the other Rising Dawn Command staff, he then asked "If anyone has any objections to this approach, now would be a good time to tell me..."

[[Main Scenario]]


Broken World
lucifer's story

"And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray."

He left the warm winds of Venia's realm and slipped into the space between space in a flurry of feathers. The leap was difficult. The gravity of Venia's presence pulled Lucifer toward her as he was trying to leave. But like a fish breaking the surface of oil slicked water, Lucifer broke free and flickered into a world. It was suddenly cold. The world was drawing energy from his body. It was dark. There was no light, but his light gave way to a solemn world. A grey world. It was a city, drawn in shallow lines. Grey stone against a grey sky and dust hanging still in forsaken air. Tall buildings of glass and steel memorialized in dust and stone.

The cold bit into Luke with an ancient and forlorn grasp. This world was dead, grasping at Luke for some foreign touch of life. There was no wind. There was no fire, no light, no dark. A world devoid of disparity.

He looked up at the sky and found nothing staring back. Cloud were in the sky, frozen since some ancient cataclysm. Yet there was no moon, no stars, no sun. The universe here was devoid of energy, a literal world past the end of time. He walked forward, listening to the silence around him. His steps didn't echo, the world didn't have enough energy to answer his calls. There were signs of a battle, a flood. Weapons and vehicles were strewn across the city covered in dust, but there were no bodies, no fossilized remains of ancient men. No bones, no dry blood, not even signs of distress.

This world was familiar though, it felt right, it felt like home as vague as it was.

Then he came upon a blade in the street, gleaming bright in the light of his fallen divinity. The sword seemed like the only color in the world. Upon the edge of the sword were ancient Enochian runes etched on in desperate haste. Simple words. Somber words. Words of despair.

"The end has come. There was no fight. Beware the Girl in White."

The hilt of the sword was wrapped in a piece of a tattered red cloak. It was upon the cloth that there were a few names that were written. It was in a different pen, after the runes on the sword had been carved. These words were in Latin, written by a familiar hand.

"In honor of those who fought until the end of the world, remember these names: NJ, RM, CZ, KC."

There was residual magic here, protecting the sword and cloth from the curse of death that shrouded this world. Luke could see the phantom image of a warrior cloaked in tattered clothes sitting before the sword. Soft burning flames held in hand to keep the darkness at bay. He planted the sword in the ground here and wrapped a red cloth around the handle. He turned to leave, and as his phantom crossed Luke's vision, he saw that the ghostly figure was an old hero, Lucieon.

"Why do you run?" came Venia's haunting voice as she stepped out of a shattered storefront. She emitted a golden light herself, driving away the darkness. The space between their two glimmering souls, the world seemed not to exist. There was only physicality where the two divine souls shone.

[[Main Scenario]]


Glimmer of Hope
titania's story

"Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Titania raised her head at Rugal's sudden commitment to authority. "An old-fashioned witch-hunt it is then," she said as she got up from her chair. Rhodes rose soon after. She had her hands in the pockets of her trousers and her coat hung loosely from her shoulders. Her eyes, while fierce, seemed somewhat distant.

It was no difficult task to discern that her daughter's involvement in the case weighed on her mind. Though from what Titania knew, and the information Captain Donnell passed on, Rhodes was only Dolores' mother in practice. The Lieutenant's true origins were lost to the annals of history, hidden behind a veil of near-east mysticism and romantic religious rhetoric. A DNA test had shown that the green-eyed girl had no more genes in common with her mother than any other stranger. Yet. Titania paused as she thought. The Lieutenant had sisters blessed by the same strange genome as herself. There was something strange in their blood. More than human, and more than just the meta-human divinity that Rhodes carried within her own flesh and blood.

Captain Do spoke up, "I will leave talking to Lieutenant Selmy to the heroes themselves. My team will secure the ship in preparation for any events." The older Vietnamese man strode out of the command bridge, calling up his teams as he did.

If what the children said was true, their story about Vihaan, Balance, and the presence of an unstable continuum... Titania shook her head. She should be able to recognize it if time had been folded even once, if not the hundreds of times that this Vihaan boy claimed. Her role as an observer superseded the effects that such a simple entropic whiplash a timeline state collapse could...

"Tania," Rhodes said, "Go to your daughter."

"Excuse me?" Titania replied, shocked by the terse command. "I don't know what you are trying to..."

"Go to your daughter," Rhodes repeated as she turned around, "I can feel it coming. A tragedy. Go be with your family. I have matters to which I must attend, but I will not allow this to separate another mother from her family."

As the other captains left one by one, Titania walked up to Rugal's side and grabbed him by the sleeve. The man was nearly twice her height she mused. She only barely came up to his waist. It was almost like being with Oberon again. Thoughts for another time though. "Rugal, hold on. Before we go see the Lieutenant. I've got a question. Don't you think it was strange that the Intelligence Captain left just as Angelus and her brood came in? I think Donnell knows something that we don't as well. It might be worth investigating. It would be better than following the obvious lead." She paused and looked around, small embers glittered before her emerald eyes. "For if what the dragon says is true, then such an entity must be playing us for fools, having watched us do this dance for a thousand times before." Though, she didn't see anything strange with the world, for all of the things that are explicitly wrong with it, the basic nature of it all seemed relatively unchanged. Titania motioned toward Angelus, Caim, and the two smaller broodlings. "Let us go find either David or Donnell and discover the whole truth of the matter. I have a strong feeling that this 'Alice Marlow' is not someone we are able to find."

---

"You don't have to worry," Laeta said as she started down the hallway, "Losko is very fluent in English."

Rediscovering Vettya had revitalized Laeta's mood. Between seeing Saren hurt, watching space-time collapse before her, and having to deal with a man with the emotional depth of a twelve year-old her mood was pretty sour before. But now she felt like she could take on the world. Like there was a way out of this unbelievable mess.

There was a flick of a tail.

Laeta turned around. Vettya "gwa'd". "Hey did you see that?" Laeta said, spinning around.

A flutter of a long white tail vanished into one of the air vents behind them. "Was that a cat?" Laeta asked, confused. She let Vettya down onto the floor and the armadillo-tortoise hid behind Laeta's legs. There was an uneasy feeling in the air, as if they were being watched intently by a pair of unblinking eyes.

"Mr. West!" Laeta said as she started to back off.

A pair of small white paws landed on the back of David's head with a squeak as a white ferret-like animal jumped over his head and sped down the hallway. The lights flickered off in its wake, weaving back and forth over the steel floors.

It looked back. "Help me!"

A sweeping darkness swept past David and Laeta, bringing with it a whirling wind that knocked Laeta to the floor. "Gwaaa!" Vettya said as he nudged Laeta.

"Please help me!" the small white creature said again as it turned a corner. The darkness followed with haste.

The Rising Dawn Adventures

The Escapist Avatar Adventures
The Rising Dawn Airship: Command Bridge
Angelus | Caim | Major Rhodes | Nadalia | Miia | Rugal Bernstein | Captain Do | Titania | Ton Ton | Cadolbolg |
Theiss | Donnell


Seemed to of taken the duo longer than expected ... but that's what happens when Miia literally stops ever second to scout around, paranoid that something bad will happen. Sluggish, the lamia refused to rush since she knew The Rising Dawn was bad news. This continued to press Nadalia's buttons, but she wasn't going to flip her lid anymore than she needed to (unless Miia did something so stupid, it was capable of bringing harm to Nadalia in some way). As they turned the corner within the hallway, they saw the door open- and of course, multiple people within. Seemed like a meeting, with a large screen showing David as he began to scream and yell for his life. While Nadalia didn't really know, let alone care about the footage, seeing how Rugal was here meant the video had some importance to it.

As Nadalia was going to step in, her favorite sparring partner began to make his speech on the matter at hand.

"Well, I don't feel that David could ever be considered an enemy. Besides, for all his talents, he's not exactly-..." He trailed off as he motioned back to the video, now showing him run into that wall for the 5th time.
"...What I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't fear too much. He's never been an enemy of the Dawn, nor do I believe that this is proof he now is. All we are going to do is find David and this "Marrow Alice", bring them both here and we can hopefully get to the bottom of this matter. And I think that we might need to have a conversation with Dolores. I don't know this Vihaan, but this is the best lead we've gotten. It might be nothing, and I'd be personally glad if it is, but if it isn't, we need her to tell us what she knows."

Standing up from his seat and looking at the other Rising Dawn Command staff, he then asked "If anyone has any objections to this approach, now would be a good time to tell me..."

"M-maybe we should leave. This doesn't involve us Nadalia." Miia whispered, eyes gazing left and right, hoping no one spotted them at the entrance of the command bridge. Yet, the Iron Queen was too intrigued and interested to budge from her spot, and knowing Miia, there was no way in hell she had the strength to pull her away from this.

"No objections here, Rugal." Nadalia stated aloud, stepping forth. In fact, she looked rather determined with that face of hers. "David is the one you seek? ... Allow thee to retrieve the man on the screen for you. After all, after my unhonorable display earlier ... this task shall restore thine reputation around here."

Uncertain whether she should reveal herself, Miia lowered her head with narrowed eyes and slanted ears- afraid of what could happen. Call her a coward all you want, she's fully aware of how often things turn to shit on the Rising Dawn and it's a much safer bet to stay low and get home safely, somehow. Aaahhh, I have no place here! What am I doing trying to stick around with a bunch of demi-gods and mutants trying to save the world while i'm just a defenseless lamia! I-I should go before anyone spots me ...
b- but then who would protect me if something jumps at me?! AAAHH, this is soooooo cruel damn it!
Miia complained to herself, the stress taking a toll on her mentality and wasn't going to get any easier for the girl.

Nadalia noticed how no more seats were left around the table; hell some people had to stand as a result. So, being the Iron Queen and all .. she swayed her hand before a bunch of darken ash began to swirl- forming a rather unique throne chair that would only suit someone as ancient as Nadalia. Sitting on it, she placed both hands under her chin, awaiting an answer from Rugal or at the very least, seeing if anyone had any objections to her fetching someone who was likely a traitor to her people.

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