Expanse: The City Reboot (Dark Fantasy Epic) Main Thread (Open, Started)

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image - The Sern Bake - Warehouse - Tinsdal.

Lorel shrugged, "You got me on the knowing part, but you got to remember, this could be a mage that did this. A water mage could easily make sure no traces were left behind."

Katelyn Verneer - The Sern Bake-Warehouse - Tinsdal

She tried to look elsewhere for clues, anywhere, but the sight of the blood seemed to have engraved itself into the back of her mind, in rather vivid detail. It made her feel a little sick and she could feel her stomach tightening, as if ice was forming inside. Inevitably Kate's eyes returned to the macabre sight. The group had made some good observations and Katelyn knelt before the blood, prodding it with her finger. The congealed blood made her shiver and she quickly wiped her finger onto her clothes.

"Well, It's definitely been manipulated." She finally said aloud "But not by magic, in my experience, a water mage almost always tries to remove the blood first. This has been done by some kind of chemical. I think it might be a warning?"

Standing back up she looked at the darkness seeping from the open hatch, Telnor had already descended and she began to wonder what else they might find. Her mind exploded with wild speculation. She turned to look at the others before descending the ladder.

"We better catch Telnor up, there could be anything down there..."

As she moved down the creaking ladder she noticed noticed a faint light that grew brighter until she arrived at the bottom next to a burning torch and Telnor. The intense light illuminated the bottom of a small well, the round stone circular walls had been covered with a fine layer of moss and other small plant life. All expect for one part where the wall had been smashed away to form the entrance to a narrow passage.

"I'll take the lead." Daniel announced drawing his sword and grabbing the torch from the iron holder. He followed the passage for a short distance with the others following close behind until they arrived at the room.

The huge cubed shaped room seemed odd but designed to hold the large rusting iron bars that formed the prison cell in the centre of the room, the door to which had been left open. Scattered melting candles cast deep shadows across the walls and the small table and chair for a guard. The remains of a meal and a flyer for a bar called the Ocean Horizon had been left untouched on top. The words 'Sera lives' had been scrawled in blood across the walls, ceiling and floor countless times and it seemed with haste.

"What the..." Daniel remarked losing his words as he gazed at the sight.

Telnor -Cubed Shaped Room

'Sera lives Telnor started at the blood writing covering the room. "Um. Isn't Sera that crazy chick way back at that party where we all first met. Wasn't she supposed to be dead? Didn't she get stabbed? I mean I know there were two women there and one died and one got away. It was such a long time ago I not entirely sure," Telnor stepped forward and picked up the flyer and continued talking. "I mean I guess it's possible that she could still be alive right? She was only stabbed if I remember right," Telnor turned to face the rest of the group.

"I think we might be dealing with some sort of cult. Maybe one who knows how to raise the dead. Weirder things have happened lately. At any rate we should check out this Ocean Horizon place. It is our only clue after all. If that meal came from there maybe someone there can give us the description of whoever got this meal."

The Vessel had jumped down.
There was more blood which was as to be expected.
She'd noticed Telnor discussing Sera.
"What actually happened with that? I never really did get it clear in my head."

image Cubed Shape Room - Tinsdal

Vergil immediately started scanning the cube shaped room the group had found after wandering the tunnel. Large rusted iron bars formed what amounted to a prison cell in the room's centre. The scent of melted candles filled the room, their light revealing a message which was written in blood.

Sera Lives!

"Impossible, it.. it can't be." Vergil said in disbelieving astonishment, his mind racing back to that moment, where some people would say, this story began. He remembered the exact point in which his wrist blade pierced the heart of Sera, and then the sudden explosion that came. Part of him felt responsible for all this, but then he reasserted to himself that, if Sera wasn't killed then, things wouldn't be as great as they are now probably.

"Um. Isn't Sera that crazy chick way back at that party where we all first met. Wasn't she supposed to be dead? Didn't she get stabbed? I mean I know there were two women there and one died and one got away. It was such a long time ago I'm not entirely sure." Telnor stepped forward, picking up the flyer from a nearby table, and continued to talk whilst he examined it.

"I mean I guess it's possible that she could still be alive right? She was only stabbed if I remember right." Telnor then turned to the group.

"I think we might be dealing with some sort of cult. Maybe one who knows how to raise the dead. Weirder things have happened lately. At any rate we should check out this Ocean Horizon place. It is our only clue after all. If that meal came from there maybe someone there can give us the description of whoever got this meal."

The Vessel then entered the conversation. "What actually happened with that? I never really did get it clear in my head."

"No, Sera definitely died. After she was stabbed, something caused her to explode, effectively destroying the room she was in. I'm pretty sure that there couldn't be all that much left of her. But you are right on one thing, this Ocean Horizon place seems to be the logical next step we should take."

Telnor

"No, Sera definitely died. After she was stabbed, something caused her to explode, effectively destroying the room she was in. I'm pretty sure that there couldn't be all that much left of her

"Could be someone is impersonating her then. Maybe she had a sister or something. Or we are dealing with another so called dark god . I mean we did just deal with one so I guess its not out of the realm of possibility.

image Cubed Shape Room - Tinsdal

"Could be someone is impersonating her then. Maybe she had a sister or something. Or we are dealing with another so called 'dark god' ? I mean we did just deal with one so I guess its not out of the realm of possibility."

"There is no way it could be an impersonator, Sera was somewhat unique. And as far as I can tell, she didn't have a sister; nor does this whole affair have the feel of when we dealt with Gemsi. Although, she did have a successor. Its the sigil, everything about what's going on here all links back to them." Vergil remarked, disapproving Telnor's theory. He then began to think over what had happened so far, trying to piece the puzzle.

"Sera had the sigil of the Raven. After her death, it passed on to the next one down the line, Tear. But when Scarlett nearly tricked it into thinking that Tear died, it passed on to her. In terms of these six sigils, the Raven one must symbolize death then. Sera's legacy, it lives on through her protege and the sigil."

Katelyn Verneer - The Valkyries Prison - Tinsdal

Kate entered the room and looked around. She felt like the world had dropped from beneath her feet.

"No... She can't be..." Emotion leaked into her voice. "She dead. She has to be dead!" She was mostly lost in her own thoughts, hardly listening to the others. Until Vergil spoke. "Vergil's right. It has to be the Sigil. Sera lives on through Scarlett through that mark!"

Relief flooded through her mind. She looked at Daniel before speaking again.

"Sera was a daughter of the Warfleet right. Could she really have been revered by some in the tribe? I know they exiled her for obtaining the mark of death, but could it be that some worshipped her for it? Even the insane must have those they consider to be mad..."

"I suppose so." Daniel shrugged and stepped forward to look at the cell. He touched the flaking rust that clung to the nearest bar and watched it fall away, fluttering to the floor. "This looks old. How long do you think this place has been here? You think they held Sera here at some point?"

Katelyn Verneer - The Valkyries Prison - Tinsdal

Kate stepped through the open cell door and turned to face Daniel through the bars. "Sera? You think they locked her up here too, seems an odd thing to do don't you think?"

Daniel began to pace the room before it slowly dawned on him. "Maybe not! What if they didn't worship her at all. I mean that's what I assumed but what if they feared her? You all saw her power back that the Nehelem estate. How dangerous she was and we know that the Sigils deteriorate the brain of the user. What if these people knew the danger she posed and locked her away, the words." He raised his arms at the wall and spun round on the spot. "Are a warning!"

"Sera lives" Kate murmured turning to look at the rest of the cell. "So what happened?"

image The Valkyries Prison - Tinsdal

"So what happened?" Katelyn asked as she stood from within the cell, looking out towards the group.

"Kalyn Vaalender. Don't you remember, your mother told us that Sera was apprenticed to him; and that despite her skill in battle, he was far more interested in her vast connections to the Warfleet, being that she was born and raised there. He used her to gain leverage over the Warfleet's armies with his end goal being control.

Wasn't it Sera that first discovered the Sigils whilst on a mission for Kalyn? And she used them to lock away her 'legacy'; which according to the Overwatch's research, was a means to control the North, correct? Now the desire for control over these lands is in the maw of the Warfleet's jaw." Vergil said as he leaned his back against the wall, his arms crossed as he thought over his words.

Katelyn Verneer - The Valkyries Prison - Tinsdal

She looked at Vergil. "Of course." She felt sick at the mention of the name Kalyn Vaalender but it all made some kind of sense, as if the jigsaw pieces connected and formed the first sight of the overall picture. "Kalyn must have been the one to rescue Sera from this nightmare. I bet he used his position as the Deans right hand man to locate her in the first place." She stopped to think and rested her head on her hand. "Something seems a little strange though..."

Daniel De'Silver - The Valkyries Prison - Tinsdal

Daniel smiled at Kate before moving across the floor to stand next to Telnor. He looked down at the poster for the bar with a hint of recognition crossing his face. "Seems simple enough to me, Kalyn hoped to use Sera. He must have assumed that setting her free from this place would gain him some kind of loyalty." He paused to scratch his chin. "You know, I think I have been to this place."

"You have?" Kate remarked breaking her line of thought.

"Yeah, it's in Januarias, along the coast. I hope you all have a warm coat."

"I'm not sure what I can do here, but..."
The Vessel began inspecting the poster.
"If this is as good a lead as we've got I might just have to give it a look. Hell."
She drew her harp.
"I've got the perfect disguise. Or if you want a distraction I can always do that to. Of course,"
Looking at Vergil.
"I'll probably need help."

image The Valkyries Prison - Tinsdal

"Seems simple enough to me, Kalyn hoped to use Sera. He must have assumed that setting her free from this place would gain him some kind of loyalty." Daniel said, pausing for a moment to scratch his chin, a look of recognition crossing his face as he looked upon the poster. "You know, I think I have been to this place."

"You have?" Kate remarked breaking her line of thought.

"Yeah, it's in Januarius, along the coast. I hope you all have a warm coat." Daniel added. The Vessel soon entered the conversation.

"I'm not sure what I can do here, but..." She then began inspecting the poster. "If this is as good a lead as we've got I might just have to give it a look. Hell-" It was then that the Vessel drew her harp, and played a few notes on it. "I've got the perfect disguise. Or if you want a distraction I can always do that too. Of course," Her gaze then went towards Vergil. "I'll probably need help."

"I see, need a second hand to make sure your plan works eh? Well then, how about you tell me more about it, as we head towards Januarius."

Katelyn Verneer - The Ocean Horizon Bar - Januarias

She stood on the end of the pier alone as the others departed the boat. Daniel had hired it to take them north at short notice and despite the cramped conditions she had managed to sleep most of the trip. Kate wrapped her arms around her chest to keep out the bitter wind and looked around at the miserable sight of the coastline in the twilight hours. A strong wind wiped the crashing tide across the beach towards the seafront, a bleak looking arcade of shops and taverns, cast in the dull light of the clouded sky, and completely devoid of people. As she shivered again Kate noticed the sign for the Ocean Horizon bar held up by a faded wooden mermaid, it seemed Daniel had been right about the tacky nautical theme.

"Well. Welcome to Januarias." Daniels voiced boomed against the roar of the ocean. "For what it's worth..."

"Great. Always wanted to come." Katelyn replied sarcastically, retreating further into the heavy parkour jacket Daniel had bought her before the journey.

"Oh come on! There is nothing like the brisk sea air!"

He seemed to smile at the thought and began to walk towards the bar in the distance. Kate caught up with him and walked along side in silence until he opened the door to the Ocean Horizon bar for her. Inside it was no better decorated than she had expected, it looked like the inside of a ship with a large clamshell trimmed stage at the back, but at least it was warm. The barman, an old fisherman by the look of it, smiled warmly and welcomed everyone in as Daniel took the opportunity to look around, but the few patrons seated seemed disinterested in their arrival, all expect the familiar looking girl, with long electric blue hair who remained slouched at the bar.

"So what will it be?"

Daniel turned to the barman. "I'll take a glass of hot spiced wine, thank you, anyone else?"

image image

On The Path To Horizon - Tinsdal

Vergil Crawford - The Ocean Horizon Bar - Januarias

The bar in question that the group arrived at looked as though it had seen better days at one point, but at least in comparison to the outside, there was warmth to be found. As everyone was welcomed in by the barkeep, who by all appearances was a fisherman or at the very least a sailor at some point game a warm a friendly smile.

Vergil found a quiet empty table along the wall, enough space to seat several of the group. He soon shut his eyes, trying to get some sleep; as the voyage over hadn't provided him with much. Regardless of whether he was awake, he was still aware of his surroundings.

"I'll take a glass of hot spiced wine, thank you, anyone else?" Daniel asked as he turned to face the group.

"Actually, that sounds rather nice, it'll certainly help warm me up after the boat trip. I'll have one." Vergil said in a relaxed tone.

The Vessel was inspecting again, the bar was a nice place pretty fancy. She noticed the stage first as well as a few people she expected must be a band. She considered her next move. She brought them over some drinks.
"From a long term fan."

She spoke softly.

The band eyed her up suspiciously.

"What sort of fan of ours has a Tinsdal accent? We've never even been there." The man who appeared to be their leader spoke up. "How can you possibly know what were about?"
The Vessel was a bit taken aback, did she really have so pronounced a northern accent. Then again this man's voice was so different from hers.

"Steady on." A second man spoke his voice was more familiar to hers. "She's buying us a drink out of her own pocket I think she qualifies as a fan." Her look at the Vessel there was something she didn't really understand in them. "Ignore him; he can be a total ass when he's nervous. Why don't you take his drink?" the nicer of the two held out a bottle.
The Vessel backed away slightly.

"See look what you've done you dick she was only being nice."
"I'm sorry but I can't drink, it wouldn't be good..." She didn't really want to finish that sentence.

"You don't have to say any more." The nicer of the two men took his drink and tested the Vessel as she backed away.

The Vessel was soon back with the other's in her group.
"Vergil, I think I'd like to go somewhere more private."

image The Ocean Horizon Bar - Januarias

Vergil was leaning back in his chair, listening to the sounds of conversation when the Vessel approached.

"Vergil, I think I'd like to go somewhere more private." He settled the chair back down and stood up, stretching his arms.

"Actually Daniel, forget about the drink for the moment, I'll get myself one later." Vergil remarked as he made his way to the barkeep.

"Excuse me sir, you wouldn't by any chance happen to have a room which is a little more private. Myself and my friend here, need to discuss some important business, and we wish not prying eyes or ears to intervene. I can make it worth your while." Vergil remarked, gesturing to the Vessel mid sentence as he pushed forward a handful of Kiel in the barman's direction. The man discreetly took the coins, and revealed a key from underneath the counter.

"Here you go sir, the room is on the upper floor. There is a table and a couple of chairs so you can conduct your business in some measure of comfort." Vergil pocketed the key, showing a brief smile of thanks to the barkeep as he turned to the Vessel.

"Shall we?" He asked rhetorically, as he let the Vessel go first, following on soon behind her. A soft squeaking sound could be heard on the stairs, but quietened once they were on the upper floor. The pair soon arrived at the door, and Vergil opened it with the key. Inside the room was of a decent size; with the table and chairs on the side of a window. Vergil took the chair closest to a small bookshelf, and gestured the Vessel towards the other.

The Vessel sat down.
"There should be a space in the line-up tonight one of the acts has come down with something.
But before that there's something I should tell you." She paused for a second.
"I'm not exactly sure how to tell you this."

Her voice was soft, almost ghostly.

image The Ocean Horizon Bar - Januarias

His voice grew concerned as he leaned forward in his chair.

"What is it Vessel, speak up; if this is going to put the plan into jeopardy, then I have to know."

She could feel it now, she hadn't recognised it at first but as it grew, festering inside her it seemed obvious. She had no idea how she'd not noticed already. Part of her still wanted to back out of telling him. But no it wouldn't be fair; it was his problem as much as hers.

"Vergil..."

I mean this was the creation of new life, she'd never even really considered doing this before it happened but when the time came she did it, almost by instinct. It would be so easy to just regret the decision and act to undo her mistake in the most visceral way she could think of.

"What if you don't have to die?"

image The Ocean Horizon Bar - Januarias

Vergil was confused by what Vessel had just said, and began massaging his forehead in an attempt to try and make sense of it, but that didn't work.

"Die? What do you mean Vessel, I'm not dying anything, in fact I feel fine. Just what are you talking about?"

"No not like that, not here and now. I mean in General. I mean, you died already and came back. So maybe that's enough. Maybe that's why I can't feel you; maybe that's why my powers don't register you.

I mean every other living thing has this sort of, I don't know how I'd even begin to describe it energy inside it, and I've spent enough time around the dying to know what it feels like when the energy slips away, I felt that with you, it filled me with so much fear and sadness, that was when I thought I'd lost you.

But now, you're, well as far as I can tell, you're alive, but you don't have that energy that every other living thing is supposed to have. So I was thinking if you lost it and your still alive, maybe you don't have to die. I'm not saying your indestructible by the way, spark of no your still flesh and bone and those are as malleable as they come.

But well, there's this thing, I've felt it sometimes, a sort of natural unstitching of the spark, it fades and with it the body ages and begins to break down, it's what causes aging as far as I know. Even if nothing ever gets you the spark eventually fades. But here you are without one and your fine, so maybe you won't age.
Maybe you'll just keep going. Providing you aren't reckless of course."

She stands up pacing.

"The worst part is this isn't testable in anyway all I can do is wait and see.
Vergil, when you were dead or dying or whatever you were. What was it like?"

Her eyes look into his, she up until now she'd not even been able to meet his gaze and now she was unable to look away. Hanging on even the potential for words, almost childlike, wide and innocent eyes, the green looking weaker somehow.

"I'm sorry. I never meant to do this."

Daniel De'Silver - The Ocean Horizon Bar - Januarias

Daniel smiled and nodded at Vergil before returning, with the drinks, to the others who had found and settled in a large booth in the far corner of the bar. He approached with the hot drinks and dished them out before returning to collect the remainder, sat waiting patently on the bar. The smell of the hot, spiced wine, a southern staple adapted for the north, filled the air with a magnificent fragrance that reminded Katelyn of her homeland. She re-affirmed her promise, once again, to return home when all this had concluded. Daniel caught the glimmer of the daydream in her eyes and smiled, half hiding the fear of losing Kate altogether. She smiled back before taking a single sip of the hot liquid, relishing the warmth of the mug in her hands. He was about to speak when the door to the bar opened, letting a fierce draft of cold air rushing into the room, before it was quickly closed again. The woman sat the bar with the electric blue hair seemed unfazed and remained in her own little world.

The arrival was another woman, petite, with dazzling blonde hair that hung down the side of her face, allowing the ears to poke out of either side. She approached the barman with a smile and they hugged.

"Ellie!" The barman announced rather loud. "I thought we were not going to see you tonight."

"Well I had nothing better to do. I might as well sing."

Daniel returned his attention to the group, ignoring the remainder of the conversation. "Well." He spoke aloud to all at the table. "So we might as well take the opportunity to look around."

image The Ocean Horizon Bar - Januarias

Vergil listened patiently to the Vessel explanation of what might have happened to him. A mixture of fear and worry was being worn across the Vessel's face. After a while though, she stood up and started pacing in an attempt to make sense of this situation.

She then stopped, and looked deeply into his dark red eyes. Before she had never had been able to meet his gaze on equal terms, but now it looked as though she couldn't stop if she wanted to. There was a look of desperation as her eyes grew wide, and her face became more innocent looking; like a child.

"Vergil, when you were dead or dying or whatever you were. What was it like?" Vergil sat back in the tall armchair for a few minutes, a dead silence hanged across the room as he thought, pulling back the curtain on memories from the day when he effectively died. He soon stood up, and walked over to the Vessel, and embraced her, wrapping his arms around her.

"Vessel my dear, it was cold and empty; not much life to be had when you stare down the grim spectre of death. There was a darkness that stretch almost ad infinitum, but there was that one bright spot, one thing that kept me going, one esper of life that provided me with the strength to hold on to what I had left. That candle amidst a sea of darkness was you; it guided me home. The fact that I could see it at all, told me that my story had not finished there, that it was not my time to pass into the void of the unknown.

I know you never meant to bring this upon me; you were to put it simply, helping a friend in need, thank you so much." A joyful tear came to his eye, but he did not stop to wipe it away, he felt that it should stay.

"But even I want to retire at some point, to sit back and watch the world when I am old. If I was given one wish regarding who I would want to spend my autumn years with, it would be you; you have done so much for me, even if you think that you haven't."

"We'll you'll have autumn to spear. And I'll enjoy spending as much as I can with you.
But there's something I should do.
Vergil
**** Me
I know you want to, and after all you've been through, all I've put you through I think it's only fair."

"I'll just take a coffee please. Alcohol isn't exactly a good idea right now," Coffee in hand Telnor took a seat in the a secluded corner, away from the rest of the group.

Ever since he had rejoined them, things had felt awkward between all of them. Not that he blamed them. Words and actions don't just go away because you say sorry. Things weren't the same between all of them and he felt that they never would be again. Not that they were ever close. A thief, an Assassin, and two former of the noble classes he had always been on the out. It wasn't a situation that he was entirely unfamiliar with. Because of the amount of traveling he had done as a child there was rarely a time where he was to grow and fit in. Only once did he ever feel like he belonged to a group larger than his own and even that was gone. Lost.

Starring into his coffee he felt memories of days long passed come to the surface. Days of laughing around a tavern after a victory. Days of standing shoulder to shoulder against those who would oppose them. Days of leading men into battle. Days of shoulders sore, arms aching and hands cramped as he learned the art of the sword. Days of haze as he lay sick on his bed as his friends looked after him. Days of laughing as his apprentices quarreled over who was better. Days of sorrow when he had lost it all.

It seemed so long ago and the weight of it made Telnor feel old and tired. He always put on the facade of the joker, of the one who would charge on straight ahead but it felt empty, most days but sometimes the facade was the only he could carry on.

"Why hello sweetie," a voice as smooth as honey pulled Telnor out of his inner thoughts. Looking up he saw a gorgeous red head. Her long red hair reached down to her back, her skin tight dress, showed off all her curves and it split from the thigh down revealing her long gorgeous legs.

"Lost in thought are ya," the red head asked sweetly after Telnor took to long to reply. "It's okay. You ain't the first to be speechless, my name is Jeanie," Jeanie slid up to Telnor brushing up against him, pressing her breasts up against his arm.

"I'm um. I'm Telnor. Pleased to meet you and your personal space," Telnor stuttered out.

Jeanie slid a finger down Telnor's face, "Oh personal space is sooooo overrated don't you think?" she ran her finger down his face to his chest before she turned away from him, signaling to the waitress for two beers.

Telnor tried to raise a protest but Jeanie put a finger to his lips, silencing him.

"Now now. Don't go raising no fuss," Jeanie leaned in close whisphering in his ear, "I know what a man likes and you look like you would like a beer and a bit more," Jeanie grabbed Telnor's head and passionately kissed him, with Telnor barely raising a protest.

image The Ocean Horizon Bar - Januarias

Surprise. That had been the expression that dashed across his face as the Vessel said those words. Never before had she been so sultry before, it almost looked as though she wanted it. The voices in his head that acted as the two sides of his conscience were just as surprised as Vergil was.

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"Wow, never expected that to actually happen boss. I know that I'm your more devious and talkative side, but I'm actually speechless. Still, she is offering herself up to you. You wouldn't want to deny the dame a taste of pleasure now would you?"

"Impressive, the Vessel has actually managed to silence your more renegade self sir. Whilst normally, I would be somewhat appalled for you to take up on this kind offer; from the sounds of it she is sorry for what has happened to you, and partially blames herself for some of the misdeeds, and wants to repay. Would you deny the fair lady her offer? For once in our existence sir, I have to agree with our darker friend here sir."

"Wait, what just happened here? Did the old sod actually agree with me? Well I never, thought we'd live to see the day that would happen boss. If your noble side is actually agreeing with me, go for it. Wouldn't hurt to have a little bit of fun now."

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Vergil began taking off his weaponry and gear, gently dropping them to the floor, and out of harm's way. He then cradled the Vessel's head in his hand, as he passionately kissed her. Whilst this was going on, Vergil began to undress the Vessel, causing her to shiver briefly from the cold; he then pulled the Vessel closer, and showed her a devious looking smirk.

"Don't worry Vessel, I'm sure I can keep you warm." Vergil remarked, his smirk turning into a smile with but a glance. They then simply went at it.

The Vessel felt the release, her guilt wasn't gone but it melted away slightly. Vergil clearly enjoyed himself and he was right it had kept her warm.

Things slowed down eventually and she let her thoughts drift back to the here and now.
"Are you done?" She looked at him smiling slightly. Almost like for a time, just here and now she'd gotten away with what she'd done that day in the tower.

It occurred to her that this might start happening a lot now, if he wanted it of course, and now the danger was gone she was sure it wouldn't be too much bother. Ironic, she thought, the worst injury he'd sustained, the one she'd no power or skill to fix the one that must hurt the most on the inside was the very injury that allowed her to thank him like this free from the danger of well, she didn't like the thought.

"Was it what you wanted?"

image The Ocean Horizon Bar - Januarias

Comfort. Pleasure. Joy. All these words and more began to form as the pair slowed down after their intimacy. Vergil panted slightly as he held onto the Vessel, her legs crossed behind his back as he stood up, back against the wall. He slowly began to sink to the floor. The Vessel smiled at him slightly.

"Are you done?" She asked. Vergil rested his head on the Vessel's shoulder, showing her a content smile, feeling satisfied at what had happened.

"Yeah, I'm done." Vergil said softly to the Vessel as he kissed her neck.

"Was it what you wanted?"

"Oh, it was my dear. Thank you. So much tension had been building up over the last couple of days due to what has been happening lately; you could say that helped me release it."

Katelyn Verneer - The Ocean Horizon Bar - Januarias

As she took a sip of her wine she watched as Daniel walked to the bar holding a copy of the flyer. He whispered into the ear of the barman and slid the paper across the bar. Immediately the barman changed his expression and nodded to Daniel to follow him into the kitchen to speak in private. Katelyn felt the urge to follow and hear the words for herself but decided not to risk drawing anymore attention to what was happening and remained in her seat. At that moment a loud cheer rose in the room from the other patrons as a young woman walked on stage and began to sing to the sound of a slow piano. The emotion breaking on her voice made the song something special and Kate sat back to admire the tune. She almost chocked on her wine when she saw a sigil on the arm of the girl forming the image of a burning flame.

Using the cover of the night the two ships sailed to the illuminated shoreline. Captain Felicia Jones stood on the deck of her ship and watched the crew bring the boat into the stone dock, walking down the ramp to greet the solitary guard who had come to check out the unusual looking ships. She smiled and spoke a greeting as a member of her crew crept up behind the guard and slit his throat, dumping the body into the water afterwards. Without a word she signalled the rest of her crew to begin departing and looked onwards at the glowing sign for the Ocean Horizon bar.

A scream pierced the air of the bar and the music stopped. The voice was silenced as the strange looking soldier decapitated the vocal man. Katelyn rose to her feet and grabbed her mechanical bow as the reminder of the Warfleet soldiers filled the bar. Captain Felicia Jones smiled as she entered.

"Kill them all but he girl." She grinned pointing her sword at the woman on stage.

The Vessel looked at him; glad he was happy, so what if she might need to do that every so often, it wasn't so bad just a bit dull. Her contemplation was interrupted; there was a lot of noise downstairs.

She got up, footsteps were approaching their door. It was dark; the candle had gone out a while ago. She walked to the door in the dull light grabbing something from her coat. Sounded like whoever was down stairs was starting something serious.

There was a knock and she opened the door. The guy on the other side slumped to the floor. The Vessel bent down to look at him, he looked weirdly peaceful. She searched him for weapons finding a dagger, not her usual style but it would do. A fairly light blade and by the looks of it well crafted. She didn't recognise the make, it didn't look very used.
She looked down at the man; his face was oddly peaceful being out cold from the rag the vessel was holding in her hand.

She looks over at Vergil.

"Put him on the bed, he'll be out cold for a while and I may need him if anyone gets hurt."
She quickly got dressed covering herself from the cold. Just before she did she stole a quick glance in the mirror, she like what she saw, she could see why Vergil would want to do what he did.

She checked for the various bottles and vials she kept on her person. The tingle of energy from knocking out the man was within her ready to burst almost. She used it to focus, she felt time slow down she moved quickly and was hyper aware.
She turned to Vergil.
"You want some of this?"

image The Ocean Horizon Bar - Januarias

Vergil closed his eyes for a brief moment, storing the recent memories for later. Suddenly though, he heard a disturbance going on downstairs, sounded as though a fight had broken out. He then heard a loud thud, opening his eyes, he saw the door open, and a man falling to the floor, with the Vessel already looking over him. The Vessel then turned to Vergil after pulling out a rather interesting looking knife.

"Put him on the bed, he'll be out cold for a while and I may need him if anyone gets hurt." Without responding, Vergil quickly got up and dragged the man towards the bed, then lifting him up on to it. Afterwards, Vergil put on what clothes had come off, then proceeding with his weaponry and other gear. He thought that he could see a brief glow of green from the Vessel, but it might have just been the dark lighting of the room playing tricks on him. The Vessel soon turned to Vergil.

"You want some of this?"

"You do remember that your positive and negative energy doesn't register me; so I doubt it would even work on me. No offence." Vergil remarked as he pulled out one of his swords, sensing that a fight was breaking out down below.

"Shall we go see what is happening down there then?" He then asked, showing a brief smile.

"Right."

How could she forget, he'd felt so real just then so alive even without the energy, enough to trick her for just a moment. Now he felt further away than ever.

"I'll go; I need some time to think. Clear my head."

She absorbed the rest of the energy, like jumping into a freezing lake of coffee she was jolted into a new existence. Time moved with geological pace, she threw and caught the dagger in a move showing suppressing skill with the blade. The Emeralds embedded in her face glowed radiant in the darkness. She strode out of the room the blazing orange fire in her mane billowing with her speed. Outside she saw two of them coming to investigate their ally who was yet to come back down.

The first guard jolted when the blade slid into her neck spurts of blood causing her friend to jump back away from the Vessel still clutching the dagger. She must have been killed instantly since the Vessel didn't feel any energy change.

The Vessel was knocked to the floor by a blow to the side, it felt like a very big hammer which is appropriate because it was. Her hand had been disconnected from the dagger and her chest was not in good shape.

A flailing kick up into her attacker's crouch causes the hammer to come smashing down barely missing the vessel. She frantically scrambles up the pain in her side still feels awful making it hard to stand. The mauls handle allows her to stay up, which a less agony-ish Vessel might admire the irony of.

The surviving guard had shaken off the Vessels kick and made to rip the maul from her causing her to stumble back resting on the other wall of the corridor. Conditions were tight and the dagger was in the rapidly expanding pool of blood on the floor. There was a thud and a shower of splintering wood as the wall where the Vessel had just been exploded with the hammer's impact.

Her opponent swore to himself at the miss, she'd escaped the blow by a split second thanks to the energy but the pain of exertion collapses her again. She's going to die here, already seeing a light, bracing herself. But no the light wasn't divine. It was dagger, the glow of an outside moon on her blade glinting in the blood. There a squelch as she draws out the blade and a scream as she slashes at the heels of her opponent.

He collapsed in agony not helped by how the hammer falls, the smash of its head and his chest are a hell of a din. The ribs firing off like a cannon barrage. The Vessel feels a tingling, like having warm water poured down the inside of her cloak. Her bones fix themselves back into place, the bruising washes away like dust in rain as the healing energy floods and rebuilds her. She stands up, covered in blood but none of it her own.

The pain is all gone like she was never even in the fight. A voice from her feet speaks at her.

"The hell are you?" It's weak clearly he doesn't have so long.

But the Vessel doesn't answer; she's already forgotten he exists to be honest.

What concerns her more is the energy still in her, like there's a surplus somehow.

Then she remembers the kick. Still moving with extreme speed she's almost back her and Vergil's room poised to give him the good news before reality catches up with her again. She slumps down before the door...

crying.

The entire fight can't have been more than a minute or so.

Katelyn Verneer - The Ocean Horizon Bar - Januarias

It had lasted no more than a minute, but the effect had been utterly devastating. The soldiers moved in the direction of the girl on stage and cut a passage through the fleeing civilians with an automated precision that left none alive. Acting as one entity they had massacred the entire bar except for the group who had fallen back in a tight formation to protect the stranger on the stage. Captain Felicia Jones stepped forward, over the bleeding bodies, and eyed the group with a cautious glance. She knew the fight would have attracted the attention of the guards and she had little time to snatch the girl before their arrival. She glared into the eyes of Katelyn and raised her cutlass.

"Give me the girl and we will let you live."

Silence. She looked at the others and repeated herself with irritation and impatience straining her voice. Daniel moved forward and with a smile suggested that she might go and do things with herself instead. Felicia hardened her expression at the retort and ordered the death of the group, while silently cursing the others who had infiltrated the upper levels and failed to materialise. Katelyn raised the knife-like edges of her mechanical bow in anticipation of the attack but a scout for the Warfleet ran into the bar at moment and shouted, in a heavy southern accent, about the arrival of the guards. Felicia cursed aloud this time and ordered a retreat, looking back only once with disgust before vanishing into the night.

It had all been too much for Ellie, who had been somewhat lost in the situation, and she fainted on the stage.

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