Collaboration: The Gods and their Angels (Closed. We've Begun.)

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Sehnsucht gave a look of annoyance, wishing she had the springheels that lay not too far away. She braced herself nonetheless, prepared for the chain-scythe and the fact that she would have to stand very still while she worked out a way to clean the vermillion wisps.
"You don't make things easy." She signed with annoyance.

"You're the one who chose to fight Sweet cheeks, I offered to let you go." He smirked as he feinted out and then leapt into the air."Got you again!" He chuckled as he clapped and all the wisps along the floor detonated like tiny scatter bombs."...." He watched with amusement as the pink smoke cleared.

"I'll thank you not to call me th- ugh!"
Just as Sehnsucht had been ready to slam down the borrowed scythe, the detonation had left her comedically jumping from foot to foot avoiding the detonations. She gave a backflip away, mislanding on her feet and slipping on the ivory ground.
This would be the embarrassing if it weren't for the fact I were so damn angry...Damn cheating son of a...-

"Hmmm. Not bad." The Mad Angel sidestepped away from the blow of the Mordred. "Though better will always be better. And this place looks hideous anyway!" It cackled for no reason. "Could do with a bit of this...and a bit of that..." It danced around as it made twisted shapes on the various walls around.

Suddenly, without warning, the Mad Angel turned around towards the Mordred. "Isn't this just wonderful?" it said with glee, then hovered over towards him. "I do like what you did to this place. More death is always welcome, though madness doesn't equal death, now does it?!" Finished with its...whatever it was, the Mad Angel hovered up into the air. "It's a delightful day here. Then again, there's never a delightful day! Except for me. And maybe you. I'm not sure, to be honest. But I'm never honest, or do you claim to know when I'm honest?"

Its six wings flapping slowly to keep it in the air, it flew around in circles, watching its Champion. "You like destruction. Don't deny it, it's in your eyes! Or maybe that's just the flames. Or a flaming passion. Which causes your eyes to go all crazy!" It shrugged and chuckled. Its creations, its minions, watched their creator hovering around, ready for any and all commands.

Vermilion leaned over and collected the harvester, he then checked his watch and chuckled."Well well, you've passed my trial. I am proud to announce that you have proven yourself vaguely worthy of being called my employer. I much prefer the company of women, you were just lucky enough to last a few minutes longer than the last prospect...." A look of pure amusement shown on his face as a contract written in Red ink and a pen appeared in his hand, he helped her off of the ground and handed the ancient looking parchment to her. It had only one line.

'I, ___________, give my word that I will take full responsibility for the consequences of my decisions.'

Leaning in uncomfortably close and slipping the pen into her hand, he whispered in her ear with a deathly solemn tone. "Now, I ask of you... Are you my master?"

Having spent the past four hours consuming delicious tacos, at the Taco Party House, the Metal Man stood up and was going to walk out the door, when he realized his exit was blocked by the owner Emmanuel, and a man in a anthropomorphic Taco costume.

"Hey you gotta pay for your Taco's this ain't no charity!" shouted Emmanuel.

"But I don't have any money, plus I'm a Champion, and a senior citizen. That has gotta count for something doesn't it?" said The Metal Man in an innocent tone.

"Hmm well in that case....NO, you still either pay or you fight Jorge!" she shouted to the crazy old man.

"Ummmm who's Jorge?" he asked tilting his head slightly.

"Soy Jorge, el guerrero de Taco y la mascota de Taco casa de Emmanuel Parte. Usted va a pagar por la comida o te mueres!" shouted the burly Taco man

"Hmm well this certainly will be fun, Its time to start the Taco Party." said the Metal Man

Priscilla received the small vacuum sealed jar-and-hose contraption and gave it a scrutinous once over appraisal. "Riiiight...." she said as she placed it into a small storage compartment on her being. Asmodeus simply stared at her now, and Priscilla felt this as a dismissal that she would gladly take. "Very well then. Your task will be done promptly" she said, giving one final salute before turning and leaving the inner sanctum of the mad doll god. The castle seemed to detect her need to leave and as she opened the door, instead of being greeted with the hallway again she was only a few feet away from the still open doors showing the gray scaled land of Bucharest. Stepping forward into the foyer of the castle the architecture seemed to stretch back out to normal proportions, leaving her a thankful distance away from her employer.

Departing down the steps she thought over her mission. To collect a sample of the Lord of Poison. Bringing this info to the forefront of her mind, she manifested a small checklist that appeared in the corner of her vision

OBJECTIVE: Collect Poison Sample
Mission Goals
[]Reach Domain
[]Locate Creator
[]Extract Specimen

Straightforward enough. Though perhaps this was less for a reason and put her through her paces. The Domain she knew of, she actually passed it on her way here. She took another few steps down, and as she did an arc of electricity leaped between the two rods sticking out of her back. She knew the way to go know, and she was mapping the way as she began. The journey would take, conventionally, nearly an entire day, if that sense of time still had meaning here, of walking at her pace. Though thankfully, conventionality wasn't something she had to adhere to at the moment.

There was a light humming as she fired up one of the more advanced pieces of technology installed in her. Plotting trajectory she reached the bottom of the castle steps and looked to the horizon.
Hyper-kinetic Gravity Manipulator Online, Adjusting Yield a mechanical voice softly chimed in her mind. Priscilla afforded herself a grin as she walked, ran, and once gaining enough momentum, leapt.

Springing herself in a lowered gravity bubble carried her quite a distance, and each time she landed her legs obediently launched her again, carrying her at a pace that would be disconcerting to any observer, but was thrilling to her. At this rate, she'll reach the Domain in a fraction of the time it would take a normal person.

...What in the world...? Master...
Hehe~~~ You should stab him in the eye with that pen~~~ He won't see it cooooooming~
Go back to sleep you leech... This doesn't concern you. Ever.
Sehnsucht forced her eyes closed to block the distorted, aggressive voice intruding her thoughts. Glancing down at the pen and parchment with a raised eyebrow, thinking quickly as the pen touched the dotted line.
...If this isn't a trick, this alliance could really work out... That power will go missed...
"Let me clarify, you sneak into my domain, you break into my home, cause me to temporarily get evicted from my body by that...thing, when I regain control you throw an iron maiden on me and humiliate me, and now...you want me to be your master?"

The lithe and smirking figure was kneeling on one knee now."Well I can't let just anyone command me... I need to pass judgment first, and what better judgment than seeing how someone reacts under...." He paused for the word and then grinned as it came to him, ".... Duress. The choice is yours my dear. but every contract has a price." Still kneeling he lowered his head and once his face was out of view his face contorted between that of worry and anxiety.

I can't lose another prospect, or else they'll force me back and try the Restoration again...Under her/Their command, I'll extend my time. I hope I didn't over-do it. This one still hasn't caught on to what I am yet, that's a good sign.

"Duress, now that is one word for it." Sehnsucht muttered under her breath before standing. Opportunity wouldn't knock like this again.
Her now restored, regular teeth gently bit her lip. She noted the sincerity in his voice at the prospect and she put pen to paper.
'I, The Sehnsucht , give my word that I will take full responsibility for the consequences of my decisions.'
It's funny what being desperate can do to your reasoning...

Having finally set his Domain aright, The Endless took a well deserved repose upon his newly-rebuilt throne. He reclined casually, unconcerned for what had happened or what might, patiently awaiting the return of his Champion. Or, I suppose, any more interruptions, The Endless thought as he rubbed one large finger against his temple, the white stone kneading like flesh.

It was then that the knight-Aberration returned, pausing briefly to puzzle over the absence of any guardians for The Endless before continuing forward and falling to one knee before his liege. "My lord," it's reptilian-tongue flickered in-and-out as it's raspy voice echoed through the hall, "I was made aware of a commotion." Once more, it's attention was drawn to the absence of any guardians, it's fiery crest almost glowing with anger, "Are you well?"

"Hm? You still live?" The Endless was unimpressed by his creation's concern, instead surprised that much of anything had survived the toxic blast.

"Yes. I was inspecting the Mortuary when..." it's coarse voice stopped for a moment. "Still alive? What happened?"

"Nothing important." The Endless dismissed the question. "Merely an explosion."

"Explosion?!" it growled, leaping to it's feet, it's grotesque face twisting even further into a rictus snarl. "That intruder! Where did he go?! I'll rip his gleaming guts from his torso and fed them back up his shining..."

"No, Crest," The Endless commanded, "leave him be." Crest calmed, but his snarl remained, buoyed by his rage. Crest was one of a rare elite among The Mindless, an elite that The Endless had oft considered hardly worthy of the insulting description. Crest had proved himself time and again, surviving where others had not, and earning for himself a name, proving that he was far superior to the overwhelming majority of The Endless' forces. There were only ever a handful of them, these cunning, battle-hardened warriors, and their numbers were in constant flux. Even amongst the ranks of these elite Aberrations, Crest was arguably the strongest and smartest and oldest of them all, almost able to harness the power that forged his twisted body for himself.

Much longer, and Crest may prove himself worthy of becoming another one of my "Sons..." The Endless put the thought out of his head. For now. "Rally the Chimera," The Endless instructed Crest, "for, soon, we act." The seasoned beast's terrible snarl transformed into a mockery of a smile, it's rotted, yellowed teeth standing out against the blackened, cracked scales around them. Crest stalked off without a word, ready to oblige. War was something Crest was always ready for.

All the light in the room suddenly died down and a collection of horrendous screams could be heard for just a mere instance as the Contracted Creator's neck began to burn slightly, it felt as if something 'wrong' were being etched into her neck then went down the front a few inches along the chest and slowly snaked down her back ended right at her waist, the back of both hands were also both afflicted the design around the neck that went down in the front slightly was that of a thorned pattern, the design down the back more akin to letters from a long dead language. On the left hand, a white rose, and the right, a black spider lily. Then an inhuman voice called.

"Oh desperate souls... The two etched in the form of one... You are now bound to death, as you are to life, the Reaper of Red now your guide, down the bend of this river's stigmata. May he serve thee well. Thy markings now a sign of the sins you hath paid for. So long as he is undefeated, no harm may ever reach thy self."

The room was now as it was.

That unpleasant tingling over the effected areas made her wince and grimace.
"...I thought that Creators marked their Champions..." Sehnsucht said with an almost growl, looking at her now marked hands, fishing out some silk gloves from the almost shredded dress pockets and placing them on.
Within moments, the destroyed hallways reverted to it's regal design and she took a deep breath, adjusting herself from the pain and shaking her head.

The Metal Man formed a metal folding chair in his hand as he charged at Jorge, he jumped up into the air on spring loaded legs, and swung the chair down at the giant Taco Man. "Why don't you take a seat!" he shouted as he brought his weapon down.

The Taco Man deflected the chair with the back of his arm and ripped it from the old mans grip. "¡Tonto! ¡Usted escogió una lucha con el hombre incorrecto! ¡Usted no gozará de esto pero habrá terminado rápidamente!" He shouted in a swarthy voice as he jumped and delivered a flying elbow drop, then rose to his feet and udjusted his somberro.

The old man, took the full brunt of the elbow drop, but quickly brushed it off and rose to his feet and took off in a dash toward the kitchen, all that could be heard was the shattering of plates and clatter of pans. Emmanuel was justifiably horrified, even more so when the man finally emerged brandishing two cans of whipped cream. He ran right at Jorge, and scream, "I want it with Whipped Cream on it!" as he sprayed the Taco with whipped topping, then turned his fist into a giant Spring loaded boxing glove and decked the Taco right in the face sending him flying.

The Mascot was sent reeling and crashed into the salad bar, splintering the small stand. Suddenly righting himself the Taco Man straightened out his sombrero and smoothed his lettuce moustache. His googly costume eyes aflame with righteous fury. ¿Primero usted entra aquí y come nuestro alimento, después usted insulta a su presentadora no pagando, y ahora usted destruye nuestra barra de ensalada?" He asked, gestating to the splinters he had risen from. "ESTO NO SERÁ TOLERADA. ¡JUSTICIA DEL GUSTO!" He screamed, adopting a fighting stance and rushing at the Metal Man, delivering a large spinning kick aimed at his head.

The powerful kick from the Taco man, caused The Metal Man's head to collapse into liquid metal, and then reform, His new head was perfectly circulur head with a comidicaly large protruding nose, it had a large tight lipped grimace spanning the entirety of his whole face, like a deranged and irrate Pac-Man, it also had a thin mustache. "ME GUSTA!" said The Metal Man as he delivered a well placed kick to Jorge's "Cherry Tomatoes". He shook his head and it reverted back to his normal face.

There was a loud metal clang as the boot connected to the crotch of the Taco Man. Engañe, sus tentativas débiles en el juego sucio traen vergüenza sobre usted y su familia. ¡Soy inmune a sus ataques basados bola!" he says violently, picking up the metal man in both arms and squeezing tight, suddenly, he began to spin the small man around his arms like a master basketball player. He rolled him between the back, around the front, between his shoulders and spun him around his left arm before suddenly spiking him through a nearby wall. For some reason, the owner of the Restaurant began to whistle a jaunty tune that was oddly fitting for these shennagins.

"In case you've not seen, I'm not your run of the mill champion~" He said receiving a lesser, collar like pattern along his neck. "You needed my protection, I'm giving it. Simple as that, oh and as an added bonus, you're now naturally harder to kill, while contracted the already slowed creator aging process is all but nonexistent, you can see what I see and talk to me telepathically, and I can be called to your side from anywhere using those flower markings on your hands." He was obviously grimacing ear to ear."Oh, don't think we've met properly, the names Vermilion, Vermilion Ò̴ą̨́͠҉ţ̕͏h̡͢k͝͝e͏͢͠e̶p̴͏e͝͠r̡̨̛̀͞ "

Taking a few moments to take in the information, she extended her hand and shook his.
"The Sehnsucht. Sehnsucht is fine. I'd tell you my name but...obvious reasons." Trailing off, she removed the hand and turned, gesturing with her hand.
"In return for your service, consider this your home. Although it's obvious what creators and their champions need to be doing..."

"And what a home it is! Buuuut.... Speaking of other Creators, there are a few Domains that are relatively easy to access from here, shall I attack one for you, My Mistress ?" He said gesturing out the window with a lithe hand movement."I'm sure you're familiar with your closest neighbors, take your pick...." He smirked again as he studied her up and down one more time, grinning to himself.

.... Not bad. Not bad at all.

"I've observed them for a while..." Sehnsucht started before being cut off by an irritating thought.
I like the little puppet~ I want to tug the strings and make it fllllly~
She put her hands to her temple and rubbed.
"A-Any way. As you can probably tell, me attacking them head on isn't a good idea, my forces are small, but I was considering which would be best to focus on..."
She took her eyes from the now repaired window and looked to Vermillion.
"...Is something the matter?"

"Nothing at all." He said dismissing the claim with his hand."I'm more than capable of Espionage, or a one manned assault if need be, give the word, and I'll carry out your bidding." He made the harvester reappeared and he spun it back into position. "Death is no slouch, when it comes to fighting the good fight." He said as his yellow eyes gleamed in the midday gloom.

Crouching and grabbing her springheels before slipping them on her feet, she straightened and brushed herself down.
"There seems to be a plot being developed by the puppet being..." Sehnsucht noted, lacing the shoes.

"You want I should take the puppet and throw it into the goatse of the universe?" He chuckled before making a very solemn face."Because that exists, and can be done. I've seen it happen." He said absolutely serious.

Sehnsucht's face fell in confusion,
"The what...?"
HeeeeeeeeHeeeeeeeeee~ A goatse is-
She shook her head and gave a small smile.
"I-I'm sure it's terrible..." She managed, giving a nervous cough and looking out of the window.

"Soooo...." He said leaning against the wall."Who do you want to to intrude upon, harass, or otherwise size up?" He said grinning and playing with the chain around his waist.

She thought for a moment before turning,
"I want to assess the situation before we go in. I'd like you to visit upon said puppet master and see what he's planning. You can go at your leisure." Sehnsucht explained, seemingly deep in thought, pressing her fingers against the window sill.
I want to go wiiiiiiiiith~ I want to grab the puppet...~ Heeeeeee~

"And one and two and one and two, keep up boy, the pulse won't change until we reach the bridge and even then it just speeds up!"

These were the words of the greatest musician left in the universe. He was a good man, a gentleman, with a refined, high posture, a fine style, and dashing in all the right ways. His voice was polite, soothing even, and complimentary even in the face of ignorance. He wanted to help this poor young man who seemed so set on something so obviously wrong, and just couldn't understand why he wouldn't pay attention and fix his form.

He was the Maestro, the extrodinaire, the magnifique and the mysterious. A dancer, a performer, an overall charming fellow. And the colour around here was ruining his mood of joviality.

A dirty yellow covered everything, and the sky-shatter did nothing to alleviate the banal monotony of the world in which he was fighting for.

I can't possibly imagine why Our Lord and Master would wish to gain access to this place. he thought, ducking back and parrying a strike at his midriff. Everything here is just so plain, even my garments realise that this place needs brightening up!

And bright they were. His flapping coattails were a vivid purple, with a pale blue lining. His shoes were black as pitch and shiny like a carapace. His top hat sung merrily about something called a bloody sunday and his waist coat and shirt were alternating between vivid green and vibrant red, while his trousers, (being the one conservative part of his body), decided to stick with same old boring monochromatic grey that usually went so well with the coattail style.

Maestro thought it was rather funny. But he hadn't time to laugh. The battle had barely begun, and he was eager for it to crescendo.

Of course, even a genius's vision could be wrong, or at least, delayed. A blade, an injury. Red-blood stained the sleeve of his jacket.

And it was just beginning as well. He thought to himself, twirling the card and the last words of his foe around in his head. Random intervention. Well, I have this place now, and so does Our Lord. And it'd know that by now as well.

It wasn't much of any satisfaction for him, honestly. While the performance had been short it had also been violent exciting. A minuet in the waltz of this ever-life. But still, really, it could have been better. Music of the soul is all about change. Stagnation would throttle him.

Having no reason to rush back to His Lord, Maestro meandered around the broken-yellow domain, searching through ruins of what might have been settlements or were perhaps just outcroppings and broken things of ages long, long past.

Following the creator with his gaze while it pranced and floated through the room, The Mordred crawled closer to his sword, until he was able to reach for the cold hilt. When he had it firmly in his grasp he pointed at the creator.

"Yeah, I'm as mad as a bull in front of a red lap. Now get down here, ya daft clown, so I can prove whatever ya wanted me to prove!" He called out, eyes flaring like embers.

"Ooo, hot tempered. Just the way I like them!" The Mad Angel floated down to the floor again, standing in front of the Mordred. "And I'm not telling you how you should prove yourself. If you can't figure that out, I may have chosen wrong. For your own sake, you should hope I did not." It snapped its fingers and a few Clown Creepers entered the room, some of the more deformed ones which shrieked with each step, chuckling to themselves as they faced the Mordred.

"Why don't we start with something a bit more simple. Though if I were you I wouldn't take them too lightly. Then again, I'm not you and I take them quite lightly!" It chuckled and took a few steps backwards as the Clown Creepers charged towards the Mordred from all angles with loud crying shrieks.

"I have not earned the eternal embrace of death's repose until my business upon this land is done. Until the wounds of my soul have been filled with the blood of they who have carved their names upon my heart, peace is a thing that shall always elude me. Alas, it is not the man who chooses his end, but the end who chooses it's man..." The Endless sat luxuriously upon his throne, idly reciting something old and forgotten. His deep voice resonated in the room, and he paused very briefly between every few words as he spoke. His eyes were closed in contemplation and he casually stroked his flowing beard.

He was alone, finally and at last, having sent Crest off on some fool's errand to distract him. The Endless shook his head; Crest was always too eager to fight. Sometimes things required patience, diplomacy, and finesse, not simple brute force. Still, it was an easy method of distraction for the curt beast, and it never hurt to be constantly ready for battle.

Alone with his thoughts, The Endless' mind began to wander as it was so wont to do. Eventually, he came back to the same, singular question he always pondered, Are we taught to fear the Dreamer, or the Dream? The Endless asked himself. And which would it be rightfully prudent to fear? The Man, or the Mind? The End, or the Cataclysm? The King, or his Country? Which is which? Can they be separate, or are they always whole? Is there some distinction between them or... The Endless broke off from his thoughts. "I really need a different hobby," he sighed, exasperated, kneading his temples with his pale hands.

"Answer,

Negative,

saying not recognised

Query explanation.

Also

Judgement

Scanner still preferable

Construction will begin shortly.

Query report on last journey."

The Gambler began explain the meaning behind the phrase that had confused it.

"Very well then, I shall... elaborate. 'Scientia potentia est' is a philosophical phrase of the Latin language, it translates to 'Knowledge is Power'. One of the interpretations of the phrase, is that:

'With knowledge or education one's potential or abilities in life will certainly increase. Having and sharing knowledge is widely recognised as the basis for improving one's reputation and influence, thus power.' The phrase seemed appropriate to you Voyager, after all, your mission is the understanding of life, and with its understanding, comes knowledge, and therefore, power."

After he had finished explaining, he responded to its judgement about the equipment.

"I understand your reasoning and judgement, after all, you are a Creator, master of all that you see fit to rule, whilst I am but a humble servant of yours. It is expected for the master to have the final say, but it is not forced upon."

"Now then, my report, suffice to say it isn't good. I had killed the Creator of that land, and was about to claim it for you, when some brightly coloured, and over dressed fool attacked me. If you had not intervened, then I may have still been able to claim victory."

"Anyway, that domain was only a minor one, operated by a second rate Creator. There are far more valuable treasures, metaphorically speaking, on the horizon. Speaking of which, what is your next assignment?"

"Assess the situation, and spy on it's plans? Using a clever mix of stealth, Espionage and intrigue?" Vermilion gave a sly grin."Very well... My master. I will return in due time. You may view my progress with the seals by seeing with your mind's eye." The Yellow eyed reaper then disappeared in a puff of dark fog.

LATER...

Vermilion rended to just outside the large castle, taking advantage of his ability to ignore and offset large distances in very short periods of time. He then lined the wall with souls and detonated them to make a hole before leaping in and quickly using the element of surprise to reap the minions in the room with the harvester."Let's do this..."

Asmodeus was viewing the landscape Priscilla was quickly leaping across, amused at her mode of transport, yet it was suitable for quick travel, she quickly decided. She was enjoying just being able to view her new elite warrior traveling quickly.

She was interrupted though by the sound of a large explosion on the walls of her castle. Immediately, her mood and personality fluxuated to a different persona. "And intruder... I won't stand for ingrates and fleas in my domain, even less for my castle..." One of her arms had already spotted the intruder before he even detonated his explosives. "It's a champion... a new one come to be lost in this maze until they wither away from hunger or die of exhaustion." Asmodeus's hands shifted rapidly, sending commands outward. "Come wind and high water. Come Hellfire or the Intervention of Nemesis herself. Come torrents of rain and seas of bone. I will eliminate those who would dare attempt to invade my very being." In an instant, a horde of Marionettes began moving as quickly as they could from the long end of the corridor Vermillion had found himself in, moving as quickly as their loud and cumbersome bodies allowed them to. They would not be broken with just one slash. "We'll see if he manages to find me..."

Asmodeus contacted Priscilla through the golden eye and spoke directly into her mind. "AR-12-82. We have an intruder at base. Continue your mission and do not worry about me. He'll not get far..."

Vermilion grinned a mad grin as he saw the encroaching horde of dolls."Well, well... So, my presence has been noted. This'll certainly be more fun than embarrassing that Dear, Dear master of mine." He quickly began shooting souls out in large clumps and maneuvering them towards the swarm. "No matter how many come, death waits for none." Preparing his Scythe he detonated the clumps and used the ephemeral pink smoke like a smoke screen he leapt on through taking on or two down by largely just wanting to play keep away.

As Sehnsucht sat in what was aptly named the dining room, listening to the strange chatter from the town now alive in the darkness mixed with the ticking clock on the table, gently running a finger over the rim of her teacup.
Changed from her war-torn fatigues, wearing gloves and a long ruffled choker to hide her newly acquired markings.
Puuuuuppet~ I want to play with the puuuuuuppet~ String it up and make it scream~ Make it play with the Lucy Leeches~
Visibly irritated at the crooning in her mind, distracting her from considering her plans. She had thought about them over and over, but without the proper means to put them in action. Sehnsucht could handle herself. Until Schadenfreude hijacked her again that is and put them both in danger. She grit her teeth in irritating remembrance. Crossing her legs and finishing her beverage, she looked towards the open window and considered what the champion had told her.
Focusing and blocking out the incessant chattering in her head, she focused in her minds eye to watch her newly acquired partner in action.

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