Page 644 of 661 FirstFirst ... 144544594634640641642643644645646647648654 ... LastLast
Results 9,646 to 9,660 of 9901
  1. #9646
    The Tentacle God Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dead City of R'lyeh
    Posts
    17,227

    Default The Death of Sekhmet, Part 2

    "We were separated by duties on the day she died. And while she was engaged in an appointment of a new Priestess, I was providing funerary rites at the other end of the Temple ... and then all of a sudden, I felt it. A shift, in Sekhmet. Growing concern, that quickly gave way to panic, and fear .. I stopped what I was doing then. Left the departed on the ritual slab, and their family staring dumbly as I tore through the Temple ... The first blow, a fist ... a mace, I am not sure which ... it shattered bone. Her jaw. A savage thing, landed swiftly, and with intent. So that she could not cry out properly, and could not defend herself with magic. And I felt it, as if it had been done to me instead. I ... it hurt ... yet my pace did not slow ... because I thought perhaps there was yet time."

    There came again a pause, this time for Ishtar to steady herself; and to remind herself that she was not there ... she was with Sarada ... and that the girl had said above all else, that she wished to stay, and listen ...

    "They beat her, then. Each blow calculated, and landed with the intent to instill pain, and suffering ... and in truth, to this day I do not know why they acted so savagely. Perhaps it was merely the result of that festering disdain. Perhaps ... it does not matter, now, I suppose ..." Ishtar stated softly, before inhaled slowly. Breath hitching in her throat before slowly being released in a sigh.

    "In the end however, it was the knife that slipped between what remained of her ribs that I felt the most acutely ... to pierce the heart, and steal away what little life Sekhmet still clung to. And by that time, I had reached her ... it was ... the pain was ... dying ... And so I watched her die, I felt her die ... stared into eyes that once held the sun in them, and was met with only the vacant state of the dead."

    The waver in the Oni's voice slowly added away then, as she recounted what happened next.

    " I do not remember much, of what happened then, in those moments immediately after" Ishtar stated, simply, sharply; the feelings of pain, and grief, slowly eaten away by a faint- and perhaps familiar- echo of wrath.

    "I do not remember much." The Oni repeated slowly, softly. "Yet I know the moments after that well, for what it was ... the first instance of Aeshma ... and as the grief, and pain, and rage blinded me ... I accepted its offer ... so that I might burn the Order, and its Moon, to ashes. And I did ... In the end. Ripped Ilargi to pieces."

    The story finished, and the truth of what had happened to Sekhmet now fully revealed to Sarada, Ishtar fell into a long silence.

    After all, the Oni was not sure how Sarada would react. The information offered, and the emotions along with it; were likely far more than the girl had expected, or planned for ... and even though the golden-eyed Oni had attempted to pace the flow of information- and emotion- in such a way that it could be handled. Yet there was still a lot to process.

    So Ishtar continued to wait in silence.

    And when the pain, and ache of the remembrance faded, Sarada would feel Ishtar's regret at subjecting the Saiyan to the experience along with her; and along with that regret was the fear that the girl would be dissuaded from ever spending time with the Oni again. Still, something needed to be said, and after several moments passed along in silence, and Ishtar was sure that Sarada was back with her ... the golden-eyed Oni gave the young Saiyan a gentle squeeze before offering a shaky sigh.

    "That is the whole of it. A thing I have never once told in full." Ishtar muttered then, softly. And then after a moment, the Oni sighed once more.

    "I am ... I am sorry, Sarada ... I should have simply stayed silent."

    All the Oni could hope for now, was that she had not forced Sarada away.
    Last edited by Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh; 05-01-2018 at 09:46 AM.
    "... and when the Golden Toad started to sing, there was no turning back." - grampagen (Ochazuke)

    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."

  2. #9647
    Watashi ga Kita! The Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Darkest recesses of my mind
    Posts
    2,505

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Falcon View Post
    "As far as I can tell, you were not built to doubt yourself either, yet here you are." Asha'rah said, chucking slightly through a shrug.

    "Knowledge can be gained. And in that you are far more blessed than most. Your creator is alive, is he not?"

    She shook her head.

    "Really, you seem like you want to perform heroic acts. Yet when you hit a wall, where does that heroic spirit go? All I hear is a focus on your unchangeable flaws, as if they were all that defined what you may become."

    Asha'rah wondered if she had said too much already. She wanted to help Midori, she really did. But any more and she risked becoming another Shiro.

    "I must say no more. Shiro spoonfeeds you enough easy solutions as it is, and for all her love I fear it has hampered your growth. If you truly have the drive to do more than stand still and wait for others to do the heavy lifting, you should be able to do something for yourself with what you already have."

    If not, well, maybe Midori was but a false promise. It wouldn't be the first time Asha'rah had been wrong. But she wanted to believe that the fiery hope in the green android's eyes was more than a flash in the pan.
    She kept staring at her hand, green synthetic flesh that practically looked and felt natural covering wires, touch sensors, and 'bones' made of nitinol, a thoughtful frown on her face. Her body was exactly like that, from the top of her strangely shaped synthetic blonde hair to the bottoms of her feet, nothing but metal, wire, and devices to simulate a natural humanoid's.

    And Midori wanted to use that to argue against what Asha'rah was saying, but couldn't. The elder android was right, she did focus on her unchangeable flaws. She knew she shouldn't, but it was so difficult not to when you can see your hard set limits while everyone around you could grow and change and push past theirs through hard work, determination, and whatever caused Sarada to become a giant monkey and Totoma some kind of monkey/human hybrid.

    She also knew she could go to her creator to learn how to grow and evolve, but he'd hurt her deeply by considering using the fact she was wire, machines, and programs, and changing part of what made her her by altering her mind, good intentions or no. And he would have done so, had Kami not engaged in literal divine intervention and rewrote fate so that he decided not to. How could she possibly trust him not to do something like that, to make her forget how he hurt her and make her love him like she used to.

    And then there was Shiro...

    Midori's mind paused, playing over what Asha'rah had said about Shiro.

    Turning from her hand to look at the android who'd decided to teach her, Midori looked confused as she asked "What exactly did you mean by Shiro spoonfeeds me easy solutions and hampered my growth?"
    Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence.
    - C.S. Lewis

  3. #9648

    Default Rewind: Held

    Quote Originally Posted by Miburo View Post
    "Eh?"

    The Nevadian was jarred from his thoughts by a gruff, yet familar voice.

    Before him stood Ochazuke, with his stoic demeanor, seemingly as calm and implacable as usual.

    "Indeed." He agreed, returning the slight smile with a weary one of his own, "Although, it's fair to say we've all been put through the grinder. I can't recall the last time I've had such a harrowing day."

    Held was silent for a moment, as Ochazuke offered his thanks. Perhaps it was exhaustion taking its toll, but it took several moments for the Nevadian to recall the promise which he had made. Or perhaps he had pushed the ordeal from his mind, all the battle and bloodshed that had came as a result of the saving of this world.
    “No, and certainly not with this breadth of things at stake,” he said, “And yet I suspect this is hardly the last task our host has in store for us.”

    The memory of Pantaloon's confession was brought to bear, and Evangeline's dabbling with destiny was ever fresh in his mind as the stars emerged in the skies above. What was once an expanse of mystery now were trillions of eyes set above, looking downward.

    “We would be remiss to be negligent. Once the opportunity to act is lost, it is gone forever.”

    "I won't say it was easy." Held replied at last, "But, I guess it wasn't impossible after all. Think nothing of it."

    Although, it was a close call....I half thought she was going to kill herself in her rage, never mind my own attacks...

    Belatedly, a realization came upon the Nevadian. Jinzi had made mention of Kenshiko being on the transport ship, even after all this time. The Nevadian had assumed she had been moved by now. It was perhaps a hasty assumption, given Ochazukes presence, and the slightest hints of agitation on his part.

    "....I haven't interrupted anything, have I?" Held said with a sheepish smile, "I was coming here on other business, but I can return later."
    “Heh.”

    A short chuckle was all he could afford, the hollow smile stuck on his face, as his heavy heart beat and his arms trembled weightless against the pulse.

    It wasn't impossible after all.

    “We all have our business to contend with, I suppose."

    But for the fault of his lacking will, the inability to face her with all he had without discarding the lives and concerns of his comrades, perhaps he could have faced his Kru himself. Instead he had busied himself with confronting one he had decided to blame for her fall instead of seeing to rectify the misdemeanor himself.

    He hadn't left to do what he had to.

    "Ours...” he paused, the words halted by a reluctance, “...has concluded, for a time.”

    It had been his duty to honour the memory of the late Tiger School and save Kenshiko. Now she was gone to him.

    “You fulfilled your end of our compact. Mere words cannot express my gratitude for this. Yet I dishonour you. I have fallen well short.”

    The Knife had seen to it, and only Slak's mercy left her fate uncertain. He'd found the moment to try and get the measure of her, but he found little there in the way of resolution.

    “The Colonel has nothing left. This was not rendered by any deed of mine, so our compact continues until I fulfill it. If you need anything...even the impossible...then I'll see it done.”

    He rest a hand on the Nevadian's shoulder with a brusque pat, nod once, and walked to the inner chambers of the Lookout.

  4. #9649

    Default Timeskip: Disciples of the Dragon

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyke View Post
    Thanks to speed and endurance greatly enhanced through training since meeting Mr. Pantaloon, Zaofan ends up making it to Master Balon's meeting location much faster than even Zaofan himself anticipated. And so, sure that it's the place, he yells out:

    "MASTER SAMSON BALON! IT IS I, ZAOFAN, REPORTING FOR TRAINING!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Cleric of Hell’s Brigade View Post
    Samson Balon and Marron Balon Time Skip Training:

    With Ochazuke and Zaofan, the trio slowly began unlocking the secrets of the dragon statue. Balon teaches them standard dragonforms and styles first-
    Form for the initiated is an elaborate sequence of esoteric moves. Without understanding its intention the movement is useless, and so unable to penetrate the end, the means are dismissed at a glance. Two-thousand years of coded purpose mixed with the mask of pride cast from arrogant and chauvanistic rival houses had made it difficult to spot the genuine from the fake.

    Guarded as he had been so long, having training for over twenty years in the short movements and hard counters Crane forms, a little over a year to gain the body needed to endure the rigors in the true teachings of the Tiger, the Dragon School, though it had a lineage in common, had shown demarked differences in its 2000 years of separation and isolation from the Root Art. The means of generating power came from a shifting, fluid base, always moving, always coiling, the point of balance ambling from one leg to the other before springing the force of the body behind a single point in an instant. Unlike the fanning of the Crane's wings or the smashing of the Tiger's hand, Ochazuke found difficulty in chambering the movement, from the extensions of a long hand to even the most elementary parts of the opening hand, three claws revolving to protect the pearl of knowledge held within the fist.

    But after all, what is a Dragon, but a Snake with the face of a wolf armoured by the scales of a fish? Like the Crane it flew, its shape and means irrelevant next to its intent. Understanding the function behind each movement was the point, and where form suited function, he did his part to assist Samson. The foundational stance had its roots in the same art; knees bent shoulder-width, tension held, breathing from below the naval there in the Tanden to balance.

    The Crane stood tall, his stance narrower, wings always raised forward with muscles tensed to fly. The Dragon's base was wider, force was concentrated on the distal end, shooting from the base of the ribs and cast out in full extension. Affixed there, Ochazuke found his base, where the style intersected, and gradually expanded his knowledge from there.

    ...then he teaches them Dragon’s Breathe. This technique imbues ki and flame together, and is spat from ones hands or mouth. The ki-flame combo is far hotter than a normal fire can be. He also shows them Dragon’s Endurance, how to make one immune to flames so the Breathe does not burn them, not any other fire.
    The elemental thing there had an expression not unlike the Dodonpa he'd known and used well, but where the heat is a residual of the impact imparted through his finger, the Dragon's Breath appeared to trade force for a softer kind of damage. Aiming to break through a single point, an attack so linear might be dodged. Spread apart, where would one evade as the flames fanned and grasped its fluid mass? It was quite similar to Jack's Hot Streak technique, though the gambler's proclivity to play the odds threw the fire with abandon to the wind along with his caution, and his intuitions succeeded in his own wild way. This was a thing a bit more structured, drawing on both the reserve of ki and forces outside of the body.

    The ki imbuing defense in the Dragon's stance, however, that was something Ochazuke's sensibility managed to incorporate in a greater totality rooting in something much more familiar. Much like Sanchin, the ki enhanced form and structure, focused in totality to this skill, part the elemental skill before them. The soft energies there in the aura of the flame parted before him where the defense was asserted. The fire of the soul cannot be burned, and as it licked against the medium of his meditation, he'd considered a turn to the technique briefly before emptying his mind to the teaching once more. This was a journey of rediscovery, after all.

    Finally, Marron shows them Kiss of the Dragon. The finest strike of ki to the back of a human’s neck (at a very specific point) can paralyze a foe for seconds to minutes. In that time they cannot breathe easily and can even die from blood buildup. If human, at least.
    And so it brought to his mind a failure once more. In the dying moments of the battle against Simon Battersea, the Knife made his way to the field. Effortlessly he'd fallen the Saiyan warriors. Sarada almost died, and Totoma drawing deep within himself had nearly bled his reserve dry when he'd been struck down unawares. He'd trained with Evangeline for the moment, but just as Held's words had steeled Ochazuke to face Rautt, as Chris flashed his blades, betrayed his fixer, and stole his prize from him, it was not to be. As the Dragon's Daughter then showed this secret to him, his mind drift to the technique of the enemy.

    If Chuan's is the Hetereodoxy, then perhaps this is the Orthodoxy, he mused to himself, One of many weapons hidden there in plain sight.

    What Samson had taught Marron reminded him of his art's own history.

    “The first blow is the last. The founder of the Crane School had a similar sensibility in her practice.” He struck out with the edge of his palm, a bone strike applied with the knot of his wrist to the air. “She was much less subtle, however.”

    Samson says the statue has information regarding a few old temples he plans on investigating, but at this point, that is all he has time to reach Ochazuke and Zaofan.
    Still in the middle of mastering the Dragon's endurance, building this skill from the foundation he knew, Ochazuke heard Samson and his martial brother speak to another store of knowledge.

    “If we investigate together the more information we may be able to recover,” he said, “Things are only lost once they are forgotten.”
    Last edited by grampagen; 05-01-2018 at 01:23 PM.

  5. #9650
    Lin Kuei Grandmaster Sub-Zero MKA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Earthrealm
    Posts
    12,815

    Default

    Ishtar's story began after a brief bout of hesitation and, unsurprisingly, vulnerability. To first understand who Sekhmet was and what she meant to her, she first started off with a brief synopsis of her tutelage under Zurvan.

    Sarada listened and gave Ishtar her undivided attention throughout. She owed her that much; after all, it was only by her own doing that she was forcing herself to relive this painful and agonizing tale a second time. All to sate Sarada's curiosity. A pang of guilt bubbled up at the thought of being the reason for this discomfort her bedmate was feeling, resonating in both women. Still, Sarada listened, and steeled herself for the wide array of emotions that were about to beset her one after the other.

    She listened, and in her mind's eye, she put herself in the Oni's shoes, and watched as she watched ancient civilizations -- innumerable undoubtedly -- rise to prominence and then fall into the obscure sands of time. For a brief moment, she thought of her own race and its current rise to prominence. She wondered, just for a moment, how long they had before they too were forgotten to the sands of time, only remembered in history books and museums across the cosmos. How would they be remembered?

    As the savage brutes who invaded, killed, and stole whoever and whatever they pleased? Or as Mato hoped they would become under his guiding hand? What that something was remained to be seen, but she hoped that she and the other Saiyans had the chance to realize their true potential.

    Sarada's thoughts were interrupted by a brief, but sharp feeling of emptiness, accompanied soon after by loneliness. It was then that she realized what she had done in accepting this bond. They shared every emotion. Not just the good ones -- like lust, happiness, and contentment -- but also the crippling, agonizing ones. It was too late to back out now, not to say that she had any intention to regardless. With a deep sigh, she fortified herself until the feelings passed through, gone in every form except memory.

    They were feelings she was not unaccustomed to experiencing, so that made it somewhat easier to manage them for the short time they showed themselves.

    Ishtar spoke of venturing into the cities of the planets Zurvan sent her to observe to get better acquainted with the locals and to perhaps speak with them, as opposed to meditating and watching them as she often did. This was the case on Ilarga. She ventured into the largest city and found herself at a temple, where she met Sekhmet.

    Sarada wasn't quite prepared for the elation and wistful warmth the Oni felt at the very mention of the woman's name. Feelings she wasn't quite used to feeling to this degree in this context. To her, name's didn't generate much more than recognition or the general resonance of warm familiarity. Was this love? Was this feeling of unbridled joy at the very mention of a person's name and the memory of them -- even a memory that was as old as this -- the love that Meagan spoke of days earlier? The very love that Sarada herself said was irrelevant in regards to mating.

    It felt foreign, but familiar. She felt that she had encountered this emotion in herself. For Maiz? Pinach? Rutaba?

    No, it felt similar to those, but different. This felt more intimate, personal, than the familial affection she secret felt for those three. The love and happiness Ishtar felt when she was with Sekhmet was pure, like a shining beacon in the dark.

    That purity only made her nervous and uneasy about what she knew she was going to hear next. Sure enough, a bout of sadness suddenly bubbled up, an ill-omen of what was to come. Sarada sighed shakily and prepared to listen further.

    Ishtar spoke of the time she and Sekhmet spent together, filled with joy and love, just prior to mentioning a shift in the Order of the Twin Luminaries, of which Sekhmet of the High Priestess. Many within the order chaffed at the idea of Isthar being made a member despite not being a Daughter of Iah or a Child of Ilargi. Foolish, stupid thinking that only reminded her of her and her fellow purebreds' treatment of half-breeds and non-Saiyans. Even though she mixed her meat with Jack the day before, the idea of mixing in with other races didn't appeal to her. And of course, the hated and disgust she felt toward half-breeds was still strong, despite her being cool with Totoma. He was literally the only one she was okay with.

    At any rate, the ill-will the other members of the order felt toward Ishtar and Sekhmet's decision to include her in their group festered and grew more and more divisive in secret, until they reached a boiling point.

    Then it hit her like a comet. All the pain, sadness, and fear Ishtar felt that day, Sarada felt right then. It wasn't too overwhelming, thankfully, but Sarada understood in full what was happening, and what Ishtar felt when it happened.

    They killed her. Slowly, brutally, with their hands. The hatred and rage needed to beat someone to death was immense. They hated this woman for simply allowing an outsider into the sect. It was maddening. Through the sadness, fear, and panic she was feeling through Ishtar, she felt her own anger beginning to boil. If she had been there, she would have killed them all, slowly and without mercy. She would have them suffer for what they did. An eternity, if she could manage to prolong their pathetic lives that long.

    In the end, that was what Ishtar did. At that moment, her first instance of Aeshma Xeshm blossomed forth, and she used that immense, fiery wrath to burn the Twin Luminaries to the ground.

    Good.

    Sarada closed her eyes and let out a breath when it was over, one long and shaky, to stabilize herself enough so she could speak. This... bond between the two of them was going to take some getting used to. It would make her feel things that she had no use for, that she had no desire to feel. Yet, on the other hand, it felt good to let Ishtar get this off her chest and to throw her burdens on another. She felt good that she was this person.

    Her eyes opened when she heard an apology for having done this to her. Despite the emotional tempest that she felt roiling within her, she found it within herself to chuckle. "Don't be sorry."

    She had more to say, but her hand found Ishtar's and gave it a comforting squeeze. That, she felt, said the rest.

    "You did the right think in killing those fucks. I would have made them suffer," she spoke sharply. A brief flare of anger resonated between the two of them before she stamped it out. That was maybe hundreds of years ago. There was little use in growing incensed at something that happened before she was even a thought. "Since you shared this with me, I want... to share my story with you." She sounded and felt unsure, but shook that off. "It's only fair that you know why I reacted to Aeshma Xeshm the way that I did."

  6. #9651
    Extraordinary Member Cyke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,400

    Default ZaofanFic, Part 2: A Medium Rare Talent - Ch. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleric of Hell’s Brigade View Post
    Samson Balon and Marron Balon Time Skip Training:

    With Ochazuke and Zaofan, the trio slowly began unlocking the secrets of the dragon statue. Balon teaches them standard dragonforms and styles first...
    Quote Originally Posted by grampagen View Post
    Form for the initiated is an elaborate sequence of esoteric moves. Without understanding its intention the movement is useless, and so unable to penetrate the end, the means are dismissed at a glance. Two-thousand years of coded purpose mixed with the mask of pride cast from arrogant and chauvanistic rival houses had made it difficult to spot the genuine from the fake.

    Guarded as he had been so long, having training for over twenty years in the short movements and hard counters Crane forms, a little over a year to gain the body needed to endure the rigors in the true teachings of the Tiger, the Dragon School, though it had a lineage in common, had shown demarked differences in its 2000 years of separation and isolation from the Root Art. The means of generating power came from a shifting, fluid base, always moving, always coiling, the point of balance ambling from one leg to the other before springing the force of the body behind a single point in an instant. Unlike the fanning of the Crane's wings or the smashing of the Tiger's hand, Ochazuke found difficulty in chambering the movement, from the extensions of a long hand to even the most elementary parts of the opening hand, three claws revolving to protect the pearl of knowledge held within the fist.

    But after all, what is a Dragon, but a Snake with the face of a wolf armoured by the scales of a fish? Like the Crane it flew, its shape and means irrelevant next to its intent. Understanding the function behind each movement was the point, and where form suited function, he did his part to assist Samson. The foundational stance had its roots in the same art; knees bent shoulder-width, tension held, breathing from below the naval there in the Tanden to balance.

    The Crane stood tall, his stance narrower, wings always raised forward with muscles tensed to fly. The Dragon's base was wider, force was concentrated on the distal end, shooting from the base of the ribs and cast out in full extension. Affixed there, Ochazuke found his base, where the style intersected, and gradually expanded his knowledge from there.
    For years, Zaofan had himself as an adept student of the Neo Crane School, being attracted by the school's advertised philosophy that it was a new and improved take on the classic Crane style. One day, Zaofan asked Master Toh Magoh the difference between the Crane and Neo Crane styles, to which the master explained that while the Crane style focused on inner-strength and "one-shot, one-kill" techniques, the Neo Crane school bragged that those same techniques could be taught in half the time; that one need only study for two years to attain the expertise of four years of training. The multi-color uniforms and patches not unlike scouts certainly helped the school's visual legitimacy.

    That, of course, turned out to be a lie to drum up more non-refundable tuition, while weeding the hordes of gullible students to find the few who could serve Toh Magoh's aims. Those who "flunked" out were unfairly taught that they were unworthy. Those who succeeded would be taught to continue the school's unscrupulous and conformist practices. The school was unofficial and unsanctioned, but they left Master Chahan and the Crane School alone. Still, none of that would be public knowledge, the Neo Crane school merely being a smaller "competitor" in the market dominated by sanctioned Crane franchise clinics.

    And poor Zaofan, who indeed had the natural talents to become recognized as an exemplary student, but wasted on counterfeit techniques and false praise, believing himself to be more of a master than he really was. For while he knew the basics of the Crane style, he couldn't help but compare himself to Ochazuke and found that his movements were sluggish, sloppy, and lacking in the process. He was had, with an anger slowly burning, not at Ochazuke, but at those who lied to him. More sweat, more frustration, more pain would accumulate during the training. But if there was one thing a traveler like Zaofan had, it was a determination that's helped him travel from one end of the road to the next, to see the journey through to the destination. While he did not have the knowledge of the Crane school to adapt as quickly to the Dragon style, resourceful Zaofan, who once burned a bush to make a godly party, would have to depend on the skills he had learned from other disciplines to see him through.

    The Hokuto Shinken's philosophy of quick, decisive, action, no movements wasted, would help in finding the proper footing and balance needed for the Dragon forms. Although not as fluid as the real Crane style, the Hokuto Shinken would help in gaining insightful accuracy and purpose to the forms.

    ...then he teaches them Dragon’s Breathe. This technique imbues ki and flame together, and is spat from ones hands or mouth. The ki-flame combo is far hotter than a normal fire can be. He also shows them Dragon’s Endurance, how to make one immune to flames so the Breathe does not burn them, not any other fire.
    The elemental thing there had an expression not unlike the Dodonpa he'd known and used well, but where the heat is a residual of the impact imparted through his finger, the Dragon's Breath appeared to trade force for a softer kind of damage. Aiming to break through a single point, an attack so linear might be dodged. Spread apart, where would one evade as the flames fanned and grasped its fluid mass? It was quite similar to Jack's Hot Streak technique, though the gambler's proclivity to play the odds threw the fire with abandon to the wind along with his caution, and his intuitions succeeded in his own wild way. This was a thing a bit more structured, drawing on both the reserve of ki and forces outside of the body.

    The ki imbuing defense in the Dragon's stance, however, that was something Ochazuke's sensibility managed to incorporate in a greater totality rooting in something much more familiar. Much like Sanchin, the ki enhanced form and structure, focused in totality to this skill, part the elemental skill before them. The soft energies there in the aura of the flame parted before him where the defense was asserted. The fire of the soul cannot be burned, and as it licked against the medium of his meditation, he'd considered a turn to the technique briefly before emptying his mind to the teaching once more. This was a journey of rediscovery, after all.
    What comparatively little he knew of the Turtle School, its philosophy of direct action born from patience, fortitude, and observation, enabled the ki control necessary for learning the Dragon's Breath. Zaofan's own hubris in trying to master the legendary Kikoho when he was far from ready had nearly killed him, but it also granted him his trademark optic blast technique. If Zaofan only had more discipline and patience, perhaps he could have mastered the Kikoho and the Dodonpa and his life would be different. But no, Master Toh Magoh's philosophy of hasty skimming had nearly killed Zaofan. Now, several years older and learning patience from Master Eskramoto of the Turtle School, and Miss Evangeline herself, Zaofan had the tools to learn a versatile power, complete with a spiritual shell for protection from flame. A younger, lesser Zaofan would not have succeeded otherwise.

  7. #9652
    Extraordinary Member Cyke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,400

    Default ZaofanFic, Part 2: A Medium Rare Talent - Ch. 2

    Finally, Marron shows them Kiss of the Dragon. The finest strike of ki to the back of a human’s neck (at a very specific point) can paralyze a foe for seconds to minutes. In that time they cannot breathe easily and can even die from blood buildup. If human, at least.
    And so it brought to his mind a failure once more. In the dying moments of the battle against Simon Battersea, the Knife made his way to the field. Effortlessly he'd fallen the Saiyan warriors. Sarada almost died, and Totoma drawing deep within himself had nearly bled his reserve dry when he'd been struck down unawares. He'd trained with Evangeline for the moment, but just as Held's words had steeled Ochazuke to face Rautt, as Chris flashed his blades, betrayed his fixer, and stole his prize from him, it was not to be. As the Dragon's Daughter then showed this secret to him, his mind drift to the technique of the enemy.

    If Chuan's is the Hetereodoxy, then perhaps this is the Orthodoxy, he mused to himself, One of many weapons hidden there in plain sight.

    What Samson had taught Marron reminded him of his art's own history.

    “The first blow is the last. The founder of the Crane School had a similar sensibility in her practice.” He struck out with the edge of his palm, a bone strike applied with the knot of his wrist to the air. “She was much less subtle, however.”
    During the training for the particular technique of the Dragon's Kiss, Zaofan had balked. He had experienced it first hand from Marron, but moreso, it reminded him of why he left the Hokuto Shinken school in the first place. Too brutal. Too direct. Too much emphasis on wounding and maiming, of breaking bones and popping organs and ripping tendons -- when he saw Master Shinken and his elite students assassinate a local town elder in the messiest way possible, Zaofan understandably fled for his life. Even after a decade, he found himself reliving the bodily horror of such a fate.

    But, during training, it was explained to Zaofan that paralysis was not the same as death, and in a way it could be more humane -- if it were corrected in time. Though terribly unpleasant and claustrophobic for the victim, it at least did not kill them, and the technique could be reversed, obviously unlike a death blow. And so, to ease his thoughts, Zaofan framed the lesson to himself as a kinder, gentler way of incapacitation, without automatic death that the Hokuto Shinken -- or even the Crane Style -- sought. For Zaofan, the Dragon Style could be a form of balance with the Crane Style. Indeed, such a technique would complement well the quick lessons of grappling by Chef Brutus, a much more tactile fighter than Zaofan was used to.

    Samson says the statue has information regarding a few old temples he plans on investigating, but at this point, that is all he has time to reach Ochazuke and Zaofan.
    Still in the middle of mastering the Dragon's endurance, building this skill from the foundation he knew, Ochazuke heard Samson and his martial brother speak to another store of knowledge.

    “If we investigate together the more information we may be able to recover,” he said, “Things are only lost once they are forgotten.”
    Zaofan, wiping off the sweat from his neck and brow with a towel, concurred. "I agree. We have a better chance of combining our wits. We would have to try to figure out just what kind of information we're looking for from those temples. We should be hungry for knowledge."

    The vagabond chef's tummy then rumbled, as if on cue. "...well, I could use some food for the body. And the mind. And soul, too, while we're at it."

  8. #9653
    Extraordinary Member Cyke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,400

    Default ZaofanFic: Prologue - Back at the Lookout

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    "Well.....seems like you have a full course plotted. I shouldn't expect anything less from my..." Etrina paused, suddenly looking around and biting her nail nervously. "N...nevermind.....More importantly. Its good to hear that you won't be going anything particularly life threatening when I'm not there. After what happened at the tournament......"
    "Well, we'll see about that. What's life without a little adventure?"

    But Zaofan then turned just a tad more serious. "I plan to train not just my body, but my mind and my resolve. Whoever that Parsic is, if we cross paths again, I'll be ready."

    Etrina eyed him for a moment, then chuckled softly.

    "......Zaofan........You really need to stop playing the fool, its why I can't help but tease you...."
    "Oh, it's not the first time I've been in hot water. In six months, you can tease me again."

    He then leaned in for a kiss farewell, not to say good bye but as a promise to return.

  9. #9654
    The Tentacle God Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dead City of R'lyeh
    Posts
    17,227

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub-Zero MKA View Post
    Sarada closed her eyes and let out a breath when it was over, one long and shaky, to stabilize herself enough so she could speak. This... bond between the two of them was going to take some getting used to. It would make her feel things that she had no use for, that she had no desire to feel. Yet, on the other hand, it felt good to let Ishtar get this off her chest and to throw her burdens on another. She felt good that she was this person.

    Her eyes opened when she heard an apology for having done this to her. Despite the emotional tempest that she felt roiling within her, she found it within herself to chuckle. "Don't be sorry."

    She had more to say, but her hand found Ishtar's and gave it a comforting squeeze. That, she felt, said the rest.

    "You did the right think in killing those fucks. I would have made them suffer," she spoke sharply. A brief flare of anger resonated between the two of them before she stamped it out. That was maybe hundreds of years ago. There was little use in growing incensed at something that happened before she was even a thought. "Since you shared this with me, I want... to share my story with you." She sounded and felt unsure, but shook that off. "It's only fair that you know why I reacted to Aeshma Xeshm the way that I did."
    As Ishtar continued to wait in silence, she felt- slowly at first, but with a growing rapidity- as Sarada slowly managed to sift her way through the roiling mass of cacophonous emotion. It was, itself, a curiosity even ... what the Oni had offered was not simply a sad experience, or even a long since passed happening. It was a traumatic event that split down to Ishtar's core. And while the golden-eyed Oni had not realized such a thing herself until only on day prior ... it was a moment in time, perfectly preserved in the amber of remembrance, that had guided her subtly ever since.

    For better, or worse.

    Yet in the end, when Sarada had sifted through the pain, and the grief, and the emptiness in the long years since that painful ending, what Ishtar had feared might happen did not come to pass. Instead of fear, at what the Oni was, of what she had done; all that could be felt from the Saiyan that lay beside her was ... was glimmering happiness that produced a soft chuckle ? And for a moment Ishtar found herself confused.

    Only for Sarada to speak.

    Don't be sorry.

    ... and then, when her words failed, the young Saiyan found the Oni's hand, and gave it a comforting squeeze.

    There was not fear. Or disinterest. Or any of the things Ishtar would have expected- and understood- given the truth of things. There was only Sarada's acceptance at who the Oni was, the desire to comfort the woman she lay beside, an undercurrent of wrath and what had happened ... and an expressed desire- vocally as well as emotionally- to reciprocate such honesty.

    And the knowledge of that was beyond comforting, and in the end it offered the Oni something that her memories of Sekhmet- pleasant as many of them were- could not.

    A means of moving forward.

    With a shaky sigh, then, Ishtar offered her bedmate's hand a gentle squeeze.

    "Sarada ... I ..." the Oni finally managed, before trailing off. What words she wished to say disappearing into a void of forgetfulness. So instead, Ishtar relied on the newfound bond between the two to express such feelings. And while the golden-eyed Oni did her best not to overwhelm Sarada; as she continued to hold the girl's hand ... much of it bled through of its own accord. A complex mix of emotions so very similar to how she felt for Sekhmet, and yet subtly different ... as it was far more cautious, and yet perhaps, so very hopeful.

    After a moment of telling silence however, the Oni worked to suppress such feelings; she finally offered another soft sigh before nodding weakly.

    "If you wish to speak of it ... I will listen, Sarada ... yet only if you wish to ... I would not force you to relive such pain to sate ... curiosity .. now now."
    "... and when the Golden Toad started to sing, there was no turning back." - grampagen (Ochazuke)

    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."

  10. #9655
    Mighty Member Ptrvc's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,825

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub-Zero MKA View Post
    Sarada joined in a hearty laugh. It really was funny. She thought he wanted to start some kind of relationship or whatever they called it on Earth. Apparently not, since he was sure he was going to die before she was ready.

    As she laughed, that thought finally dawned on her. Wait, what?

    "Ahahhaheheheh. Good one, Earth man. But, seriously, you're not going to be dying any time soon. I won't let you." With that reassurance provided, she grinned and took her armor and gloves off, leaving her in just her tights and boots. Tossing them on a nearby table, she walked swiftly to where he said his bed was.

    She was starting to feel nervous. I can't believe I'm about to mate with a man! She swallowed those nerves down and reached inside her tights to pull out a contraceptive she found in the bathroom of the Lookout before she left.

    "Here, put this on. I'm not giving you permission to breed me."
    Jack, not wanting to be a father just yet, did as instructed.

    Centuries Later

    Even centuries later the town of Mistletoe would tell stories of the Night of Terror. It started with strange sounds coming from the distant mountains, screams and howls that no human could possibly make, shattering what had been a peaceful night. This was followed by strange glowing balls of light, beams of pure energy, and great plumes of fire exploding against the night sky, all putting the stars themselves to shame with their brilliance.

    Finally, the sounds of what could only be battle echoed down into the valley. So loud were the bone crushing impacts that each solitary blow could be heard even at this distance, and many of the towns windows shattered. If you go to Oyl's Pub you can still see a large, spidery crack put into its foundation. According to legend it was put there that very night. Great trees were uprooted and thrown hundreds of meters into the sky, boulders likewise scattered like pebbles as two furious beings fought.

    Where the legends disagree is what manner of creatures engaged in combat that day. Some say it was two great army's of ancient yetis, engaging in a feud whose origins predate the existence of man. Others say that it was two great spirits, in contest to see who would claim the mountains as their territory. Some say the mountains themselves stood up and engaged in a duel that defies imagination.

    Rumors and stories abound detailing the Night of Terror. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the wind that howls in those mountains still.

    ....

    Centuries Earlier (Minus a few hours)

    Jack laid in bed with Sarada. In the nearby wall there were two holes. Entrance and exit. He was breathing harder and covered in more sweat than he had ever been. Including the battle with the Battersea's, Fife, and the rest of them. Slowly, he raised a cigarette to his mouth and lit it, the smoke being caught by a draft and sent out one of the nearby holes.

    "Hot damn."

  11. #9656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyke View Post
    And poor Zaofan, who indeed had the natural talents to become recognized as an exemplary student, but wasted on counterfeit techniques and false praise, believing himself to be more of a master than he really was. For while he knew the basics of the Crane style, he couldn't help but compare himself to Ochazuke and found that his movements were sluggish, sloppy, and lacking in the process. He was had, with an anger slowly burning, not at Ochazuke, but at those who lied to him. More sweat, more frustration, more pain would accumulate during the training. But if there was one thing a traveler like Zaofan had, it was a determination that's helped him travel from one end of the road to the next, to see the journey through to the destination. While he did not have the knowledge of the Crane school to adapt as quickly to the Dragon style, resourceful Zaofan, who once burned a bush to make a godly party, would have to depend on the skills he had learned from other disciplines to see him through.

    The Hokuto Shinken's philosophy of quick, decisive, action, no movements wasted, would help in finding the proper footing and balance needed for the Dragon forms. Although not as fluid as the real Crane style, the Hokuto Shinken would help in gaining insightful accuracy and purpose to the forms.
    As Samson guided them through the Dragon Forms, the fundamentals of the form were at once familiar in principle, but in practice Ochazuke followed their instructor slowly, mirroring his movements as if transfixed in hypnotic movement. Though it might appear that he'd slowly ascertained the nature of Samson's technique in far fewer tries, the truth was the minutiae of the position turns, the fullest extension of long arms, even the point of balance in its gracile fluidity ran counter to the aptitudes he'd fought with so far.

    On occasion, he'd break from the kata to look over to Zaofan. Fleet of foot, eclectic in practice, he saw him answered this same problem with dogged persistence.

    "It's hard to uproot once you've become fixed to a certain place," he said with a small grin as he closed his sequence, "All I can do is try to reach out by any means I can."

    What comparatively little he knew of the Turtle School, its philosophy of direct action born from patience, fortitude, and observation, enabled the ki control necessary for learning the Dragon's Breath. Zaofan's own hubris in trying to master the legendary Kikoho when he was far from ready had nearly killed him, but it also granted him his trademark optic blast technique. If Zaofan only had more discipline and patience, perhaps he could have mastered the Kikoho and the Dodonpa and his life would be different. But no, Master Toh Magoh's philosophy of hasty skimming had nearly killed Zaofan. Now, several years older and learning patience from Master Eskramoto of the Turtle School, and Miss Evangeline herself, Zaofan had the tools to learn a versatile power, complete with a spiritual shell for protection from flame. A younger, lesser Zaofan would not have succeeded otherwise.
    Zaofan's open mind was less fixed, and far more flexible to adapting these techniques into his repertoire with integrity. When Ochazuke cast the flame, it flew from his palms, concentrated narrow, incandescent and at a fixed range. When his martial brother followed the Dragon, he saw his movements were made with a greater facsimile to Samson's.

    "Heh, you have far less to unlearn than I do."

    He gravitated to its roots in the Dragon's steadfast defensive posture, focusing his ki to the motion, knowing every step he'd have to take; but the Crane's habits, its motions, held fast over his bones. Even conscious of the method it was difficult for Ochazuke to render the form properly. But ten-thousand malformed punches were required to temper the one perfect one. Until the fire spread, he would work the spark of the flame to expand its reach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyke View Post
    During the training for the particular technique of the Dragon's Kiss, Zaofan had balked. He had experienced it first hand from Marron, but moreso, it reminded him of why he left the Hokuto Shinken school in the first place. Too brutal. Too direct. Too much emphasis on wounding and maiming, of breaking bones and popping organs and ripping tendons -- when he saw Master Shinken and his elite students assassinate a local town elder in the messiest way possible, Zaofan understandably fled for his life. Even after a decade, he found himself reliving the bodily horror of such a fate.

    But, during training, it was explained to Zaofan that paralysis was not the same as death, and in a way it could be more humane -- if it were corrected in time. Though terribly unpleasant and claustrophobic for the victim, it at least did not kill them, and the technique could be reversed, obviously unlike a death blow. And so, to ease his thoughts, Zaofan framed the lesson to himself as a kinder, gentler way of incapacitation, without automatic death that the Hokuto Shinken -- or even the Crane Style -- sought. For Zaofan, the Dragon Style could be a form of balance with the Crane Style. Indeed, such a technique would complement well the quick lessons of grappling by Chef Brutus, a much more tactile fighter than Zaofan was used to.
    Winding his arm as if wrapping it in an invisible iron wire, Ochazuke pulled the image of the opponent off-line in his mind and threw his finger forward to the point Marron indicated.

    "A fist of death strikes to kill," he contemplated aloud, "A fist of life raises itself to arrest the intent of the other..."

    The form of the move had a follow-through to it he hadn't understood. He contemplated the second step, but would need to see it in practice when Marron demonstrated it again.

    "Control in the heart of the practitioner. The decisive moment is what makes all the difference."

    Three claws of the Dragon bundled to loan support to precision; the Crane used five to smash through the flesh. A small span and a different target, was that all that separated the two?

    Zaofan, wiping off the sweat from his neck and brow with a towel, concurred. "I agree. We have a better chance of combining our wits. We would have to try to figure out just what kind of information we're looking for from those temples. We should be hungry for knowledge."

    The vagabond chef's tummy then rumbled, as if on cue. "...well, I could use some food for the body. And the mind. And soul, too, while we're at it."
    Ochazuke called upon the Dragon's Endurance as he braced himself to step into the fire once more, letting the element rouse within him, colour his ki, before he threw his palms out, lashing the twin tongues of flame forward, sustaining the burn in a concentrated streak before they faded as abruptly as they came.

    "Cheh."

    Fire rose within and it burned away at his focus. Dabbing his forehead in annoyance, he shook his head as he tried to wrap his head around unfixing his pattern and steeling his focus.

    "...agreed," he relented, "But let's not take too long. If I can, perhaps I'll assist you in the kitchen."
    Last edited by grampagen; 05-01-2018 at 06:04 PM.

  12. #9657
    Voice of the Authorities Cleric of Hell’s Brigade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    House Deathstalker
    Posts
    8,244

    Default

    Samson Balon Time Skip:

    He nods.

    “Very well, I will comm you both once I have deciphered the locations. I swear upon my honor that I will not investigate them without you both.”
    Black Knight of SO
    Owner/Operator of SO’s Item/Weapon Shop
    Claimer of the original Rumbles 2,000,000th post
    CBR GM/DM

  13. #9658
    Voice of the Authorities Cleric of Hell’s Brigade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    House Deathstalker
    Posts
    8,244

    Default

    Jinzi Time Skip 1:

    He looks at the ship and smiles. Held’s would be done soon, but Meagan’s was done now. He looks at her.

    “What do you think?”
    Black Knight of SO
    Owner/Operator of SO’s Item/Weapon Shop
    Claimer of the original Rumbles 2,000,000th post
    CBR GM/DM

  14. #9659
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    20,088

    Default

    Week 1 - Meagan on the Lookout

    Today was the day she would start her life as an apprentice to Lady Eva.

    Waking up early, as she usually does, she grabbed some fruit from the kitchen, making note of the fact that a food run will be needed soon. As she ate, she made her way to the old Library. The building housing it looked like it was about to collapse, and the books inside were strewn around or in tall piles.

    The tools she had found the night before were still where she left them. After taking her last bite and discarding the remains in a pale nearby to be discarded later, she got to work.

    Her first task was to remove the debris and set it aside in a pile. Examining the remaining structure, she grabbed her tools and went to work shoring it up and making what repairs she could. Tomorrow she would begin tackling the library it's self. Her research won't begin until the chaos inside has been tamed.

    Doing this took her most of the morning. After a brief rest and a lunch, she met with Lady Evangeline to begin her training, alongside Kai. Several hours later she was able to take a break for dinner. Before going to bed, she would go to the White Room and begin her own training to keep up her combat skills and become stronger.

    Late in the evening, she was finally able to clean up and get some sleep. The next days will be much similar, as will the day after.

    However, there were a few occasional high-lights and low-lights and interesting adventures during her stay ....
    Original join date: 11/23/2004
    Eclectic Connoisseur of all things written, drawn or imaginatively created.
    DBM: Meagan/Cyanna/Dash/Mirror Mage

  15. #9660
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    20,088

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleric of Hell’s Brigade View Post
    Jinzi Time Skip 1:

    He looks at the ship and smiles. Held’s would be done soon, but Meagan’s was done now. He looks at her.

    “What do you think?”


    Looking up at it, "I'm impressed. can't wait to look inside," Meagan nudged him playfully, "but of course you'll have to teach me how to operate it." she smiled, then became serious, "We'll have plenty of time for that, I won't be ready to leave until I'm finished with my training."

    She then walked aroudn it, and back to Jinzi, "Are you sure this craft can make it all the way to Chroma? How long will it take?"
    Last edited by Tami; 05-01-2018 at 08:39 PM.
    Original join date: 11/23/2004
    Eclectic Connoisseur of all things written, drawn or imaginatively created.
    DBM: Meagan/Cyanna/Dash/Mirror Mage

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •