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  1. #3016

    Default Sonata Unbound Part 2

    OT: continue with the Zeef thing later. right now the continuation of Sonata Unbound.

    Sonata's crew arrived on Vumpu. Before going about the task of snatch up Metalmen children. Fang gives the crew instructions." Okay, you underlings our goal is to snatch up the children here," Fang said.

    " However, we must do so quietly. So have your stealth suits on at all times. Only grab, orphans, runaways, and children from troubled homes. Don't grab children younger than twelve," Fang said.

    " For this task, you each will be equipped with EMP bombs!" Fang said.

    a teenage female anthropomorphic Tiger raises her right hand." Mr. Fang, Sir. The other teens and I have been discussing this, and we don't want to do it anymore. We have come to the conclusion that this whole kidnapping thing is wrong," The Teen Tiger girl said.

    " Not to mention most of us miss our families," The Teen Tiger girl said.

    Fang growls at the Tiger girl." Look, girl, Sonata is going to be very pissed if you don't carry out this task!" Fang said.

    " I don't care! I refused to take part in this, and the other teens agree with me!" The Tiger girl said.

    " Suit yourself, girl, but I'm going to tell Sonata about your insubordination. You will be severally punished!" Fang said.

    " Alright, now the rest of you move out!" Fang yelled. The rest of Sonata's crew. Who are mostly just children themselves refused to obey Fang, and he snaps at them."

    He punches a wall in anger." Fine, I'll do this myself. You are all going to be punished for insubordination!" Fang yelled.

    Fang grabs as many Emp bombs as he can hold and steps off the ship. He then goes about using them to render the Metalmen immobilize, and goes to work snatching up their children. Later on board the ship, Von looks at the names of each Metalman child in his database.

    Von's face turns white as a ghost when he sees that one of the children's last name is Izakiria. Von's hands start shaking. ( I heard that The Legendary Hitman Marsrito The Grey adopted a child. Could this be the child he adopted?) Von thought.

    (If they are, then I made a grave error. Cause if this is the child he adopted. Then this crew is royal F@#ked. This crew doesn't stand a chance in hell against Marsrito the Grey,) Von thought.

    ( just hope that I'm wrong on this. Otherwise, the crew is going to be facing Marsrito The Grey's wraith!) Von thought.
    Last edited by bruceleegreyhulk; 10-15-2019 at 06:00 AM.

  2. #3017
    Astonishing Member KingofPie's Avatar
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    Default You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost: Part 2

    Sasheem descended down the secret passage within the fountain and landed on the lift below. From there he followed a stone tunnel, barely lit save for a few sparse lights along the walls that eventually led to a large warehouse. Within were piles of crates, covered in dust and construction construction vehicles that appeared to have not been used in months.

    The Majin smirked. This was likely his handiwork. The crates were likely full of drugs, contraband, weapons, anything the various crime families of Earth would want to smuggle. All shit down by his actions. Sasheem couldn't care less really what they were gonna do with this stuff...but it truly warmed his heart that he had appeared to entirely ruin a large group of people's livelihoods, even if they were just criminals.

    "Wipe that grin off your face, creature!" a voice called from the other end of the warehouse, atop a flight of steel steps. It was Bing Lao and standing behind him were two of his few remaining underlings. Mages of some sort. Bah...Sasheem wpuld blast them apart before they cast a spell.

    "Those are some bold words, old man!" Sasheem shook his head at the gangster. "Especially from the guy who's been on the run for a couple weeks, scared out of his mind."

    "You know I truly hate to agree with you, but you aren't wrong...I was scared," Lao frowned. "All my life's work ruined, nearly every single ally dead. I thought this was truly the end...until my magically inclined co-conspirators made something apparent to me...."

    Sasheem felt another power level surge up, far greater than Lao's. A cloaked figure suddenly landed on the floor before him. It appeared to be a woman...and above he head was a halo.

    "If we can't find anyone amongst the living thats up to the task, we could always find a vengeful soul amongst the dead..." Lao chuckled, as he and his simply turned away, beginning to exit out through a door, presumably leading to another tunnel. It did make sense to have two ways out, just in case.

    Sasheem raised a hand and shot a ki blast at them...a blast that was quickly deflected by the cloaked woman. Sasheem sensed her power level again...didn't seem all that high but of course she could be suppressing it. And yet...she seemed to remind him of someone...maybe it was her stance?

    "You got pretty fast reflexes for a dead lady....you sure you wanna stand in Sasheem's way? He's not entirely sure what'll happen if you 'die' again, but he can assure you of one thing...you sure as hell ain't gonna enjoy it!" Sasheem dashed forward, armoring himself with Katchin Mode ad he bent back an elbow to strike at the woman's face.

    To his surprise, she avoided it with ease, despite his speed, practically slithering around to his other side in one smooth movement. "Hold up a fuckin' second, that's...."

    "Constrictor Lock!" The woman called out, a coil of ki suddenly wrapping around Sasheem and binding him in place. There was no doubt about it now...this woman was using Snake School Assassination Techniques.

    Sasheem fell to the ground, struggling as the the energy coils tightened. The woman Gabe a small laugh as a a large thicket of green smog shot from her mouth. "Basilisk Miasma!"

    The Majin's eyes widened. He remembered hearing of this technique very long ago, but he had never seen it in practice, much less felt it. One fo the Snake Schools most terrifying venomous ki arts, a ticket of highly corrosive fog that rots everything aroun....

    "Wait a damn minute, Sasheem WAS JUST IN this stoopid situation!" Sasheem shouted as he struggled back and forth. miasma had begun to eat through the Katchin. And if that weren't bad enough...suddenly a light could be seen streaking through the fog. Sasheem had an idea of what it was and began to rapidly roll out of the way.

    A large swath of energy shot just past him, carving it's way through the floor and leaving a trail in the ground below the size of a train. The Anaconda Maw. It flies out so fast and has a wide enough range, that he wasn't even sure he could slink through the ground fast enough to avoid it while he's tied up like this.

    Luckily for him, charging one took some time. Enough time that he could escape this Constrictor Lock. Sasheem split apart briefly into hundreds of Mini-Sasheems, each slipping through the ki binding before he quickly reformed himself.

    That took long enough...but there was still the miasma he had to worry about...in addition to visually masking her, the venomous ki was making her hard to sense. Sasheem tossed a Samehada into the fog, watching it briefly light the way until it disappeared. He couldn't even hear if it hit anything on the other side.

    Turning something into food was out...his opponent was likely on the other side of the warehouse and anything he turned into food, would likely be consumed by the miasma quickly. There had to be something he could do...Sasheem gritted his teeth. You'd think his own usage of venomous ki would up his resistance to this....The Majin pondered something for a second...and smiled. He had a plan, thought it wouldn't be without risk.

  3. #3018
    Astonishing Member KingofPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleric of Hell’s Brigade View Post
    Marron walks down, laughing. Her ki has also increased.

    “Better food than those Turtle Monks ate. Rice and Fish are nice, but not every day. Hello Ochazuke, Hello Zaofan.”

    Samson meanwhile nods.

    “I have, and I have located both remaining Shrines.”
    Sasheem arrives, landing near Balon and Marron, sporting a Dragon School gi. "Sorry, Sasheem's late..." the Majin shrugged, giving an agitated glance towards his two fellow M-Fighters also partaking in this quest. "So now that chucklefucks one and two are present, are we ready to get this show on the road?" he inquired.

  4. #3019

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleric of HellÂ’s Brigade View Post
    Marron walks down, laughing. Her ki has also increased.

    “Better food than those Turtle Monks ate. Rice and Fish are nice, but not every day. Hello Ochazuke, Hello Zaofan.”

    Samson meanwhile nods.

    “I have, and I have located both remaining Shrines.”
    "Oh, come now, even the humble dishes have their place don't they?" Zaofan replied, popping the second capsule to lay out the beverage station. Withdrawing a large green bottle from a fogging pail of ice, he wiggled his eyebrows. "But today's a bit of a celebration, and it's my treast, so I'd thought we- mmrfgrh..."

    Pausing for a moment, he silently wrestled with a particularly stubborn cork. With the level of the liquid resting that high up in the glass neck, he needed a delicate touch, lest he waste a single drop of this oaky White Wine.

    Meanwhile at the other end of the table, exacting measured scoops of sencha fell into a small clay pot, and the hot water poured over to steep.

    "Then we should not delay," Ochazuke replied to Samson. How close in parallel that divergent world was. The memory of that hellish place, an Earth dying slowly as their band dwindled, hobbled by a faded memory they could never escape, caused him to feel a creeping chill as he leaned back in his seat. "We may not have much time before-"

    "-and so, I figured learning the Dragon's Kiss would make it easier, but, the systems are a bit different than I thought," Zaofan continued, "don't think I forgot the tournament, I thought I'd test my theory on the structure of this stubbon bottle - ah-hah!"

    POP!

    Quote Originally Posted by KingofPie View Post
    Sasheem arrives, landing near Balon and Marron, sporting a Dragon School gi. "Sorry, Sasheem's late..." the Majin shrugged, giving an agitated glance towards his two fellow M-Fighters also partaking in this quest. "So now that chucklefucks one and two are present, are we ready to get this show on the road?" he inquired.
    As the bottle opened, the cork atop it shot towards the door...and toward a face the Martial Chef would always see far too soon. Slowly pouring Marron a narrow flute, Zaofan's eyes widened as he stared at Sasheem, the emblazoned kanji "竜" taken as his crest, and his lower lip slacked, revealing teeth pressed and trembling.

    After all, there were only four fish plated.

    Ochazuke slowly poured the tea; two for their hosts, one for the chef.

    "Quite an unusual adornment," he said. Rich green poured into the last cup slowly, a light, fresh note of perserved springtime rising from the steaming surface. "A Greater Annihilator pursuing knowledge, for preference."

  5. #3020
    Voice of the Authorities Cleric of Hell’s Brigade's Avatar
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    Default

    Samson nods his thanks, sipping the tea. Marron does so as well, though quickly excuses herself as she has business in Capital City.

    “Sasheem asked to be trained on the Dragon style, and I agreed. He has proved a.....difficult student, but still quite teachable.”

    He gestures to a data pad lit up on the table.

    “The location of the Phoenix Shrine is closest. It’s about five hundred miles away on a remote and uninhabited island.”
    Black Knight of SO
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  6. #3021
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    Default Day One - Meagan, Cyanna, and Azura

    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    The forest was dark, lit only by the moon above.


    Placing her hand on the trunk of the nearest tree, she took a step forward. As she did, she could hear the brittle, fallen leaves crunch with each step. Aside from that, it was the only sound she heard.

    Taking a few more steps, she made her way through the forest, unsure of where she was or where she was going. There was a strange familiarity about it, a sense that she had been here once before. Still, the darkness cast only shadows and the air was still and quiet as death it's self.

    There was something, or was it someone, she was looking for. She thought to call out, but her voice was silent. She tried to listen, but still she heard only her own footsteps.

    The stillness within her mirrored the stillness of the darkened woods, yet it was unnatural. Something was missing, a part of her was just out of reach. She had to find it, so she walked faster.

    It was difficult to move, each step threatened to trip her up on a root or vine, but still she kept moving.

    The darkness closed in on her as the moon's light came and went as if hidden by clouds in a sky she could not see past the old growth canopy. But still she kept moving.

    Was she going in circles? Or straight ahead? She could not tell, and the thought brought a flicker of emotion, but still she kept moving.

    Finally, up ahead she saw another light, flickering like a fire as the trees gave way to an open clearing.

    Stepping out past the tree line, she saw an ancient stone temple, covered in vines and worn away from centuries of neglect.

    Near the entrance, she sees a lone figure, sitting on a fallen stone. Taking a step closer, she finally finds her voice, calling out, "Charco!" but there is no response.

    As she was about to run towards the lone figure, she hears the sound of something large and powerful crashing through the forest and heading towards her.

    Cyanna turns quickly to see a large dinosaur, it's sharp teeth glinting with the reflected light of the moon above. It's eyes, glowing with menace and hunger.

    Taking a step back, she briefly turned to the figure of the one she had been searching for, only to see the form turn to dust. The great beast then let out a roar, and moved in for the kill.....

    --------------------------

    Meagan pulled up a chair next to the bed and gently placed a hand on her sister's head, brushing back her hair as she spoke, "Cyanna, it's time to wake up."

    With a start, Cyanna quickly sat upright on the bed, her hearts racing. Looking around, she soon realized where she was. Seeing Meagan, she flung her arms around her and held her tight.

    Meagan wrapped her arms around Cyanna and held her close as well. She could hear her sister's hearts beating fast, she could feel the dampness of her tears, so she held her tight. In time, Cyanna would calm down enough so that they could talk, but for now, she simply held her close.
    In time Cyanna pulls back, looking up at Meagan as she wipes her eyes and face with her hand.

    Meagan let's go, "Cyanna, there is much that we need to talk about. In a day or two I will be returning to Chroma, I would like you to come back with me, for a while at least. You can come back to visit Earth eventually. This is your choice, I won't make you."

    Cyanna frowns and clenches her hands on the cloth at the edges of the couch, "But, what about Rex? He killed Charco, I can't just leave that."

    "Listen to me, Charco may not be dead, not in the usual sense. He might still be Rex's hostage. If that is the case, killing Rex might also kill Charco. Others are looking into this, we can look into it as well. There may be a way still to save him while dealing with Rex. You just need to be patient."

    Cyanna's eyes went wide, "Charco's not dead?" then she became serious again, "But he's not alive either." suddenly looking even more serious, "I'll do everything I can to rescue him. Only, if I leave Earth wouldn't I be abandoning him, again?" Her voice started to hake slightly, "Everyone blames me for what happened to Charco, I know they do. They blame me for not not staying with him, they blame me for all of it. What if they are right? If I leave Earth, I'll be abandoning Charco all over again."

    Placing a hand on her shoulder, "Listen to me, you did not abandon him, it was not your fault what happened. If anything, it was my fault for making you my apprentice. Being a Guardian often means making sacrifices, having to chose between those you love and the planet you are protecting. You and Charco weren't ready for this, I'm sorry I didn't see it sooner."

    Shaking her head, Cyanna gave Meagan a slight yet determined smile, "Sis, I'm not a child anymore. What you are doing is very important, and I want to help. I may not be a Guardian liek you, but I do want to be a Guardian someday. A Guardian like Sensei Reimi. I know I have a lot to learn, but still, I never realized that following my own dream would cost so much."

    She then goes quiet in thought, "Let me think on it." Cyanna then stands up and looks to Morgana, bowing once, "Sensei Morgana, thank you for everything..." she then looks visibly uncomfortable, "and sorry for trashing your place like that. I hope I didn't break anything. If you need me to fix anything or clean up ...." looking around she realized that the place had already been cleaned up and put back in order, "I guess you already took care of it. If there is anything I can ever do to repay you, I promise I will."

    Meagan raises an eyebrow for a moment at Cyanna's admission, then began to understand. Standing up, "Morgana, I also with to thank you for training my sister."
    Original join date: 11/23/2004
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  7. #3022

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    Quote Originally Posted by grampagen View Post
    Cradled in Erosa's grasp, Zaofan smiled weakly to Shochu in a mix of appreciation and confusion. His eyelids were droopy, and a heaviness took his limbs.

    The Time Travelle's cure was a potent intervetion for sure, but counteracting poison with a saturation of saturated fats...

    The 'itis...I can feel it spreading...

    A tiny sizzle sputtered on the back burner, and weakly Zaofan reached a trembling hand into his pocket.

    "...bo...jack..." Capsule clouds parted, and laying back in Erosa's arms, a wobbling grip took the end of his trusty katchin staff. "have...to...finish..."

    The Zeef stood upon the counter well-seasoned, its sauce quickened with the bloom of alien aromatics. Despite his current condition, there was something that pricked against the forefront of his mind.

    Didn't...preheat...oven...~!



    Grasping the end of the bostaff, Zaofan's grip steadied. There was but also steadfast determination, and a valiant resolve to finish his work.

    White ki struck out over the end of the staff, and swiped over countertop, sending the meat sailing straight into the pot. Even from this distance, Zaofan pointed his staff at the stove, and his ki fell gently over it. Suddenly, in a fiery burst, the burner shot from a low trickle, to overtaking the stovetop entirely and leapt to the ceiling!

    This was no mere flambe, however, for the pot over the fire was merely the medium, carrying the message of the chef's very soul; that even if he didn't have the right tools, the proper prep, or even the firsthand knowledge, he would take the food and the ingredients he had and make it work.

    Fight for Food Integrity...Fresh...is Always Better!

    Because that's what good cooks do!

    (And of course, on the downswing, he twist the stove off; he wouldn't leave the kitchen with a running burner, that was simply irresponsible.)

    Grinning in his stupor, his staff dragged upon the ground as Erosa carried him out and he fell unconscious.


    But when the fire cooled, Qaztoh would be the first Toadian ever to taste a brand new Zeef Roast unlike any before.
    After the fire cooled, Qaztoh grabs a piece of Zeef Roast puts it in her mouth. Qaztoh's skin turns bright pink, and a blissful emoji appears in her pendant. ( Wow, this tastes great. I better not call Sraxat and tell her I ate Zeef roast that's better than hers,) Qaztoh thought.

    (She might get upset, or it might just drive her to become a better chef. ) Qaztoh thought.

  8. #3023
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    Default Day One - Meagan, Cyanna, and Azura cont.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    In time Cyanna pulls back, looking up at Meagan as she wipes her eyes and face with her hand.

    Meagan let's go, "Cyanna, there is much that we need to talk about. In a day or two I will be returning to Chroma, I would like you to come back with me, for a while at least. You can come back to visit Earth eventually. This is your choice, I won't make you."

    Cyanna frowns and clenches her hands on the cloth at the edges of the couch, "But, what about Rex? He killed Charco, I can't just leave that."

    "Listen to me, Charco may not be dead, not in the usual sense. He might still be Rex's hostage. If that is the case, killing Rex might also kill Charco. Others are looking into this, we can look into it as well. There may be a way still to save him while dealing with Rex. You just need to be patient."

    Cyanna's eyes went wide, "Charco's not dead?" then she became serious again, "But he's not alive either." suddenly looking even more serious, "I'll do everything I can to rescue him. Only, if I leave Earth wouldn't I be abandoning him, again?" Her voice started to hake slightly, "Everyone blames me for what happened to Charco, I know they do. They blame me for not not staying with him, they blame me for all of it. What if they are right? If I leave Earth, I'll be abandoning Charco all over again."

    Placing a hand on her shoulder, "Listen to me, you did not abandon him, it was not your fault what happened. If anything, it was my fault for making you my apprentice. Being a Guardian often means making sacrifices, having to chose between those you love and the planet you are protecting. You and Charco weren't ready for this, I'm sorry I didn't see it sooner."

    Shaking her head, Cyanna gave Meagan a slight yet determined smile, "Sis, I'm not a child anymore. What you are doing is very important, and I want to help. I may not be a Guardian liek you, but I do want to be a Guardian someday. A Guardian like Sensei Reimi. I know I have a lot to learn, but still, I never realized that following my own dream would cost so much."

    She then goes quiet in thought, "Let me think on it." Cyanna then stands up and looks to Morgana, bowing once, "Sensei Morgana, thank you for everything..." she then looks visibly uncomfortable, "and sorry for trashing your place like that. I hope I didn't break anything. If you need me to fix anything or clean up ...." looking around she realized that the place had already been cleaned up and put back in order, "I guess you already took care of it. If there is anything I can ever do to repay you, I promise I will."

    Meagan raises an eyebrow for a moment at Cyanna's admission, then began to understand. Standing up, "Morgana, I also with to thank you for training my sister."
    With their farewells completed, Meagan calls to Azura as they walk outside. It was there that Cyanna noticed the young girl who had accompanied Meagan.

    Looking quizzically at her sister, Cyanna then turns to the young girl, "Hello, I'm Cyanna. Sorry about back there, I didn't mean for you to see me like that. May I ask who you are?"

    "Azura." the young girl seemed concerned, "Did something bad happen to you, Aunt Cyanna?"

    Straightening up, Cyanna turned to Meagan, "Aunt?"

    "It's a long story, anyone hungry? I'm sure this town must have a good place to eat. We can talk and catch up on everything over some lunch."

    "I know of a place, it's not far." Cyanna then took both their hands and teleported the three of them to a diner-like restaurant in the center of the town.

    Entering inside, they found a place to sit, soon a waitress came over with menus and it wasn't long before they had food and drinks.

    The three spent the next hour talking.

    Cyanna told them about her training with Morgana, and about what happened when she learned about Charco.
    Meagan spoke about the situation on Chroma, about Dash being let go from her Apprenticeship, among other things.
    They both answered Azura's questions, as well as learned more from Azura about Midori.

    Before they left, Meagan asked Cyanna if she would come back to Chroma for at least one week. Telling her that, once the Primary elections are over and after Crystal is officially instated as an Apprentice, Cyanna could go off and do what she wants to do for the rest of the year. Cyanna agrees to that, thanking Meagan for being understanding.

    Soon, the three of them leave the village and go to meet up with Jinzi.
    Last edited by Tami; 10-13-2019 at 02:49 PM.
    Original join date: 11/23/2004
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  9. #3024
    Astonishing Member KingofPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grampagen View Post
    As the bottle opened, the cork atop it shot towards the door...and toward a face the Martial Chef would always see far too soon. Slowly pouring Marron a narrow flute, Zaofan's eyes widened as he stared at Sasheem, the emblazoned kanji "竜" taken as his crest, and his lower lip slacked, revealing teeth pressed and trembling.

    After all, there were only four fish plated.

    Ochazuke slowly poured the tea; two for their hosts, one for the chef.

    "Quite an unusual adornment," he said. Rich green poured into the last cup slowly, a light, fresh note of perserved springtime rising from the steaming surface. "A Greater Annihilator pursuing knowledge, for preference."
    The cork shot forward, hitting Sasheem in the eye. He didn't flinch as his face maintained a heavy frown upon noticing there wasn't enough food.

    He spent the rest of this little luncheon sitting just slightly apart from the others facing the opposite direction. At Ochazuke's words, he scoffed, "Just goes to show that that dumb headband of yours has been cutting off the circulation to your brain for some time now..."

    The Majin folded his arms. "Sasheem's not only sought knowledge, he's been taking it in, ever since you and the other Moron-fighters started your time trips."

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleric of Hell’s Brigade View Post
    Samson nods his thanks, sipping the tea. Marron does so as well, though quickly excuses herself as she has business in Capital City.

    “Sasheem asked to be trained on the Dragon style, and I agreed. He has proved a.....difficult student, but still quite teachable.”

    He gestures to a data pad lit up on the table.

    “The location of the Phoenix Shrine is closest. It’s about five hundred miles away on a remote and uninhabited island.”
    "See? If you won't believe me, at least listen to the last dragon," Sasheem kipped-up, standing to his feet, nodding with somewhat surprising respect as Marron walked past to make her leave. "But more important than Sasheem's incredible aptitude for learning, is that shrine, right? Hopefully you two came prepared..."

  10. #3025
    Lin Kuei Grandmaster Sub-Zero MKA's Avatar
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    Default A Fond Farewell

    The entire world was abuzz with curious interest in Azura. She looked vaguely similar to them, but she was another alien on their world. She was a curiosity to them. She didn't like to fight for sport, and didn't much -- if anything -- about food. Those alone were more than enough to draw Saiyan attention. However, the fact that she had allied herself with teen heroes Pinach and Rutaba turned her into some kind of celebrity.

    The Phenomenal Azura, Maven of Justice and Truth, had been spending the last month helping Pinach and Rutaba defend the Meat Market and protect Kakarot City from injustice and crime. Since Saiyans were most indifferent about a lot of things that didn't have at least some modicum influence on eating, mating, or fighting, many were more than willing to let three children run around and beat up people who were causing something resembling issues. Doing so attracted several eyes to her fighting prowess. However, since she didn't quite understand the need to engage in "simulated" fights for sport and fun, they couldn't learn about her in the usual Saiyan way.

    To many, that gave her a mysterious aura that intrigued them to a point. Saiyans couldn't bring themselves to pursue understanding out of something that eluded them.

    Azura, on the other hand, had her curiosity enraptured by Saiyan culture. She was much like her mother and grandfather; the pursuit of knowledge and understanding trumped most other things. Saiyans were unlike humans. They didn't give much importance to many things that didn't pertain to their immediate interests. While humans also exercised that sort of narrowed-mindedness, Saiyans uniformly shared the same main interests and shaped their entire society around them. This fascinated her and compelled her to figure out how something usually so unique to individuals could be almost like a racial trait. Midori's information lessons told her as much, but she wanted to figure out the why. The why was the most compelling and nagging thing, after all.

    Unfortunately, she didn't get much of a chance. Between heroics with Pinach and Rutaba, she spent much of her time in their lair, playing their video games. Many of them were simulated athletics, but there were quite a few logic-based puzzle games. She, obviously, enjoyed those the most. Her vast intelligence allowed her to complete many of them. Except one: the secret Aztec mission in Goldeneye 007 -- a game Pinach got during one of his visits on Earth. She spent three straight days trying to beat it, but couldn't. Pinach claimed he beat it once, but she didn't believe him. Especially after he couldn't replicate his results to prove his claim to be anything other than false.

    Despite all the uncanny things she had been introduced to in her short existence, there was the one truly impossible feat.

    "Ah, here you are." Parsley and Sarada stepped inside the lair. The former was already beginning to show signs of pregnancy.

    "Oh!" She shot to her feet and walked over to meet them halfway. "Is it time already?"

    "I'm afraid so."

    There was a twinge of disappointment in her chest, but that was drowned out by the excitement. She was anxious to see her grandmother's and aunt's homeworld and all the wonders about the Chromakai race. She hoped they were as enigmatic as the Saiyans, in the way that they weren't as simple as others claimed. "Okay. I'll pack my things."

    "Aw man. Where's Azura going?" Pinach whined.

    "She has to visit her grandmother on Chroma."

    "Tch. Lame." He frowned but sighed and nodded. "Oh, alright. But she can come back right?!"

    "Um..." It was up to Sarada if she wanted to have her back. "Sure, why not," the Saiyan Queen shrugged. "I guess if you two like her so much, she can come back to visit."

    "YES!!"

    Azura stepped out with a dufflebag in hand. It was filled with the clothes she purchased during one of their many shopping expeditions, and handheld gaming console Rutaba bought for her last week. "I am ready."

    "Say, you have to go back to Earth to meet with that Pants guy, right?" Rutaba inquired.

    "...Pants..."

    "She means Jinzi," Sarada explained.

    "Oh. Yes. He is going to take me to Chroma."

    "Then why don't we go with you so we can show you the amusement park I own?" Pinach suggested.

    "You still have that?"

    He looked at his sisters and grinned. "Yep. After I finally got rid of that annoying old guy who kept trying to add a petting zoo, I added a funhouse and a few more rides. You may not have time to do more than look around, Azura, but it'll wet your appetite for the next time you come."

    She had no reference about these amusement parks. They weren't a part of her educational training. However, if the word "amusement" was the core of the name, then clearly it must have been some kind of fun. "Okay. I would like to see." She smiled and hugged Parsley and then Sarada. "Thank you for letting me stay for so long. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Saiyans."

    Parsley smiled warmly, the first time she had ever seen such a look on the woman's face. "You're welcome. I knew you would enjoy yourself. Have fun with Meagan."

    "I will. Goodbye. Until next time." She bowed respectfully and followed Pinach and Rutaba through the portal they opened.

    When she crossed through to the other side, her mouth opened slightly.



    The sights were so flashy and eye-catching. All the signs were neon and flashing. There was loud music playing from speakers attached to light poles. There had to be hundreds, if not thousands of people walking and talking, smiling and laughing and having a good time with each others and the rides. And the rides... she had never seen anything like them before. There was one that reminded her of the First Race space ships, another that was a giant rotating wheel with carts filled with people attached to it, and even one that rode through a massive pool of water.

    She spun around slowly, slack-jawed and wide-eyed. She tried to take it all in, but there was so much, it was impossible from where she was standing. "You own this?!" It was the most excited she had ever sounded about anything.

    He grinned and thumbed his chest. "Yep. I used Ishtar's card, to be fair, but everything is in my name. Hey, you wanna get on a few of the rides before you go?"

    She didn't answer, but dashed to a ride with the shortest line and got on. She mentally promised that she would only get on one before leaving. But, one turned into two, two into four; before she knew it, they had spent all day riding, eating, and laughing.

    The sun was setting, turning the sky into a beautiful mosaic of colors. Azura was beaming ear to ear as they walked toward the exit. Her arms were filled with big stuffed animals and balloons from the carnival games she won. She couldn't wait to tell Grandfather all she had done today. "I had so much fun today. Thank you so much."

    "You're welcome, buddy," Rutaba grinned with a thumbs up. "Oh, and one more thing. Here." She pulled something out of a bag and unfolded it. It was a superhero costume, complete with a long, flowing cape! "So now whether you're on Earth, Vocado, or Chroma, you can fight crime in style!"

    Her own costume. Her own cape. She wanted to try it on, but her hands were too full with too much stuff. Rutaba folded it up and stuffed it into her bag. "I...I don't know what to say."

    "You can thank us by being the best hero you can be!"

    "Yeah! And don't forget that it's not about beating up the bad guys, it's about helping them become better people. That's how you make the world a better place!"

    She nodded feverishly. "I will not forget. I promise." Capsule Corp was that way, so she lifted into the air. "Goodbye, Pinach! Goodbye, Rutaba. I'll see you again, really soon!!"

    "Bye! Have fun on Chroma!"

    As she flew to meet her grandfather, she couldn't stop smiling. She was a superhero.

    If only mother could see her now.

  11. #3026
    Lin Kuei Grandmaster Sub-Zero MKA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingofPie View Post
    "Treason?" Lantro couldn't help but laugh, going on defence as he raised his arms up to block Sarada's punches. ...Or more accurately cushion them...the blows still landed and theybhurt...especially with that arm. Seemed as of it was Katchin but something was off about it.

    "Don't flatter yourself! I was never apart of your blood soaked kingdom. Didn't stop me from seeing all the atrocities a Saiyan could commit!" He gritted his teeth. He couldn't keep on tanning hits forever. He raised two fingers into the air. "Nega-Dunk!"

    Suddenly a chunk of earth, shaped like a sphere emerged from the ground, covered in ki and launching itself at Sarada.
    "You condemn us, but seem a-okay with what the Tuffles did," she retorted. She noticed the sphere of earth hurtling at her. She flew up to avoid it, but had another idea on how to use it. "You and that four-eyed bitch talk about wanting to liberate this and that, but she squandered their chance at getting their planet back."

    She followed the Nega-Dunk and, after coating her leg in her own ki, booted it like a soccer ball at Lantro. "Instead of trying to appeal to the Galaxy Police or even us, she decided to do the same thing we did to them. Being a victim doesn't excuse being a monster yourself. The people living on Turrip aren't conquerors or even fighters. They're just scientists and teachers and doctors." She landed and glared at Lantro. "Appel and her kind became the very thing they hate the most, and now they're going to pay for it."

    -------

    Teen exploded out of the rubble. He was still whole, but his face was badly damaged. There was an ominous black liquid oozing from a nasty gash on his head. He let out a primal roar and dashed to engage Parsley again.

    His movements were more erratic, more desperate. There was no blatant style or mimicking of her own movements this time. There was only the wild, explosive attacks from a being so inexperienced with fighting that it was a wonder that he was even set loose on a Saiyan world. Was this a part of Appel's master plan?

    Then, it dawned on her.

    There was no plan. This was the raving madness of a woman pushed beyond the brink of desperation. This was the last ditch effort. Teen was an impressive creation, but he wasn't a fighting machine. One could not create a fighter if one could not fight. Once this ploy was unraveled and thwarted, there would be nothing left. Nothing but a sad, broken shell of a woman.

    "Tell me, Teen. Why were you created?"

    "To revive the Tuffle race and to destroy the Saiyans," he responded promptly.

    "As I thought." Her speed was still enhanced by Wolf's Prowl. She grabbed his wrist mid-punch and drove her knee into his sternum, then whipped him to the ground below. "Your creator did you a disservice. She created a weapon designed to destroy, yet didn't give it the tools to destroy properly." She easily dodged his badly telegraphed attacks, peppering him with retaliatory punches and kicks to keep him off guard. "I bet you have no idea what to do now, do you?"

    He leaped back. Roaring, he unleashed a massive omnidirectional blast that threatened to engulf the entire city. Yet, Parsley remained unimpressed. Her Aura of Reclection rebuffed the attack, sending it back and crashing into Teen. It threw everything off, causing the attack to detonate too soon, with him at the epicenter.

    She was unscathed, but Teen was badly hurt. His aura had fallen away, causing his power to drop well below hers.

    "You were created by a person who has no idea how combat works," she remarked. She noticed how his body was trying to heal itself, clearly another adaptation. "This ploy failed the moment Appel decided to fight us Saiyans on our terms." She briefly wondered what happened with those toxins she had been injected with over the course of her captivity. Likely confiscated and destroyed, with hope.

    Teen didn't respond. Instead, he looked passively at the ground. She could see his mouth moving, but couldn't hear anything.

    She stepped toward him, energy beginning to pool at the tip of her index finger. As she closed in, she could finally hear what he was saying.

    "Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate."

  12. #3027

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh View Post
    "Ah yes ... the art of Alchemy may well be as dead as its progenitor; yet its core tenet remains ever-present." Ishtar replied, with a soft chuckle and glimmer in her eye. "For all things, there exists an equivalence of cost ..." she muttered, before chuckling again. "I know of an Artificer that is unparalleled in matters of the Arcane, yes. Though I daresay you might have asked for something a little less troublesome."

    The Oni muttered something other her breath, before shrugging her shoulders.

    "She is not like to leave her ... forge without sufficient reason however; so it will be upon us to track her down and make your request."



    "This however," the Oni said with a small smile, "is something far more within my means to handle. An Enseiji she shall have."



    There was a flicker of ... something, in Ishtar's eyes when Nevanlinna spoke of a familiarity with Tatenen; and the glimmer was replaced with a rather probing stare. "Not a world most would know, as long as it has been since I shattered it. Sarada or one of those few others who I have told expressly, make mention of it, perhaps ?"

    A queer silence settled in then for several heartbeats, before the Oni's golden eyes softened and she sighed. "Forgive me ... I am not at all fond of the memories of what transpired; and less still of what I learned no more than three days ago." That trip to the past in the White-Gold Room, a thing she much needed to return to. And yet there was still so much to do before she could allocate the time ... "In any case," the Oni muttered as she clawed her way back to the present. "I will speak briefly to spare you the boredom.

    Five thousand, one-hundred and twenty three years ago. I fell in love." A rather cliche start all things considered and yet that was the simple truth of it. "Though I knew little of my true nature, and the bond I developed -- one that might be considered 'spiritual' by any measure other than mine -- allowed me to suffer in excruciating detail when she was beaten, and executed ... the feedback ... dying vicariously like that ... I did not handle it well." The Oni said before continuing, "I embraced Hakai for the first time then, but it was ... improper. More a beast than anything truly alive, I ripped through the inhabitants of Illargi, the Moon of Tatenen; and only once I had finished did I drain the satellite of its energy and annihilate it."

    The Oni frowned.

    "Tatenen was merely a victim of my ... weakness. As when its Moon descended, it shattered too."

    The face -- her face -- twisted by the black energy she now wielded fully, flashed in her mind's eye; and for a moment Ishtar felt otherworldly cold as the mental barrier's she'd erected before embarking upon the Coldlight all-but failed. And for a moment she wished the battle against the Doctor had not ended so swiftly as it had ... far easier was it, to set aside her troubles and simply do, when combat beckoned. A trait she picked up from Sarada, surely ... but one that had proven quite useful.

    With a shake of her head, the golden-eyed Oni flashed a smile that failed to reach her eyes and said simply.

    "One hopes that is enough, yes ?"
    A story of ages past... loves lost, a planet and its moon shattered. Nevanlinna listened to the Oni's tale with rapt interest. No, no, it was not just mere interest, but a... familiarity of sorts. How curious. The princess had never before been in love, let alone lost said love... nor had she ever shattered a planetary system. And yet, the story struck a chord deep within her... and her expression belied that fact. She remained silent for a pregnant moment, composing herself.

    "I... see." Another extended pause. "...I don't know what to say to that, if I am to be honest. I suppose all I can do is aid you in... rectifying it as best you can. Though, I..." She trailed off, words failing her.

    "Never mind," she said, standing. Nevanlinna motioned to a nearby temple. "...to continue, I've decided that temple, which I believe to be the... center of this realm, so to speak, shall be the meeting place for our council. The interior is quite... unique. There are quite a number of statues of individuals of varying genders and races... it is, in fact, what inspired me to travel, when I learned that these statues were not mere fancy, but depictions of actual species!"

    "Curiously, it also seems possible for new statues to simply... appear, for it happened not too long ago." Quite suddenly, in fact. She had been there when it had simply... materialized before her eyes. It went without saying that she had been quite confused, and yet... also relieved? "The new addition was of a most striking woman wearing clothing from a culture I do recognize, and whose brow was adorned by a jeweled circlet."

    The princess chuckled and shook her head. "It may sound childish and silly, but I've actually given each of these statues a name, and this one was no different, though a most exotic name for the statue came to me not long after it appeared... Sekhmet. It felt most... appropriate."
    The poster formerly known as Daiyoukai Ramza.

  13. #3028
    The Tentacle God Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh's Avatar
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    Default The Cycle of Death, and Rebirth: The Exodus (1 of 3)

    The Archon arrived at a staggered pace, as Ishtar offered her account of Irem, and as each did they found themselves victims of their own curiosity; the Oni's story compelling enough for each to remain silent as she continued. Though as they arrived and settled in to listen, Ishtar could not help but consider how she might have approached this situation better. It was after all unknown, the mindset of the Archon save Criostalach, and Lasair ... and now Gaoth, and Tintreach.

    No telling how the others might feel about what she had done, beyond their ephemeral curiosity. Though the time for such thoughts came swiftly to an end, when the last of the Archon arrived. Though unlike the others who had been curious enough to entertain the Oni; this one did not care to hear it.

    "Hmph. Is this why you have come then, Cinderslayer ?" The last-to-arrive Archon queried," empty-handed save for stories ?"

    Ishtar, knowing well who it was, could only sigh and shake her head. "No, Lasair, I have not." When she turned to look, she found the Archon had not yet healed fully from its defeat a few months prior; the majority of its body an undulation of flame with only the most simplistic humanoid features. Though it -- and they all -- seemed largely unconcerned.

    ... What is time, to an immortal ? She mused.

    "Then waste not the time of everyone gathered." The Archon crackled, before falling silent.

    The Oni nodded, and with a small smile said to the others who had gathered around her. "Another time, then." Standing, and stepping away from the chair Ishtar gestured toward Tintreach, and Gaoth. "When your ... Emissaries arrived, I explained why I have returned and it is simply ... to offer the means to mend this world." Stopping there to let the words sink in, the response from the gathered Archon was immediate.

    "It cannot possibly speak true, as the Banrigh a ’Chruthachaidh long ago abandoned this sphere !" Exclaimed Adhmad.

    "My sibling speaks true," assented another, "and ruined as the sphere is, my children flourish. Were such a thing possible, I would not see it necessary." It then expressed. Only for another, and then another to add their voices to this growing sentiment. That the world, broken as it was, was fine ... and aid from the one who ruined it was not needed. Which caused the Archon of Lasair to crackle mockingly and say, "it would seem the Cinderslayer would have been better served sticking with her stories."

    Which was ... to be expected.

    It was at Ishtar's hand that this world and its moon had been ruined; to then say she could fix it could be seen as little more than her attempting to alleviate the guilt; and in a way it certainly was. Before it could be shot down completely however, her offer, the Archon of Criostalach stepped forward and gestured for silence.

    "They are not wrong," it stated simply before looking at its siblings.

    "That some of us survive, and flourish, is true; and Banrigh a ’Chruthachaidh long ago departed this star." It continued on, with the others nodding as the Eldest seemed to add its voice -- and most importantly its vote -- to their cause. "Yet that does not mean such will remain so, indefinitely."

    It was at this point, Cloche rose from the soil beside its elder sibling, and in gravelly tones continued on where it had left off. "The Eldest speaks true, though we persist despite it ... I can feel it in my bones: Tatenen is lost." A murmur arose from among the gathered, for Cloche above all of them, never spoke without sufficient need. "The ruination did not stop on the surface," it continued all now transfixed on the Archon, "it spread roots down deep to the bedrock of the world ... a thing that had sealed the fate of this sphere and yet, due to the efforts of Lasair in its desperation for vengeance; the dying that would have taken untold millennia was expedited. A few thousand cycles we have, at best."

    Its peace spoken Cloche receded, Leaving the other Archon to consider its portent of 'doom' in silence.

    As though they could not 'die', without a world -- and its abundance of their 'elements' -- to exist on, most of them would simply cease to be. With but a few, such as Solas, and Neamhní surviving in the vacuum of space; but what kind of life would that be ?

    What was curious however, once this had been fully realized by everyone however, was the first to speak. For it was not the Eldest, or those in-between ... but the Youngest. "So that is the truth of it, then." It said, seeming to shrink into itself. "My obsession with setting things right serving as little more than a vessel to finish what the Cinderslayer started." A plume of smoke was emitted from the Archon's mouth as it seemed to sigh, and look up towards the black of space.

    "It falls on me then, to find recourse ... something offered by the Cinderslayer herself."

    Ishtar, who had been silent until this time, stepped forward and offered Lasair a nod. "I do ..."

    With another 'sigh' the Elemental looked down, eyes passing over its siblings only to settle on Ishtar. "I will listen then," Lasair said before again falling silent; leaving the others to stare and wonder just what it was Ishtar's offer entailed. A thing she wasted no time explaining.

    "I have come into friendship with a curious soul," the Oni started, "and one who is possessed of the ability to open a gateway to a most curious place. Vaikuntha." Understanding that telling alone would not sway the Archon despite their need for a means of 'salvation', Ishtar held out her hand and a small window to Vaikuntha opened. "It is a realm that persists in a permanent state of equilibrium. The land, sea, and sky all 'perfect' in their repose." Or at the least as perfect as could be, though the mechanism for how this dimension could manage such was a thing that Ishtar had yet to discern. Though it was not its extant state that was why it had been selected.

    "It also has the ability to, over time, restore something to what it once was ... after a fashion." At this the Archon began to stir, surprise evident in their features -- even if it could not be expressed in their faces -- as it was far and away not what they might have expected. A thing Criostalach expressed to Ishtar directly, for she lacked the telepathic connection shared by the Eleven.

    "Perhaps we misunderstand ? This realm, this Vaikuntha ... that can repair the planet as if it was merely mending a wound ?"

    Ishtar nodded. "That is indeed what I am saying, yes. A process that might take many years; yet it will after some time recover." There was a flutter as soon as Ishtar finished. Each elemental expressing their surprise in darkles and tincts; only The Eldest remaining silent as it considered what was said.

    "We spoke before, when last you were here, and recovering ... you expressed an inability to speak beyond the truth of things, as you see it." It half-stated, half-asked.

    Ishtar nodded.

    A sound like wind chimes emanated from Criostalach. "I must confess it is not something one could, or should take at face value ... yet," the Eldest fell silent for a time before the chime-like sound repeated. "We require some time to ... discuss."

    "Take your time," Ishtar said, returning to her seat.
    "... 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."

  14. #3029
    The Tentacle God Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh's Avatar
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    Default The Cycle of Death, and Rebirth: The Exodus (2 of 3)

    With a nod, the Archon turned away, and approached its siblings. "I will ask it simply." It expressed, telepathically. "What do you think ?"

    "It sounds promising, perhaps too good to be true." The Archon of Light said, before its opposite added. "It sounds as if the Cinderslayer seeks to pull the whole of this planet to another plane of existence ... A thing I am not sure of." There was a murmuring of assent across the telepathic network, and for a long while each and every Archon present addressed their concerns of the would-be, over simply considering the possibility. A thing that was curious at first -- for it seemed they were at the least, open to the offer -- but a thing The Eldest grew swiftly tired of. "Understandable ... yet I fear I was not as direct as need be." Pausing to collect, it then expressed, succinctly. "Provided the offer is genuine, and the 'Cinderslayer' can do as she says ... I would hear, dear siblings, whether or not such recourse might be accepted."

    Turning it back over, the Archon of Criostalach awaited their response ... though for a time, silence reigned. After sufficient time had passed, the Eldest sighed. "It falls to me, then, to decide our fates ?" Though before such judgment could be passed, a response came from an unlikely source.

    "I would find it acceptable ..." Gaoth whispered, "If not for my children, then simply for the fact that her intent is genuine. Why else would she return here ?"

    Simple as it was, the Elemental had a point. Tatenen had been long forgotten, there were none who might otherwise see it -- or those residing upon it -- saved. So what reason would the Oni have to return to offer hollow promises ? Easier it would have been, to leave Time to its ravaging. The sentiment seeming to resonate within the others, one after the other, from The Archon of Light, to the Archon of Darkness, offered their murmur of assent across the telepathic link. Not even the Youngest could find it within itself to disagree.

    "I would find it acceptable as well ... siblings,"the Archon of Fire softly crackled."To save this home of ours, and provide a future for our ... my ... children."

    Criostalach, thankful for Gaoth's response and its effect, could only offer its chime-like sigh of relief. "Then it is decided." Though before the 'council' could end and the Oni be informed, the Archon of Lightning 'stepped' forward to offer a word of its own. "Even decided, I would request time to speak with my children ... allay what fears and concerns they might have, as well as find the time to allay our own."

    "A fair request, and one I will bring to the Cinderslayer."

    Ending the telepathic connection, Criostalach approached Ishtar. "It is decided."

    Opening her eyes, the Oni first appraised the Archon before her, and then its siblings before nodding. "Good ... that is good." There was a momentary lull as Ishtar raised out of the chair, before she followed up with a question. "Were there any who disagreed ?"

    The Eldest shook its head. "Even Lasair agreed. Though there is a condition to this," it went on to say. "A rather simple condition, all things considered: Time." Ishtar quirked an eyebrow, yet before she could ask its meaning, Criostalach continued. "My siblings and I wish to speak with our children to allay their ... concerns. Our own as well. We ask only to be given the time necessary to satisfy this adequately."

    Ishtar cocked her head slightly, only to chuckle. "Is that all ? For a moment I had assumed another 'trial' would be necessary." Looking past Criostalach then, the Oni would see it as Lasair seemed to shrink, either from embarrassment or frustration however, one could not say. "I would have expected this to begin with, honestly; and I see no reason at all why you should not take as much time as you need to have each and every question satisfied." There was a pause, as Ishtar considered something else before adding. "If it helps, I could accompany each of you to meet with your children ... and they could ask their questions directly ?"

    Seemingly caught off-guard by this question, the Archon of Criostalach held up a crystalline finger. "One moment," before turning away. Though unlike the previous telepathic conference this one was far quicker, and after no more than a handful of seconds, the Eldest returned to face Ishtar. "That is a rather clever idea, and one my siblings and I accept. We shall start from the Youngest, and proceed from there. Agreeable ?"

    Chuckling, the Oni looked past Criostalach again to offer her once -- and perhaps still ? -- enemy a smile.

    "When do we start ?"
    "... 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."

  15. #3030
    The Tentacle God Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh's Avatar
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    Default The Cycle of Death, and Rebirth: The Exodus (Final)

    Six Weeks Later

    It had taken longer than Ishtar thought to travel to each of the Archon's homelands, and address the concerns each Elemental had.

    When it was finally said and done however, there was a lightness to Ishtar's step that had been absent quite some time. The burden of guilt and resignation at who she was -- a monster no better than so many others -- at least for the moment silent. And with the final preparations nearly finished however, each Archon ensuring that their homelands and children would handle the transference with little more than a ripple of discomfort at worst; there was not much more for Ishtar to do but steel herself for the monumental task.

    It was after all going to fall to her, to physically move the planet from this dimension, to Vaikuntha.

    A thing that had taken even more time to prepare for, given her unwillingness accidentally 'finish' what she had started five-thousand years ago. Which is why she had been sitting -- as undisturbed as possible -- with her hands on her knees, working on controlling her breathing and focus for the better part of a week days.

    "Is the Cinderslayer ready ?" A voice called to her, from her back.

    "As I will ever be, Kindling." The Oni responded, having grown long since tired of the epithet.

    "Hah ! There is a spark of the flame that burned so bright when we fought." The Archon replied, its formerly incendiary demeanor having tempered somewhat after the time Ishtar had spent with its children; and by extension the time they had spent together. "Now let us not waste time, when there is an eternity for that after you are finished." Lasair then said, before slipping out the way it had come.

    Suppressing an expletive Ishtar picked herself up from where she had been meditating, slipping out through the same egress the Archon of Fire had before her ... only to find that she was not alone. As everywhere she looked, she saw them: Elementals. Thousands upon thousands of them, from all the tribes she had visited -- Fire, Ice, Water, Stone, Wind, Lightning, Light, Dark, Crystal, Wood, Sand -- in the time she had been here. Though how they had managed to gather upon the mountaintop plateau was beyond her, as there was barely the room for half their number. Though from the feel of the stone beneath her ... it had been Cloche's doing.

    Looking out and seeing them however, staring up at her as if she was some spectacle to behold ... For the firs time since coming her Ishtar felt truly ... uncomfortable.

    "Why ?" Ishtar heard herself asking, though she was unaware that any could hear her. Until, that was, a light tap on her shoulder made her aware that the Eleven had gathered at her side.

    "Is it not obvious ?" Criostalach chimed softly, only for Oighear and Uisce to crinkle and ripple with amusement. "They see you as we once saw Banrigh a ’Chruthachaidh," Lasair added with a scoff; and it was a name Ishtar had become intimately familiar with in her time among the Eleven Tribes. 'The Queen of Creation' she was once known as. The first Elemental on Tatenen, and the one who had split herself into pieces, so that she might bring life to the first of its children. Though that did not mean the comparison was accurate here. She had, after all, only offered to save them from the situation she had helped to cause. Hardly a thing worth celebrating, and certainly not something she would expect to be lauded or looked to as a Luminary for.

    So unsure how to respond to this information, the Oni could only ask again.

    "Why ?"

    Another ripple of amusement passed through the assembled, before Gaoth, drifted close. "You proved that you were not the Deamhan we believed you be." The Wind Archon said, soft as a gentle breeze. "For many that was ... enough for their fear to abate; for we are quick to forgive and forget," Gaoth said before stopping as Ishtar glanced at Lasair, "... for the most part. So when they learned you meant to restore their home and bring them to a place where they never need worry ? You attained the status of our protector after a fashion; their Banrigh a ’Chruthachaidh."

    Ishtar could simply blink, and stare.

    When she felt a pair of hands on her shoulders however, and turned to see Criostalach the glamour faded somewhat and she returned in part, to her senses. "Do not think too hard on it, it is but a comparison, and not a mantle of responsibility." The Eldest offered. "Yet at the least know, that the harm you caused was forgotten in favor of what you strive to give."

    A heartbeat passed ... then two, before Ishtar bobbed her head.

    "Now," Lasair said pulling focus back to the present. "If we are done patting the Cinderslayer on the back, for restoring her image. I would see Vaikuntha with my own eyes."

    Nodding weakly at the Archon of Fire, Ishtar offered the remaining Archon a glance, before her eyes passed over the assembled Elemental again. "I do not need to ... say anything, do I ?" She asked, if only so she could buy herself a moment to prepare. Though the Archon of Criostalach simply shook its head. "No, you need only do as you promised."

    Sighing, the golden-eyed Oni nodded, before offering the Archon a final, wry smile. "Easy enough." Stepping away then, she faded from reality.


    Journey (feat. Kronos Quartet) - Destiny 2: Original Soundtrack


    Reappearing some distance above the planet, at its opposing pole, Ishtar stared down and went over the very short mental checklist.

    Several points on the planet had already been reinforced -- and designated as 'tug' points -- to ensure a smooth transition, with a blend of magic and the Archon's own energy. Those parts of the planet too that seemed the most likely to fracture under the strain, had likewise been shored up ... so with those handled, and nothing else that need be worried over thanks to the Elementals not being subject to the same troubles as most mortal civilizations; all that really needed be done was the moving of Tatenen itself.

    Ishtar took a deep breath, and holding out her hands, located the tug points that dotted the surface of the planet. A moment later she exhaled, and cast her energy out to fix her energy onto them to begin the process. Then she spoke, and opened a portal to Vaikuntha large enough to offer passage for a planet. "Hakai ..." Power now coursing through her veins, she began to heave; and straining against the forces of gravity and the mass of the planet, the golden-eyed Oni ever so slowly pulled Tatenen from one dimension, to the next ...




    Vaikuntha

    In the end, the process didn't take very long.

    A few minutes of effort, a massive expenditure of energy ... and then Tatenen came to settle in the heavens above the verdant fields of Vaikuntha below. Yet before Ishtar returned to Tatenen's surface to speak with the Archon and address those Elementals who had gathered to see; the Oni stopped by Nevanlinna's Alcove so that she might inform her benefactor that the task was for the moment complete.

    "Nevanlinna !" Ishtar exclaimed, before swaying where she stood. "I have pulled Tatenen from its resting place, to its now home."

    Not bothering to give the Threshling time to even form a response however, the golden-eyed Oni then stated. "If you wish to visit, be sure to do so. The Archon and their Children have not seen another species in five-thousand years and would surely be eager to meet you; and I would be more than happy to show you around before my ... absence." She said, seeming to drift off to sleep where she stood. Waking with a start however, Ishtar turned her eyes toward Tatenen, and started to fade from reality.

    "Remind me when I wake up that I need to take you to meet Emma Marie, as well."

    With that, the Oni returned to Tatenen's surface ... and, "Oh ... right." Promptly passed out.

    ... The Archon who witnessed this however ? Could only chuckle, only for The Eldest to scoop the Oni up and say, "Banrigh a ’Chruthachaidh, indeed." Amused, and thankful, the Archon of Criostalach then ferried the Unconscious Oni down into the Crystal Throneroom; so that she might rest and recover away from the prying eyes and prodding hands of the Elementals she had literally pulled to salvation.
    "... 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."

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