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Evil Eye (Loony's Swan Song Fiction)

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 15:08 Jun02 2014 Post ID: 3321339
Loony and Proud
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So I never had an official "leaving" post for several reasons. Firstly, I always thought those kinds of threads were an unnecessary grab for attention. Secondly, I saw myself potentially checking back from time to time, and I didn't want to really embarrass myself with "I'm leaving!" followed immediately by "I'm back!" I more just faded away as I entered College, and it's easy to see why. This forum, this place, it's clear that it hasn't survived the next generation. It's a shame it hasn't, but the FF&RP really hasn't been the same for several years now.
But this is going to be my last major contribution to this site. I say "Major Contribution" just because I might pop in from time to time just to say "hi" or what have you, but I need to focus my attention elsewhere now. I actually started this little project of mine back towards the beginning of the year, but college work and a few other projects I've been working on kept me from completing it. Technically it isn't even finished yet, so I'll just release it in chunks every few days. Maybe I'll actually be able to say I finished something on Supercheats that I started. That'd be nice...
I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the finer moments of my time in this forum, which was really my home on this site for years. Yes! We've got a clip show! But don't worry; I've got something else at the end for those who will bear with me while I take a trip down memory lane.

The Supercheats Times: Thought I'd get this out of the way quick before diving into all the FF/RP stuff. I wrote for the ol' SC Times for two years. Some of that was just my lazy-as-hell Submission and Posting achievements, but I actually had a good run of Game of the Month, Game Reviews, and even some Top 5/10 lists. It's also where I collaborate with some of my best friends of the site: Vasco, qwertyuio, FlareonDude_, and Volke too, though he was a tad bit intimidating at times. It was my first experience really working on a team towards something constructive like the newsletter, and I'll never forget it. I'll miss it and you guys.

The Legendary Warrior: "Loony, what in the hell is this?" You might ask. Whelp, when I first joined the forum as a wide-eyed youth still in Middle School, I loved me some Dragon Ball Z. As such, I wrote a FF about it. And it was terrible. So why bring it up? Well, it was the first (or one of the first) appearance of Blade, who would probably become my most-used character, despite a somewhat embarrassing name that I'm still using to this day out of sheer stubbornness. Now that I think of it, his name reminds me of the lineup of White Goodman's team in Dodgeball. "Blade. Laser. Blaser." Anyways, it was a memorable story for me if only for him.

JoSlifer: Now who the hell is this? Well, JoSlifer was an old member who hasn't been around in ages, and I didn't know him very well. Why was he important? Well, he created an RP that I can't remember the name of and I'm way too lazy to look up that lasted for about 16 pages before it ended abruptly after Panda (Or some other Mod) threatened to close it for rulebreaking, and I was a part of it. Why is THIS important? This was actually the first appearance of Sky, who would become my most common female character I would play. She started as a love interest for Blade and she wouldn't really become important until she appeared in the next part of this list...

The Showdown: And this will serve as my dual hat-tip to dark_wolf_33 and shadowoblivion. You guys were great pals, and we had some damn fine adventures together, the greatest of which was The Showdown, which started with Wolfy's RP "Keyblade Showdown" It's embarrassing to look back on our posting styles now (Though one of the more hilarious posts by some random newbie, which went something along the lines of "naruto comes in and kills you all with a machine gun believe it" still makes me laugh to this day) but at the time, it was incredibly fun. I started in this series with Beet, who was just my take on the main character of the now eight years on hiatus Manga Series Beet the Vandel Buster . The Showdown had so many memorable moments that I don't dare think to recall them all. For me, however, two major milestones were in this series: The birth of Night Wave (Later given a real name: Fan), who would become another of my favorites and Sky's Anti-hero, and also where Wolfy convinced me to start my own story. Speaking of which...

The Legacy of Sky: This story actually started as an FF crossover with most of the Showdown characters: Gohan, Goku, Beet, Shadow, Dowhax, Xavier, and more, I had a lot of fun writing the first draft of it, but nowadays I can't even bring myself to read through it. It was a pretty embarrassing write, but as one of my English Professors told me, "We're all entitled to s***ty first drafts." The second draft, while still far from where I want it to be in my eyes, was a straight fantasy piece with original characters and an "original" story (I still think it's generic, but I'm constantly tweaking it in my head to try and improve the story direction). Unfortunately, due to my chronic procrastination, I never came close to finishing even what I described as the first arc. I plan to keep writing this story, but I don't know if I'll keep it here on SC. Still, I'm proud of all the work I did on this story, and one day it will be complete; of that I swear to you (not that my promises are something to abide by, but whatever).

Pokemon RP: Strangely enough, this is the ONLY successful RP that I ever made on my own. Most of mine died off pretty quickly, and this one actually hit what was, at the time, the page limit of 150 and legitimately ended. I made a sequel which was somewhat successful, but eventually died off. Again, it'd be embarrassing to look back on, but I'm proud that at least one of my RPs managed to go somewhere.

Intoxication/g33k: Ah, can't let you get away buddy. While Wolfy, Shadow, and I were sort of the Three Musketeers of the final generation of the FF&RP board, Intox and I were the Dynamic Duo. We made a bunch of RPs together, though our most successful series was one about Halo, which included two of my favorite characters: Fan and Blade. We also ended up making an Assassin's Creed RP which didn't end up going too far, but it was fun nevertheless. One of the more hilarious projects we ended up doing together was a Let's Play of Fallout 3. No, I'm not kidding, this was a thing that happened. We didn't get far into it because we had lag issues and Intox was super lazy about editing them, but parts 1 and 2 are actually still up on Youtube, which I will link to because I'm a glutton for punishment:

Panda/Curry/Whatever else he called himself before that: Scared the bejesus out of me and looked like Yahtzee Croshaw, but I'll be damned if I didn't respect the guy, mainly because he actually had a work ethics that let him finish his writing, which I sorely lack. I'll miss you, big guy.

Ragnarok: The Little RP That Could. I honestly thought I had seen the end of this series back in '09, but son of a gun, KOG made his triumphant return and finished off this series. This really does rank up there with one of my favorite FF&RP experiences, and I'm glad it was finished; it really gave me a good memory to go out on. However, there is one problem: It's clear that KOG is pretty much done with this series (Having only recently given us the conclusion to part 1 four years late) and if he's not, I doubt I'll be a part of the next. With that being said, I hate to leave anything on a cliffhanger, and I left one with Roy Falcion's story. So, I give you my final gift FF&RP; the conclusion to that cliffhanger in the form of an FF. I give you: Evil Eye.

Evil Eye

Part 1: Teya

Teya Lovette stood from her throne and held her wineglass high above her head. "A toast!" she cried. "A toast to the longest, purest age of peace we shall ever see! Long live Jovalin!"
"Long live Jovalin!" The hall called back at her.
From her throne, Teya had a clear view of all the faces in the hall, eating, laughing, and conversing. At the front of the hall, her closest friends and allies sat and quipped at each other, laughing together as only they could. Eva and Lunar in particular seemed content to drink everyone under the table as their knights cheered them on. Marasmus and Aeon appeared to be attempting to stave off a headache as Striker talked their ears off of the adventures he had been having away from the throne. Cress strummed his lute, singing a sweet ballad as Garm and Leefe howled along. Even Teya's parents at her side were nothing but smiles. The realm was at peace now and forever.
"Come now Teya, doesn't the love of your life deserve a toast of his own?" Striker called out.
Teya smirked, "Maybe once you stay home for more than a week!"
Soldiers from tables further down the hall hooted as Striker went red as a beet.
"Hey," Eva said with a grin, "speaking of those of us missing, where the hell is-"
A loud crash was heard from the end of the hall, the doors swinging wide open. A bone-chilling cold swept across the room and snow slowly drifted in. In the center of the door, a figure stood, face obscured by shadow.
"What is the meaning of this?" Teya shouted. "Guards!" But as she looked, everyone was gone. Not a soul was left in the room aside from herself and the stranger.
Footsteps began from the far end of the hall, and a dripping to accompany them. Teya wanted to run, to fetch help, but she found herself unable to move. The figure slowly came into view: a one-armed man, blood dripping from the stump that remained of his left arm. His face was still hidden in the shadow of his wide brimmed hat, but by the red stains on his cloak, she imagined it wasn't in much better shape than his arm.
"Teya, where is it?" The figure said. His voice was surprisingly calm despite how injured he was.
"Who... are you?" Teya managed to choke out. The skin on the back of her neck began to crawl as the stranger continued to approach.
"Where is it? Have you forgotten your promise to me?"
"Roy? Is that you?"
"She's come Teya. Remember your promise."
"What promise? Roy, please, I-"
"You promised." Now only a few steps away, his voice dropped to a hoarse whisper. He leaned in close so Teya could see his face. His eyes were a solid green, not the beautiful emerald green she remembered, but a sickly green with blood gushing from them like tears. A strange black liquid leaked from a gash on his face, completing the horrific picture. "Now go and face her."
Teya screamed.

"Your grace! Teya, please wake up!"
Teya nearly headbutted Eva as she sat up from her bed. "What's going on? What time is it?" She gasped.
"It's two in the morning, your grace," Eva replied. "There's been a breach. Someone... or something has entered the palace and is on its way here. We need to get you to the safe room." Eva hesitated. "Your grace, you were screaming..."
Teya blinked, her eyes slowly adjusting to the dark. Around her she saw a dozen knights, counting Eva, Tide, Flare, and Johan. It was just a dream. Roy's dead. He's been dead for ten years now... "It was nothing, just a nightmare."
"Right. We need to move then, your grace. We'll guide you to the safe room, but we need to move now," Tide said.
"Wait, I need to get dressed," Teya complained. Her nightgown was not the type of clothing she'd like to be running in.
"No time, let's move."
Before she left, Teya remembered something. She opened a drawer on her dresser and pulled out a moth-eaten dress that she'd never worn, revealing an old wooden box. "Okay, let's go then," she said, clutching the box close to her chest.
The knights clearly had a well-practiced plan for such an attack, and within two minutes they were already halfway to the safe-room.
"Who is it?" Johan asked impatiently, "Did Striker come back and snap again?"
Teya held her breath.
"No, it's not him. There's been a lot of gunfire near the entrance, so it might be some radical group, or some assassins. It seems unlikely though; Garm usually keeps stuff like that under control," Eva muttered.
A loud crack was heard from the end of the hall; a gun shot.
"Form up! Jovamorphers active!" Within seconds, all of her knights were clad in some different shape of armor to fit their fighting style. The only thing they had in common was the material; each was made from the Citadel's Holy Metal: Jovabronze. "Who goes there?" Eva shouted.
Someone stepped into the moonlight shining through a stained glass window. It looked like a young woman armed to the teeth with weapons. She held a shotgun in her right hand, the barrel resting on her shoulder. Across her back a rifle was slung, and it seemed like various kinds of pistols and submachine guns were strapped to her hips and legs. She wore a dark green vest lousy with pouches for ammunition and a matching belt. Beneath the vest she wore a brown undershirt and a pair of sturdy gray trousers. Her eyes were hidden by a pair of tinted goggles, which by all rights she shouldn't be able to see out of very well in the dark. Spikes of brown hair poked out from beneath a dark blue bandanna, framing a frown she wore on her face.
"Lieutenant!" Came a cry of anguish. "El tee, help me!" with a start, Teya also noticed the knight that this woman was dragging next to her. His nose appeared broken, but otherwise he looked unharmed.
"Calvin, status report!" Eva barked.
"Oh god, please get me away from her! She killed them all! She killed them all alone!"
Teya's eyes widened.
"Oh, don't be so overdramatic," the woman replied. "Those were nonlethal rounds I was firing; they'll wake up in a few hours with some bruises and an embarrassing story." The woman began to walk towards Teya and the knights.
"Halt now and throw down your arms!" Eva cried.
"Hey, I'm looking for Teya or Striker. Actually, I've got a list of other people I could ask but those two would be most..."
"Flare, Tide, attack with the recruits! Johan, stay back and protect the queen with me!"
Ten knights leapt forward into the darkness with a cry of rage. The woman dropped Calvin and stepped forward into the darkness to meet them. The sound of a shotgun retorts filled the hall, sounding over and over, along with the sound of steel on stone, and loud impacts. An occasional flash would show what was happening, but it was impossible to tell who was winning. In less than a minute, it was quiet again.
"Flare! Tide! Report!"
The woman stepped out of the dark again, this time no more than ten feet from Teya. "Look, I just need to speak with Teya. I'd rather not have to beat the rest of you unconscious..."
Johan leapt forward with a wicked upward slice from his sword. The woman dodged back at the last second, but the sword point managed to catch her goggles, flinging them aside. The woman quickly spun her shotgun like a club, slamming it down onto Johan's jovamorpher like a club. With a crunch, it deactivated, and Johan was left exposed. He jumped again and let loose with a flurry of swipes, which the woman quickly blocked with her shogun. She twisted the gun so its butt was planted on Johan's stomach and pulled the trigger. The recoil drove the gun back into Johan's stomach, sending him to the ground, his sword falling from his hand with a clatter. The woman slammed the gun's butt down on the ground, and a click was heard as the pump cycled the next round into the chamber. As she looked up, Teya gasped. The woman's eyes were a deep emerald green.
"Stop!" Teya cried.
Eva hesitated.
"I am Teya Lovette. Who are you?"
The woman grunted. "You're not an easy one to find, are you, your holiness? My name is Adriana Reinhart."
"Did I stutter?"
"You will not speak to Miss Lovette like that you insolent..." Eva began.
"Eva, stand down."
"Stand down. Why are you here Adriana?"
"Finally, we can simply talk." She planted the shotgun on the ground barrel first and rested her hands on it. "Where is Roy Falcion?"
Teya's eyes widened. "Roy?"
"Or is he back to calling himself Roy Creed? Regardless, I need to know where he is."
Teya saw Eva's fist clench. "Roy has been dead for ten years," Eva muttered, tears running down her face. "You have no right to speak of him."
Adriana scowled. "Stop protecting him. That ******* is going to answer for what he did to me. To my... just tell me, already!"
Teya stepped up to stop Eva. "She isn't lying, Adriana. Here, this is for you." Teya offered the box to Adriana.
Adriana cocked an eyebrown and took the box from Teya. She flipped the lid open and glanced inside. "An old book and a discolored revolver. Swell."
"Roy wanted you to have those. The revolver is the-"
"Wait, Roy wanted me to have this? Well, that changes everything." Adriana closed the box and tossed it behind her. She spun, raised the shotgun, and fired. The box exploded midair, throwing scraps of paper and splinters everywhere. The revolver clattered to the ground, undamaged. Adriana whistled. "Whew, now that's a sturdy gun! No matter, I don't want Roy's crap; I want Roy."
Eva charged. Caught from behind, Adriana was forced to run back towards the darkness in the hallway to escape the charge. Before she could make it, however, Johan's hand closed around her ankle, tripping her.
"Eva! Finish her!"
"No!" Teya cried. Eva ignored her and raised her sword to impale Adriana. Adriana spun on the way down, bringing the shotgun around to fire. "Light Binding! " Teya shouted. A flash of light illuminated the room and strands of light emerged from the ground, snaring Johan, Eva, and Adriana. The light quickly filled the hall, showing the ten fallen knights. Their Jovamorphers had been damage similar to Johan's, and they were unconscious, but they didn't show any signs of permanent damage. With the light, she also now had a better view of this woman. She was younger than Teya ever would have guessed, probably eighteen years. While her gaze was initially drawn to the marvelous green eyes Teya now noticed dark bags under Adriana's eyes; it looked like she hadn't slept in days.
"Teya!" Eva yelled, "Release us!"
"I will not have you spoiling Roy's dying wish with your petty rage! Stand down!"
Eva struggled against the bindings for a moment, then slowly relaxed and fell to her knees. "Yes, your grace."
"Boy, she has you a short leash," Adriana laughed.
"Enough," Teya said. "Why don't you tell us who you really are? Why do you want to find Roy?"
Adriana's eyes darkened. "You don't need to know that. Just tell me and I'll be on my way."
"We've already told you, he's dead. Roy's remains were taken to Terragnus to be buried next to his father and brother."
"Then let me go so I can go destroy his grave too!"
Teya's eyes narrowed. "It was you then. You were the one who destroyed the Falcion graves years ago."
"Yes, it was. What of it?"
"Seems like a poor way to honor your ancestors, is all."
"You take that back," Adriana whispered. "You take that back right now! I am nothing like the Falcion family!"
Teya sighed. "If only that were true." Teya snapped her fingers and the bindings of Johan and Eva were released. "Strip Adriana of her weapons and ammo, then throw her in a cell. I'll tend to the wounded and see her in the morning."
"No!" Adriana grunted, struggling against her restraints.
Eva and Johan stood and pulled Adriana up by her arms, trying to drag her away. "Damn," Johan muttered, stumbling. "She's heavy."
"It's all the ammo she's carrying. We'll remove it when we get to the dungeons."
"You're right, damn you!"
Teya turned and looked at Adriana.
"I'm Roy Falcion's *******. My mother Cassandra found him alone and wounded twenty years ago, brought him in, treated him, and built him a new arm. She loved him with all her heart, and together they had me. Then, a few years after I was born, he left us both, only leaving a cryptic note behind. My mother died of a broken heart waiting for him to return. It should have been me who killed him! Tell me who did it! Tell me who beat me to the punch!"
Teya sighed. "Take her away."
Teya listened to Adriana curse her the whole way down the hall as she knelt down to treat the soldiers who had been knocked out. True to her word, Adriana hadn't killed or even badly injured any of the soldiers in the scuffle. The worst injuries were a few broken bones which, even with Teya's magic, would take a few days to heal.
"Y-your grace," came a feeble voice from behind her. Teya turned to see Calvin, the front-gate guard. Blood covered half his face from the broken nose, but he was otherwise unharmed as well. "Is the witch gone?"
"Not a witch, Calvin," Teya corrected, "and she's been taken to the dungeons."
"My lady, who else but a witch like that could have bested ten of your knights alone? You must..."
"Do you presume to tell me how to rule, private?"
"N-n-no, your grace."
"Then help me with your officers and tell me what happened."
Calvin joined her in bandaging the knights and began to explain. "The wit... lady approached about half an hour ago to the front gate. We stopped her and asked her business, and she stated she needed to speak with Striker or you, your grace. We told her that you would have court tomorrow afternoon and she could speak to you then... but she insisted. When we continued to refuse her, she... attacked us. We had rifles, crossbows, spearmen, but no matter what angle we went at her from, she saw it coming and counterattacked. It was like nothing I'd ever seen and before I knew it, everyone else was down and she took me as a guide, asking me where you'd be."
Teya narrowed her eyes. "And you told her?"
"M-my lady, she broke my nose, said she'd... she'd..."
"I don't want to hear it," Teya said pointedly, standing. "Get these men to the barracks, I'll send healers over in the morning. Expect reassignment from Eva come the morning."
"Yes... yes your grace," Calvin said meekly.
Teya stormed off. This kind of security breech was unheard of, and this... Adriana. Roy's own flesh and... Roy! Teya stopped and ran to where the box had been shot. Viridian Six was undamaged, as she'd imagined, but Roy's journal had been torn to shreds. She scooped up the revolver and a few salvageable pages and took them with her. This child... She shook her head. She needed some sleep before she thought any of this over. Collecting the revolver and what pages of the journal seemed undamaged, Teya headed for the front gate.

« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Oct 31st 2014 »

Wanna listen to me rant about stuff? I started a blog!
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imaloony8.0 Posted: 16:20 Jun04 2014 Post ID: 3321655
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Part 2: Eva

"Hell, she's a walking armory!"
Johan wasn't wrong. They had removed all of her weapons, and it seemed amazing that Adriana had managed to be moving around as quickly as she was with all this gear. The final count was one shotgun, one bolt-action rifle, two submachine guns (Each with modified magazines with sharp points at their bases), a semi-automatic pistol, two bulkier pistols (older models that required the hammer to be pulled between shots with the hammers modified to be shaped like large, sharp hooks), a knife, and two stranger weapons that Eva didn't recognize. They both seemed to just have large tubes where the barrel of the weapon should be; one was about the size of one of her submachine guns, and the other was smaller than any of her pistols. Searching her belt and ammo vest, it seemed that the pouches were magical, holding far more ammo than seemed possible. Despite this, the vest and belt were heavier than all of the guns together, and all of the gear weighed more than Adriana herself did. Spread out on the table, it really did seem like a selection from a gun shop or an armory.
"Give those back! They're mine!" Adriana screamed.
Teya's Light Binding spell had worn off, but not before they had chained Adriana's wrists and ankles together and thrown her into a cell.
Eva ignored Adriana's outburst. "You wait here and I'll go find Teya. I'll send someone to relieve you in a few hours."
"What about my Jovamorpher? Roy's devil spawn broke mine."
"I'll have new ones commissioned. Given how many she broke, it could be a while before you get your replacement," Eva said, speaking over Adriana?s string of curses from her cell. "I'll see you in a few hours."
"So, what were you, Roy's latest floozy?"
Eva stopped with her hand on the dungeon door. She didn't respond.
"Yeah, I saw those tears when I talked about him. So what, did he break your heart? Knock you up and leave you with another of his bastards? Or maybe he died while you still thought he loved you like my mother did?"
"Johan," Eva said slowly, "I've changed my mind. I will stay here and guard the prisoner. Return to Teya and guard her. Send another knight to relieve me in a few hours."
"Lieutenant, your judgment is clouded on this one," Johan responded slowly. "This isn't wise, let me stay."
"I appreciate your concern, Johan, but I've made my decision."
"That is an order, Johan."
Johan hesitated, looked over at Adriana and then sighed. "Don't do anything you'll regret, El tee."
Johan walked through the door, shutting it behind him with a thunk. They were alone.
Eva grabbed the keys from the hook on the wall and unlocked Adriana's cell.
"Oooh, the big bad knight is going to beat me up because I hurt her poor feelings. Did you learn how to ruin my life from Roy?"
Eva stepped into the cell and walked over to the corner where Adriana sat and knelt down in front of her, staring her dead in the eyes. It's true, she thought, she has his eyes. "Do you see the scar on my forehead?"
Adriana's eyelids seemed heavy as she studied the mark. "Pretty."
"Roy gave it to me when he saved my life. I hardly knew him when I found myself possessed by the Eye of Vladimar. The Eye threatened to destroy my mind and make me nothing but a slave for Vladimar. From what I hear, it would have been simple for Roy to send a bullet through The Eye and my skull with one shot, but he risked his life to remove The Eye without killing me."
"And you fell in love with your prince like an utter buffoon. Now you feel indebted to him because he loved you, right?"
Eva pretended not to hear her. "I didn't see him again before he was exiled. I didn't even remember his face, but he remained my hero for years to come, my inspiration to be a knight in the first place. When he did return, it was in a disguise under an unfamiliar name. Maybe I knew the whole time, and that's why I fell in love with him all over again. I was jealous for a time because I thought he loved Teya instead of me. I was so angry at her that I couldn't even think straight. All I wanted was his love, and he didn't seem to give it to me. Then I learned who he was, but not until after he had died. I lost my father and my love so close to each other than I thought I would die inside myself. It wasn't until later that Teya delivered Roy's final message to me: 'Eva, you deserve nothing less than your heart's greatest desire, but I'm not worthy of you. I blew my last chance at love a long time ago.'"
Adriana blinked, processing what Eva had said. "That's a lie," she said, her voice wavering. "He didn't..."
"He cared for Cassandra. He loved her with all his heart, and I'm the proof of that."
"Then why... why did he leave us?" Adriana screamed. "If he loved us, why did he break my mother's heart?"
Eva stood and walked out of the cell. "You've been following Roy for a long time, Adriana. You know why he did it better than I. Get some sleep. You look terrible."
Adriana looked like she was going to scream again. Instead, she slumped against the wall of her cell, her exhaustion finally catching up to her. "Eva, I'm sorry he broke your heart," Adriana whispered.
"He didn't break my heart," Eva said gently, "he's the only thing that kept me hopeful in my darkest hours."
Adriana closed her eyes, the faintest sign of a smile on his face.
Eva sat down and watched the gunslinger sleep. "She's as stubborn as you were, Roy. Damn you, she needs you. Why did you have to go?"

Wanna listen to me rant about stuff? I started a blog!
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Volke Posted: 16:28 Jun04 2014 Post ID: 3321659
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Sig and avatar by Ozzo. Thanks.

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Volke Posted: 16:29 Jun04 2014 Post ID: 3321660
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Oh, and was the Joslifer thing 'Role Play In A Field'?

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 20:19 Jun04 2014 Post ID: 3321685
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Volke said:Oh, and was the Joslifer thing 'Role Play In A Field'?

I don't believe so. You can look it up if you want; just do a Forum Search of FF&RP for JoSlifer. The RP was 16ish pages long iirc. I have a screen shot of Sky's first Bio for some reason, so I know that post was made on August 11th of 2006.

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Volke Posted: 11:29 Jun05 2014 Post ID: 3321747
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Nah, definitely not it then. Role Play In A Field was much earlier.

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 09:03 Jun19 2014 Post ID: 3324040
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Sorry this one took a while to get out. Contrary to what you might think, this one took longer NOT because of procrastination (This part was already written by the time I posted part 1), but because I've been working on other projects and kinda forgot about this. I've got about two more parts already written, but I sort of expect this to be closer to 10 parts when all's said and done. Since I still have more to write and I've got stuff going on, I'm going to slow the rate at which I release these. Don't expect Part 4 until at least next month. Until then, enjoy!

Part 3: Adriana

"Wake up; you're being summoned for breakfast with the queen."
Adriana's eyes opened a sliver. Some armored knight was standing in her cell, a key in hand.
"I'll see her for lunch," Adriana muttered, turning over and closing her eyes again.
"It was not a request," he replied, grabbing her under the arm and dragging her from her cell.
"Let go, bucket head!" Adriana snapped, thrashing in his grasp.
"If you prefer, I could just leave you in your chains," the knight replied, releasing her and letting her fall to the ground outside her cell.
Adriana cocked an eyebrow. "You're letting me go?"
"No, you're still to answer for assaulting the knights of the guard and for breaking into the royal palace."
"Seems like a bad idea drop the chains, then."
The knight grumbled something under his breath that she couldn't hear. "Her highness believes you would be more comfortable for breakfast without your chains. Moreso, you expressed the desire to speak to her. The queen believes you will not run from a simple conversation. I suggest you not try to run nor attempt to attack the queen. We will have over a hundred knights in the room, and all spears will be pointed at you."
"Yes, because we've seen how effective your knights have been at containing me."
Adriana tried to imagine the man's face turning purple with rage under his helmet. She half expected him to strike her. Instead, he spoke, "Hold out your chains."
It only took a few minutes to reach the dining room. All of the decorations and gold gilded crap in the room was probably really expensive and fairly impressive, but Adriana couldn't keep from thinking how fragile the room was. On the table, a massive feast was laid out, which seemed like a waste for just two people to dine. Steaming cakes, eggs prepared in every way imaginable, colorful juices in ornate pitchers, and that was just scratching the surface. The table had a small fortune in decorative plates, candleholders, and silverware set upon it, and that fortune seemed to grow as Adriana grasped the size of it; the table had to be hundreds of feet long! At the far end, Adriana saw the queen.
"Announcing the prisoner, Miss Adriana Reinhart!" A squire shouted with enough force to make Adriana's ears ring.
"I think she heard you, pal," Adriana said, rubbing her right ear. She approached the table and ignored a servant who pulled out a chair on the opposite side of the table from Teya. Instead, she began approaching Teya's end. A few guards began to step forward, but Teya raised her hand, signaling them to stop and the knights stepped back. Adriana pulled out the chair at Teya's right hand and spun it so she could rest with her arms on the back of the chair as she studied the woman.
Early into her forties, the years had been kind to the queen. Her legendary blonde hair was just as grand as the men in the taverns described it as, not a gray hair in sight. Her eyes were ocean blue and seemed warm and inviting compared to the cold stares the knights around the room were shooting her way. She was wearing a tacky necklace with a giant golden 'J' on it, but aside from that, her gown was white with inlaid with cloth-of-gold stitching. Just about any other woman she knew would kill for a dress like it. "You look much better," the queen commented.
"Yeah, despite the chains and cold stone floor, it was still more comfortable than half the taverns I've stayed in."
"I apologize for the conditions, but you have to admit that you left me little choice in the matter. Since none of my knights were permanently injured or killed and you were clearly not yourself given your sleep deprivation, I'm willing to let you off with a light punishment."
"And how would you know what I'm like normally?"
Teya ignored the comment, "I would suggest you take my offer; many of the knights want to see you locked away for many years for your crimes. Tide and Flare were even talking of taking your hands."
"And what would your punishment be, your grace?"
"Indefinite servitude to the kingdom."
"I think I'd prefer to take my chances against the peanut gallery. I'm no merc."
"Please, another attack and they will likely kill you despite my orders otherwise. I'll give you the chance to go to Terragnus and see Roy's grave provided you promise not to destroy it like the others. Perhaps that closure will cool your blood."
"My blood doesn't need cooling. My blood needs revenge. If he's not alive to take the brunt, perhaps his family should take the brunt. Do you know of any other Falcion alive?"
Teya's eyes narrowed. "I don't like what you're implying. Thankfully, the answer is no. From what I understand, Roy once spoke of you being the only other Falcion left alive while he was at the bottom of the bottle."
"I'm not a Falcion, but what blood he gave me will end here."
Teya sighed. "This is obviously a lot for you to take in. You should think on this and my offer over breakfast."
"This is more important than-" Adriana was cut off by a loud growl that swept across the hall.
Teya laughed. "Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. We can speak more after you've eaten."
In retrospect, coming to the castle to meet Teya while hungry, sleep deprived, and full of rage probably hadn't been the best idea. Adriana pulled a plate of assorted fruits towards her and dug in.
It took half an hour before Adriana was done, and when she looked up, Teya was staring at her with a puzzled expression on her face. "Something the matter?"
"It's just... Roy was generally a more conservative eater."
Adriana took a quick glance at her reflection in her now clear silver plate. Her face was almost completely covered with juices and crumbs, and a bit of food was stuck between her teeth. "I'm my mother's daughter in a family with no father, remember?" Adriana snatched a napkin off the table and wiped her mouth clean. "If I'm going to Terragnus, I'm going to need my gear back."
"Does this mean you'll accept my offer?"
"I'll consider it on the way."
"Adriana, you're not being reasonable."
"You have to give a little to get a lot. I need to see Roy's grave."
Teya folded her hands. "You have to promise me that you'll return to the castle with me afterwards. Otherwise we'll go nowhere."
Teya smiled. "Let it not be said that I missed a chance to go on a journey with Roy's blood."
Adriana scowled, but decided not to pursue the point further. It seemed like no matter where she went, people would think of her as Roy's daughter and not Cassandra's.
"Your grace, this seems foolish," one of the knights spoke up.
"Tide, I will hear no more of this. You and Flare shall remain here in command while I am away. Johan and Eva will accompany us, and I shall send for Striker to join us at Terragnus."
"Your Grace, Striker's been gone for..."
"About a year and a half, I recall. It would seem we have some catching up to do, then. Return Miss Reinhart's equipment and we will be off in an hour. Send for Johan and Eva to prepare as well."
"Yes, Your Grace," Tide growled through his teeth, walking away.
"Terragnus is going to be a few days of a journey. Are you sure your royal feet are ready for such a trek?" Adriana asked.
"Oh, we won't be walking, and it won't take days."
Adriana furrowed her brow. "Something tells me I'm not going to like this."

« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Oct 29th 2014 »

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 19:57 Jul17 2014 Post ID: 3330440
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It certainly is annoying that Supercheats still isn't on the best of terms with ye olde curly quotes. I can change them in Word, but the setting always seemed to change back...

Part 4: Striker

"Okay, I understand you're excited, but you're going to have to slow down and explain exactly what it is you meant by a 'Raven-Dragon-Demon from Hell.'"
"I'm telling you, young man, so you?d best listen this time!" The greybeard shouted. "A bird the size of a house landed on the west edge of town! Some wizards were atop it, likely looking to take our women and cattle!"
"Thanks, don?t worry, I'll take care of it." Striker sighed. He had been inside and asleep when the commotion from outside woke him up. By the time he'd made it outside, whatever it was had already gone. The locals had been in such a stir that none of them were of any help at all. The old man had been the most helpful, using the term loosely. I thought Teya had some sense of subtlety. Leave it to her to bring Grace to the ***-end of nowhere and scare the hell out of the entire town.
"I've been thinking we should rally the townsfolk! If that damned bird thinks he can carry off our town, we'll give him a what-for!"
"That won't be necessary, sir. I'm a trained Roc Hunter," Striker lied. "I'll have it taken care of in no time."
"You'd better! We don't have much in this town, but it's home! I swear, ever since those mercs came through town a month ago, we've been having nothing but trouble!"
Striker ignored that comment and walked towards the west side of town. Given how small the town was, it didn't take long to find what he was looking for. The queen looked as radiant as ever with her almost shining hair and flowing white robes. Thankfully she hadn't worn jewelry that would make her immediately noticed as royalty. It was unlikely that anyone around here would recognize her, but even so, it was foolish to go without covering her face. Eva seemed rather annoyed about something, but was on guard as always. Johan, on the other hand, seemed like he was about to burst out laughing. Our finest...
"Who in the hell made that plan to bring Grace?? Striker demanded. "Why didn't you just scream 'We're important, look at us!'?"
"Nice to see you too, Striker," Teya said, kissing him on his cheek. "Sorry, but our guest isn't the most patient or the most subtle. I was afraid that a longer trek across the land would have attracted even more attention."
"Fat chance of that. Speaking of which, where is the little firecracker?"
Eva jerked her thumb over towards a bush. Striker hadn't noticed the huddled form before, but now he saw someone retching into the bush.
"You're joking," Striker said.
"I... hate birds." The girl managed to choke out.
"So much for breakfast," Teya said with a laugh.
"Not... oh damn... not funny." Adriana groaned.
"Are you sure she's Roy's daughter?"
"Well, she did knock out half of my knights just to talk with Teya," Eva muttered.
"You sure there isn't another hit out on her?"
Eva snorted. "Doubtful. I assume Teya filled you in on all the details when she contacted you with the Sending spell?"
"More or less. Reinhart, eh?"
"My mother's name," Adriana said, finally standing up from the bush.
"Yes, Roy mentioned her once or twice. She was the one who built his arm, right?"
Adriana spat some bile out of her mouth, her stomach seemingly settled. "She was the greatest mechanic on the continent. No one could build firearms or mechanical limbs like she could."
"Did she build your weapons too?" Striker looked over the arsenal that she had strapped to her.
"No. I built these myself. Any more questions or can we find Roy's grave already?"
Teya gestured to a hill nearby. "I was here for the funeral; his grave is next to his house."
"Good." Adriana shouldered past Johan and began walking towards it.
Striker followed quickly. "I thought you had been looking for your Father for years. Did you never bother to check his home town?"
Adriana gave him a sharp look as he mentioned Roy, but didn't say anything about it. "Roy left a lot of messages for me. References to his research, history on the Falcion family, scrolls on the Powder Fist style of fighting, stuff like that. I don?t think he had been here since he was a child, so it wasn't really relevant until now. I didn't even know he was dead until yesterday. You guys really kept it low key with this funeral, it seems."
"It was one of his last requests that he be buried here. He didn't want to make a big fuss about it. It wasn't the only request he made, you know," Striker said.
"Yes, I know about the gun and book he left for me. They made good target practice."
She?s kidding, right? "There was something else. A message he wanted you to hear when you finally found us."
"I remember the wording exactly; Teya made me memorize it: 'Tell her Roy is sorry. For everything. That he doesn't deserve your forgiveness-'"
"Damn right he doesn't."
"'-but he wants you to know that he was wrong and that he'll never stop being sorry for what he?s done.'"
"Well isn't that touching? He's sorry and I have no family. Life sucks, eh?"
"Look, I know you're angry that Roy was never the father he should have been, but he was out saving the world. He had let his brother die so that Teya could live. He was doing the best he could, so you need to..."
"I need to what?" Adriana snapped, turning around. "Cut him a break? I know about his short career as a contract killer. All those lies he told so he could get in close and put a bullet in Teya's head. The fact that he got cold feet in the end doesn't change his malicious intents. You say he was too busy to be a father to me, that he lost his brother and needed to make up for it? Well, I never had a brother or a father. All I had was my mother, and he took her from me. Save your stories of his heroics for your children; Heroes are nothing but normal men who are glorified by bards and time."
"So what? Are you going to destroy his gravestone? Dig up his corpse and shoot him dead again? It's over Adriana. Let it go."
"As long as I have to live with his mistakes, it will never be over."
"Wait up! This robe wasn't made for running, you know!" Teya met them at the crest of the hill with her knights in tow. "Alright, Roy's grave should be behind the house, next to Jack Creed's grave."
"Wonderful." Adriana led the group behind the house, but stopped suddenly as she got a view of what was behind it. "What the hell?"
Striker stepped to the side to get a better view. He wanted to yell in fury. Someone had dug Roy?s grave up.
Teya gasped. "Who..."
Behind, he could hear Eva hadn?t taken the sight as well as he had. He heard a crunch of wood as she punched through the paneling on the house.
Adriana approached and looked down into the hole. "Was he buried with anything important?"
"N-no," Teya choked out. It was clear she was doing her best to keep from weeping. "I had his revolver and his journal. His shield was taken to a museum and put up under a false title... Did someone scrap his arm for the money?"
"No. Ten years underground hasn't been kind on the metal; my mother was good, but not that good. The metal is worthless now. His eyes are missing, though."
"His... what?" Striker could hear Teya gagging behind him.
"That makes no sense," Johan said, "His eyes would have decomposed by now."
"Falcion eyes wouldn't have. Residual magic on the eyes wouldn't have been particularly useful, but it would have preserved them for another few decades," Adriana said. She walked around the gravestone, examining it. When she came to the back, she furrowed her brow. "What's 'Evergreen Peak?'"
"The words 'Evergreen Peak' are written on the back of Roy's gravestone."
Striker walked back to where Adriana stood, stealing only a brief glance at his old friend's rotten corpse on the way. "I don't see anything."
"With eyes like those I'm not surprised."
"What do you... oh, right."
"It's up north," Johan spoke up. "It's a huge, thick forest atop a tall hill with a monstrous pine tree in the center of it. People have been saying that it's been haunted in recent years, and those with impure hearts will be killed by the spirits within it."
Adriana turned and pointed. "Is that it over there?"
Striker looked where she was pointing. Sure enough, a few miles beyond the edge of town he spied a large hill. More of a mountain, really, he thought. Towering a good three hundred feet above where they stood now, it was impressive that such a grand forest had even taken root there. The particular tree that Johan spoke of was visible even from here. It seemed almost as tall as the hill itself, and spread out what appeared from where they stood to be about a hundred feet in every direction. "You sure that's what it says?"
"Didn't the reliability of this eye save you and your father at some point?"
"Fair enough."
"Wait, we're not going anywhere yet," Teya piped up. "We need to rebury Roy's body. More so, I'm going to cast a few spells to expel any evil in the area, and I'll place some protective runes on the graves here. We owe Roy that much, at least."
"Sure, whatever," Adriana replied.
"You're awfully agreeable," Striker said. "How long will this take, Teya?"
"Not long at all."
Teya's perception of time seemed different from everyone else's, because by the time she finished with the final wards, nearly two hours had passed. It seemed like there was no shred of evil or corruption that Teya didn't have a spell prepared for. "You sure you're done? I think I might have sneezed an hour ago; that still might need purifying." Striker said.
Teya rolled her eyes. "Impatient as always, aren't we Striker? Yes, we're done. Where's Adriana?"
"She went to go question the locals," Johan replied. "Don't worry; I've been keeping an eye on her. She's been talking to that old man over there since she finished filling Roy's grave in an hour and a half ago. I think she wanted some info on the people who have been staying around here."
Striker looked over at the old man in question, who was chattering to someone standing around the corner of his house. Wait, that's the old guy I talked to earlier, Striker realized. "That girl hardly had the patience to fill in a hole, how could she survive a conversation with that geezer?"
Striker approached the house. "Ah," the old man said, noticing him, "I've finally found someone who actually listens to me, Mister Hunter! You could learn something from this young lad!"
"Wait, lad?" Striker poked his head around the corner. Sitting cross-legged in front of the man was a young boy.
The boy gave Striker a smile, showing a missing front tooth. "Hey."
"Where did Adriana go?" Striker did his best to contain his frustration.
"Her? She gave me a purse of gold over an hour ago and said it was mine if I listened to this old guy talk for a while. She left right after that."
"Old? Why you little..." Striker stood stunned as the young boy scampered off, gold in hand.
"Uh, so maybe I could have been keeping a closer eye on her," Johan muttered.
Eva slapped Johan on the back of the head. "One job. I give you one job."
"Where's she gone?" Teya gasped, "If Tide and Flare find out she's run..."
"No, no," Striker shouted, rubbing his temples. "She's clearly gone ahead of us. She obviously figured out that leaving her late father for the grave robbers wouldn't have worked with us, and went ahead to the forest. You three stay here; with all that gear she's carrying, I should be able to catch her and bring her back before she makes it to the hill. We'll decide what to do with her and about this situation once we get back."
Before he could leave, Teya grabbed his arm. ?Striker, please..."
"I won't hurt her, don't worry." Striker saw something in her eyes, a pleading of sorts.
"Help her," Teya whispered.
Striker blinked. So Teya still has a trickster within her somewhere. Striker nodded. "I'll return as soon as I can."

« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Oct 29th 2014 »

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penguinlord352 Posted: 20:39 Jul18 2014 Post ID: 3330597
I'm da Pengy
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Looking good so far man. I'll keep checking in every so often.
Reality-The World RP (It's an MMORPG styled RP: it's never too late to join!)

credit to shay for the sig and Craizen avy.
I'm Sir Walter the Garnet Time-Traveling Assassin of the Gemstone Order.
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imaloony8.0 Posted: 12:17 Oct28 2014 Post ID: 3354554
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Sorry about the delay for this chapter. As I said, I've had this part written for months, and it's really short, but I've been holding off because school has been keeping me busy despite that, I've felt bad for holding onto this. I've started writing again, and hopefully I'll have more of this ready soon. So enjoy this short chapter.

Part 5: Adriana

Adriana lowered her hand to her side, her hand hovering an inch from her submachine gun. For a minute, she stood still, the towering pines seemingly ready to collapse all around her. This forest is impossible! How is it that this place can even grow like this? I bet half of this bloody hill is solid stone! She moved her hand away from the gun. It must have just been a squirrel. Once again, she scanned the tree line, ever-aware of the slight green tint to her vision. For a time, The Emerald Eye had given her painful headaches when she used it for too long, but she had advanced long beyond that being a problem. Based on the notes she'd written from Roy's logs, it appeared that he never did. For a moment, she pitied his suffering, but quickly brushed the feeling aside.
"There it is." Adriana saw a faint arrow drawn on a tree, invisible to a normal eye and even difficult to detect with her enhanced vision. It pointed her deeper into the forest towards the towering evergreen at the center. Hopefully whatever was there for her was worth the trip; otherwise she didn't know what she would do. Her entire life had been spent hunting Roy down, and without the promise of revenge, all she could do was entertain the thought of destroying records of the Falcion family and letting their name fall into obscurity. It's all she had left, all she had to comfort her after...
"Adriana, dear, please don't hold it against your father," Cassandra had said to her that day.
"He's not my father! What kind of father would do this" If he really cared about either of us, he'd be here at your side! He'd have been here to raise me and help with the business! He's nothing more than a squatter!"
"I know you're angry Adriana, but when he returns..."
"He'll never return!" Adriana had fallen to her knees at her Mother's bedside. She had been only twelve and could feel the only person in her life slipping away. Their customers, the people they thought were their friends had moved on when they found out that the legendary mechanic was so deathly ill, leaving no one to grieve her besides Adriana. "Please mother, you can't leave me. Not because of him. Let him go for me, for the one who's been with you all these years. If you're gone I'll... I'll..."
"I know that one day you'll realize why I loved him so much. When he first held you, you should have seen his smile. He so rarely smiled, but after that day, I scarcely saw him without that smile... Oh how he loved you..."
"Don't go... don't go!" Adriana was screaming at that point, desperation thick in her voice. "I need you!"
Cassandra grabbed her daughter's sleeve and pulled herself up.
"Please, don't," Adriana whispered. "Just save your strength..."
Cassandra let herself fall limp in Adriana's arms, her mouth inches from Adriana's ear. She inhaled one final time before whistling loudly in her daughter's ear.
Adriana stumbled back in surprise, looking around at the forest. She had been daydreaming like a fool, but the whistle she heard was plenty real.
She saw movement ahead of her up in a tree as someone ducked into cover. Adriana put a hand on a pistol. "Who's out there" Show yourself!"
Before she could even finish speaking, the figure leapt from their tree and into another, bouncing then to another limb as they made their escape.
"Hey, get back here!" Adriana drew a submachine gun and chased after the figure. Whoever it was managed to stay one step ahead of her the entire time. Every time she thought she had the figure cornered, they leapt out of a completely different tree. Nearly ten minutes passed as Adriana dodged further and further into the forest.
This is pointless, he's just leading me on a... Adriana stopped. She stood in a small clearing, and she glanced around as several figures emerged from the brush to surround her. "...wild goose chase."
From a tree ahead of her, she saw a figure jump down from the branches and turn to face her. He looked young, but it was hard to tell with all the dirt coating his face. The pelt of some type of monkey hung from around his neck, and he held an old crossbow. "Drop it," he said.
Adriana slowly glanced around at the rest of her captors. She counted four in total, all men. They all held rifles and had them leveled at Adriana aside from the man with the crossbow, though a pistol hung at his side. They were likewise camouflaged, and looked tired. Still, with so many of them, she couldn't exploit their weariness? yet. She allowed her submachine gun to drop to the ground.
"Good girl; I'd hate to have to shoot you in the knees and drag you back-"
"Vince, are you sure she's the one?" One of the others asked.
"She?s the only one we?ve met these past few days in the forest; who else could it be??
"Just check, okay?"
"Hey sweet cheeks, lose the goggles."
Adriana lifted her hand to her face slowly, making sure to examine the faces around her closely, making note of their weapons and how they were standing. She pulled on the goggles and let them fall so they hung around her neck.
"See? Green eyes," Vince sneered at the other man. "Alright green-eyes, drop the rest of your weapons and ammo now; nice and easy."
Adriana's eyes narrowed. "As you wish," she replied. She unzipped her vest, showing a complex cross-lacing of straps holding more ammo than was immediately apparent on top of her undershirt. She yanked on the clasp for the harness, loosening it. She did the same with the bandolier around her waist. Finally, she shrugged off the ammo pouches, letting them fall to the ground with a powerful thud that seemed to shake the trees around them.
"Good god, what are you firing from those guns; boulders?" Vince said with a whistle.
Adriana ignored him and knelt down to pull a knife from her boot, which she carefully placed on the ground.
"I told you that you were worried for nothing, Knuckles," Vince said. "By the books and smooth, like always, just like the boss predicted."
From her kneeling position, Adriana quickly scooped up her fallen gun and tensed her legs. As she moved, she heard a gunshot.

« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Oct 28th 2014 »

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Matt77 Posted: 00:42 Nov01 2014 Post ID: 3355198
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Sweet! Thumbs Up

~ Sometimes people change, but sometimes you just open your eyes & realise who they truly are ~

Warrior13 said:I realized Matt is the Chosen One of SC.

Credits to KingofCorn for the awesome avatar!
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imaloony8.0 Posted: 12:32 Nov18 2014 Post ID: 3358858
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Part 6: Vince

"No! I don't care about your excuses your stupid rock-head!" Vince screamed. "We had one job. One simple job and you went and mucked it up! Do you have any idea what you've done?"
All the color was drained from the man's face. He still held the rifle, but his finger was notably staying off the trigger. "S-s-sir, I'm s-s-sorry..."
"No, you're not. But once I'm done with you, you sure as hell will be!"
"Vince," Knuckles said from behind him, "this isn't helping. We can deal with him later; remember our priority."
Vince muttered something. "Tell me everything you saw you bloody idiot."
The man was visibly shaking, but managed to swallow and begin to talk. "Well, like everyone else, I was watching her closely. She dropped her weapon and her harness, and began to work on the rest of her weapons. But..." He paused.
"Keep talking, or we'll have to force you to continue," Vince said, his eyes full of rage.
The man yelped. "She moved to pick up her pistols, sir!" He shouted, way too loudly for Vince's liking. "I used to be a guard, we're taught to shoot if they make a move like that! I'm sorry sir!"
Vince punched the man in the teeth. The man fell to the ground, his scream muffled as he grabbed at his own mouth. "We brought you to follow orders, not to relive you days as a guard! What happened then?"
"She was gone!" he screamed. "It was too fast, I didn't see where to!"
Vince delivered a swift kick to the man's side. "You had to have seen something! You were looking right at her! Where did she go?"
The man could only scream again as he clutched at his ribs. Vince glanced over to where the girl's ammo pouches still lay on the ground. One of the bandoliers she had dropped at first was missing, but otherwise everything was still there. Not a trace of her was left. Was it possible she had some sort of invisibility magic? Super speed? Neither seemed likely, but what else could it be? "Any signs yet?"
"None," Knuckles said. "Dirk is a good tracker, but he wasn't able to find any tracks other than what she made on her way here."
Vince swore. "The boss won't like this."
"We have some of her equipment, maybe there's a clue there?"
"Maybe. Before that, let's deal with this worthless mook." Vince pointed his crossbow at the man who still lay on the ground, writhing in pain, but before he could fire, he heard a gunshot in the distance.
He spun around instantly. "Dirk found her! If we hurry, we can make it before?" Vince heard a dull thud from behind him. So fixated on the gunshot, Vince realized he didn't have a chance to turn around, and instead jumped to the ground just as he heard the second gunshot, this one from right behind him.
The bullet grazed his leg, but Vince managed to roll and turn just in time to see Knuckles take a round in the thigh. The large man roared, but still managed to turn and swing at the girl.
The green-eyed ***** ducked under the punch and stepped away. Vince quickly recognized both pistols in her hands: Pistons; antiques that needed their hammer pulled between shots. Holding one in each hand, especially with those clumsy hooks modified on them, she wouldn't be able to shoot off any more...
The girl spun her guns around, holding them so the barrels were pointed down her arm towards her elbows, and jumped back at Knuckles. She used one gun to block his first punch, and hooked his shoulder with the hammer of the second one. She yanked down hard, the hook digging into Knuckles' shoulder and pulling the hammer back with a click. Knuckles stumbled down to his knees, roaring in pain until the girl slammed her bulky gun against his temple, sending him to the ground.
Vince smiled and raised his crossbow, aiming for the back of the girl's knee. With her back to him, she wouldn't have a chance to react before it was too late. He squeezed the trigger and heard a dull thrum as the quarrel was released just as he heard another retort from the piston that the girl had cocked against Knuckles' shoulder. Vince felt the crossbow jerk as the round impacted against the limb of the crossbow, making his shot go wide. Vince looked up, mouth agape. The smoking gun was held behind the girl's back, but her focus was still on Knuckles, whom she now knocked out with a second blow to the head. She hadn't even been looking when she made the shot.
The girl let out a breath as she turned to face Vince. Her eyes had changed. Somehow, they were... cracked, as though they were made of glass, and an impact had sent a spiderweb of fractures through her iris. "What... what are you?" Vince gasped.
"Very annoyed," the girl grunted.
The girl perked up at the sound of someone, not far off shouting that name. Without hesitating, she flexed her legs, and jumped twenty-five feet into the air, where she grabbed a high tree branch and swung her way up. She... she jumped? She escaped us the first time by jumping? How is that possible? Just who the hell were we sent after?
"Adriana! Are you over here?"
Vince glanced at his crossbow before tossing it aside. The round had completely destroyed a limb, making it useless. He got to his feet and drew his pistol. "Whoever is out there, come out, now!" Vince shouted, determined to take control of the situation once again.
A brown haired man emerged from the tree line around the clearing, a scar over one eye and a scarf hanging loosely around his neck. "Hello," he said, raising one hand in a greeting.
"Who the hell are you? Where did Dirk go?"
"You mean the angry guy rooting through the forest? He attacked me, so I had to deal with him. He'll wake up with some bruises, but you can collect him on your way out."
Vince's eyes bulged in anger. How was this happening? His ambush had fallen apart in moments thanks to these two fools. His eyes found the sword hilt poking out above the man?s shoulder. "Wait, I know you! You?re Striker! You?re the one who? who?? his eyes met the sword across Striker?s back. "By Vladimar's blood..."
"Hey, I'm not looking for trouble, just for a friend of mine. Have you seen her? Brown hair, armed to the teeth, probably had green eyes at the time?" Vince's eyes must have glanced upwards, because Striker immediately looked above him and scowled. "Really? Come on, get down here."
"How the hell did you catch up with me? I must have had an hour's head start," came the reply.
"I practice my cardio daily," Striker shouted back up.
Adriana jumped down from her perch with practiced grace. She shot a quick glare at Vince, and then returned her gaze to Striker. "So, you're here to take me back."
"Not exactly. Hey, did something happen to your eyes...?"
"Don't change the subject," Adriana said. "Just scamper back to Teya and tell her I'm long gone. I have business to attend to, you know."
"You're not the only one with a stake in this, you know. I'm not going to let my best friend's daughter get herself killed with her recklessness. That's why I'm coming with you."
"You... what?"
Striker grinned. "Teya and I aren't quite the sticklers you take us for. I'm always up for an adventure, and I want a crack at the guy who tore Roy's grave up."
Vince gritted his teeth. They were ignoring him like he was just an insect! He wanted to scream at them, get his men back and see how likely they were to ignore him then. He spied something that stopped him, however. Down in the grass off to the side of these strangers, the man that he and Knuckles were about to kill had stirred, and now produced a pistol, which he was aiming at Striker. The useless idiot was actually going to do something right. With the surprise that followed, he could grab the Adriana girl, and the plan would continue just as intended.
Adriana seemed to straighten, and then jumped forward, pushing Striker out of the path of the gun, but jumping into it herself.
A loud retort sounded through the clearing.
Vince held his breath, waiting for the girl to fall. Instead, the idiot had collapsed, dead as a doornail. His eyes swung to the find the sound of the gunshot. It hadn't been Striker, Adriana, or the idiot, so who?
Another man was standing at the edge of the clearing that Vince didn't recognize. A helmet with a mask covered his head, and tough looking leather armor covered the rest of his body. In his hands he held a scoped rifle that he quickly worked the bolt of and lowered as he approached.
Vince began to crawl backwards. This hadn't gone at all as he had planned... was he to die here? No, he wouldn't allow it.
"Friend of yours?" Adriana muttered.
"Don't think so. Enemy of yours?"
"Screw you."
The man stopped and nodded at Adriana. "Come with me."
"Nice to meet you too. Mind telling us who the hell you are?"
"The guy who just saved you from a bullet to the spine."
"What do you want with Adriana?" Striker asked.
"Nothing; It's my master who's interesting in meeting her."
"And who is your master?"
"Not my place to say," the man replied.
"So, how do we even know this person exists? You could be leading us straight into an ambush!"
"That's enough!" Vince roared. His whole body ached as he leveled his pistol. "Everyone drop your weapons! This stupid bimbo is coming with me if it's the last thing that I do!"
The three of them looked at him like he had appeared out of nowhere.
"Who is this guy again?" Striker asked.
"Some idiot who's trying to kidnap me."
"I said drop your weapons! Hands in the air!"
The helmeted man seemed to glare at Vince as he delicately placed his rifle on the ground, then raising his hands above his head.
Vince smiled. "Now you two!"
"You both asked how you could trust my word? I don't think you can, but I don't really think my master's willing to give you an option."
"Shut your damn mouth! We're..."
The man closed one of his hands, and a booming crack swept through the forest. The last thing Vince saw was a spurt of blood erupt from the center of his chest.

« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Nov 18th 2014 »

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 15:59 Jun02 2015 Post ID: 3380064
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Here it is, all. More in the coming days. No, I'm serious. It's already written, I swear. No more year-long hiatus for a story that should have been written entirely before I started positing it.

Part 7: Leon

"No way," The green-eyed girl, Adriana, responded. "Teya wanted you to help me?"
"You don't give Teya enough credit; remember, when she was your age she had a hell of an adventure with Roy and I."
"I always just assumed Teya tagged along... what kind of trouble did you lot get yourselves into?"
"I'll have to sit down and give you the whole story some time... I don't think we'll have time now, but suffice it to say that it was an enlightening experience for all of us. I wanted to wring Roy's neck sometimes, I can tell you. How about you? I assume you've had some adventures in the past decade."
Adriana shrugged. "Nothing too exciting. Following Roy's notes, taking some work on the side for some extra cash. I didn't play hero too often... though it is fun when the occasion arises."
"I don't suppose any of those adventures explain why your knees have been replaced with springs, do they?"
"No, that's because of the two-hundred pound rig of ammo and weapons I'm carrying with me; I have to carry everything I own with me at all times. After a while, I developed that technique you saw."
"Two-hundred pounds? Are you nuts?"
Adriana laughed. "Maybe, but it works."
Leon let out a small groan. "Keep it quiet, will you? We're trying to stay inconspicuous."
"Isn't your angel of death looking out for us in case those bad guys had more friends? Seems like he's a pretty good shot too; if he was shooting from the big tree like you said, it had to be a least a fifteen-hundred yard shot through the brush, and he made it in one," Adriana replied.
"We're entering a blind spot at the base of the tree, so the covering fire is about to end. Besides, people aren't the only thing to fear in this forest."
"So it seems. Hey, aren't you ever going to tell us your name?"
"Doubtful; there isn't any reason for you to know that."
"No name and a big scary mask. Someone's trying to play the mysterious-type."
Leon reached up and adjusted the mask in question slightly. "The mask is for the branches,"
"The... what?"
"Going through the tree tops is the best way to get around the forest discreetly, but I can only take so many branches to the face before having to do something about it."
"Yeah, I didn't even see you until you had already saved us!" Striker said with a laugh.
Leon didn't reply, but instead stopped at their destination. The trunk of the forest's central tree was a least a hundred and fifty feet in diameter, and he didn't even bother to guess how tall it was. The lowest branch was twenty-five feet up the trunk, which made getting into the tree somewhat complicated. "Wait here," he said before jumping onto a smaller neighboring tree. Before they could begin to object, he had already climbed ten feet up.
"Where the hell are you going?" Adriana demanded.
Leon ignored her, reaching his destination thirty feet up. He quickly walked along a long branch that reached out to the larger tree. Once close enough, he reached into the branches of the large tree and felt around until he found the hidden rope. He gave it a quick tug, and heard a click as confirmation. Above Striker and Adriana, a trapdoor that appeared to be part of the foliage sprang open and a rope ladder tumbled out. Leon climbed over to the ladder and climbed it up, arriving in a dark, cluttered room. "Come on up," he called down.
"This is what Garm was talking about when he said I love to walk into traps, wasn't it?" Leon could hear Striker from below.
"Don't you want to take our weapons from us first?" Adriana called up.
"Would you even consider giving them to me?" Leon responded.
"Good point." Leon could see the ladder begin to sway as the two climbed up and into the room. Stuffed full of bookshelves seemingly at random, the lowest level of this structure was also the largest and the darkest. There wasn't any clear organization of the books either, but his master never seemed to have trouble remembering what book was where.
"Is... there a whole building hidden in this tree?" Striker asked.
"Was a pain in the *** to build too, but it does its job. Follow me; Master should be in the reading nook." Leon led the two through the maze that was their library. Behind him, he could hear the two bumping into the shelves as their eyes adjusted to the dark. "Watch out for the tripwire here," Leon said casually, taking a high step.
"What does it do?" Adriana asked.
"You know, I don't really remember. It either sets off an alarm, or it kills you. One of the two."
"Glad to know that you're so knowledgeable about your death maze."
Leon shrugged. "I know where all the traps are."
He continued to lead the two through the maze until he finally reached their destination. The maze opened up into a chamber with significantly more ambient light, but still dim by the standards of most. At the end of the chamber, a cushioned chair and a small side-table stood. From the ceiling, a dim lantern glowed with the light of dozens of lightning bugs. A similar light source sat on the table. The most striking thing in the room, however, was who sat in the chair.
Leon bowed his head. "Master."
The old woman before them looked like a battered toy with many of the pieces missing. Her right leg ended just below the knee and continued with an old wooden peg. Her right hand, wrinkled and pale as it was, was missing the three middle fingers and a brown patch covered her left eye. About the only thing about this woman that didn't look damaged was her hair. A silver braid was wrapped several times around her neck, but not a single hair looked out of place. Her rifle sat across her lap as always. Her one good eye locked onto Leon. "Took you long enough," she chuckled. Even her voice seemed like it was in disrepair, a small rasp accompanying her words.
"These two slowed me down," Leon replied as Adriana and Striker made their way around the corner.
The woman scowled. "You were supposed to only bring the girl."
"He insisted. Seemed like the quickest way to get moving."
"I apologize," Striker said, stepping forward, "my name is..."
"I know who you are, Manuel," the woman snapped. "The famous Red Assassin." Her voice took on a somewhat mocking tone. "Son of Trevor Frenxs, hero who wields the Jovasaber, Teya Lovette's lover, blah, blah, blah. You don't interest me, sonny."
Striker jumped a little at the sudden hostility, then slowly stepped back, looking somewhat downtrodden.
"Now you," she pointed at Adriana with her good hand. "I believe you got my message."
"The cryptic, hidden message on the back of Roy's Tombstone? Yeah, I saw that. I don't suppose you were the one who dug up his grave?"
"Do I look like I've been digging holes lately?"
"How about tall, dark, and brooding over here?"
Leon grunted.
"Leon, aren't you going to take that mask off? You're being rude to our guests." Master said.
Leon sighed and detached the mask from his helmet, hanging it on his belt. "Happy?"
"Peachy," Master said. "So, little girl, who are you and what were you doing?"
"I could ask you the same question, old hag."
The room seemed to cool down and Leon could almost see the sparks between their eyes.
"Adriana Reinhart," she finally said. "I was going to spit on my father's grave until I found your message."
"Ah yes, Roy Falcion's ******* who took her mother's name out of spite."
Adriana narrowed her eyes. "If you already knew that much, why ask?"
"Because dearie, I wanted to hear you answer."
Adriana slammed her fist into a nearby bookshelf, sending several books tumbling to the ground. "Enough! Stop playing games and tell me what you want already! I came here for answers, not to hear you patronize me!"
"Very well," Master said. "I have seen those whom you seek. Those who dug up Roy Falcion's grave, stole his eyes, and began to experiment on them."
It was hard to see in the dim light, but it seemed like all the color drained out of Striker's face. "E...experimenting?" Striker stammered. "Why would they do that?"
"I have a few theories, but nothing concrete," Master replied.
"Why are they doing that? Who are they?"
"I'm not entirely sure. The group doesn't have a name or any particular affiliation; it's made up of Jovalists, Vladimorians, and Agnostics alike from all over. They all flock to their leader, but I can't find anything remarkable about her."
"So those thugs we met in the forest?"
"They seemed to be part of the same group, yes."
Leon caught it just in time. He drew his sidearm and pressed the barrel to the side of Adriana's head just as she leveled her own on his Master. Before anyone could even speak, Leon felt a blade press close to his throat.
"Drop the gun!" Leon shouted.
"You first, buddy," Striker barked.
"You heartless *****," Adriana seemed to be ignoring the immediate danger to focus on Master.
Master laughed, clapping her hands together. "Oh, a standoff! How exciting! I should have you bring guests here more frequently Leon, this is a blast!"
"Master, get out of here now," Leon said.
"No, Master can stay and talk," Adriana snapped.
"Adriana, what the hell are you doing?" Striker asked.
"It was all part of your plan, wasn't it?" Adriana tightened her grip on her pistol. "I ought to..."
"You ought to nothing!" Leon shouted. "Drop the damn gun!"
"Everyone just calm down!" Striker said.
"I'm perfectly calm, and I imagine I'll be even calmer when I put this windbag into the grave!"
Master steepled her fingers, as she normally did while she was thinking. A habit from her last life that now looked strange without three of her fingers. "As much as I hate to break up this tense moment, we really need to move on. Leon, put your weapon away. I expect you to respond in kind, Manuel. I can't have you killing my only apprentice, you know."
"Master, she's going to kill you! She's..."
"Leon," Master scowled, "you're not disobeying me, are you?"
Leon hesitated. He grunted and removed his finger from the trigger before holstering his pistol. He felt the pressure on his throat disappear as Striker removed and sheathed his own weapon, which left Adriana with her gun pointed at Master.
"It was you," She said accusingly. "You knew these people were looking for me; for someone with the Emerald Eye who could read the message you left, leading them here to this forest. You set a trap for me, planning to trade me over to them so they'd leave your forest so wouldn't have to take any real responsibility!"
"She didn't..."
"Leon, please, let her finish," Master said calmly.
"This whole meeting is just a damn formality. You're probably in league with these lunatics and they're probably on their way here now, aren't they? Well? Answer me grandma!"
A small smile appeared on Master's face. "What an interesting choice of words Miss Reinhart. Yes, as I said, I left the message for someone with the Eye with the intent that they would come here, as you have." She closed her eye and sighed. "That's where the story gets a little more complicated. You see, these people didn't show up in this town until about six months ago. I wrote that message closer to ten years ago."
"Oh yeah?" Adriana snorted. "And why the hell should I believe you? You could be making that up to buy some time."
"That's true, but there's one more piece to this puzzle. The Emerald Eye user that those men were searching for was not you." Master opened her eye, which was now shining a beautiful green. "I apologize; I must be forgetting my manners in my old age. My name is Jennifer Falcion. I believe you're both acquainted with my son, Roy?"
The room was silent, and no one dared move.
Jennifer finally spoke up. "I know my son has done wrong by you, Adriana. I cannot hope to make up for the loss of your mother, but if my death will give you some measure of peace then my life is yours to take."
"Master! You can't!" Leon shouted.
"Adriana..." Striker whispered.
Adriana's expression was difficult to read. Anger? Surprise? Sorrow? It was impossible to tell for certain. She took a step forward, her gun still leveled at Jennifer. "For years... for years I chased my father's shadow, looking for revenge. When I heard he was dead, I knew that was it, and that my life was over; devoid of purpose. But with you here... I have a new opportunity." Adriana took another step forward, lowering her pistol slightly. "All those years... wandering by myself..." Adriana's voice caught slightly. "Oh god... I'm not alone." The pistol slipped from her grasp and fell to the ground with a clatter. "Grandma...?"
Jennifer's expression softened. "Welcome home, dear."
Adriana fell to her knees, threw her arms around Jennifer and began sobbing. Striker and Leon both let out the breath they had been holding.
"You knew about this, didn't you?" Striker muttered.
"Of course I did. I knew the stakes when I rescued you two. Master forbade me from saying anything, though. Stubborn old bag," Leon replied. "I'll say this though; I've only seen that smile on my master one other time, and that's when she met me. That girl is something special."
Jennifer stroked Adriana's hair lightly, humming some song to Adriana quietly.

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 17:56 Jun03 2015 Post ID: 3380213
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Part 8: Jennifer

"I see a scout," Jennifer said. "Want me to take the shot?" Some grunt, probably a new recruit, looked out at the town with a hand over his eyes to shield them from the overhead sun. His cruel leaders hadn't even given him binoculars. "I bet he thinks he's well hidden too. Shame," Jennifer thought.
"Does he see us?" Connor asked.
"How the hell should I know? He sees the town, that's for sure. I doubt he sees anything specific though." Her right hand tensed and her index finger curled around the trigger, anticipating the chance to shoot this newbie down.
"Leave him. We don't want the attack to start before the others are ready."
Jennifer snorted. "You're no fun."
"And you're a psychopath."
"Sticks and stones, big bro. Rifle rounds, though..."
"How's it looking up there?" Someone shouted.
"Lots of ducks, but the wolves haven't popped up yet," Jennifer replied.
"The attack hasn't started, Uncle Xavier," Connor called back down.
Jennifer sighed and set her rifle down, stepping over to the edge of the roof. "Have you guys finished setting up yet?" From here, Jennifer could see most of the tiny village. Only a few dozen houses and a larger town hall were crowded in this area; most of the town's area was dedicated to the surrounding farmland.
"Just about. Everyone except the village elder has evacuated, the traps are set, and everyone is finishing up reinforcing their positions as we speak."
"What's the deal with the elder?"
Xavier shrugged, adjusting the shoulder strap that held his crossbow. "Says he has a duty to the village to stay."
"Whatever, it's his funeral. The report said there's close to two-hundred soldiers on their way here. Even picking them off at a distance, it'll make the close quarter fighting difficult with so many."
"Did you ever hear back from the Assassins?" Connor asked.
Xavier rolled his eyes. "Lotta *** kissing, but no answers. We're the 'best of the best,' they say. Wouldn't want anyone else taking care of this important of a job."
"I'm telling you, we shouldn't have brought the whole family. What if they bring siege weaponry? They could wipe out all of us!" Connor exclaimed.
"What, against a little town like this? Doubtful. More likely, once your sister starts picking them off, they'll soil themselves and run away. Easy paycheck."
"I hope you're right."
Something caught Jennifer's attention at the edge of vision. "Finally! Some bloody action!" She laid back down on the roof and looked down the scope of her rifle. There, at the edge of the trees, she saw several men emerging. "Lock and load, boys, the playground bullies have arrived!"
"Stations, everyone!" Xavier barked. "Jen, fire at will."
"You got it," she replied. She scanned the front line of fighters. "Pretty well armed for such a small fighting force," Jennifer thought. Heavy armor, lots of weapons, supply wagons, everything a growing army needs to stomp a town on the way to wiping out some assassins. "Shoot the ugly one in the front? Nah, too easy. Pop a wheel off a wagon? More of an annoyance at this point. Hmm, maybe there's an officer in that next row. Or the one... behind it. Or..." Jennifer lifted her eye away from the scope. "Connor," she whispered, "what in the hell is that?"
Connor slowly lowered his own pair of binoculars. "Xavier," he said slowly, "the report said how many soldiers?"
"Two-hundred, two-fifty, tops. Why?"
"Come on Jennifer." Connor and Jennifer dropped down off the roof and approached Xavier, who was busy loading a bolt into his crossbow. "Where's that elder?"
"What are you doing? If we're going to fight this off, we have to start picking them off..."
"Where is the damn elder Xavier?"
Xavier paused. "Town Hall."
Connor and Jennifer pushed past Xavier and slammed open the door to the hall. "What the hell kind of game are you playing geezer?" Jennifer shouted.
The man must have been more than ninety years old, leaning on a cane for support. "My duty," he replied sternly.
"That report you gave us was faulty!" Connor shouted. Jennifer heard Xavier come in behind him. "Two-hundred? More like Two-thousand! Three, maybe!"
"What?" Xavier shouted. "We can't deal with that; we don't have enough ammo, time, resources... anything!"
The old man's eyes darkened. "There is more at stake here than you realize. I did what I had to, as did the guild."
Jennifer kicked over one of the tables in the hall, sending a vase to the floor with a crash. "I knew we shouldn't have trusted those backstabbers!"
Xavier turned to Connor. "Go round everyone up and sound the retreat. Double time!"
Before Connor could even move, someone appeared at the door to the hall. "Xavier!" Phillip shouted, a waver in his voice. "W-w-we... we saw something, and sent some scouts to check it out..." he stopped. Phillip was good at what he did, but he was the screw-up of the family and a bit of a coward. Thankfully, Jennifer didn't have to call him anything closer than a second-cousin.
"Spit it out, man!" Xavier shouted.
"Forces to match the one in the north! To the east, south, and west!" Phillip cried.
A chill fell over the room. "This village will become our grave, then," the elder whispered.
Jennifer pulled up her rifle and shot the cane out from the man's hand, sending him sprawling to the ground. "You old *******!" She shouted, "I'll kill you!"
Connor wrapped his arms around Jennifer, holding her as he dragged her out of the Town Hall.
"You've killed us all you stupid old man!"
"Shut up Jen!" Connor shouted, throwing her to the ground. "Xavier, what's the plan?"
Xavier pinched the bridge of his nose, an old habit of his. "We fight. What else?"
"And we die," Jennifer said, dusting herself off and picking up her rifle as she stood. "A few dozen of us up against eight to twelve-thousand of them. We don't have a prayer."
"We do, if we break the rules," Xavier muttered.
Connor and Jennifer froze, stealing a glance at each other. "The God's Eye?" Connor whispered. "You know what that means... not just for us, but for the family."
"I know, but there isn't any other choice."
Phillip was visibly shaking. "Xavier... I... I don't want to die!"
Xavier shook his head. "Hopefully it won't come to that. This town is all the cover we've got, so the bulk of our forces will stay here. We won't all use the God's Eye if we don't have to, we'll activate them a few at a time, hopefully that will save a few of us. But just in case... Phillip, how was the concentration of troops to the south-east?"
Phillip shifted uneasily. "Hard to say, that's where the forest is thickest, so we didn't get a good look there. If I would guess, not too heavy."
"If we all go, they'll notice for sure and collapse in on us, but if only a few go... they might make it through."
"So, who goes?" Connor asked.
Xavier frowned. "Phillip, Jennifer, you two will go."
Phillip seemed to sigh in relief, but Jennifer stood up angrily. "I can fight! Don't send me away with this loser; send Connor instead! I won't run while you get slaughtered here!"
Xavier glared at her. "Jennifer, we don't have time to argue this. You have a family. Go to them; protect them. Jack and Roy are the future of this family, and you have to make sure they're taken care of."
Jennifer gnashed her teeth. "Connor...?"
"Go, sis." He smiled. "I'll kill twice as many just for you."
Jennifer grabbed Connor's hands, pulling him close one last time. "Don't you die. I forbid it."
Connor kissed his sister's forehead once more and hummed a few notes from her favorite song before pulling away. "Go."
Jennifer slapped Phillip on the shoulder. "You heard the man," she said, trying to keep her voice steady. "We have our orders."

"The brush in that part of the forest was thicker than any I had ever seen, which was probably why we never saw them coming. I took an arrow to my calf out of nowhere and collapsed. I think Phillip ran off at first and someone jumped on top of me and tried to finish me with their knife. In the struggle he broke it on a rock and jammed what was left into my eye. It was at that point that Phillip reappeared. His eyes... he had trigged the God's Eye. Foolish... he could have made it out, but... but I owe my life to him. He found his courage there in our darkest hour. At first he tried to pull me up by my hand, but he wasn't used to his new strength and so..." Jennifer touched her right hand where her middle three fingers were missing. "He carried me a long ways, and managed to get me to the next town. By then I was nearly unconscious, but I heard his last words before he died: 'Please, save her.'
"The town didn't have a proper doctor, but they had a medicine man. He had to amputate my leg below the knee because of how badly it had gotten infected and it took me most of a month before I could even move around. While I was there, I managed to learn a few things about what had happened: The Assassins had some sensitive documents and artifacts hidden in that village, which was why such a large force attacked. I never found out whether or not those force managed to recover what they were looking for, but there were no survivors on our side, save myself. The assassins knew what it meant to put a Falcion against the wall, and they counted on us using The God's Eye to save their precious crap. A plan fit for those cowards.
"A full year after that I was able to leave and made my way back to Terragnus only to find that Roy had left home and my husband Nigel had died. Jack was there alone despite how young he was. He didn't even recognize me at first; he tried to offer me some food, thinking I was a beggar. Nigel raised him well, no thanks to me.
"I... considered not telling him who I was and leaving him be, but he deserved to know. Sparing you all the details, I revealed my identity and we had a long talk about how I wasn't really a traveling salesperson and what had happened. Jack took it pretty well, all things considered. Roy was long gone and I had no chance of catching up with him in my state, so Jack and I began working on this hideout in secret in case of emergencies. It took many years just to build the basic structure and then... well, a group of Vladimorians caught wind that Roy and Jack were the last living Falcions. Knowing which of the two was best at killing, they went after Jack. That selfless little... he sensed something wrong and left me up here. By the time I had managed to slowly get down the ladder?nearly killing myself in the process?they had already captured Jack. You know what happened from there. They blackmailed Roy, he chose to save the princess, Jack was killed, and Roy was exiled. I stayed at our home on the edge of town for the next five years, wallowing in my own grief. No one bothered showing up to the house until five years after Roy's exile. That's when I woke up to some five year-old brat rooting through the house looking for money and food. Leon should be familiar with this part, because after he told me his sob story about how he was an orphan with not a second of education and nothing but the clothes on his back, I took him under my wing. We moved back into this hideout and slowly finished it over the years. From here, I kept watch over Roy; I saw that he had met Cassandra, and I saw him leave her so he could finish what he had started with Vladimar. I saw him die, I saw Cassandra die, but most importantly, I saw you live, Adriana. So I left that message on Roy's grave hoping that one day you'd come to this old crippled body."
Adriana's focus on her was quite impressive; probably the most focused that Jennifer had ever seen her. "And now you know my story."
Striker slowly raised his hand. "Uh, Miss Falcion?"
Jennifer rolled her eye. "You're not in school Manuel, nor do I believe you ever have been."
"Right... well, how did you see everything that happened to Roy and Adriana if you were here this whole time?"
"Ah, yes. That. Well, I should probably show you. Leon, take them up to the observation level and then bring me up."
Leon nodded. "You two, don't touch anything in the armory; I'm in the middle of sorting everything. Oh, and if either of you snatch anything from the kitchen I'll kick you off the top of the tree."
"Someone got hostile," Striker muttered.
Jennifer laughed. "Never did get around to teaching him manners." Jennifer pushed herself up from her chair and tucked her rifle under her arm so that the muzzle touched the ground. The stock of the rifle had been refitted so it was more padded and comfortable.
Adriana paused at its sight. "That's... an appropriate crutch for an ex-sniper."
"Ex? Watch your tongue; don't you remember who saved you?" Jennifer smirked.
Leon led the two up a ladder near the trunk of the tree while Jennifer waited on the other side of the trunk. She felt the phantom itch over her right eyepatch again and touched it reflexively. "I'm getting too old for this," she said to herself. "Ironic, I know. I used to think I was so damned immortal; untouchable. Best sniper in the world. If only that little girl could see what she would become, maybe it would have ended differently..." She heard a bell ring and stepped on the platform that now lay next to her, ringing the bell herself this time. The platform slowly began rising up through each level of the tree. Past the kitchen, then the living quarters, general storage, and the armory, each room getting smaller as the tree tapered off. Finally, the platform reached its destination; the highest point on the tree that they had felt comfortable building on. A little over five hundred feet up the tree; this level was a mere thirty feet in diameter. A waterproof dome overhead made sure that no rain fell to this level, and the branches had been trimmed to hang about eighteen inches above this level's floor. On one side of the room, a rather comfortable cushion lay on the ground right in front of an enormous lockbox.
"So what is this, your sniper's nest?" Adriana asked.
"Precisely," Jennifer replied. She gestured to the cushion. "The floor on this level rotates. See that handle over there? It's slow, but it can spin three-hundred sixty degrees. I lie on that cushion there, and I watch the world."
"Hold on," Striker said. "You don't mean for us to believe that you saw, with your own eyes everything that has happened these past decades, do you?"
Jennifer smiled. "Has Adriana told you about the levels of the Emerald Eye?"
"Well, yes," Striker replied. "Roy talked something about it too. The base level eye is what allows a Falcion to see in the dark, predict projectile paths, see the wind, and all that jazz. It has some nasty side effects like headaches and temporary blindness, but if you can get past it, you can use The Eye at will."
"Right, and Roy tried to master it, unsuccessfully I might add, by separating his mind into two halves and using the one which would be a better fighter: the instinctive side of the mind," Jennifer said. "I tried the same technique to similar effect."
"Right," Striker said, "and beyond that, the eye can enter the God's Eye, where their physical abilities are elevated to that of a God. Unfortunately, there's no way to turn it off and the exertion eventually kills the user."
"Very good," Jennifer said. "However, you missed a step. Adriana?"
Adriana ran a hand through her hair thoughtfully. "Well, there's a middle stage. Stage two, if you will. A Falcion who masters the first stage might proceed to a more powerful, personalized version of The Eye. Because of that inferior technique, it had been a couple generations since the last Falcion managed to awaken their 'hidden eye,' but... well, remember back when we were fighting those guys? How I made some of those shots without even looking?" Adriana closed her eyes tight and seemed to flinch, as if in pain. When she opened her eyes again, her iris appeared like it had cracked in half and slid slightly off-center. Smaller cracks ran through the rest of her eyes. "I call this the Fractured Eye. It allows me to see in three hundred and sixty degrees at all time. However, beyond fifty yards, my vision begins to get pretty blurry."
Jennifer smiled. "The Fractured Eye... an excellent name. As a Falcion becomes a true master of the eye, it may awaken new abilities specific for the user."
"Why didn't I ever see Roy using one of those special eyes?" Striker asked.
"Well, as I mentioned, Roy took a newer and ineffective method of mastering the eye as most of us did at that time. We believed that by cutting off our emotions, we would become more efficient warriors. While it worked in the short-term, none of us were capable of accessing this 'True Eye.' I imagine Adriana's research led her to an older, superior method of mastery."
Adriana nodded. "A Falcion from centuries ago, Olaf Falcion, wrote that only by knowing yourself could you unleash this true power. By cutting themselves off from a core part of who they were, this newer generation made it impossible to access this eye."
"But as I laid in the hut of the medicine man, trying to keep myself from crying, I had my breakthrough moment. I let myself feel the sorrow that I needed to feel... and then this woke within me." Jennifer closed her eye, and opened it again slowly. She could see Striker jump in surprise at her eye: the iris had grown to cover most of her eye, and the pupil had shrunken to the size of a grain of sand. "This is the Far Eye."
"So... with that you can see great distances, I assume?" Adriana asked. "I supposed that's how you've been watching everything?"
Jennifer nodded. "The power of this eye is potent; it can bend the light as I look at it, allowing me to see past where the curvature of the planet would allow. With it... I can see to any corner of the planet. With enough focus, I can even see inside buildings and underground. The drawback, and all the eyes have those, as you know, is that it becomes much harder to see things close to me while the eye is active."
"That's incredible..." Striker said. "Wait, you've been spying on people for all these years then?"
Jennifer smiled. "Something like that. I can't hear that far, of course, but I've learned to read lips rather well, so I know plenty of dirty little secrets. When necessary... I can intervene, to a point." Jennifer gestured to Leon who opened the lockbox. Inside, an enormous, beautiful rifle was held upright with several chains and an intricate lever system. Leon turned several cranks and moved the chains around, slowly lowering the rifle until it lay on a small mount next to the cushion parallel with the floor.
"What... what the hell is that!?" Striker asked.
"That's my Divine Intervention," Jennifer replied.
"Sometimes, there's a problem that I need to resolve... forcefully. This lets me achieve that. I try not to use it too much because of how much attention it attracts, but I can't doubt the results it brings."
Adriana knelt down to examine the rifle closer, but Striker seemed about ready to explode. "So that's it? You sit up here passing judgement down on whoever you think deserves it?"
Jennifer grunted. "You sit up here long enough, looking out over the world and watching the best and worst humanity has to offer, and you develop something of a god complex. These rounds are pretty heavy and can cause a lot of damage even if they don't hit their target, so I don't need to kill anyone... usually."
"But the size of this gun... you could tear someone in half with a round from this!"
"I need to be able to shoot far enough to make a difference with this thing, no? I need lots of power to get lots of range."
Striker was about to say something else when Adriana spoke up. "This scope... it's crooked."
"Good eye. With my... condition, I needed to have this particular weapon special ordered." Jennifer held up her right hand to show the missing fingers. "I used to shoot right handed, you know. It took some time to get used to shooting with my left hand, but shooting left handed without a left eye was impossible, even with the Emerald Eye. Thus, the scope. It was a hell of a project, from what I understand. Making a rifle that heavy with as many special features as I required with my condition... I had to requisition the best gunsmith in the world."
"The... best?" Adriana ran her hand along the barrel, her fingers instinctively drawn to the maker's mark at the base. "But that's... how..."
"I couldn't trust this project to just anyone, you know. At first, I contacted a man named Lawrence Nickle, and he informed me that what I wanted was impossible. His apprentice, however, unbeknownst to him, had already surpassed him. So when Cassandra Reinhart offered to make the weapon, I knew I couldn't turn her down."
Adriana began laughing. "Mom mentioned this stupid thing! She said it was the biggest pain to make, and every few weeks a note would come along asking for something else to be added or changed... oh man, I think she wanted to shoot you with this thing by the end of it."
"I wouldn't blame her; I was pretty particular about this. Jack didn't have much fun getting this up here, that's for sure. But we can talk about this in detail later, what I really wanted to speak to you about was the eye and those people who were looking for you and I."
Adriana nodded. "Who are they?"
Jennifer sighed. "I'm not entirely sure. Whoever their leader is has great magical skill and has protected their base of operations from any sort of scrying. Even the eye can't pierce this magic; it's very potent." Jennifer pushed a branch aside and looked down towards Terragnus. "I know that they're based somewhere near that town, but I..." Her voice trailed off.
"What is it?"
"You need to go. Quickly."
"What?" Adriana stepped up. "We just got here! I have so much I need to..."
"The town is under attack right now. That group is down there... along with the woman I believe is leading them."
"Teya's down there," Striker whispered. "Eva and Johan too! Are they okay?"
"Alive, but it looks like they've been captured. Don't waste any more time. It's impossible to tell what they have planned, but it can't be good. I'll provide you covering fire from up here. Leon, you're going with them."
"Master! If that group is on the move, I need to stay here and protect you! Besides, the gun isn't in position. The nest needs to be rotated into proper position..."
"That wasn't a request; it was an order, boy! Everyone needs to help to take this group down, no exceptions. These bones still have some strength in them; I'll get this gun in place myself, so get moving, now!" Jennifer shouted.
Leon gnashed his teeth. "Fine, you stubborn old bat! Stay here and die of a heart attack for all I care!" He disappeared down into the trunk.
"And good luck, Leon."
"Go to hell!" Came the response. Adriana and Striker exchanged a glance before following him down the hidden ladder in the trunk.
Adriana paused at the top of the ladder.
"Promise me you will not use the God's Eye."
Adriana's eyes widened.
"I know that you know how to access it! We can discuss the details later, but please, promise me!"
"I... promise." Adriana said.
"Good. Now go!"

« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Aug 28th 2016 »

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KOG Posted: 18:13 Jun03 2015 Post ID: 3380217
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This is amazing. Great read all around. It brings back some fun times I had here on Supercheats.
I'm shocked people loved the RP so much. It really makes me feel like all those hours I spent writing it as a hobby was worth it. =) Keep it up man.
vvv credit to .Impact.

Bow down to the King of Games!!!

I have a NEW RP! Join the RP Ragnorak: "The Seven Spirits of Vladimar!" We need more RPers to help out.
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imaloony8.0 Posted: 15:48 Jun04 2015 Post ID: 3380334
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Thanks, it's a labor of love, really. I can't let any of my characters scamper off with plot threads still dangling. Ragnarok really was some of the most fun I had on this site and I'm glad you like this; it's as much for everyone who participated in the RP as it is for myself.

I thought Id' also mention that I've recently updated some of my contact information in my profile. If anyone ever wants to chat or play any games, feel free to hit me up.

Wanna listen to me rant about stuff? I started a blog!
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imaloony8.0 Posted: 15:53 Jun04 2015 Post ID: 3380335
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Part 9: Johan

"Is this really everyone?" The leader of the bandits snapped. Johan looked on as three more people were brought to the town square bound in rope. The individuals were dragged over to the town hall where the other citizens were being kept and roughly thrown inside. Eva and Johan knelt close to Teya out in front of the building, but their weapons had been stripped and after a particular choice set of words from Johan, the two had been gagged as well. They struggled against their bindings in vain, trying to loosen the expertly tied knots.
"Yes, ma'am!" A barrel-chested man replied sharply. "It was a small town, and this was everyone we could find!"
"Everyone you could find? Then I must question your searching abilities, Jasper! I want you back in there, and if I see you return with anything less than every single missing villager, I'll boil you from the inside out! Do I make myself clear?"
"Y-yes ma'am!" Jasper nearly screamed, running back towards a group of houses, bringing a dozen men with him.
"Good man. Very, very loyal man. I'll miss him once I inevitably kill him, but those are the breaks, no? Speaking of breaks..." The woman turned towards Teya, who busily worked at the knots that held her hands behind her back. A sharp kick to her stomach quickly ended her effort. "Princess! You dare damage the gift that my men made for you? I shall discipline you greatly for that, indeed I will!"
Teya coughed several times into the dirt, her eyes screwed shut in pain. Johan and Eva tried to shout and stand to ward off the attacker, but the bindings and gags held firm. Johan glared at this woman, studying her closely. The woman leading the bandits almost looked like a beggar with the brown rags that decorated her frail form. Her eyes, hollow and sleep deprived, seemed to want to devour anyone with every second they remained locked on them from behind thin, graying hair. Despite her appearance, Johan knew from experience than this woman knew powerful magic and showed little mercy. "Otherwise, she'd never have taken Teya like that... Damn! I'm so weak!" Johan thought.
"I am no princess... I am the Quee-" Teya was cut off by another kick.
The woman knelt down and started at Teya with fury in her eyes. "You will never be anything more than a royal brat playing a game bigger than you are. How could you have made it this far? You... you...!" The woman began to grind her teeth. "Quake! Slam! Push!" Teya was flung in one direction, another, slamming into walls, trees, brush, into the air and back into the ground at the mercy of this woman's magic. Blood sprayed from Teya's mouth and limbs with each hit. Johan tried to get up again, but his bindings weren't giving way. "If this keeps up Teya will..."
Teya slid to a halt at the feet of the woman. She let out a small groan and opened her eyes to look at the source of that voice. "Striker..."
The woman clapped her hands together. "Wonderful... wonderful wonderful wonderful! I was afraid you were gone, Striker. I'm very glad you're here... you and I still have some unfinished business. Well... along with the princess here." The woman grabbed a fist full of Teya's hair and yanked her head up.
Striker took a step forward.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," the woman smiled. She held her hand next to Teya's throat. "Though, I do need to practice my obliteration spell..." Her hand suddenly began crackling with a dark energy that Johan recognized as Vladimorian magic.
Striker froze, his eyes meeting Teya's briefly before snapping back to the woman. "Who are you? You talk like you know us but I've never seen you before in my life."
"No, I don't suppose you would remember. You always were such a fool Manuel. But enough of the past, we should be celebrating! Back together at last! Oh, how I've missed you all... though someone is still missing from this reunion, isn't he?" From a pouch on her belt, the woman drew a small glass jar. "Oh Roy, isn't it wonderful to be able to see your friends again? It has been a long time, after all." Johan felt his blood begin to run cold. In the jar, a pair of green eyes floated in a sickly blue liquid.
Striker drew the Jovasaber. "You... you...!" He seemed hardly able to contain his rage, but found himself unable to advance once the woman's hands began crackling with energy again. Several nearby bandits readied their weapons and approached Striker.
"Why... why?" Teya managed to gasp.
The woman's lips pulled back into a terrifying smile. "Because... Roy and his kin took something from me. You all did. I had hoped his eyes would hold the key to getting it back, but no such luck. I need a living subject. A real, live, Falcion. I spent so terribly long searching for one despite the rumors that Roy had been the very last one. Fortunately, it seems that a few slipped through the cracks. Whiplash! " The woman extended her hand to one side and jerked it towards herself. Johan heard a familiar yelp as a figure was pulled down from a nearby rooftop and crashed to the ground at the woman's feet. "It really was cute, trying to get into a good vantage point to snipe from, but you aren't too subtle, girlie. I sent my men into the forest to find that old Falcion bat... getting the information on that hag was difficult and costly, but I found her. My scouts, however, never came back. When I contacted them with a communication spell, I found that only two had survived. Before I - obviously - killed them for failing me, they spun me a tale of a young green eyed girl in the forest with incredible power. So, either the hag had found the secret to eternal youth or..." The woman kicked Adriana so she rolled over. "Awww, isn't that adorable! She looks just like her old man!"
Adriana roared. In a flash, she had drawn one of her pistols and leveled it at the woman's forehead. "I don't die like him though, *****." The sound of the gunshot echoed through the town.
Teya gasped. "T-that's..."
The woman's eyes glanced at the bullet that hung in front of her face, unmoving. "Now, little girl, what makes you think I would go up against a Falcion without some sort of defense against your pesky firearms?"
Striker, seeing an opening, made a sweeping strike with his blade, disabling the bandits around him before springing forward.
Johan felt his body freeze as the spell took hold of him. Striker stopped dead in his tracks, and Adriana's expression turn to one of confusion as her own body failed to move at her commands, remaining on the ground. Johan could only assume that Eva and Teya were similarly held by the spell despite their bindings. "Seems like this ***** doesn't like taking chances..."
"Oh, so close!" The woman stepped up to Striker and laughed in his face. "It seems you haven't slowed at all in these past ten years, have you Manuel?"
"That's a Jovalist spell! You can't possible expect me to believe that you..."
"She isn't!" Teya cried. "She's been using both types of spells... those used by Jovalists and Vladimorians! That shouldn't be possible! That last spell in particular, it was the forbidden spell Cryo! The only one who uses that spell is... is..."
Striker caught his breath. "High Priestess... Naomi."
Naomi clapped her hands together and let out a deep laugh. "Bravo! Bravo! You figured it out at last! Good for you!"
"Can someone please fill me in? Who the hell is this?" Adriana growled.
"This... this is Naomi, former high priestess of the church of Jovalin. She was responsible for getting all of us exiled, helped with the effort to revive Vladimar... and she bore the dark god's heart." Striker's voice seemed to waiver, and his face seemed pale. "But Roy killed you! I saw you die! There was nothing left of you after that blow!"
Naomi folded her arms. "Such hurdles are no matter for someone as powerful and as important to the dark lord as myself... little did any of you know, the Heart had a special, hidden power. Even I was not aware of it until I woke up days later. My lord was giving me a second chance... a chance to right what you all did to me! A chance to bring me beloved Benjamin back and bring the dark lord back to the glory he deserves! All I needed was a body. Fortunately for me, I found the perfect host. A devout young woman who loved Jovalin with all her heart... such a beautiful woman... so weak willed and foolish. It was a simple matter to invade her heart and mind to make her body my own."
Teya gasped. "You... stole the body of one of Jovalin's followers? Where is she?"
Naomi's smile widened. "Oh, she's here. I can hear her cries constantly. Would you like to listen in?" Naomi opened her mouth and an ear-splitting scream pierced the air. The anguish and pain in that one scream was almost too much to bear. With his arms tied, Johan was unable to cover his ears.
"If this goes on much longer, I'll go insane... oh Jovalin please, make it stop!" Teya cried out.
Finally, Naomi closed her mouth. "Oooh, she hasn't had a chance to scream like that for a long time. That was a particularly good one. Maybe if I keep her bottled up for another five years, the next one will be able to shatter windows! I'll have to investigate that further."
Adriana growled. "You witch...!"
"Soon after I broke this woman's soul, I even discovered that I had regained my ability to cast the Jovalist spells. With this woman's innocent spirit and my bloodsoaked one, I had become the first to ever master both schools at once! I am the ultimate priest, don't you see? I am she who chooses which god lives, and which dies!"
"You're insane," Adriana spat. "Having this power doesn't give you the right to shape the world as you wish... it gives you a responsibility to protect it!"
Naomi tilted her head to the side. "And I'm sure you've used your own ability for such selfless reasons too, no?"
Adriana seemed to want to retort, but instead fell silent.
"I thought not. Well, let's get on with this, shall we? Since I have you all where I want, I figure I should get started on that whole ?revenge' thing, yes? The one question is who dies first, and how slowly?" Naomi strolled in a circle for a minute, humming quietly to herself. "The obvious answer is Striker for what he did to my beloved Benji. Yet, I think killing the princess would bring its own special kind of joy to me." Naomi stopped walking. "And yet, I still need to give Roy his proper thanks for killing me in the first place. I'd love to kill his *******, but I still need the tart for now. I guess that only leaves one real answer." Naomi knelt down in front of her target. "How poetic that after he saved your life, you are to die for him Eva."
With her gag in place, Eva couldn't respond, but her eyes seemed to glow with pure hatred. Johan finally managed to bite his gag partially off. "Don't you dare! I'll tear you in half with my bare hands! Get away from her!"
"Stop it!" Teya shouted. "If you're going to kill someone, kill me! I'm the one who even made it possible to destroy your plans in the first place!"
Naomi didn't seem to pay attention. "I can't let you die in the same way Roy did, but I can certainly try. Let's see how much magic energy your body can contain before it erupts, shall we? It'll be a fun little experiment!"
"Stop it!" Adriana shouted. "I won't have anyone else die because of Roy!"
"Shadow Surge!" Naomi's hands began to crackle with black energy before she grabbed Eva by the throat. The reaction was immediate. Eva began violently twitching and her eyes rolled back into her head. The whites of her eyes began flickering quickly as the energy began to flow more easily. The scream that escaped her mouth rattled Johan to his very core.
"I said... stop!" Adriana cried. "Not her! I won't allow it!"
"I'd love to see you do something to stop me, brat," Naomi laughed. "But you can't, can you? You're just a scared little girl in way over her head. I'd hoped you would be stronger than this, but it seems not everything is hereditary. Roy really was much stronger."
Eva's twitching began to slow. Her head lolled to one side and her breathing seemed to become much more erratic.
"Lieutenant!" Johan's screams seemed to mimic those of Eva's. Panic gripped Johan as quickly as Eva's movements began to slow.
Suddenly, a loud crack rang through the town. In surprise, Naomi dropped Eva to the ground. She glanced over and saw a bullet suspended inches from her head. She growled. "A sniper! Useless fools, go find him and kill him!" Naomi's bandits snapped to attention and they ran off in different directions. "Idiots! He's that way!" She pointed as another crack rang out and another round stopped in front of her face. The men reorganized themselves and made their way in the direction of the sharpshooter. Naomi ground her teeth before turning her attention to Eva's motionless form. "Hmph, she didn't last as long as I thought. Well, who's next then?"
"You... killed her..." Adriana growled. "I promised I wouldn't let what happened to my mother happen ever again. I've had enough you stupid *****. I won't allow it... not again... not again!" Adriana screamed. At once, her eyes began to glow brightly. "On my family's honor, I pledge my life and soul to the cause of neutrality. We will protect this world from those above who would interfere against their word. This we pledge so that we can see THROUGH THE EYES OF A GOD!"
Johan was blinded by a green flash.

« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Aug 28th 2016 »

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 15:55 Jun05 2015 Post ID: 3380441
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Part 10: Adriana

"I'm sorry grandma, but I can't let anyone else die because of Roy or because of me. I can't watch that again which is why... I have to do this. But... what are these words I'm saying? I've never heard this oath before... and why does this feel so strange? My eyes feel like they're on fire and... what is this presence I feel? I feel like... something enormous is standing right over my shoulder..."
"Adriana! No! You..." Striker's voice caught.
Adriana looked over at Striker. At first, it seemed like he was moving in slow motion. "No," Adriana though, "I'm simply moving faster... thinking faster than before. This is the power of the eye's final form..." Teya seemed to be sobbing silently. "Is she crying for Eva? Or does she know what's going to happen to me now...?" Adriana wondered.
Adriana tried to move, and found herself stuck slightly. "The spell," Adriana thought casually. That which held her so firmly before now felt like shackles made from paper. A small amount of force was all that was required to free herself. Now, she turned her attention to Naomi, who stood over Eva's body, a toothy grin plastered across her face.
"Marvelous! Here I was thinking I'd have to slaughter half of this stupid town before you would show your true colors. What a pain it was, truly, but now that you're here... oh, we can begin... at last we can begin!"
Adriana scowled. "Nothing is beginning. I'm going to end you, and then I'm going to rip all of your bandits to shreds. I'll finish the job that Roy started, and it'll be the last thing I ever do."
"Then do it. Unless, of course, you think your father did a better job of killing me than you could?"
Adriana sprang forward with blistering speed, pulling her arm back. "With this strength it'll just take one punch. One punch, and then..."
"MOBIUS CRYO!" Naomi cried. Silver ethereal chain sprang forth from her hands, quickly wrapping around Adriana before disappearing. Just as quickly as she had begun to move, she had stopped again.
"What? That's... I can't move!" Adriana struggled, but even with her godlike strength, it seemed impossible to break this spell.
"Beautiful, is it not? Such a spell is impossible with just Jovalist or Vladimorian magic... I had to combine to the two to create a spell that could defeat your pesky God Eye. Don't act so shocked, if I prepared a spell for your guns, did you really think I would neglect to find a spell to counter your most powerful trick?"
Adriana stop struggling, and her eyes widened. "So... I unleashed this power for nothing? And I... I'm going to..."
"To die for nothing? Oh no, no, no!" Naomi laughed. "I needed you in this state before I could achieve my true goal... I'm going to tear a hole into the afterlife... the realm that those foolish Falcion's live on, and I am going to get my beloved Benjamin back. Then you and that hag can die."
"Benjamin? Who..." Adriana saw Teya go pale at the mention of this name, however.
"No! I won't let you! He can't come back!" Striker struggled against the Cryo spell, but he didn't seem to be making any progress in freeing himself.
Naomi ignored him. "I wouldn't worry about who Benjamin is..." Naomi reached for Adriana's face, a golden energy shining in her hand. "Just worry about how much this is going to hurt. Now open !"
Adriana saw a bright flash, and then her vision seemed to blur. If her eyes felt like they were on fire before, now they felt like they were molten. Her cries pierced the air, making the others cringe. Naomi, however, seemed to revel in her misery. "Yes, yes! It'sworking!" In front of them, a large golden portal had appeared. Adriana could feel that huge presence over her shoulder once more. "Something is coming..." Adriana thought, her blood starting to run cold.
The shapes moving within were indistinguishable, but Naomi seemed pleased. "Benjamin! Come to me! Be reborn in this world so that we can rule it together at last!"
"No!" Adriana screamed. "Don't! There's something-"
"Pleading will get you nowhere! I can already see him! Yes! Yes Benjamin! This way!" A hand slowly reached from the portal, grasping at something. Naomi reached for the hand, tears in her eyes. "At last... back together! Benjamin, I lov-"
A large crack appeared in the portal, the hand disappeared, and the portal turned a sickly green color. Naomi jumped back. "What? What on Earth? Bring Bejamin back!" Naomi's hands began to glow with golden holy energy again as she attempted to manipulate the portal once more. This time, however, her spell seemed to have no effect.
A shape appeared in the portal and slowly stepped forward. Without breaking stride, it stepped down out of the portal and casually past Naomi. "Oh my... what a mess," it said.
"You? you're not my Benjamin! Who are you?"
The figure was a tall, slender man wearing a blue outfit resembling what scribe would wear with the exception of a long black cloak that hung from his shoulders. At his side, a small wooden hammer hung, polished to a mirror shine. In his hand, he held a small leather-bound book that he was leafing through while his green eyes quickly scanned the contents. His long black hair was pulled back into a braid that fell most of the way down his cloak. "I imagined it would be bad, but this?" The man clicked his tongue in disgust.
"You dare to ignore me? I, the high priestess of this plane of existence? Answer me! What is your name?"
"I shall need to get moving quickly. Time is of the essence after all..." He turned around and walked past Naomi again.
"CRYO!" Naomi cried, casting the forbidden spell again, targeting this stranger.
The man continued moving as though nothing had happened. He waved his hand dismissively and the golden portal shut. Then, he turned his attention towards Adriana. "Come along, child, we have work to do."
Adriana felt herself compelled to follow this man. The Mobius Cryo no longer seemed to be a factor, and she felt her legs moving on their own to follow this man. "Are you a Falcion?" Adriana whispered.
The man seemed to be absorbed in his book again, but glanced up for a moment to answer. "No; I'm sorry to disappoint you. I can understand the confusion given my eyes, but I assure you there is a good reason for that. My name has been lost to your people, but my colleagues still know me as Bayle. I am the god of knowledge, of vision, and law."
Everyone was silent for a moment.
"A... god?" Adriana replied.
"Well, more accurately, I'm sort of a solid projection of Bayle. I could not come here completely, so this half-measure will have to do until I can create a more stable summoning circle."
Adriana shook her head. "I don't understand... how are you being projected here? Where did you come from? Why are you here?"
Bayle sighed. "I do hate unnecessary explainations. Very well, I suppose we can walk and talk. You see, I..."
"Enough!" Naomi cried. "I will have no more of this nonsense. You, a god? Pah, I'll show you what a real god looks like! I have the power of two gods behind me you fool... and you will die for your insolence! Jovladimarian Forbidden Spell: Rain of the Heavens! " From high above them in the darkening sky, the stars seemed to shimmer for a moment. Then, huge blasts of light, darkness, and fire began raining down at Adriana and Bayle.
Adriana reached for a gun, but Bayle seemed to sigh and shake his head. "Excuse me for a moment, Miss Reinhart. Please stand aside while I deal with this." Bayle turned towards Naomi and once again waved his hand once. Adriana wanted to object, but again felt herself move on her own again to jump clear of the spell. The blasts impacted, creating blinding flashes as they rained down for more than a minute on top of Bayle.
"Yes, die you wretch! I will have no false gods in my new world! Now, brat, let's continue..."
"An impressive display, for a human."
Naomi froze, looking closely at the slowly fading ball of light and fire. When it faded, Bayle still stood there. Now, however, his book was closed and his attention was squarely on Naomi. Despite the power of the attack, even the ground around him seemed unharmed. "How... t-that doesn't make any sense!"
"It seems that Jovalin and Vladimar's followers have learned to draw magic from them. Fascinating. Unfortunately, they never were the most elegant spellcasters. Their spells can easily be unraveled, just as I turned your attack into nothing more than a pretty light show."
Naomi's brow furrowed, and she seemed to be truly angry now. She put her hands in front of her. "Jovlamimarian Forbidden Spell: Cataclysmic Symph- "
In a flash, Bayle was next to Naomi and grabbed her by the wrist. The spell that was forming in her hand seemed to fizzle and fade. "That's enough. I will not waste any more of my time playing games with you."
"How... how dare you! Do you know who I am?"
Bayle opened his book again with one hand and began leafing through the pages with his thumb. Before Naomi could speak again, he seemed to find the page he was looking for. "Well, now, that is a bit of a complex question. You are Anna Asakura, a low-ranking priestess of Jovalin. However, I do believe I'm currently speaking to Naomi, former High Priestess of Jovalin, later bearer of the... ugh, honestly? Vladimar did that? The Heart of Vladimar. You possessed Miss Asakura's body with the help of this 'Heart' several days after your death at the hands of Roy Falcion, and are currently attempting to use Miss Adriana Reinhart's Emerald Eye capability to attempt to retrieve the man you love, Trevor Benjamin, from the afterlife so that you can use your newfound powers to rule the world and fully summon Vladimar into this world to make it his own. This is particularly impressive because with the research and experiments you did on Roy Flacion's eyes, retrieved from his grave, you discovered that the power the eyes gave him actually wasn't actually contained within the eye, but that the ability actually was a sort of window to another dimension from which the Falcion's directly drew their power. Using that information, you fashioned a spell which would allow you to use that window for your own purposes, so long as the window was 'opened,' such as when a Falcion unleashes the eye's true power." Bayle's eyes flicked up from his book. "Did I miss anything particularly important, or do I have it?"
Naomi had gone pale. "That was... how did you..."
"I did not jest when I said that I was the God of Knowledge. While I haven't seen this plane in many millennia, my Codex has gathered all information from this world since I arrived." He paused. "And I am a very quick reader."
"Get away from me you... you monster!" Naomi cried, struggling against his grip.
Bayle began flipping through the pages again. "What was that phrase I saw a moment ago? Ah, yes, 'The pot calling the kettle black.' A wonderful phrase. You have done many horrible things for your Gods, Miss Naomi. I apologize for all the horrors that Jovalin and Vladimar have brought to this word; I truly do, but you must still receive punishment for your crimes." Bayle released Naomi, who fell to the ground and scramble back in the dirt. He laid his book flat on his hand and drew the wooden hammer from his belt. Now, Adriana could see, the hammer was actually a gavel. "Naomi, you stand accused of murder, deception, attempted genocide, and tampering with the natural order of life in the name of your gods. How do you plead?"
"Oh Vladimar, save me! Die! Die!" Naomi began frantically throwing various spells at Bayle, but each one flickered out of existence before it reached him.
"Very well. As the God of Law for this plane, I find you guilty and hereby strip you of your abilities and your connection to your gods." Bayle tapped his book with his gavel. Nothing seemed to happen at first, until Adriana noticed that spells had stopped being released from Naomi's hands. Around her, she could see Striker and Teya begin to move again, released from the Cryo spell. Striker quickly made his way over to the others and began to untie them. Teya, however, still seemed frozen, unable to look away from Bayle.
"What... what have you done? I can't hear them anymore... Vladimar! Jovalin! Where have you gone?"
Bayle sighed and dropped his gavel back into his belt. "Not a very suitable punishment, but it will serve for the moment. You will have time to set whatever affairs in order that you have, I assure you."
Naomi continued to howl, clawing at the ground viciously in her rage. Over time, as her hands grew bloody, her cries softened to whimpers. Slowly, she began to crawl away towards the buildings of the town, tears streaming from her eyes. "Benjamin... why...?" Adriana could hear her muttering. She disappeared from sight after a few moments.
Almost on cue, Striker managed to free Johan from his restraints. "Lieutenant Eva!" Johan ran over to where she lie and shook her. "Wake up! Please! Oh Jovalin, wake up!" Adriana cast her eyes down, unable to watch any longer and instead turned her attention to Bayle.
Adriana approached Bayle slowly. The God did not seem to react, once again absorbed in his book. "Firearms? Are you humans so obsessed with war that you need something as powerful as this? Humans are not so hard to kill, I assure you."
Adriana smiled slightly. "You reach the section on armor yet?"
Bayle furrowed his brow. "Of course I know of armor, but why would that... What is this? You humans sought skin of steel? What a disaster."
Adriana smiled. "I'm sorry, this is just all so sudden and I... thank you."
Bayle looked up, confusion on his face. "You thank me? For what, may I ask?"
"For saving us from Naomi, of course!"
"I saved no one, I assure you," Bayle replied, waving his hand.
"You never answered my question. How, and why are you here?" Suddenly, Adriana fell to one knee, letting out a cry of pain. She felt a tear in her eye and reached up to brush it away. Her hand returned stained red with blood. Adriana gasped.
"Ah, yes, the adverse effects of The Eye. Humans were never meant to withstand such power for so long. Here, allow me to help you. You cannot harness the power freely, but I can adjust it to be less stressful on your body and to mend your injuries should the strain become too great again." Bayle knelt down and touched Adriana. Immediately, she felt rejuvenated and her any pain she had been feeling vanished.
"I have to thank you again, Bayle! You've saved me twice now."
Bayle frowned. "You keep using that phrase, but I assure you I have saved no one."
"Still modest, eh?" Adriana laughed.
"What were we talking about? Ah yes, your question. Well, as I mentioned while talking to that vile woman, the Emerald Eye serves as sort of a portal into my realm. From it, your family draws their powers. Think of it as a window. Simply looking through it can give you great power, but if you were to break it open, you could reach the power on the other side. Though once broken, there is no way to seal it again."
"But... why your realm?"
"Because I am the one who gave your family their powers. Honestly, I thought something of that would have made it into your recorded history." Bayle flipped through his book and frowned again. "Ah, I see, Jovalin and Vladimar manipulated history as well. Those two created the universe? Alone? My, that will get a laugh once I see the others again."
"You gave the Falcion family the Emerald Eye?"
"Yes, I made a contract with a man... I believe his name was... yes, Quincy Falcion. You see, long ago, Vladimar, Jovalin, myself, and all the other gods created humanity as something of an experiment. A sentient, mortal race with the capabilities to learn and evolve. You see, we gods are somewhat stagnant beings, perfect, but unable to grow beyond what we are. As such, we figured we could learn from such a race if one were to exist. Jovalin and Vladimar were chosen to oversee the experiment to make sure nothing interfered with it while the rest of us sealed ourselves away from this realm to create as little outside influence as possible. You humans seem to use many similar rules for your own experimentations, according to the Codex. Hypothesis, control, that sort of thing. I, however, did not trust Jovalin and Vladimar. I voted against allowing them to oversee and was ultimately overruled, so I left my power in a family of humans as a backup plan. The Falcion family was to remain always neutral should the two gods interfere and attempt to nullify their influence as the need arises. As you can see, my concern was justified."
Adriana was a little stunned at the history lesson. "Humans are an experiment? That's a little heavy... People have always fretting over the meaning of life, and it's as simple as that?"
"Well, to be more precise, it is the meaning of the existence of humanity. The meaning to life itself is a much more interesting and complex topic, one we might discuss at length later if time permits. Now, where were we? Ah yes, it seems these two did quite a bit more than interfere. Creating cults, fighting amongst themselves? They've ruined everything! I had hoped your family might prevent such a thing from happening, but I clearly underestimated how much influence they would gain in such a short amount of time. Fortunately, you were born with a very special ability of The Eye. The Portal Eye can allow me to project myself into this realm if it is ever in great peril when the user enters The Eye's final stage. Essentially, while the other widows need to be savagely broken to open, making them unusable, your eye can be opened in a? more stable manner."
Adriana nodded. "I just called it the Fractured Eye."
"Yes, well, like I said, it simply allows myself to project an avatar through your eyes. While this body is real here, it still holds only a fraction of my power. I'm going to need to gather some resources and have some time to prepare a summoning circle to truly summon myself and create a stable portal so that the other Gods may come here as well. It shouldn't take more than a few days to gather what I need, so we had best move along. No time like the present, yes? My, your sayings are strange. A tad bit obvious, is it not?"
"Wait," Adriana said. "But you still haven't told me why you're here. Why you need your true form, and why you're going to summon the other gods."
Bayle seemed to be taken aback. "Why, I thought it was obvious. We are going to wipe out humanity and start again."

« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Aug 28th 2016 »

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 21:06 Jun06 2015 Post ID: 3380538
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Part 11: Teya

Teya was only partially paying attention, but it was impossible to keep her focus once she heard what Bayle had said. She fell back her eyes wide.
"Teya, snap out of it!" Johan shook her shoulder violently. "Eva needs you, please, you have to save her!"
Teya shook her head and returned her attention to Eva's motionless form. "Right... I'm sorry..."
"Striker and I will take care of this joker. You make sure the Lieutenant gets back on her feet."
Teya pressed her hands together, uttered a quick prayer and set about trying to revive Eva, meanwhile keeping an eye on the disaster unfolding before her.
Adriana grabbed Bayle's shoulder as he attempted to walk away. "Wait, I must have misheard you. It sounded like you planned to destroy every human..."
Bayle nodded. "That is correct. It won't be quite as messy as ?destroying' them all but the end result will be the same. This generation of humans will cease to exist."
Striker approached, having mostly recuperated. "What? You can't do that!"
Bayle cocked an eyebrow. "I do believe I can. It shouldn't even be too difficult; we should be able to complete the task in a few days of this realm's time, counting what it will take for me to complete summing myself and the other Gods."
"But why? That's..."
"I thought it was obvious. Like I said, the experiment was compromised by Vladimar and Jovalin. Humans were supposed to be allowed to grow and evolve without being influenced by the gods. Those two fools may have hindered your ability to grow, so we need to start again. We can't very well have the next race we meet mingling with those who still follow Vladimar and Jovalin's nonsense, now can we?"
"But... but can't you just put them on another world? Leave us be here?" Adriana pleaded.
"This world is quite special. We crafted it specifically for this experiment and I'm not sure we could replicate it or create its equal. We used many resources creating this world, and given what has happened, it is already going to be a challenge to repair it. Creating a new one is out of the question; no, the only option is to cleanse this world."
"But we have lives here... family, loved ones! Does that mean nothing, wiping out a whole race? You yourself just charge Naomi with attempting genocide!" Adriana cried.
"Yes, and it is a shame it must happen. Vladimar and Jovalin are the ones at fault here, really. They shall be charged with the genocide that happens here and negligence of their duty. I will see to it myself. Unfortunately, the lives here are simply irrelevant. We must start again, plain and simple."
"Have we no say in this?" Striker grunted.
"Unfortunately, no. You belong to us, and your fate is in our hands."
Striker drew the Jovasaber. "Then we're taking our fate back. I won't lie down and let you destroy countless lives for the sake of your own curiosity."
"It is more than curiosity, I assure you. Progress is at stake, and I cannot let you put that in jeopardy. As I said to Naomi, we are willing to give all you humans a few days to set your affairs in order. After which, we will proceed with..."
Striker slashed at Bayle's head with lightning-like speed. Faster, however, was Bayle, who caught the blade with one hand. Bayle frowned. "I know this weapon. This is Jovalin's toy. He had to have Zathrian the Smith craft it because his attempts turned out so poorly. I suppose that makes you Jovalin's champion then? Very well, I accept your challenge."
Striker scowled. "Adriana!"
"Right!" Adriana drew her shotgun and aimed it at Bayle's head. "Get out of our house, gramps. I appreciate what you've done for us today, but I can't let you do this."
Bayle's eyes darkened. "You dare raise your hand against me, your master? Sit down, child." Bayle reached out and shoved Adriana in the chest. Teya didn't believe Bayle had pushed Adriana very hard until she had been thrown a hundred feet back straight through someone's home.
"Adriana!" Teya cried. "Are you alright?"
The only response was the house collapsing down on Adriana.
"That should keep her out of trouble until I deal with you, Manuel Frenxs." He opened his book again and began to leaf through it.
Striker growled. "You're always looking through that book... but it can't tell you everything! Let's see how omnipotent you really are!" Striker pulled the Jovasaber free from Bayle's grip and disappeared in a red blur. Puffs of dust were kicked up where his feet landed, too quick for Teya to follow.
Bayle didn't seem to pay too much attention. "Yes, your deeds aren't as bad as Naomi's. You seem to have dedicated your life to protecting the weak... hmm, a brief possession by Vladimar, but you managed to recover nicely. Married to..." his eyes darted quickly over to Teya and back. "It really is disgusting; how these two have bent your will like this. We intended for humans to be free, and he made you all slaves. Worse, you're willing slaves now."
"Jovalin has brought great joy to this land! He has given many purpose, he has..."
"He has gotten a great many killed on his inquisitions, it seems, and in his neverending skirmishes with Vladimar. Queen Teya Lovette, perhaps if you were not blinded by your devotion to your god, perhaps you would see that there is a very large difference between Light and Good. In fact, isn't it true that your most noteworthy feats were cleaning up after trouble caused by Jovalin and Vladimar's presence?"
"Enough!" Striker shouted. "I won't let you talk like that to her! I'll show you just how blind we humans are!"
Striker's slash was faster than any human could see, but Bayle had little difficulty catching Striker mid-slash and throwing him to the ground with enough force to crack the ground. He placed his foot on Striker's back and pulled his arm until it was nearly dislocated. "I shall give you one final chance to give up this attack. Take what little time you have left and spend it with your wife. Otherwise, I'll be forced to pass down judgement now."
"You can take your time and stick it up your nose," Striker growled, spitting some blood out of his mouth.
"Did you really think such an attack would work? I thought you were smarter than that."
"No, but I was reasonably sure it would distract you from this!"
Johan jumped down from above, his sword swinging down at the back of Bayle's head.
Bayle's response seemed almost practiced. He squeezed Striker's hand, a crackling sound filling the air before he snatched the Jovasaber from Striker's shattered hand. He spun with his swing, cleaving Johan's sword in half and cutting a deep gash into his face.
Striker and Johan's cries filled the town. Striker rolled away clutching at his hand as Bayle removed his foot, and Johan crashed sloppily to the ground, clutching at his face.
"I believe you misunderstood; the surprise attack was the one I was referring to," Bayle stated with a sigh. "Do you still underestimate me so? Even in my weakened state, I am more than a match for any human."
Striker was sweating and breathing hard, taking a moment to look up as Bayle plunged the Jovasaber into the ground an inch from Striker's head. "You... how can you wield the sword? You, who would commit an act as immoral as genocide!"
"Immoral? Boy, you are even more foolish if you believe that I am even capable of committing anything in the realm of immoral. I am the god of law. The rules that I have set govern this universe, and that fact is all I need to justify my rulings. If it makes you feel any better, know that I take no pleasure in any of this. I detest fighting and killing, and I feel great sadness in what must happen. However, the only way this can end is with Human's demise. I gave you a chance to save the time you had left, and you still persisted. Now, feel the consequences of your decisions." Bayle reached for his gavel.
"Teya...!" Striker cried. "It's up to you to stop this guy now!"
"Manuel!" Teya screamed.
The collapsed house seemed to explode, sending rubble everywhere. At the center of what remained, Adriana stood, breathing heavily. She didn't seem too badly injured, but her anger seemed volcanic. "Get away from him... and while you're at it... get out of our world."
Bayle sighed. "Miss Reinhart, please, just..."
"No, I've have enough of your righteous bull. From here on out, I'm calling the shots." Adriana drew her piston and pressed the barrel against her head. "Now, get the hell out of here."
"Adriana! Stop, are you insane?" Teya cried.
Bayle, however, had fully looked up from his book. His eyes narrowed, and he faced her.
"Not another step, Bayle," Adriana warned. "I remembered what you said. My eyes are the portal. You made sure I was far away from Naomi's attack, even if you thought you could dispel it. You still need me. If I die, your connection is severed and you go home, don't you?"
Bayle didn't respond.
"That's all I needed to hear." Adriana glanced at Teya. "Hey, sorry about all the trouble I caused. Be sure to tell those guards of yours that I'm sorry for beating them up."
"No, Adriana! There has to be another way!"
Adriana smiled. "I'll bet there's never been a Conflux moment like this before. It should make for a hell of a story on the other side." Adriana's finger curled around the trigger.
"Take your finger off the trigger and put that gun down," Bayle said. "That is an order."
Adriana's eyes widened and she stopped moving. Her finger slipped off of the trigger, and the gun fell from her hand, hitting the ground with a clatter. "W...what?" Adriana said, shocked.
"I trust you remembered the contract that your ancestor signed, Miss Reinhart? It was a long, complex document, but one of the clauses clearly states that every living Falcion must obey my commands to the letter. A failsafe, should any of them risk something as important as this. Now, you will follow me. You will make no more attempts to take your own life or put yourself in any sort of danger. You will preserve your life at all costs and when my work is done, I will allow you to die with dignity."
"I..." Andriana gritted her teeth. "I... hear... and I... obey!"
"Marvelous. Now, come here. We will leave once I deal with these troublesome curs," Bayle said. He turned his attention back to Striker.
Adriana stepped over several pieces of rubble and began walking slowly towards Bayle.
Teya looked on with horror. "I have to do something... but what?" In Teya's coat pocket, she felt something warm. "That pocket... Roy's revolver? Could I... yes, it's our only chance," she thought. Teya looked down at Eva's body, still unresponsive. Teya bit her lip and ended the spell of healing. "Oh Eva, I'm sorry..." Teya whispered. She stood and sprinted at Adriana. From her pocket, she drew Viridian Six. She hadn't told Adriana that she brought it, but she figured it was appropriate, given what they had come for in the first place. "I hope you're listening... because we need you now more than ever." She brought the revolver up but was too slow. Adriana caught her wrist and twisted the gun so it pointed at the ground.
"Teya, what are you doing?" Adriana whispered.
"Adriana... let go! Please!"
"I can't... his orders... I can't disobey them. You're trying to kill me, aren't you? I'm sorry Teya... I ruined everything. I disobeyed her... I activated The Eye. If I hadn't done that... If you can kill me... it's the only way... please..."
"Adriana, please don't blame yourself. You did everything you could. You had no way of knowing what Naomi had planned."
"Jennifer warned me... she knew this would happen... all of this..."
"Listen to me Adriana, take Viridian Six."
"Please, just trust me. Take it. And good luck."
Adriana hesitated, and then took Viridian Six from Teya's hand. Her expression change slightly as she touched the gun.
Teya fell back to the ground as she released the gun. She was still in pain from all of Naomi's attacks. It wasn't likely she would be able to help any further, but...
"Miss Reinhart, please, we haven't got all day," Bayle said. He stood with his gavel out over Striker, who seemed unable to stand. "Manuel deserves his trial in a timely manner."
"Yes, of course. You know, I never thought I'd be here again, truly," Adriana said, closing the rest of the distance to Bayle with slow, deliberate steps.
"Oh? What do you mean by th-" Bayle was cut off by a bullet to his forehead. He stumbled back and crashed into the ground.
Adriana had a wicked expression on her face, the revolver still smoking from the shot. She spun the cylinder of the gun with her thumb, very similar to how another gunslinger used to. "After all, who'd have thought that I'd ever get to save Striker's hide again? Really, I've missed this more than anything," Adriana looked down at Striker, and for a moment, she seemed to be a different person. "It's good to see you again, Striker. A shame it couldn't be under better circumstances."
Striker's eyes went wide. "R...Roy?"
"Let's say we put this issue of the Gods to rest for good, eh?" Adriana pulled the hammer of the revolver back with a grin.

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 15:23 Jun07 2015 Post ID: 3380621
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Part 12: Adriana

"I... I didn't move. That wasn't me..." Adriana seemed to be swimming in her own head; confused for the moment. She tried desperately to remember what had happened. "Teya... she handed me Roy's revolver and then..."
"And then I took over." There was another voice in Adriana's head.
"Wonderful; I'm going crazy now. And to think, I could have shot myself a few minutes ago."
"You're not imagining me, Adriana. I'm here to help."
"Uh-huh. Last time I thought someone was going to help me they threatened to kill all of humanity. So, what psychopath am I talking to now?"
"It... it's Roy. Your father, Roy."
"Well, I know that's not true. I don't have a father. Not sure if you heard, but I'm a *******. The one who could have claimed me ran away when I was a kid and got himself killed."
"Adriana, please, we don't have much time."
"You're right; we should make good use of this time. I've got a nice long list of insults I've been saving for you! Would you like me to start with the obscene ones, or the clever ones?"
"Bayle is going to kill everyone, Adriana! I don't care what you think of me, but if we don't do something now, everyone is going to die!"
"No joke? I thought he was kidding. Turns out people who were supposed to protect me end up stabbing me in the back. How about that? By the way, I just came up with that one, so it doesn't count against the other insults I've got for you."
"Shut up. I've got work to do."

Adriana shook her head and surveyed the scene. Bayle's body was face down on the ground next to Striker, who was slowly struggling to his feet. His right arm hung at his side, his shattered hand looking slightly misshapen. "Thanks for the assist Roy, we..."
"Roy's in time-out right now. You're talking to me now."
Striker paused and gave Adriana a strange look. "Well, it looks like thanks to Roy's interference, Bayle won't be a problem anymore."
"He's wrong," Roy's voice echoed in Adriana's head. "He has the body of an Avatar, not a human. A bullet to the head isn't enough to-"
"I thought I told you to shut up,"
Adriana snapped back. As if on cue, Bayle began to stir.
Striker jumped back. "But that's..."
Bayle stood and brushed the scrap from where the bullet impacted from his forehead. "I've had just about enough of this resistance. We're well behind schedule now, and I'm in no mood to play along any longer."
Adriana stuck the revolver in her pocket and drew her submachine guns. "And I've had enough of you."
"Put those guns down, now!" Bayle roared.
Adriana felt her arms begin to lower, her grip loosening on her weapons.
"No!" Adriana heard Roy say. "I'm sorry, I'm taking over!"
Adriana felt her body moving on its own again, her arms raising and firing a burst of bullets at Bayle. The aim was off, however, and the recoil caused most of the rounds to go wild. Striker had to duck to avoid a few.
"Watch it!" Striker cried.
The few that were on target for Bayle were swatted down like gnats. He grabbed Striker and hurled him at Adriana, sending them tumbling back in a heap.
"I can't aim this gun; it's too inaccurate!" Roy's voice echoed.
"You're not using it right, moron. Let go of my body! I'm sick of being forced into doing all of this crap!"
"Adriana, you don't understand..."
"Fine! I'll bite! Enlighten me, great gunslinger, and start with how you're bouncing around in my skull!"
"It's the revolver, Viridian Six. It acts as a link for Falcion's to the afterlife. It allowed me to summon the family for a while to help out in the Vladimar incident years ago, but it hasn't had time to recharge since then; just projecting myself into your mind for a short time is about all it can do with its current energy levels."
"Beautiful, so I'm stuck with you? Then just keep quiet and watch while I..."
"That won't work Adriana!"
"And why not? I just shot him, didn't I?"
"No, I shot him. Remember what he said about the contract? All ?living' Falcion's are forced to obey his orders. A nice little loophole that Quincy insisted on when the contract was first struck up; didn't want us to be slaves in the afterlife as well."
"So you can shoot him and I can't? Great. So now I get to sit back and let you take all the glory again? Fine, whatever. Go be the hero. I'll just sit here and do the mental equivalent of twiddling my thumbs then."
"Adriana wait, we need..."
"Heads up."

Bayle threw Striker off of Adriana's body and grabbed her by the throat, staring deep into her eyes.
Roy tried to bring the submachine guns up, but Bayle tightened his grip, and Adriana's arms fell limp. "I see. That silly trinket brought your dear father to assist. So that silly loophole did come back to bite me. No matter. It should be a simple matter to weave a spell that will remove this pest."
"Adriana!" Roy cried out.
"Hey, this is all you. How about you try sucking less and saving the world more?"
Bayle's eyes began to glow brightly. Adriana could feel Roy's presence begin to get pulled away from her.
"What's the matter, pops? Having a little more trouble saving the world this time? Don't keep me waiting, I'm eager to see how it's done!"
"Do something Adriana!"
"Oh, can I?"

Adriana's arms were still limp, but she flicked her thumbs down to rotate the guns up and fired a full-auto burst from point-blank range into Bayle's chest. Bayle gasped as the rounds impacted and his grip on Adriana's throat loosened slightly. "Hey Leon! Get off your *** and shoot this guy!" Adriana cried with her throat clear.
A series of cracks rang out in the town, and Bayle jumped to the side, attempting to fend off the barrage of sniper fire. "Annoying pest!" he cried. He raised his hand and several spectral arrows appeared in front of him, flying in the direction of the fire, which ceased only for a moment before continuing. Before he could prepare another spell, another series of shots hit him from his side. Striker held Adriana's discarded pistol in his left hand, using his teeth to work the gun's hammer.
"Light Binding!" Teya cried. Familiar tendrils of light sprung from the ground and wrapped around Bayle, holding him in place as the rounds continued to impact.
Johan ran by, holding Eva's sword in his hand. Half of his face was covered in blood from Bayle's last attack, but he didn't seem to be bothered too much by it. "Take a breather, Adriana, we'll hold him off!" Johan cried, charging at Bayle.
Adriana looked at the others, surprised. She crawled back until she felt her back resting against a building.
"We... we can use this break to strategize..." Roy said. "I need your help Adriana."
"Do you now?"
"I can't move your body properly... being dead for ten years makes it tough to use a real body again. On top of that, you move differently than I did... your legs are stronger and your arms are weaker. Your eyes are different, your weapons are much different than mine... if we're going to have any chance against Bayle, we need to be in sync. If you're in control, Bayle can manipulate you, but if you can help me move your body, we'll have a chance."
"What, you and I working together? Fat chance of that. I don't even want you in my head at all. Why don't you just try disowning him? That seems a pretty effective way to destroy someone."
"What is your problem?"
Roy's voice seemed to scream in her head. "The entire world is at risk, and you insist on being a brat about this?"
"What's my problem?" Adriana snapped back. "It's you, you jackass! Most of my life I spend without a father! I watched my mother die alone! You never visited! You were never there for me! I grew up hardened and bitter because that's the only way I wouldn't go crazy! If I hadn't written you off when I was seven, I'd be whoring for spare change or dead right now! You can keep playing the self-righteous hero role all you want, but I'll still see you as a deadbeat father until the day I die, which is probably today because you failed to clean up your mess from ten years ago!"
"Doesn't it bother you that those four are currently putting their lives on the line for you? They don't have godly powers, every second they fight Bayle, they could be torn to shreds! But you don't care about that; you just care about spiting your father! Saving the world is a little more important than our family feud, don't you think?"
"I don't have a world because of you! Everything I could have had was gone! For six years I lived with the shell of my mother, busy working herself to the bone so I could have food on my plate before she finally died of a broken heart. Do you have any idea what that can do to a person? Oh, and let's not forget the worst part. The part above all else that burns me up every time I even think about it: I trusted you, you *******!"

Roy didn't respond. Couldn't respond, perhaps.
"My earliest memories of you were so fond... I looked up to my Dad... I loved you... trusted you with every fiber of my being and then you left us alone. I can't forgive you, and I can't show you my frustration! I can't let you see the sorrow in my eyes, I can't punch you in frustration, I can't yell in your face, and I can't... I can't..."
"Kill me?"

Adriana paused. "I'd rather face Bayle alone than rely on you. I can't rely on you ever again. I'd rather..."
Roy didn't sound angry this time. His voice waivered slightly, as though he was pleading. "Don't do that. Never that. Please, don't die just to spite me. If you did, I couldn't..."
"But what great poetic justice it would be, no?"
Adriana jumped at the sound of a real voice next to her.
Naomi sat next to Adriana, seemingly exhausted, spent. Her eyes were still puffy and red from crying, but she had a sad smile on her face.
"You..." Adriana said, "I... don't know what you're..."
"I can hear him too, you know. I heard everything. He and I are kindred spirits, both souls unable to leave well enough alone in this world. We died that same day battling each other so it makes sense that I can hear it all."
"Naomi... you..." Roy tried to say, but Adriana ignored him.
"What did you mean...?" Adriana whispered.
Naomi laughed lightly. "Well, Roy has nothing left to lose. He lost his brother, his wife, his father, his mother is on death's door, and he has died. I suppose he wants to protect his old friends, but he has no true responsibility to them. Not anymore. On top of that, he's dead, so no one can truly hurt him anymore... except, of course, for you."
Adriana caught her breath.
"If you die, it can be your great revenge against your father. On top of that, you'll stop Bayle. Striker, Teya, Johan, they'll all be safe, Eva will be avenged, and Roy will be destroyed until the end of time, drowning in his misery. If you want your revenge..." Naomi placed a jagged knife into Adriana's hand. "You just need to take it."
"Naomi! Stop this! I won't..."
"But you have no real control over her, Roy. You never have, and you never will. Because of your great betrayal, she will never listen to you." Naomi closed Adriana's hand and lifted her arm so that the dagger hovered right above Adriana's heart.
Adriana could feel Roy trying to take control and fling the knife aside, but it was a trivial matter to brush his influence aside. "She's right, you know... it's so easy to ignore you."
"Adriana please, just listen to me..." Roy said, panicked.
"Or... Adriana, just think of your mother. Think of her broken heart, and this should come naturally."
Adriana felt tears in her eyes as she pulled the knife up to her skin. "Are... are these tears mine? I thought I had cried everything I had for my mother long ago. Or... Roy?"
At that moment, as both of their hearts cried out in sorrow, Adriana felt Roy's mind touch hers, and she passed out.

Wanna listen to me rant about stuff? I started a blog!
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