Dashed Expectations

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 4:45 am 
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I'm tired real description later maybe


This place is for people to put up their stories for the time skip occurring in the Pirate RP. Woop woop.

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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 1:24 am 
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One month after the destruction of The Prancing Devil

The small island that housed the Main hub for the Church was abuzz with activity today. The massive castle that was the center of all the Church's activity was almost completely empty. Everyone had filed outside to the gallows, to watch the hanging that was happening today. A few high profile hangings, people that had been declared traitors against the Church, Mia, and her interests.

The Inspector, Faith, and all of the Specialty Slaves that he had under his control.

This had started just after the second capture of Caitlin, when the Inspector yet again missed out on capturing the One. He was taken into custody along with Caitlin, and was sentenced to hang without a trial. Every slave under his control got the same treatment, all of them labeled as traitors. The Inspector had been stripped of his title, and was beaten by the guards while in captivity. When they dragged him into court to receive his sentence, he was in such poor shape that they had to postpone the sentencing to give him medical attention. But only just enough so he could hang later.

The day of the hanging, the Inspector was dragged out of the cells, hooked to a cart by his hands. He could barely walk, he was so weak. He ended up getting pelted with rotted foods, and was tripped up by a priest. The cart never stopped for him, dragging him the rest of the way to the gallows. The guards at the gallows kicked him a few times before dragging him to his feet, completely ignoring the fact that he was bleeding and cut on most of his body.

The gallows themselves sat near the edge of a cliff, the areas in front of them strewn with chairs and blankets. People here made it a show, a viewing, watching practically innocent people die over a view of the sea. It was disgusting in itself.

The Pope was sitting in a throne near the gallows, his head on his hand as he leaned against the side of his chair. Behind him, a statue of Mia stood, silent and ever-watching. The Pope was bored with this already. The Inspector was destined to hang the moment he started to move towards the freedom of slaves. The Pope had promised him anything as long as he delivered the girl, and when he failed to do so, he had gotten fed up with the useless man. Sure, he had gotten closer than anyone else ever had. But, that meant nothing without results.

The Inspector was shoved onto the gallows, several masked executioners making sure to keep a firm grasp on the dangerous man as they pushed him over to the noose. One of them grabbed his thick black hair, forcing him to look at the Pope. The Pope waved his hand, the crowd around the gallows going silent.

“Zach Machemi. You are here today in accordance with your sentencing. You are to be hanged in front of Mia for your crimes against her interests, including, but not limited to, treason.” The Pope leaned forward slightly, his eyes casting a disapproving, bored gaze towards the Inspector. “You have been stripped of any previous titles, awards, and honors given to you by the Church of Mia. Your life will be taken from you on this plane, and Mia will judge you in the next. The Church has been gracious enough to grant you a few parting words, I suggest you use them wisely.”

Zach looked down at his tied hands, a drop of blood running down his nose and falling to the ground. “You...have stripped me of nothing. I willfully part with the title of Inspector. Because I have a greater title now.” The Pope looked to the executioner, nodding his head and waving his hand. The executioner tied the noose around the Inspector's neck as he continued his final words.

“A title given to me by the races you so ignorantly cast aside.” The crowd around the Pope started muttering, looking up at their leader. “You lied, and cheated your way to that throne. Killed your predecessor! And you dare tell me how to live my life?” The Pope grimaced, quickly motioning with his hand across his throat at the executioner. “You, who have nothing to show for your rule over the Church in the past twenty years!” The executioner moved up to shove Zach onto the trapdoor that would lead to his demise. Zach lifted his hands, grabbing the hooded man by the neck and snapped it with ease.

Guards jumped to their feet, shuffling their way through the upset crowd of people, getting caught up in the brewing madness. The Pope got to his feet, pointing at the other executioner. “Drop him!” The executioner ran over to the Inspector, only to be dropped by a kick to the face. “Useless. Every single one of you. Someone kill that man!” The Inspector laughed, pointing at the Pope. He then raised his hands over his head as a few crossbow bolts whizzed past, using one to cut the ropes on his hands.

The Inspector kept his hands over his head, still laughing. He looked up at the sky, and the crowd went silent. Not because the Inspector was laughing like a madman. Not because the Pope demanded it. No, their reason to be silent was much more simple.

It was faint at first. Just an echo, a whisper. But it was very distinct, and it was quickly joined by several others. A dreaded sound, a deadly sound. Something that no one ever wanted to hear, especially grouped up like this.

Dragon song.

The guards that were on their way up to Zach stopped, turned face, and ran out of the area to man the ballistas. Sadly, they did not get there in time, as a black dragon swooped down and left a line of destruction, breathing dragon fire down on most of the ballistas and some of the troops that had managed to get over there. Several other dragons joined the fray, but they weren't specifically aiming for troops. Just any weapons stores, piles of rifles, sword racks.

Zach took several steps backwards, standing directly on the trapdoor, still with the noose around his neck. He looked directly at the Pope, and pointed at him with his finger in the shape of a gun. Instead of pulling the 'trigger,' he turned his hand over. Thumbs down, you lying sack of !#%$. Game over. The Pope grimaced, getting out of his chair and moving through the crowd, trying to make his way back to the Church.

Behind Zach, a massive silver dragon lifted itself over the cliff side, roaring as it tilted itself forward. On its back, hundreds of Beasts, all different tribes, dashed over the dragon's back and onto the island, jumping onto the crowd before they could get away. One of the Beasts tripped the lever for the trapdoor, and another cut the noose before Zach fell, leaving him free to bolt through the crowd, chasing the Pope.

The Pope himself had managed to make his way to the Church, but Beasts had caught up to him, and he was being held against the ground as Zach casually strolled up. “I did warn you. The day you crossed me was the day I would murder you.” He reached into a Beast's pocket, pulling out his revolver. “You had ample opportunity to fix this abomination against nature. To right the wrongs, stop the genocide of entire other races.”

Zach pushed the revolver against the Pope's head, watching the frail old man quake as he !#%$ the hammer. “Please...Inspector.” Zach's indifferent face turned to a frown as he tapped the old man in the forehead, shaking his head.

“The beasts have given me a new title. No longer will I carry the title Inspector. I've been working against the Church for some time now, moving beast forces under your nose, and restructuring everything around you.” The Pope just laughed, shaking his head.

“So...you are their champion? You're the Hero?” Zach grinned, and his grin faltered as the Pope looked him in the eye. “You know nothing. Her power is beyond anything you could even comprehend. And soon, your life will be hers.” Before Zach could protest, the Pope reached up and grabbed the trigger of the revolver, firing the gun into his own skull.

Zach dropped the gun to his side as he stood up, standing over the Pope's body. Veronica walked over, patting him on the shoulder. “It's over Zach. We can rebuild the tribes now, and renegotiate with all the major cities.” He shook his head, the man's last words still echoing around in his head.

“This isn't even close to over. He was always just a pawn. This was just the first step.” Zach turned to Veronica, nodding at her. “We don't have time to whine about it though. I need you and Urithsk to follow me down to the depths of the Church, where we can get the keys.” He motioned towards the other Beasts, who stood at the ready. “The ships will be arriving right about now. Get their guns ready, and move the dragons into position.” Making sure everyone knew what to do, Zach dashed into the Church, making a beeline for the lower sections. Behind him, Urithsk and Veronica were checking every room, making sure to kill the soldiers that had taken to hiding, and gathering up any wandering slaves.

Zach eventually made his way down to a massive, circular room. Pitch black, he felt around the edges until he bumped into a cistern. “Huh...this isn't holy water.” He dipped his fingers into the liquid, sniffing it, and then grinned, lighting a match with his other hand. The match dropped into the cistern, and a fire burst to life, spreading around the room through a tiny channel full of oil to several other cisterns.

In the middle of this now lit room sat a massive metal monstrosity of sorts. It appeared to be some sort of drilling machine, but with very delicate end bits. In fact, what it really was made it much more special. “I found it!” Zach shouted towards the door, hearing Veronica and Urithsk run their way to the room. “We need to move it before-” The entire castle started shaking, and a spear erupted through the wall, piercing through the wall behind them. A chain was now suspended in the room. “!#%$! Hurry, get on the other side, we need to move this now, before they pull the castle apart.”

Urithsk moved under the chain, and grabbed the delicate machine, shoving it to the other side of the room as the castle started to crumble apart. Pieces of the structure fell onto where they had just been standing, and the entire wall collapsed. Outside, a massive chunk of the Church crumbled apart and slid into the ocean, several hundred ships all working together to pull the walls off of the building. A ship pulled up close to the church, getting near the room Zach and the key were in. As quickly and carefully as they could, the key machine was lowered into the ship, and the ship immediately pulled back to carry it to a massive beast vessel.

Another ship pulled up to the church, and the cycle continued for a few minutes, bags of keys being lowered into the ships, keys to the slave collars. Eventually, there was only one bag left, and the three lowered themselves down onto the boat with the bag, escaping the castle as it was pulled into the ocean. They climbed onto the massive vessel, crowds of beasts running over to them and lifting them in the air, cheering. A chant broke out, all of the beasts chanting Zach's new title. “Hero! Hero!”

Zach looked over at Faith, who, like the other specialty slaves, had been escorted onto the ship. He then gestured towards the machine. “Well, it's a two hour process. Let's get you started, Inspector.” She grinned, and walked over to him, embracing Zach as he stuck the two golden keys into the collar, and positioned herself under the metal drill-like machine. With a nod, Veronica walked over to the side of the machine and pulled a lever, and the tip of the drill began to spin as it inserted itself into the back of her collar...

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 3:12 am 
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Three months after the Destruction of the Prancing Devil...


The sun was lazily descending in the sky over the small island of Corocokira, in the Northern Circle. The Circle was a massive chain of islands that peppered the outskirts of the northern cap, right outside the Impassible Peaks. Corocokira was one of the larger islands in the Circle, mostly inhabited by the Bear Clans and foolhardy humans. The Church used to have settlements up in the Circle, but they found that it was too much of a cost drain, and stuck with random missionaries. Really, the people who lived up there didn't question much, and they stuck together to survive.

It was a perfect place for two kids to wash up in a life boat, then.

Sunny was the first to climb out of the boat, half starved and incredibly weak. She tumbled over the edge of the boat, into the water, and slowly crawled out of the water and lay on the beach for a few minutes. She sighed, wearily lifting her head to look around for any signs of civilization. None. She crawled her way up the beach, her hands digging deep into the loose sands as she lamented their horrible landing. There was no way she could carry Kimmy to the town, she was much heavier than she looked. Molten rock and all.

She managed to crawl further up the beach and reach some actual solid land. She flipped herself over, slumping against a tree as she panted, the exertion causing her vision to dip into darkness momentarily. She laid against the tree, looking up at the horrid, furious sun beating down on her. She narrowed her eyes, the tree above her catching her attention with its fruits. Yes. This is exactly what she needed.

Sunny weakly snapped her fingers, watching her wolf familiar pop into existence. She leaned back, and then slammed into the tree, watching the fruits fall down all around her. Her familiar ran to the nearest fruit, grabbing it and dragging to the starving, half dead girl. She reached down and ripped it open, reaching her hands in and scooping out the incredibly juicy insides. She then slapped the fruit's innards against her face, barely managing to get any of it into her mouth. She gasped, feeling the juices of the fruit soothe her aching throat, and sit in the pit of her stomach.

The familiar brought her another fruit, and she carefully opened this one, taking smaller portions of the fruit so she could get it all in her mouth. The two of them had been at sea for a few months now, and she had only just survived on food that she summoned in. What she didn't know was that, even though she could eat this summoned food and not go hungry, it didn't restore the magic she used. She ended up wasting most of her remaining energy one day creating half a loaf of bread, and the last time the two of them had eaten was over a week ago.

Sunny managed to make it to her feet, and slowly walked back to the boat, pausing every few seconds to take a breather. She walked over to the side of the boat, pausing as she noted that the boat was now smoking, and Kimmy's body was glowing slightly. She didn't have much time. Sunny reached inside and pulled out Kimmy, wincing. Sunny groaned, noting that the girl was very heavy, and incredibly hot. She started running with her, feeling the heat against her arms as she carried her up the shore, further inland. The heat burned through her clothes, and she yelled as her arms started to blister, running into a cave that was just offshore. She ran deep into this cave, Kimmy's body lighting her way as she found her way to the end of the cave and put Kimmy down.

Sunny then ran back out of the cave, practically screaming in agony as her clothes burst into flames. She dove into the sea, the salt burning against her burned skin, but the water putting out the fires before she lost all of her clothes and her hair. Sunny clawed her way back to the shore, shuddering as she tried to ignore the pain that was shooting through her whole body. She spread her arms out in the sunlight, the runes on her body glowing softly as her body very slowly started to heal itself. She sighed, turning her head towards the cave. She could hear Kimmy's body hardening as it went through the first stages of its molting process. She was glad that she had managed to get Kimmy far enough inland, and deep into this cave.

But now, she needed to focus on supplies. She would be stranded on this island for a year. It was time to go make nice with the locals. Sunny looked down at her burned skin, frowning. Right after the pain subsided and her body didn't want to murder her.

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 3:14 am 
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Four months after the Destruction of the Prancing Devil...


“Uuuuuuhhhhhhhgggghhhhh....”

“Shut up Caitlin.”

Caitlin glared through the bars of her dimly-lit cell, looking at the cell opposite of hers. She could make out Violet's frame laying on her bed, her one arm over the back of her head, the other arm...oh. “Don't tell me to shut up, stumpy. How are you not bored out of your mind over there? This is agonizing! I should have busted out of here months ago!” Caitlin curled her legs into her chest, writhing around on her bed as she groaned louder.

Violet just sighed, tilting her head towards the single window she had been granted. “Then do it. Oh wait, no, you can't. Some misguided feeling of pride or some !#%$, etc. I could have broken us out of here months ago, but no. Here we sit, waiting to be hanged.” A brief flash of anger crossed Violet's face before she calmed down. No, she wouldn't rise to this-

“Oh wah wah. My name is Violet and I've been !#%$ about being in a jail for the past 3000 years!” Caitlin covered her mouth, smirking. “Oh, oops~! That sure was mean of me.” She snickered to herself and turned to see if Violet had reacted to her oh welp she was in Caitlin's cell now !#%$ wow that was quick.

Violet grabbed Caitlin by the neck, lifting the girl off of her bed and slamming her into the wall. “You...you little conceited !#%$.” Caitlin managed to choke out a laugh, looking back at the bars of her cell, and the way they had been ripped out of the ground. Violet kneed Caitlin in the gut, shoving her deeper into the wall.

“Y-you...can't! H-hurk...Ha!” Violet's lip twitched, the fingers on her one hand perfectly capable of crushing Caitlin's throat. The two girls glared at each other, before Violet finally dropped Caitlin and turned away from her, letting her gasp for hair in between little fits of laughter. “Even...huuh...even if you had the chance...heh...you couldn't...”

Violet turned back to Caitlin, pointing at her. “No, I can't. That doesn't mean I can excuse your pitiful attempts of...what ever the hell you call this. The time I waste sitting in this hellhole could be put to better use raising our daughter to protect herself, or to use her gifts...and, what of your child? That...Sunny brat.” Caitlin was suddenly at full attention, spitting on the ground as her face dropped to a massive frown. “Yes, I thought so. A waste of potential, that one. I won't let our daughter fall into the same fate.”

“Now you listen here you one armed psycho !#%$. Sunny is a perfect example of the beauty in a child's soul. Also !#%$ you, I could raise her to be an amazing kid if I got the chance!” Violet snorted, and Caitlin's lip quivered for a second before she stomped her foot. “!#%$ you! There isn't a chance in Hell you could raise our daughter better than I could raise Sunny!”

“Care to wager on that?” While Caitlin was steadily getting more angry and flustered, Violet had completely cooled off, and was holding out her hand. “I bet you, I can raise our child to be the perfect example of what kind of child we need in this world by the end of...oh, we'll say three years and eight months, before you can do the same with Sunny.”

Caitlin paused for a moment before grinning, grabbing Violet's hand in a firm handshake. “And the terms?”

“If I win, you relinquish control of the Prancing Devil and pick an island to settle down on to properly raise our children. If you win, my services will be at your disposal, indefinitely. All of them.” Caitlin hesitated as she shook Violet's hand. These were steep terms, but it was too late to back down. She had already agreed.

“Well, piece of piss. I accept your terms. Sunny will win this wager, easily. In fact, I-”

“Ahem. I hope I’m not interrupting.” The two girls jumped slightly, turning their heads to the man sitting outside of the ruined cells. Zach, covered in various amounts of blood, smiling at the two girls. “I could sit here all day and watch you two bicker, but our ride is waiting.” Violet grinned, Caitlin glared, and the False Inspector just put his hat back on, gesturing towards the door.

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 3:25 am 
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The journal of Captain Caitlin Kil De'Moore. A treasure trove of knowledge, its entries date past the beginning of this world. Its pages can only be read by the few capable of breaking the magic seal over it. The history of our world, the location of treasures both mythical and material, detailed notes on the internal struggle for power among the gods, and so much more lie within its pages.

But for some, a greater secret is to be found. For not all are interested in the petty quarrel of gods that trouble them not. Not all care about relics of a time long past. Not all care about how this world came to be.

Some just want the good captain dead.

The most dreaded pirate of the sea has many enemies, and a past hidden behind a thick fog of mystery. Her journal could hold some sort of hidden weakness - some clue to bring about the end of De'Moore once and for all. If only its pages could be read...






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Gallius 5th, 2308 SY

My name is Catherine. I am six years old. This is my new diary! Mommy gave it to me so I'd have "something to look back on when I got older." That seems very strange! Strange like this new book! It's old! It's not nice and pretty at all, and it's very heavy. All the pages are blank and I'm suppose to fill them in. But not the first page. That page has scribbles on it. Mommy called them "roons." I don't know what that is, and I'm smart! It must be an adult thing. She did say I'd understand them when I was older!
I asked Daddy what I should write down. He didn't hear me at first because he was busy working in his study, but I kept hitting the book against the door until he answered. Daddy said I should describe myself so I'd have a "referense" for adult me. I think that's silly because if people never change why would I need to write down about me when I am the same then?

I have nice red hair that I brush and take care of every day. I keep it looking nice because I want to look as nice as Mommy. She also has red hair. Every day I wake up and eat breakfast. Sometimes it's Spooky O's with skeleton marshmellows and other times it's Fruity Hoops. Both are yummy but sometimes the spooky o's have surprises that scare me. Now they don't because Daddy told Mommy to not bring them home from her work anymore so now she gets them from the store so they aren't scary. After breakfast I have to do school stuff. Mommy is usually home so she has to be the teacher. Write now we're going over multiplication and division in math. It's really easy! Mommy says I might get to skip a grade if I keep doing good. After I finish my lessons I have the rest off the day to myself.
I'm not allowed to leave the house, and I can not go past the gate in the yard. The yard is kind of spooky because of Mommy's plants. They eat things my size, but they're REALLY pretty so I look at them from the window sometimes. Most days I go to my room and take my toys apart. I like to see how everything works. When I finish I put them back together and then start over. Sometimes I play little games with them, but I don't want to make a mess so I try to avoid it.
I wait for Daddy to come home from work. He doesn't show up until the sun is coming down. He always looks tired and probably needs a nap but he can't because that's irresponsble. He normally just plays one game with me before dinner or going to his study. Sometimes Mommy goes to work when he gets home, and if Daddy goes to his study I get lonely. Normally I'm very quiet because I don't want to upset anyone, especially when they are tired.

Sometimes when we're all home we play a fun game called Smash the Robot. It is the funnest. I get more turns than my parents because they say I am the best player. I don't know how you win the game though. You start with a little toy robot and you have to smash it with a big mallet until it's only little pieces left. Then you win, but that doesn't seem like you beat anyone to win against. I have to ask about the rules again I think.

Okay future me, it's time for bed. I have my pajamas on and my teeth all brushed. No demons were waiting under my bed or in the bathroom today, so tonight is the best night ever! Daddy said he'd tell me a story so I have to crawl into bed before he gets here.

-Catherine <3

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Gallius 20th, 2308 SY

Mommy took me to the market today! Rather, a grocery store. In the city. A great big city! We live near a forest away from anybody, but at night you can see bright lights far off in the distance. They shine in bright colors that catch my eye when I look out my window at night. The city is a lot different from our little cubby hole of seclusion. All the buildings are gigantic and look really fancy. Great big tv's hang on buildings and advertise things everywhere. There's big railways that take people all over at lightning speeds. Daddy says that the city wasn't always so neat. He says that just a few years before I was born, the place was pretty trashy and 'kind of a wasteland. A big scrap-heap like some twisted metal forest.' He says that everything changed once The Robot showed up. And that's the biggest and strangest part of the city: The Robot's Island! There's this big island waaaay up in the sky that just hovers over the city and casts a big shadow over some parts. Mommy says that's where he lives and that I should always stay far away from it. I guess that's why I'm not allowed to see the city very often. = (

It's neat though. Just a big chunk of land floating way up there. So at the market grocery store place we just got our normal things. We picked up a pizza for dinner (it's Daddy's favorite! Mom says that's not original). There was a boy at the store who looked my age but I didn't talk to him because Mommy would be upset if I did.

-Catherine <3

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Gallius 24th, 2308 SY

Mommy said I need to stop bringing the kitchen sink to life. And the couch. And to stop stealing her snacks.
It's not my fault all these sweets appear when I want them!

-Catherine

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Landis 7th, 2308 SY

Today was EXTRA boring today. Boring boring boring! = (
But then it wasn't because just now I saw something weird. Okay it is still boring but now MYSTERY! OHHHH! I peeked out the window even though I'm supposed to be getting ready for bed and I saw Daddy outside talking to someone. I haven't seen him before but he must know Daddy really well to be allowed at the house. He looked old and kind of funny. Whenever he said anything Daddy looked really annoyed and the old man seemed to think he was saying funny jokes! I don't know what they were saying because they were all quiet. I had to stop spying because the old man looked up at my window and I know he saw me because he made an extra big smile so I have to hurry to bed!

-Catherine

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Landis 23rd, 2308 SY

Daddy was on the tv today! There was a news report for the bank going on and he went flying across the background! Like something hit him really hard! Then this BIG blue robot came chasing after him and the reporter was panicking and then the camera moved around all wobbly and Mommy started getting all excited and jumping on the couch and cheering and then the robot lifted up Daddy and she started booing and saying bad words and then the robot threw him really far and the camera lost sight of them. Mommy and I didn't know what to do after that.

Daddy hasn't come home yet.

-Catherine = (

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Landis 24th, 2308 SY

Daddy is back! I woke up this morning and he was in the kitchen with an ice pack against his face. I don't know how he wasn't beaten up more than a bit of his face being swollen. He said that he managed to get away from the robot with some trickery but that doesn't say much of anything! Mommy asked him what he had been up to, and he said he was manipulating business. I think. He used a lot of big words I don't understand, but Mommy practically jumped for joy but I don't even know what was going on, but I guess we own a lot of things now! Daddy told me I could go with him to the store tomorrow. So excited!

Daddy took care of my lessons today so Mommy could get some extra time in at work. Everything was easy. I have new books I have to read now. One is called "War as an Artform" and is SUUUUPER boring! The other is supposed to be for fun and is called "The Maiden of Ire" and seems okay so far. It's about a girl who has to rescue the prince she's in love with or something. I'M SLEEPY BLUH BLUH!

-Kit-Kat Catherine tee hee <3

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Landis 25th, 2308 SY

ohmygosh best day everrrrr! E-V-E-R EVER! We went to the store for a couple of things Daddy needed and he didn't bother putting on a desguise because he just didn't feel like it which is kind of silly because Mommy told him people would be looking for him again but he didn't so that was weird! So we get to the store and Daddy gets his cigarettes (EWWWW) and we go to check out but the guy in front of us turns around and recognizes Daddy from the news. He starts freaking out and threatening to call the cops so Daddy tells me to go find something to keep myself busy for a few minutes while he talks to the nice man and then AND THEN OH MAN! I found that boy from last time we were here! He was looking at cereal while his mom was in the restroom and at first I was scared but I said "Catherine you are a big girl you can talk to people it is super easy I am the best humph!" and then I went and I did it and eeee! His name is Mathew and he was super sweet. He said he likes my hair and my face felt like it was on fire. I asked him if he lived in the city and he asked where else people would live if they went to that store. That was something I never thought about. My house is weird.

So we chatted for a minute about silly things like our favorite shows and I gave him my phone number because I knew it was my only chance and then I hurried back to Daddy. The guy he was talking to seemed really friendly by then and I guess wasn't upset anymore because they shook hands and Daddy said he'd see him at work the next day. So confusing.

I am so anxious for the phone to ring oh my gosh!

-Catherine <3 <3 <3

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Merandes 20th, 2308

The year is almost over. Bum bum bum. It's been a good year. I made a friend and learned lots. Daddy has had a bunch of free time lately because he said it's Mommy's turn to 'wreck havok' or whatever. She won't tell us what she is planning but she keeps saying it has something to do with roses. I don't see how you can wreck havok with flowers but Mommy finds ways to do crazy things I guess?

Uncle Steg came over for lunch with Mommy and me while Daddy was gone. He was SUUUPER scared. It was kind of funny! Mommy was very nice to him and courteous and I guess that freaked him out. He got me a new set of videos called "The Justice Pals" and said I'd really like one of the villians. I'm not far enough into it yet to know though.

I should probably start thinking of my new year revelations. Revelucians. Revelotions. UGH THIS WORD IS DUUUUMB!!!

-CATHEEEERIIIIINE RAWR RAWR RAWR<3

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Octsrophe 6th, 2309

Birthday birthday, guess who had a birthday! I did I did hmm hmmmm hmmm hum hmm hmmm~!

It took almost a year but Mommy finally let Mathew come over for my birthday. It was the best present ever and it wasn't even a present! We had cake and watched tv and played with toys and there wasn't a single demon or monster to scare us! Everything was awesome!

What I wanted: My bestest pal to come over. A new book. Some hair pins. Clothes (Pants skirts shirts undies). New pens.
What I got: EVERYTHING AND MORE! BEST BIRTHDAY EVAAAAAR!

-Catherine<3<3<3

-----

Ocstrophe 18th, 2309

Mathew let me have the bestest food ever oh my gosh! They're called 'oranges.' I have never heard of them before HOW HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF THEM! They are the best! Oh my gosh. I just can't get over how good they are. Mathew said they're a fruit that grows on trees and told me that you can make juice out of them and yum yum yum! I told Mommy how good they are and she said she'll get some for me next time she goes shopping. MMMM SO EXCITED!

Oranges, I love you so! Oranges, this much I know! Juicy and sweet! Delectable to eat! When I'm hungry I will always pick you! Oranges!~ ~ ~ <3

-Catherine the Orange Devourer mwuahahaa!

-----

Ocstrophe 24th, 2309

I did not like today. It was kind of a scary and weird and strange day. A friend of Mommy's came over today. She is a scientist, supposed to be one of the smartest people in the whooooole world. She looks kind of funny and acts kind of funny, too. I think she said her name was Towels. Or was it Tayos. Taos? Uhhh...

Mommy says Taos and I need to announciate certain words better, and that Towels was very cute.

So Ms. Taos was actually here to see me and not to see Mommy. She had to do something called a 'psychological analysist.' See, sometimes I...hear things. It used to be just a faint voice, and I always assumed it was just a demon hiding. Every now and then I'd call out to it, and Mommy & Daddy thought I was just checking and getting kind of paranoid. But lately there's been more voices, and louder ones too! And still not when there's actually demons around! They've gotten very worried about me.

Ms. Taos asked me a lot of questions, and she scribbled a lot on a little notepad of hers. It made me really uncomfortable. It made me feel like there is something wrong with me, but there's NOTHING wrong with me!!! This isn't my fault. Why is this happening? Ms. Taos told Mommy she'd be back later with some things I would need and to explain what was going on better.

-Catherine = (

-----

Ocstrophe 25th, 2309

Paranoid schizophrenia is what Ms. Taos is leaning towards. She says there is a couple of symptoms I'm not exhibiting, but they might show up later. I don't even know what any of these things mean really but I guess I think everyone is out to get me and that I hear voices that aren't really there? I know all the demons hiding everywhere are out to get me, even if I haven't seen any in a really really long time! I can't explain the voices though but Ms. Taos says that Daddy has a similar problem and that's likely why I have it as well. She also said that normally someone in my situation would needs lots of therapy and even having to get sent to a special hospital (I think), but I'm in luck (I guess)! Ms. Sota thinks she can make some medication for me that will help me lead a normal life. She said it would help relieve symptoms but I'm pretty sure this is what she meant.

So we have to wait a month for that to happen. Mommy and Daddy are both very worried about me right now and they are not very good about hiding it. The way they talk to me changes when they're worried about me. Daddy is supposed to be a very good actor but even he does it.

I need some oranges...but it's beddybye time.

-Crazy Catherine = (

-----

Automach 15th, 2310

Daddy came back from a fight really beat up. Mommy decided to shout his ear off (not literally this time) about how he was being reckless and she was getting tired of him leaving her behind. He promised they'd work together on the next...whatever it is they do. Fight heroes? What does that even mean. Daddy spent the day in bed and will be there for the next few days. I think he broke a leg because The Robot brought him back and when he dropped him off Daddy was pulling himself up to the front door with his one good arm and... I'm scared of losing my parents. = (

I know this is what they like to do, or it's their jobs or whatever, but sometimes I get really worried about them. What do they even accomplish? Daddy gets beaten up by The Robot more often than not, and this time The Robot said he'd bring back a corpse if he tries anything like 'that' again.

And for that matter, why do they even do all this evil stuff? Lots of people get hurt and even die from it! But they didn't do anything wrong, did they? But I want to be like them when I grow up, so am I going to have to kill people? I'M ONLY TEN AND THE TELEVISION SAYS THAT I SHOULDN'T BE THINKING ABOUT DEATH SO MUCH!!!

Maybe I'll just ask them these questions? I use to just accept it but now I am older and understand things a bit better and bed time.

-Catherine

------

Lucrestest 31st, 2311 SY

Mommy tried to ground me so I burned her new curtains.

Probably my worst idea ever.

-Prisoner Catherine

-----

Landis 2nd, 2311 SY

Daddy has been gone for a couple of weeks now. He hasn't been on the news and Mommy hasn't been able to find him at his usual hiding places. Things have been looking bleak, and today made things worse. While I was gone someone came by the house. Mommy said it was some red-haired fellow with a very odd accent. Supposedly he kidnapped Daddy (IMPOSSIBLE!) and he's threatening Mommy into helping him with something. I've never seen her so upset before. What are we going to do? How could ANYONE keep Daddy in one place? It just doesn't seem possible.

-Catherine

~~~~~~~~~~~

Though the entries continue daily, we continue to skim...

Until

In the year 2312...


Catherine,

I hope this reaches you safely. I'm sorry for what you are being put through right now. I'm sorry that I never warned you. That I never prepared you for this. Most of all, I'm sorry I'm not there for you. The world is no longer as it once was. So much has changed in just a few months.

I always planned this for you. It's a tough world that we live in, and your mother and I have only made it more difficult for you. We tried to take the world for ourselves - our family of three. Instead we just intensified the anger it held against us, and we inadvertedly turned it against you before you ever had the chance.
So, you need to be able to protect yourselves. You've always been a bit of a prodigy, but you will never reach your full potential around us. Sarah and I can't help but coddle you whenever you can. That won't do.

The next three years will be hell for you, but you'll be better for it. I only hope you don't hate me for this by the end of it all. Don't blame your Mother - this was mostly my doing. Lance will bring you back to the house when you're finally through (should you make it through in one piece). Neither of us will be there. Head to my study. Everything will be explained there.

Love Always,
Dad

P.S: 27, 55, 2315. Delicious Fruit.

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 10:51 pm 
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Only a few weeks after the Prancing Devil's destruction...

A Perfect Execution

The weather was balmy on the island trade port of Seline. There were scarcely clouds that hung in the sky. The streets, however, were full of the usual crowd of traders and townsfolk. There was a bit of excitement that hung in the air, as the crowds seemed to be diverging to the local guardhouse.

After all, a public execution was huge in the tourism district. Granted, this was an execution that wasn't heavily mentioned to the public, but the word spreads fast in the district.

The crowds were kept behind a line of guardsmen, keeping them from crowding the hangman's gallows. Upon the platform stood a single man in a black hood, looking back and forth to the crowd. He doesn't get paid a lot, but he sure does like his executioner job.

"I had no idea there was a public execution planned today," one female dressed in a baker's outfit stated by the sidelines. "It would've been nice if they mentioned it so I could have stationed my bread vendor outside the barracks. Keep the poor souls fed."

A second woman, dressed more shabbily, leaned forward and tried to get a better view from the crowd. "Who is being executed, anyway?"

"Some delinquent pirate that got caught by the Admiral," one man replied. "Made quite a mess on her ship, too."

"Wait, the new Admiral? I thought her ship was indestructible."

"I heard that the pirate had some sort of grand attack that destroyed the mast!"

"Whoa...interesting. I heard he was some Pirate Lord or something."

The crowd started to murmur for a moment before the door to the barracks opened and two guards appeared guiding a more muscular man along, his hands and feet bound together by handcuffs. His face was obscured until he was placed in front of the noose. Finally, the hood was taken off and the man was revealed to be Issac Sentin. This brought even more murmurs through the crowd.

"Whoa...isn't that the guard who kept watch at the gate all the time?"

"Man, he slept all the time there...it's no wonder, he doesn't have the fortitude to handle being a gua-"

This brought Issac's ire as his voice fiercely roared through the crowd. "HOW DARE YOU QUESTION MY PERFECT FORTIT-" He was immediately silenced by a solid smack from a guard's hilt, which barely phased him. His face held a familiar grimace as he looked soundly defeated.

The crowd was silent for a time after his outburst, but soon enough they began to murmur once more. It wasn't until a man in armor appeared from the doorway with a church priest beside him that the crowd was once again brought to silence.

Grand Captain Pierce Tyburnis. For years, he has taken care of the guard for Seline and any mercantile guardsmanship that wasn't taken care of by the Eastern captain. Despite the church's habit of keeping to their own, they had a silent respect for Tyburnis, as his regimen was able to take control of many beast tribes within the Seline quarter of the world for many years. It was he who enacted the fierce dragonspotting campaign that brought the guard such illustrious honor among the world's powers. He was also the one who helped train Issac and promptly demoted him to gate duty after frequent failures in dragonspotting, as well as an incident regarding the beat-down of a group of guardsmen on beast patrol.

And here he stood in front of Issac, who did not look happy to see him. The feeling seemed mutual.

"Sentin."

"Y-yes, Captain?" Issac looked up to the man in front of him, staring him straight in the eyes. He was greeted with the captain spitting in his face.

"Pathetic. You were one of my star pupils, Sentin. You were going to go places, but you always had such !#%$ code. You kept the guard from fulfilling their duties for ten years, and shirked your duties when they didn't fit your own plan. And here you are," He tapped Issac forcefully in the chest, "About to hang from the rope above you. To die like a dog...a pirate of all things. You make me sick to my stomach."

"...your words hurt, sir." Issac looked away for a moment. "But-"

He was met with the captain's plated fist slamming into his cheek. The sound it made was almost sickening, but there didn't seem to be a bone broken.

"You do not-" Tyburnis moved his hand over Issac's mouth and forced his head turned back to the captain. "-look away when I'm talking to you, pirate. That's all you are now." He shoved Issac back towards another guard. "Not even worth the rope you'll hang from." He nodded to the priest.

"Ah, y-yes, yes. Ahem...'Issac Sentin. You are here today in accordance with your sentencing. You are to be hanged in front of Mia's people for your crimes against her interests for the crimes as follows; treason of the Church of Mia, treason of the city-state of Seline, piracy, consorting with pirates, defending pirates, attacking the ship of a trade captain-"

"Oh, come on, that wasn't even my faul-" Issac was met with a backhand slap from Tyburnis. "Geh."

"-and insubordination.'" The priest moved his hand to his glasses and raised them, moving the paper aside. "'You are to be taken from this plane to the next, where Mia in all her glory will judge you.' The captain has not permitted you with any parting words, but the church will allow a few."

Issac sighed and looked around. "This is...not right. It's all happened so...fast. All I wanted to do was help people. I was guided...destined to help those people. They are not as bad as you think!"

It didn't seem to stick, as a tomato landed square in Issac's perfect face.

"Pirate scum! I hope you burn!"

The crowd was starting to get restless. The guards were poised and ready to keep them from harming the poor perfect pirate guard.

The priest chuckled. "Guess they didn't much care for your ideals, Sentin. Is that all?"

Issac sighed, shaking off the tomato from his face. "I...I guess so-"

"WAIT!"

The crowd was suddenly taken aback by a figure hovering in the air. A single girl was flying above the townsfold, kept aloft by her dark blue wings. To her side was a bag with the postal service's iconic logo branded upon its side.

"Collarless bird! How dare you show outside of your little post office." Tyburnis stood forward, drawing his crossbow.

"R-Robin?" Issac's mouth was agape as he looked up to the sky. His 'daughter' was here, but...

"Mr...Mr Sentin did nothing wrong! He's just a victim of...really, really bizarre circumstance!"

"I'm warning you, you better leave." The captain brought his crossbow up. "Interrupting an execution is already a very serious offense, girl."

"Mr Sentin is not a bad guy. You all know it! He was a kind, gentle soul. He-EEP!" Robin's face ducked down as a crossbow bolt flew above her.

"Warning shot." The captain held up the crossbow after a quick reload.

"P-please...this is my last request. Let her go!" Issac shouted at the captain. "She's done nothing wrong!"

The captain ignored him as he shot once more, this time grazing the poor girl's wing. She was slowly losing altitude. Once she would land on the ground, it would be over. She kept the altitude, however. Her pain was nothing compared to the cost Issac was about to pay.

"Father, you said you'd never-"

"...Father?"

Robin moved her hands over her mouth as the captain echoed her words. He immediately looked over to Issac, tossing the crossbow to the ground in anger. "You adopted a beast? In my city?! How long has this gone on?"

"I-...You...it's-" He was met with one more punch as the captain stepped back.

"Enough. We can amend your accusation list in the obituary." He motioned a slicing gesture over his neck to the two guards. It was time. The guards slowly moved the noose over Issac's neck.

"D-Dad..." Robin perched on top of the gate, away from the guards and townsfolk who were keeping their eyes on the girl. Her eyes were beginning to water, tears slowly falling along her face as she attempted to keep the cut from bleeding too much. "Please...you said I wouldn't have to...worry about you"

"Robin..." Issac said quietly. "....please look away. I don't want you to...see me like this." He closed his eyes, keeping his view away from Robin as the hangman moved towards the lever. A sickening grinding sound echoed through the small plaza as the lever was pulled. Issac's footing gave way and the only thing keeping him elevated was the noose around his neck.

The next few parts were hazy. He could have sworn he heard a snap, but maybe that was the snap of life cutting himself away from the throes of the material plane. He felt like he was slowly fading away, but a few voices seemed to flood his ears. They felt ever-distant and only a few words seemed to echo into his mind.

............................girl's gone................flown away...........
.........townsfolk away now.........noose snapped......................
.......................................................................................
............!#%$'s still alive...


---

Issac's eyes opened wide. All he saw was white.

He shook his head and stood up slowly, moving his hand to his neck. "The...neck's not stiff...was it a bad dream?"

He looked around, trying to get his bearings. Maybe this place was where he was sent off to when that weird automaton appeared?

No, that can't be right...wait...why is the floor...black?

He looked to his hands. His hands were pure black, all the way up to his armor. In fact, the entire world seemed to be of a white sky as the ground and himself were pure black.

"....what in the...?"

"Issac Sentin, I believe it was?"

Issac immediately tried reaching for his grand Daedalus sword, but he didn't seem to have it on him at the moment. He moved his hands up to a fighting position anyhow. By gum, if there was going to be a fight, he wasn't going to go down without a few punches.

"I have kept my eye on you."

The weird realm he was in began to echo footsteps. He sensed the location with his keen senses (turn around until something looks weird) and notices a single figure walking towards him.

---

The nighttime of Seline was much more quiet than it was during the day. It was definitely not a town that was known for its bustling night life, but it had its fair share of intriguing hotspots. None more hot than the shipyard, inside the illustrious Trillondai & Co. Master Ship Builders shop, where a frantic Trillondai was going through her ledger. She had just gotten the most important job and the most money she's gotten since the cannon incident. Fixing the mast of the Conviction is a sure thing for quick cash. Thank goodness for the trader's guild, always needing the latest in ship-deferring technology, and thanks to the pirates for making them require it, too.

Not that she'd actually say such a thing out loud, of course.

Knock-knock-knock.

The woman looked up from her checkbook at the rather rapid, yet weak knocking at the front door. They were already closed, but work is work. "Oh, could ya get that for me, Jesse Dearie?" It was so nice to have her young, strapping nephew Jesse back in town. He was vague about what happened, but he was home. It'd be nice to finally get him to work some in his profession. He had taken to blacksmithing, the kind dear. He was working inside the blacksmith house for days and rarely came out.

Jesse walked to the door and slowly opened it. "I'm sorry, but we're...closed?"

It was one of the postal birds. Maybe she was here to deliver something. Upon closer inspection, however, Jesse noticed how familiar she was. The birdgirl leaned on the doorway, holding her bleeding wing with her free hand. "You...you were there on the ship with him, right?"

"O-oh no, you're hurt. I...I think we may have some bandages or potions, please hang on-"

"I-Issac...Sentin..."

The boy looked over at the girl. "O-oh! You're the girl, that met with Mr. Perfect a few weeks back!"

"C-Call me Robin...ack..." She winced in pain as she held her wing close. "He was...about to be executed and I-"

"W-wait, that...that execution was for him?"

"Yes."

"...wow, I, didn't know he got caught." Jesse had the biggest frown right now about his mentor. Maybe. "I guess that explains the rumors about some guard being executed. They didn't denote his perfection, so-"

She winced again. "Agh...please, we need to...we need to save him. He survived hanging, but they'll just...do...do something worse."

"Oh, you poor dear!" Trillondai moved up from her desk, walking over to the girl after noticing the wound. "Please, please, let me help you with this. Jesse, please get my aid kit."

"Y-yes, ma'am." Jesse ran off to try and find the healing potions from the back. They were starting to get a bit more popular these days.

Trillondai moved her hands to the girl's head. "You poor thing...I hope you'll be able to cover the potion cost."

"I...yeah, I guess. Sure."

"Good, good." She kept her hand to the girl's head. "You poor, poor thing."

---

As the figure slowly began to take shape, Issac was taken aback. "Y-you're...!"

"The Reaper, as they call me."

The Reaper stood and leaned on her scythe. Unlike the rest of the world, she kept her regular, albeit dark, color and weapon. Her smile was visible under the shadow of her hood. "It's so nice to see you again."

"I...am I dead?" Issac moved his hand over his neck.

"Dead? Oh dear, do you sincerely not remember? Mecha must have done a number to your head if you really do not recall. When we first met, you were being given something. What was it?"

"...power?" Issac moved his hand to his head as he mumbled his thoughts. "Maybe some sort of defense?"

"You were given the Gift, Issac Sentin. Your body and soul is highly resistant to many things in your world." She stepped forward, looking away timidly. "And mine, as well..."

"What...do you mean?"

"You are highly resistant, remember? Even to me. A little noose won't halt your heart. A gunshot would nary pierce your...delightful body." She moved her finger over the silhouetted Issac's chest, grinning a toothy grin. It wasn't until now that anyone had noticed that her teeth had fangs. "Remember, you seem nigh-invincible with your rock-hard body." Phrasing.

"Ahah!" Issac pointed at the Reaper. "If I am so rock-hard," Phrasing! "Even to you, then why am I here? Why do I see you right now?"

"Because, Issac, this is a near-death experience. And I was hoping I could...enlighten you about some things, Mr. Perfect. Since you're so near me and all."

"You wish for me to court you? Like every other woman in this elicit world of pornographic piracy?!" Issac has a grand view of his fellow crew.

"Oh, no, Issac Sentin. I require a knight. I would like for you to be my knight. My death knight."

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:58 am 
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Continuing in the journal, one would find several blank pages since the note from Caitlin's father. Quite odd, but stranger still was the next instance of ink meeting the paper; scribbles. Pages upon pages of scribbled attempts at writing a simple alphabet - words and letters running over each other sloppily in a cluttered fashion. The entirety of one page is dedicated to the repition of the word 'blindfold.' At last, in letters of varying size and accuracy, an entry can just be made out.

2312
Blindfold. Hard to write. Can't see. Have to sense things. Cold. Starving. Pain. Two months I think. Three?
-Catherine

------

The entry three pages later seems to expand on it.

Date: ??? 2312 SY

First time I've had the blindfold off in weeks. Every light strains my eyes. I've flipped back and gone over everything I've 'written.' So embarrassing.
My situation: Some jerkwad named Lance kidnapped me. I woke up in some forest with only him as company. He's an older fellow with white hair and some sort of armor. He says my parents hired him to train me, and reading Dad's note finally confirms that. He constantly tries to kill me in my sleep and I fear for my life whenever he forces me to duel. He has all sorts of weapons that he's been teaching me to use - some I've never even heard of. Sometimes he feeds me well, other times I'll go a week without anything to eat. Meanwhile my head is pounding and I don't have my medication to help with it.

The only peace I have is when I get an hour to myself every couple of nights. There's this small lake close to the camp I go to. It's very relaxing and even my mind calms down a bit... Though, there's something there. I'm not sure what, exactly. Some sort of spirit. Sometimes it copies my appearance, but other times I'm not sure what it is.

Tomorrow the blindfold goes back on. By the end of this I should have something like...a second sight? Or just being able to sense everything around me. I'm really not too sure what Lance is aiming for but I hate it. I hate all of this.

-Catherine

-----

Lance still won't give me the date. 2312 SY

That dirty jerkwad has had a way to heal me this whole time! Tried to saummersault from one tree branch to another and wound up on the ground with a broken leg. And Lance had the gull to pull a gosh dang healing potion from out of a pouch and poor it all over my leg! I've had a cracked ribbed for I don't know how long but if I can't move I gotta get healed up?! 'Oh no making you crawl everywhere would be pushing it too far!'

-ANGRY Catherine

-----

I have been informed it's a new year now. 2313 SY.

My new year's resolution is to beat the daylights out of this guy as soon as I'm better than him!
Also, !#%$ !#%$ !#%$ piss! I am so tired of holding in swear words! I do not know how or why Dad does it. I have been trying SO hard to keep it in but I just cannot anymore and there is NO reason to! Mom doesn't so I don't need to either! Now I miss my parents again.

I got a damn good hit on Lance today, if I do say so myself. Popped him right in the eye with my bestest pal. Should be a shiner.

-Catherine

------

2313 SY WHAT THE !#%$ IS THE DATE

Holy water is probably one of the most painful things I've ever had to !#%$ deal with. Holy !#%$. IT'S HOLY !#%$ HA HA it burns so much. I don't think I can handle another week of dealing with this stuff. He had me going through some sort of twisted obstacle course and out of nowhere he throws a vial of the stuff from the sidelines at me. Still not sure how I managed to get through that thing.

-Catherine

-----

2314 SY

So today I got extra pissed off at Lance and sort of lost control. I haven't had any incidents with my magic for a while now and it came back with full force today. I'm already pretty banged up and the !#%$ decided it'd be a good idea to smash my face into a log when I was scavenging for food. Turned around, blood just gushing from my nostrils and gave him such a glare as I flicked a piece of wood off my horns. And then he started nagging me, going on about how I let my guard down or some !#%$ he's always spouting. I just... I don't know. It felt like I was just watching myself. Raised my hand at him and he just started screaming and writhing in pain. I made him fall to the floor and he spassmed all oved the place. I wish Mom was here to explain what the hell I was doing to him. I don't know how long it lasted but I realized eventually what I was doing and stopped myself. There was a lot of blood.

...On the bright side Lance was still in a nice enough mood to let me eat.

-Catherine

-----

2315 SY

Why is he still following me? I'm finally done with his damn training and he said I could leave. !#%$ creepy ass freak.

It took me a few hours to figure out where I was once I got out of that forest, but eventually I found home. I was hoping Dad's note was wrong and that they'd be home for me, and seeing the plants still alive outside just made that worse. The place seems like it has been abandoned for months at least. I've never seen a speck of dust in this house until now. Geoffrey wasn't even around. All the food has gone bad save for what was canned. I don't remember canned veggies and soup tasting so good. I peeked into Dad's study like he said to and immediately started grabbing things from around the house: photos, some of Mom and Dad's gadgets, the usual.

He built some sort of...teleporter. This metal contraption took up most of the room, and working around it was a bother. There was a panel hooked up by some huge cables on a desk that were labled 'x,y,z,' and a spot for a password. Coordinates, I guess.
27,55,2315. Oranges. It was simple enough. I get the year part of that (Can this thing time travel?), but what do the other two change? Doesn't matter, though. I wound up outside of some city. Very different from the one I knew as a child. Not as advanced and not plagued by some island. There was a row of posters lining the walls of a building as I entered the city. So, I know I'm on the right track, following a familiar face.

'Mayor Gene Kilmer: One and Done.' What the hell does that mean, Dad? Did you actually commission this? ...What are you doing?

-Confused Catherine

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:45 am 
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Lucrestest 15th (Got the date from Dad's letter), 2315 SY

Slept in an alley behind a dumpster. Explains why people are keeping their distance from me. Some dude tried to mug me, but having his knife twisted in and through the palm of his hand made him change his mind.
Nobody with horns around here so keeping those concealed.

On to business. After a stolen breakfast ("breakfast" burrito. Egg + potato) I asked around for where the Mayor's building was. A lot of people had no clue what I was searching for, and many tried directing me to the city council building. It wasn't until I arrived there that somebody could finally give me proper directions. I was given a brief summary on how the government is structured around here, making me question why father went after the mayor's seat. Perhaps to keep a low profile and fly under the radar?

I made it no further than the stairs outside before I was stopped by a courier. Strange as it was I accept the letter he had for me and read it immediately as he instructed. Seems my parents suspected I'd be arriving now. Need to work on being less predictable, I guess. The information within was...sparse, to say the least. This city is called Zuerst, and the world Locura. They found out about this world a few years ago sometime before I was shipped off and have been here for about six months. Our own was no longer safe. Some creature called Source was on his way? Must be pretty serious if Mother is worried.
Their alter egos are living a pretty good life here, without any scrutiny of their schemes (whatever they may be), and they...apparently can't have me here! I...don't understand why. Seems there's some detective snooping into their private lives, and they're already having a hard enough time hiding their labs below ground. I... I don't know what I was expecting, I guess. I'm not even sure this is the real reason or just I'M CONFUSED RIGHT NOW OKAY?! I wanted to see my parents more than anything. They gave me some !#%$ address to see somebody in some town north of here.

-Catherine

----

Lucrestest 20th, 2315 SY

I arrived exhausted before morning, but the door was thrown open before I could knock more than twice. A few years ago I would not consider my doctor / psychiatrist / Mother's acquaitance a friend, but I have never been happier to see a friendly face. The goggles over her eyes and mask hiding her mouth suggested she was in the middle of an experiment, and the disgusting scent of rotten fruit assaulted my nose as I mused over what she could possibly be up to. Before I could ask she whipped out a spray can of some sort and ejected a pink mist into the air. A fresh smell filled the air, but frizzed our hair. I could never quite place the vibe I got from her as a child, but I think I finally figured it out:

Odd. Taos was very odd. And somehow, that was comforting to me.

A short nap on a chair was, for better or worst, the best bed I've had in years. I was too embarrassed to admit that when I awoke, but I get the feeling Taos could tell. I was up in time for a late lunch, for which Taos made us some delicious sandwiches - two fried eggplant slices with some cheese and lettuce, with a bit of hummus and onion. It sure looked disgusting, and most of those ingrediants I would have begged to not eat as a child but Taos insisted. Either my taste buds have matured or anything tastes like a !#%$ gormet after what I've been through.
I began prying her for information, and to my relief she was happy to answer all my questions. There was not much to tell is the problem. Everyone capable has been trying to find a way off our world for the past few months (Wouldn't say why). Not many have made the journey. My parents have been quietly using their new political seat to set some key pieces into place for "nefarious deeds."
Taos has an odd way of talking about my parents - namely that my father is never mentioned if she can do so, yet my mother she calls by name. Anyhow, my parents initally planned on having me join them, but a man she only refered to as "The Detective" has been investigating them as of late; the circumstances of how they got into office (A single vote was cast in their favor("One and Done"?)), who they are, etc. So, them having a teenaged child suddenly would bring up a lot of questions. I guess it makes sense... Uncle has been missing for over a year now. His disapperance worries her, but it seems this is due to more losing someone she could easily experiment on rather than any loss of a friend. Plus, as she put it, "he has most of my furniture." What?

I wanted to ask more, but I apparently made a HUGE mistake in our conversation. I asked what the hell this Source thing is, and she became visibly upset. Asked me how I knew and then asked me (somewhat) politely to leave. I was about to refuse when she yelled at me to get the hell out. So here I am, alone on the road again. I think I'll bother her again tomorrow. Try to get some advice on what I ought to do next.

-Catherine

----

Merandes 2nd, 2315 SY

Taos got me a little house a few blocks away from her. I use the term "house" lightly - the thing is more akin to a few boards someone nailed together to make a cube. It's pretty bad, but it'll do for now. Plus it's cheap, so I don't have to do too much to pay her back. Help in the lab, get her some supplies, let her do a couple of tests on me. Simple stuff.

Speaking of ingredients, the shipment Taos has been waiting on finally came in a couple of days ago. It slipped my mind at the time, but I have medicine again. It's nice having my head cleared up. The world is a much quieter place, and for the better.

-Catherine

----

Landis 25th, 2316 SY

I've said it once and I'll say it again: this planet is very strange! First off looking at a map of the globe, the continets look like...like they're supposed to be somebody! Secondly everywhere I go, there's someone in peril or people trying to be adventureous heroes. No matter where I go there's somebody doing something, and none of these odd occurances are linked to one another! How?!

-Confused Completely, Catherine

----

Automach 13th, 2316 SY

Periods suck!
Clearly important enough to write in the journal. Important update right there.

Flipping through this dusty old tome (It's quite nice let's be real), I noticed I haven't actually mentioned my current plan. Err... Living situation? No. Well, my FAKE IDENTITY right now, since if my parents can have theirs I can have mine, is the best. I'm a poor blind woman. That's it. Sooo creative, I know. It works, though! Nobody so much as bats an eye my way, thanks in part to these thick robes and cloaks I'm sure. Parents wanted me to stay off the radar, and I think I'm succeeding. It also helps for when I want to go exploring away from town for days.

Somebody from father's office or task force or whatever the hell was searching for me today. I've decided that the best way to handle them is to beat the !#%$ out of them. Keeps me sharp and sends all my parents need to know. Besides, if they want to know how I'm doing they ought to come find out themselves. Asking me to stay off the radar when they have people snooping all over the place.

-Champion Catherine

----

Gallius 29th, 2317 SY

There was a terrorist attack in Zuerst today. Overheard people talking about it when I was relaxing around Fairfer's Fountain. Some grocery store or something got hit particularly hard, which seems peculiar. The mayor's office went unharmed thankfully, but I get the feeling there's going to be a lot of unneccessary stress my parents have to deal with because of this. What the hell was the name of the group? PASS, I think? The !#%$ kind of !#%$ name is that?

It's been a couple of years since I've had to come here (More or less). I wonder if this whole Source thing has blown over? Are my parents planning to set up a permanent residence here? I for one hope not. This world just...something doesn't feel right about it. I'd much rather go back to our own if that's possible.

-Catherine

----

Landis 17th, 2317 SY

Offically tired of being in the dark on everything. Taos doesn't tell me !#%$ about Source, people think I'm insane if I ask them, and of course all the goons that show up every now and then are dumb as bricks. I'm heading to the mayor's office and breaking in there. I'll find out what my parents are up to now and hopefully get an answer to this mystery character.

-Catherine

----

Landis 25th, 2317 SY

Glad I scouted that place for as long as I did. Security is crazy tight in there.
Rummaged through some files. Mother is planning something...something. There's some electrical stations or windmills...something being installed all over the place. No idea what they're for - blueprints were vague. I just know they're not for what people think they're for.

As for my father, he's got documents for all sorts of crazy !#%$. Experiments with strains of something called the IC Virus, building some sort of...guitar(?), an army of robots, an army! He's preparing for war! What the hell with, though? Source? Wouldn't that be something we'd be dealing with by now?
There was another file I didn't have the time to go over. It seemed really old, the couple of pages within a faded yellow. Something about a soldier being experimented on. The doorknob was turning so I had to bolt.

-Catherine

----

Octrosphe 1st, 2317 SY

I saw Father for all of five seconds. That !#%$, Eris or whatever, was trying to kill me. I had to use the escape plan Taos installed in my house.

So that's it for that life. Can't really recover it after that, I think. Guess I'll head back to Zuerst. Try to get into the lab. Figure something else afterwards. I'd let Taos I'm leaving but I need to get as far away from here as possible at the moment.

-Catherine

----

Octrosphe 5th, 2317 SY

We are boned.
It was nice to see my Father and have a few minutes to actually speak with him. He wasn't very reassuring about having younger siblings on the way, but that's how he is I suppose. Still, I'm glad I had some time with one of them before the end. Because this is the end.

I'm normally optimisstic but now that I know what we're dealing with and how much time is left, I don't think we're getting out of this in one planetary piece. What can an army this small do to something that's taken out a galaxy? What can one man do against that?!

He entrusted me with a copy of his journal and a datapad that'll let me view it. He also told me with Mathew is. I want to see him before Source shows up tomorrow, but I don't want to leave my parents to fight this thing alone. I'm going to stay in the city. Read what I can tonight, and tomorrow just...try and hold on for as long as I can, I guess. It'll be my first real fight - not just bullying some scouts and spies, not training with Lance. It's what I was raised to do. I can handle this.

Hope will not ride alone.

-Catherine

---

Octrosphy 6th, 2317 SY

Afternoon: Skies dark.
Update 2: Portal opened in the sky. Horrifying monsters just falling out.
Update 3: IS THAT MY FATHER SWINGING AROUND A GUITAR ON A LIGHTNING BOLT?!
Upda
up
Interrupted by fig



Mom is dead



That !#%$. That !#%$ !#%$. I'm going to kill Mi. She's taken everything from me. Nobody knows where we are or what's going on anymore. No one will talk to me because they're busy trying to figure things out. This is !#%$. I hate Mi. I'll kill her. Mom is gone, Dad is locked up who knows where, Taos is freaking out, our home is gone, even the damn robot is gone. It's not fair. I just wanted to have my family back and they're gone. I can't. I can't write how much this hurts. I've never been in this kind of pain. Everything I've suffered in the past I'd gladly go through a hundred times again if I could just have my parents back.

Happy !#%$ birthday
What I wanted: Time with my parents
What I got: NOT !#%$ THAT

-Catherine

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:16 am 
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About five years prior to the Prancing Devil's destruction

A small girl walked along the roads of Seline, holding a small satchel to her chest. Her steps were tentatively paced, but gradual as she was humming a small song. She was told by a kind man at the office to bring the satchel to a local schoolhouse. The man was odd to put his trust in the hands of a child, especially without consulting the regular carriers, but the girl had no reason to distrust him.

After all, she was told to trust the guards in Seline. They would keep people relatively safe, even the bird carriers. If a man in shiny armor like his said it was okay to walk around, why, that must mean things are finally looking up.

Boy, this satchel was certainly very heavy. If this was the kind of packages she'd have to handle,
The people around here were looking at her funny. She was considerate and tried to pay them no mind. They were probably interested in her fine feathers. She wasn't ready to fly just yet, but once she was able to, she was going to be the best postbird in the world!

As she came to the town square, she kept to the side and continued walking, unaware of the constant attention she was attracting. The eyes began to peel off their to-do lists and focused on the girl. Conversations started up further as one elderly lady came up to her from aside her tavern.

"What do you think you're doing, child?" The lady asked the bird-girl, holding a broom in her hands.

"W-why, I'm doing a small delivery." She moved the satchel up, smiling. Her smile faded as the broom swiped along her side and brought the satchel out to the ground. "Ah! No, my package!"
The contents of the satchel spilled out to reveal a bunch of rocks and various clumps of dirt. "W-why did...but he-"

"Should've known," the lady muttered to herself. "Yer kind likes to try and act like yer above the laws. OY!" She began to shout out to the town square. "This bird's not allowed out here!"

The crowd that kept their eyes on the girl began to converse amongst themselves, as one shouted out. "You can't do that, girl!" The crowd began to agree, walking towards her.

"Hey, calm down! I'll take care of this!"

A man clad in armor ran up to hold the space between the girl and the crowd, looking to the woman. "What's the problem here, ma'am?"

"A-ah, Lieutenant, this girl here was transporting a satchel through the town square. The church said-"

"I know the church's rules, fair wench," the guardsman walked over and took the woman's wrinkled hands up to a small kiss. "Pay it no mind, I will deal with it myself." He gave the woman a wink.

"O-oh, stop. Lieutenant. You are such a charmer." The woman smiled for a moment before looking back at the bird with a slight disgust. "If you will handle it, then please handle it at once. Keep this thing away from my tavern."

"Of course, ma'am." The guardsman bowed, smiling. He brought his hand over to the bird-girl's arm and started to drag her along.

After a moment, the coast was clear and people were not around any longer. The guard looked the girl up and down and knelt to her eye level. "Who sent you on such a fool's errand?"

The girl tilted her head. "Ummm...a guard! He wore your color and had fancy metal alllllll around his body!" She nodded, pointing out the width and height of the spaulders that most higher-ranked guards would wear.

This caused the guard's brow to furrow. "This is not part of the protocol. Not at all. I will have to find out and deal with this person."

"Why?" The girl frowned. "He told me to take things to the schoolhouse! I was doing a good job."

"You were doing a perfect job, m'lady." The guard smiled and moved his gloved hand over the girl's head. "However, it's my job to keep things as even-handed as we can in this district. Can't have a guard inciting riots on the streets. Not on my watch."

"Wooow...you can tell them what to do?" The girl looked amazed.

The guard frowned and thought for a moment, but then he grinned. "Of course! The guards around here love to keep to order, and I will not let a single guard ruin a perfect sort of order."

After a moment, the girl grinned. "Okay! Thanks for your help, mister....mister..."

At this, he brought himself up as he stood straight and boasted. "I am Lieutenant Sentin of the Seline Guard."

Boy, if the sun wasn't blocked by the various buildings around them, it would be shining brightly behind him at this point.

"Right!" She brought herself up and boasted, as well. "I-in that case, I am called The Mailmaster!" Oh, dear.

"Mailmaster, eh? You have a more common name?" The lieutenant asked as he put his hand to his chin.

"Nope! Birds choose their names for human life, so I picked that one!" She smiled, holding her hands behind her back.

"Well!" The lieutenant pondered, "I don't think most people will accept such a boastful sort of name."

This response made the girl frown, huffing. "W-well, I just go with what I will be best at! What sort of name would you pick if you were a bird, Mr. Sentin?"

"Hmmmm..." The guard brought his hand up to his chin again. "If I were to pick with your feathers and color scheme...and excess disregard for human law...I think you'd be a Robin."

"Robin?" The girl frowned, tilting her head. "That's...but...hrm, okay, Mr. Sentin!" She looked over to see that the post office was open and a receptionist was looking out to see the girl, frowning very heavily. "Ah...I think I may be in trouble."

"Don't worry, Miss Robin. I'll alleviate your punishment as best I can." He smiled at the girl.

"Could you?!" She smiled. "I didn't know you had that kind of leeway over the entire district!"

"E-ehehe..." He brought his hand to his nose, scratching it a little as he smiled. "I think I could at least try to help."

"Help a citizen in need."

---

Now.

Whiteness.

The entire place above Issac was full of whiteness. The ground he walked upon was pure black. He looked to his hands and saw that his entire body was pure black as well. A silhouette, really. He didn't even feel like he belonged on the plane of existence.

Which was appropriate, since he kind of didn't.

This woman, the Reaper, spoke to him of a position as a death knight. Simply put, it was a knight imbued with a slight tinge of power from the Reaper. It wasn't a large deal. In fact, considering Issac's regular enhancements from the Oracle and his perfect training regimen, his benefit from the power would be very slight. It would mostly be so that the Reaper would have the peace of mind in having a presence in the life of the young devil, Miss Caitlin.

Before he could attempt to accept the role, she disappeared. And here he was now, walking along this black pit of nothingness, looking around to the white sky of nothingness.

"Where did you go, Reaper?!" He pointed out to the white space.

There was no answer.

"Hmm...if this is to let me have quiet time to decide, you need not give it. The answer is no, I will not keep myself in line with a pirate any longer!"

Silence.

"Hm!" He folded his arms. If there was a way to see his face, the expression would be one of frustration. "You have your answer, now let me leave! Let me finally have peace."

Peace...I knew you to be of a single mind, but I never knew you to be so oblivious...

The voice echoed along the world, cold and bringing discomfort to most. Not to Issac, who stood his ground.

"Yes, peace! You can call me oblivious all you want, wench, but I am not one who is so easily deterred from what I believe in!"

What you believe in...?

The ground suddenly began to shift. He began to notice that the world itself seemed to be tipping to the side, like that one summer where he tried to remodel his home and cut off the wrong support beam.

At the rate the world was tilting, the poor guard would soon fall to wherever the white abyss would bring him. He began to run the opposite direction, hoping he would find some sort of respite at the top. And soon, he did find it as he found a tip. If he had paid attention to simple geometry class, he would know that the world itself was beginning to take the shape of a gigantic cone. The point at the top was just large enough that he could land on top and keep balance.

This world is what you see...Issac Sentin.

"The world I see nary tips into pure whiteness, Reaper!" He shook his hands out to the whitespace, as the cone began to grow thinner and thinner.

It's a metaphor, Mr Sentin.

"I'll meta-your-four TIMES, you cloaked hot farmer of the damned!"

At this, the figure of the Reaper appeared in front of him, folding her arms over her expanded chest. "Okay, look, this is the most literal I can give it without outright saying it. When it's a near-death experience, you gotta work out your own epiphanies."

Issac tilted forward to say something, but brought himself back after noticing the tip grow thinner. "I-oof-have no time to deal with this! I must return and save Robin!"

"This entire thing is about Robin, you dolt." The Reaper was actually losing some patience here. "If you just piece things together, then you'll get an idea."

"Well, I don't have time to do that while I worry about Robin!" He pointed at the Reaper. "And the longer I'm here, the worse off Robin will be. I'd pay more time thinking about how to save Robin instead of figuring out your riddles, which will cause me to lose the ability to save her!"

"I...you..." The Reaper moved her hand to her forehead, frowning. "You know what, you just take a while to think about this. Tip's ticking down." She brought her hand up. "Remember, this is how your life is."

She snapped her fingers and in an instant, she was gone, leaving Issac to ponder his life on top of a giant cone that was about to become a straight line.

What on earth did she want from him? What is this world supposed to mean to him? There's no justice here. No honor. The only thing that's constant is the perfect combination of black and white, and even that is slowly being overtaken by white.

Which is nice. White is justice, after all, and black is evil.

Of course, that means he's also black, so does that mean he's evil? No, of course not, this must be in order to help him get used to the world's rules or something.

No, that wouldn't work. He'd probably be better off as a neutral gray. After all, he was part of a pirate crew and almost sold his soul to the devil. Maybe he's not as pure as he thought.

Nah, hogwash. He's still a champion of the people.

But the people can be fickle.

---

Then

It was raining in Seline a few days after the incident before. The day two high-ranking guards came to the post office, demanding the parents of a small birdgirl that had caused some unrest in the town square. They were to be collared for their inability to teach their daughter the reality of their position as part of the post office.

The owlman at the counter explained to the guards that she was an orphan who was being taken care of by the office while they train her, and that her actions cannot be held accountable for the post office. The guard were none too pleased and were about to grab the owl himself for his own collaring.

"Wait!"

To the side of the room, the little birdgirl stood, holding her arms out. "P-please, don't hurt Master Strig. I....I'll take the spot of my missing parents!" Her voice was cracking, her eyes tearing up.

"You can't be serious..." One guard looked to the other. The guard he was looking at was exactly like the person who sent her off to the town square in the first place!

"That's fine...maybe the church will give us some nice funding for some new weapons. Captain Tyburnis will be pleased with us once we tell him." The guard smiled, walked over and grabbed the girl forcefully on the arm.

They began to walk down the pathway as the rain poured down.

"I-is Mr. Sentin around? Does he know about this?" The girl asked, wincing from the pain of the grasp.

"Pffh...we don't need to talk to him for a church acquisi-"

"Hold it!"

The two guards were stopped by Lieutenant Sentin, frowning. "Why are you holding that child in such a way?"

The guard that told her days before to take the bag out walked over. "Look, Sentin, get out of the way."

"Lieutenant Syer, this is my district. What are you doing here?"

"I was given orders by Captain Tyburnis to take this child to him." The Lieutenant named Syer stood at a slightly less height than Sentin, but still commanded the same amount of authority. He was much younger than Sentin, as well as much less experienced in various fights. What he lacked in physical prowess he made up for in cunning.

The response brought a puzzled expression to the girl's face. That doesn't seem right. In fact, it seemed downright wrong.

"O...oh, well, if I could talk with h-"

"Wait...sir, I thought you said you were going to tell Mr. Tyburnis about me?"

Syer's expression changed immediately and he brought a hand across the girl's face, causing her to fall back to the ground. "Shut the !#%$ up, bird. You are to speak only when spoken to. Understand this now."

The girl began to cry. "I...I don't understand, sir. I...I did what you wanted before, d-didn't I?"

"...a...aha..." Syer walked over to try and silence her, but she was able to say it outright.

"I...I was going to take the satchel to the schoolhouse. I'm sorry! I didn't mean to fai-"

Syer brought his hand to her mouth, but it was too late. Immediately he was grabbed by the chestpiece by Sentin and brought to the wall by force.

"You did what?!" Sentin's eyes began to take a fierce, angry expression. It was unlike anything any of them saw from him thus far. "How could you be so moronic?!"

"Who...who cares, Sentin?" He smirked. "They're just dumb beasts. If she was gullible enough to do such a dumb errand, then it was only a matter of time."

He was about to say more, but his face was met with the plated glove of Sentin. A few teeth fell to the ground as blood splattered down the water. "You are a lieutenant, boy. You are supposed to be someone they can trust. And you're telling me you shirked that just to mess with a child?!"

"What's wrong, Sentin? Are you...confiding in them?"

"I am keeping the peace." Sentin's teeth were closed together tightly, about to take another swing before he was brought off-balance by another guard.

"Robin, run!" He pointed to the girl to run away. She watched as one guard began to kick him in the chest, and began to run before they tried to catch her.

Both guards tried to overpower the man, but they were outmatched by Sentin. He was successful in tossing them aside, but soon began to attract attention. More guards came by to try and stop the clearly raving lieutenant, but he was also able to keep them aside. It wasn't until 5 guards kept him held back that he was able to be quelled.

Syer walked up to him and spat some blood into the man's face. "You beast-loving prick."

"You arrogant child. One punch in your face and you think the world's ended." Sentin smirked.

"Then let's see how many you take, !#%$, before your world ends."

And it set the scene for a few minutes as Syer took his frustration out on Sentin's face, throwing punch after punch. The people stood around them, wondering what was going on, but did not dare make a move. This was good. At least they weren't going for the child.

Soon, Syer started to gasp for breath. "Dammit...you !#%$ ape." He moved his hand in the air lightly.

"Heeeeh..." Sentin smiled still, blood along his face and bruises forming, his eyes red as though a blood vessel popped. "Can't...believe it. I thought we were both trained better than...that." He coughed and let some blood fly out of his mouth. Thankfully no loose teeth. Didn't want to ruin a good smile.

"What is going on here, guardsmen!?"

The guards looked over to the presense of Grand Captain Pierce Tyburnis. He didn't look pleased at the fact that there were guards fighting in the middle of the busiest roads in town. At once all of them stood to attention, bringing Lieutenant Sentin down to the ground on all fours as he kept coughing. He slowly stood back up and stood at attention.

"Sir, these guards are violating their procedures. Lieutenant Syer took it upon himself to manipulate a beast child from the post office to walk along the streets unsupervised. He violated the trust between the populous and the town guard."

The captain tilted his head. "An interesting story. Mr. Syer, let's hear your side." He looked over to the other lieutenant.

"Sir. I let the girl leave her designated premises and am ready to take any action you will give me. However, Lieutenant Sentin interrupted our transport of the girl to the church for collaring."

Sentin looked to Syer and groaned audibly. "Sir, I desired only to keep things straight in my distri-"

"You interrupted the transport of a girl that had broken the law, Lieutenant?" Tyburnis looked to Sentin, frowning.

"I...I did, sir. But as I said, it was not her fault that she-"

"She was clearly violating the law, yes, Lieutenant Syer?"

"Yes, sir." Syer said, smiling once Tyburnis looked away from him.

"Well, then...Sentin, I guess my hands are full."

"But....but sir."

"You don't seem to be entirely fit for this position, Sentin. We may have to consider...lower alternatives."

"S-sir! I did what our code of honor-"

"Don't say another word, Sentin." He brought his hand up to Sentin's jaw, taking a look at his now-former lieutenant. "Syer, you'll be in charge of this district from now on."

"Sir! Yes, sir!" Syer bowed.

"But Captain!" Sentin began to speak, but was immediately silenced by a blow to the face by the plated glove of the captain. "Erk!"

Sentin fell to the ground, covered in mud now. He looked back up to the captain, looking over to Syer. "I think gate guard suits him fine. Will you make sure he gets to his house?"

"Sir!" Syer saluted the captain.

"Very good. And don't worry about being careful. He can clearly handle it." He walked away slowly, wiping off his gloved hand that had some blood on it.

Sentin watched as the guards looked over to him. Guards that he's helped train and guards that he's been happy to help out with many issues.

They began to crack the joints of their fists, smiling at him. The night didn't seem to be getting better.

---

Now

"OH! I get it, so you want me to go 'life isn't entirely black and white', right?!" Issac pointed out to space.

The cone seemed to halt its rapid shrinking. It was now almost a slither, and it was a miracle that he as even able to keep his balance.

Soon, the Reaper appeared again, sitting in the air as she smiled. "Oh my, that sounds surprising."

"Well...life is black and white!" Issac smiled brightly as the straight line began to shrink even moreso. "G-g-gah!"

"Oh, for heaven's sake." The Reaper moved her hand to her head, frowning. "You are truly remarkable. Even when you're so close to understanding the truth, you try to hold it back. Why?"

"Because I don't need truth!" Issac held his fist up. "Truth is manipulated. It can change into whatever you want so long as you know how to look at it." He pointed at her. "I can say that you're a woman, but that's not really true at all!"

"Hm?" The Reaper tilted her head.

"A woman is not a creature of death and destruction!" He pumped his fist down. "A woman doesn't manipulate a man to stand upon a ledge for her own whims!"

"....I'm pretty sure some men would disagree with that last point." She moved her hand to her chin, thoughtful nonetheless.

"So if I can see truth as something interchangeable, then to hell with it. The only thing that matters is purpose!"

"Oh ho, is that right?" The Reaper tilted her head and laid on her side, floating over Issac who was still struggling in that position.

"Your purpose is what you are. It isn't what you perceive yourself to be or what others perceive you to be. What matters is simply what you are. You are Death. And I am Issac Sentin. I am perfection!" He shouted to the heavens.

"Hmmmmmm...so what would the purpose of 'The world is black and white' be to you?"

"It means...clarity. It means that the world is easy to understand an-"

"hehehehe...hehehehehe....hahahahaha!" The Reaper moved her hand to her mouth, giggling wildy.

"W-...what's so funny!?" Issac shouted, pointing his finger at the Reaper.

"Oh, oh...I just like that you find the notion so easy to understand when you live such a...not-black and white world." She sat back up, smiling at Issac. "You think you can live in a world of reason, by silencing the truth, but that creates a conundrum, doesn't it?"

"Eh?" Issac folded his arms, still holding balance rather well. "And what would that be?"

"Tell me, Issac...what is the purpose of truth?"

"The...purpose?" Issac tilted his head. "To confound, I suppose."

"No, Issac. It's to guide." She smiled at him. "To see the world as something is to go through so many paths. So many wondrous ways a life can go. Not taking the offer for power on the Oracle's island would have brought you to your death when you appeared on Seline once more. The truth there was a two-way street...take the power, or don't. Both ways have their own truths to them."

Issac tilted his head. The line seemed to still be there.

"And what about you as a guard? If you didn't drink at that tavern, you wouldn't have met dear Caitlin. If you didn't meet Caitlin, then you wouldn't be a pirate. You wouldn't be captured. You would still be living a mundane life, jobless in Seline. You would have to bring about your own change there. So many paths...and there's so many truths, as well."

"But a path would have been taken. That is certain!" He pointed that out to her.

"Yes, but that doesn't mean it was either black or white, correct?" She crossed her legs, thinking. "What about little Robin?"

"...Robin?" Issac's voice changed slightly when he heard that name.

"Yes, dear Robin. Were you not able to help her there on that street so long ago, she would have been a bird slave. A slave for her entire life. She would never be able to take her position as a postal worker...a job she loves. The law did dictate that she was to be taken in for violating the beast laws, yes?"

"Y-yes..." Issac nodded.

"However, you still saved her...does that make you, Issac Sentin, a pure beacon of honor and glory, as simply a being of evil?"

"That matters not!" Issac pointed at her. "That's not-"

"And does that mean that Robin, who violated that law, unknown child she may be, is a being of evil, as well?"

"....no!" He stomped on the ground that had suddenly begun to reshape and size up. "She's not anywhere close to that."

She smiled. "I see...I see..."

Issac was furious! He was just wanting to live a life of peace and honor, but now he's been roped into this nonsense! He could have lived a comfortable, though mundane, life. How could she say imply that Robin was...

...

He looked around and saw that the ground had suddenly started to take shape again.

"...maybe..." He sighed. "Maybe the world isn't black and white." He rolled his eyes, then pointed at her. "But you lied when you said you couldn't interfere!"

"Hey now, you said it already, Mr. Sentin," She smiled. "I simply helped you understand it."

"Well..." Issac frowned. "You aren't going to actually let me go until I say yes to your proposal, eh?"

"Hmhmhm...I was thinking about it. I must say, when you look enlightened, you seem much more manageable." She stepped on the ground now, walking forward to the man. "I hope you understand my proposal is more in-depth than simply helping pirates."

"...is Miss Kil De'Moore trying to save the world?"

"Hm..." The Reaper tipped her hands over the man's chest once more, thinking. "If that is the truth she goes to, then I suppose that is the case. Maybe not so directly, but yes."

Issac immediately grabbed the Reaper's hand, smiling. "Then she needs a guiding hand!"

The Reaper was taken aback by a mortal grabbing her hand like that. You could almost see a blush from her face. "Hmhmhm...my, my...I suppose she would."

This brought Issac's attitude to a fever pitch as he pointed into the sky. "Then I will help her! I will guide her to where she must go!" The black silhouette that was Issac's being became his normal color and outfit. He looked to his hand and smiled. "Perfect!" He looked to the Reaper. "Okay, so when do I st-"

The Reaper was gone. In fact, the whiteness began to envelop the entire depth of his vision.

---

"Zz-hk!?" Issac shook his head repeatedly, coughing. He felt like his neck was all messed up.

"Relax, lad. The neck will be fine in time."

"Hnngh...what..." He looked around and saw that he was laying on the ground in a prison cell. Oddly enough, he was not chained down. In fact, he noticed that the chains were all removed. He heard the voice of a woman from the front.

"I feel as though ye need some time to breathe, yeah?"

"Hnn..." He moved his hand over his eyes and rubbed them slightly as they went back into focus. He looked over to the entrance to the cell.

A man was laying down on the table, asleep. Two more guards were crumpled in the doorway, but they also seemed to be knocked out. In the front of the cell stood a woman in red, though his vision was still blurry.

"Who...?"

"In due time, Mr. Sentin. It's a secret t'everyone." The door seemed to unlock and the figure walked away.

Issac slowly stood, stretching his body out. He ran to the front and tried to see if the figure was still there. Unsurprisingly, she was not. A mystery! He looked to the side and saw that his equipment was also kept near the doorway. How could they grow so lax in his absence of authority?! They had an armory for a reason, and to keep the prisoner's gear so close to them is nigh unprofessional.

Ah, well, their spilled milk was his yogurt of opportunity. He ran to the crate and took out his armor, placing it on, and also took his giant Daedalus sword, placing it on his back. "Alright, let's see if I can get out of here."

Shockingly, the entire compound outside was also full of sleeping guards. Whoever it was that helped him out was certainly...thorough.

As he walked out of the gate, adjusting his belt, he was immediately greeted by a blur from the air tackling him.

"Father!"

Holding close to him was Robin, who was smiling brightly. She had a giant satchel full of what seemed to be a bunch of craftsman tools. Hammers, nails, crowbars, and a few saws on her side. It was amazing that she was still able to fly.

"Ahaha...Robin...it's good to see you again."

"You moron!" She smacked the perfect man across the face, frowning. "You resigned yourself to dying...I know full well you could've gotten outta that!!" She had tears in her eyes as she struggled to keep herself in the air after smacking him. "Why would you...why?"

"It's okay, Robin. I'm just...I had a bit of a lapse of judgement."

"Lapse of judgement, Mr. Perfect?"

Both Issac and Robin looked over and saw Jesse standing on the side of the street, huffing as he struggled to hold a giant bag full of his aunt's extra tools. "I'm, glad you're alright."

"Jesse, my boy!" Issac beamed as he walked over, patting the lad on the back, then keeping his hand there to make sure he doesn't fall over. "I'm glad you're okay, lad!"

"Yes, I, guess I am okay." Jesse looked over at Mr. Perfect, tilting his head. "What happened on the ship?"

Issac shrugged. "Iunno, but hey...I think we may not want to talk here. Let's go somewhere."

Jesse thought for a moment as he walked next to Issac, who thankfully took the tools. "I guess we, should go back to my aunt. She actually is waiting for payment, too."

"Perfect!" Issac grinned. "....wait, what payment?"

"L-let's worry about that later!" Robin said.

"Alright, fine." Issac smiled. "...just another path to take."

"Hm?" Both Robin and Jesse looked over to Issac.

"Hm, nothing. Nothing at all."

---

Then

Gate guard Issac slowly woke up on the side of the gate, rubbing his face. He still had bruises from the incident a few nights before, but he was at least recovering.

From the bushes, a figure appeared. "Um...sir?"

"Hm?" Issac looked over to the bush. "Who goes there?!" He pointed his weak little sword over to there, but saw that the figure was somewhat familiar and put it back on the ground. "Ah...Robin."

"Hnn...I...I guess." The girl nodded.

He moved his hand over to the back of his neck, frowning. "Uhm...well...it's good to see that you're alri-"

In a move that surprised him, the bird girl knelt and took a bowing position. "P-please forgive me, sir!"

"E-eh?"

"I'm...I'm the reason why you're like this!" She was fighting back some tears as she continued. "If....if I wasn't so dumb....if I knew what was going to happen...if I..-sniff-...if I only....waaaaaaah!" She began to cry, tears forming down on the ground.

Issac frowned, watching her pour her feelings out onto the pavement. He didn't really know how to handle it.

.............

"Hah!"

The girl sniffed and looked up to the man, who was now looking at her with folded arms. "This is merely a setback. Nothing can stop a...perfect soldier like myself!" He smirked despite how difficult it was with the giant bruise on his face.

"...I..." She sniffed, unsure how to take this.

He pointed at the girl and continued. "So weep not, Robin. No matter what happens, I will make sure justice will be brought to the world!" He clenched his fist. "And I will never falter. And neither shall you!"

"...but...I can't go back to the post office..."

"Then you will go to another one!"

"But I don't know how to go there alone-"

"Then I'll go with you!"

This brought the girl's eyes wide open and her beak-mouth agape. "...but..."

"No buts, lass." He moved his hand to the girl's shoulder. "And no more weeping. Understood?"

"...y-...yes, sir."

"Good." He brought the girl up to her feet. "Give me a few days and I'll see about getting the money to take us to another island for a bit. Get you set up there."

"They won't take stray beasts..." She frowned. "I was only a special case because they were trying to figure out what to do with me...-sniff-" Her eyes began to tear up.

"T-then....I'll....I'll adopt you, I guess."

"Wh..what?!" Her eyes lit up as she looked at Issac. "You mean it?!"

"...mean it!?" He grew a giant smile that even broke through the bruise (very painfully) and he laughed. "I haven't meant anything more now than ever, lass. We'll keep it under wraps, but the post office will have to help you if I help you get in."

For a moment, she was ecstatic. She ran over and gave the guard a big hug. Soon, however, she thought about it and looked up at him again. "But...why would you do all this?" She looked up to the man. "I've done....n-nothing but make things bad for you. Why?"

Issac thought for a moment, pondering the answer, then smiled as he put his hand on the girl's head. "Cause it's the right thing to do, Robin. That's all I need."

What a perfect thing to say.

A Perfect Execution - End

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:30 pm 
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Several years prior to the Prancing Devil's destruction.

Blood Money

On a small island, there was a lone tower. The remains of wealthy man’s keep and a dark stain in the history of the village below. In the top most room, a sickly girl lays in her bed suffering as a man who does not look much better off enters, exhausted from climbing the long flight of stairs. “‘Ello sweetie. Time for you to go to bed.” He walked over to the side of her bed, pulling the cover up to her neck and tucking in the sides.

“Papa… Do you think I’ll ever get better?” The bedridden child asked.

He let out a deep sigh. “Sadly my child, I don’t think so.” Her father sat down in a wooden chair beside her bed, still trying to catch his breath. “It’s the family curse.”

She had a look of defeat about her, “Who would do such a thing? What did we do to deserve this?”

“Aye, fret not my precious daughter. We did nothing. It was your grandpappy that did this to us.” The look of weakness and frailty that he shared with the girl became a focused look of anger and pain.

“He was a greedy, awful man who did terrible things.” His voice rose as he spoke. “He sold his soul to demons for power and a hoard of rare coin and lorded it over the town for years. Ended up marrying a woman who was only after his money. He built this terrible keep as a testament to his wealth.” He slowly got out of the chair and made his way towards the tower window. “But for all his hubris, he attracted a demon slaying swordsman to our isle. The demon would appear to protect your grandpappy as a desperate attempt to hold up their pact but instead the foul creature was swiftly cut down. To make sure he would never make a deal again, the swordsman set upon him a powerful curse of frailty and divided his treasures among the townsfolk. His wife had tried to leave him but the curse did not destroy his will and he made her stay to bear his children. Yet, all of them died shortly after birth, taken by the curse. I was the only one that survived. Seeing the twisted state his last living heir stirred his rage and he slew your grandmammy.” The tension he held in his face released and he turned away from the window and towards the young lady. “Oh, my dear Alice. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have told you such a terrible story before bed.”

She looked at her father with a contemplative look on her face. “What ever happened to grandpappy after that?”

The man looked towards the ground in thought before turning to the sea shimmering in the dark and staring past the horizon. “You needn’t worry about that, he’s gone now.”

---

The girl’s father came in her room the next morning holding a tray of food and exhausted again to see a blonde mess of hair catching sunlight by one of the tower windows.

“Papa! Look at all the ships! I’ve never seen this many at once!” Alice excited spouted to her parent.

He let out a worried sigh, “Silly girl, you shouldn’t be out of bed. You’re far too sick for that.” Then he lead her back to her bed where she then laid down again. He returned to the window with a spy glass and stared at the new arrivals. Then, he noticed an emblem on the ships. “It seems to me the docks are so busy because we’re being visited by a small Church fleet.”

“What do they want?” She let out a small, childish cough as she sat up in her bed. “Our island has no beast people.”

“I dunno, dearie. Maybe I’ll hear something when I run to the marketplace later. I’ll tell you about it once I return.” He sat down her breakfast on a drawer by her bed.

“When will you back, papa?” She asked.

“I’ll be back as soon as possible.” He said as he kissed her on the forehead.

Alice had a sad look in her eyes, “But Father I know your just as sick as I! You can’t rush in your condition, you have to take your time and take it easy…”

“Oh, have more faith in your papa than that! I’ll be back in no time. Just you wait and see.” He reassured her.

However, she knew it would take all night for him to return and she lowered her head with tears welling in her eyes. “Just be safe, okay?” She pleaded.

“Of course I will.” He then set off for the village market.

Yet day turned to night and he still did not return home. When Alice could no longer see the road to her home from her window she weakly returned to her bed again. She grabbed a fairy tale book from her drawer and decided to read until her father got home. After some time had passed, she heard sounds from below. A door opening, foot steps on the stairs, “Papa’s home!” She exclaimed. As fast as her frail frame could take her, she rushed toward her door and down the spiral stairwell. To her surprise the face that met her was not of her caretaker’s. Alice gasped loudly in surprise and shouted, “You’re not my papa!”

The stranger was a young, buxom woman with short, dark hair. “No !#%$.” She said as she covered the sick, younger girl’s mouth and guided her back to her room. “Promise you won’t scream?” She asked, looking the kid in the eyes. Alice nodded in response and the stranger let go.

In face of the beautiful intruder Alice shook with fear but otherwise held herself together. “Wh-what do you even want from us? We don’t have very much, everyone kno-”

“Listen, kid,” The woman interrupted. “I just need somewhere to stay until the church ships are gone. I don’t want anything from you or,” her tone shifted to a mockery of the bedridden child’s, “your ‘papa.’”

The Church? She wondered, tilting her head to the side in confusion. “But you don’t look like a beast… or I guess what I’ve heard the beast people look like.”

The stranger let out a laugh, “No no no, I’m not a beast. Whats your name, girl?”

She was taken aback by an intruder asking that, answering the question without even thinking, “A-Alice.”

“So you’re the sick girl in the tower I heard about… I’m Cyrielle, a Succubus.” She noticed the confused look on Alice’s face. “A demon,” She added, clearing things up for the naive child. “Actually, I came here for you.”

Alice began backing away from Cyrielle up the stairs, “W-what do you want with me?” but as she stepped behind her she slipped and fell hard onto the stairs, looking up at Cyrielle with anticipation.

“You see,” she began, “I can make you all better.” She reached out a hand towards her. Alice reluctantly grabbed it and was pulled back onto her feet. “All you need to do…” In a puff of smoke, a piece of parchment appeared in her hand, “Is sign right here.” She tapped the signature line with a quill that had appeared in her other hand.

Yet the tale of her grandfather was still fresh in Alice’s mind, as she thought about the contract he made and its results. “I…” Her voice lowered, almost to a whisper, “I don’t want to.”

“Hm? Speak up, Alice.”

Her voice raised again, “I don’t want to.”

“What?” The demon looked a little shocked, “I’m offering you a chance at a better life. And you don’t want it?”

“That’s right,” Alice said clenching her fists. “What do you even get out of it, anyway?”

Cyrielle looked down, hurt. Alice was confused seeing the confident side she had seen lower. “I’m desperate, ok? I just want to give up. The church has enslaved my family and friends.” She walks over to the window and stares at the ships at the docks. “I figured I would give my essence to you so I wouldn’t have to deal with this anymore.” A tear dropped down her face and her head hung low again, “Any of this.”

The bedridden child weakly walked up behind her and patted her on the back, “Maybe,” She stuttered, “Maybe you could stay here? We have a large tower and no one else comes up here. You could hide and you’d be safe. I mean, I don’t know how my dad would take it but I think we could make this work.”

The demon looked over to the ill girl. “Would you really do that for me? I’m a stranger.”

“Of course, Papa said to always help those in need.” She gave her new guest a big grin but was interrupted by her horrible coughing.

“Sounds like you’re the one in need,” Cyrielle cracked a laugh and helped Alice to her bed.

The loud sound of the door opening echoed up the tower, a strained yell of “I’m home!” Could be heard.

“Quick, hide!” She motioned at her infernal friend to quickly get out of sight. Cyrielle vanished and Alice tried to make it look like she hadn’t moved from her bed, “Hello Papa!” She greeted him as he walked into the room, subtly glancing to see if Cyrielle was in sight. She wasn’t.

---

Years later, Alice and her father only grew sicker and more frail. Her parent continued to hold on but it seemed like the curse had somehow got worse for her. He trudged up the stairs for his daily routine when he noticed his dear daughter slumped over by the window. “Alice!?” He yelled, his voice full of concern, as he rushed towards her body. Weakly, she replied, “I’m fine Papa, I just wanted to get a good look at the ships today. I’d love to ride one.” He helped her up and pulled out his spy glass, looking at the boats that had arrived. “Are they the Church’s?” She glanced toward her closet, where her friend was hiding. “No.” He said, staring at a ship with ‘The Scorned Hangman’ lettered on the side. Swiftly he picked her up and ran for the door, “We have to leave today!”

Alice was confused and asked, “Why Papa?” But before he could answer, one of his legs gave from what little weight she added to him as he went down the stairs and they both tumbled. From behind Cyrielle burst from the closest and yelled, “No!!” as she ran to help them. The father groaned in pain as he lied on the ground and before he had a chance to check if his daughter was okay he was pushed aside by the worried demon. “Are you okay, Alice? Answer me!” She began to listen for her heart beat and let out a sigh. “Its okay. She’s unconscious.”

The father stood up and shook with anger, “Foul demon, what have you wrought upon this household?” It was the angriest anyone had ever seen the frail old man and not a soul he’d ever met would believe he could get this angry. “I didn’t do anything!” She lashed out, in response. “Where were you taking her?”

He grit his teeth, “Don’t demand answers when you’re the one who has sullied my home, wretched creature!”

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, muttering numbers under her breath, “My name is Cyrielle. I’ve been hiding from the church. Years ago, your daughter let me stay here to hide. She’s the closest and only friend I’ve got right now. If there is anything I can do to help, I will.” And she stared at him with caring yet determined eyes. A look he’d seen before. A look he knew he could trust. A parchment and quill appeared in her hands, “If you make a contract with me, I can merge my essence with hers. I… don’t know what will happen to her after that but… she’ll at least have a longer lifespan. And where ever you were trying to take her, she’ll be able to get there on her own.”

He looked at the quill and considered what she said, reminded of the story of his father. Then he glanced toward the window and was reminded of what being raised by his father was like. “A ship arrived in the docks. It’s a slaver ship called the Scorned Hangman. It belongs to her grandpappy.”

“But Alice had told me he was dead.”

“I lead her to believe that. She must never know for if she did I’m worried she would seek him out. He’s the cruellest, most evil man I have ever met.” He picked up the quill and looked down at his daughter’s form. “I’m sorry,” He whispered to her even though she couldn’t hear him as he signed the contract.

“The deal is sealed. Cyrielle said as she was fading and her essence began to fuel Alice’s soul while her body was beginning to take on it’s new, demonic form.

From there, she woke up and narrowly escaped her grandfather without even realizing, eventually settling down on small island for a couple years until she met a rowdy pirate crew that burned it down.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:52 am 
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Five Months after the Destruction of The Prancing Devil


Four Months after the Fall of the Church


The sun loomed over the Isles of Sorophio, one of the hottest days of the month keeping most inhabitants indoors, safe from the blazing heat of the unrelenting gas giant. Most, however, is not all. A lone figure walked along the side of a massive field of crops, her shirt soaked completely through with sweat. She paused at a row of corn, crouching down at the base of one of the plants to adjust some of the dirt before standing back up and wiping her already dirt-covered face with her sweaty arms, smiling.

Hope reached down for her water skin, and brought it to her face with a frown as the last little bit dribbled out onto her lips. She had been working in the fields since very early, and was exhausted. But, her day wasn't nearly over. She still needed to make sure all the Cattle ate, clean the entire Inn, de-web the house, check the alcohol inventory, cook for everyone, wash all the laundry...

Closing her eyes for a moment, Hope sighed and looked up at the sun, feeling the rays beat against her face. This was getting to be far to much work for one person. James had offered to construct machines to help her, but most of what he crafted lacked a delicate touch, and ended up getting in the way. With him at school now, Hope had abandoned all the machines until James could fine-tune them. John had become...well. John was more engrossed in his work than anything else. Snake was off training in some hole somewhere, according to Lina. Lina herself was more busy taking care of John to notice Hope's struggles...

The only person who offered a hand was Cas, and Hope couldn't accept her help, what with her carrying a child and all. Hope groaned, walking towards the edge of the island. In front of here was some sort of flag stuck in the ground. As she walked around it, the entire view of the island altered, and the Inn appeared out of thin air. A grin broke through her tired demeanor as she glanced back at the red flag planted in the ground. One of her first attempts at Artifacting was expanding the island's surface area. A somewhat crude attempt, but a massive success nonetheless. The island now had flags at each 'corner' that effectively made it 4 times larger than it was already. Hope's head hurt thinking about the logistics behind the flags themselves, she was just glad for the extra land to work.

Hope pulled herself towards the Inn, stretching her arms wide as she got ready to-

“Mom!” Hope looked up, and a huge grin broke out on her face as a large monster ran out to meet Hope, the both of them embracing in a hug. Hope pulled the girl away, patting the head of the spider girl. “I brought you some water!”

“Oh, you're my little hero.” She leaned down and gave the girl a kiss, and brought a small flask to her lips, fully embracing the liquid contained inside. “Oh god yes.” Hope sat down on the ground, and the spider girl lowered herself onto the ground next to her. “I was worried about how we're going to get through the next few months. But...”

Hope looked up on the horizon, her huge grin spreading even further. “I have a feeling that we won't have to worry about much.” She waved her arm, positively beaming as the Inspector's ship loomed closer to their island. A tear rolled down her face as she brought a hand up to her neck, and she stopped waving. Everything was going to be alright.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:53 am 
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Six Months after the Destruction of The Prancing Devil


Our eyes lazily drift North again, settling once more on the small island of Corocokira. Not being confined to a single part of the isle, we can look further inland and check out the small village of Marhiku. Barely qualifying as a village, the locals had founded a sort of market around the docks, consisting of 5 or 6 stalls, mostly selling fish. The other stalls were just selling imported goods, most of which went to passing travelers.

A few steps away from the market, there was a line of shops along a single main road. One Church, currently being renovated to a more appropriate religion. A large general shop, and a butcher's shop. A bakery, a Lumber Mill, a Doctor's office, and...

A Book Store?

*ding-a-ling!*

“Hm?” A gruff man sat up at his register, raising an eyebrow at the small figure that wandered into his shop. Ah. His only regular. “You can't be telling me that you already went through all those books you bought!” He grinned at the hooded girl, gesturing towards her cloak. “And what is with this! You know I said, you are always welcome to purchase books here, never you mind about those idiot locals who taunt you.”

Sunny pulled back slightly on her hood, smiling at the shop owner. “I'm sorry. Just got back from the docks, didn't want people to follow me and give you flak.” Her Basic had gotten much better over the past few months, but her care for herself hadn't. Her hair was matted, and she had a few scars on her face that had just finished healing. She looked a lot stronger, most likely because of her new job. Fish don't port themselves off those boats, you know.

The man waved a hand at her as she donned the hood once more, dismissing the idea that any person from the docks could be a match for him. True, the man looked more than capable of holding his own. “But, enough pleasantries. I assume you are here for...” The man raised an eyebrow, and leaned down closer to the counter, dropping his voice to a hoarse whisper, “...the goods?”

Sunny's ears perked up under her hood, but only for a moment. She stood on her tip-toes, barely managing to get her head over the counter as she whispered back at the man, “Yes, those...novels. I appreciate you going out of your way to find such a rare collection of gems in the adult market.”

The man sighed, rubbing a hand across his face. “I don't usually...extend into such stocks, but I had to make an exception for you. I also have the other books you asked me for. The Eastern Swords book was an especially hard book to gather, but...” The man looked behind him, grunting as he lifted an already wrapped package of what appeared to be books. “I dunno...maybe I should not be giving this to you?” Sunny raised an eyebrow at the man as he looked back down at her. “I mean...these books are some serious...erm. Smut. For such a young child, I-”

Sunny raised her hand, frowning at the man. “I fully support myself at my age. I constantly get advances from dockhands, and the last one who tried to take me by force found himself missing his-” The man raised his hands, clearing his throat.

“Alright, alright. я...согласен с Вами. Just, don't tell me anymore. Some things, a man doesn't never need to know, little one.” The man cleared his throat, and then looked down at Sunny. “So, then, there is just the matter of payment. While I must insist on you taking the Advanced Basic book I've included, the rest of these books are not free. Including the import fees...and the knowledge of what this package contains...” The man wrote a few numbers down, passing the sheet over to Sunny when he was done.

Sunny's tail poofed out for a second under her cloak, her eyes going wide at the number. No, this was no mistake. She sighed, digging into her cloak as she dropped a bag of gold on the desk. “I added in a tip for your services. Thank you, Ivan. Take care of yourself.” She grabbed the bag of books, lifting the hefty sack with no issues as she walked out of the store.

“Будьте безопасны немного девочка.” Ivan whispered, watching his favorite customer leave.

Sunny made her way through the village, holding her parcel of books on her shoulder as she made her way to the opposite side of the island, walking down a well-worn path towards her cave. She had once hated the view of the ocean, wishing for nothing more than vast plains or thick forests. But, now...she couldn't imagine any other sight to greet her as she broke free from the forest behind her. The beautiful white sands, free from any debris, extended for a good distance before hitting the first bit of perfect blue water, thick white foam quietly washing up against the beach. In the distance, she could make out a few other islands, dotting the horizon. Sunny loved to sit out here during dawn and dusk, watching the sun slowly climb out of the sea, streaking the waters with hints of gold and bronze in the morning, and the sky with purple, orange, and red during sunset.

Sunny found herself laying on the beach on her off days, reading from her books, when she wasn't tending to her friend. She walked into her cave, frowning as she hung her cloak on an outcropping near the entrance of the cave. Were they still friends at this point? Friends didn't really describe their relationship anymore, did it? She walked down to a wooden table, placing her books on it as she stripped to her underclothes. Unwrapping the parcel, she piled up her new books on the table and organized them in some sort of order before carrying them over to an already mostly full bookshelf and finding places for her new additions.

Sunny kept her hands around one book as she walked out of this room and into the next, the lowest point in this cave. This section was lit by itself, a round chamber that held very few things. A bed, a few cushions, and a large obsidian pillar in the center of the room. “Hey Kim. Work was hard today, fish are migrating. Haha, the new guy dropped a bag. Whew, was the foreman pissed!” Sunny smiled gently, walking over to the pillar, running a hand across the smooth glass. She lost herself in thought for a few moments, and went red-faced as she pulled herself away. “Talked with Ivan again today. Dude's a bit weird, but he's a good guy. Oh! I got some of those books.” She threw herself on her bed, squirming around a bit on the straw mattress before sighing, opening her copy of, 'The Maiden on the Isle in the Sky.' Sunny thumbed to the first page, her red face dissipating as she cleared her throat and started to read the contents to her close friend.

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