Dashed Expectations

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:16 pm 
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Lina stared at it for a moment.

...

She moved her hand over her face, frowning. "I'm sorry. Just...say it in a whispered tone, towards my direction." She moved her hand over her neck as a motion to John.

"Hm? Oh. Uh...Hope!" John looked over at Hope. "Let's talk for a moment. Tell me what happened in every minute detail in a clear manner close to me, since I'm sure you need a hug right now." He then proceeded to awkwardly hug Hope, hoping there's some way it would muffle the magic collar.

God damn, he's inept.

While that happens, Lina leaned in to Snake. "I asked you if you know who wanted Hope to be killed so I can try and prevent this from happening moreso. Be quick, as there are already guard members coming."

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:07 am 
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Gene held his arm out as he spun around, summoning his guitar into his hand. As he came around he rammed the body of the guitar into Steg's back, forcefully propelling him away towards the girl. In that same quick motion he got into a power stance and ran his fingers across the strings, playing three quick notes on his instrument while Steg sailed clear through the fire. Gene's jaunty little tune seemed to do little more than turn on the emergency sprinkler system above their heads, and that sure wasn't helping with putting out that wall of flame.

It was time for Gene to put that speed of his to good use. Grabbing Caitlin by the wrist he pulled her through the air as he dashed back to Sarah, quickly smashing the crystal around her neck to pieces before dismissing his guitar. He then yanked her away from the wall, the crystal fragments that had burrowed through her body being left behind as Gene hefted her onto his shoulder. Kicking off the wall he leaped back and up into the air, barely managing to get himself and the two redheads over the destructive wave of fire. The heat could be described as searing, easily. Seemed the sprinklers had given them just enough room to pass safely through just in the knick of time. The fire collided with the wall behind them and harmlessly burned out against it, having nowhere else to go. Gene landed and released his hold on the two girls...

...just as Steg finished his journey. That was certainly quick! But where did Steg go? Why, head first into the gut of that magic slinging girl, of course!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:18 am 
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Steg found his body was little more than a paper obstacle for the woman to rip through as she moved her hand upwards, slashing right through him. Her eyes were fixed on Gene, pure hatred fueling every emotion and action. That guitar. She may have been blind, but she certainly was not deaf. The woman roared, her hair floating above her head as the entire building rumbled. Alarms echoed in the building, and everyone felt slightly heavier as time started flowing again, the building slowly starting to right itself.

The woman vanished, Gene felt his wife and daughter get blasted away by a powerful magic aura as the woman lunged towards him from behind. He managed to block just in time, as the woman coated her arms in a thick blue aura and swung back down on him for a second attempt...

-----

The beast looked behind Lina, sniffing slightly. "Hm." He turned his attention to Lina, frowning. Leaning in, and brushing her arm with his impressive abs, he whispered into her ear. "The Inspector instructed me to dispatch her after she was sold into your property. I was tracking you for some time when I got a message from the merfolk that upped the urgency of her dismissal, a few days ago at least."

The beast awkwardly backed away from Lina, and then rubbed the back of his neck, using the last of the cloth still stuck to his body to cover himself. "Sorry. The smell, you know."

As John leaned over to hug Hope, her collar sparked, the poor thing actually vibrating on her neck. She winced, and wrapped her arms around John, rubbing her head against his shoulder. "I thought Mistress Lina was in trouble...and I fought..an-and..." She sighed, resting her head next to John's neck, sniffing every now and then.

The snake looked back at Lina, coughing. "She's got like, a few days, maybe less, before she hits her heat. Sorry. Uh. Just so you know. Because she won't be able to tell you with that collar on. I, uh. Didn't know that half breeds could go into heat? Sorry. The smell is...overwhelming."

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:22 pm 
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It finally clicked.

Gene weaved between the punches and swipes coming from this strange woman, avoiding most of them with relative ease. He was trying to get some distance between himself and the woman, but she was not letting up. Fighting defensively was not cutting it. Gene threw a quick-half punch at the woman that didn't even connect, but it was not meant to. His fist seemed to expel a wave of kinetic energy that rippled through the air. Though strong, it would no doubt do more than push the woman back a couple of feet, if her handling of Steg a moment earlier was any indication.
Moving back another step Gene resummoned his guitar and quickly went about playing a song. Instantly electricity could be seen crackling to life around the two combatants, dancing hither and thither. A bolt of lightning erupted just over Gene's shoulder and erupted violently through the air, its path seemingly randomly but its destination assuredly the woman.

---
There were soldiers, his own men, standing around him, with guns pointed at a girl. She had blue hair, but she wasn't anyone Gene had seen before. A voice echoed deep in Gene's mind, "Even if you manage to beat Source, you'll only fall to the next challenge, or the next one. You will never be able to protect everything forever." The girl looked at Gene, with her milky white eyes, and raised the staff that she was carrying...
---

When the aura around her arms were raised around her hair just so, it finally clicked. He realized why these crystals and this woman looked so familiar. Gene had seen her once before, in a vision long past. Much of the vision seemed to be nothing more than Chaos toying with him, but...here she was. She slaughtered his people in the dream - destroyed the rebuilt city. With the city gone Gene had thought her part in his vision would not come to pass. That he would never encounter that sorceress.

But here she was.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:34 pm 
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Lina's face contorted slightly when she heard the Inspector's name. "I see."

She stood up, moving her hand over her hair. "Well, thank you for admitting what you know." She saw the guard slowly move down the beach. "These men will take you back. If you can be forward to them as well, I'd supremely appreciate it. And, uh...also thanks for the heads up." She eyed Hope for a moment.

She moved to the two guardsmen, explaining the situation. While doing so, Lina was writing a quick letter on a piece of paper. "This letter requires overnight express. It needs to get to Trade Captain Ketai immediately. The guild requires this information."

"We'll have our best courier do so. If he starts tonight, he should get to Seline by dawn." The guard stated.

Lina nodded. "Thank you."

The guard walked towards the beast with cuffs. It was standard protocol.

Meanwhile, John was struggling to keep himself from falling over due to Hope's onslaught of emotion. He patted her back lightly. "It's okay, it's okay. We're all okay. You did very well."

Could've saved James, though. He's probably being chewed on by a giant dragon right this second.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:11 pm 
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The woman held her chest, and her ears perked up when Gene strummed his guitar. The woman threw her hand behind her back, her lip curling back as she uttered a few words in her tongue. The lightning arced through the air and came down on the woman, but she took a defensive stance, swinging that staff out from behind her back at the last possible second. The staff crackled, turning the electricity into some sort of blue energy. The energy sparked around the woman, filling the room with an odd sort of floating sensation. She slowly raised her arm at Gene, and time seemed to move slower and slower as she raised her arm. His head felt like it was on fire, multiple voices becoming more and more panicked as Gene found himself in a situation he was unable to escape from. His body felt like it was moving through jello, every fibre of his body felt as though it were on fire. He heard that feminine voice shriek in pain as he tried to pull more and more power towards himself, but he couldn't escape.

Then, reality around them warped. Gene watched the room shift, moving to a lush forest, and then a craggy canyon. Deep space, on an asteroid, and on the surface of some red planet. Nothing deterred the woman, the energy building around her arm. Gene watched the blue beam erupt from the base of her hand as they returned to their original surroundings. Time lurched forward, and Gene watched as Chaos materialized into the room just in time, taking the beam directly in his chest. He staggered backwards into Gene, and used him as a prop while he waved his arm at the woman, erasing her from the room.

Chaos fell to the ground as the building rocked. Gauges on the walls indicated a sudden drop in pressure, and a sudden increase in altitude. The building was coming up out of the ocean. Chaos just lay on the ground, shifting between several hundred different colors and creatures, shivering. Sarah ran over to where the woman was, and then knelt down next to Chaos. "!#%$. !#%$! He's...We can't...we don't have time! My spell...we'll die if we're still in here when we breach. We need to get the portal active!"

-------

The man just let them slap the cuffs on, frowning at the whole situation. There was a bit of an issue when the guard noticed him swinging the cuffs around his finger, but eventually they managed to get the cuffs properly secured (and also confiscated his lock picks) and he was carted away like the criminal scum he was.

The collar seemed to calm down for a bit as John patted Hope's back.

not much else going on here

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:53 pm 
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"Right," Gene nodded, patting Chaos on what was currently his shoulder as he looked over to Steg, who had just picked himself up off the ground. "Darkhorse, take care of him!"
"What do you want me to do?" demanded Steg, throwing a hand back. "I really don't think I can heal him up like everyone else!" Nevertheless he marched over, switching places with Gene who was making his way to a long metal desk on one side of the room. The various buttons and switches would indicate this was some sort of control panel, and Gene quickly went to work turning dials and typing in numbers as the rounded machine in the center of the room whirred to life. A spark flew in a tangent as the machine filled with a dark purple and black matter; an undesignated portal. Gene was still setting the coordinates it seemed.

"Who the !#%$ was that?!" Caitlin shouted over the sound of the machinery, pointing a finger at where the magic-caster was. Gene just calmly shrugged, not even raising his head as he continued to type. "No, who the !#%$ was that?!" she asked again, barring her teeth.
"If I knew I'd tell you," replied Gene as he pressed the final button, the portal starting to spin and change in color. "Now is not the time to worry about it. And watch your language."

Hustling back to Chaos, Gene went to grab his legs and carry him with Steg's assistance, but he wound up shifting again and both brothers lost their hold of the spirit. With a frown Gene indicated for Steg to go through, Caitlin following quickly after. It didn't seem like there was any saving this guy, but Gene was going to try. He knelt down and started pushing him across the floor, glancing up at Sarah who was waiting just outside the portal. "Don't give me that-" Chaos shifted again and Gene wound up falling over pathetically. He stood up and with a grunt gave Chaos a kick, enough to send him through the portal. Gene followed up the ramp, grabbing Sarah's hand as he brought her along.

Next stop: Hell.



...Now who is going to turn off the lights in the office?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:13 pm 
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John looked over to the two people walking slowly away with his future employee.

"It'll be fine," Lina stated plainly as she moved her hand over her arm. "I think."

After a moment, Lina moved her hand over to Hope's other shoulder. "Hope, could you...go back into the ship for a moment? I need to discuss something with John. I'll be back in shortly, so...don't sleep just yet, okay?" Her voice was somewhat shaky, which was a little different compared to the usual demeanor she portrayed even in front of her friends.

---

Meanwhile

Seline's harbor was a mess. Due to the previous admiral's passing, the guild took a good amount of the day off in order to pay proper respects. The docks that housed most of the northern ships were more sparse than usual. Still, time is money, and most of the crew members elected to work during the night to make up for at least a little lost time. Thus, there were a lot of crew members moving off to their respective 'realm docks' in order to achieve this job.

Aboard the Conviction, Shin Despontent (final T silent) took the opportunity to enact a new system of crate inspection for the wool socks they kept a steady supply of. After all, losing those socks was a huge demerit to his standing in the eyes of Captain Vanessa Augusti-oh hey there she is.

The good captain slowly walked up to the ship's second level, taking a moment to look over the crew. Of special note is her current dress, which was the same outfit she usually wore but adorned with a blue hue instead of a red one. While the red made her look striking, the blue looked almost elegant. It would have been a perfect outfit for the ball and would have caught the eyes of quite a few potential acquisitions. Still, it's clear that this outfit is for a more significant occasion.

"Quite a night, eh, Despontent?"

"Eh!?!" Shin moved back slightly as his heart almost gave up. "O-oh, yes, ma'am. If'n I may say...I think th' workers are excited fer a new direction."

"Yes, yes, y'dinna have ta' tell me about it." The captain seemed somber in the candlelight.

"Are...are ye' retirin' fer th' night, ma'am?"

"Aye, don't be lettin' anyone be disturbin' me."

"Yes, ma'am!" Shin saluted out of sheer habit.

She started to step towards the doorway, then looked over. "An' Despotent?"

"Yes, ma'am?"

"That means you, too." She entered the room and closed the door.

"........y-yes, ma'am." Shin moved his hand over his head, frowning slightly. "H-hey! What did I tell ya about th' wool socks? They go in th' GOOD containers, blast it!"

---

The captain's quarters of the Conviction. Dark, but still as regal as ever. About 5 times better than any stinky Prancing Devil or whatever.

Slowly, Vanessa walked to the lamp near her map and lit it. It's always such a chore to light up dark rooms in this day and age.

...could use magic, but the church would love to see magic being used in front of them. Like a giant sign that says "Kill this one, she is extremely dangerous". She probably already has one hovering over her head right now and she doesn't know it.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:59 pm 
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Hell had seen better days. The usually lively caverns of this fire-stricken agony fortress were both cold and quiet. The portal dropped them off right inside the gate, opening several feet off of the ground. Caitlin managed to tumble out of the way just in time for Chaos' body to collide with the ground, forcing the spirit out of his body. the shade tumbled across the ground, landing several feet away from his body. The shadow writhed in intense pain, while his body just sort of laid there, waiting for the soul to return.

Sarah tumbled out and knelt down next to Chaos, afraid to touch the shade. "I don't...is he dying?! Gene, what do I do? I've never dealt with...I can't! Steg, do a healing thing? Someone do something!"

-----

Hope turned to Lina and slowly nodded, as if she were lost in a deep thought. She turned away form her and wandered back to the ship slowly, sniffing the air every now and then, her tail wagging as she thought back on the high points of today.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:56 am 
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Looking over at the shadow Gene scratched the edge of his mouth idly, stepping behind Sarah as he squatted beside her and placed a hand reassuringly on her shoulder. "Calm down. I'll do what I can, alright?" Lifting his head up he looked around the area, his eyes narrowing at the uneasy silence around them. "Amber is could poke her head out at any time. That would be bad..." Bringing his hand back he tapped his index fingers together as he pondered the situation, frown ever present. "Spirits have three days after they leave their host before they go back to their orbs, but I haven't a clue what to do to heal their injuries. Steg?"

With a sigh Steg stepped over, outstretching a hand towards the shadow. A small circular light, creamy in color that faded into a bright white in the center, shone in front of his palm. A faint light could be seen outlining the shadow for a second before Steg pulled his hand away, shrugging. "I doubt that helped any! I'm going to go searching for Amber now. That okay?"
With a nod Gene waved him off, summoning his guitar. "Not sure if you two want to go with him. I'm going to speak to my uh...consultants." Steg shrugged AGAIN for no reason before turning around and wandering off, his hands behind his head. Caitlin seemed to be waiting to see what Sarah was going to do.

Gene began to play a soft melody on his guitar, similar to the song he played when he extracted Pride. It seemed his goal was to try and get Chaos back into his body for the moment.

"Hey Old...err... Destruction? Are you well enough to talk? Not sure what to do to patch your kind up, it turns out."

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:10 am 
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Lina moved her hand over to her arm, watching as Hope walked closer and closer to the boat, finally entering it.

She then sighed. "John, he said his employer wa-"

"-was the Inspector, right?"

Lina's eyebrow raised slightly as he said it casually. After a moment, she sighed. "I thought you had a lot more enemies than that."

John shrugged. "I think Hope may have a bit more about her that we don't entirely realize, but the Inspector clearly wants me to hate the church here." He spat on the ground, sighing.

"Only problem with that, John." Lina moved her hand up to tap her neck. "No collar."

"Maybe the church is utilizing a no-collar regime to scatter the trail a bit." John shrugged.

"Impossible. The church holds no favor over beasts of any type. The way they act, they probably wouldn't do it even in a benefit to them. They hold this collaring deal in high regard."

"Maybe it's true and he's acting against the church. These beasts are under his employ because he plans to destroy the church?"

"But why?" Lina sighed. "If we found out, he would be out a subtle supplier. He would have just killed us all and be at a disadvantage, especially if we went to the church with this information in some deal."

John folded his arms, ruminating on the matter. He closed his eyes, frowning. "If it's really because of Hope...and her sudden, uh, growth is cause for alarm, why would it be alarming for the Inspector?"

Lina raised her arms in frustration. "It's not adding up. I don't know. You ruminate for a bit, I'm going to go talk to Hope."

John watched her leave, frowning. "So what do you think is up, Ghosty?" He looked up to the air to his ghost bud.

---

Lina peeked into the doorway after a small pause, knocking on the frame. "Hey...Hope? You okay?"

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:17 am 
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Ghosty rubbed his chin, his ghostly tail curling behind John as his head rested on his arm, which in turn rested atop John's head. "What do I think...?" he asked back, pondering the question for a moment, "I think what I said before, about you attracting all kinds of weird folk? I think I was wrong." Ghosty crossed his arms, squinting and frowning as he leaned back a bit. "By the sounds of it, the whole world has gotten pretty dang weird since I've last been around. People worrying about collars, and religion, and who needs to die. Just sounds like a whole convoluted mess. Being dead, y'know? It's not so bad. Once you get over the initial trauma, you really don't have to worry so much. Maybe everyone should just die."

Yes, that was certainly a sentence he just said.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:12 am 
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Sarah was over there quietly freaking out while Gene just talked to his headmates. Chaos writhed on the ground, his body uselessly discarded like some kind of metal eggshell, and Steg was just about to step out of the cavern into a more open area, when they all heard it.

Skittering.

It was quiet at first, but they could just barely hear it. It was enough to make Steg freeze in place, a hand extended in front of him, ready to draw his sword at a moment's notice.

In the middle of this skittering, a voice rang out in Gene's head, that feminine voice Gene had yet to identify. 'Oh no, he...we tried to...that woman! He tried so hard to warn you...I had no idea she was here...there is nothing you can do for him. If we had the pool, we could heal him, but without it I'm afraid we can only hope his shell will regenerate. Otherwise, he'll be sucked back into his Orb, which is...'

Back with Her.

Two voices let out a unanimous sigh in Gene's head, a sigh that was nearly drown out by the horrible grinding sound of that skittering. Sarah held her hands over her ears, grimacing as the sound got to a point where Gene literally couldn't hear himself think, much less two other people. The roof of the cavern bulged outward, and ripped apart, showering the group with dirt and rocks.

When they looked back up, they saw a coiled body belonging to some sort of armored centipede. The legs were all tinted white, and tipped with purple spikes. It had an unnatural glow, and just looking at it made both Caitlin and Sarah go pale, both of them feeling incredibly weak. The centipede turned its head towards the group and opened its mouth. Some sort of white tongue flicked out, golden yellow drool burning the ground. The tongue extended towards the group, and stopped near Gene, the bulbous tip of the tongue unfolding to reveal the head of Amber.

The mutilated head, scarred and blinded, overlooked Gene, and her mouth opened wide, whispering...

"ssssSSSSsssinnnerrrrr..."

The centipede rocked on the ceiling, and then lunged at Gene.

------

Hope was standing in the middle of her(James') room, modeling in front of a somewhat large mirror. Had James always had this mirror? He must have. Here she was, practically naked as the day she was born. The only two things she wore had been in the box Lina had left on her(james') bed. The scarf was wrapped around her neck a few times, the ends of it draped down to around her waist. The middle of the scarf was a beautiful burgundy color, but the tips of it were a deep purple color. Whoever dyed this did a wonderful job. She also had her gloves on, those incredibly striking red gloves matched well with her black stripes, the golden linings making the red color pop.

Hope was just standing there, admiring her own form. Every now and then, she would run a gloved hand over her stomach, shivering slightly. Or she would run a hand over her own shoulder, biting her lip as she inhaled sharply.

She


She really liked her gifts, okay?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:58 am 
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John watched the ghost for a moment after he said this. "Yes, I suppose it would make things simpler. Nothing bad happens after you die, I guess." He shrugged.

He moved his hands to his pockets, leaning back. "This really has been a long, strange night."

---

"H-hn..." Lina moved her hand over her face at the immediate sight, but she walked in and regained composure, smiling softly. "I...I had to guess a little in regards to the...the color." She was nervous. She didn't want anyone on this ship to hate her, especially after what just happened.

"Do you...like them?"

---

Inside her chambers, Vanessa moved to a small jewelry case on her dresser. For a being of such long life as her, it was oddly against her nature to keep such mementos of times long passed. After all, it was difficult to explain her long life already without the knickknacks popping up for her to deal with. Of course, there was also the idea of holding onto something from decades ago. These items, while sentimental, were more or less an unneeded pain in her side.

Aside from her Philosopher's Stone, she rarely holds things close. They're simple pains in her side, things that she can avoid.

...

She slowly opened up the case and pulled out a small pendant, gold with an opal in the middle. Despite its age, it was very well-polished. It may be worth more than most jewelry stores sell in years. On the back, there were a few words scratched in. It was hard to see in the light, but Vanessa only needed a glimpse to see it in her memories.

"Bloody hell...it's all coming to a head soon. In th' next few years, he'll do it. He'll complete his stone." She seemed to be murmuring this to herself. A life like hers, she probably has very few people to actually talk to. She probably talks to herself a lot.

Slowly she moved the pendent back into the jewelry case.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:09 am 
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Gene reacted quickly to the...thing that was lurching at him. A half second was all it took for him to be back on his feet with his guitar pulled back. As...Amber neared, Gene swung his instrument around like a batter swinging at a pitcher above him. The blow rocketed the centipede back up at the entrance it had made in the roof of the cavern, and as it fell Gene hit it a second time, redirecting the monstrosity to Steg. Used to the abuse, Steg took his wife(?!) ramming into his gut at high velocity like a champ, spinning backwards in the air once as the creature continued past. The usually lucky, but currently very much the opposite, brother picked himself off the ground, rubbing some of the dirt off his face as he turned around to face the centipede. "Err...Gene?" he asked, raising his hand up to one side.
"Yes?"
Steg's hand and forearm vanished as he shoved them into a portal, pulling his sword out from the unknown storage dimension along with them. "I thought you said my wife was alive? This umm..."
"I know," Gene sighed, flipping his guitar back as he got ready to play. "Don't know what to tell you."
"I'm just going to mark this one as 'I was right.'"
"That's fine, Steg."

Pointing his sword at the centipede Steg frowned as the tongue outstretched his wife's head again. "I don't know what happened to Amber, but she didn't deserve this."
"Just kill...it and be done with it."

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:15 am 
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The centipede monster roared in pain, taking a few steps back to regain its footing. The monster whipped its tongue head around to glare at this intruder it hadn't seen before, and came face to face with Steg. The monster roared for a few more seconds, and then paused, hesitating. It skittered in place, looking between Steg and Gene, and then at the group of people on the ground.

Amber whined, backing up against the wall. The centipede part of its body laid down, the face looking straight ahead. Her head just floated there, looking at Steg. Then, very slowly, the centipede started crawling closer to Steg, until the tongue head was on his shoulder. Amber's face was capable of very few emotions, but she was crying.

Sarah grabbed Gene's leg, looking incredibly pale at the moment. "G-gene....hun. As...much as I like....family re-reunions..."

-------

Hope was suddenly in front of Lina, her arms wrapped around the girl. Lina had noted how quick Hope was earlier, but she hadn't really noticed the muscles attached to this girl, my word. She was very well built, but just slender enough to make her look powerfully sexy. She looked like she could melt with a single touch, but she could pick up a bear in one arm. Hope rested her head against Lina's shoulder, tears rolling down her face as she smiled, just holding Lina.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:56 am 
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"Steg...!"

---

A woman shrieked in pain close by. Light found its way through the tree tops easier than usual today; finding the source would be no problem. A few minutes of searching and He found Her behind a brush, her ankle caught in an inhumane trap. A beast girl? That was different! He wasted no time in freeing Her, healing Her wounds quickly. She thanked him. He smiled and shrugged. They chatted.

She needed a new home.
She moved in.
They fell in love.
They had kids too soon.
He was always trying to be a hero.
He was never there.
She cried for Her hero to return.
He understood.
He was going to make things better.

The world around them crumbled
And they got separated.
He searched.
She was never found.
He failed.


---

Steg was more than a bit disturbed by this whole situation, and Amber's distorted wailing wasn't helping the situation any. He had hoped that, if Gene was right, there might be a way to bring Amber back with him. Perhaps she'd be a little bit off the chair, but maybe he could help! But that glimmer of hope was snuffed out by...this. He didn't know what caused all this to happen, but he knew there was only one thing he could do for her now. He placed a hand on her cheek, unable to bring a smile to his face as he took a step to the side. Steg raised his sword, only to bring it down upon Amber's tongue neck, cleanly slicing through it. Her head dropped to the cave floor and Steg stepped away from it.

...She...was dead now, right? ...How did this work exactly? The poor guy was pondering this question when he heard the faint sound of a guitar being strummed. That was odd! Apparently Gene wished to take no chances, and had decided to send a bolt of lightning straight into the creature. But it was armored how would that work...?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:01 am 
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Lina's eyes widened slightly at how fast Hope was able to move to her. She knew it was to be expected, but you never really fully expect it when it's coming straight at you.

She could tell that her eyes still held those tears, but now she seemed much happier than before. This made Lina's previous fears melt. She could only smile as she moved her arms around Hope, giving her a hug in return. "I'm...glad you do like them." She began to chuckle lightly. "I'm sorry I'm making you cry."

---

Vanessa slowly moved her hand away from the jewelry case, her frown prominent. With a sigh, she placed her stone down on the endtable and began to undress, scattering her clothes along the floor and hanging her cape over the nearby chair. Unbound by the hat, it's clear that her black hair grew beyond her shoulders. Despite being confined inside of a hat for however long, the hair seemed straight and kempt as if it were free for the entire day. Excellent haircare. Her tanned skin ended at a few visible lines where her outfit exposed skin. It seemed she doesn't go outside in outfits beyond her tailored sets of clothes.

On her back, there were a few unmistakable marks tattooed over her back all across to her sides. Some were visible while others seemed to have faded with age. She shivered slightly as she felt the wind gently move across her exposed skin. She forgot she had the window open. She moved to the window and closed it, stretching her arm up in the air.

"Mmmmmnnn..." She sighed as she moved into bed, covering herself up. She turned her body to her side, looking at the glowing stone on the endtable. She smiled at it.

Despite everything, she's still glad she was able to create it.

Her smile seemed to cause the stone to brighten gently, as if it responded to that feeling. But that's silly.

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The centipede shuddered after Steg cut the head off, and screamed in rage, diving at him. Sadly, this attack was cut short, as lightning tore through the dissolving armored scales. The beast, rend in twain, collapsed to the ground. Sarah took a deep breath, about to sigh in relief, when the corpse of the monstrosity erupted in a beautiful golden glow. Both Sarah and Caitlin recoiled, their skin literally smoking as they were exposed to this holy light.

A golden angel rose from the remains, hovering above the dead body of the centipede. She smiled lovingly down at Steg, and glided over to him, holding his hand. She embraced what was once her lover, and whispered something into his ear.

"Bring me to my ancestor, so I might guide her down the path I could not follow. Let me give her the strength to end this fight, not as enemies, but as equals. And know, in my heart, I will always be yours. But in your heart, I wish no lingering sorrow. Be free, find love anew, and carry me as your light in this dark new world."

Amber bent her head down and kissed Steg, her body dissolving into a golden necklace that dropped around his neck.

Sarah lay on the ground, panting. "Are...we done with the...painful lovey dovey stuff? Hnnn...."

--------

Hope brought her head in closer to Lina, nuzzling against the crook of her neck. Her hands were running along Lina's back, and she found herself unable to pull the girl away from her body. "The scarf and the gloves mean nothing to me...next to the letter." Hope's hands were working along Lina's back, and then suddenly she managed to slip one in under the fabric of the tunic, reaching up to hold her back, resting against her bare skin.

Hope exhaled sharply, and then let out a soft 'mew' as she held Lina. She could see the collar working double time, and saw it short a bit as Hope got progressively closer to Lina.

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

"That is quite ridiculous."

"I believe the narrative was 'silly,' you twit."

The old man and Chaos were suddenly in Augustine's room, sitting at a table that hadn't been there just seconds prior. They seemed to be very involved in their chess game, Chaos moving several pieces before looking back over at the resting woman.

"Jeez, look at this old broad. Can you believe she's become so important to our story?" Chaos grinned at Augustine, who would more than likely recognize that he was the Brother, the legendary God the Church had buried in their rise to power.

The old man idly looked at her before moving another piece. "Yes, frankly. Her bids at power were going to draw attention at some point." The Old Man pointed at Chaos' chest, frowning. "Your turn, then?" Chaos rubbed his chest as a blue spear erupted out of the middle of his chest, and he vanished. "Typical." The Old Man moved a few more pieces on the board before smiling to himself, chuckling. "But, I haven't much time left either, do I?" He turned to Augustine, still smiling sadly.

"And what of you? How much time do you have left?"

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Along Lina's back, Hope would find the bareness stop at a few tight bandages along her back. Ah, yes, she binds them back.

Lina smiled gently. "The letter...right." She blushed a little. "It's not really the finest-written. I tended to focus more on how I felt at that moment where I've seen how much harm you've gone through in the past few days. It was probably something you would never expect. I certainly never expected it. Who would? John? If he did, he would've told me before I was hired." Breath. "You've gone through so much pain in so short a time. Both inwardly and outwardly. I couldn't stop it, which is something I...I should've done." Breath. "And I mean, after all you've been through and how much pain you've been through all through the time here and now all this that just happened, I was worried you'd be..." Breath. "You'd be..." Breath.

"...mad at me." Her breathing was rather erratic. If you could feel her heart through the many layers of clothing, it'd be rapid.

---

In her bed, Vanessa did not hear the idle complaints of her sudden intruders. Her body seemed to have gone still with silence, almost frozen, as her stone on the table slowly crept up and zoomed away.

...

"Time?"

The old man would turn his head and see Vanessa leaning on the doorway, the small stone hovering into her hand. She was once again dressed in her red outfit, the hat once more holding the hair back to neck length. A smile appeared on her face as she slowly walked over to the table and sat down, never looking away from the god in front of her. Her stone crept up to her shoulder height, floating gently in the air.

"I have plenty of it, sir. At least enough t' hear why you're here in my bedroom playing chess an' watching me sleep." She moved her finger down to a chess piece, idly tilting it side to side. That chess piece she was messing with was amusingly apt.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:37 pm 
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Hope reached up and put a single finger on Lina's mouth, signing into her neck before she lifted her head and put it inches from her face, lips practically touching, whispering, "Shhhh. I forgive you. And I don't want to see you torture yourself over it. I want to see you smile, if only for a moment. I want to...make you happy. More than happy." Lina felt one of Hope's fingers slip underneath her wrappings, the back of her claw rubbing against her skin as the sharp nail easily sliced through each of the wraps one at a time. "I want to...feel you..."

Hope's collar abruptly shocked her, making her whimper softly and rub her face into the side of Lina's cheek, her body shivering against hers. Hope was now panting, and let out a soft mewl every now and then as she held on to Lina, rubbing herself against Lina slowly, her eyes tightly screwed shut.

oh no, run, etc

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

"I am here, and not here at all at the same time." The Old Man curiously looked up at her, a slight frown on his face. "I liked it better when I could see your stripes." He sighed, reaching down to carefully move a massive piece across the board, right next to Vanessa's piece. "And frankly, I don't think you have any idea what you are in for. Tomorrow, every fear you could realize will exist. And you will see a most gruesome end."

The old man sighed again, resting his weary body against his chair. "My legs are very cold for some reason, I cannot seem to figure it out."

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Steg ran his thumb against the surface of the necklace, the biggest smile on his face he had had in a long while. He turned to the others, giving a thoughtful nod as he looked at them. "Yes, I believe we can move on now," he said airily, letting go his grip on the necklace. Glancing over the dreary atmosphere of the cavern did nothing to ruin his now beaming face. "Waiting on you now, Sarah." Dismissing his guitar Gene rubbed his nose against his forearm, walking up to Steg. "She was beautiful, wasn't she?"
"More of a pain on the eyes if anything," replied Gene with a grunt.
"Her very presence made my skin reel," added Caitlin, rubbing her arms as she followed along.
Steg made a face and glared at Gene, who was looking away dismissively. "You both stink."
"I thought you said we were past the lovey dovey stuff?" Steg groaned at Gene's comment.

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"Nnm...?!" Lina tried to reel back, holding her hand to her chest. "H-Hope...I'm more than happy just...s-seeing you happy!" She smiled nervously.

Her face was so red right now.

M-maybe I should leave her be...oh, no, but then she may grab John. And that moron won't know what he's getting into....I don't know what I'm getting into!

---

"It's your lack of pants, sir." Vanessa did not bat an eye as she toyed with the chess piece.

She only smiled as she moved a single piece from the side over to the massive piece, tipping it over. "You think tomorrow ends with fear?" She took the giant piece in her hand and held it up. "For a god, you have quite a minimal idea of fear. It's almost insulting that you think of something like this as my fear." The stone beside her began to glow brightly as it moved over the piece. Slowly it began to take shape. The piece slowly became like putty, and began to shrink. It slowly formed into a new piece, distinctly interesting yet seemingly mundane. It sort of looked like John from a distance.

"This...is fear."

She placed the piece down, then folded her hands onto the table, still smiling. "I'm deathly curious, though. You say it'll all end? In what way?"

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Sarah struggled to her feet, limping after the group. She reached down to her arm and peeled a chunk of skin off, exposing raw flesh. She grimaced, limping past the idiots in her way as she made her way through the various caverns in the ara. They seemed to bend to her will as she quickly made her way around the maze, moving down an ever-changing path towards the center of the hellish nightmare.

"This place is completely different from my hell. We'll have to do some renova-" She stopped herself, and then looked over her shoulder at Caitlin, one side of her face heavily burnt. "Ah, right. Well sweetie, we can make this place look however you want it to look like when you are torturing the souls of the damned. Uh. If that's what you want to do." Sarah made her way into the main room of hell, looking up at the incredible throne in the center of the room, decorated in gold and obsidian.

"Ugh. Absolutely garish. No skulls at all. Hideous." She waved her arm, and the chair shrunk down to a more manageable size. Sarah walked over to the seat, plopping down on it with an exhausted sigh. She waved her arm, and the massive wrought iron gates of hell materialized in front of them, slowly creaking open.

"Let's return this planet to order then, shall we?"

-------

"Good." Hope's voice was barely a whisper now as she did away with her other glove and shrugged off her scarf. Her collar was going berserk right now, sending what should have been incredibly painful shocks through her body, but she had stopped registering it. Her body now knew only one thing, and that thing was squirming in front of her right now. "But...that isn't...enough for me. I want to make you...lively." Hope traced small circles on Lina's stomach, very slowly reaching lower and lower with each trace. "Overjoyed. Captivated." Her other hand was doing magical things to her lower back. Lina was finding out all sorts of new places she just couldn't reach on her own. "I want to captivate you, see you thrilled, make you elated and watch you overflow in ecstasy. And when I'm done with you...I want you to be content. And I want to be at peace with you."

Hope intertwined their fingers, removing the hand that had gotten dangerously close to her waist, as she once again brought her head incredibly close to Lina's face. "Help me help you help me. Please. Say yes."

R-ru...

Run?

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

The old man seemed to dismiss his lack of pants like it was an everyday thing. Sadly, it probably was. "You think you can be so dismissive of fears. It saddens me to see such a whelp, so lost in the clouds. Ignorant is she, comparing true Gods to false idols. The game is a metaphor, merely a tool. The pieces are our instruments, and the field our sorrow." He paused, looking over at the woman. "Ah, but I'm rambling. The death? Quite gruesome. They say that having every nerve pulled out of your body is an agonizing experience, that minutes can feel like years. I wouldn't know. But the end of this story could be comparable to such a fate."

He stared at the board, and then snorted at the piece she made. "Hmph! Show some respect for an Old Man, these pieces are one of a kind." Idly, he glanced up in the corner of the room where his eye had been hidden some time ago. "Tell me, Captain. What do you dream of?"

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Almost immediately as the gates to Hell thundered open, a rift appeared in front of the group. Within the rift, they can hear slow footsteps echo into their realm.

As the rift began to close, a figure appeared from inside of it. The hooded creature held herself steady on the ground, leaning against a staff that held a scythe.

The Reaper.

"If I may, it took you long enough." She seemed to be slightly in pain from heaving her form around, but her soft voice made it obvious she was attempting a joke.

---

Lina tensed as she bit her bottom lip. "H-Hope, I..."

If...if I say yes, then where will we end up from here? Can I...really do this? I was told not to give myself into anything that would go...against my orders.

She moved her hand up to Hope's arm, lightly gripping it.

But it's clear that if she is allowed to, then she wouldn't be in pain. That's...also my directive.

Her eyes grew wide at that moment as Hope moved her hand over quite a nice spot. She made quite an interesting sound to that.

Oh my...I-I never felt that before.

Her eyes slowly began to close. She whispered it. It was very gentle, but Hope got her answer.

---

"My dreams?" Vanessa tilted her head at the sudden question, taking a moment to look at the form in her bed. "...my dreams matter little. They're trifles."

After a moment, she stood up from her chair and walked over to the cabinet. She took out two glasses and a bit of alcohol, then sat back down on the table. She filled both before she continued talking, handing one to the Old Man.

"But t' amuse my guest...I dream of order. I dream of a world where people don't fear the repercussions of gods gone mad or worshipers mad with power or misguided principles. A world where chaos is abolished, and only order exists." She closed her eyes for a moment as the Philosopher's Stone slowly hovered around her head. "It's what the meaning of the stone is, you know, and the goal of any alchemist; t' find reason in the world. Amusingly, it's all a silly test of sorts. After all, the quest t' create the stone is rife with realizing how unreasonable the world is." Her eyes fixated at the god in front of her with an unwavering conviction about them. "It means staring at the false gods of the world and refusing t' budge an inch. It means striking those false gods down, and as they demand allegiance or submission, simply stand firm and shout 'No...you will bow to us.'"

She leaned back for a moment, taking a drink from her glass and setting it down again before continuing.

"And maybe there were a few dreams about swimming in money piles with some fine lads and lasses." She smiled slightly and chuckled lightly. The stone seemed to shake a little, almost as if it were chuckling as well. After a moment, she folded her hands again and took a watchful eye at the old man. "And what about you, sir? What dreams do you hold?"

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