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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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The Koopa Troop

wordcount: 1,315 (+3)
Bowser: Level 9 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (80/90)
Bowser Jr: Level 7 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (71/70)
Kamek: Level 7 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////(70/70)
Location: Edge of the Blue – Bottomless Ocean
Feat: Rika


”nononononono wait what?!” Jr paused his panicked sub-vocalizations to yelp when the ship was suddenly wrapped in golden chains and the sinking feeling suddenly halted. He was stunned for a moment and then tried to adjust the controls to stop the ship straining against whatever this stasis was only to find them stuck too and the dull background roar of the engine silenced. It was a brief and bizarre lull in the hectic action, that lasted just long enough to get a look at the battlefield and be fearful of the beating and threat of a cliffhanger ending his dad was receiving in the same way a certain lion might have done in another time and space. Then a few (rapid) heartbeat after the stasis had appeared the gold started ringing, as if someone was hitting it with a spoon.

The tone started slowly but then picked up in urgency, demanding the prince’s attention even as the sea spire his dad was clinging to started being smashed to bits again.

”Aw beans. That’s not going to last is it?” jr noted. He really hoped the hat kid, who had not given her name before dashing off on an umbrella propelled flight out the back, had managed to fix the engine through the stasis. All they could do now was ”Hold on!” and brace for whatever the stasis ending would be like.

”I’m wearing a seat-belt” Kamek helpful informed the prince while massaging his temples, skull thrumming from the adrenalin of his close call and the day’s magical exertion ”Gah, my head’s ringing”

”That’s the gold stuff and it’s about to go!”shouted at him informatively

”Oh” Kamek replied, right as the stasis ran out.




“Shoo you stupid fish” Rika demanded as a versatile swarm of the beasties tried to attack her. Better her than Sakura and Bella she supposed, who together where in the process of explosively dislodged the princess’s tail from the eel’s grip.

“Go eat things that wont fight back” she told them while blocking a jumping shark with a hull-blade and then repeatedly punching it in the face with her still abyssal gauntlet. Her turrets were aiming freely, swinging two and fro pumping shell after shell at anything moving below the surface. The problem, Rika recognized as she impaled a undead piranha on her gun’s bayonet and slapped another one down with the other free hull-blade, was that while she was was incredibly apt at running point defense with her myriad of automated weapons, she could only act reactively, because no-matter how hard they tried to pre-aim, cannon shells were not made to hit stuff under the water.

If only she had torpedoes.

Or depth charges.

She did have explosives, but trying to use said exploding slime on water didn't work very well thanks to it floating like oil. Also spitting on it was not a long range triggering mechanism, which made the whole thing a risky proposition, particularly when trying to defend a point.

Maybe she could get Jr to make something for her later she thought while firing her giant rifle at full auto at a nearby shark to dissuade it from coming close to the surface. Little capsules with spit and slime in them? Gross but it could be effective.

For the moment, most of what she was doing was spraying the area around her with slime and then spitting on it, causing a chain of explosions that didn't catch much, but right now the ship girl was all about volume of fire so it fit in nicely with that strategy. How long she could keep going all guns blazing was debatable.

With that in mind, as soon as Bella was free and safe, and she’d make sure she had a safe spot to land with her fire power if she did anything today, he’d be heading back to the ship to reload, which would bring the explosive slime producing ship girl within earshot of the man in green who was in the middle of trying to make grenades using all scrap and no primer.




Bowser’s rocket propelled bunny hopping worked a treat, the king laughing as he skipped over the frightful fishes and rapidly advanced on the tiny terror. Blazermate’s advice was positive reinforcement for his plan. If they wanted to stop the eel strikes, they had to hit the source.

To that end he launched himself at her sea-stack fortification, landing safely about half way up it. Solid ground turned out to be deceptive however, as the titan, fully healed thanks to Sakura’s bleeding heart, decided that their first order of business was to slammed the rocky outcrop, sending the king’s arms cartwheeling as he tried to avoid falling back to the sea, the only thing keeping him from staying upright were a few blasts from his incredibly useful cannons.

Fall averted, he decided to ignore the giant, it seemed to be ignoring them despite their involvement in its eye loss, and focused instead on the monster causing them all the trouble right now. The girl wasn't listening, whether it was Galeem’s power, poor parenting or the fact that she just didn't register them as anything other than toys to be played with didn’t matter, from here it was clear that the girl was having a ball with this brawl and wasn't stopping anytime soon. Case and point, with lightning speed she brought two of her eels, that browser had hoped he’d gotten inside the range of, right on back to secure her position. Taken entirely by surprise the king instinctively locked his four shell segments back onto his back in a defensive posture when they rose up, which let him take the hits the dealt out but removed his newly found mobility and stabilization.

One of the eels rammed him from one side, causing the king to stumble towards the edge and just barely catch his footing on it, only for the other to hammer home a moment later, causing him to tip over the edge. At the last second the king reached out and, mecha mit flaring, he caught the edge of the cliff with those super heated claws. He was left dangling precariously over a long drop back down to the ocean, his booted feet and gloved other hand scraping uselessly at the sheer cliff face. As he flailed, ocean green energy erupted in the girl’s hand as she raised it to deliver a killing blow, only for a heroic little plane to swoop in and strafe her with fire, causing the tiny terror to miss her shot.

The explosion it caused down below would not have been pretty to be caught in.

Her second shot however struck true. A little fireball lashed out and tragically blew the noble champion of the skies to smithereens. Its life had been short, but it had bought the Ace Cadet the time he needed to intervene in their little scene. As their massive arrow struck true and delivered its poisonous payload into one of the eels that had beaten him down, Bowser did three things to help himself.

First, the quad of little turrets mounted on his shell swivel round and started blasting the un-arrowed tentacle with their solid rounds. On the ledge Bowser was hanging onto Mallet and Sledge the hammer bros strikers appeared and they too laid into the tentacles, buying the king time with their tossed hammers, mallet focusing the one being shot while sledge tried to hit the poisoned one.

Finally, the king himself stopped futility scrabbling to try and pull himself up and instead opened his palm to reveal a large golden bell, which he clipped to his spiked collar and then with a yowling roar transformed into Meowser. Cat claws shinked out of new slots in king’s boots (which now where stylized to look like they had cat ears at the very top) while his gloves became claw ended mittens like they did for Mario and co. While the coat and cannons stayed in place the rest of the transformation remained the same: fur sprouted from and replaced the king’s scales, his stubby tail lengthened into a long thick feline one, the bottom of his hair became bleach white. His blastoise ears stayed mostly the same and just gained some fur on the outside.

He also gained a distinct dislike for water, which was highly motivating when the very angry cyclops hammered the sea stack again and this time split it, causing the top to tip sideways and threaten to tip everyone into the sea.

Clawed boots and gloves found purchase on sheer cliff face where moments before Bowser had had none, and then with a grunt he flung himself up onto the ledge next to where his minions were holding the ground for him. He gave them a nod before they dissipated, and then began to ascend the cliff with his cat climbing skill, scrambling up sheer rock with relative ease.

He redeployed his cannons as he ascended, reactivated the razor shoals boon he’d deactivated to harmlessly spray the boat momma, and primed them to defend himself from the inevitable follow up from the tentacles. If the eels wanted to be speedy jerks and chase him, they could suffer for every rapidly climbed inch, while also being peppered by more mini shells and confusing supersonic sound waves.

If he did manage to ascend to and/or catch the monster girl he was going to tail slap some sense into her, of that there was little doubt.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Zoey Boey
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Zoey Boey ~I'm Stone Free, do what I please~

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Level 5: 24/50
Location: The Bottomless Sea Surface
Word Count: 777
Points Gained: 2 -3 EXP
New EXP Balance--- Level 5 : 23/50 -3 from Friend Heart


As she went, she realised she was putting herself in a vulnerable position. She hadn't even thought about that! Fortunately her teammates had her back. Instinctually her cat tail coiled inward, nervous at the idea of getting snapped up by a giant eel. If it wasn't for the other Seekers, she'd have been in an even worse spot then Bella was. Good thing they had her back. The Atomos was also saved by Link and his cool magic abilities. A bead of nervous sweat dripped down her forehead as she realised that.

Growling, she pulled her fingers out from between the teeth of the eel, briefly placing her index finger in her mouth. Ouch. Stupid thing was stronger than her. Bella suggested just smacking it really hard, like it was a TV that wasn't working. Nodding, Sakura knitted her fingers together to form a singular heavy fist. Time for the Otoshi, or Sakura Drop. She raised her arms over her head.

"Ichi, ni,-san!" Each syllable was a forceful exhalation of air as she slammed her fists onto the eel's head. Three hammer blows in quick succession, creating the opening Bella needed. When she was told to jump, she jumped. Sakura had been on the receiving end of Bella's rail cannon once before. She didn't need to be told twice. Sakura leaned off to the side and kicked off the tentacle. She flipped in the air and landed gracefully on her feet. They were being covered by Rika and the others. But she still didn't want Bella falling head first into the water.

Hopefully if she could halt Bella's charge with an uppercut, she could prevent her from getting soaked with a catch. Especially since she just got that new sundress. The street fighter reached her hands out to catch her friend. Sakura's legs sank into the water as her harness dispersed the impact. That way Bella wouldn't feel it as bad. Bella was bigger than her and that tail was heavy, but Sakura felt confident she could manage it. If Bella fell underwater and got snatched by a fish, that'd be no good.

"Careful!" She said, guiding Bella back to her feet. Sakura rolled her shoulders briefly. Her eyes naturally drifted back to the epic battle unfolding.

The big purple guy was looking much better, which made Sakura feel happy. He was, understandably, very upset. But even then it seemed like that little girl monster couldn't help but antagonize everyone in the world. The big purle monster was bit by an eel and he once again got embroiled in this conflict. Sakura was more than happy to just leave now and let those two get back to sorting it out. It looked like the big guy could probably win if he wasn't being blasted by cannons and...hadokens.

Bowser-san, however, was taking a very aggressive approach. Sakura wasn't sure what he was planning. Tentalus' presence was both helpful and unhelpful, but hey, at least he wasn't dead, right? Nobody deserved to have their eyes ripped out and used as projectiles. That was definitely against the Geneva Conventions.

But she wasn't sure what to do. Sure, she could, hypothetically, scale that mountain. If she had two hours and a bag of trail mix. Bowser was at some points flying up the wall, had massive claws and...literally turned into a cat. What a bizarre set of powers Bowser had. Could he do that in the video game? Maybe he was from Super Mario Brothers 25 or something. All she knew was that helping Bowser directly was out of the question. He was well out of her range. Especially since if one of those nasty green fireballs missed, they'd probably blow her up as she was trying to climb up. So, she'd have to just support him from the ground.

"I'll help protect you, Bella." Sakura said, lifting her legs from the water as fast as she could. "Use that tail of yours to help out Bowser-san!" With that Sakura took a fighting stance. She'd follow Bella wherever she decided to go. She began rattling off some cannon fire to blow up some evil fish that were nearby. If any of the evil tentacle eels tried to bite any of her friends, she would intercept. She was defending the artillery brigade, as it were.

"Geralt-san! Rika-san! We should stick together!" She said, trying to gather up the Atomos crew that jumped out. Excluding Bowser, of course. "You guys should shoot whatever tries to get King Bowser!"

Sakura's primary focus was defending Bella so she could do her thing without being interrupted.


Level 1: 4/10
Word Count: 348
Location: Al Mamoon, outside the museum
Points Gained: 1
New EXP Balance--- Level 1: 5/10


Jesse Faden blinked in surprise as she noticed what the old man just did. That seemed like an Object of Power to her. It was that quiet?! No wonder nobody had caught him yet! He could mess with the fabric of reality right under everyone's noses. If what she remembered from previous crime scenes was correct, then that door wasn't moving anywhere any time soon. They would be welded in place, impossibly difficult to move.

(Shit! He's inside. Will he come out the same way he came in? Doubt it.) She mused. She ignored the odd looks she got, descending back down from the rooftops. She figured he would...she didn't know what she thought. Her mind felt all messed up for reasons she couldn't understand. The exasperation at her repeated failure to catch this guy didn't help, either.

Jesse jumped, rolling the disperse the impact and going into a fast jog. She approached the two guards. "Jesse Faden, FBC." She said. She reached into her jacket pocket, pulled her wallet out, and showed her ID badge. Was there such a thing as federal jurisdiction while in a different dimension? Probably not. But maybe it would lend some authority to her presence.

(All I know is, I've never gotten to say that before. I think I sounded pretty cool.) "The museum is being robbed." She simply, looking between the two masked figures. Hard to read. They were also very kooky looking guards. But hey, she wasn't going to judge. Jesse had worked security before- so she could relate to these guys. Ideally they would leave the fighting to her. This paracriminal was well above their paygrade.

"That crime spree that's been going around has come to the museum. We're looking for an older white human male in a labcoat. He's sealed the front doors shut." She explained quickly and efficiently. "Are there any alternative entrances into the building? Backdoor, breakable windows, roof access?" Jesse asked. If so, she would follow them to it and try to get inside. If not, she would have to figure something else out.

Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Potemking
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Potemking I'M A FOOL / I KNOW NOTHING

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LOCATION: Edge Of The Blue - Bottomless Sea
WORD COUNT: 905(+2 EXP)
MENTIONS: Blazermate, Ms. Fortune, Ace Cadet directly.





Thankfully the Bella rescue effort had worked out, and Mirage was personally glad that a few shots on his end had been able to help the girls. Unfortunately as they gained distance, he would become less and less helpful because the sea surface group was getting closer together. If he tried to support them with his gun now, the chances of hitting one of them would go up drastically. He wasn't about to be known as "That guy who accidentally shot the tentacle fighting kids and unicorn man". But, y'know, there was plenty of worry about aboard Shippy still. He pulled up his armor plate to his forehead and began to reload, having emptied his gun in the process of protecting Sakura during her rescue effort, and turned to Blazermate as she gave him some insight on the Engineer's buildings.

"Oh, cool! So it's like a Replicator! Less ammo problems are a plus for me!" He responded, knowing nobody probably knew what that was, but it helped him aid himself in understanding the ammo producing machine. He was glad ammunition wasn't a concern right now, as with the situation off the deck seemed to be getting worse. Somehow that big sea monster had healed while he was distracted and now it was pissed off again. He thought it was going to bite the dust a minute ago, but now it seemed to be in a direct three-way battle with the tentacle kid and King Bowser, who had now revealed his ability to turn into... A cat... Thing. "Ah, man. I wouldn't be caught dead looking like that." He spoke, mostly to himself, but figured if he transformed like that it must have been for a good reason. He was really out there giving it his all, and Mirage felt guilty that he was incapable of aiding in such a large-scale situation. He'd have to make it up to the King somehow once they all got out of this.

For now, the best he could do is attempt to support Shippy and it's crew. He had been horrified at the idea of the Atomos crashing into the waters, but it had thankfully stopped in mid-air somehow. Glancing about, the sight of Link pointing his weird tablet-thing at it came into vision, though he had no idea if the guy had caused it to stop or if he was just getting a picture of how crazy the chains looked. He bit the inside of his cheek, guilty in being unable to help those on board the Atomos in their time of need. Hopefully they could hurry and make repairs, or at least evacuate. And if it came to the latter, then Mirage would do his part to make sure the boat was safe for the crew to be brought down.

Which seemed to be Peach's idea, too, as she sent Ace and Nadia off to fight in the waves. That was quite the loss of firepower on the boat, but they'd manage! He'd just have to pick up the slack or something, right? Though he wasn't about to start skewering creatures quite like Nadia could... And that Cadet had a bit more oomph than he did, too. "No worries! We'll be keeping this ship locked down!" He boasted to the duo, not wanting them to worry. Not that... He thought they would be, what with the sentry gun, and the other combatants, and... He felt anxious about his words momentarily, and Nadia was already long gone so no take-backsies.

Getting back across to the cannon he'd been using was a simple enough task in concept, but he kept finding himself distracted with these damned fish! A few jumped out as he moved, attempting to bite at him but a panicked shift of his body allowed their teeth to meet his shoulderplates instead, the man freaking out as they landed on the deck of the ship. In his panic he began to stomp them rather than shoot; Figuring if the Arc-Star had hurt Shippy, the boat wouldn't take well to him shooting a hole in it's deck. Unfortunately one of the fish had managed to actually grab a hold of his boot, teeth digging through and slightly digging into his toes. His response to this was to keep said foot firmly on the ground, using his second foot to press the creature down and kill it. God, these things were irritating! "At least this crap can't get worse, right guys?" He asked in a slightly pained but humorous manner, the overheal from Blazermate helping with his foot but he still felt the horrid sting.

"Baaambooooozled!"


Mirage's attention turned to a notification of his Decoy being hit, the man seeing a tentacle had tried to chomp on him for breakfast! There was no hesitation in Mirage riddling said tentacle with bullets, much more confident in his shots from this range as he shouted a panicked "No!" with every shot. He aimed specifically for the 'head' of the tentacle, wanting to teach it a lesson about biting sea-fairing folk like himself! He'd fire up to all six of his shots if that was what he needed to make it retreat, or hopefully die, because Mirage now realized upon looking at this horrid monstrosity that he absolutely hated tentacles and he wanted this thing erased off the planet. Guns were exceptionally good at doing that with things he didn't like, at least in his experience.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by ModeGone
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ModeGone Legitimate Satanspawn

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Level 1 [10/10] (Word Count: 291 +1)
Location: Edge Of The Blue


He may not have any primer but whoever said someone could be completely logical under the various layers of stress that the man in green is under would be lying. The magical wrench the robot lady mentioned wouldn't be much help with it either way. The 'grenade' that he's put together is more like a ball of loosely packed metal shards. Rather than exploding and sending shrapnel in a wider area the item will instead act like caltrops. Some of it should properly embed itself into the monster's flesh, more will simply scatter about and be more of a nuisance than anything else.

Yet its a very good thing that Mr. L's pitching arm is... better than he ever suspected, really. It like he's played sports professionally in another life. He could have even lead a team, like... L Leapers! ... No, that sounds dumb. L Vacuums... why would he even.. That'd be saying 'L Vacuums: We Suck!'

But while he was frantically getting stuff ready, things got really hectic. There's too much going on even considering the nature of how insane reality can get. It's more crazy than one of Dimentio's 'shows' and who the Stars is 'Bella'?! The girl who got snagged by the monster? That girl from the the beach party... yeah, she seems to think so. L looks down at the hastily assembled tool. This won't be of much help...

What good is a thief and a pilot in a sea battle anyway? A strange malaise starts to creep up, but L shakes it off. He might not be able to do anything just yet but there will be an opening sooner or later. Either to use his hastily crafted weapon or to literally leap into the fray.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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wordcount: 1,015 (+2) (+3 from colab (added) +7 form the other colab)
Midna: level 5 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////// (8/50)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Al Mamoon




After they’d finished speaking with the suspicious vizier the gang headed back to the market with their new hangers on in tow, a one man band along with the grim looking guy in a hood and clothes vaguely similar to the thieves, at least in terms of materials and machining at least, if not style. There wasn't much to him, she thought, no weapons or fanciful flare that indicated he had magical or supernatural abilities, though she mentally acknowledged that her appraisal only could only go skin deep.

”So, seeing as you're coming with us and, might, be fighting with us. What’s your whole deal?” she asked casually and Oopen-endedly as they were searching for the rest of the crew in the market. Best to get an impression of him from the man himself, she thought. She had a vague one of Band as a result of him looking for someone who was working with Crow and it wasn't the best one, but it did mean that he could probably handle himself.

”I’m Midna by the way” she added belatedly, realizing they hadn’t done basic introductions properly yet.




It turned out Primrose's jewelry pawning had been pretty profitable, to an extent that she easily covered their expenses when it came to food and supplies. It also turned out the Queen’s cognition was worth about 250 more than an electric rock, which was kind of sad. Still, as much as Primrose had acquired front he sale of her (and Midna’s) gems and jewels, the team had burned through all her wealth, though what they got would keep them going for quite some time. It turned out that feeding a dozen people for several days was expensive. Rationally she’d known this of course. She knew her logistics. But there had been a mental gap between how much feeding two people and how much feeding an army cost that had now been filled.

For heat, they got a cold resistant crown and rationalized that their generally fire/heat making abilities and magics would keep them safe, but Minda made a note to try and get a jacket or something for herself once she got her own funds, just in case. It was added to a growing list that she also added an evil detecting wolf amulet Prim had mentioned seeing in the jewelry store, which she thought could be useful for vetting people.

All in all it looked like the market team’s trip had been a successful one. Midna quickly offered to take hold of some/most of the bulk of the preservable food, using a portal to pop it into a sealed cave back home she used to store various items from time to time, like that sword and shield Link had gotten her while he was a wolf and she’d refused to uses. Funny how she was now considering getting that exact load-out now.

Now that they’d met back up with the other ladies (and the re-armed Yoshitsune) their next move seemed to be seeking out the viziers troops to get more info on the resistance cells situation. To an extent Minda wanted to just leave the local conflict alone entirely, but she conceded that information was information and if they were going to do the other requests it might get them on the rebels bad side anyway, so it would be best to know what the mess they were getting embroiled in before they stuck their foot into it.

With that in mind they headed for the home of the Grimleal (during which Midna opened up and thoroughly enjoyed one of the little snack bars she was transporting. After eating mostly meat and candy since they headed out, getting some carbs into her was something her body greatly thanked her for).

Midna had been expecting another, possibly grimmer, barracks to be where the viziers personal troops lived. She 100% had not expected to find them in the temple of a religious organization, one just as dark and foreboding as the viziers office. Any idea that the man just had bad aesthetics were rapidly crumbling, considering his entire organization shared them. If these people did mean well, and she was seriously doubting that, then optics were definitely not their strong point.

Midna had had a bad feeling about all of this for a while now, which was justified when they came face to face with the elite troops. They could be described as a dramatic and enthusiastic bunch if you were being charitable. Any attempt to elaborate wouldn't put them in a favorable light.

Worse than their villainous looks, there was a certain degree of assumption that them being there meant they were all prepped and ready to go to war for them. Which was exactly what Midna didn't want. But blunt rejection might well compromise any attempts to get on the vizier's good side. It was a tricky situation to be in.

Well, they were, in effect, mercenaries in this situation, Midna rationalized, so best to act as such.

”Spend time getting to knowing your enemy and the battlefield you’ll be fighting them and you’ll spend less time digging graves” Minda replied (with a quote from a book she’d read that had helpful thrust itself into the forefront of her mind unbidden) to the titanic rabbit woman’s, Ciella’s, comment about supplying them with information being a drag. Putting on the airs of a mercenary general deciding whether to accept a contract or not, she asked them ”So, if we do his, what would we be up against? Considering you all look very capable, it can't be a simple gang of thugs and malcontents right? We talking clashes with guards in the streets, sabotage of infrastructure, assaulting tax collectors, that kind of level of things?“ in an attempt to get a clearer picture of what the Resistance were resisting and how.

”What’s their deal and how large, organized and individually dangerous are they?“ she followed up in summary, boiling it down to what she really wanted to know before getting anywhere near this tar-pit of an operation.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy
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Gentlemanvaultboy

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Hyrule Warriors


Word Count:1338

Level 5 - (40/50) + 3


Level 9 - (27/90) + 3






Link


Location: The Bottomless Sea




As Link followed the progress of his plane he gasped in horror as the giant tentacled beast rose from the waves once more, seemingly fully restored from the damage that had been done to it. It's newly regenerated eyeball broadcasted the reason for this to anyone who cared to look at it, and even if Link hadn't seen the actual moment the creature had been friend hearted the trail of unconscious abyssal's he had seen in the last battle gave him a reasonably good idea of who was responsible for this. That girl was too kind hearted for her own good.

At least for now, though, it didn't seem like it was a totally boneheaded move. Admittedly, that was because the little monster was only too happy to have an opportunity to bully the bigger one again. She lashed out with one of her tentacles, sinking its teeth right into the big monsters moob and drawing its attention right back to her. The way she laughed uproariously as she took on all comers couldn't even be called bravery, more like the mindless hyper-aggression that was the trademark of a true monster. That aggression made them and the big one allies of convivence for the moment. They would have to see how how the big monster felt once the little one was dealt with.

The ones left guarding Shippy had to deal with her right now, as one of the tentacles rose up out of the water and snapped down on he clone Mirage had thrown up. That man had almost asked for it to happen, but he responded quickly enough. He pulled out that weapon of his and started blasted the monster in the face. As he did Link started mentally cycling through his inventory, specifically looking for weapons that had taken the most punishment today. Nodding, he pulled out the Fork and drew his arm back like a Olympic javelin thrower. He didn't need much time to aim because the thing was both big enough and close enough to be terrifying, and after a second he let the fork fly. It sailed across the ship and landed prongs first in the tentacles forehead, but it didn't stay there for long. The force of the impact was enough for the spear to give up the ghost, and it detonated into blue fragments a millisecond later.





Linkle


Merge Rate: 30%


Location: The Frozen Highlands - Snowdin ~ Grillby's






Outside


Linkle took a moment to look over what she had gotten while organizing in on a sled. She didn't know what the pink thing was, other than totally adorable. If she had to guess she'd say it was some kind of Pokémon. There was also a card. At least, she though it was some kind of card. When she picked it up it was thicker than a normal card, and heavy like it was made of some kind of metal. It almost glineted in the morning sun. What drew her attention more than that, though, was the picture on the front. She brought her hand up to the top of her head, stroking one of her own ears. The ears the girls in the picture had were all taller and wider set than hers, but she could still imaging someone making the mistake of thinking she was one of them. Were these the...sylvestamen? Syrvarion? Slytherin? Whatever, Euden's friends! She slipped the card into one of her pouches for safe keeping until she could get back and show it to him.

She couldn't really tell what one of the prizes even was, but when she placed it next to the gun it sort of latched into the thing and metamorphized the entire weapon into a...sword? No. She bent down to pick it up, turning it over in her hands to examine the thing. As she did her rabbid instincts told her that, fundamentally, the weapon hadn't changed. The blade was spilt in two, with the barrel nestled in the space between. She put it on her shoulder and got a feel for aiming it before setting it back down and grinning. She couldn't wait to tell the Master of Masters that she had just discovered Weapon Spirits.

The next thing was three similarly designed hats, each one bearing a logo on the front. She hadn't talked to the fox guy much since he had tried to kill, essentially, her but she figured he wouldn't mind two out of the three of these. The FOX and FOXHOUND hats might be a little on the nose, but she still liked them more than the hat with the skull plastered on it. She grimaced as she picked it up, but at the same time there was a feeling in the back of her head that she should really put this one on. That it would look really good on her. That she should commit to the theme.

She was uncomfortable with how reluctantly she set it on the sled next to the other two. It was also why, when destiny gave her its own version of that hat in the box wrapped in the hero's color, she set it between her ears immediately. The glasses she stored in a pouch.




Grillby's


The way the bartender took her apology made her feel a little embarrassed at being so formal about it. If her blood had worked she would have gone red, but instead she just looked chuffed. Her eyes did narrow at the barmans mention of the Stranger killing other people in the village that messed with him, but that slight unhappiness was brushed aside when he pointed out Albedo and offered to make them breakfast. Thanking the fire man, she made her way over to his table.

She flopped down into the chair the Alchemist pushed out for her. The dog almost immediately popped up, Putting its front paws on the edge chair to get closer, and Linkle obliged it by grabbing its face in her hands and giving its cheeks a good rub. As she did Albedo commented on her new crossbows and complemented her on her shopping. "I'm not that savvy, I just promised to do Sal a favor." The adoration comment made her smile a little wider. Unfortunately he also said the man she was looking for wouldn't be here until nighttime, but that just meant they had a whole day to do their own research into the subject. Albedo had already noted a number of options in his notebook, marked on a crude map of the area that she leaned forward to check out as he pointed them out.

Three seemed promising. Mystic's were a great source of information for heroes, Dungeons were always important, and considering that they were working under the assumption The Stranger was divinely protected the Temple could be a great place to start. Although, if he was graced with divine favor than maybe all that was waiting at the temple was a fight. That could be enlightening in its own way. While she was looking at the map she was also trying to find the spots she had seen while out and about. She pointed somewhere past the coast, and ask Ablbedo about the weird structure out past "Penguin Beach" that was shooting light up into the sky.

"I think we should stop by the temple first." She said after some consideration. "If it's not for the goddess protecting him than maybe we could appeal to the goddess it is dedicated too. Get some divine power on our side."

Inside her chest she heard the Skull Heart start chuckling.

"Does anyone actually know this jerks name?" She asked suddenly, a little more loudly than necessary to drown it out. It was a question inspired by her short conversation with the barman. "The way you and Mr. Grillby talk about him it seems like nobody knows who he is. If he's keeping it a secret it must be for a reason."
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by MULTI_MEDIA_MAN
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MULTI_MEDIA_MAN

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Geralt of Rivia

Bottomless Sea

Lvl 7 (39/70) -> Lvl 7 (40/70)

Word Count: 319 words


Geralt snarled as a massive eel-faced tentacle charged for him atop his Ordnance Platform. This little kid was starting to piss him off. Drawing his silver sword in one and and quickly making a Sign in the other, Geralt smirked as Aard activated mid-lunge. The Sign, as overcharged as the rest of Geralt's abilities with his new size and Stamina, dazed the lunging appendage, which recoiled in pain from the burst of telekinetic force. And that was when Geralt's hastily-concocted plan began.

The two crane arms of the Ordnance Platform moved, rising towards the peak of their range of movement and turning slightly inward, towards the reeling eel. As they neared the top of their range, the cables released, sending the hooks and their extremely heavy steel cables flying. Timed with an instinct only possible through extensive practice (Or absorbing the Spirit, instincts, and lived experiences of one who had done that practice), the cables both landed on top of the eel, dragging it down, closer to the main gun.

The main gun which Geralt was aiming directly at the head of the eel.

The main gun which fired as Geralt closed his left fist.

The main gun which obliterated the head of the eel, leaving behind nothing but a smoking crater where it used to be.

Geralt laughed, reveling for a moment in victory, before turning his guns towards Bowser and letting loose with the smaller cannons, targeting the tentacles that were attacking the Boss. At the very least, he could slow this girl down a bit. The others could get the satisfaction of pummeling her into submission.

Don't worry Sakura, I heard you! Things weren't looking too bad for them, overall. Bella was no longer being shaken about like a dog's chew toy, Sakura's newest Friend wasn't trying to kill them, and at least there was one less eel tentacle thing to worry about.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by ZAVAZggg
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ZAVAZggg Sok Il-Seong

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Level: 2 (1/20)
Word Count: 90
Location: Sandswept Sky - Al Mamoon
EXP: +1




Mercer glanced at the imp, his eyes just barely visible from under the hem of his hood.

"Alex. And I'm keeping my part of the deal. I told Band I'd help him find who he's looking for if he helped me get any leads as to the whereabouts of my sister."

He shrugged.

"He did, and here I am. As for fighting, don't worry. I can handle myself."

With that brief spate of interaction done, Mercer quickly returned to his broody silence, his gaze kept dead ahead as they walked.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Dawnrider
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Dawnrider Demigod

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Level: 5 (29 -> 36 -> 38/50)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Al Mamoon; Grimleal Headquarters
Word Count: 826 (+2 EXP)


Their various businesses concluded and ongoing, the divided Yellow Team soon reconvened in the marketplace where they left off, barring appearances from Sly (expectedly) and the rest of the Phantom Thieves, absent on some unspecified account vouched for by Panther. Those who had new information shared if and as they saw fit, which Fox did. That much would suffice for options/direction. Any who cared to could go take on any one of the publicly available jobs from the board. The rest, should they not have other ideas, would be following Fox back to the palace temple to meet with the Grimleal, to get a better read of them and the situation at large.

That marked the first oddity in their rendezvous for Fox; that the Grimleal were apparently attached to a religious order rather than serving strictly as a high guard or para/military contingent, perhaps acting as all three? Far be it for Fox to care who anyone prays to, but he couldn’t help getting the immediate impression that the Vizier’s ‘elite’ troop were more of a ‘personal’ one, which he didn’t mind, of course. He knew a little something about working with the people he best liked and most trusted. The question stood of whether or not they could trust these people, and what it would speak of Validar if he put his own faith in them. No points for shared tastes in dark, chthonic motifs.

On the subject of ‘faith’, it was hard not to notice the imposing visage of the violet-lit dragon, the presumed subject of their worship. If that was what they called their ‘god’, then they might find themselves disappointed to learn that it too is likely just another slave to the Light; that far greater powers reside over the World still. Even for the theologically uninclined or uninitiated, one could no longer claim to not be a believer after everything that had happened, upon learning of it all, or having experienced it for one’s self firsthand.

The Grimleal generals were… eager to say the least. They seemed to be under the impression that the Yellow Team participants would show up ready to go right away, no questions asked. As much as that fit Fox’s usual model, this wasn’t his usual case. He knew that same eagerness for action over planning, but would not readily act on it if it chanced meaning he would be fighting the wrong people, and potentially forthe wrong people. This once, at least, he would have to--and willingly--make an exception, and more carefully consider his approach.

“Then I hate to tell you this, but you may want to temper your enthusiasm for a bit longer,” he said to the bow-wielding hare woman as a start. “Because I would like to know more. I think I speak for all of us on that,” he iterated more broadly to all three generals, gesturing referentially to the rest of the team that accompanied him. “Call me old-fashioned, but I like to actually know who I’m being hired to fight.” Midna’s following citation of war philosophy corroborated as much.

Provided his definitive participation, this would hardly be the first war Fox threw himself in the middle of, and far from the biggest. That said, stakes and morality every time secretly factored into his decision on who was worth helping and why, and thus who to take a paycheck from. He nor any he represented were just some common mercenary ilk of lax standard to be exploited by the highest bidder. In as few words and as little mounted suspicion as possible, he thought he might impress that upon them--preferably from a purely pragmatic/strategic perspective. The last thing they needed was the zealous denunciation of moral propagation to be followed with a catered preaching of morals intended to coerce them into premature action. They were there to gather information, not debate ideology; a sentiment the generals might surely agree with.

Midna obligingly laid out a short list of starting inquiries for valuable information they would want regardless. To it, Fox added, “Let’s start with where we can find them.” This, first and foremost, would be best to know. That way whatever they couldn’t learn in their meeting they could go find out for themselves, but truth be told, Fox already had every intention of going to look when they left. On that note, he also bore in mind that they boasted the distinct advantage of political anonymity and, until such time as they acted, neutrality. That the Resistance were unaware of them or their affiliations made them prime candidates for an ‘infiltration’ pitch, with the rebels of their group being even more qualified, even in the unlikely event that they could actually be used for such a ploy. The generals didn’t need to know any of that just yet anyhow, so he kept it to himself for now to gauge them and their intentions by their responses.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Yankee
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Yankee God of Typos

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Word Count: 567 (+1 exp)
Level: 7 - Total EXP: 45/70
Location: Edge of the Blue

It wasn't quite a bull's eye, but the arrow did strike a target and the Cadet could see the tell-tale signs of poisoning begin. Hopefully it would bleed into the girl-monster herself, but only time would tell that. Soon after he'd released the arrow the princess gave the order for he and Ms. Fortune to get out onto the water, and so the Cadet wasted no time swapping to his sword and shield in preparation rather than try again to hit the small target. Getting directly into the fray was much more his style anyway. The hunter saluted Peach and cast off, turning back only once after he hit the water to give Mirage a thumbs up. "You guys got this!" He said, and then he was speeding after Nadia, trying to close the gap on her head start.

Reverse from earlier that day on the open ocean, the Cadet chased after the Feral and put himself on clean up duty because of it. He zigzagged on the waves between two of the closest monstrous eels, raking them with his blade. While Link and Mirage dealt with the one harrying the ship's crew by attacking it's face, the hunter sliced a jagged stripe along it's side. As Nadia rushed along the back of another, cutting as she went, and it lifted it's head to turn and lunge again, Ace Cadet zipped across the water and sliced across it's exposed throat. His cuts were not as clean as he would have liked, his work made sloppy by the rough waves, but the sword was effective nonetheless. Most of the toothy fish were drawn to the open wounds on the eels, jumping up to try and rip pieces off of the exposed areas, but any that got too close for comfort were handily dealt with by his rigging.

He glanced over at the Atomos and it's crew on the water, and after finding them more or less alright and the airship itself still suspended in the air for now, he hustled to catch up with Nadia.

"I call the big one if it ends up turning on us," he said once he was near. He was surprised to see it rise back up unharmed at first, thinking it had some intense regenerative power, but it's giant eye wasn't glowing red anymore. It'd been healed by someone, which just meant that while it was working out for them now they'd all get the chance to have a crack at it later. As they moved closer to the the monster's rocky tower where Bowser was currently clinging, the Cadet judged the distance between the top and the water below. The monster girl's giant green spell was impossible to miss, but if that's the kind of power she had then getting in close was definitely the best option for them. That meant scaling up the rock, even as precarious as it was thanks to the one-eyed creature's heavy blows. He figured he could probably make it up with a few well timed shots of his slinger. Nadia had her own macabre way of moving about with her blood jets, but he offered her a jumping off point once they were close enough, stowing his weapon for a moment and cupping his hands to boost her up before he followed after.

"C'mon, meow it's time to show that fiend our brand of justice!"


Word Count: 728 (+1 exp)
Level: 4 - Total EXP: 16/40
Location: Sandswept Sky - Al Mamoon

𝙱𝙿 ●●●●
D34C25
It was quite good fortune that they'd run into some of the others so quickly after their successful shopping trip. Primrose was just finishing up counting the last of her gold (and a hefty pomegranate she'd purchased for herself) and tucking it away when they came upon Midna, Red, Fox, and... Primrose glanced at the two unfamiliar men trailing behind the others, giving the both of them a subtle once over. One, a hooded human. The other, not so much...? It was hard to tell, but he seemed to have metallic pieces coming out of him, or at the very least his clothes. The words he exchanged with Poppi implied he was at least partially human, but overall Primrose supposed it didn't really matter. Names were exchanged and that was that for now. She turned to Fox and Midna, quirking a brow at them. They worked fast, picking up a couple of new allies in barely as many hours.

The dancer listened as information was passed back and forth about the queen, the equipment and provisions they'd picked up, and the general state of the city. She chimed in with this and that, and mentioned that she, too, had heard a little about the vizier from one of the merchants in town. Learning that there was a whole resistance opposing him was a little surprising. After all, she'd gotten the impression that he was doing well for the city as a manager, even if he was disliked as a person.

The group eventually began moving as they talked, their feet taking them to the headquarters of the "Grimleal," the vizier's people. Primrose supposed they all wanted to learn more about the situation before anything else. She certainly did. All the better if it meant they could procure a smooth ride to the mountain. Putting aside the sandstorm, the first train was quick and relatively comfortable. She wouldn't mind a second time around.

Upon entering the temple the first thing Primrose noticed was the large draconian statue. It was pretty hard to miss in general, even among the colorful architecture and elaborately dressed people. Still, the sight of it perturbed her. Did they worship such a beast? Her eyes cut quickly over to Panther and her white robes that she recalled were purchased due to another temple's closing. They were a stark contrast to the dark garb the Grimleal wore. Aesthetically, the whole order did give off a very disconcerting image in general as well. Now Primrose understood exactly what Isha said when she mentioned the vizier's particular look. She could easily imagine it based on what those in his order chose to wear.

A dark temple, an idol of a dragon, big changes within the city, stricter laws and punishments, closure of other places of worship, and a dedicated resistance group that even the man's son supports... It was like everything she'd heard painted a very suspect picture of the vizier and his order. However, on the other hand there were some that supported the Grimleal. Claimed the vizier's changes were good for Al Mamoon. It was a complicated situation, even more so than the political squabbles among noble families she'd grown up hearing about. Primrose kept her expression carefully blank as the group navigated towards a small welcoming party. Naturally the three Grimleal that greeted them looked equally suspicious. Now now Primrose, try and temper your judgement for now...

They introduced themselves and Primrose only had time to respond in kind with a cordial, "Nice to meet you," before Ciella casually mentioned beginning an operation. The dancer blinked, glancing at the others in her own group. If one of them had promised their cooperation, it would have been nice to let the rest of them know. Their help was all but expected from the way the captains spoke.

"We've only just arrived in the city, more information would be appreciated," she said with a mild smile, following up Fox's curt words and Midna's questions. "The resistance's numbers, their goals, and your cause... anything you can tell us will help."

Even with their questions answered, Primrose felt she would be hesitant to assist in subjugating a resistance force unless the Grimleal presented a very compelling case. And even then the job board might be a safer bet. Either way, they needed a lot more information about the situation before making a call.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Lugubrious Makes the big edits

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Poppi and Big Band


Level 8 Poppi (65/80) and Level 2 Big Band (3/20)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Al Mamoon
Primrose's @Yankee, Fox's @Dawnrider, Sectonia's @Archmage MC, Midna's @DracoLunaris, Yoshitsune's @Rockin Strings, Red’s @TheDemonHound, Laharl’s @Dark Cloud
Word Count: 1341


The temple of the Grimleal, the acolytes within, the draconic monster above the altar, and just about everything to do with the three lieutenants combined to leave one big bad impression, but Poppi tried to keep an open mind. Everything indicated by both palace news and marketplace chatter indicated that things in the city were generally good, after all. It wasn’t as if they’d strolled into a city under the thumb of tyrannical oppression, after all, and it didn’t sound like Al Mamoon’s actual monarch really did her job, anyway. Poppi couldn’t help but see a pattern of indolence and mismanagement when thinking about both Queen Lowlah and Parnasses’ Fat Princess, but what it could mean she had no idea. So too was the artificial blade uncertain about the matter directly ahead of her: the conflict between the Grimleal and the Resistance. Common sense dictated that any dissident faction, however noble their purpose, could name themselves whatever they pleased, but given the unadulterated villainy exuded by this place, Poppi didn’t think she could be blamed for jumping to conclusions.

Big Band inclined his head at the Grimleal, offering them a little in the way of respect. “They call me Big Band. Howdy-do?” Despite that, similar thoughts to Poppi’s ran through his head. In the world of politics things were rarely clean-cut, and the reality of this situation could be any number of things that made terms like ‘evil’ and ‘good’ naive labels. Maybe ‘evil’ held sway and ‘good’ sought to strike back with guerilla tactics. Maybe this really was like politics and neither side was particularly ‘good’. Or maybe the vizier and his Grimleal were actually working for the common good, albeit with severe image issues, and violent insurrectionists were employing a virtuous facade like Ciella suggested. To her Band paid special attention, and not just because she rivaled his height even without her ears, or how made that strange outfit work, or how she leaned on hips disinclined toward deception. Out of the three lieutenants she was the both the most outspoken and outwardly warlike, having spelled out her disdain for the deceitful. The venom with which she despaired of them gave Band a bead on her as someone steered by extreme principles, whether they led her down the road of good or ill.

But however any of the lieutenants felt or whatever they expected of their new visitors, Band was not a mercenary, soldier, or crusader. In this world there was no New Meridian Police Department or Anti-Skullgirl Labs. He was just a detective, one who wanted to know the score, and to steer clear of ideological pitfalls. One truth prevails. Having heard the trio’s opening, he started working on some questions.

Midna got there first, offering a little wisdom. Band wondered if such a thing had truly not occurred to Ciella, or if she instead simply desired to move ahead with the conviction that she knew for certain what must be done. Maybe these Grimleal had been expecting allies who would not question what they were told, but from the brief time he’d already spent with this group, Band figured that wouldn’t be the case. Fox wasted little time making it clear that neither he nor the group he spoke for shared the Grimleal’s gung-ho attitude just yet. That did not elicit any happiness among the lieutenants, although when Primrose extended them a little courtesy the two men gave slight bows and Ciella tossed her hair. Taking into account her concerns along with the others, Ciella started from the top. “Correct,” she told Midna. “These perjurers are not your everyday fare. Like us they number comparatively few, but they possess speed, strength, and strong bonds. They huddle together in the shadows like vipers, unburdened by guilt or remorse as they lash out indiscriminately, and call it justice.”

Crossing his arms, Azwel sneered. “It takes no small amount of gall to stand in the way of progress, but they have gall to spare. Though they consort with a number of petty criminals, the core group numbers almost two dozen, as best we can gather, and they are no weaklings. Our acolytes can seldom stand up to their attacks, and the officials out on royal business throughout the city fare even worse. They seek to make examples of any who cooperate with the Vizier or the Grimleal. Their impudence is such that they even challenge our Ruin Sentinels without fear!”

“In terms of specific charges…” Kan-Ra murmured, reading a scroll he retrieved from his person. “The obstruction of justice. Aiding and abetting known criminals. Harassment, assault, and theft against both civilians and city officials. Slander and disturbance of the peace, destruction of private and city property, sabotage of public utilities, and so on, and so forth. All in the name of freeing the city from perceived corruption, a corruption so virulent that they’re able to justify a crime against whomever they please.”

“An utter farce,” Ciella spat. “Made possible only through intimidation and anonymity. It’s past time we laid their wild delusions bare for all to see.” She shifted her weight onto her other hip as she regarded Primrose. “Their goal is greed and aggrandizement. Tearing down what the Vizier has built up. Ours is the preservation of order, the greatness of the nation, and truth--Grima’s truth.”

Kan-Ra put away his scroll and clasped his hands behind his back as Azwel stepped away to speak to an acolyte. “Their abilities are numerous and difficult to quantify,” he explained further. “Some wield the arcane arts, others weapons both familiar and strange. Guns, mechanical augments, explosive magic, dark magic, and unnatural shouts are just a few.”

At that point only Fox’s question remained, causing Ciella to huff. “Their hideouts are hidden within the city,” she told him without answering his question. “To avoid alerting the deceivers we cannot divulge their location beforehand. When the time comes, we’ll guide you ourselves.”

Taking an opening, Big Band observed, “Hideouts, plural. You mentioned three groups. That means three locations. Am I right in guessin’ you wanna give ‘em all the one o’clock jump and take ‘em all at the same time?” Ideologic rhetoric aside, he made a mental note about ‘Grima’s truth’ but said nothing for now.

“That is correct, and the most vital part of the plan,” Kan-Ra confirmed. “We believe that this group revolves around an extremely charismatic leader. And they don’t know we have their scent yet, you see. They’ve been giving us the run-around so long that they’ve grown lax. But if we struck down just one hideout and failed to apprehend the leader, they will disappear for good and we will have squandered our opportunity. Thus, we hope to topple the Resistance in one fell swoop. We only needed the proverbial muscle to do it.” He pulled his wrinkled, sunken lips back to give an unnerving grin.

Poppi processed everything she’d learned from the exchange. “This conflict very complicated,” she said at length. “Maybe others not feel same way, but Poppi need time to think and get ready. There also other members of team not here right now, so need talk to them too. That okay?”

Returning from his conference with his underlings, Azwel held his arms up in dramatic fashion. “Why of course! Before taking the stage, each actor must be at their best, and we must not be without our full cast. Though our lovely Ciella is oh-so-eager, rest assured we can wait until the time is ripe.”

The masked woman looked annoyed. “You drive me to despair…” she muttered, ear twitching.

“I cannot blame you if you doubt us…” Kan-Ra’s tone made him sound more sorrowful than he looked by a long shot. “But the streets of Al Mamoon will surely show you the truth behind our words. You need only look and listen to see what we have accomplished, and what the so-called Resistance has wrought.” All together, the three lieutenants bowed farewell, some a little stiffer than others. “I hope to see you again soon.”

Individual questioning could follow, but Band figured he had everything he needed for now, and so turned to leave after Poppi. He had to stop himself sighing in relief; his head was just about ringing from all the echoes in this place.



Al Mamoon - Palatial Gallery

@Zoey Boey


The masked guards, nonplussed by the authority their visitor claimed, looked between one another. Had she only told them that the museum was being robbed they might have told her to take a hike in reply, but the additional details gave them pause. They’d only just admitted the very suspect that Jesse described, after all, and clearly her mention of the paranormal crime spree plaguing Al Mamoon did not fall on deaf ears. Above all, she told them something they could immediately put to the test. One guard turned away from the parautilitarian and pressed the button to open the mechanical gate, but after a moment of mechanical whining the machine barked out a sharp, strident note of failure. Confused, the guard tugged on the gate itself and received only a wrought-iron rattle in protest. It wasn’t just stuck to the ground at the point where the gate’s runner touched it, but somehow conjoined, as though they’d been made into one contiguous object.

That, the guards knew, was not normal. While his fellow looked his way in bafflement, the other guard nodded at Jesse. Despite her appearance she’d made it apparent she was someone to be relied on in this matter. “You speak true,” he told her in an odd, trilling voice. “This man must still be inside the forward gallery. We can fly you into the garden courtyard to intercept him.” He and the other Koppa Tengu flapped their wings to take to the air, outstretching their hands. “Let us hurry.”

What followed was a quick, if not comfortable, flight around the more realistic, normal portion of the museum toward the bizarre, Escher-esque amalgamate of patterned golden blocks that formed its bulk. Between the two clashing structures lay an outdoor rock garden, complete with neatly-trimmed hedges and small trees. On one end lay an extravagant door styled like the plume of a peacock in crimson and gold on blue, while in the other direction lay a series of screens across the path. The Tengu guards set Jesse down in the center facing back toward the forward gallery, and when she approached the screens they slid open before her with the theatrical sound of Japanese Kabuki clappers. When she tried the door they led her toward, she found it unsealed.

Inside, the ornate, gold-adorned halls of the gallery led her quickly back toward the front. Compared with the no-nonsense brutalistic architecture she’d come to know and love, the tasteless lavishness of this decor was off putting if not outright garish, but nothing more so than the spiral statue she encountered a ways in. Even from a long way off she could tell that something unusual was at work, for the Infinite Spring was shrinking before her eyes. On the other side opposite her, and perfectly positioned to see her as soon as he drew close, the old man stood with his tool gun, constantly shooting, adjusting, and then shooting his weird gun at the sculpture. Jesse could also see two figures in black hunkered down behind the plinth, one in a black longcoat and the other in a padded jacket, both with masks, as well as the bipedal cat she saw earlier. Sporting highly suspect outfits, the two young men appeared to be hiding, but from what if not the scientist himself? If they were on his side and meant to ambush intruders they could scarcely have a worse spot. It was a strange situation, difficult to parse, and Jesse didn’t get long.

After a moment the Phantom Thieves burst from their hiding spot all at once. Gouts of blue flame blossomed around them from nothing, and when the fire swept away it revealed three spectral beings: a shriveled horror floating behind the black-haired thief, a skeletal pirate riding a miniature ship like a surfboard alongside the blond, and a dapper duelist with a barrel-shaped chest above the cat. The scientist turned on them immediately, noting the number of assailants, and made a snap decision. He leveled his gun at them, causing the Thieves to scatter in different directions, but pivoted to rapid-fire the ground instead. From every impact point an activated thruster appeared, and in the span of a second a dozen of the things were hurtling around like ruptured gas canisters. Balloons joined the chaos, sprouting all over the place to bob around wildly on their tethers or float around in interconnected bundles, creating visual pandemonium. “What?!” Skull yelled as he batted a thruster out of the air with his pipe. “Where’d the bastard go?”

“He’s using this stuff as cover!” Joker called. “Spread out, don’t let him make a break for it!”

But the scientist had disappeared in the madness, spawning more balloons and thrusters faster than the Thieves could destroy them. Even the lightened Infinite Spring itself floated into the air toward the glass dome, and only someone with a distant view could notice the scientist hidden among its gold figures, poised to make his escape.

Ms Fortune

Level 4 Nadia (22/40)
Location: Bottomless Sea
Blazermate's @Archmage MC, Bowser's @DracoLunaris, Ace Cadet's @Yankee, Hat Kid's @Dawnrider, Sakura's @Zoey Boey, Frog's @Dark Cloud, Mirage’s @Potemking, Mr. L’s @ModeGone
Word Count: 1412


Bella’s fall came to a sudden end as, against her unvoiced advice, Sakura leaped at the chance to save her once again. The Water Princess plopped cleanly into the street fighter’s arms, nearly taking Sakura under with her, and despite her savior’s remarkable strength Bella’s weight threatened to buckle her arms until the leviathan tail managed to coil beneath her as added support against the ocean’s surface. Luckily this happened through instinct, since her brain had for the moment turned to scrambled eggs. Her face had turned bright red once she realized that Sakura had her in a bridal carry, her tail wriggling beneath her. “Um! Merci encore une fois!” She cleared her throat as she was set down, standing once again on her own two feet, and focused on the battle at hand.

Of course, she and Sakura couldn’t just gawk into the distance while Bowser made his beleaguered ascent and Tentalus rose to give Scylla’s stony seastack a sound beating. No matter how many monstrous mofish and ravenous goblin sharks got turned to mincemeat, more were happy to introduce themselves to the pair, Rika, and just about everyone else who stuck around sea level. Bella deployed a handful of bombers for extra cover as her tail lashed around, crunching and gnashing any sealife it could get its chompers on into seafood. When Sakura pledged to protect her, Bella didn’t doubt it, but inside she burned with self-loathing. She’d been the damsel in distress enough already; she needed to do some saving of her own. For now though, however, she zeroed in on the tiny monstrosity way up high, guided by flares of green flame, and she brought her tail to bear. A few beats after Cadet’s arrow sunk in, injecting Scylla’s tentacle with a potent poison, an entire shelf of rain-smoothened rock only a few feet to the horror’s left exploded with shocking force. Its shards bloodied Scylla’s face, intensifying the rage that Link’s plane drone stoked inside her. Down below, Bella clicked her tongue, and adjusted her aim. She could blast eels until the sea cows came home, so to kill this snake she aimed for the head.

All across the stormy swells, the heroes contended with Scylla’s tentacles. One, having spotted a brightly-clothed target temptingly close to the edge of the boat, zoomed in for a quick meal and instead chowed down on nothing more substantial than warped light. Staving off a heart attack Mirage retaliated for the near-death experience with a barrage of revolver fire, shooting off rapid-fire nos as fast as he could pull the trigger. It swung his way even as he filled it with lead, but when Link’s fork suddenly sank into its head it shifted gears to dive back in the water, hastened in its departure by the last few rounds in Mirage’s chamber and a furious click-click-click-clicking. Though far from defeated the eel had been made to think twice about what it could and couldn’t bull through, and would wait for another chance for a fatal blow.

Meanwhile, Mr. L frantically looked for a worthwhile expenditure of his new grenade. A vicious struggle surrounded the ship, but not necessarily with Shippy’s crew. More chum in the water meant more guests at the party, most even more eager to sample each other than those atop their domain, and the sea churned with violence. In the midst of L’s search one particularly unscrupulous newcomer found him instead. As he watched a much larger, skeletal fish rose from the rough waters and floated above them, attracting the attention of L, Link, Mirage, and Peach all at once. The Lurchthorn sailed right for the ship, its thorny segments rotating as Peach shot at it, and without so much as blinking buzzed the deck. Its spikes threw up sparks as they raked the metal and scattered wood chips otherwise, skewering anyone who failed to get out of the way. As tough as it taking attacks without flinching made it seem, its bony armor broke when subjected to enough damage, though even that didn’t dissuade it from coming around for a second pass.

Not too far away, Geralt pulled out a much more definitive victory against his own assailant. A quick snatch using his new platform’s handy cables rendered the tentacle a sitting duck for the near point-blank payload of his main gun, and the supersized swordsman showed his would-be eater no mercy. In one brutal blast he annihilated the eel, causing the little abomination atop her mountain to give a shrill scream. Instantly the headless tentacle retracted, zipping back across the water at high speed.

Up ahead, Nadia and Cadet had carved a bloody streak across the surface of the ocean, slicing away at whatever tentacles drew close. Nadia was surprised to hear her friend call dibs on Tentalus if he went rogue, and though she guessed it would be more of a when than an if, she gladly consented. “All yours, Ace.” As the two reached the base of the seastack he offered her a boost, but the sound of what she assumed to be a thunderclap drew Nadia’s attention backward. When she saw the limb cutting through the ocean she had a different plan. “Better idea. Let’s take a stab at this!” With an irrepressible smile she tightened both hands’ grip on her tail-sword, then sped over the water toward the tentacle. She leaped, drove the hardened edge between the eel’s scales, and abruptly shot upward on her makeshift express elevator straight to the top. “Nyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” she yowled as she hurtled by Bowser, fast enough to cause a doppler effect. As she drew close to Scylla she pulled herself together and yanked free, then sailed upward using the leftover momentum. While her wounded limb disappeared beneath her dress, the horror looked upward in alarm as Nadia rose above her and reached the apex of her flight.

“Hey, you!” the feral yelled. She hadn’t really planned anything, and the heavier Ace was somewhere below her, but this seemed like as good a chance as any to make it count. Blood streamed from her ankles as she angled herself downward, her rigging arms turned backward. “CUT! IT! OUT!” Nadia rocketed downward in a fur-ious dive, powered by both blood rockets and cannon recoil, her tailblade extended. Scylla withdrew the two tentacles harrying Bowser and pulled them ahead of her as an emergency shield. An instant later Nadia’s blade plunged in, piercing straight through one tentacle and tickling the other, but she was just getting started. She drove her sword arm into a bloody spiral, drilling through the first limb’s meat and into the second. “Nyahaha! How’s this for boring?!” Scylla shrieked, more at the attack than the pun, as she realized the real danger amidst the pain: the Cadet bearing down on her. She needed to get Nadia off now. Before her blade could penetrate Scylla threw her tentacles wide, flinging a yowling Nadia out into the open air. Her less damaged tentacle reeled back, then lunged forward at the helpless feral.

For a split second everything seemed to stand still. Nadia’s wide-open eyes stared at the onrushing maw, able to see every drop of rain slide by in flight. Was this how people felt in their last moments? Could she survive getting eviscerated in a vice between those jaws? All her elation at scoring a critical hit had turned to despair in a second, and she wanted to squeeze shut her eyes, but she could not. Then the sky filled with light as Bella’s railgun shot, expertly led and timed, sheared through the tentacle. Time sped back up and Nadia dove through the open mouth, through the throat, and out the other side. She released a blast of blood to stop herself from falling for a moment and try to figure out where she was. Scylla looked equal parts dumbfound and enraged, and a little sickly too, with that third eel having been destroyed and a fourth near inoperable. Bowser would crest the stack any moment, while Tentalus was about to pound it again. However that turned out, and whatever fate Scylla might have in store, Nadia’s part was over. She’d been thrown too far away to make her way back; she needed time she didn’t have to build up blood pressure for more airdashes. Still grinning, she gave Bowser and Cadet a salute, then flipped backward as she fell back toward the waters far below.



Albedo’s gaze rested on Linkle as she studied his map and the options inscribed therein. Her new beret, retrieved from one of the gifts in the center of town, rested snugly atop her head. It pushed her rabbit ears down to either side, which both reminded him of a lop eared rabbit and of Sucrose, whose feline ears perpetually hung down by the side of her head. Such a position for a ral cat typically meant that the animal was cowed or subdued, and though his assistant did seem unfailingly timid and bashful, he’d never seen her ears up either. Either way, it was a look he figured most people would call ‘cute’.

He pulled himself from his thoughts to consider the landmark Linkle mentioned. “A colorful beacon out at sea. Yes, I’ve seen it too. Sketched it from a distance, as well. However, I’ve never gone out over the ocean to get closer. It seemed unnecessarily risky on my own, and nobody else showed an interest. I’m afraid I can’t offer any other details. Although it is impressive, isn’t it?”

A few moments later and his new friend arrived at a solid conclusion. “A good idea. This will be my first time inside the temple as well, since I’ve had no reason to enter prior.” He put his hand on his chin thoughtfully. “It sounds like you’re used to more involved gods than those in my world. The god worshipped in Mondstadt, Barbatos, has little to no bearing on human affairs.”

When the subject of the Stranger’s name came up, he instinctively glanced at his sketchbook, but he knew the answer did not lie within. “Yes, we do not know his name. It would be easy to conclude based on his manner that he simply thinks that it’s unimportant. He doesn’t come around to socialize, after all. But you may have a point.” Brows every so slightly narrowed, he tapped on the table with his pointer and middle fingers a couple times as he pondered possibilities. “It may be intentional. Perhaps in his world he’s a known quantity, and knowing his name would be enough for someone to identify this gimmick of his. We’ll have to ask for that along with this blessing of yours at the temple.”

Going there, however, would have to wait. Grillby appeared with an egg dish and a fruit juice apiece for the pair and laid them down. With a fried egg so fresh from its pan that it still sent up plumes of steam, each Egg in the Basket looked downright scrumptious. Even Albedo, with a small appetite seldom interested in the excess offered by most meats, could not possibly turn up his nose. He thanked the mild-mannered blaze and took a deep drink of the sweet, purple Wolfhook Juice, then nibbled the main course. “Savory,” he murmured.

Bit by bit, he worked his way through his Egg in the Basket, but the alchemist was in no rush. About a third of the way through he took a break, and found himself drawn to Linkle once again. “I like the hat,” he told her, leaning into his thoughts from earlier for the sake of the conversation. “With your ears like that, you remind me of Sucrose, although just in terms of appearance. My assistant is rather on the trepidatious side, without very much of your forthright, energetic spirit. Sometimes she and I would go hours while working without saying a word, but here I found myself talking more than ever before. Curious...” He scratched his head with the hand he hadn’t been using to eat. “It may take me a while longer to finish this, so I should focus down.” Albedo paused for a moment. “Erm...if you don’t mind. Our worlds seem similar, but with a few key differences, and I’m sure we’ve both offhandedly mentioned things that only have meaning within our separate contexts. So I would be interested in hearing more about your home.”

Edge of the Blue

@Zavazggg


With every one of Sephiroth’s pursuers fully on guard, the procession got underway. The other guests to the Atlantis Temple watched them go with curiosity or relief, glad that someone charged with murder was no longer lurking in their midst. As she was escorted off the premises, the swordswoman caught a few glimpses of people she recognized. The redhead who seemed so interested in her before now looked furious, though whether at her or himself she couldn’t quite say. Syndra, meanwhile, flaunted a gloating expression that screamed you’re getting everything you deserve.

Officer Nanu rejoined the escort on the way, though he didn’t appear to be carrying anything that he might have retrieved from the locker room. He joined both his Pokemon and Birdie in a position behind Sephiroth, while Shantae and Karin remained in front. The whole group briefly stopped at the front desk so that Karin could negotiate for a couple of the fishman guards to accompany and further bolster the escort back to Limsa, since it was a long way through the wild. An arrangement of payment details was arrived at quickly, and the group continued.

They stepped out of the pleasantly conditioned structure into the heat and light of the midday sun, at which point a fifth and final member of the posse appeared. As big as Birdie if not bigger, but sporting a toga and a great jug of wine rather than a punk getup and muscle, Bacchus had evidently been stationed outside as a lookout to strike if Sephiroth had noticed and escaped her pursuers before they found her. Given that Bacchus looked like a drunken, unfit lout, that said something about his abilities. Now at full strength, the group of seven remained wary but confident as they turned south and headed along the beach. It wasn’t difficult to imagine that this shoreline led all the way down to Limsa Lominscuttle Town itself, like a sandy highway between disparate but similarly picturesque worlds of green and blue. Judging by the tracks in the sand, the posse had come this way, as well. Soon enough the procession had retraced their steps to Creature Beach, where the half-buried leviathan lazily watched them go by. If Sephiroth planned to break out en route, she would need to do it with what little opportunity that coastal road provided her, and deprived of her weaponry.
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ZAVAZggg Sok Il-Seong

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Level: 3 (23/30)
Word Count: 468
Location: Edge of the Blue - Creature Beach
EXP: +1




Sephiroth weighed her chances carefully as she and her captors strode out into the open air. She was currently surrounded, with only her Masamune that they didn't know she still had on account of her ability to summon and dispel it at will, and her magic. Which, while powerful, would undoubtedly take far too long to actually cast. Especially with the distance being measured in feet between them all, rather than yards, the latter of which she desperately needed for in order to mount any sort of effective offense. Still, she knew her time was short. Knew she didn't have the luxury, time, or - as much as she hated to admit it - power to engage these creatures on her own terms. Thus Sephiroth realized that she would have to make a rather chancy break for it, try to run for the leviathan perhaps and provoke it enough so that it would attack her captors and distract them long enough for her to get away. But this was, as she already knew, an extremely risky move. She remembered that her window of opportunity would not last long however, in actuality it was swiftly coming to a close, and the more time she wasted deliberating the matter was less time spent actually doing something to escape.

Sephiroth needed to decide, and she needed to decide now.

Letting out an exasperated sigh and readying herself for what was about to come, Sephiroth finally made her move. Dropping into a temporary crouch she leapt upwards, deciding to take a page from Cia's book just this once, despite how much the trollop had annoyed her while she was still alive. The dark sorceresses tactics had been devastatingly effective against him and the others in the restaurant on that day after all, and she didn't doubt their potential for usefulness here. Besides, her goal was not to kill them per se - although she probably would eventually - rather it was to give herself the opportunity to retreat to the leviathan in the first place. As she reached her apex in the midday sky, Sephiroth summoned up orbs of darkness in either hand, and began hurling them down at her captors below. She did this long enough to create just the tinniest bit of smokescreen before swiftly ceasing as she begin to feel herself fall. Assuming the rest of her plan went off without a hitch, she would have used just enough momentum to land well out of reach of her escort party, whereupon she would charge the leviathan head on with her Masamune in hand. From here she'd provoke it into attacking before leaping over and past it at the last moment, hoping it would go after her pursuers in its rage and not her, therefore buying her more than enough time to get away.
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Potemking I'M A FOOL / I KNOW NOTHING

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LOCATION: Edge Of The Blue - Bottomless Sea
WORD COUNT: 519(+1 EXP)
MENTIONS: Nobody in particular.





Mirage began backpedaling as the beast swerved forward even as he shot it, the tenacity of the maw-possessing tentacle startling the man until Link came along with his javelin toss; The shattering impact of the weapon seeming to be enough to drive the beast away, but the last of his six shots went into the creature anyways to assure it pissed off back into the depths. "That'll teach 'em to think we're food!" He cheered, a light chuckle escaping him as he thought aloud, "Heh, bamfoodzled. I could start my own brand..." As he reloaded his weapon. Cautiously backing up, he decided to spout out some obvious advice. "If that thing was any hint, we oughta stay away from the railings so we don't get snacked on."

Accidentally, Mirage bumped into the Engineer's dispenser. Turning to look at the device, he was surprised when it popped out a small ammo box, specifically for the weapon he was using. "I've gotta get me one of these." He remarked, taking the ammo to restock on what he'd lost in the battle thus far. He didn't have much time to be in awe of this machinery as something larger came up on the ship for an assault: Mirage moving from his position to space himself from the others as to not be grouped up in one place, though it seemed this creature was good at splitting them up anyways, as it's attack on the ship caused Mirage to go into an action-slide across the deck to avoid it's assault, his thoughts mainly on the fact that Shippy was being assaulted, and that they'd been left to make sure that didn't happen.

Spinning himself around to face his opposition, Mirage became a hypocrite and found his back against the railing after avoiding the attack. Momentary observation meant he noticed each section of the bone-fish seemed to have some sort of weird red and blue orb in it's center-- And he wasn't a genius by any standards, but that looked like as good of a weak point as they'd get as Peach blasted at it to damage it's bony armor. He took aim from his sitting position, the spinning sections making his aim a bit difficult but he opened fire anyways, attempting to hit those smaller sections to see if it'd deal some damage.

Mirage's shots may have came with momentary hesitation, his heart almost feeling like it stopped for a split second as he saw a figure in the distance, plummeting towards the seemingly bottomless body of water. His mind had shot to the idea of there only being two opposing forces out there, and that had to be one of their people, right? He couldn't make out who it was in all the chaos, but knowing them or not... It kind of made him wish he knew more about the reason these folks were willing to fight so hard and dangerously. Yet these thoughts drifted as his clouded mind realized the fight itself was important, and the focus right now. He didn't need to think about any further goal, just focus on the fight.

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Zoey Boey ~I'm Stone Free, do what I please~

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Level 1: 5/10
Word Count: 645
Location: Al Mamoon, outside the museum --> Museum
Points Gained: 1
New EXP Balance--- Level 1: 6/10


For a moment Jesse was worried she was about to be told to go away. But the guards were open-minded enough to test some of the claims that she made. Jesse was glad, in a way, that the paracriminal had gotten the door stuck like she said. It was only a theory based on the doors left behind at previous crime scenes. It was a very powerful ability for a thief- the ability to silently weld any door shut? Even this very basic use was annoying.

Turns out, they could fly. That would be great, but Jesse couldn't help be feel a little annoyed.

(Damn it. I can fly! I know I can. The Board told me I would start getting my powers back, but its been months. The only evidence I have to go on that I'll get them at all is that other people seem to have all their powers. Maybe it's just luck. Anyway- here we go.) Jesse turned around and let herself get picked up. It was awkward, there being tension in her shoulders, her legs dangling behind her. There was no comparison to the graceful weightlessness of her own Levitation.

What was revealed to her was...aesthetically displeasing. This half of the museum was gaudy and over-designed. It was just asking to be robbed. Some of it was pretty cool, but there was just so much. It was drowning itself in color and presentation. Design like this wasn't really something she had cared much for until she owned a big building. Something like that changes someones perspective a bit.

She made her way inside, through some Japanese doors and into the lobby. What was inside was pandemonium. Jesse jogged forward, eyes wide.

(This is something else.) Paracriminals had a way of spicing up everyday, mundane art heists. That was for sure. She didn't really have a good way of approaching. Instinctually, the Service Weapon pushed itself into her hand, its weight cold, stern, reaffirming. her trigger finger wasn't itchy yet, though. It vanished after a moment of consideration, its presence barely known for now. Though her eye was drawn to that painter woman from earlier who seemed to have been a little injured, mute, laying low to the ground. That deducted some mercy points from the scientists punch card.

Now, those finely dressed young adults from earlier proved to be good samaritans. Or, perhaps just vigilantes. One thing they made very clear was the fact that they were parautilitarians as well. They possessed the ability to command some kind of floating, ghostly apparition. Impressive, to say the least, but they were no doubt from another world. As much as Jesse wanted too, she had no time to muse on powers.

The scientist created a mad display. Thrusts and balloons were sent everywhere. She lost track of him a few times. He was placing some balloons on the Infinite Spring itself, and it began to float up. She knew she wanted it, so she found her eyes attracted to it. Perhaps she could pull it towards her with Launch- no. Right. Not that. But, however, she did see something useful. The paracriminal was there, hidden within the modern art. The vigilantes couldn't see it from there angle.

"There! On the Infinite Spring!" Jesse called out, pointing to it. For a moment she considered firing her gun. But she doubted her bullets would be better at destroying balloons than the explosive spirits those parautilitarians possessed. Moreover, her bullet would pass right through the balloons and potentially shatter the glass dome, allowing the paracriminal an easy escape.

"He's going for the roof!" She turned around to face the two guards. "Wanna carry me up there? We could cut off his escape." She suggested. Those utilitarians seemed to know how to protect themselves. They just needed to stay out of her way.
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Gentlemanvaultboy

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Hyrule Warriors


Word Count:2191

Level 5 - (43/50) + 3


Level 9 - (30/90) + 3






Link


Location: The Bottomless Sea




Link looked on warily as the tentacle sank back under the waves, driven back but not defeated. Mirage gave voice to his own concerns, advising everyone to get to the middle of the deck so as to avoid getting grabbed when, not if, that thing decided to make another move. It was a good idea, but as Link heard a satisfying THUNK from the gun in front of him he had another solution in mind. "I'll stay here. If I'm the only one at the side it'll probably come for me. If we know where its coming from...," He pulled back on the controls, the gun barrels rising slightly into the air. "We can give it everything we've got when it pops up."

Staving off the predatory fish wasn't as much of a priority anymore. Just looking at the clouds of blood and ash in the churning sea it was clear that nature was taking its course. Why try to chew through metal or throw yourself at the meat you smelled on top of it when your neighbor was just as red and juicy as anything you would find? At this point it seemed like shooting the fish was just going to attract fish all the faster. The feeding frenzy all around them was doing a good enough job attracting more danger as it was.

He was proven right again as a massive bone behemoth emerged from the waves, flying through the sky like a dragon as its segments spun. He ducked down in his seat as it whirled its way across the deck, throwing up wood and sparks as it went before coming around for another run. Mirage had dodged out of the middle of the deck and was already basting away again, and Link only hesitated long enough to take a quick picture before pulling out his bow. Both he and Mirage had immediately identified what they though of as obvious weak points. If something had a big eye you aimed for it, that was a tried and tested tactic that had felled many a beast in the wilds. He drew back and let fly at the eye of the first segment behind the head, hoping that this would stun the creature and make it flop onto the deck for a good walloping.





Linkle


Merge Rate: 30%


Location: The Frozen Highlands - Snowdin ~ Grillby's






The twos battle plans for the day were, it turned out, set just in time for them to eat. Linkle thanked Mr. Grillby again as she licked her lips over the scrumptious, freshly cooked egg. She took a deep whiff of the steam coming off of it. "Ohhhhh, that's a good egg." She judged. Linkle was hard to beat when it came to judging the quality of an egg dish. Eggs made up the majority of her diet. She reached down and picked up the entire slice of bread, blowing on it to cool it down a little before taking a big old bite out of the thing. She had been right. "Very, very good egg." She mumbled, mouth full. Whatever laid this was well taken care of.

She finished much faster than he did, and went right back to giving the dog the attention it craved while she enjoyed the warmth spreading through her and gave Albedo the time he needed. While he ate, though, he complimented her hat. She tipped it to him. "Thanks. It's from under the tree. It was kinda like destiny suggested it." When he added that it reminded him of his missing assistant that only added more fuel to that magical thinking. Synchronicities like that didn't just happen for no reason in Linkle's world. Just appearance wise, though? "She has rabbit ears too?" Linkle said, surprised. "I'm not surprised she enjoys the quiet when she can, loud noises are torture with these things."

"I'll bet she's smart too, isn't she?" Linkle said with a small smile. You had to be smart if you got this alchemy stuff enough to be an assistant. "It's probably that you don't have to explain everything to her. It sounds cozy."

Her interest in this mysterious girl was only rivaled by Albedo's interest in her own world. He set himself to finishing his meal, which gave Linkle the perfect opportunity to fill him in. "I'll admit, most of the things I know about Hyrule I learned from the old legends my Grandmother would tell me. My village is pretty small and I'd never been that far from it before my adventure started, so I guess I'll start from the oldest legend."

Linkle leaned back in her chair. When she spoke next, she did so with the sense of pride and grandiosity of someone much older than herself. She had heard these stories so many times, over and over again by the light of the fire. She knew them by heart, and she knew the way the old woman told them by heart as well. "Once upon a time, so long ago that time hadn't even got its boots on yet, there was no world. Just an endless, formless chaos that stretched as far as the eye could see. No one knows how long it churned and bubbled away like this, but that all came to an end when the the Three Golden Goddesses suddenly appeared in a burst of light. Din, Nayru, and Farore. The three sisters looked upon the mess that was the world, looked to one another, and decided that they couldn't be having with this."

"Din dove toward the chaos, and with a single mighty blow...!" Linkle clapped her hands together. "Just like that, the Chaos was given form. Earth and water. Air and Fire. Light and darkness. Every gem and ore. All of it mixed up, but solid. Then, with her great power, she pulled up the mountains, dug the oceans and the channels for the rivers, shaped the plains and hills, and shoved all the precious stones under the earth to be found."

"Next came Nayru. With her divine wisdom she brought order to the land Din had created. She created the horizon, to separate the land and the sky. She took most of the fire and threw it into the sky to make the sun and the stars to provide light to the world. She gathered luminous stone and made the moon so that the heavens would show the passage of time by its wax and wane, then she kicked time in the pants and set it running forever. Every natural law that exists, from weather to gravity, Nayru put in place."

"The last, Farore, came down and in her unconquerable courage she decided to create something that none of the goddesses could ever control. She breathed across the land, and everywhere her breath touched life came into being. All the plants, the beasts, and the people of the land are Farore's children. Then she breathed into the empty air and from her breath came other beings. Fairies, spirits, and other gods to watch over the land that she and her sisters had wrought."

"Their labors complete, the three of them departed for the Heavens but not before they left behind a gift. Three golden triangles, fragments of their infinite power. An relic that can grant anyone's deepest desire. The Triforce. Here, look." Breaking character, Linkle removed her Compass and flipped it around to show him. The three golden triangles, embraced by a bird. "That's the symbol of the royal family." She told him. "Originally the Triforce was entrusted to the protection of the Goddess Hylia, because only mortals can use it. The legends get fuzzy around here because this all happened a long time ago, but from what Grandma was able to understand dark monsters emerged from the earth that coveted the light of the Triforce and wanted it for themselves. The goddess Hylia fought against their king and managed to defeat him with the aide of a hero of the people, but was gravely wounded. To save her life, and so she would be able to use the triforce to fight against the darkness should it ever return, she gave up her divinity and was reborn as a mortal girl named Zelda but she kept some of her power. This sacred power is passed down through the Hyrule Royal Family from mother to daughter, and the Goddesses beloved hero incarnates again and again and again and again whenever some calamity comes to trouble Hyrule. Collectively, those storied are called the Legend of Zelda. So I guess our gods do have a more hands on approach than Mr. Barbatos."

She slipped her compass back over her neck, and flicked her regular ear for good measure. "Hyrule is mostly made up of Hylians, like me. My grandma said we have these big old ears to make it easier to hear the voices the gods, but no one I know has ever heard anything. A lot of the people in my village are humans too. There's not really that much of a difference, they just have round ears like you do. Hyrule is big, but the way grandma tells it there are mostly small villages like ours. We mostly farm where I'm from, vegetables and livestock. I raise Cucco's for their eggs. They're tough little white birds. I have tons of them." She said, looking particularly proud. "We send most of the stuff we raise to Castle Town via wagon as taxes and to sell at the market, and if you put what you want on a list the wagon will come back with, say, bombs, fancy dresses, honey, just stuff we don't make or grow ourselves. The wagons get an escort of knights to and from the castle in case they get attacked by monsters, and all the kids in the village gather around them when the wagons roll in. Every little boy in Hyrule wants to be a knight if he doesn't want to be the Hero."

The nostalgic smile on her face faded as she pivoted natural from the knights to what the knights were supposed to fight. "Monsters are a constant problem. Sometimes its better, sometimes it's much, much worse. No matter what they're always there. Especially at night. At night wolfoes come out. Mostly they kill livestock. Not mine, nothing messes with cuccos. They're really aggressive against predators, and if one lets out a cry for help every cucco for miles around shows up for the fight. Other people that just had goats or chickens? They could have their entire life wiped out. I spent a lot of nights sneaking out into the fields to hunt wolfoes, but they're not even the biggest problem. Long dead monsters will pull themselves right out of the ground at night, a Deku Baba is an evil plant that can grow like a weed in your garden, old Mikk from the general store died hating his daughters husband so much he came back as a Poe and haunted the village until they moved away."

"Not everything that isn't human is a monster though." She said, shaking off the malaise of the previous topic. "Goron's are these huge buff guys who I think are made of rock. Grandma told me that they can curl into a ball and roll around, and also they eat rocks. They live in this massive volcano called Death Mountain that's always spewing smoke and boulders out of the top. I met a few merchant Goron's after I left home. I don't think they know what girls are because they kept on calling me brother. The Zora are like the complete opposite. They're fish people, but not ugly fish people. They're slim and beautiful and they live in the crystal clear waters of Zora's Domain, but they can climb up onto land if they want. Grandma says they like to keep to themselves. I've met one and she had a really haughty attitude, but I think that's because she might have been an actual princess. None of them are subjects of Hyrule, they have their own leaders, but we've been friendly with both groups for centuries. I heard the Gorons even help out our army sometimes."

Linkle looked up, wrecking her brain for any other interesting topic. Her eyes lit up. "We have dungeons too. My grandma used to explore them. She was kind of like an archeologist before she had to come take care of me. They're usually ruins or ancient temples meant to protect something, full of monsters and puzzles and traps. They play a huge role in the legends, the hero usually has to go through a bunch of them. They're so old nobody even remembers what they used to be most of the time. My Grandma got my compass for me out of one, but that was as far as she got before she was forced to retreat. If you're not the Hero you're really not supposed to be poking around in one of those."
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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The Koopa Troop

wordcount: 1,176 (+2)
Bowser: Level 9 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (82/90)
Bowser Jr: Level 7 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (73/70)
Kamek: Level 7 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////(70/70)
Location: Edge of the Blue – Bottomless Ocean
Feat: Rika


The Atomos flashed gold for a final time and then came out of stassis with jr gripping the controls and fearing for the worst. But instead of lurching or falling like he had feared however, the ship continued on just as it had before it had been frozen in time. Or, not quite as before. At the back, before the Hat Kid’s very eyes, her seemingly ineffectual hammer strikes all took effect at once, the smoking engine being revitalized in an instant of miraculous engineering, halting their slow sinking.

”Nice work back there!” the boy called back to her as he gently guided the ship back up into the air and way from the roiling sea below, staving off the threat of becoming fish food for a moment longer. Or it should have. Apparently some of the violent sea-life wasn't content with staying in the water where it belonged, as a long bony spine of a creature floated up out of it and rapidly scythed across the deck of little Shippy.

Not that the gang was going to take that laying down, as a hail of gun and arrow fire rang out as those onboard peppered its body with lead and steel.

Their accurate eye sniping was joined by an indiscriminate hail of gun and cannon fire from Rika, who had skated back to the ship once Bella had landed safely in Sakura’s heroic arms in search of ammo. The loud chorus of cannon shots and machine gun fire rang out and then was suddenly replaced by a click click click as the rifle expended the last of its ammo while the cannons simply fell silent

“Shoot” the girl cursed and then clambered onto the ship while the spinny thing arched around for another pass.

“Hi there, room for one more?” she asked the boat riders as she rolled over the railing and made a run for the dispenser. There the problem of having 4 separate sets of guns presented itself when the dispenser spit out several racks of small shells for her rigging, one of heavier shells for her abyssal gauntlet and a drum mag of rifle rounds for the machinegun. Extra problematically, thanks to how her gauntlets here strapped to her arms, she didn't exactly have her hands free to properly load them (though the traps meant that she could at least let go of them to try and use her hands at awkward angles unlike someone going guns akimbo, but they were still super in the way), which meant that when the when the spine fish came around for another pass she was standing fiddling with the latch to extract the spent rifle cartridge while holding the new one in her mouth like a piece of toast.

“Mmmf m. immm mmmf m me” she mouthed off through the box of ammo before, having failed to reload anything in the short time frame, spitting the magazine rifle ammo back onto the pile of shell racks and charged towards it on the ship’s deck while yelling “GET LOST FISH!” as a battle-cry. As she and it approached one another she leaped to the side and tried to deliver a solid right hook to the side of it’s head to knock it off course with her still abysal-y gauntlet and her right side hull blade, before leaping out the way of the other’s firing lines.

In the distance Bowser was blind to all of this as he ascended the (rapidly disintegrating thanks to their new giant single eye’d friend’s repeated hammering) sea stack. Cat claws found solid purchase on wind beaten rock as the dragon-turtle-cat-squid-ship hauled himself ever onwards towards the little monstergirl who was causing the team no end of trouble thanks to his ill conceived rescue attempt. On his back, his cannon segments either hammered the two harassing tentacles with acid, water or sonic or acted as parrying shields, lashing out to try and punch, bite or tentacle whip the giant eels when they got close.

Unfortunately for him, speed was not something most of the koopa’s component parts were known for. Certainly not compare to the mostly cat Nadia, who took the king completely by surprise when she zoomed past him faster than a speeding train with a ‘NYAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaah’ and then completely blasted past the summit, before dramatically stopping at the pinnacle of her launch and then descending meteorically upon the monster girl with her blades primed like a guillotine.

”WAIT NO!” Bowser cried out, not wanting to see her befall the same fate as Marie, but there was nothing stopping their clash now.

The monster girl pulled her tendrils away, the razor shoals boon making the very air scrape against them like a jagged coral reef, freeing Browser from being harassed by them, and used them to defend herself. Nadia’s blade sliced one in half as she fell, causing the monstergirl to shriek as the game suddenly became an actual real danger to her. Before the final blow could be struck she flicked the half bisected tentacle aside, dragging Nadia’s blade and the women herself along with it and tossing them into the open air, before lunging at her with her remaining tentacle.

Bowser's fear flipped from girl to woman in an instant, but he was still climbing, too far to have intervened in any of this. Bella had no such restriction, and after having so recently been rescued herself, the princess passed on the favor by hitting a perfect bullseye of a shot on the lunging tendril with her railgun, vaporizing it in the blink of an eye. There was still the matter of the fall, but Bowser stopped himself from leaping out to try and help her when she casually and cockily gave him and the Ace Cadet a salute as she dropped past them

That left only him and said Ace to seal the deal, and there was no way the King was letting the hunter beat him to the top. Pushing through his fatigue, the king scrambled and then threw himself to the top of the stack and landed in front of the diminutive monster girl.

”Playtime is over little lady, and you are going on a time out” he told her sternly as he pressed one hand to his chest and pulled out a friend heart, while behind him his turrets all geared up side by side and pointed over one shoulder. Then he charged, the set of eight tentacruel beak tipped turrets and their dozens of tentacles being used to try and grapple/hold off the last wounded tentacle if/when it made to attack him. The king himself made an attempt to grab Scylla like he had a certain princess dozens of times over the years so that she would be forced to hold still while he gave her a proper telling off before/when he freed her.

Also so that she wouldn't tip off the tower when the inevitable next strike from the pissed off octobeast came. That guy was getting an earful next, mark Bowser’s word.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Zoey Boey
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Zoey Boey ~I'm Stone Free, do what I please~

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Level 5: 23/50
Location: The Bottomless Sea Surface
Word Count: 484
Points Gained: 1
New EXP Balance--- Level 5 : 24/50


Sakura strained a bit from the effort. Man, Bella was heavy! Did she weight one thousand pounds or something?! She wouldn't say something that rude aloud, though. Bella said something in French, and Sakura gathered it was a thank you. Merci means 'thank you' in French. Sakura set Bella back to her feet, and was blissfully unaware of any of her inner turmoil. She just liked helping her friends.

The street fighter didn't feel nearly as bad about hurting these weird fish monster. The Abyssals were humanoids and she knew some of them could be friendly if Friend Hearted. These guys just looked like brainless monsters. Sakura freely batted them and kicked them away, blasting them with her cannons when she got the chance. These cannons were punchy and satisfying to use. Arashio had a good arsenal, thats for sure.

Sakura flinched at Geralt's brutal victory, her mouth puckering. He wrapped an eel head in wires and cables and then blew its damn head off! "Oooohh! Dang, Mister Geralt!" Sakura says. "That was- phew! Oof!" She slapped the sides of her head and gave a thumbs up.

Sakura turned around. Things were...really gross. Around shippy. The fish were having a feeding frenzy. There was lots of blood and gunfire and tearing of flesh. "Ugh!" Sakura turned her eyes away, hoping she wouldn't have to deal with that.

Nadia did something very gross and cool that caught Sakura's attention. Her attention was briefly rapt by the epic encounter happening ontop of the mountain. Nadia did something awesome, Bowser was there, Cadet was there. Big purple guy was swinging his arms around. Sakura gasped and covered her mouth as Nadia, her fellow crazy cat lady, was tossed into the air and about to be made into mince meat.

That was when Bella came in with the save! She blew the tentacle apart with a perfect shot. "YATTAAA! You're the best! You did it, Ms. Bella!" Sakura cheered, grabbing onto Bella's shoulder and hopping up and down.

Bowser and Cadet were the only ones left at the top. Tentalus was there, too, and Sakura wasn't sure what to do about him. She got the impression that Bowser probably wasn't going to try and kill the monster child, and would probably for a Friend Heart. He was, after all, a cool dad kinda guy. Even if he did kidnap Princess Peach all the time in the games.

There was, however, a big bone fish attacking Shippy. That probably wasn't ideal! But with Rika back on Shippy, Sakura was the only one left to help defend the two artillery fighters. Bella and Geralt were obviously very powerful, but they did their best work when they could concentrate on using their big cannons. That was why Sakura would stick around and escort them. Just like in those old war movies her dad used to watch.

Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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The Grimleal Dialogs

starring Fox, Sectonia, Midna, Primrose, Poppi, and Big Band
Word Count: 4812 (+5 EXP)


”Sounds like a good idea, Poppi. Planning would be a goddess send and, seeing as we have the opportunity to do it for once, we should definitely take the opportunity” Minda agreed with the machine woman. It was a good out of the situation so they could discuss this without prying ears and also a sane course of action in general, even if that was something of a secondary concern to Midna.

Based on the numerous abilities the resistance members apparently had, she got the impression that they were closer to the kinds of people who’d enter the smash ring than your run of the mill fighters. And there two dozen of them who probably fit into that category. If they did do this it could wind up being the most dangerous thing they’d faced as a group so far. She felt like she should be writing their described abilities down, but, alas, didn't have a notebook. She added that to her ever growing shopping list.

Fox kept his eyes tracked on Azwel as he stepped away to have an entirely different conversation with his underlings. His scrutinizing gaze lingered on him for as long as the direction of the conversation and his attention to it allowed for while he tried to pick up what he could through simply observing them without hearing. He turned his attention back when Kan-Ra finished working down the list of crimes and abilities of the Resistance.

“And casualties?” he asked. “Any number on lives lost? If this is as serious as it sounds...” For more reasons than what were obvious, Fox considered this a question of critical import in his evaluation of this domestic political war they were about to involve themselves in--besides where to find them, and who they actually were.

Kan-Ra’s expression turned from one of anticipation to solemnity. “A handful,” he told Fox, his tone as grave as his looks. “When the Grimleal catch the enemy in the act, or their targets attempt to fight back. There have been a number of fights, and not one has ever de-escalated. All end badly, with debilitating wounds or lost consciousness, and a few in death. Their zeal is such that they fight to bitter ends in even minor quarrels.” His last few words he traced with a clinical disgust, in the manner of one confronted with a shameful waste of valuable resources.

Sectonia had her misgivings about this band as well. Not only did some of them look suspicious, others looked downright ugly and would need a serious redesign if they were going to be part of her kingdom. Seeing as the others had said their questions, she gave a few of her own. ”For these ‘crimes’ they’ve done, what are some examples of things they’ve done? For example, did they steal items of magical or strategic value, and what would they do?" Sectonia said, rarely being able to give more than a glance at the mummified man, instead having her attention more on the others. ”In addition, while you have an idea of their powers, do you have any idea of what they look like?”

The insect received a mixed bag of curious and unkind expressions from the Grimleal lieutenants, as as it seemed that not only did Kan-Ra’s extensive list of charges not suffice for her, but she wanted minute details about both as many Resistance members as possible and their exact doings. Her requested specificity met more frustration than anything. “...They bear no standard or uniform,” Kan-Ra told her, pressing the matter of Sectonia’s distaste for him. “And vary in appearance. Mostly human, some artificially enhanced, a handful of unknown species. Quite the variety,” he told her, less than helpfully.

”So essentially you have very little intel on them.” Sectonia said, matter of factly. While she didn’t look at Kan-Ra, she still talked to him like she did everyone else. ”This isn’t my first time dealing with a ‘rebellion’. Intel is key. Otherwise they can throw unexpected things that cause far more issues than you would expect. ”

“Such condescension!” Azwel feigned a hurt expression, although his eyes were too knowing to be truly sorrowful. “Is this not a negotiation? You cannot expect us to lay all our cards on the table without so much as a word of assurance in return! We can’t have you running off to find them on your own now, now can we?”

“It’s not.” Fox cut in casually at the mention of ‘negotiations’. “We ‘negotiated’ before we got here. We take care of your problems, and get a fully-outfitted train out of here… with interest. With a subtle hint of smug emphasis, he tacked on the last element as a margin for error to be accounted for in their verbal contract.

The news that this exchange did not constitute a negotiation surprised and -for better or worse- elated Azwel. “Oh, so you’re already on board? Marvellous!” He moved forward and extended an open hand toward Fox to shake on it. “Then before we take another step let us seal the deal! With your word as your bond that your strength is ours, we can tell you all you need to begin!”

Fox beheld the hand offered to him, but then peered back at the eccentric lieutenant it belonged to rather than taking it outright, looking through him with a naturally sharp gaze. The narrative had clearly changed with a sudden turn, and Fox took the man’s point. “Alright...” he scoffed lightly, crossing his arms to leave Azwel hanging with his open hand. “‘Cards on the table,’ then...” Breaking for a moment to consider his next words--the last of which were possibly the most honest spoken in the meeting thus far, for lack of technicalities or omissions--he decided to give a little. “If you need ‘assurances’, what if I told you we could get someone on the inside? That we even have prime candidates for it?” About this, he wasn’t wrong, or lying. He specifically thought of the Thieves, with Sly for added potential, but that wasn’t to say there was no bluff element behind it. There was truth enough to his claim to lend credence to it one way or the other.

The sorcerer looked disappointed that Fox hadn't taken his hand, but he did not look surprised. He straightened back up without missing a beat. “Infiltration would be a fine tactic, were we not already in possession of everything we needed to cut to the chase. We have a time-limited opportunity before us, my good sir. Decisive action is necessary.” He peered deeply at Fox, as if whatever the pilot had in mind lay hidden somewhere in his features.

"And if they know you're coming…what then?" he asked, peering back into the sorcerer in kind. “If it turned out that they were expecting you--waiting for you--wouldn’t you and your own liked to have known that ahead of time? Because I know I would.” He was sure, short of absolute certainty, that he needn’t spell out the implications of such a scenario.

Azwel stroked his beard, a smile hovering around his lips as he took Fox’s meaning. “An astute observation, I daresay. We have not been without some loyalty issues, virulent enough to necessitate the need-to-know basis for disseminating information. To slip the backstabber’s knife, and pay him back in kind...would be sweet indeed.” He narrowed his eyes. “But there is no guarantee they’re ready for us, and to arm a stranger with the very details needed to orchestrate our own downfall would enable an even crueller betrayal, no?”

Fox lowered his head thoughtfully in a half-nod, seemingly in understanding, and in part agreement. Trust, it seemed, to be the hardest exchange to make thus far, but perhaps for good reason. It was worth entertaining the idea that they’ve had breaches of trust in the past, and have learned to expect it. He understood also why they couldn’t divulge anything on those same grounds. Even being discovered by an independent third force could tip off the Resistance to the very fact that they could be found. Although there was potential to play into that, it among other factors made acting on the lack of information all the more difficult. They would not, however, concede to going in blind on an unknown enemy with allies who mutually distrusted each other, as they established early on that they wouldn’t, which unfortunately put them at something of an impasse. How to break this barrier, he wondered.

If there was anything that Fox had learned, it’s that the situation in Al Mamoon was evidently more complicated and delicate than he thought, and certainly more than he was used to dealing with. There was just too much neither of them could share with each other; more still that none on either side of this smaller war would understand. All the more reason they didn’t need the complication. It would apparently take some show of faith on Yellow Team’s part to inspire confidence...

With Fox’s part done for now, the others could pose their own questions. ”I take it you're not expecting much out of the non core members resistance wise?” Midna checked, just to be sure.

Ciella turned up her nose. “The surrounding rabble are of little consequence. They’re just troublemakers, vultures, hangers-on seldom paying lip service to the others’ self-deception. Neither would rise to the other’s defense.” She snorted in derision. “It would surprise me if we so much as encountered them.”

”Good to know” Minda took that information with a grain of salt, but still filed it away. ”Anyone else got questions to add, or are we ready to meet up with the others to discuss our approach. Maybe over lunch?”

Primrose was about ready to leave as well. She still had her misgivings, and despite her familiarity with the stage she felt a little more uncomfortable every time Azwel alluded to actors, but she hid it all with her polite expression and words. "Thank you for answering our questions. I have just one more. What is to be done with the resistance once the... operation is carried out?"

Sectonia had an idea of what they’d say at Primrose’s question knowing what she would do to ‘rebels’ herself. She waited for their reply though to see if they’d surprise her.

A heavy question, but Ciella did not seem too concerned. “Validar will mete out their punishment,” she replied simply. “Those who howl of false justice but demand just treatment in turn will soon despair of their hypocrisy.”

Fox ceased his internal ruminations on what all had been discussed and returned his full attention to address them once more. “With any luck, none of you will have to do anything at all,” he assured them, “...or we’ll meet you out there,” provided theirs was truly a “time-sensitive” operation, that is. “We’ll take care of things on our own in the meantime.” Such as he was accustomed to, and had come to prefer. What else were they there for, after all. If they wanted action, they would get it, but on the tentative terms they helped set.

With that parting declaration, Fox turned about to make his leave, signalling his comrades to follow. While walking out on them might not put them in the best of starting graces, a mutual understanding was in order for both sides. The Grimleal couldn’t divulge potentially vital information to an unproven third party, and similarly, they couldn’t rightly be expected to share sides on a battlefield with people who didn’t trust them in a war they didn’t know nearly enough about. Taking a job unconditionally was a good way to be taken advantage of. Maybe they would come to realise that, if nothing else (or whatever else), and not to take their master’s hires for fools.

Regardless, they did still have a job to do, and he was still intent on doing it so they could move forward, only he wanted to be sure he did it right to the best of his ability. If he had to start from scratch to figure out the best course of action, so be it. He would just start by taking Kan-Ra’s recommendation to take to the field and see for himself. If they ended up ‘proving’ themselves through their actions thereafter, then just as well. For now, as far as Fox was concerned, they had learned all they could (or had to) from their meeting, as otherwise unproductive as it was.

“Hmm…” Band did not consider himself a member of this troop, but by now he’d taken his measure of the Grimleal, and it was as good a time as any to go. Seeing as he wanted the ominous trio as neither friends nor enemies at the moment, he opted to do so with a little more tact than Fox. “Good talk. Good enough to go on, while I get my own feel for things. So don’t count us out just yet; these were not stolen moments.” He mirrored the lieutenant’s slight bow of the head--when you’re a guest in someone else’s house, he reasoned, you ought have a little respect. Then he stomped on his way. “We’ll just have a little look-see, and at length the truth will out.”

Sectonia could only shake her head at how Fox handled this whole situation. Although she could understand a bit of what was going on. She would rather just annex this kingdom under her banner and get these problems fixed as soon as possible, with the upside of easily crafted stained glass as a reward. But since that wasn’t on the table now all she could do is shake her head. ”At the very least my minions can defeat a fake chest easily enough.” She said, trying to salvage something from this.

Fox’s departure had left behind an ultimatum, and despite Big Band’s attempt to smooth things over the Grimleal did not hide their displeasure at both the vulpine and whoever he spoke for.

Azwel glowered at their backs. “My, my. However did our esteemed vizier take a chance on such willful, faithless candidates?”

“Don’t deceive yourself into thinking you can solve this without our aid,” Ciella warned. “If you sabotage this operation we will have no choice but to consider you in league with our enemies.”

It was as if they had yet to intuit that, in spite of the trust issues at hand, Fox still took pride in a job well done, as he had hoped they would, going by a pronounced exercise in caution. He supposed that point wouldn’t make itself, however. “Don’t worry. We’re still on the case,” he clarified without stopping or looking back at them, for all the good that did for reassurances at this point. “We’ll just be doing things our way for now.”

The glowing eyes of Kan-Ra seemed filled with venom. “We had not failed to consider the possibility of a ploy like this,” he mused. ”We must accelerate our plans--and you, strangers, must choose your next actions...carefully.”

The echoes of the Lieutenants’ words sped the temple’s visitors on their way, and back into the noontime sunshine. Poppi, largely silent during the visit to the temple, looked worried. “It sound like they think we might be on other side. Maybe we could have handled that better.” Since Fox had grabbed most of the spotlight, he’d dictated most of the conversation on Yellow Team’s side, however that led them. Nobody had objected when he seemed to designate himself spokesperson, but was everyone still on board after all that? Even at their most polite the Grimleal cultivated an appearance of both danger and power, and by the time the heroes left they’d turned downright menacing. “Poppi not want make enemies if not need to,” she admitted.

“Me either,” Fox concurred, keeping wandering, cautious eyes and ears out for any ‘tails’ as they left the palace grounds, and then on thereafter. The door to Grima’s temple had remained open behind them, the darkness yawning within. “But they’re not making it easy.” He waited until they were out of sight, mind and earshot to say more.

”It would be a poor show, but overall if they didn’t need help they wouldn’t reach out to a third party. They really didn’t inspire confidence themselves.” Sectonia said, saying a bit of what she gained from the whole conversation. ”A shame, as this is something I have dealt with before.” Sectonia said, offhandedly. ”I suppose your infiltration idea will be the path forward, if we even bother with any of this. The world boss isn’t in this town, so what would we even gain helping them with this problem that we couldn’t do ourselves?” She finished, irritated more at the loss of time and the general seeming incompetence on display they had just gone through more than anything.

Band gave the oversized bug a strange look. All of a sudden it seemed as though he’d misevaluated the group’s intentions. “Hold up a minute. That makes it sound an awful lot like y’all don’t give a damn about what’s going on here, after all. I’m new in town myself, but something’s twisted here. More’n usual for politics, I mean.”

“You’re not wrong,” Fox assured the detective, in a manner of speaking. He looked specifically to his teammates who were privy to relevant worldly information in his following address. “I take it you all heard them right. If both sides have suffered losses, they’ve found out that people don’t just die here. Who knows what they’ve made of that by now,” he mused. Surely, his allies had some idea of what to make of this. “I’d hesitate to trust either of them just yet. At least until we see what the other side looks like.”

“On that, we can agree.” Band told him. Contrary to Sectonia’s suggestion, it sounded like this group’s leadership planned to investigate this situation further, and that sat just fine with him. He did not pose any questions about the meaning of what Fox emphasized, assuming that he referred to the dissolvement of the dead, but instead volunteered himself. “I’ve chasin’ the bird a long time, and day by day I got a certain sense for what a city has to say. Put your ear to the ground and you’ll hear the whispers. So when we’re ready to boogie, I got a place in mind we can start.” At the moment, however, the team started with a trip back to the train station to reunite with the others.

As the group walked the streets of Al Mamoon, Primrose of course followed with them. She'd slipped out of the temple and into the middle of the party, staying silent for a while with her head tilted upward in thought. The Grimleal... they were intense. They also seemed extremely dedicated to their cause. The fact that the resistance would fight to the end wasn't all the surprising, considering they all were most likely gleaming. It was wishful thinking too that they would be captured or arrested instead, given Ciella's implication. And that other thing she'd mentioned, Grima's truth... Primrose wondered if the Grima mentioned was the name of their idol, given that it wasn't the name of their vizier.

Truth... she heard that word echoed by Big Band a couple of times already. She frowned at the morning sun and then finally piped up.

"Sectonia does have a point. If we moved on, dealt with our own mission first, it may make this situation easier," she said. "If the people of this town are somehow in danger I would like to help them, whether that means supporting the Grimleal or... otherwise. However..." She glanced at Big Band, and the hooded man that followed him like a living shadow. When she spoke again her voice was slightly softer, though their two latest additions would still be able to hear her. "If it was possible to free everyone all at once, the two groups would not be forced to fight until death."

“Might not stop them...” Fox speculated. Judging by their assessment of the Grimleal, that would likely be the case. That, more than anything, was what he didn’t like about them: their particular brand of ‘confidence’, being something of an authority on it himself. “...but you do have a point.” he admitted to Primrose. “Problem is, if they’re really planning to act as quickly as they say, things may not look the same by the time we get back… and we may have just put pressure on them. I don’t know if this is something we can put off now,” as much as he wished it were that simple. Loathe as he was to admit it, they had become involved now.

She sighed. "Regardless, if everyone thinks it best to meddle, I agree that getting the other side of the story would be wise. Although the Grimleal are... well. You all saw them. It seems they were not being deceitful when they said that the work they've done has been good for the city."

Band sighed into his mouthpiece, and somewhere inside him a brass instrument honked. “I get feeling I’m not in on some bigger picture,” he guessed. The detective knew when people were speaking around him. “World boss, settin’ people free? Suddenly this soft talk’s got me all curious ‘bout this ‘mission’ of yours. If there’s a better way to help people out than shufflin’ up and down the backstreets ‘round midnight, I’m in.”

The man was a quick study, Poppi realized, and someone she got the feeling the team could use. Something about his attitude, equal parts professional and poetic in a doubly unorthodox sense, suggested both strong character and storied experience--both hallmarks of the reliable veteran. In a way he reminded her of Vandham, and the comparison went beyond size. So she decided to go out on a limb and give a quick explanation. “Each part of world under dominion of big, strong boss. They all protect even bigger, badder boss with influence over whole world. Our group’s goal to find and beat all bosses and free everyone.”

To just about anyone it would have been a ridiculous notion, and it even struck Band as crazy, but he did not dismiss it outright. “Hmm...sort of like New Meridian. Sure the politicians are all up there, doin’ their dolphin dance, but the Mafia control things behind the scenes, nice and subtle.”

His analogy barely touched the surface of what Galeem was doing, but Poppi nodded along. “Yes, sort of like that!”

“Close enough,” Fox interjected once more, this time directly addressing the detective. “Sorry for not being entirely upfront with you. You might imagine it’s a hard sell,” he told him, regarding the grand scheme. “We still have one lead with the Resistance I’d like to check before we move on either way..” Taking him up on his offer, Fox added, “If you know how we can find them, we’ll go from there.”

Band shook his head. “Don’t know yet, but I bet I can figure it out.” He diverted his attention from the others as the group reached the train station, moving through its great arches and into the shade. The formidable Railway Gun remained just where the others saw it last, and given that arrived this way himself, it was nothing new to Band, either. When they spotted and approached Braum, however, they found only a few scattered tools and other telltale traces of mechanical work just being squared away by Tora.

From a distance the Nopon looked almost glum, but he brightened up when his team drew near. “Friends! And…” He had to crane his neck upward to look Big Band in the face and note the smile in his eyes. “New friend! Hello Biggypon, am Tora!”

“Nearly got it,” the giant chuckled. “Call me Big Band.” His glassy eyes noticed the grease on Tora’s wings and the wrench he tucked back into his overalls in a single practiced motion. “Whatcha been workin’ on, little guy?”

“This!” Tora pointed back at the train. An orange-feathered avian in smart attire stood in front of it., facing the newly-arrived crowd, but to say he was looking at them would be to preemptively confirm he had eyes. “Tora try to fix up super awesome train, but Mr. Conductor just now hear Tora not allowed and ask to stop.”

The Conductor shrugged, as if the choice wasn’t up to him. “Sorry lad. Can’t tool around with what i’n’t yers. Don’t like it, take it up with ol’ vizzy.”

”Yeah turns out people the local big man doesn't like the idea of a bunch of unknowns having access to a train covered in what I’m assuming are a load of those gun things. Especially when there's a low key civil war going on. Or an underground one.” Minda informed their engineering friend. She’d sat out of most of the tail end of the negotiation because she wasn't particularly invested in the nitty gritty of this whole situation, but she was more than happy to relay her perspective on the situation to Tora, who seated himself to listen to all the news.

”Basically there's a sinister vizier who’s good at bureaucracy and infrastructure stuff that is helping the town but, you know, he’s sinister as they get, and a resistance group who don't like him and his heavily armed cult very much. Also the local queen’s only able to wake up from a deep sleep if there's cheese about. And there's none about because she’s eaten it all. So the vizier’s in charge round here while she naps and he’s only going to let us have the train if we get in his good books. Which would involve helping him crush this resistance made up of some very strong sounding people.”

”Strong people that his people can’t deal with I should add.” Sectonia said, with a bit of a chuckle. ”Such a shame negotiations broke down, but with no trust on either side it was expected.” Sectonia said. ”Might as well get intel on these rebels ourselves at some point. Depending on who they are they could be useful one way or another.”

Primrose chuckled lightly, as she couldn't disagree with Sectonia's comment. "There you have it, more or less. A time sensitive political struggle. It seems we will have to choose a side here before we move on to the mountain..." With the way things were going now, she had a pretty good idea which side they'd choose, but it still depended on the impression they got from the rebels. If they were truly just that would sway the group to their side, she was sure. If they weren't... then it didn't matter which skeevy faction they went with anyway.

”Such a shame. Making a trade network by train here would solve the glass problem…” Sectonia said, pinching the bridge of her ‘nose’ and shaking her head, trailing off more to herself than adding anything to the conversation. It was clear to everyone she just wanted to be done with this situation.

Poppi nodded to confirm what the others had said for the most part, although she added a couple details herself. “Also, queen not always way she is now, and rebels supposedly commit all sorts of crimes.”

Midna sighed and then rubbed her temples. ”What do you think we should do, orange feathered person who the vizier told to stop us from taking the train?” she asked the conductor in front of which they’d just announced that they might side with the rebels instead of the vizier if they felt like it. ”What’s your name by the way?”

As the others spoke, the Conductor had just been standing by the whole time, feeling rather like he was invisible. Not everyone spoke this candidly, particularly when the conversation involved a choice of loyalty between the ruling body or violent insurrectionists. Until the woman with the helmet and impressive braids brought it up he’d been fully willing to accept that these people just had no idea he worked for the crown, although accepting that they just didn’t think much of him stung a little. “Uhh. Well, I’m just the peckin’ Conductor, and it’s not like he told me to stop ya’s, just t’tell ya t’stop, see?” His shrug and the shake of his head told the heroes he wasn’t paid for this. “Since I work for Validar ‘n all I guess I’m supposed to tell ya t’trust ‘im, but the whole lot of ya’s can do whatever the peck ya like, ‘s long as ya don’t go breakin’ laws.”

”Good man. Let’s get moving and stop bothering the Conductor shall we?” Midna said, before not so subtly shooing them out the yard and onto their next destination.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by ModeGone
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ModeGone Legitimate Satanspawn

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Level 2 [0/20] (Word Count: 265 +1)
Location: Edge Of The Blue
Party Members: Peach @Lugubrious, Mirage @Potemking, Link @Gentlemanvaultboy


Something about the sight of the strange skeleton shark struck Mr. L as eerily familiar. An armored Sharkbone with the body structure of a Skellokey. But all those eyes send a shiver up the thief's own bones. Nothing with that many eyes is good news. A giant seasquid creature is annoying enough but this?

Something in him is distressed. Much more distressed than he actually feels. Thorns and spikes and its carving a path along the ship as it drags its ugly carcass all over the place. And its attacking the princess. Not that he cares. The broad can go jump in the water and sink.

"Oh no you don't," he snaps as his hands move in an unfamiliar gesture. The previously sickly and pathetic attempt at a electrical spark has become a full crackling sphere which joins the potshots that Peach, Link, and Mirage have taken at the creature. Bones and spikes are clear signs that the stupid thing can take a physical beating and return any would-be stomper with pain for their efforts. But all those eyes studding that idiotic skeletal structure just scream out for attention. And attention those eyes are getting. After all its not like the stupid thing can shoot lasers, right? High on the success of the electrical hand thing finally working right, L tosses the electrical spheres a few more times at the creature. "Keep an eye on the damn thing! I don't know what murky waters it comes from but a sea thing willing to get up on dry land is always bad news, drybone or not!"
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Rockin Strings
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Rockin Strings Mechanically intelligent, musically inclined.

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After no response from Laharl, Yoshitsune decided to make his way back towards the train. Without his swords hanging from his hips, he felt rather defenseless. Being the first one back, as far as he could tell, he went back up to the conductor.

"You look a bit bored," he commented, leaning against the side of the train. "Everyone else seems to be off doing something important. Should've made my way to the palace. I think that's where they all went."

Although the sharply-dressed avian didn't know what the well-armed stranger was talking about, calling him bored seemed to rub him the wrong way. "Hey, I ain't just slackin' off here, laddie. I'm workin' on the script for my next big movie. You're lookin' at a fifty-one-time winner of the Annual Bird Movie Awards, ya know!"

Here glanced at the bird-man with confusion and curiosity for a second before shaking his head at the strange words. Looking around, Yoshitsune didn't see anyone he recognized from their group of misfits. It reminded him all that much more how he missed Shizuka and Benkei. Here knew he wouldn't be able to see Benkei until he joined him in the afterlife but still had hope for finding Shizuka somewhere.

"There are other teams… I have an idea… But I need the creature that can talk to the other teams…" He was thinking out loud, not even saying half of what he was thinking.

He began thinking about the beings in their group, the ones who seemed to think he was more of a nuisance. With a shake of his head, he stood, only to nearly fall on his face as he'd forgotten about his wheels for a second. Looking over at the conductor, he sighed. "Guess even a seasoned samurai isn't perfect."

All the rambling did not seem to make much of an impression on the Conductor. He raised his head from scribbling in his clipboard in an effort to look very busy, and addressed the overly familiar samurai once again. "Erm...look, laddie. If you're huntin' fer the friend ya came 'ere with, I think I heard 'em squawkin' about a shoppin' trip or something. Maybe they're still in the market?"

"I just came from the market," he replied. "And I have to go back tomorrow to collect my father's swords." Again, he glanced down at his hips where his sheaths normally hung.

The Conductor followed Yoshitsune's glance, but in a few senses of the word, he didn't see anything. "Ack. Well, that's me fresh out of ideas then." He let go of the clipboard with a hand and rubbed his chin. If this guy wasn't going to clear out, he could at least be of some use. "Hey, ya look like an actiony sort. If, say, ya were tryin' t'do an armed robbery, what wouljda tell 'em?"

He looked at the conductor with confusion. "I wouldn't do an armed robbery." He was curious about the script and wondered if it was actually a plan. "If I saw one happening, though, I would try to stop the criminal, either by words or by force."

"I'm not sayin' you would, I'm just sayin', in a hypothetical sense...bah, nevermind." The Conductor gave up, waving a dismissing hand. "If ya don't know about movies, I might as well be talkin' to a peckin' brick wall."

"If what I gathered from the teenagers is enough to go on, your world is also in the future compared to mine," he said with a frown.

The filmmaker gave a dry laugh rubbed his head again. "Guess so. Never envied you lot, all stuck in the past. Must be real confusin', eh? But so's that peck-neck Validar, and 'e picked up things pretty quick."

"Vali-who now?"

Considering that Yoshitsune was new in town, the Conductor did not look at him too askance. "Validar. Y'know, the vizier. Guy in charge of the city. Think he's a wizard or something. Anyway, point is, he's from the past but 'e managed to figure out loads of new stuff. Means ya got a fair shot yerself, don'tcha think?"

"Possibly. Just need to take time to learn more," he shrugged. "So, what's a movie?"

"Uh..." Although he'd just encouraged Yoshitsune to seek such knowledge, the Conductor looked less than eager to spend his own time getting the swordless man up to speed. How did one explain what a movie was, anyway? He held up his hands weakly and made vague motions. "Well...ya see..."

A blip sounded out from his belt, causing the Conductor to jump, but if anything he sounded relieved. "Oh! Peckin' perfect timin'." He slid his handheld radio from its holster and showed it to Yoshitsune. "Sorry laddie, gotta take this one. Talk t'ya later, hm?"

With a shrug, he climbed on top of the train to wait for everyone else.
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