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Spooky Mittens

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  1. The nurse smiled, somewhat, and there was an audible exhale but no real sound. She looked to be chuckling, if you could chuckle on mute, and the scars covering her throat would provide all the evidence one needed to know that she probably couldn't talk either. Still, she seemed to have a sense of humor. At this point another entered the room. This time it was a man, somewhat elderly, confined to a mobile chair. He wore quite expensive looking robes and bunny slippers. There wasn't a control device to be seen on the chair, yet it moved all the same, hovering along the floor. "I'm afraid that you can't afford to live either, little fly." His voice was hoarse and weathered, marching quite well with his gaunt face and his wispy white hair. "Though, if you'll oblige me, I'd be most appreciative if you would. Gertrude here will see to it that you have everything you need, just ask and she'll make it happen. When you're ready to be up and about there's something I'd like to discuss." He held out a stack of what appeared to be clothing for the nurse, now Gertrude, to take. Once handed off, he would round his chair and float back out whence he came. @Sigil Warden
  2. She awoke, and yet found herself having difficulty moving. That was to be expected after she put her nervous system under such strain, the healing serum dripping into her veins could only go so far on it's own. It wouldn't be until a few minutes later that someone came to check on Unity. She was tall and slender. A woman, from the look of her face and chest, but an android by the looks of her limbs. This girl looked as though she had once been beautiful, at least in a certain kind of way. Her bone structure was good, her hair was smooth and wheat-yellow, but scarring marked her face and neck such that she was fairly grotesque to look at now. Cybernetics were visible peeking through the skin layers, lending evidence to some horrific past trauma that irreparably damaged her lower jaw and left eye socket. Obviously, she had lost all of her arms and legs, as these had been replaced with amalgams of plastic and alloy. Her ambulation was elegant, though, so whoever made this prosthesis was clearly a master of his or her craft. She wore a nursing uniform, though she appeared not to carry any medical apparatus. She strolled up alongside Unity and placed her fingertips along the side of Unity's head. Her fingers were warm to the touch despite being metal tipped. Her left eye lit up like a bulb for a moment, and several grids of green light projected from it onto Unity's body. The woman said nothing, but a moment later she removed her hand and closed her eye. She would linger a while longer. @Sigil Warden
  3. It wasn't to be that Unity's journey ended here. For all the hopelessness she felt, the executives who had paid so much to have her upgraded would have been foolish to actually throw her away like this. The truth is, they had been baited, same as she, by some unseen hand. The Nanite Marionette, as some organizations referred to it, was usually never found so close to the entrance of The Sarcophagus. As far as local legend, this creature was so rare that nobody on the street would even know what you're talking about. They'd never expected that it would show up and eliminate the actual test. Unity had done better than most. This Marionette had expended nearly all of the bioenergy it had collected just to keep itself intact. As Unity dropped, she might notice that the machine was putting itself together rather slowly. She might even hear the sound of a crash behind her as the gremlin ceased cackling. Whatever else happened would have appeared to her as nothing more than a bad dream. She awoke some time later. Had it been hours, or days? She wouldn't know for the moment. She was laid up in a comfortable bed, several fluids dripping from bags hanging next to the headboard, flowing steadily into her veins. One was clear, the other green. It looked less like a hospital room and more like someone's actual bedroom in a penthouse of some sort. The windows were tall, from floor to ceiling, and the room.was divided into two elevations with an open study. It appeared to be night time. If Unity sat up or stirred more than a sleeping person might, then she would realize quickly that the windows were actually screens as the nighttime landscape would quickly change to a morning sunrise. She seemed to be alone, for the time being. @Sigil Warden
  4. Ah, details details~. I'll try to avoid being too specific, as I don't necessarily wanna feed you moves to bootyblister Voldemort here, but I'll help you work through your thoughts. Parrying the zwerchau; So, basically what's happening with Arthur's zwerchau is he is angling the motion to cut at Cecelia's arm, rather than the head like would be normal. When you transition up to shoulder height, you're putting the blade of your rapier in it's path because his sword has to pass that line to offend you. Parries directly with your guard, no matter what kind of guard it is, are always incidental, you should never aim to party with your guard on purpose. That is asking for bad outcomes. The transition from high-Seconda to a full Prima guard isn't gonna do much of anything to Arthur's sword, a left to right zwerc is usually followed up with another zwerc or a krump to unwind the arms. He's in a position to immediately transition to his next offensive action with no down-time. What this move does is it puts your sword arm in a strong position to receive and direct the easiest follow-up play for him to execute. Basically you will be able to guard against the next zwerc without doing anything extra, forcing him to pick a different play. There is no opening to his head or face here because the same defense as before will work in reverse. His arms have to cross his face to unwind. Your dagger blade is 19", so you have a lot more reach than you might otherwise be imagining. With fencing styles across the world it is common to see squared hips, but A frame legs, so you have one leg in front and one in back, but you turn your hips so that they aren't facing your for sidelong. This is important, because it builds tension from the heel of your back foot right up through your core muscles. That is how you're going to generate power, attack with the right hand, push with the left leg. Attack with the left hand, push with the right leg. How does this affect reach? It's much easier to hinge at your waist if your hips are square, even if your legs are not. You simply tilt forward so that your shoulders line up with your leading knee. This reduces your target, and it gives you a little bit of extra reach from where your feet are planted. So let's assume you are in the position to do Capo Ferro's lunge. You're hinged at the waist, you're ready to slide your front leg forward and lean into it, pushing with your right leg since this is a left handed attack. You can easily cover three feet just with the step, an extra foot and a half with the lean, six inches with your hinged waist, two feet with your arm, and sixteen inches of blade (because if you aim with alll 19 then you miss). That gives you a cool 8 foot~ish measure. So no, you don't wanna step in at all, you're too close for that. It would be better to maintain your footing, or even to step back on the right foot and then just lean forward in place with your dagger already in position. Retreating from the current play is definitely an effective option available to you, but Arthur is in position with forward momentum to chase you, you'll have to defend yourself while you retreat if that's the course you choose. @The Alexandrian
  5. If I may interject for a moment? While rapier/dagger is not my discipline, I do have some experience with the plays involved. I feel like I can offer up some insights that'll help you moving forward. I've been watching this fight and I think I know a couple tips that will help you out 😄 Insight 1: While somewhat counter intuitive, the dagger in rapier-and-dagger systems is not actually a defensive implement. What I mean by that is the rapier itself is still the superior option to both engage and parry with because it is both longer and heavier than the dagger. It is less likely to be shunted aside due to it's weight and the extra length gives you more room to act. The dagger is a follow-up tool in these systems. It is there to support the rapier, not to replace it in the case of binding and defense. You use the dagger after you parry with the sword to maintain control, or in the case that an opening presents itself you use the dagger offensively. That's why they have such looooong blades 😄 Insight 2: Guard positions, no matter the system of fencing, don't actually do anything on their own. They are a staging point, a springboard for other actions. Third position, for example, is where you begin when you deliver Capo Ferro's lunge. Terza, or "Third" is the most transitional of the Italian fencing positions. It's not Seconda, it's not Quarta, it's somewhere in between. The advantage here is being able to shift to Quarta or Seconda in as small a movement as possible. Example, since you have not moved your sword arm at all in this last exchange and merely held it in place, your muscles are thus loaded. A possible counter to the zwerchau to Cecelia's right side is to raise the hand above the head, transitioning to a high Seconda guard, and eventually Prima. Your rapier stays in contact with Arthur as he winds his arms for the zwerc, and the sudden loss of pressure against your dagger hand gives Cecelia the necessary tactile stimuli to sense the move. This move frees up your dagger hand to offend, as the rapier's new position in Prima protects you from a follow-up zwerchau to the opposite side. @The Alexandrian
  6. One two, and through and through, the nanite blade goes snicker snack. Like a monster out of some fairytale, it moved with such inhuman intentions that it was unsurprising that Unity also faltered. What was surprising would be Unity's follow up. There were very few entities within Absalom who could muster the courage to act in the face of this particular foe. Unity wouldn't have heard the local legends about it, but she would no doubt become very acquainted with them in the future. Her upward kick landed true, driving immense force with a narrow heel into the under-side of the construct's "head". The sound of crackling plastic and bending metal accompanied the impact and the relatively light-weight frame before her was sent skyward. Her follow-up was just as successful, sending the machine sprawling back and into the wall from whence it approached, it's limbs scattering like a liquid. It lay there in a slump for a moment, all the while the little cat-like gremlin machine that lurked in the ventilation duct cackled. Unity would see why, as the shattered pieces of machine started to reconstitute themselves into forms that could rapidly run back to the main core, like a dozen rat sized spiders. Her enhancements would make it possible to note, however, that while it's initial constitution had been rapid and airborne, it seemed to be avoiding that method. @Sigil Warden
  7. The machine began to creep as Unity lost herself in her mind. It had time for maybe one step before the clatter of Contrast hitting the floor snapped her back to reality. Dozens of miniature cameras locked into various portions of Unity, her daggers in particular. This creature clearly sought to mimic life. There were any number of ways a machine could be more efficient than a human body, and yet this one seemed content to limit itself to a specific range of motion. It has two arms, two legs, a torso, and a head. While it was true that it comprised itself of something much more durable and lasting than human flesh, it seemed to desire this form. So it would be really no surprise then, when it reshaped it's hands into a pair of long, double edged daggers rather akin to a cinquedea attached at the swivel joints of the machine's wrists. When Unity spoke to it, it attempted to speak back to her. It made a series of electronic buzzing sounds, as well as a set of diagnostic beeps before it attempted to modulate actual speech. "At. Ack. Dayyyyy." It tried to copy Unity's words, but came off sounding like a Speak and Spell with low battery. It seemed more confused than anything, but those blades on it's limbs seemed to make it's intent quite clear. With a flash of red light, the machine lurched forward with precision and intent, almost mirroring Unity's grace if not for a few locomotive errors. However, as it approached the distance where it could be a threat, it hesitated. The machine didn't seem to know what the next move was to be, and for a second longer than it should have, it simply waited. Then it attacked, cutting through the stale air with both of it's limbs, from left to right. @Sigil Warden
  8. Cabbage was happy to continue swiping this way and that with his toy version of Arthur's weapon. He didn't understand fancy parties or feasts or small talk, and Gabriela's assessment of the leshen creature's madness was rather quite accurate. Of course when your brain was mostly cellulose and water, how sane could you really be? Something caught his attention then, though. Arthur's female companion had made some kind of Jan at Cabbage with her eating utensil. He had seen her salad and noted that the fork was used specifically for stabbing plant life, and so he put up his tiny bitty polleaxe before Arthur came to his aid. Something the woman said had really stuck in Cabbage's leafy head though. Was he full of meat? He stuck the pollaxe back in his mouth for a good while, at least long enough for Arthur and this woman to have their flatware duel. When he finally pulled it back out the stick-turned-polleaxe had become a fully cooked chicken leg. That is, if you replaced the bone with wood. Cabbage still didn't understand that bones and branches weren't the same thing. Cabbage started to waggle around his chicken leg. "HuuuBEH." @Voldemort @Gil @Pasion Pasiva
  9. A storm of steel. That was an apt description for Unity's display. Her nervous system overclocked, and her newly modified body finding itself able to utilize all of her newfound vigor. She was like an elegant dancer, tearing her way through a crowd of drunks. An angel among mere men. It didn't take her long to rend the machine flesh of these zombified corpses into ribbons, freeing the nanite clusters from their skin sacks. Flesh fell to the floor with plopping sounds, and all the while the machines reconfigured. When finally Unity cut down the last of these minions, would she have noticed the large mass forming in the middle of the back wall? Over the head of the first corpse she skewered the nanites that comprised the nerve clusters within the corpses had gathered and coalesced. The formed a shape that was mostly humanoid. A man's shape, but it lacked a face. Instead, a sensory cluster, contained behind a crystal-like screen formed it's head, while it's torso and limbs seemed to be amorphous. It was either having difficulty remaining intact, or perhaps it couldn't decide what an arm or a leg were supposed to look like. This machine crouched on the end of the bolt that Unity fired into the wall, teetering perfectly on it's tip like some kind of gargoyle. When everything finally went quiet, it would bellow out a low pitched electronic hum. @Sigil Warden
  10. Cabbage sat happily in a little clay pot that hard been packed with fresh soil earlier that day. His pot was plopped onto a chair at Arthur's table, and when Arthur had received his food so too hard Cabbage been given a generous sprinkle of water. His leaves were vibrant and stiff and his spindly little root arms were nowhere to be seen. However, he did seem to take to singing a bit, possibly as a subconscious display of joy. "Heh behhh beh, heh behhh beh, heh behhh beh." It was steady and rhythmic, but quiet enough that he wouldn't be disturbing to anyone in close proximity. It wasn't until Arthur mentioned that he hadn't truly been tested this tournament, and that the massive chunk of beef before him was to be his first true test. Cabbage had no idea what that meant, but he had learned to pick up on Arthur's tones and sense of humor over their time together. "Heh heh heh. Heh beh." He feigned laughter, being unable to actually laugh. Then he pulled his spindly little root arms from the soil and grew a stick from his face. He broke the stick off with a snap and stuck the end in his mouth. When he withdrew the end of his new stick, it had transformed into a very tiny replica of Arthur's pollaxe, metal and all, which Cabbage started to swing around. "Hehhh BEH!" @Voldemort @Gil
  11. "Yes, that's right. Credit chits like that are pretty secure - so make sure not to misplace it." Annalise explained as Erika pulled her chip out and mused over it. Annalise seemed unimpressed with Erika's display. She'd seen it already, really, so a second showing just wasn't interesting anymore. Such was the way of Annalise's attention span. What really did her over was that Erika didn't seem to be following along with Annalise implied meaning. "Oh, so, I just need to learn to throw it? Hmm. I wonder how my brother would get mad at me for doing exactly that if I'd no idea how to do it?" She had a very clear tone of sarcasm to her voice as she spoke, tapping a finger to her chin and gazing vacantly into the ceiling. She put her casting aid back into her bag and turned on one heel. Real magic, heh. Perhaps she thinks the casting aid is the only part of the equation? Annalise thought to herself. Perhaps she would keep that secret a little longer. Straight ahead was a long corridor that led to an elevator. "I want to go shopping." With little hesitation she started off at a brisk walk towards the elevators. @Houndy Poochykins
  12. "Ooh!" Annalise answered with a start as Erika summoned her halberd to her grasp. Then she began a magical display right there in the middle of the executive offices. Annalise, of course, was excited to watch. She didn't really fathom the power that lay beneath the surface inside Erika, but then Erika may have also been underestimating what it meant to be a Schuler. "So you're like, one of those old school mages then? You say magic words and you use wands and stuff?" Annalise seemed like she was about ready to geek out over it as she started to circle Erika with wonder in her eyes. "That's pretty retro!" She then reached into her bag, a small little clutch hanging under her left arm. She pulled out something like looked like an approximation of a modern smart phone - if a bit smaller than average. She held it up for Erika to see. "My dad invented these. Our company, see, it's called Applied Arcana." She flipped the device over to show the back where the logo was printed. "You could say it's like, a wand. But like, it's more than that. You can track spells and skills, and it actually takes a measurement of your ambient control medium. Dad calls mine Mana, but I dunno what the technical term is." Annalise flipped the device over again and tapped the screen. It showed a silhouette of her body with various calculations running across the screen. "I dunno what it all means though. My brother tunes it for me. I do know it lets me do some fancy magic thingies too." She pressed a button on the device with her left thumb. Then, holding her right hand up, she splayed her slender fingers and turned his wrist. Above her hand appeared a disc of light that spun rapidly, making a soft whistle as it did. Then she released the button and opened her hand and it shattered before dissolving back into nothing. "He gets mad if I throw those inside." @Houndy Poochykins
  13. Leopold didn't react when Erika mentioned the Indentured Servitude that was prevalent across Absalom. Even The Schuler's company l, Applied Arcana, utilized Indentured Servants in their work force - particularly on the manufacturing side. It wasn't something Leopold had any say in, and it was something that he was none too fond of on a personal level. However, in public at least, he had to keep up appearances. He let the comment slip by as if he hadn't even heard it. "You start now, if that's alright with you. I'm booked up with meetings for the rest of the week so I won't be able to attend to her in the meantime." He started to turn to walk away, but drew up a finger and turned back as if he remembered something important. "It's not so much where I want her or when. She'll be deciding that herself." He slipped his hands through his sleeves and fixed his overcoat before he continued on his way, leaving Erika standing not six inches away from Annalise - slip by a lane of glass. "Uhg, finally. I thought he was going to keep yammering on for at least another hour." Annalise complained, loud enough that he voice carried through the glass door to the outside. She stepped out of the conference room, standing about five feet with her three inch heels. She continued twirling that one bouncy strand of hair in he left hand, while her right found a perch on his waist. It was at this point that the girl actually took a moment to soak in Erika and really see her for the first time. She noted that Erika didn't wear armor, nor did she carry any firearms. Instead she seemed to be toting around an old weapon - one that Annalise didn't know the name for. She quirked a brow and frowned a bit. "You sure you can keep me safe with just that?" She smiled sweetly as she spoke, but the cadence and inflection of her speech made it obvious that this was a taunt. @Houndy Poochykins
  14. "Right on time." Leopold said to himself as he lifted his right arm. He turned his wrist, as if to look at a watch, and sure enough there was a device attached to his arm. A screen appeared in the very air above this object, hard as glass and very tangible, and yet crafted of little more than projected light. He lifted his left hand and he tapped the projection in a few places, if one had been peeking over his shoulder they would see he was adjusting his daily checklist, before lowering his hand. Erika stepped out of the transport shuttle to the sight of a young man. He was certainly well dressed, wearing a very modern black quilted waistcoat, a white silk shirt beneath, black pants rather similar to his waistcoat, and some high boots. He wore a long overcoat, which hung from his shoulders with his arms out of the sleeves. "Yes! Indeed Miss LesChance." Leopold answered as he motioned for her to follow and turned back towards the doors inside. "I'm sure that you were briefed on the job when our company first contacted you, but in case my assistants were remiss I'll go over it with you again." He carried on with a confident tone that seemed to project far beyond his years. He couldn't be any older than nineteen by the looks of him. "I have a younger sister you see." He continued as the doors slid open automatically and closed behind them with a very soft him and a click. They moved from a the smog outside into a sterile white hallway. It had the look of an office building with floor to ceiling windows. Men in suits sat at desks. What they whittled away their lives at was anyone's guess, but this company in particular was known primarily for it's programming. Specifically the kind that allowed users of magic to produce their spells with technological assistance. "She is a sweet girl at heart, really, but when it comes to outsiders she can be extremely difficult." "To be frank, she scared away her last personal guard. We need a new bodyguard for her. Of all the possible candidates, you were the only one she would allow." Leopold led her along the halls to a conference room, wherein sat his kid sister. She looked to be about fifteen or so, dressed in clothes actually quite similar to Leopold's. She wore a skirt instead of slacks, and the cut of her overcoat was different, but the materials and style seemed to match. He stopped outside the doors, his sister now peering through the glass at him and Erika. "She can be quite a handful, but the pay is almost double our usual rate. So, hopefully, you find it worthwhile." Leopold handed out a secure chip that contained Erika's pay. The first week was paid up front, a small fortune in fact that would allow Erika to establish herself in the city. "Make sure you don't lose this. You'll receive all payments through this chip." At this point, Annalise had her face practically plastered against the glass doors. She leaned to her side, tilting her head and twirling a single curl of her bouncy pink hair around one finger. She had a sour expression on her face like she was sniffing something foul. @Houndy Poochykins
  15. Absalom. A dystopian nightmare, spawned from the adherence to ultracapitalist principles, lacking any oversight or governance. This cesspit of slavery and vice was responsible for grandiose suffering felt my thousands of people in the streets below. In the high central tower, however, their moans of agony were silent and foreign. Absalom's high society was sterile and demure. People were robotically pleasant in passing, and money changed hands here as a matter of habit. To find yourself in the upper echelon of the Archology's high society was usually the result of countless atrocities committed below and out of sight. One such individual, Annalise Schuyler, was born into this society. Her father, a purveyor of unique technology that helped integrate the use of supernatural abilities with modern technology, was able to maintain his position in this place through the very specialized skills he possessed, along with his many holding in other corporations. He was part of a network which his company sat at the head of, and within this particular sector the name Schuyler was synonymous with royalty. Annalise was the very image of privilege. She wanted for nothing. She knew not a single days hardship. Every minute of every day had been filled with dozens of yes men and servants. The word "No" was not something Annalise could even understand. So when she asked her daddy for a new bodyguard, she simple couldn't refuse her. Leopold Schuler, her brother and former guard, awaited his replacement at their family's private shuttle pad. The woman on question should be arriving any minute, but he seemed in no hurry. @Houndy Poochykins
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