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About Avvercus

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    Devil Dog
  • Birthday 02/02/1992

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    New York
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    Reading and writing, of course. I enjoy gaming, anime, music, and interesting conversation as well.
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  1. A Divine Deployment

    The Marine’s eyes snapped down to his female payload. Her arms snaked around his neck, causing his heart to skip a beat. He was suddenly very aware of the feel of her body pressed against him, and her scent clung to his thoughts, mixed in with dirt and blood as it was. Her meekness caused a stir in the silent air, and he felt something shift in his chest. She was really cute right now, somehow. He remained quiet for a few seconds after her question shattered the awkward quiet, pondering his response. The tunnel didn’t change much as he walked on, re-adjusting the girl every now and then. “I just do what needs to be done. Someone tells me to get something done, and I do it. It’s the same with my subordinates. I say jump, and they go as high as they can without asking questions. I joined the Crops to serve my country, but I didn’t ask to go to combat. I just ended up in the middle of it, and they liked how I handled myself. I went from support in the rear to the frontlines real quick after that. I’m a yes man, a professional killer, a savior, a mentor, a janitor...my job is complicated,” Hudson spoke casually, thinking about it for the first time, really. He’d never pondered what it was like to be a Marine before now. He chattered on for some time, about simple things like physical training and the time and dedication it took to keep his appearance within regulations. Eventually, they simply walked right out of the tunnel and back into a wooded area. Distracted, Hudson bent over to lower Rin the rest of the way to the ground. He straightened up and looked around them, frowning. It wasn’t normal to go from one kind of forest to another so quickly. They hadn’t been walking that long. “Gyahahahaha! Stupid humans, hehehehehe!” A shrill, snickering laughter bellowed out from overhead. A purple winged fairy that was only a few inches tall sat on the branch of a tree, pointing at the pair with tears in his eyes. “They went right on through, yes yes. Dumb bastards got no clue, no clue. Went through a fae tunnel, now they’re in a totally different forest kekekek.” The fae continued to laugh at their expense before flying off. Hudson let loose a heavy breath through his nose before letting go of the rising fury. Best to make do with the situation. So, this was magic, eh? He looked back to Rin and immediately noticed she was still struggling with her injury. Rolling his eyes, he plucked her right back off her feet with a grin. Perhaps he would make a game of this. Her reactions were entertaining enough, at the very least. “Well...first thing’s first then. Gotta find a water source, then we’ll make camp. Predators are fine. As long as it isn’t another...dragon, I can take care of it,” he said with confidence. He started to walk perpendicular to what he determined was the sloped part of the ground, no matter how slight and subtle it seemed. “I don’t suppose you have any way to tell what direction north is?”
  2. A Divine Deployment

    Instinct is a double edged sword. It’s fast, an instant reaction to any situation that’s almost always better than doing nothing at all. However, instinct also comes with the ruination of human ingenuity. While a calm, educated mind might choose a far more effective course of action, instinct moves first and analyzes later. Instinct put three rounds down range with no time to hear or listen to Rin. It angered a colossal, powerful being and put them in danger. Now, it was helping to save his life. No hesitation, his gear was all left behind with the exception of his M16 and what was strapped to his person rather than his flak jacket. Hudson was as hot on Rin’s feet as the flames licking at his back as they fled. Heavy breathing was the only sound coming from his chest, throat, or lips. No growling, no yelling or demanding answers as to what the hell they were running from was or what Rin’s plan was. Hudson had run from danger before, and he was in full understanding of the situation. He had only to trust this strange woman or die by his own impulsive decision. The creature’s roar sent goosebumps rippling down the Marine’s arm, and Rin’s tumble as thundering footfalls approached set his stomach on ice. As the woman struggled, he reached down and ripped at the root entangling her foot, helping his companion to her feet immediately afterward by yanking her back up with great strength. As Rin dove for Nature’s convenient haven, Hudson’s mind raced. Trees parted, crashing to the sides as the beast bore down and it’s arcane eyes came into view once more. They blazed with malice, violence, and worst of all, intelligence. It would know if he leapt now. It would kill Rin and him both if he showed it where he was about to disappear. Instinct chomped at the bit, pressuring his feet to move. But discipline proved a steady enough hand to put the bucking bronco at ease. Hudson’s left hand snatched something from his thigh and tossed it at the dragon’s face before he turned to make his own dive for safety. The flashbang grenade went off, it’s fuse specially cut to only delay the flash of burning magnesium and ear-shattering thunder by a single second. Blinded, the dragon thrashed in hatred and confusion. It detected no magic, what had the human done? Hudson landed with an audible thump and grunt just as a tree fell over their sanctuary, ensuring the pair definitely wouldn’t be found by sight alone. The echoing roars and shaking stomps slowly faded as minutes ticked by while both Rin and Hudson remained silent and still. When particles of dirt stopped falling on his face, and his strained ears could hear no more, Hudson sat up and placed his back against the soft wall. The loam was cool to the touch, and the calming smell of earth surrounding helped to put his rebelling heart at ease. Light refused to breach the ceiling, and so no matter how long their eyes adjusted there was no seeing anything in their anti-tomb. So, the Marine reached out to his foxhole buddy. “You alright? Didn’t break anything falling in here did you?” The stuff surrounding them seemed to muffle his voice, keeping it quiet as his hand made contact. He felt her frame rise and fall with her breath, and knew she was still alive, still breathing. He could hear it, the soft inhale and exhale that was his only companion down here. It was as soft as she was. Too soft. He knew girls tended to be soft indeed, but this was far more than the usual. His hand twitched on reflex, groping the mystery flesh. “Ah” The sound was knowing, deadpan. He knew exactly what that was. No further pondering or explanations were required. Quickly, he retracted his hand. “Sorry” A hand reaches out, a resounding - smack - given to his hand as Rin groaned. “Ankle is twisted.” Was all the woman offered, unable to see him but her head lifted from the dirt to peer in the direction the sound came from. “Other than that, I should be ok…” The smack didn’t hurt, but the meaning behind it was clear. He hadn’t meant to do it, but he couldn’t say it wasn’t an enjoyable sensation. The Marine reached into his cargo pocket and withdrew a cylindrical object. Depressing the switch, his tactical light set their little hiding hole alit with a bright white glow. After a few moments of shielding his face while his eyes adjusted, he was greeted with a suggestive sight. Rin was sprawled out with her dress hem hiked up over her waist, looking up at him with dirt soiling her otherwise pristine skin. Without a word about it or the tinge of red that rushed to his cheeks she might have noticed, were she paying attention, he reached down and tugged at her clothing, restoring her modesty before aiming his equipment at her feet. One ankle was obviously swollen, an angry bruise covering it with pain. He then peered over her head with the light, seeing the hole extended into a tunnel of some sort. There was plenty of overhead for them to walk upright, when they decided to make their egress. He set the light against the wall and leaned his head back, letting out all his tension with a long breath. His cobalt eyes decided to seek out Rin’s face then, regarding her with something like respect. Most women he knew would be in pieces right now, but she’d taken action and kept her wits about her. “You’re pretty tough. How long have you been...here?” he asked, gesturing all around them with one hand. Rin winced as she slowly moved to sit up. The fall had not been kind, and she would likely have more bruises than not after the event. Gingerly, she drew up her ankle, careful not to put weight on it in fear that she would release a sound that would draw the dragon back. “Ten years. I’ve been here ten years.” She had counted the days in the beginning, hundreds, and then thousands, they had bore into her during her first days. Young, naive, and desperate to return home, she had travelled many a place before finally settling when all adventures seemed fruitless. “I was fifteen, when I was ...transported here? All I remember is my brother hiding me in someone’s vacation home while he went to find food. When I woke up, I was here.” A gentle sigh, a hand raising to wipe away the dirt marring her visage. She succeeded only in smearing it, adding an exotic, wild look to herself. “We’re going to have to wait a while. Dragons are known for sticking around an area and waiting out their prey. You just had to shoot it.” She hissed, not due to anger - but because she dared press her foot to the thick loam beneath them in an effort to gauge the severity of the sprain. “It’s not so bad, once you get used to it…” Hudson nodded when she gave advice on the Dragon’s habits. Honestly, he was exhausted and didn’t mind the break, be it in a house with tea or in this hole in the ground. Actually, it was fairly comfortable. The earth was soft and the temperature was nice and cool. He could see himself taking a nap. “Twenty-five, then? Same age as me. I’ve spent the last 3 years almost constantly deployed to the middle east back in...our world. Can’t be any worse here, I suppose,” he said, sharing some small details about himself. He ran a hand through his hair. It was fairly long for a Marines, almost 3 inches. Any more and he’d be out of regs. Dirt tumbled onto his shoulders from the fades on the side of his head. “A fuckin’ shower…” he mumbled to himself, longing to be clean for the first time in what felt like forever. “So, you’re alone I take it? Sounds like your brother didn’t end up here with you,” he prodded a bit, letting his curiosity ease the quiet and break some ice. “I remember...seeing men in uniform in New York.” Rin murmured, trying to move her ankle only to find a shooting pain was her reward. She put that idea on the back burner, then, and gently set her leg down once more to lay upon the thick dirt. “I had a shower.” She jested, trying to make light of the situation before her rose gaze tried to find his silhouette in the dim light. “You came here alone too. Maybe whatever it is can only transport one thing at a time.” A sigh as both hands rested on her face, shadowing it from view as she tried to make sense of things. “If my brother is here, I have never found him. But then, I never figured I would find magic in America, either.” Her hands moved to hug her own shoulders, pulling tight around herself. “Is that where you were when you showed up here?” “Heh” A small chuckle at the comment on the shower. He sighed when she winced yet again at her ankle and reached down to his IFAK, unbuttoning the flap and rummaging around for a moment. He pulled out an ace bandage and reached for her calf. “Stay still. This is gonna hurt a bit.” Shifting over so he could lay her leg in his lap, the man’s hands began to wrap her injury up with a surprisingly gentle touch. “I used to live in New York. I got poofed here after getting gunned down in Afghanistan. That’s why I was all full of holes when you found me,” he explained, pulling tight on the wrap to compress her sprain. “.....I’m sorry,” he suddenly said, after a few moments of silence and tying off the bandage. He left her leg resting on his thigh so her foot could hover off the ground “If I didn’t piss that thing off, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt. Sorry…” he stared at the wall, avoiding her gaze for the moment. He felt embarrassed. Normally when he fucked up(Which was as rare as an eclipse these days), he got his ass chewed and that was that. No need to apologize. She didn’t yell at him or put any blame. The feeling of guilt hung in the air, and that word, ‘sorry’, was the only way to relieve the tension. It was a lot harder than jabbing fingers and flying spittle, that was for certain. Rin clenched her jaw, finding the pain of him touching and manipulating her ankle nearly unbearable. Still, she offered no sound even as sweat broke out around her brow, and her breathing staggered in soft, gasping breaths. When he pulled the bandage tight, her hand snapped out to grasp his wrist. Her grip was delicate, but firm. Hardly enough to cause him harm, or likely even give him pause, but it was a reminder, if nothing else. When he had finished, Rin found it easier to not move as she rested against him, her shoulder falling into the dirt once more as she lay back down, fighting back the nausea and dizzyness that caused the rising of bile in her throat. When it had passed, she blinked away the tears that had threatened to spill from her eyes. “It’s...fine.” She offers after a moment. “I can’t really blame you, being new here and all.” A steadying breath is given, a shuddering noise as it exits her lips. “The natural reaction is probably to run or shoot. And if you’re trained to shoot...On-Wa was like that too. He’d fight anything just to prove he wasn’t scared…” Her arms fell out to the sides as she lay there, leg propped on his knee. She rose the other one to follow suit, so that she didn’t flash him, leaving her lower half somewhat draped on him. Her hands dug into the dirt as she sighed. “Do you have any family?” She asked gently. “I don’t know if getting sent over here leaves them with any kind of closure.” ~ Hudson remained silent. He had no real idea how to respond to that. Was he supposed to thank her? Insist he fucked up? Say it wouldn’t happen again? None seemed right, so the man simply held his tongue on the subject. Instead, he pondered the situation. This girl was half laying on him and had her arms thrown wide, totally defenseless. Something about it seemed...was this what sexual tension was? He grunted to himself and elected to pretend he’d not just had that thought. “No siblings, broken home. Don’t talk to my parents. So no, not really. I guess if anything, my squad is my family. Bunch of idiots make me feel more like a mother than a military leader sometimes,” he replied with a small smile. Nothing like suffering and almost dying together to bring a group of people close. “You know magic, right? What can you do with it?” Rin actually managed a giggle at his comment of being a mother. The amused part of her mind, or perhaps it was the delirious part - pictured him in an apron, handing out lunchboxes to each little boy as they went out the door. She giggled louder. After a moment it died down before she was able to process his question. “Ah, not really. I know healing. I can heal, that’s all I can do. I can mix some mundane potions....sleep aids, muscle tonics, things of that nature.” Rin offers quietly, grimacing. She must sound so pathetic to this man. “Probably should have learned how to use a sword, or bow, but never did. Always convinced myself I was too busy helping people with illnesses and hurts.” Hudson scratched the back of his head and sighed in what seemed to be annoyance. “So, you’re telling me...you’re all sprawled out alone with a strange man in a dark hole somewhere with no way to defend yourself?” he frowned at the girl, raising an eyebrow and gesturing at her totally relaxed posture. “Is this normal for you?” “If you were going to kill me, you wouldn’t have waited for the dragon to chase us into a hole.” Rin chided gently, closing her rose-colored gaze. “But no, I cannot defend myself. I just.never bothered to learn.” Rin sighs then, frowning in the darkness. “I’ve never had to, not really...everyone here has been really nice to me, and in New York...On-Wa took care of me.” “The village woodcutter and blacksmith always checked on me here, too. They kept my shop safe from any kind of raiders. So...I’ve always been really lucky to just have people around me so I never had to learn. I don’t think I’d be very good at it, anyway. I don’t want to hurt anyone else.” “Yeah, you’re lucky. Lucky I’m not a piece of shit. Lucky the blacksmith or the woodcutter never decided they wanted to abuse your trust.” he said with a lecturing tone to his voice. Did she not realize how beautiful she was? A temptation like that could turn good men into animals. There was a long pause while he turned over several thoughts. Suddenly, his blue eyes stabbed at her. “Alright. Well, that’s fine. I’ll protect you. For saving my life, to pay for the damages...I’ll work as your bodyguard while I figure out what to do.” There was no offer or question. It was a firm statement. He didn’t trust this girl to keep herself out of trouble if that was how she thought. He also was acutely aware they were both speaking English. The likelihood he’d find others he could understand in this world was probably low. This was the most logical move, and to him a very moral one. “Maybe it’s luck. Maybe it’s divine purpose.” Her rose gaze peered at him. “Besides, what purpose would it serve them? You would abuse the trust of the person who can heal you from near death?” Rin frowned. “That just doesn’t seem logical at all.” She sighed, before slowly sitting up. Her legs gingerly lifted from his knee as she set them on the cool earth beneath them, reaching for the walls or his shoulder as she attempted to move into a standing position. She was able to bear weight on one leg, but not the other. It simply hurt too much to make the ankle work properly. Her naivety in her thinking showed that perhaps her brother had done none favors in sheltering her. “I won’t...disagree with having a personal bodyguard. Just no more dragons, please. It won’t hurt, and then hey, I don’t have to hurt anyone!” She grinned, though it was more of a grimace. “Did I see that this went somewhere?” “You think someone fucked up enough to do that is thinking clearly?” he grumbled, watching her try to get to her feet. Guess it was time to get moving. Hudson grabbed his light and clipped it to his chest with the lamp pointed outward. He looked up at the unsteady Rin and huffed. She was the headstrong type, wasn’t she? He stood up, scooping the tiny asian into his arms as he went. “Any weird magic shit I should be worried about down here?” he asked, taking his first step into the looming tunnel ahead of them. Rin squeaked loudly when she was scooped up, and she stared up at him for a long moment. The longer she stared, the more her cheeks felt warm and her cheeks turned pink. HIs easy heft of her small frame made her feel...strange. Rin wasn’t sure what to do with the strange flopping and bubbling in her stomach. She took in the hard planes of his face, the firm jaw and the determination of his gaze, finding that breathing was suddenly more difficult than she remembered. Quickly looking away, the woman bit her lip before shaking her head as she gently adjusted the lamp to ensure he could see. Hesitantly, she rested her head against his shoulder - surprised by the strength there. “You don’t have to carry me, you know.” She offered quietly, even as the scent of man and blood filled her nostrils. “As for magical stuff, I don’t know. I’ve never been through these tunnels. I don’t even know what made them.” "My seabag weighs more than you, it's not a big deal," he assured, peering into the darkness ahead. As Rin adjusted the light, he noticed the tunnel was unusually straight. Actually, it seemed as though it could have been made by human design, rather than nature. Regardless, it seemed to stretch on and on with no end in sight. The butt of his rifle bounced against the back of his thigh as they moved from where it was strapped to his back, clacking in rhythm to his march. He adjusted his grip on Rin subtly, making sure not to jostle her ankle too sharply. He felt her head on his shoulder and peered down at her face, studying it yet again. Something about the dirt smeared across her cheek made him want to smile. Misery loves company, perhaps? He saw her cheeks were oddly red and raised an eyebrow. He looked back up, remembering he may or may not have weird magic shit to deal with. He wasn't really sure what to expect as far as that went, but so far he'd seen a giant dragon breath fire. That was enough to convince him he should be weary. "You sure you're alright? Your face is red."
  3. Hi There!

    Welcome welcome. If you'd like an experience similar to the ToL, but would also like the opportunity to write with older members, check out LaPlace Square[link is in my signature!]
  4. Sand, Iron, and Honey

    Kal’to’s forge-fired fingers reached for the door to his room, just before it was suddenly thrown open with energy. Chrysilla’s excited voice and expression immediately filled his eyes and ears, and a soft smile covered his face with ease. The man was so caught off guard by this unexpected appearance he failed to note an obvious red flag. That being the fact she knew he’d been thinking about her. “I’m going back to the piloting deck, if you’d like to join me.” His hand reached up to ruffle her raven locks before the man turned to climb the ladder to the pilot deck, noting she seemed to be radiating heat for some reason. She wasn’t sick, he hoped, but doubted it with how spirited she seemed. Breaking into the cool night air, Kal’to let loose a long breath. He was ready to leave this desert behind already. Perhaps this time there would be no interruption, like dying women or aggressive monsters. Broken was the calm quiet as his footsteps drummed out a low, dull thump against the wooden deck on his approach to the controls. The Smith activated his vessel, feeling the magic engines thrum to life as the entire ship hummed with tiny vibrations for the first minute before everything stabilized. The balancing anchors that held the ship upright as it rested in the sand retracted and the entire mass lifted off the ground, defying gravity via magical means. More adventures surely waited with the sun. Kal’to and his new companion had till dawn to catch up to the horizon and claim them. What else could possibly await them beyond this endless sea of sand?
  5. A Divine Deployment

    “Thank you” Genuine gratitude without a smile. That expression had faded quickly and wasn’t likely to reappear easily. Hudson took in the aroma and the feeling of warmth between his hands as he cradled the refilled mug. For a moment, it almost felt like deployment was over and he was about to head back to...an empty house. He never felt the same joy the others did when it was time to return to American soil. He loved his country with all the patriotism any military man should have, but there was little there to anchor him and make him feel at home. He didn’t feel the first quake, but noticed the liquid in his cup shake, little ripples racing across the mirror surface like a bad omen. He certainly noticed the second, and definitely recognized something crazy was happening when the dragon appeared. Hudson didn’t play video games or read comics or anything of the like. Rather than indulging in fantasy, most of his free time was spent reading up on philosophy and military history when he wasn’t running or lifting. Rather than get excited like someone with such a background might have, Hudson nearly shit himself. Rin’s words didn’t reach his ears one bit. His mug was set down and his M16 was in his hands before he consciously decided it to be the best course of action. With hours and hours and hours of practice, he had a fresh magazine loaded in less than a second. The fire switch was flicked from safe to burst, and a single squeeze of a single finger set off an event that would lead to one hell of an adventure. BANGBANGBANG Three bullets fired off in quick succession. The sound was loud and sharp, hurting the ears of any unused to it. The 5.56 NATO rounds slammed into the dragon’s chest scales, flattening against them before bouncing off at high speed. Immediately, the terrifying purple gaze of the creature snapped to the source that dared sting it. As the maw began to open, flickering purple arcane flames that licked about its lips like an opening furnace, Hudson’s eyes went wide and he realized he’d made a terrible mistake. “We should run, shouldn’t we?”
  6. Pale Blood, Crimson Flame

    A heavy-browed nod of the head and a tightening of the fist around the knife's handle was Ansen’s reply. Rainza wasn’t used to working in a group, or even with another person. But she had known Ansen for a long time, and the two had achieved some impressive feats together either would be hard pressed to have survived alone. Her faith in his shield was no less than the deadliness of her own hand. A ten-minute trek brought them near the base of the tower, skirting around it in a wide breadth at Rainza’s behest. Her short legs and quick footsteps kept her on point. One might think it would make more sense to have Ansen in his armor take the lead, but Rainza insisted her enhanced senses would prove better for the position in this unknown land of arcane interference. Her assertion ended up paying off in the end. As they came around to the incredibly large double doors marking the entrance to the tower, Rainza’s insane reflexes saved her neck. As she approached the doors to make an attempt at opening them, a reaping arc of abyssal steel nearly harvested her life’s nectar. A lizardman had leapt from a jutting perch above the archway, and the tiny Aldrak’s diminutive size allowed her to easily skip back, avoiding the blade and putting a few feet of distance between herself and the dauntingly large creature. She wasn’t left without a parting gift, however. A dark scorch marred her neck, a result of the swirling dark flames dancing along the metal’s surface. Ansen would recognize it as Daemon-fyre, but the Aldrak remained ignorant beyond the fact it left her with an agonizing burn that felt like a chainsaw ripped at her flesh for eternity. A flick of the tongue was her only reaction to the pain. Well, that and a bright azure flame flaring in her eyes. A hushed snarl punctuated Rainza’s bold step forward. Bold, but on guard. Right foot planted, toes pointed outward, left foot forward, barely any weight placed on it, knees slightly bent. One hand far and high, elbow slightly bent, the other low and near, elbow braced against the hip. Palms open and pointed towards the enemy unless wielding a weapon. Avvercus’ instructions for Onyx, the base stance for the Emerald Banner’s system of martial arts. Rainza eased into it as naturally as breathing, flowing forward like liquid shadow, and the lizardman responded in kind. Swift as a serpent, it proved to be no mindless, or skilless, beast. It bore over the little woman, every bit as tall and broad as the knight at her back. The short sword of flames given metallic form jabbed for Rainza’s eye, but her far hand met the lizard’s charcoal scaled wrist just in time to direct the blade away from blinding her. Closing in with a lightning-fast series of short steps, Rainza attempted to make use of the opening she created. But, her enemy mimicked the Aldrak, grasping her delicate looking wrist in an inhumanly powerful grip of ripping scales. Checkmate Rainza’s free hand retreated, coming back to the grab the lizard’s wrist that gripped her own and force it against her chest. In response, it made to yank the daemon-fyre sword back to take her head. However, that endeavor never came to fruition. The martial artist’s height gave her a great advantage in close quarters combat. Her center of gravity was below most things she fought by default. Her boot smashed the thing’s ankle, cracking bones as she swept the forward foot that held its weight. At the same time, she pivoted, turning the lizardman’s wrist outward in a way the bone and sinew was not designed to twist. The result was a towering scaled creature flipped off its feet to the ground beneath a 4’10 little girl’s determined gaze. Her rusty knife was free of its grasp, yanked back when it was forced to loosen its hold. The point arched, piercing its way under scales and into the blood gushing flesh of the second lizardman that had tried to flank her. Even engaged with such an intimidating enemy, Rainza’s vigilance didn’t falter, and she heard the approaching footfalls of a new combatant that weren’t Ansen’s. A quick glance past the blood dripping side of the second lizard revealed Ansen was now engaged with three others. Either one had passed his guard, which she highly doubted, or this one had likewise came from the rises of the tower. The weak metal snapped off, leaving almost the entirety of the blade buried in the lizardman’s neck. Rainza brought the broken weapon down regardless, roaring as she blocked the slash aimed at her gut by the enemy still at her feet. She let the knife go, throwing her 300 lbs body atop the lizard, pinning its sword hand. With a warrior’s cry, her fist fell, pounding it in the face over and over, destroying the thin skin covering her knuckles. Blue and black mixed as she layed into it, switching to her elbow, aiming for the elongated neck. A growl shook her entire body when she felt the long, sharp fangs of the lizard she had ‘killed’ sink into her shoulder. Undeterred, Rainza rained blows until the one she straddled struggled no more, and her arm was rendered a bloody mess. Taking the abyssal blade that was her spoils of war, Rainza stabbed it over her shoulder, forcing the now definitely dead lizard off of her. Venom oozed from the wound it left behind, a sickly dark purple riding atop the river of her own fluids that stained her leathers. Still undeterred, She stomped to her feet in a low crouch, ready to rush to Ansen’s side should he need it. However, she expected he would have already dealt with his foes, and in a much cleaner way than her primal rage had faired for her. We train to curb our natural instinct, and replace it with an artificial one that far better suits a skilled and disciplined warrior. Let your rage fuel you Rainza, but never let it take control. A martial artist that throws away the pride and trust in her own skills for the comforting whispers of her emotions will fall easily. Her teacher had never been wrong. The wounds covering her body at the moment proved it.
  7. When Fates Align

    Thump thump thump The pounding of his heart was almost as loud as the blood rushing through his ears. The feeling of ice in his gut accompanied contracted pupils and pumping adrenaline as the young man shivered and shook at the knees. They nearly buckled as he moved out of the wagon at the behest of the guards, the last to come under the starry night’s canopy. His feet hit the ground, immediately followed by his knees as the young man’s legs finally gave way. The jade bells tied to the tips of his hair let out a happy jingle totally inappropriate for the situation as he landed on a rock. The budding empath gasped as he felt the bruised flesh immediately begin to swell, soaking tear wrenching pain into his nerves. Aventus looked up from where he sat pathetically on his knees to witness an intimidating woman with a sublimely commanding voice lift one of the guards off the ground. When her eyes swept over the group, the young man whimpered under the powerful gaze and felt tears begin to well in his Malachite eyes. This was a terrible idea. He hadn’t wanted to break the law and try to smuggle his way in. But he was told it was the only way, and he had to find her. Then, as though by some trick of Fate itself, there she was. “Sis!” Aventus cried out, jumping to his feet with his hand outstretched towards the psion he’d gotten attached to. Imprinted, one might even say. Just then, a dark silhouette cast a shadow like a blade through the moonlight. It plummeted towards the group from the top of the city walls, a twisting missile of flapping robes. Right before hitting the ground, a tiny shockwave of mana cast outward from the man, completely stopping his fall, inertia and all, bringing him to a standstill mid-air. Slowly, his boots eased through the air to take his weight upon the earth. With hair and eyes strikingly identical to the young man only a few feet to his left, he took in the attracted attention of everyone present. His hand came up with a flourish, balling a fist except for his index which bent into a hook. With his hand turned so the sides of his finger showed, the swordmage kissed the knuckle topping the crooked finger before pressing it to his forehead with closed eyes and an airy smile. “Greevios, Raven,” his tongue rolled, punctuating the formal greeting with the less formal nickname he had always known the Matreyan princess by. Avvercus let his hand drop from his forehead to rest on his hip while the other arm dangled loosely by his side. “Or perhaps you would prefer General?” The guards visibly relaxed upon seeing their queen’s bodyguard and the current man in charge of Predator’s Keep. However, this wouldn't prove to last for long. "Your Majesty is a touch nice." "Haha, I'll just stick with Raven, as always. Well, for now at the very least. We'll see what the future holds," the man replied casually, allowing his gaze to fall on the guards. "Back to your post, men. I'll handle this thank you very much. Or you can drill with Ironstride here, whichever you'd prefer." his disposition seemed to come off as a joke, but something about the glow of swirling green mana in his eyes told otherwise. "A-Aye M'Lord" the man Sabine had dropped managed to choke out with a salute before the lot of them scampered back to the gates. "Sigh I really don't like that title. Anyway, what do you say we question our guests here somewhere more comfortable?" he offered, gesturing back towards the tent Raven had arrived from. It wasn’t like him to impose on hospitality, but the man had much to do, and bringing the entire party back to the center of PK wasn’t something he could entertain at the moment. His eyes slid to glance at Aventus for a moment, a sly grin of greeting coming soon after. Well, funny how Fate works, isn’t it? You can relax, I won’t eat you...for now. Aventus simply gulped at this invasion of his mind. The Prime was a calming presence, and yet instinct told him he should be terrified. This was a wall he would need to climb over or break through one day. If he didn’t when the time came, he would disappear from this world completely.
  8. The Genome Chronicles

    As though the elevator door was a portal to the dimenson of devils, hell was let loose upon this mortal plane. For a sliver of an instant, the collective groans of a mass of animated dead reached the ears of the elevator’s occupants before the roar of guns drowned it out. Though it wasn’t her weapon, Moonblade handled the borrowed AK like a dream as the trio turned the corridor into a meat grinder. The surging mass of flesh and gnashing teeth slowly pushed into the elevator as those behind the now static dead pushed their piling bodies forward. The little woman’s boot came up then, a perfect solution to that problem. With clearly inhuman strength, she stomped the closest corpse in the chest. The rotten bones crunched beneath her might, and the cadaver was turned into a tank shell as it pushed everything aside, careening down the hall and making a hole for the three to move forward. Dante took point, and the two behind him had nothing to do as his shotgun cleared the remaining stragglers. For a brief moment, nothing moved. Only the sound of a lone bouncing shell broke the silence. When that faded, it was the rapid breathing of the adrenaline pumped humans who had emerged victorious and alive. “Ammo?” This single word broke the moment, punctuated by Moonblade’s hand outstretched towards Dante expectantly. He gave her a magazine without speaking, and the two watched her with some bemusement as the woman struggled to remove the one still in AK. She was clearly unfamiliar with the military rifle. It didn’t take long for her to get the thing reloaded, and with another huff she took the lead yet again, stepping in a puddle of gooified zombie as she turned back towards the elevator. The white walls were painted red, and the three intruders were no different. The elevator was in the corner of this floor, and the cooridor stretched in two different directions. There were no doors in this one, but doubling back to the other revealed a single door set into the wall on the left. Entering it cautiously, the already lit room was quickly declared clear. Moonblade sat at a lone computer, and within a few keystrokes logged into it. She pulled up a floor plan after a few minutes “Find us suits in the locker rooms. I have more to do here,” Moonblade commanded, and continued to type away with frustrated grunts. After a few minutes of searching, Vergil and Dante returned with a single, undamaged suit. “Yeah, not gonna fit me. Here,” Vergil handed the suit over to Dante and then turned his blue gaze to their mysterious companion. “Why do we need suits?” “This is a bio-lab. Hazardous environment,” was the curt reply. Moonblade jabbed a finger at the headsets on the wall. “Take one, give me the other. Don’t rip your suit. Go.” On the screen, Moonblade flipped through camera feeds, occasionally revealing a slowly shuffling figure in various laboratory rooms. “Oh. No guns. Flammable gases. Use this. Bring it back, or I'll kill you," she said without looking at Dante, shoving her sheathed Katana towards him.
  9. A Divine Deployment

    Hudson wanted to interject, ask questions about this ‘healing’ and why it involved her unconscious on the floor, but he let it go. If she wished to talk about it, she would have gone into detail. Instead, the man remained silent and studied his savior while listening to her voice. Savior. The word stuck, and he suddenly realized this adorable little woman in white had saved his life. She turned him from a bloody, shredded ball of meat into a breathing man with a healthy heart that yet beat. The tea and cookies was left untouched for several seconds while he memorized her face. The soft, delicate lines framed by pure white, centered with dazzling ruby and sporting a lively character that made him want to smile. He’d been nothing but trouble for her in the short time span they had known one another, yet she showed nothing but hospitality with a side of amusing attitude. Definitely a good person. A good woman. By the time Rin returned, Hudson had wolfed down his cookies with the zeal of a starving man, and finished his very relaxing drink. He closed his eyes, allowing a small smile to creep onto his steely face before a satisfied sigh opened his smalt gaze back to the still woken world. “I believe you.” The words were genuine, given in a tone that was almost soft for the man. He didn’t add his reasoning for his faith, that he’d already had enough evidence to change his perspective. Hudson glanced at his watch, noting the digital timekeeping device had frozen. Nothing more than a keepsake now, eh? Though, it was odd for something digital to simply freeze like this. “A rookie mistake got me killed in battle. I talked to a God, and he sent me here I guess. To you. To someone who could and would save me,” he replied with a dreamlike tone that said he still wasn’t quite used to the reality. Oddly, with the subject brought up, the man didn’t thank her for saving his life. “The cookies were delicious, thank you. If it isn’t too much trouble…” he hesitated for a moment, unused to asking others for anything if he wasn’t demanding it by virtue of rank, “Could I have another cup of tea?”
  10. The Rabbit Hole

    "A pleasure, Master Aidan, Master Eva," LaPlace bowed once more. A rather dosh chuckle bubbled in the air between him and his newest guests. He couldn't recall anyone ever being so upfront about his appearance before. "Haha, well you see Master Eva, I'm not actually a rabbit at all. I'm a Dem-" The proprietor of the inn was interrupted by a rude young woman shoving his guest to the side and demanding alcohol. "Master Rainza, please do not be rude to your fellow patrons." "Fuck off." The statement was not made to LaPlace, but rather the woman the angry girl named Rainza had pushed to the side. Rainza took hold of the glass LaPlace placed in front of her without complaint about her apparent age. Aggressively, she downed the particularly strong stirring of liquor all at once before turning her ire towards the woman that dared confront her back. "If I wanted to hurt someone, they would be dead," she hissed at Eva, saying the last word loudly while jeering at the back of Avvercus' head. Meanwhile, Fiona stood outside the door of one of several rooms along a hallway, flipping through a ring of keys trying to find the right one. She saw Aidan approaching, and perked up, placing one hand on her hip and cocking it to the side with sass. "Eh, you need something?"
  11. The Rabbit Hole

    LaPlace regarded Faye with a whimsical twinkle in his beady eyes. A birthday girl, was it? He set his hands on the bar top, folded atop one another gently, and leaned in slightly. “Why, a happy birthday to you miss. How old are you today?” ~ Avvercus flashed the girl sitting next to him a smile when he noticed her examining him with a silly look on her face. For half a heartbeat he nearly considered breaking the ice with something flirtatious. However, the Fatewalker was not here to pluck pretty flowers today; he had come to sow seeds for a bright future. LaPlace then interjected, taking back the girl’s attention, and so the Mage himself turned back to his prospective student. “That is a noble path you walk, Lante. I want to point out, however, that it isn’t just magus who wander that make a difference. Those who ‘pursue abstract, arcane matters’ make breakthroughs in magical theorem, discover the answer to lifting curses, enhance healing, and invent new spells that save countless lives. A safer life spent researching and developing is not something to be ashamed of,” he lectured gently. It wasn’t a scolding or criticism, but a sharing of perspective. “As for your question…” Avvercus beamed, continuing on without letting any negative air linger. His tea lifted to his lips via off-handed telekinesis, interrupting him mid-sentence to enjoy more of the beverage. He noticed a pair enter the Inn then, taking a moment to study the cloaked man and woman before turning back to Lante. “I am a man beholden to many responsibilities. First and foremost, however, is my service to Lillailianthia, the Goddess of Fate. When the need arises, she directs me to points of contention in the great weave known as Fate. Events happen often that have only two outcomes, turning-points that have a massive effect on the destiny of many. I am her hand that tips the scales in favor of a more desirable future. One where children continue to smile and play, where men are free and blood does not spill from a cup running over,” he explained casually, as though discussing the weather. “So yes, I suppose you are right. I fight and protect the weak who are unable to sculpt fate beyond their own. Which brings me to my next responsibility. I am an Assistant Master in the Emerald Banner. The Emerald Banner is an ancient order of martial artists who have spread across the multiverse. We are a neutral party, and do not fight wars or take sides in conflicts as a group. We have one goal, one purpose in mind: Give the weak the power to take their fate into their own hands, and sculpt their destiny as they see fit. Rather than save people, we teach them to save themselves.” he said, a sliver of passion and pride glinting in his eye. The martial artist finished his tea, and then fixed the young man with a serious, piercing stare. “If you become my apprentice, you are going to suffer. My training is not easy. My expectations are high. You will be dragged around all of Valucre at my whim, never staying in one place for long. I am going to expose you to certain truths that will rob you of comforting naivety, but will open doors to more than you ever thought possible. You will become a fine Mage, one bards would trip over one another to sing about, and you will earn that title by your own merit. Merit paid for in sweat, blood, tears, and sleepless nights. You will fight with your life on the line, Lante. Knowing all of this, do you still want to walk this path?” Avvercus’ tone was heavy, a sudden weight pressing down on Lante’s shoulders. The grimoire floating by his shoulder came to rest on the bartop in front of the demon boy. It was open to a page with an ornate, complex magic circle that covered the paper all the way to the very edges. “Put your hand on this circle, if you have the resolve. If not, we can change the topic of conversation.” ~ LaPlace’s attention was stolen by another ring of the doorbell. A fine pair of travelers graced his Inn, and LaPlace received them with his standard swooping bow. “I do indeed have rooms available, Sir. Please, have a seat and your food will be here shortly,” Laplace said warmly, scooping the coins towards himself. They fell off the bar, but curiously the sound of them hitting the floor never rang out. “And yes, Ma’am, we do have a place for you to bathe. Could I trouble you for your names? I am LaPlace,” the rabbit asked, while the sound of approaching bootsteps softly tapped against the marble floor. A maid with long blond hair, an eye patch, and a shockingly blue eye appeared from the other side of the bar and set down two plates laden with eggs, biscuits, gravy, bacon, and toast. “Enjoy, peasants...er, I mean...Enjoy your meal, sir, ma’am,” the servant corrected herself, glancing at LaPlace with a measure of caution. “That’s better Fiona. Now you just need to work on your nasty habit of tripping on nothing and-” LaPlace’s comment was interrupted by the sound of Fiona stumbling over a bar stool as she walked away. Her feet fumbled, but she managed to stay on them. The girl turned around and crossed her arms before flinging them outward. “Safe!” LaPlace flashed the woman a thumbs up as she skittered off to prepare the new guests’ room. No sooner had this happened then the door to the Inn boomed open with incredible force, crashing it into the wall but luckily not breaking or damaging anything. Soaking wet from the torrent pouring outside, a girl who looked to be no older than twelve stomped her way inside loudly with boots squeaking from the water. Her sapphire glare drilled a hole into Avvercus’ back as she moved towards the bar while wringing out her single smalt twintail and leaving a trail of rain in her wake. The girl shoved Eva aside with a surprising amount of weight before stepping up onto one of the bar stools and stabbing a finger at LaPlace. “Rabbit. Alcohol, now. Make it strong,” she demanded with a gruff, angry grumble before casting another glance towards Avvercus that bore ill omens of scarcely withheld violence. @Skyscraper @Cinder @Aidan Valnaris
  12. A Divine Deployment

    The stool was incredibly sturdy. It didn’t seem cut or treated. It was as though the thing had simply grown into the shape it now took, a surprisingly comfortable homey little thing just tall enough for the six foot Marine to be comfortable perching upon. Well, as comfortable as he could be at the moment. He stared at Rin putting a kettle on the stove a few feet away while in heavy thought, turning over everything in his head a few times. A fantasy land? Magic? If one asked him if he’d ever believed in something like that, he’d probably had said no simply off of virtue of having never seen it. But, seeing his current situation, he’d probably change that answer. The mysterious god that had answered his plea must have sent him here. For what purpose? Why directly in front of this person? What of his men and the battle they had been in? There were too many unknowns he couldn't quantify, so the man did the best he could and shove it all to the side. Live in the now, work towards the future. There was one thing he could learn about, at the very least. With a small huff, Hudson stopped impersonating a statue. “You said the blood was mine. What happened to my wounds? Why were you covered in my blood?” the man finally spoke up, glancing down at his flak he’d placed next to the stool. The air in the kitchen was pleasant, and helped keep the warrior calm and relaxed. His mind jumped to several conclusions for his question, but he ignored them all, waiting for an actual and direct piece of information from the first source.
  13. Stay at home mom.... who is extremely board.

    @OctoberSkys Feel free to pop in whenever you want. ^_^ I'm sure I can find a way to keep you occupied
  14. A Divine Deployment

    If there’s one thing Hudson learned after so many years dancing with death, it was always trust your gut. Right now, his gut told him listen to the girl. He didn’t enjoy the whimpering. Though it told him she feared death, and therefore could be threatened into obedience, he didn’t like the look that blossomed in those eyes. They were soft and warm, like her body beneath his touch. Gunny always said he had a soft spot for women and it was gonna get him killed someday. Well, he’d already died once… Round two didn’t sound so bad. He didn’t speak a word before he took a step back, pulling the woman with him while sheathing his knife and wrapping an arm around her waist without thinking about it. Her feet left the floor as he booked it for the entrance, covering his face with his arm and skirting around the poisonous smoke that was rising. Luckily, her front door was ever so slightly ajar as he hit it with one shoulder, saving it from breaking as the pair burst into fresh air. His Beretta M9 left his hip holster and found its way into his steady hand as he continued to run, analyzing their surroundings with the quick mind of a military man. There were countless potential hiding places for enemies. Behind trees, on the other side of softly rolling knolls in the distance, around the back of the sleepy house they’d just left. But, logic told him the likelihood of alerted adversaries not waiting outside at the ready was unrealistically low. With that, he slowed to a stop once they were a safe distance from the house. His gun was put on safe and tucked away, and he finally let loose a heavy sigh as his body relaxed. He set his mysterious company down and tried to get a sense of his geographical location based on what he saw. Nothing specific came to mind, but it was damn sure obvious he wasn’t in the middle east anymore. If he hadn’t literally spoken to a god before all this, he’d be racking his brain trying to make sense of it. Her comment on him being American made it obvious that they at the very least were not in America. The Marine’s kevlar, rifle, and flak jacket all found their way in a neat pile on the ground at his feet, still stained with blood. Finally getting a quick glance at himself, he noted that there was enough on his uniform in general that anyone that saw him might think he was a zombie. He gave his unfortunate company some attention after that, taking in her shockingly pale visage with a measure of awe. He’d never seen an albino in person before, and found her rather beautiful. Then again, he’d always been a sucker for monotone. “I’m sorry… For all that back there. I thought you were injured because of all the blood, so I was checking you for wounds. My name is Sergeant Seth Hudson. If you could tell me yours and where I am and how I got here, I would really appreciate it,” he said like a man who was unused to speaking softly. His hand was extended, coated in dirt, blood, grease, and all other manner of things one would find on a working man. That hand was filthy and rough, but it was also big, strong, and sincere. A good hand worth shaking, all in all.
  15. The Rabbit Hole

    @Skyscraper LaPlace’s gloved hand covered Avvercus’ cup of tea from the new arrival’s vision, sliding it down the polished bartop until he stopped in front of her. With his hand still in place, the rabbit-man bowed, bringing his face level with and but a few inches from Faye. “Welcome, miss. Have some tea, it will do wonders for those nerves,” he offered with a wink before straightening back up. His hand moved, and a perfect replica of the tea Avvercus had ordered was revealed, steaming and begging to be sampled. ~ Avvercus led Lante to the bar, offering him a seat that he took without issue. By the time they had arrived, a third cup of milk tea with a dabble of honey lay there for the small demon. The Swordmage’s grimoire floated by his head lazily as he finally reached for the tea and gave it a sip. He let out a sigh of satisfaction before placing the cup back on its saucer. “I offer you a choice, young one. Tell me about yourself, and why you wish to pursue a magical teacher such as myself, or… You can ask me a question.”