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Reign last won the day on December 7 2010

Reign had the most liked content!

About Reign

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  • Birthday 09/14/1986

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  1. Reign

    The Spinster.

    aptap tap, it was a gentle rhythm. Tap, it sang. Tap-tap, it whispered. The pendant of a woman's necklace, charred, ashen, beaten; a fragment of cloth caught in the wind; the melted husk of an action figure, wound up, snapping as it sputtered through its routine, struggling against the jagged edges of plastic warped by the heat. Poppop-pop, sang a response in the distance. Then again. And again. Each time faster than the last, perforated now by shouting and more replies in the distance. The replies grew louder, now echoing off the walls of the intact corridors branching out from the shattered terminal; and as they did, chaos had been stoked, not unlike the flames that still spread from the heart of the airship port. As they grew louder, and as the voices behind them grew clearer, it was evident that the explosion was but the curtain rising. A firefight had broken out. Standing at the foot of a hulking ship, Kaneda kept an ear turned toward the terminal, listening for anything to use, for whatever guidepost was present to usher the three others along safely. The gunfire was expected. Draw Arkadian security's attention, then hold it for as long as possible. Leave him and his to their task, THE task, the objective for which the toll had been paid. The ship imposed on the landscape, even with the chaos that swept the port in the distance, it managed to consume the backdrop. It was a full four or five times larger than the other ships around it, built from large beams of metal more than wood or plasteel. Even sleeping, so to speak, it flaunted a veritable arsenal. In the skies above Tellus Mater, the ship would have been absent equal. It was a testament to the military might of the Alterion regime and the Masons behind the curtain. Here in the port, silent, it bared its fangs, but like the four mounds of soldiers that were heaped at the foot its ramp, it had been found wanting. The distraction had called enough attention away. Little more than a token force. That was all that awaited them, to be dealt quickly, silently, and preferably without loss. “We-- we're in,” the voice trembled from a few feet away. Tully, he said his name was. He'd been uncomfortable with the anonymity. The other two hadn't shared the sentiment. But, Kaneda felt a pang of pity; the four of them dealt with stress differently. Kaneda had long since honed the rush of adrenaline into a dagger. The other two bottled it up, shooting looks over their shoulders into the cold. They offered distrust and clung tightly to the hope that they'd escape the night. Tully, on the other hand, resigned himself to it, seeking companionship, even at the cost of being known and diminishing the hope of ever returning home. Kaneda gave Tully a nod. It wasn't pity, no. It was admiration. And regret. With a pop-hiss, the door lifted to the darkness of the hold.
  2. Reign

    The Spinster.

    ommy." A young mother, maybe in her early thirties, scoured through a bag filled with loose papers and photos. Her brows furled and her lips pursed into a frown. She could feel it; they were already late. Their airship had begun boarding almost twenty minutes ago, and the final call had just rung through the intercom in this terminal. The cold, robotic voice droned, “The airship bound for La Guardia, Renovatio is set to depart in ten minutes,” those last two words stung the most, “Doors will be closing momentarily.” "Moooommmm." The pressure only mounted; she could feel the sweat pouring from her palms, dampening each paper that wasn’t her ticket as she pushed past them, “Riva be damned,” she whispered under her breath. This was only the first checkpoint; they’d have to shoot down to the end of the terminal to catch the final door. The pile of documents, of every sort, of her entire life in Alterion, was neverending. “Mommmmmy,” the annoyed tone finally grabbed her attention. “Hold on baby, we can talk once we’re through.” "But mooooom—." She’d done her best, but the stress broke the dam of frustration already teetering on the edge, “Not now, damn it!” "But mommy, there’s a man over there doin’ somethin’ weeeird.." “Found it!” And all in a moment, the stress fell away and relief washed over her. She must have had a good hundred pages of immigration documents stashed in her bag, but from the mess, pulled a single printed sheet. An antique practice, sure. But their inability to afford a simple mounted LED display of any kind was the very reason they were leaving. And fortunately, it looked like they’d just make it to the gate, barely. "Mommy!." She finally turned to the young boy clinging to her right hip. He stood there pointing in the distance. His mother sighed and stooped down to meet him eye-level, “What is it, Tomas?” Tomas had always had a proclivity for being curious. There was nothing that ever missed his gaze, and he was sure to point out every little detail to his mother (“Mommy, there’s a booger on the ceiling”— “Mommy, why does the sun turn red when it goes down?”— “Mommy, why is that lady sitting on her suitcase?”— “Mommy, why do farts smell like cheese?”— “Mommy, if farts smell like cheese, does that mean they taste like cheese, too?”). And this was no different, of course. She expected to look up and see some man doing any mundane task. And yes, it was always a mundane task. So, what she saw caught her off guard. Completely. Her jaw dropped and brow creased; what was she even l— Not nothing because the thought stopped. Well, not exactly, stopped. More like interrupted. And not just her thoughts, but those of Tomas, of the security agent stamping her ticket, of the line of frustrated passengers squirming and checking their watches behind her, having no time to get hung up by an ill-prepared mother and her son. Most of them were never given the opportunity to feel the interruption, not as the ball of fire engulfed the wing that made up this terminal, as caustic, scalding air compressed against the sudden change in pressure. The bustle of the terminal was muted against the thunderous boom that steamrolled over it, of the glass shattering into microscopic fragments, nearly aerosolized in the inferno that swallowed anything still standing for a good hundred meters in every direction. Even as the environmental control systems kicked on in an attempt to douse the blaze, there was no relenting. Just the manafed blaze that spread, stubborn, in the face of any attempt for humanity. Kaneda heard it in the distance. He felt the rumble bounce the truck in its march, like hitting a speed bump too fast. The other three men recoiled, ducking down or yelping in surprise. He could see one go squeamish as color fled his face and a sickly pallor preempted an immediate vacation of his dinner on the metal bottom of their box. He didn't have time to care. The explosion was a good kilometer away. A smoke screen, and a massive one. That meant a tight window to act in and a great number of eyes falling on their destination if only a short distance from their objective. And as the truck screeched to a halt and the rear hatch shot open, the last bit of meaning casually fell before them— Arkadia Prime's terminal was ablaze. And a toll had been paid, one that wrenched Kaneda's gut as instinct carried him to feet and propelled from the vehicle. He'd have to bury the feeling again. No time to feel.
  3. Reign


    [ Update ]Images fixed
  4. Reign

    The Spinster.

    he pitch of night was broken by strands of pale white light scanning through the hold. Each pass cast apprehension on those therein; each falling just two seconds from the last, a rhythm had formed. And that rhythm had taken the form of a stopwatch, counting away as seconds fell away into minutes, and minutes lingered as a reminder that action was just moments away. There were three others there with him. They'd been brought in for any number of reasons, for their talents. They'd been told they were to be instrumental in the cause. He was certain, however, that instrumental actually meant expendable. They'd been told little else. Each had been given their own objective: vague. Only granted enough clarity to ensure the job was done as intended. Kaneda’s was brief. No, concise. Familiar. “Buy them time,” it read. Three words scrawled onto the page in a cipher only he had, peppered with coordinates that correlated to a time and place, with a single sigil at the end to indicate a need for secrecy. There was a great deal to infer from the message, the least of which was the expectation this was to be a one-way ticket. And, his gut uttered the sentiment that he was the only one with anything to infer at all. Perhaps by virtue of faith in his skills, perhaps because the rebellion knew this was the type of mission he'd sought as of late. After all, the cause was in need of martyrs, what with the state Alterion these days. And it wasn't just the sentiment of secrecy. The cabin had all but been blacked out by design. The slats that gave way to the little light above were only there because the four of them had to breathe long enough to complete their task. Nothing had been given that wasn't imperative, either— the wall of darkness up bettween the inhabitants of the cabin was by design. Whatever fat politician stuffing his ego behind his desk wanted the piercing, cold steel of silence walled between them. There was no want, no need, no room for camaraderie today, for camaraderie bred dependence, bled emotion, fed doubt. And hesitation was not on the day's agenda. The little Kaneda could glean from the others as the banner of light cast through the room was green. They weren't soldiers. They might have been believers, sure. But they were recruited because they brought little value to the rebellion past today. Given their apparent age, given the way their hearts raced at every bump on the road— after each and every turn, after the groan of metal beneath their feet —they were not only new to this, they were the sort to be missed. No one had trained them for today, likely because the one skill they had was thought to be enough. Even the way they sat was telling. The way they squirmed, the way they glanced over their shoulders, they had people they loved that they left behind, and they had every intention of returning. A wife, kids? It was all familiar. These three other men were pawns to be played in a grander game. A message of defiance. He should have known the moment he’d received the note that this was where things were headed, and perhaps he had. Perhaps it was for that precise reason he was here. As the only thing between the three of them and oblivion.
  5. he riveting conversation partner Hana had just made had abandoned her. Having wiggled free from her arms, lil Fluffs, as she would soon be known affectionately, had begun a rapid approach of the injured man. "I wouldn't—" but it seemed her words fell hard on deaf ears. Hana felt her grip instinctively tense against her hilt, only catching her discomfort after the fact. Alarm bells blared in the back of her skull though there was little evidence to support concern. Simply put, the two before her— the beaten man and his hidden feline companion —were off. Though the cat had managed to tuck its way out of sight, there was no mistaking the feeling he gave off. Perhaps it was the hidden partner that had thrown the mojo all amok. But for now, there were no words available to articulate what it was that was off. There was just a keen sense of it, exuding off of them. It was like looking at a picture of yourself when your life had grown accustomed to staring into a mirror image. Just a subtle displacement was all that lingered, but she couldn't shake the discomfort it caused. Even as Fluffs took the injured man in her arms and offered to heal him, Hana could feel herself inch forward, eyes affixed and unwavering. The posture she took wore the mantle of a beast defending her kin; as she moved, she did kept herself clear and in the line of sight, as if to make the message clear— nothing stood in the way of retaliation were events to come to that. "It's not as though you aren't the fourth or fifth man today to offer the olive branch," She nearly spat her terse reply, "Fergive our skepticism." Even if Fluffs didn't look the skeptical sort.
  6. Reign


    Public service announcement.
  7. here were few joys in the world set aside for a princess of Zahard. The role was one of duty, constraints; manacles bound their wrists in a way unlike the princes and princesses of yore. Reputation had earned as much fear as respect. Those who bowed their heads had learned to do so out of contempt. The few from one's own family who held a princess in high esteem, did so only so far the princess brought the name honor and did their reputation the justice they assumed the family deserved. The name, the honor, the esteem rarely lasted. So, to describe the scene that now unfolded on the mound of flesh and blood that had been spilled, in the one tiny stretch of unmarred earth beneath Hana's feet that had been left, was a task that few rivaled. "And I'm gunna name you Fluffykins, and we'll enjoy our afternoon tea everyday." The bunny-girl was now being strangled, hugged tight to the chest in a suffocating grip that sent her tossling back and forth with the sway of Hana's torso. She swung left and then right, then left, and right. The look on her face was one of bliss, bliss fitting to a young child on Christmas morning having just unpacked a puppy all of her own, both unwilling and unable to show restraint, "And at night, at night, you can sleep with Mr. Buffy and Madame Louise. They can be a little gruff about new company, but they'll get used to ya!" The sway of her body conveyed youthful joy, the result of so much unhampered happiness that she could do little than give into the instinct to move, and shake, and spin. Sometime later that hour "Oh, and don't worry about the Illustrious Sir Mittens. He doesn't bite. Not usually." The Illustrious Sir Mittens, not to be abbreviated in any way, shape, or form, was her pet alligator, a little fact she had spent the better part of the last fifteen minutes raving about. It wasn't likely that poor little Fluffykins had gotten a word in since the first two met. Even now, Hana's thoughts and voice had raced onto the rather strict diet The Illustrious Sir Mittens observed: carefully culled kale and a strict balance of free-roam chicken breast kept him ornery but insured that his irritable bowel syndrome presented little challenge to the burdening lifestyle the shroud of Zahard rought. "And then, you wrap the cloth around your pinky and get really deep in there, otherwise he—" For the first time since the two had happened across one another, levity left Hana's expression and silence took her. Fluffykins, still clutched tight to her breast, was abruptly dropped. What was probably a comically-large young girl being toted around like a handbag would have likely descended the six inches between she and the floor and plopped on her (huggable and fluffy) hind-quarters. The scene was alien. About as alien as they came. A young man dragged his half-dead carcass through the grass with a cat (ALSO totally adorable, by the way), a princess and and her absolutely to-die-for-Fluffykins? And dead bodies. Man, dead bodies everywhere. Nah, perfectly normal in Evankhell's hell. (As for the cat, maybe Hana'd have ta add him to the collection, too. Sir Snuffles? The Esteemed and Peerless Timothy Dalton, Esquire [not to be abbreviated]? So many possibilities.)
  8. he moment just before the grass parted had drawn tention to a breaking point. Instinct had guided her reaction: her right thumb pressed firmly against the hilt of the katana at her waist. A gentle click elevated the blade a half inch from the saya, prepped for a quick draw were it necessary. Time froze in that moment. It was a long moment. One that was not filled with any particular thoughts, not burdened by any distractions; just instinct, it was more the opposite of thought. Simply emptiness, there was nothing in the world that could have torn her eyes away. Keen awareness filled her as the first step broke the wall of tall grass to reveal the soul that had stumbled across Hana's quiet li'l patch of destruction. A girl. Unassuming and innocent, wearing a smile that untouched by the last hour of destruction that still now filled the air with faint cries, guttural howls, clashes of metal, unserved laments, thunderous pops, and the occasional earth-shattering explosion. A girl. Hana's gut told her the girl didn't belong here, that she was out of place. But she knew better than that. Hana knew that such an assumption had been made only minutes prior by the mass of flesh a few feet behind her. He had chalked up the red-hooded girl to be a pushover, lost and helpless. So much for him. Nevertheless, the bunny-eared girl grit would be tested as the scene before her panned out wide. If blood had made her a bit queezy, she was in for a bloodbath, having painted the earth red everywhere but the tiny patch where Hana stood, undisturbed, unmarred.
  9. he sh-nk! sound of the katana sliding back into its sheath broken the silence. Hana wasn’t certain how long it had been. She hadn’t the presence of mind to keep track, but the fire she had kindled had gone cold, nothing but embers cooling in the brisk breeze that cut atop the cinder, charred wood, and ash. “I ‘preciate the boldness, boys. Li’l ol’ me stranded her in Evankhell’s hell, hopeless damsel desperately in need of savin’,” her words betrayed the venom in her tone, “but you shoulda kept movin’.” Her voice filled the air. Only silence answered. A quick examination of her surroundings wove the tale, peppering in the lost minutes of the last hour. The scene was one more suitable to a horror story; bodies had landed where they fell, most had been twisted, contorted at odd angles where bones had been broken, limbs severed from torsos, faces smashed into lumps and bruises. Whoeever they once were, little was left to recognize them by. Even the head that had been roasting over the campfire was now impaled into the dirt at her feet. The charred skin and muscle had was knotted up where the skull had been smashed repeatedly— very likely into at least a handful of the victims sprawled out around her. One eye dangled from the eye socket by its optic nerve. The other was simply missing. All told, there must have been twenty men at her feet, oozing blood into the dirt and staining the tall grass at all sides. Now, at least, the name of this floor did it justice. But despite the carnage, not a single hair was out of place. The red hood and coat she wore about her shoulders hadn’t so much as creased. Not a single drop had landed out of place. She admired her handiwork: a suitable sacrifice to the start of her journey up the tower. It was then that those bright red eyes drifted toward the grass just as a rustle caught her ear and eye. Ever the damsel in distress.
  10. he breeze was jarring. Like a firm forceful hand, it pulled her from her task, drawing her attention to the world around her. She had heard the stories, countless in fact. Tales sung of what Evankhell's Hell had been built on. Yet, her eyes drank in serenity. The rolling hills blanketed by countless stalks of grass spanned as far as she could see, and as they rolled against the wind, like waves breaking against the surface of an endless sea, it was hard to reconcile the contrast. The air down here was crisp. Cool. Her chest rose to as she drew it in. Hana had been one of the first to arrive on the floor. The other regulars that had arrived shortly after wandered aimlessly, unsure what to make of the world they now stood in. Some wore anxiety on their sleeves. After all, no one struggled to keep the name of this Hell secret. Rumors had traveled throughout the tower about what happened here. While the particulars might have escaped their ears, everyone knew that many who ventured to Evankhell's floor were never seen or heard from again. It was enough to grate on their aspirations, to grind down their ambitions, to wither away their motivations: the coarsest of grinding stones was an unforgiving tool, one that served its purpose to remove the damaged, useless, rusted metal from a blade, that which war had weighed heavily on. The steel left was sharper for it, keen for battle. What had been removed was not. Forgotten, dust in the wind. She had been bred to understand that fact. Many of those here, had not had the same luxury. Their anxiety was wise. But, it wouldn't help. For so very many of those here today were nothing more than worn, rusted metal, beyond hope or usefulness. They had either already missed their opportunity or had been but a fledgling blade, unsuited for anything more than pipe dreams. The thoughtful expression she wore was mostly hidden by the heavy red hood. The hood cropped the pallor of her skin, stark red eyes, and the matching head of fine white hair. She looked out of place anywhere deemed 'hell.' The coat beneath the hood was expensive; its fabric bearing little decoration more than the light sheen. Though that alone spoke volumes. It was probably the reason so many of the others had kept such a wide berth. Wistful daydreams waned just in time to catch the hollow, metallic timbre unveil the evening's entertainment. The first test is simple, I'll explain the rules only once, so listen carefully. There are 700 regulars here. Quite a big crop this year, you are to take that number… The pause was palpable. She could feel the electricity stand her hair on end, sense the prickle run down her spine. And narrow it down to 200. Hana caught herself holding her breath, and immediately let it go, “Oh. That's all?” Were this a movie, the close shot of Hana’s face relented into a full body shot; here she sat stooped over a small campfire, one she idly kindled with a thin blade. Centered in the flame, a human head lay speared on a spit, through its exposed esophagus and out from the aghast mouth worn only moments before the poor chap’s demise. “Guess I jumped the gun, eh?” And folks said she wasn't a people-person.
  11. Coruscant. Not the sprawling landscape of transparisteel towers, not the bird's-eye view of the endless urban jungle: here, there was no gleaming horizon in the backdrop. No grand majesty of the heavens overhead to frame the heart of the Republic. No, this corner of Coruscant was its bleeding heart. The grand city showcased over the HoloNet on a daily basis was but the tiniest sliver of the planet. A fraction of a percent— the facade, the mask, the curtains that had been drawn over the puppeteer, the man at the machine who thinks himself a grand wizard or king. Down here, in the deepest, darkest bowels of the city where sun- and starlight never touch, the true people of Coruscant live. Those independent of the men and women of power high above who think highly of themselves. Here, on level 563, nearly two thousand levels below the peak of society, worked and lived the men and women who made this city possible. Men and women whose backs this Republic had been built upon. The air down here was thick. Unfiltered. The courtesies afforded the wealthy were lost upon the men and women down this far, left to their own devices amidst the pollution and toxic fumes of the many towers of duracrete spanning every direction, as far as one could see. Between the monoliths of the Galactic City were smaller structures, makeshift hovels sandwiched between the grander structures that were largely ignored this far below the surface. The haze snuffed out what little light made it this far down making it impossible to discern night from day without a chrono. The only indication of time was the loneliness creeping through the maze of streets and empty skylanes this far down. The hour was late. Late enough that the inhabitants of 563 knew better than to linger beyond the safety of their walls. The quiet calm that permeated the streets was broken by the hum of a repulsorlift. This one sat down one of the far alleys sitting along one of the furthest northern walls of this sector. The hum droned on. When the sound finally hushed itself, the lift doors hissed open making way for a young woman, maybe sixteen at the very oldest. She wore her short and cropped, a single thin braid hung from behind her ear down to her shoulder. The look in this woman’s eyes wore confusion, even hysteria as she scanned the alley ahead. The feeling that hung in her chest was unmistakeable. He was here, she thought. No, she knew. Somewhere on this level, her master was trapped and hurt. There was no mistaking her for what she was, but subtlety was not the best card to play. The brown and tan robes fell loose around her shoulders and body, and her lightsaber was already clutched in her hand. The acrid stink that clung to the walls this far below the surface made concentrating hard, but she knew she had to. She knew that a life hung in the balance. She knew that if she failed here today, her master would be lost forever. With that thought, she took a steady breath; slow, just as Master Lyn had taught her. She closed her eyes. The emotions she felt swelling inside her, snuffing out her senses, strangling her, took form in her mind's eye. A bright red and violet ball of light whipped, spun, and burned the air: chaotic, out of control. Another slow, steady breath. She could feel the heat against her face wane as the light steadied itself. Another breath. The light dimmed from a bright red to a cool whitish-blue. One last breath. And her eyes opened. This young woman was a padawan. And she was desperate for answers.
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