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  1. Following the initial meeting, it seemed there were a few differences in opinion with what was assumed to be the job, and what the job really was. Recruiting for replacements to participate in this thankless task became a focus. Though this proposed team was no larger than the one before it, it was about the best they could hope for. A five man cell. Jinsoku found himself this day, several days after the initial meet to reconvene and pick up where they left off. Both getting the new faces on the same page as those a little more familiar, and getting everyone in mind with some semblance of a plan before simply busting in and trying to strong arm a secured organization with a frontal invasion and assault. A choice that would prove nothing more than fatal. Before Jinsoku himself, it seemed Bishop had already been here waiting for everyone else to arrive. He sat patiently in the early hours of the morning, enjoying the sunrise as he smoked on his Lho, day drinking before the sun had a full chance to wake up and officially mark the beginning of the day. With Jinsoku's approach, Bishop afforded him a simple nod in silence as a greeting. Together the men sat, peering out at the horizon in silence as they anticipated their comrades, and their inevitable departure for this daunting task. Bishop was less concerned now that Raven had returned. He King might not be in the best of conditions, though found he was. @ODSTDRAGON @Akako Akari @Trexasle @Malintzin
  2. It began—as all things did—with the idea of impressing a woman. That was how it always went, right? Would that I could have known that it would ultimately shape her life in ways neither of us could have imagined. It was a token, really. A way to show her that I valued her brilliance. That none so far could outshine her—nor would any be so bold to take her on. It was a challenge, too. A call for her to defy the odds, to tap into that sharp intellect I knew she possessed without equal. All I did was put her in danger, and it cost me my life. Every day at two in the afternoon sharp, fresh flowers arrive. It’s not much, and it’s not terrible, but it brings a smile to her face. She is always sitting by the window, by the workbench which is scattered wantonly with blueprints, schematics; gadget and gizmos; machinations blossomed from dreams past, always thinking of the future—always thinking of the inner workings of something, what made it go? What made it so? Gods all bless, she was a beautiful thing to behold. Bronte Academy was filled with the elite, taught by the elite—and the engineering program was no slouch. Still, she stood a head taller than most—sometimes even literally. We had known each other since we were small—and she had always been Uhltoria to everyone else. But to me, sweetly, kindly—and sometimes shyly, she was Toria. Just Toria. The new semester began and ours was one full of subjects that would otherwise boggle the mind. Engineering physics, subjects like calculus and advanced designing magitech. We had to have a thorough understanding of solid and fluid mechanics, of the structures and materials we’d be using, statics and dynamics—the list went on and on. To become an aeronautical engineer was a feat all on its own. There were too many employment opportunities in the Rising North not to put our brilliant minds to work and to use.
  3. In the hot sands and wastes an Oasis lies in wait. Welcoming to all who wish to enter, formidable to those that wish to do harm. Guarded by a tribe of women selected at birth from their tribes, the newly rebuilt Temple of the Sun Goddess towers above the blowing sands. Sandstone pillars become only visible to the weary eye once travelers have already reached the first guard posts set to keep watch. Amazonian like women, covered head to toe, carrying weapons as big as they check all who wish to enter. From there all guests will be led towards a large gate, behind it the temple accessible only when all weapons have been checked and handed over, guests searched and questioned, and then allowed entrance. A scene quite surprising for the wastes stretches around the temple itself. The only natural spring for hundreds of miles feeds lush plants and supports the keeping of massive war elephants. Priestesses tend the plants and animals diligently and carefully, trying to regrow what was destroyed when the temple was raided and sacked. Smaller housing, built into the walls surrounding the temples houses the priestesses, their fated ones and even children. Many of them still unoccupied and unused as the temples Priestesses were killed in the raid, active recruiting still has not restored it to its previously bursting capacity. A somewhat larger home lays in the very back of the Oasis, hidden amongst the plants and elephants and trickling stream that runs through it. This is the High Priestesses residence, it is here that Khepri, restorer of the temple of the Sun Goddess lives. It is to her that all that enter the Oasis answer to. In the center of the Oasis sits the beautiful and glorious temple. Open to the air on the sides with a ceiling that reaches high, it boasts several small side rooms and one large main one. The side rooms are used to store sacred items, perform healing or for the priestesses to pray. The center of the temple once boasted a beautiful and large statue of the Sun Goddess, now only its crumbled remains exist as the official temple architect has yet to discover the same type of stone it was once built out of. With the exception of the Temple Architect, men are not allowed within the temples walls. They are welcomed within the Oasis itself, but entering the temple is punishable by death.
  4. It had been quite some time since Jinsoku visited the Port Kyros. He almost felt guilty about not visiting to enjoy it's beauty outside of the call of duty. Alas, he was here on business once more after a lengthy stay away following the last business trip made here. There were a lot of preparations in mind for the journey to come, and there was a narrow chance of both survival and success, though He was willing to brave it; With or without anyone else's help. The cold, hard truth was that either way, they had no nation, government nor military backing them on this quest. This is ludicrous even in thought, a suicide mission by a long shot considering some of the finer details of the target and the objective. Details they had yet to learn. The fact was, depending on the methods they used to engage and attempt to accomplish the mission would determine how to proceed with even preparing. Recruiting had already began, in which the proposed candidates should have received word by now to meet here today. He would confirm who was still volunteering as of now, and he would make silent judgment as to whether he would allow them or even trust them enough to help. Overall their team would be small, though if they played their cards right, that would be the most precise option to accomplish their goals. Stealth would be the main focus, followed by accuracy, and then speed. He was already sure of how he wanted to proceed, though he took into consideration what he potential partners on this task would prefer. The venue of their rendezvous; The Nautilis. Aboard the vessel, Jinsoku sat, dressed in a black suit that seemed to be nearly a half size too small, his brawny frame threatening to tear his shirt and jacket to shreds. With no tie and the top of the shirt exposing at bout half his chest, his left hand cradled a glass of red wine. Each of the other several seats available had an empty glass at the ready, and once seated a glass of water would also be afforded to each of them respectively. Until others began to arrive, he sat rather silent in contemplation. @Aleksei @ODSTDRAGON @-Lilium-
  5. Living in Alethea was always a trial of making the best out of a bad situation. It was hard to live in, even harder to make a living, but people got by as best as they could. Here in this city, controversy was always just around the corner... "Thirty gold coins for a vial of disgusting weeds? This is highway robbery!" Squawk! "You no like, you get out! Bleak Beak doesn't run charity." Squawk! In the outskirts of Dreadfeather territory, there was an argument of prices going on between a human alchemist and an arakkoan merchant. The alchemist, dressed in the casual robes that allowed for ease of movement as well as warmth, felt the ingredients he was buying were too expensive. On the other hand, the merchant finds it fair in that he must cover the expenses of having a stall out on this street, to pay his dues to the Dreadfeathers, and for the collection of the herbs. Regardless of who is correct in this situation, tempers were flaring and more than a few feathers were being rustled. "Is this even fresh Gloomthistle? If it's not fresh my potion is going to rot before I can even deliver it." "You doubt freshness?" Squawk! "Bleak Beak has most fresh ingredients." Squawk squawk! "Very fresh, yes. You pay, now." She wore a colorful arrangement of greens and yellows, complementing her similar plumage as her black beaked head twitched this way and that. Sighing in frustration, the alchemist knew he was likely being cheated in this deal, but he didn't have much choice in the matter. There weren't many merchants that had Gloomthistle, and the ones that did have it weren't keen on selling to those part of the Human Coalition. Just finding this one that was willing to look the other way was lucky enough, maybe he shouldn't press it any harder. "Fine, thirty gold it is." Laying down the coins on the counter, he grabbed the vial and made a face at the bird woman. "You and your damn kind." He muttered. After responding with a an irritated squawk, the merchant gathered her money and deposited it into a small chest under her counter top. Racism was a common fixture among Alethea. There was always someone to hate, someone to shove the blame onto, and most times one wasn't wrong in that assessment. Bleak Beak didn't care much for the other races, but as long as their money was good, she would tolerate them.
  6. @King THE MADAME LINDA LINDA There was the woman, standing, waiting patiently for people that were unsure to come. If this was another time, another life then those people, her loyal subordinates, all would have come running to her, their leader and master, with their adorable tails wagging in joy. But not now, not here, not ever. Was it wrong then for her to expect that much from them? Even after all these years that she had disappeared? They all thought she was dead but now the truth has come to light and she had survived Shawnee. She lived but at what cost? The cartel was gone, the Mistress dead forever. Now she’s living a new name, a new life and yet here she is asking help for the friends and family she had once left. Woe the poor woman. But somewhere in this desert lies that forbidden item that the woman desired. She would stoop low even to an unimaginable level, so long as she can claim that object as her own. It was, of course, an artifact whose myths and stories are bigger than legends. The woman who calls herself the Madame, she will claim for herself. No matter the cost. For now, however, the woman lies in wait, the sandy breeze slowly blasting her figure with its coarse particles. Yet her eyes were ever focused on the horizon. Watching. Waiting. Until the cherished moment has arrived. But not yet. Not now. Soon. Perhaps. @Rin @vielle
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