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Priestess

[Invite] Waking Up From the Flashback

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Lexa was plagued by night terrors that she could never remember after waking up. Bits and pieces of garbled horrors, screams of pain, feelings of hatred mixed with attachment. The only thing Lexa could ever remember was waking up with her room scorched from electrical damage.

Every morning was the same. She woke up, huddled in the corner of her room, holding her knees and shaking with fear while crying. Then, she was always found by someone who was well equipped to reassure her of her safety. After that, she spent time with Addison, or in her room, or making trouble throughout whatever encampment she was in.

A week ago, things changed. Lexa woke up in the usual fashion, except once she had calmed down, she'd noticed a rather curious item on her desk. A tube with a lid that had a symbol on it. Lexa recognized the symbol. It was her symbol. A mark she'd come up with for talking with her associates. Addison had never seen the mark, so no one in her gang would know to take it to Lexa. The mark was an equilateral nonagon. The inside of the shape was a circle. In the middle of that circle was two rhombuses and a triangle that formed a lightning bolt.

Inside that tube was a rolled up map of Terrenus. There was something different from this map, beyond it using the continent's former name. Northeast of Predator's keep, where Addison and Lexa first met, was a white "X" and the same symbol as the one on the tube's lid. It would be the end of this day, one week ago, that Addison was alerted to Lexa's disappearance. She never even showed up to say good morning.
 
One Week Later...

Somewhere in the vast expanse of death and desolation, connected to the wastelands, or perhaps somewhere in the badlands of Terrenus was something only recently uncovered... Addison would find Lexa at the entrance to a massive hole in the ground, knocked open by a fallen meteor no bigger than a golf ball. While the meteorite was so small, the hole was large enough to fit a tank.

She would be in her combat attire, a black robe with a yellow under-robe and white sash. A pair of sleeves not connected to her robe dangled from just below her elbows. Overall, the outfit promoted mobility, but was clearly not designed for impact resistance- evident from its material. Her equipment included a pair of daggers, some sharpened knitting needles that were hidden under her sleeves, and a picture of Addison with the words "Big Sister" written on it, hidden inside her robe.

@Phoebe

 

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Upon discovering the map, Addison immediately thought back of the conversation which she had had with Lexa back in Predator's Keep. She had always been searching for her 'Handler'. Maybe she had found him or her at last! But without saying goodbye? Addison looked around the room and picked up some of the items Lexa had left behind including several books and a neck pillow. Shoving them all into a small orange backpack, she gave word to Hawk that she was leaving to bid Lexa goodbye before taking a ferry to Lagrimosa.


Addison hadn't expected to have been travelling for a week. But it appeared that when unrestrained by others struggling to keep up, Lexa moved inhumanly quickly. Even with the aid of motorized vehicles, Addison found no sign of Lexa. That was, until she arrived by the crater.

Remaining quietly behind the treeline, Addison didn't move an inch. She watched quietly, waiting to see what would happen, lest she walk in on an important moment.

@Priestess

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Peering into the hole under the crater, Lexa could only see darkness. She was about to step in, but the sound of rocks sliding suddenly caught her attention. Her ear twitched, turning to the direction of the sound with her head following soon after. She stared for a couple seconds before turning back to face the hole. Then, she jumped in.

At the bottom of the hole, a fall slightly less than a hundred feet, was a cave system. Switching to infrared, Lexa could tell that it wasn't naturally formed. Stalagmites at the top were formed -on a cosmological scale- very recently. At best, the cave system was only a few hundred years old, but it was large enough for multiple people to stand side by side while walking through.

If Addison followed her, she'd need her own light source. Footprints would lead her through winding paths. Lexa's tracks would align with marks on the cave walls, the same ones that was on the map and tube cap. Lexa was confused by them since she was sure she'd never been here before. She forgot people, not places.

Lexa's tracks would abruptly stop in the middle of a four-way split. It was as if she just vanished off the face of valucre. The marks would continue leading deeper into the cave system, however.

@Phoebe 

 

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After a few seconds had passed and Lexa failed to emerge from the hole, Addison moved forward cautiously. Picking up a pebble, she dropped it over the entrance of the hole and listened intently for the sound of it hitting the floor. Five seconds later, the quietest cracking noise could be heard as the pebble split open on the ground. A fall far too great to risk attempting. Taking out a length of rope from her belt, Addison strode over to the nearest tree and fastened a knot around its trunk. Pulling it tightly to ensure that it could take her weight, she tossed the other end of the rope down into the hole. Clutching it tightly with both hands and between her legs, she began a slow downward descent into darkness.

Being of predatory descent, Addison's eyes swiftly adapted to the low light conditions. But as low light soon turned to no light, new measures had to be drawn. A small ball of flame erupted out of Addison's right palm, held up like a torch. She scanned her surroundings, instantly noticing the marks on the walls. Soon after, her attention was drawn to Lexa's footprints on the ground, Moving slowly and quietly, she began to follow them.

When she reached the cross section, Addison followed the pathway which contained the marks on the wall, scanning the ceiling and adjacent walls for signs of pawprints.

@Priestess

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Addison would hear the sound of wind rushing behind her right at the same time Lexa appeared at her knee with a dagger drawn. The only reason she'd stopped was because she recognized her face from the photo. She slowly pulled back before stepping back. "Why Big Sister follow Lexa?" she asked as the green tinge in her eyes faded, bringing back the usual, fully-blue color.

@Phoebe 

 

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"You never said goodbye!" Addison exclaimed, crouching down and sliding the small orange backpack off of her belt. "I packed all your books and your pillow in. I thought you might need them."

She reached forward and offered the backpack to Lexa.

"So- What are you doing here? Have you finally found 'Handler'?"

She gave the environment a thorough once over.

"It doesn't seem like anything's been down here for a long time."

@Priestess

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Posted (edited)

 

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Lexa blinked before taking the bag and setting it down against the cavern wall. She'd then reach to Addison's armor and give it a tug, trying to get her to stoop down again. Once she was closer to Lexa's level, Lexa would step into her and plant a small kiss on her cheek. "Lexa only carries what Lexa needs." she'd say while reaching under her robe and pulling out a picture of her with Addison.

The picture was from when they first met, where Addison sat on the apartment balcony. The bottom had 'Big Sister, Addison' written on it.

The picture was put back where it belonged and Lexa patted the spot with a big smile. "Big Sister should've stayed home. Lexa doesn't know what's here. Lexa doesn't want big sister in danger." She began walking down the cave path, again. "Lexa leaves stuff there. Easier to move without it."

@Phoebe

 

Edited by Priestess

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"But why come alone?" her cheeks reddened in surprise when Lexa planted the kiss on her cheek. "If it was going to be dangerous, you could and should have asked for help."

She bent down onto one knee. "You know I wouldn't have said no."

Standing back up, she scanned their surroundings with what little light her flame offered her.

"So- Where are we? What is this place?"

@Priestess

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Lexa shook her head. "Lexa doesn't remember Big Sister. Lexa remembers Big Sister's scent, Big Sister's healing, Big Sister's speed- but not Big Sister. Picture reminds Lexa she likes Big Sister." If Addison remembered, Lexa's memories were all muffled up, and she didn't even remember her handler.

As they walked, Addison asked where they were. Lexa replied "Lexa doesn't know."

In the path, far beyond the light of the torch was something glowing blue. It squeaked, easily the sound of a rat. It turned around and darted off.

"If Lexa finds handler, handler helps Lexa. That way, Lexa never forgets anyone."

@Phoebe
 

 

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"Well, I hope you don't intend to send me back after I've come all this way," she chuckled as she stood up straight, reaching down and squeezing Lexa's hand tightly. "We'll find handler together."

Peering off into the distance where the squeaking noise came from, Addison began to sniff the air furiously for scents. While her expression remained stoic and calm, she began to grow on edge. What could Lexa possibly have been searching for in such a secluded and hidden area?

@Priestess

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A considerable amount of time was spent walking through the caves. On rare occasion, Lexa would spot something in the distance with the same blue glow as the rat from earlier. It wasn't just other rats. It was lizzards, spiders, roaches- all manner of vermin that you'd find in an abandoned structure.

Around the corner, they'd come to a dead end. There was a metal door that had not a single spec of rust on it. She looked around and saw a black box off on the side. She walked over to it and pressed her hand to it. Clearly, it was a scanner. It was also lacking power.

Lexa turned and pressed her hand to the door. The magic circuits in her eyes came to life, casting a gentle, blue glow that was completely consumed by the light from Addison's fire. She switched to x-ray, allowing her to see through the door and look at its insides. "Strength won't get through this." she said after discovering a series of locks inside the door.

A spark of blue electricity shot from Lexa's upper arm to her lower arm, and then to her fingers and into the door. The black box came to life, showing it was a digital keypad with a card reader on the side. "Interface." Lexa said, keeping her hand on the door, and it began opening. Once the door was open enough for a single person to get through, Lexa took her hand off it, cutting the door from its power supply and making it stop.

Fearlessly, Lexa went in first. The room was actually quite large. Far larger than Addison's fire would perfectly show. Scanning the room in infrared let Lexa see a lever to activate the emergency generators. Upon being flipped, a series of dim lights would come on that were about as good as Addison's flame, except there was enough of them to light the room... sort of.

The room was filled with massive screens, buttons galore, metal flooring that had rails for... something to run along. All of it was in the process of being reclaimed by the planet. Following the rails would lead to the far end of the room where an elevated platform with a horribly decayed plastic lining that was coated in moss was. Inside that was a metal table with a corpse only a few inches larger than Lexa. Roots, hanging moss, and bent titanium littered the room. There were three doors in the room, one of which was busted open by something with a lot of punching force.

None of the consoles were useful since the screens that weren't shattered had foliage growing out of them. "Consoles running on different power grid... Not electrical? Lexa can't interface." she said while touching one of the keyboards.

 

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When the lights came on, the fire withdrew back into Addison's palm. She glanced up at the ceiling, turning around in circles as she assessed the giant space around them and the brilliant technological constructs that filled it.

It was all so advanced; it was just like Lexa.

"Hmm. . .?" she vocalized, trying her best to keep up with the child as she marveled at the eerie and grotesque elegance which had concealed itself beneath the surface of the world.

@Priestess

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"Umm... Lexa can-" she was about to explain her Interface ability, but stopped when she heard a squeaking. Her ears perked up and began twitching about, trying to locate the source. They stopped moving, as the sound of shuffling came from the roof.

Over a dozen creatures with leathery wings and small tufts of fur on their heads and backs began screeching. As they did so, their bodies lit up with bright, blue marks- the same ones that Addison saw on Lexa's neck when they first met. There was no time between when they let go of the ceiling and when they started moving. Blue electricity arched over their bodies, the same as when Lexa used her power. They all started darting towards Lexa, who shot backwards on a bolt of electricity to narrowly dodge them.

From her new position, magnetically attached to one of the walls, Lexa pulled out both of her daggers. Her expression was fierce, full of determination to defeat a new foe. Her blue eyes shimmered as she began gathering data.

If Addison had attacked any of the bats, she'd find that they could be easily knocked out of the air, but her blade alone couldn't cut them. Stabbing would work to bypass their reinforced flesh, however. Regardless of how many she attacked, the lightning bats would only ever target Lexa.

The speed of the small swarm had left Lexa only able to dodge and use her agility to avoid being hit. She didn't know what would happen if they got her, and she certainly didn't want to find out.

 

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As the swarm descended, Addison stumbled backwards to evade it, a look of surprise and horror crossing her visage before being swiftly replaced by a determined scowl. With her fists braced up to protect her head, it took her a moment to realise that the electric bats were entirely focused on Lexa. Her hardened gaze snapped sharply to the small fox-girl rushing up the wall, surrounded by some sort of static electrical field. Wasting no time, Addison bolted forward to beneath where the swarm was, coiling her fists as she began to build up energy in her palms.

Falling into a horse stance, she tilted her head upward, angling her body slightly to face the center of the swarm. With a low guttural cry and a mighty thrust of her knees, she leapt upward like a frog, hurtling into the midst of the swarm. Unfurling outward in a glorious fiery tornado, Addison swung her fists outward wildly, slashing and striking through anything that came within range.

Shinkou Sjoujiku Style Adapted Technique: Hellish Shock Fist

Whereas this variant of the Hellish Shock Fist didn't possess the essential Eredas fire, Addison's innate divine flames made up for their absence. Exploding out of her fists in controlled bursts was a volley of continuous fireblasts. Each blast carried with it not only extreme heat, but a highly powerful shockwave that threatened to rip through the bodies of the small animals flying around her.

@Priestess

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Addison would be met with a new experience, as she wasn't fighting the standard variety of technologically enhanced avian mammal. The first few fireballs had taken out much up the bat swarm, but the few that were left had quickly learned to avoid them. What's more, their chirping told Lexa that they weren't just using echolocation, they were communicating.

The bats broke off from each other, each of the four remaining moving to different areas of the room. From here, Addison would find the bats harder to hit still, since they were actively paying attention to her while performing aerial maneuvers with the clear intention of avoiding her attacks.

Lexa took advantage of their distraction. She pointed her dagger at one of them and shot a bolt of electricity from it. The bat she hit managed to absorb some of it, but it lacked the capacity to absorb even a tenth of Lexa's basic output. The bat fell from the sky like a dead fighter plane, smoking and ungracefully rolling till it smacked into the floor.

The three remaining bats had learned from their fallen comrade. Lexa's next bolt was dodged by her target, and the three began targeting Addison from three different sides. If she shot an attack at them, again, they would attempted a dodge.

 

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