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Fantasy New Oasis: Four Heavenly Kings — The B-Sides

Dante Aguilar ˣ Hiachi Ito ˣ Shishido Takakazu
[ Ours and Ours Alone ]
Post-Arc 3, Timeskip 1 | June 20th 2022
The Vanishing Lot, West District
Passeri, Eric, Sebastian, Hiachi, Tak, Dante, Kisara


Hiachi was not present.

This was not uncommon—she found herself floating off in her head more and more often, as of late. There was always a new thing to concern herself with, from the overbearing weight of her hopeless fate to calculating if she had enough change for the gacha machines outside her old job.

All this to say that her aloofness was not of concern, not unless one was observant enough to notice the shift. A weight was hanging heavy on her neck. When she breathed, she breathed one heavy exhale, before inhaling and forgetting she had attempted to breathe normally in the first place.

Alternatively, if you knew her that well, the fact that she was acting so melancholic amidst a video game store was an anomaly.

“The hell? You really tellin’ me 50 bucks can’t get me a flat screen?”

An idiotic complaint, all too out of the loop from how the world works and operates came from lips that always had something entirely witless to say. Empty pale green eyes scanned through the vastness of the options of the current technology, uninterested and uncaring as he slouched forward, hands in his pocket.

“Ya sure they don’t have some in the back they’re lookin’ to get rid of?” His question brought his narrowed gaze to the side, a hand reaching up to scratch the back of his scalp, digging through the mess of his tangled unkempt hair just to do so.

Tak, as usual, didn’t seem to have a real care in the world, his mind focusing on the unnecessary, the ridiculous machinations of his own reality, forcing others around him to put up with its absurdity. And the one person who knew all too well what it was like, stood next to him as the three of them walked together.

He, on the other hand, had one too many things to care about in this world. One of the many was loud against his ear, he could hear the anger rumbling and scratching at the walls of the beast’s throat, rabies-drooling and sniffling a petty whimper in the bare crevices of his mind “YOU’LL EAT YOUR FUCKING SOUP.” A man’s crying, sobbing vocals filled the half-empty space in his head. Couldn’t quiet it down.

It wasn’t long before the second voice filled the other 50%, like they’d found a clean medium inside his skull.

It was a woman’s voice, sassy, valley girl “We gotta eat our veggies and meaties to get big and strong, handsome-face~ C’mon now…buy some soup.” It became “We.” all of a sudden, ever since he got injured on the job. They’d gotten louder, everything felt crowded.

He could’ve sworn the other wolf had never uttered a word before…

“Yo, talk to meatbag,” She barked “Ask if he’s got one of those mikerwaves— or whatever— back in that crackhouse of his. Gotta re-heat some of that soup later.”

The other one bumped brainwaves, took the mic, struggling on his own cries again.

Dante grumbled, putting a hand up to his temple. Something felt wrong every time the damned thing whined in his mind. His head felt wavy. Shifting and melting. Up and down, like jell-o or a crack of acid— but not like the good type of jell-o, it was an off-brand cheap one, the type that doesn’t bounce all that well when you slap it.

But maybe it was akin to the good type of acid-crack. He didn’t really know. Didn’t experiment much when he was a teen. He sighed, turning a piercing glare at Tak “You should be locked up for some of the shit you say, y’know? If you want a flatscreen for 50 bucks you better go haul ass to one of those cheap pawn shops, ‘cause we ain’t getting one for 50 here.”

His head hung low for a moment, the long mane of black hair he’d grown uncut these past few months waving down “And no, you’re not borrowing cash from me.” As if he could read Tak’s mind like an open book


Tak immediately responded to Dante’s preemptive denial by shoving his face into Dante’s, teeth gritted in annoyance as a visible vein of anger protruded from the side of his head, “You think I want your money!? You’re the last person I’d want to borrow from!” Tak blurted out, aggressively jabbing a finger into his chest, “Not like you would have enough anyway! I bet you’re blowin’ all your money on some skincare routine or somethin’!”


Dante jabbed back with a rapped knuckle jamming hard against Tak's shoulder, whiffing a few times, swatting at empty air until he finally got it "Who's this fuckin' brokie talking shit to me right now!? You WISH you had even a tenth of what I end up splurging on my skin. Maybe then you'd get women to talk to you without 'em clutching at their pepper spray behind their back, asshole." Their shouting, of course, earning the growing attention of people who stopped to look at the pair.


She watched nothing with blank eyes.

The monochrome insides of the store blended with her thoughts. She couldn’t get excited or mad or annoyed or distracted because there was only one thing that could be on her mind.

Occasionally, in the past few hours and now, she caught ear of conversations. All circling the ‘disappearance of Our☆Dream’. They spoke of crumbs, factoids she couldn’t trust; she needed the whole cookie. Or else the hunger of her regrets would starve her.

A text. The phone’s light was swallowed by the pits of her eyes as she stared. An act of grace, of ease. The promise of truth out of pity.

Another thing made clear: there was no way in hell Dante or Tak were coming with her.

Wordlessly, she turned for the door, pushing past strangers without so much as an ‘excuse me’.

“Man, why’s it gotta be so difficult just to get some basic necessities nowadays!” Tak openly complained, looking up towards the ceiling in his anguish, “Everyone needs a high definition TV in the current day, it's basically as important as food and water!”

Tak grit his teeth, frustrated with his lack of money, Tak could only think how much richer he’d be now if he had sold out Hiachi back then, just a few more dollars and he could have a flatscreen!

“Oi, Hibachi. Think your brother can lend me a few dollars?” Tak absentmindedly asked, thinking back on the pompous looking dolt that was related to her, but upon not hearing a response, his face scrunched in annoyance.

“Eh? Hibachi?”

He blinked, looking around with a dumb look on his face.

“Where’d she go?”

“Huh?” It took Dante longer than it should’ve to realize that Hiachi had been silent this whole time, moreso than usual.

He looked around, eyes peeking under his drape of hair, flagging down the hazy figurines dancing in his blurry world. But no Hiachi, not even a shape that resembled her. There was only empty space beside Tak “Wasn’t she with you just a second ago?”

“Oi, oi, did she dip on us?” Tak said with a frown, a hand sliding into his pocket as his brows knitted together, “She just gonna leave without sayin’ goodbye? What kinda manners was she taught growing up,” Tak spoke dismissively, clearly not too dismayed at Hiachi’s sudden disappearance, she was a grown ass woman, she could do what she wanted.

“Continuing with the ongoing investigation over the disappearance of Our☆Dream Studios, only moments ago, the whole building has mysteriously unmanifested for currently unknown reasons--”


Tak’s head turned away from the disappearance of the beady-eyed member of their troupe to the T.V. nearby, a large flat screen which just so happened to be playing the local news, advertising his high definition quality. Tak blinked as he stared down an empty lot recorded from above, the bits and pieces of electrical and pipes sticking out from the ground indicating something that was once there no longer was.

“Damn, a whole building just disappeared? Crazy times we live in,” Tak commented absentmindedly, “They probably ain’t gonna find anyone who was in that buildin’. Shit’s gone,” he stated, already jaded on the whole situation as he closed his eyes, “Life just works like that.”

“That’s what m’sayin’, sis~! Crazy world we live in!” Cerb added; chirpy, like you could tell she had that big toothy grin on her. She always had that big toothy grin on her. Dante swatted the noise as it came, grunted with a fist bumped and pressed against his ear.

“The whole studio…?” His eyes flashed over to the static zizz his ears had caught onto first, as if they could see whatever the hell was showing on screen. Eyes struggled on their focus for a bit, not getting much out of the blur. Flat screen, and he could tell even with the strain on his eyes that it wasn’t worth less than 50 amestrians. Maybe life really did work in mysterious, mocking ways “No, I really don’t think it does.”

Or maybe not.

“Wait…ain’t that where Miss Par…” The words sank out of his mouth, dragging to a quiet halt— barely realizing that he’d picked up on the habit of calling her that after all those jobs he’d done for her. Like a damn dog trained to bark lower, he was betting on one of the voices to start burning echoes on his ear if he let those thoughts get to them “Passeri’s studio. Isn’t that supposed to be her work place?”

“Tch,” an audible click of Tak’s lips came from the mention of Passeri Park, something anyone would assume was annoyance, which was of course, true. But, it wasn’t towards the woman herself, at least fully. What annoyed him much more is that her involvement now meant he couldn’t feel uninvolved. With any other horrible story on the news, you had no reason to care if it didn’t involve anyone you knew, that was just natural.

For someone as heartless as Tak, if it was anyone else he might have just continued to not care. But, he owed that idol, as much as he hated to admit it, it was her that let him keep hanging with the fanboys and not be stuck eating cheap food for all his days for the foreseeable future. He at least owed her that. And now that he was aware, his pride wouldn't sit back and just let him sit back and proceed like he had seen nothing. He glanced towards Dante, sliding his hands out of his pockets.

“This studio ain’t that far from here, right? Think we can make it if we hoof it?”

“Hoof it?” The misty eyed, sullen man felt his decadence grow a length larger in his heart. Like a crack. Dante eyed him for a bit before the thought of opening his mouth even crossed him. The picture clearing, centering. Tak had that look in his eye. It was personal; at the very least, an ego thing for him.

And was it any different for him? He knew her too, didn’t he? What if she’d upped and misted with the damned building too?

Dante sighed “Yeah, it’s not far from here on a jog. About a couple of minutes for you.”

“Let’s get a move on then,” Tak quickly replied, moving his way past Dante to make his way out of the store.

Once again, completely forgetting Dante was still blind, he left his fellow Tiger behind without a second though, his eyes narrowed forward.

“Let’s go.” He heard footsteps, watched Tak’s shape blur into motion and he held his hand out like a toddler— half-expecting something to tug at him. But of course…

“Tak?” His hand grasped at thin air. He bit down a grunt, balling a fist on that same empty air.

“T-hehe...C’mon now, handsome. Follow my pretty voice, I’ll guide ya. Jus’ a right and a left and a right after the left...”

Hiachi had never been to Our☆Dream Studios, which she already knew well. But at that moment, she realized that she had to have been subconsciously avoiding it that morning. There was a crowd of police too large to ignore around the building, along with a crowd of people being pushed further and further away from the scene. People in cars from somewhere far slowed as they passed, trying to catch a glimpse of the rumor. Murmurs, screams and demands of an answer. Echoes of nothing.

Yes, it was true. The building was gone. So was the staff.

What a tragedy; so much so that they carried on with their days without thinking about it again. For fear or ignorance—Hiachi didn’t know. She didn’t have the propensity to care.

She shoved and ducked past bodies. She lowered herself closer to the ground, weaving past the legs that stalked her path. They stayed put until she passed them, to which they shuffled behind, annoyed.

Hiachi emerged at the front of the crowd, and stared. She couldn’t see the woman who invited her there. Nor could she see through the phantom door placed exactly where it should be; exactly where it was impossible. The glass door opened to a room that didn’t exist, a vacuum of shadow and artificial light on top of it. The reflection was hazy and unclear. Fractals of rainbow colored light and a blurriness she couldn’t place.

So she couldn’t see into the building. Her single advantage, rendered useless. Maybe there was a god, and it hated her. She sighed to herself, drawing out the sound by rolling her neck and looking at the sky.

Hiachi crossed her arms and gripped her jacket sleeves tighter. Like they might fly away. She pressed into her wrists, methodically massaging soreness that didn’t exist. She needed to do something that wasn’t the something that would place her in the back of a police car.

She was running out of ideas.

A sunless, gloomy day was overcast above the crowd. A thoughtless stroke of dull, a play on grayscaled plain, drifting where the wind fell. Looming, as if the backbiting chatter of the communing folk were stifled in this shell of breeze. Quiet. Enough for a mind to start drifting, where the wind fell, maybe.

Yet, before Hiachi could further follow the wind down, she’d feel a harsh and quick tap on her shoulder. A shadow gloomy and grey, only challenged by the skies themselves, looming over her too.

“Nightmare.” Dante half-shouted in a deep voice, leaning just half-an-inch into her ear to see if he’d get a jump out of her. Extra points if she squealed.

He had a light sheen of sweat on his brow, under the mane. He hadn’t necessarily run over to the place, not when there were enough shortcuts for the wolves to zap him around, but it was still exhausting as all hell walking this far up here with all the injuries still stinging.

“The building is gone, huh.” He sighed a cold huff of breath before shoving hands into his pockets, looking on at the blurred lightshow just up ahead. They’d tore down the building just to put up a rave? “And what the fuck is that…?

Lemme through, damnit! Don’t fuck around with me! I’m not afraid to toss my crusty ass socks at you!”

The absurd and disruptive shouting came from ahead, through the swarms of people, a messy-haired mad man pushed himself against the barricade of police preventing anyone from stepping further on the grounds.

He got in their face, shouting in scowling, but the trained operatives didn’t budge against his annoyance, looking at him stoned faced, until all he could do was click his teeth and turn around in defeat…

Just to bend down and peel off his shoes, placing them to the side, and then promptly pulling off his socks. They were riddled with holes, and as they hung limply in his hands visible wafts of smell began to emanate of them.

“I warned ya.” Was the only warning he gave, before tossing the socks ahead at the guards like a pair of grenades. They barely got a chance to react before their socks slapped against their face, immediately causing their bodies to go limp as their eyes rolled backwards, falling to the ground unconscious.

Everyone was left to cover their nose as Tak put back on his shoes, sockless, and stepped over the unconscious bodies, strolling ahead to catch up with Hiachi and Dante, looking uncaring as ever despite his chemical warfare.

“Man, how the hell did you guys get in front so easily?” He asked, shoving his hands into his pockets. Even against Dante’s complaints, his natural dirty look only became a bit more focused at him, as his brows twitched.

“Here’s this fuckin’ asshole... You probably stick your foot out to trip blind people, huh? You heartless fuck. Could’ve at least showed me to the damn exit before dashin’ out on your own.”

“Well you got here anyway, right? You want me to grab your hand and lead you around like we’re lovebirds at prom? Stop bitchin’,” he retorted, a hand reaching up to rub the back of his neck as he frowned, “I got lost on the way here anyway.”

"Tch-yeah, checks out."

Wordlessly, Tak blinked at the front door placed by itself, somehow it had become its own entity, separated from the building, just peering into the building, he could see a familiar figure from the back. He didn’t hesitate to walk past Dante and Hiachi and approach the door himself, and unsurprisingly, he kicked the door open, his jacket fluttering from his movement as he strolled in.

“Oi! Paris!” Tak shouted, looking towards the brightly colored woman with a glare, slamming a fist into his palm, “The hells with all this? Some type of interdimensional terrorist attack?” He questioned, his brain not even trying to make sense of it all as he held his fist in front of his face.

“If it’s aliens, I’mma give ‘em a beating so hard they’re gonna go cryin’ back to their green mamas!”

A pained groan came up behind Tak, a tall shadow breaking through the veil of light, and into the void beyond the doorway "What are you five or somethin'? They're not green, they're grey; get your facts straight." Dante rolled a shoulder, cracking like a rusty cogwheel as his eyes got accustomed to the lack of sting in them. It was dark. Almost pitch black. Still, the blur was only ebbing away slow, he could barely make out the shapes ahead of them.

One was pink, tall. Two were green and yellow. The other was, well, he'd recognize that k-idol hair anywhere, even half-blind "Yo, boss. Care to sign me an autograph?" He huffed a trail of breath, giving an eye-roll to himself. Already picturing how tiresome this mess was going to be.

Tak was making him dumber, that's one thing he knew "After you tell us what's going on, 'course."

The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit Roda the Red Roda the Red simj26 simj26 Coyote Hart Coyote Hart miki miki thebigfella thebigfella
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Kisara McDowell
Iniquitas Deorum
North District, Waterfront
Kisara, Bash
Iniquitas Deorum


The thunder rolled across the skies as she stood up, rolling her neck. She turned around to face him, casting her rugged jacket aside onto the bench.

“You're the one person I ever cared about here. You're the one person who ever really cared about me here.” Now that he was standing in front of her, she couldn't find the words to say. She knew what she wanted to say, she just didn't know how to. He was important to her, in every way possible, but she couldn't just say that, could she? Words were weak, actions spoke much louder than those. But what actions could she have in such a situation? She wasn't even sure if their relationship was exactly as she thought it was. He was pretty dense. Plus, she didn't even know if all those times she hung out with him counted as dates or…something else. As much as she was concerned, she was as clueless about being in a relationship as the next person.

“Dammit.” She kicked at the gravel beneath her foot. “Whatever. I'm just gonna ask it straight. Times are changin’, a wave's crashin’ onto New Oasis, Bash. We've had our fun under the sun, and,” she moved, her boots grinding across the gravel as she spread her center of balance, her fists clenched, directed towards Bash Hirabayashi, “I just wanna know. Why me? What are your feelings towards me? I don’t wanna hear it just from your mouth, I wanna hear it straight from your heart.”

I love you. was such a hard phrase to say. What was the point, if the other person didn't see it the same way? What worth were those words? What worth were they, especially if they've never actually known what that word is? All they were, were blushing high schoolers underneath falling peach blossom petals.

Whatever it was, whatever he felt, she would see it bared here and now. She would hold nothing back.

@Nobody Special
CS Link
A Summer Breeze Scatters Blossoms
Katōre, Sankai
Ryutaro, Samira
A Summer Breeze Scatters Blossoms
Listening to Megumi's comment earned a wry smile from Samira. Before her own grandmother had passed, the woman found her value to decrease with age. Retirement was often a cruel fate, especially for someone used to being part of something bigger. That is what future generations are for though, to carry on the legacy. In this case, however, it would seem Ryutaro created his own instead of continuing his family's. She kept her thoughts to herself though as she followed the two of them, crossing the threshold.

She surveyed the area quietly, suppressing her awe of the beautiful architecture and landscaping. It was serene, almost enough to convince her to withdraw from the busy city life to live in the mountains.


Samira watched as Ryutaro parted from the two of them, going his separate way for the time being. She looked back at his grandmother and nodded, figuring there was no harm in “girl time”. After removing her shoes, she followed Megumi to the inner courtyard, taking a seat when offered. She considered pulling out her phone to take pictures of the courtyard to send to Jack but she feared the potential scolding she would get from her elders. Something about being glued to her phone nowadays.

So, she waited patiently, simply taking in the view before turning her attention back to Megumi when she returned. “Thank you,” she dipped her head slightly before taking the cup of tea, allowing the exterior to warm her hands first. She wasn't sure if there was a certain etiquette that needed to be followed in these sorts of settings — in her culture, it was polite to let her elders eat or drink first.

Samira waited for Megumi to have the first sip but a question was directed at her first. Considering Ryutaro had mentioned it had been a while since he kept in contact with his family, she figured they didn't know about his involvement with the Albino Tigers. It was probably not her place to reveal that information either, let alone to his frail grandmother. “He's taught me the ins and outs of maintaining a business in Amestria. I'm from Telabiim, you see, and when I had the ambition of taking my family's wine company internationally well…it's difficult to appeal to consumers from a different culture. Your grandson helped make the transition go smoothly.”

joshuadim joshuadim
Whispers at Dusk
Taiyōkō Shrine, East District
Mirza, Hifumi, Ruriko, Shuwei

Ruriko folded her arms over her chest as she watched the guards huddle amongst themselves, no doubt whispering considerations of allowing a blood relative of the Dragon King through. She was certain the name drop would have earned them entry into the shrine but it would seem it would take more than the mention of the former Dragon King to convince them.

The main guard took a moment to compose himself, his face contorting from uncertainty to confidence. “The shrine is closed to visitors,” he repeated, a glint of unrest flashed across his eyes. Perhaps he was hoping the two would give up.

Hearing their denial of entry again, Ruriko frowned and took a few steps forward. “Hah? Have you no respect for —” She cut herself short and took a deep breath, not wanting to escalate this petty argument when there was an easier way in. “Whatever. Let’s just go.” She said with anger in her tone as if she had been defeated. However, it was all an act as she grabbed Shuwei by the hand and pulled him away from the guards and the entrance to the shrine.

A portal manifested in front of them, feigning their departure.

Inside the shrine, the linked portal appeared out of thin air, and seconds later, it revealed the two Dragons. “Ah shit, fuck.” Ruriko grumbled as she stepped on a shattered ornament, crushing it further. “What a mess,” she noted as she surveyed the current damage before resting her gaze on the two at the end of the corridor — Hifumi and Mirza. She offered the two an awkward wave as she walked towards them, “ ‘sup, we’re here to help.”

BluEndings BluEndings WhiskeyMarten WhiskeyMarten Elenion Aura Elenion Aura
Clad in Golden Dreams
Post-Arc 3, Timeskip 1 | June 16th, 2022
West District
Passeri, Ezra, Viss, Mark, Jess, Hiachi, Tak, Elias, Jesper
"Fuck no." He said, simultaneously to the call for retreat and to Park's directive to prioritize safeguarding the lives of civilians.

The words burned like acid on his tongue. "We ain't leavin' 'til every one a' these rat-fuckin'-bastards is in the ground," Markus spat, then wheeled around to face the the nearest patch of smog that wasn't occupied by a ridiculous pink bulwark. He clocked it almost right away: movement in the fog.

As if to help make his point, a torrent of ice surged from beneath his feet and plowed into one would-be assailant just as she emerged from the cover of roiling smoke. The flowing wall of ice flattened her like a bug against the marble and stone wainscotting. Just as he was about to grind his heels in and crush the woman under the glacier's weight, three more silhouettes burst from cover and descended like wraiths in black on the Tigers now in their midst.

Shishido Takakazu
CS Link
The Idol Fanclub Trials (Pre-Arc 2)
Highreach, West District
Shishido Takakazu, Passeri Park ( The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit )
The Idol Fanclub Trials

Compared to pleading puppy-dog eyes, Tak’s “asking for help” gaze instead came with blood-red veins stretching across his sclera. His scrunched-up expression as his skull looked ready to pop his peepers out of the sockets and blast them right at her like some ping pong balls.

He looked like he was about to shit himself as veins started to crisscross around the thicker parts of his neck. Luckily, before any messy accidents could happen, his cue was seemingly read, the idol swinging into action because of his excellent non-verbal communication skills.

Directly addressed by his idol, Gill immediately straightened up; before he realized it, both hands grasped onto the sides of his button console. Internal howling and yowling that told him at all sides like frantic angels on his shoulders told to keep him calm, and the superfan immediately locked it in; his features grew defined, thick eyebrows, creases in his bald-skull, defined cheekbones, and a cleft chin.

“Ah, is that how it is?” He had to acknowledge his lack of information, “I see…” He whispered, raising his fist to clench it in front of his face dramatically, “So, this is the power of being in the industry, hm?! I still have much to learn…” He lamented, his fist slamming into the wood of the console as he dropped his head in despair at his failure.

The deadpan looks of all the other fan club members, Tak included, all took their place on the side of the focus, their hollowed looks watching his overactive display, “No, I don’t think anyone could have known that,” they all said dryly in unison, a dismissive wave from each of them.

A chime from the speakers notified the players the next round was starting; Tak blinked as a nervous frown came onto his face, and the homeless man continued to loudly chew on his jerky, thoughtlessly scratching his ass. Gill’s eyes looked back towards the screen above them, prepared to read the next question. Just before he could get himself ready, once again, his eyes were drawn away from the game, his ear serenaded by sweet words and juicy promises.

“A-A-A P-P-P-PRIZEEEEE!?” The composure he held earlier broke entirely; steam had begun to blow out of his ears; the concept of merch was enticing enough, but from the delicate hands gifted by the goddess herself, there was something else entirely; he had gone red in the face, sweat was pouring down into his collar, he had to wipe his lips with his sleeve to stop the drooling at the prospect. A right move could put him…

The world of peons below him grasped upward to a level they couldn’t reach, their frail forms clutching at his legs. Piles of pink and purple packaging, stars, and sparkles had formed under his feet to put him on a pedestal above all, a fig leaf covered his genitals, as he held a glowing object within his hands, bright as the sun as it glistened vibrantly enough to gloss across the horizon.


Maynard had gone into a fury; his jagged teeth dug into the cushions like a feral animal as froth came from the corner of his lips as he spit out chunks of foam. The captain sat next to him, as relaxed as ever as he had his eyes closed and arms crossed. The guy in the crowd who was asleep was still snoring, though his snot bubble had gotten a bit bigger.

Gill understood what was on the stakes; he was breathing heavily, numbers flew across his brain, and they flashed across his vision. Passeri had just told him earlier that internet answers weren't reliable, so how could he figure both out? Slowly, his firm gaze had started to turn to unfocused squiggles, his mouth hanging open as he began to mumble complicated equations and other hypotheses.

At that moment, it finally clicked for Tak what was going on. His oblivious open-mouth stare at what was going on had transformed into a cocky grin of realization, “So, that’s what it is, huh!?” He blurted internally, a breathless chuckle as he leaned forward on his console in preparation to slam the button. “Heheh! Alright then! I’ll use this chance…to ace this damn quiz!”

“Question 2!”
Camelo introduced, pointing a finger upward to the screen above him.

Q2: The promotional fireworks show for the Stargazer album release had a very prominent final firework. What was it?

Tak’s fist slammed against the button, and the buzzer echoed throughout the area.



Silence drifted through the area.

Tak stood there, his right eye twitched. Sweat started to pour down his forehead like rainfall; his posture had slouched. The other fan club members watched, joining in on the quietness as they watched him, saying nothing as they just gawked at him with neutral expressions.

The incorrect buzzer reverberated through the room.

“Uh…what happened to the multiple choice?” Tak weakly asked; his expression had degraded enough to become incredibly simplistic, as if drawn with a pencil as a depressive shadow came over his face, repeated blinks that mimicked the squeaking of cleaning windows.

His question was unanswered as the buzz of Gill pressing on his buzzer played. Stony as he answered.

“It was a binary star.”


The jingle of a correct answer played again; Gill didn’t revel in his reward as he turned his attention back to formulating some type of number to tell Passeri, mumbling and thinking.

Meanwhile, Tak’s intense stare he had given Passeri earlier had intensified tenfold. His teeth had started to grate together enough for his gums to start spurting blood, eyes growing stalks like he was a mollusk as they shot out from his skull, coursing with bright red veins as his pupils shrunk into dots. Veins of straining had formed into his forehead, and his neck muscles had tightened so tightly you could see his trachea through it, despite not saying a word, as if he could scream at Passeri through his thoughts.

How was he supposed to stand a chance without knowing the answers!?

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Operation Burning Heartthrob
Pre-Arc 1, August 10th 2021
South District
Charlie, Vulken
Operation Burning Heartthrob
"...Huh?" Charlie looked back at Vulken, a befuddled smile on his face as he listened to his senior's drunken ramblings, his expression only growing more and more unsettled as the fiery man elaborated on his true intentions. "Wait wait wait wait...A-Are you serious right now?!" For all intent and purpose, it didn't seem like the veteran was lying in the slightly, even in his less-than-ceremonious state.

Charlie leaned his face against his palm, resting on his arm as he took a short moment to process the extreme change of plans. "Vulken, I appreciate the concern, really..." He faced the red-head once again, visibly distraught. "B-But I don't really need to pick up any girls right now! I-I'm fine, really!" His fingers, wrapped around his shot glass, trembled a considerable amount.

Against his better judgement, he waited for a moment, before bringing his glass to his lips, quickly downing its entire contents with one flick of his wrist. Stuff was damn strong, lot stronger than he would usually drink when hanging out with others. "I uh..."

He looked to the side, eyelids going down midway as his cheeks puffed up slightly. "I've never done it anyways...Ask for a lady's number" He looked behind his shoulder, eyes scanning the environment for the multitude of people having fun at the bar. It took no time at all for him to spot a few gals that he found quite attractive, with a sigh, he faced Vulken a last time, clearly feeling defeated when faced with the veteran's enhebriated stubborness.

"What do I even DO, anyways? Do I just get up and ask? No way it's just that simple"

@Nobody Special
Some Park, Central District
Eric, Hector

“Of course, you think I didn't fight all the way to where I am now?”

Hector jumped back to full height. He had to admit that he was a formidable opponent. Though it was apparent what Eric could do with his potential, the inner-workings remained a mystery. It didn't matter. He knew he could make him bleed like a stuck pig. And that's exactly what he'd do.

The arrows of light cast a glow over the scene. Hector squinted once more. With metal encasing what was once his second eye, the first suffered from strain, moreso with such a flashy opponent. With his concentration thrown, the blade landed against his chest before he could counter it.


It was a heavy blow. Gratefully there was no familiar bleeding, but there was not just regular pain, but the sensation of burning. Like he had brushed his skin against a hot tray. It was something he could endure easily though, for now.

”I almost admire your bravery, your perseverance. If only it didn't stem from pure stupidity.”

The metal blade curved, and Hector rushed Eric, swinging downward with his arm like a pick.

”It'll be your downfall!”

Zentsupa Pei
Clipped Wings Cannot Rebirth
South District: The Roost
Post Arc 3 || June 20th, 2022
Charlie, Helva, Red, Jun, Eleanore, Pei
Clipped Wings Cannot Rebirth

When Pei’s blood spilled, there was no shock from Bushineko. The samurai was silent, watching what transpired with silence. Crimson danced through the air; its deep red absorbed the flames of torches to faintly glow before unceremoniously splattering onto the ground.

There was a moment of confusion from Q-Bot. He was on the ground, and now he was upward. He blinked, looking around, tilting his square-shaped head around to reorientate himself.

He heard the splash, the wet squish of something against his treads. He looked down and saw the red that coated into his metal. Before he could react or let out a single peep, he followed the splatters to their source. A corpse against the ground.


Tears welled up in his eyes as the tiny robot stepped forward.


Then the little robot ran; it quickly reached to grab Pei’s lifeless arm, holding it, feeling the lack of pulse. Its hands scampered to hold onto his gaping wound, more and more warm blood splattering over him.

“Professor, you’re not dead.” Q-Bot said matter of factly, trying to scoop the blood back inside him as if it would fix him, “You’re invincible, aren’t you?” His bottom lip quivered, and tears began to form around the corner of his eyes.

“You’re supposed to be invincible!” He shouted. His bloodied hands began to nudge him, pushing him to wake up, “So go ahead and get up! Get up, professor!” He screamed, snot beginning to well out of his nose.

Pei didn’t move. His eyes didn’t open. After all, he was nothing but a corpse.


Q-Bot’s agonizing screams echoed through The Roost, his hands gripping the sides of his square-shaped head as he coated himself with blood. The tears flowed, and his harrowing cries were nothing but background noise to the ensuing chaos. Even when Helva had appeared and tried to help the man, Q-Bot didn’t register her appearance; he continued to cry and scream, flailing and rolling across the floor.

Threats flew, confusion enthralled, the twisting madness enthralled them all, everything was growing out of order, and Pei had left things in complete madness. Just as he would have wanted.

“KEKEKEKEKEK! KEKEKEKEKEKEK! Looks like all the "pieces" are finally here!”

A voice from beyond the grave echoed through the room. Q-Bot’s crying stopped immediately as his head perked up. Looking around obliviously, as he blinked, “P-Professor!?” He blurted out before he could wonder where it was coming from. The compartment in his chest slid open, and what came out from it was a tiny T.V. screen; it rippled with static, but the voice coming from its speakers was clear as Q-Bot turned his body towards the other Phoenixes in the room.

“You’re all having fun without me, huh!? Kekekekek! Guess I should have gone myself instead of sending that damn flesh puppet! Looks like it did its job!” Pei’s voice was clear as day, and as the static cleared, seeing was believing. Pei was staring into the camera, close enough that you could see every jagged tooth as he cackled, “Don’t worry about fixing it up! All it is is a toy made from silicone and filled with some blood bags I stole! Kekekekek!”

Q-Bot was elated, dancing and jumping up and down as he looked down at his own screen, his tears of despair having been replaced by cries of joy as he waved around his arms.

“Course I am! Like I would allow myself to be taken out by some moody grandma! Kekekekek!” Pei taunted from his separate safety, holding onto a microphone as he brought it closer to his lips as he childishly stick out his tongue, shaking it around, “Better luck next time, Lolibaba! Kekekekekek!”

However, his boisterous shouting quickly stopped, and his expression flattened immediately, a fierce glare coming across as he glowered at everyone through his camera.

“Though, I think I proved my point. I didn’t just fake my death to watch all of you run around, ready to kill each other, as entertaining as it was. I needed to prove a point.”

Pei’s finger jabbed towards the camera, and in unison, Q-Bot shifted his body to direct himself right toward Red; from behind the dominant perspective of Pei’s finger, a grin returned to his face.

“Little Miss Murder over here, and her impulsivity makes her easy as fuck to manipulate if you know how to make her tick! You can get her to do what you want easily and watch as everything falls apart because of it! Now that you’ve seen me do it, don't be surprised when I tell you…”

“Someone has been manipulating her to kill other Phoenixes! Kekekekekek! She’s been a traitor without even knowing it!”

miki miki mechanicalmania mechanicalmania Elenion Aura Elenion Aura Roda the Red Roda the Red @Peckinou King Crimson King Crimson
Meirin Azuza
The Yeye Home
The Yeye Home, East District (LittleLeaf zone)
June 5th, 2022 || Post-Arc 3, Timeskip 1
Meirin, Dyne, Devin, Sabrina, Jess
The Yeye Home

Something was wrong.

Meirin felt the wrongness as soon as she stepped foot outside. She didn’t know what the problem was. Her brain hadn’t yet worked out the logic behind her conclusion. However, just like when the Dragon King fought the Phoenix King, Meirin felt it in her bones. She’d learned to trust her instincts, both in fights, and out of them.

And so Meirin Azuza, veteran of the Dragon gang and Warden of Eternal Night Palace, scanned her surroundings even as she approached the giggly children being cleaned of plant slobber. “Need help?”

“We’re almost done,”
The tall, dark haired woman holding the hose replied, spraying the naked children who had far too much fun with George. Several had tried to escape, of course, but the short haired woman was surprisingly faster, snatching them up and hosing them down before they could get very far.

Clearly someone experienced in dealing with kids.

Meirin helped, her large hands preventing their escape. “What’s your name, by the way?”


"Hello, Sabrina. I'm Meirin~"


Meirin tilted her head. There was something distinctly familiar about Sabrina, but again, Meirin couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She had more important things to worry about anyway. Her eyes continued their search, even as she helped to dry the younger kids, getting them into their clothes, before leading then into the dining hall.




Forty kids cleaned and ready for lunch.

“Wait!” Meirin’s eyes widened and she counted again. She looked towards Sabrina. “Have you seen the girl I came here with?”

“The quiet one?”
The goth-dressed woman shrugged. “Eaten by your plant buddy, perhaps.” At Meirin’s horrified expression, the dark-haired woman corrected blandly. “A joke. I didn’t see her among the children playing ‘Eat me’ with a carnivorous plant.”

Pouting, because Meirin didn't particularly find the joke funny, she stuck her tongue out at Sabrina before turning her attention back to the Yeye Home's dining hall, which gradually started to fill as baskets of bread and bowls of stew were being passed around; Food, at the Yeye home, was often prepared with quantity in mind rather than quality. The chairs, while numerous along the long, wooden tables, were all exactly the same and the hall itself, while large enough to hold 40+ kids, was sparse in terms of decorations. Only a long list of rules hung like a tapestry on an otherwise boring room.

The Yeye home's Dining Hall was just as Meirin remembered it.

And so Meirin’s search began. She questioned every person, every child, before concluding that the kid she’d picked up from the aftermath of New Oasis’s first Earthquake was no longer on the Yeye Home’s premise. Meirin paced. Where were they? What happened to them? Worry gnawed at Meirin’s stomach, refusing to let her eat even Madame Kouka’s cooked stew, but she didn’t want to ruin lunch for the others either. She’d been the one to bring the girl to the Yeye Home. Therefore, the weight of responsibility fell on her shoulders.

“You guys stay here and enjoy lunch. I’ll go find her.” Madame Kouka had 40 kids to look after. A search party for one kid seemed too much…and she didn’t want to ask her Dragons friends for help on a wild goose chase. They’d done more than enough for an orphanage that had nothing to do with them. Besides, there was always a chance that Meirin was worrying over nothing and the girl would return on her own. Meirin didn’t know. She only knew she didn’t like waiting as she dashed out the orphanage doors–no real idea of where she was going, but no desire to sit still and do nothing either.


Meirin blinked, not expecting to hear a voice beside her. “Why what?”

“Why should I do what you tell me to?”
Electricity crackled as Sabrina shot into the air, revealing herself to be an HP. “I’ll search from above.”

Before Meirin could even respond, the dark-haired HP had already flown the opposite direction and out of sight. Shaking her head, Meirin tucked her windblown hair behind her ear, called out a ‘thanks!’ (whether Sabrina heard her or not), and turned to do the same…though at a ground level. Surely one little kid couldn't have gone very far.

@Damafaud Misuteeku Misuteeku simj26 simj26
Last edited:
The Game
Post-Arc 3 | July 3rd
West District | The Precipice
Missy, Roger, Lazlo, Mugen
Pinhead was named for a peculiar quirk of his Potential: a pin rising out of the top of his head. Besides this, he claimed none of the other blessings which were so commonly associated with HPs, particularly in New Oasis. Luckily for Pinhead, making it in New Oasis wasn't all about strength. Else, he'd never have risen through the ranks of the Albino Tigers to get to where he was now. He'd never have gotten to be one step away from the Big Leagues. Years of backroom deals, ballbusting, and backstabbing would've been all for naught. Instead, they had all accumulated. Now he was one final leap from the next rung on the ladder, only this rung was paved with gold and diamonds. One big break was all it would take for him to finally ascend and become a Veteran.

Yes. Pinhead knew well that it was not his strength that had gotten him so far, but his mind, and his money, put behind others with the strength he so sorely lacked. Which was precisely what brought him here, and before, had brought him to the foot of a very interesting opportunity...

"Carlo! That you? My friend, my cousin. Bring it he'ah." He gesticulated all the way up to the large entrance. Not unused to hamfistedly navigating awkward situations, Pinhead wasted no time. He clasped the doorman's hand with his own clammy paws and pulled the taller man in for an awkward, semi-consensual hug. The entrance to The Precipice loomed like a shadow over them both.

Pinhead smacked his lips beside Carlo's ear and adjusted his cigar in his mouth. He patted the man on the shoulder in a congenial way, and directed his attention to the figure looming just outside the shadow's threshold.

The figure raised its head, eyes gleaming like torches. Pinhead smiled to himself as Carlo reflexively gulped. He patted the man's shoulder again, this time assuringly, leaning in to whisper his next words with practiced flare.

"I brought you's... A contendah."

Pinhead cursed Carlo under his breath for some slight, real or imagined, during their brief parley at the gates. They were inside, now. Pinhead and his 'prized bull'. He liked how the riff-raff gave him a wide berth. He liked how their eyes trailed up at the man who walked behind him, then quickly averted. This was what the powerful felt all on their own. Shaking his head to tamp down the rising of years of grudges, resentments, and insecurities, he threw his gaze over his shoulder, his pudgy jaw falling open to allow a stream of 'advice' pour out.

He prattled on uninterrupted all the way to the next checkpoint.

Leaf W. Natali
Bedlam Blitz!
Whitepeak South District - Behind ATV store
Post-Arc 3 — July 10th, 2021; Early morning
Boltius, Hector, Milo, Raquel, Leaf, Zach
Bedlam Blitz!

He felt his heart crack thinner on every stutter the poor old man let out, pupils quivering still on the whites as he forced himself to look down at him, forced himself not to break the act, not to slip up.

The family photos were just the icing on the cake— didn’t take him long to realize he didn’t have the mettle for this method acting bullshit.

He was an honest family man, someone old enough for him to be the grandson of. And there he was, damn near scaring the man’s pacemaker off. Leaf heard him utter that last ‘mister’, and his world cracked with pure, seething red, eating through his composure. He balled a fist by his side, palm opening, closing; couldn’t catch his breath, couldn’t think straight over the roar booming loud inside his head.

Just thinking of someone, some asshole playing tough like he was right now, doing the same to his grandfather had him fuming. But he couldn’t. Couldn’t show it. Couldn’t fumble it now, this far in.

Toughen up, rookie.

“I know you wouldn’t.” — His lip pulled back for a second, finally making the ugly face he’d been holding back. A heartless scumbag, one of Armond’s real goons, would’ve probably retorted with something else, pressed the old man further, but his damn voice just wouldn’t come out. He couldn’t do it anymore.

Bolt took the talking stick, to Leaf’s relief, and he took the moment of reprieve to let the tension off his chest— breathe a little, playing it off as a sigh, turning away to look at the treeline. He was, of course, just poising himself to speak again, when it was inevitably time for him to reply.

“Listen, we—" — Whatever attempt at a retake, or a shameless release of tension, was promptly snuffed out as the cannibal approached. His feet shifted, not entirely out of his own will, to turn and take a step back from her, but he forced himself upright right before that instinct got him to bail.

There’d been something about Raquel that had unnerved Leaf since the moment he laid eyes on her. Maybe it was in the way she moved, maybe in the way she talked, her eyes— the things he’d heard about her. Being around her made him feel like a lob of meat coiled around razor-wire. Made him not want to move, out of fear of getting sliced open.

So, he didn’t.

“Shit…”Leaf was sweating bullets, inwardly as he could, without it showing on his face. He’d gotten the information out of the old man— and quick, at that— without risking him giving a half-assed response out of fear of retaliation from Armond, but he never accounted for his fellow phoenixes messing up his intimidation tactics.

Leaf only stood there, watching with narrow eyes, thinking about what Red would’ve done here, or any of his other selves. It wasn’t until Milo put his hands on the gourmet that he realized all of his mentors would’ve slapped the fear out of him right now, told him to take back control of the situation— “Hey,” — He nudged in between her and the old man, bumping a shoulder against her wrist and keeping it there, glancing between Milo and her with eyes that spoke a clear message.

Don’t fuck this up — “You trying to give the old man a heart attack? He was talking just fine before you came.” — In a way, he was just trying to piss her off to divert any of her attention off Milo and to himself, if she was as short-fused as he imagined. Milo had started it, Leaf had gone and made it worse; he felt it was their responsibility now to make sure nothing bad happened to the guy.

Even if it meant getting on the bad side of one of their seniors.

The tension rose and hung there, only dropping once Zach stepped up. Leaf bit down a breath, half-relieved and half-mortified by the veteran’s approach. All he could do was pick up and work with what others laid out, again.

“Yeah,” — He sighed, a hand going up to idly rustle at his red mane — “He did. I’m sorry if I roughened you up, pops. Someone needed to make sure you were in on the details of the deal, what they ended up negotiating with you. Make sure you’re the real deal. I know canceling the shipment’s gonna be trouble now if they’re already on the way, or if you sank cash into them, but that’s why we’re here.”

For the first time since he’d talked to the old man, Leaf opened his mouth to let the mask slip, just for this one sentence — “We’re here to help you.” — He reassured him — “Don’t go askin’ why, just know that it’d be a headache for us in the long run if you closed up. So, you get your money back plus compensation now.”

At Zach’s question, Leaf nodded, nerves still tangled up with all the lies he’d been spewing— “We can call up Armond instead, have him come checkup and talk about it.”

Doctor Llamabean Doctor Llamabean WhiskeyMarten WhiskeyMarten QuirkyAngel QuirkyAngel Misuteeku Misuteeku
[Clipped Wings Cannot Rebirth]
Nighttime, Post Arc 3, June 20th 2020
South District
Charlie, Helva, Pei, Red, Jun, Eleanor
Clipped Wings Cannot Rebirth
There it was, the scorn in those ice-blue eyes was clear as day, his taunting being unsurprisingly effective. Behind them, Charlie could hear Q-Bot crying profusely over Pei's death. Charlie grit his teeth in frustration, just how ironic was it that a mere toy, an artificial life form, showed more humanity than any of the people gathered in this place? Were the phoenixes truly this perverse, after all?

The ground trembled, a booming sound coming from the entrance, loud enough to pry Charlie's attention away from Red momentarily. Calm steps echoed down the stairs, before the figure of a short boy carrying a large bag came into view. Crimson highlights breathing life into what would otherwise be an individual clad in pure black. The rookie had no clue who this child was, but he certainly had the Phoenix fashion on-point.

"Granny...?" The boy cocked an eyebrow, was that some kind of joke? The way he spoke made it sound like him and the rotten girl knew each other, quite closely so. The kid's words were like nails on a chalkboard to Charlie. Couldn't he read the room a little bit? How could he act so playfully when there was a fresh dead body nearby. "Playful, you say? She just killed one of our own" While his tone still remained 'calm', it was also blatantly vitriolic, his grip on the girl's clothes tightening, the cloth fibers creaking as they neared the point of being torn apart.

The sound of a cocked shotgun forced Charlie to look at his side. The woman who attacked Red as well, displaying the disposition of a true professional, even if her composure was on the verge of falling apart. The rookie didn't blame her for the threats, Pei was clearly important to her...Her sponsoree, perhaps? It was not just his own mind that was clouded by vinctiveness, he wasn't going to hold it against her should she take action as well.

But no, Charlie was not going to kill this girl. He had foolishly spilled his hands before for the Phoenixes, he wasn't going to go down to their level again...to HER level. But what Charlie also knew very well, was how the Scarlet Phoenixes kept their members on a short leash, he himself being subject to punishment more than once. Killing another Phoenix? That might as well get you branded as a traitor outright, to betray the family is to have it hunt you down, and the rookie wanted nothing more than to begin the punishment by his own hand.

New footsteps interrupted the ongoing tension, the woman in black that Charlie knew so well made her hurried strut through the small crowd. "R-Revenant?!" He should've seen it come sooner,of course. Hiyma was here, so it was a matter of time before Helva herself made her appaerance. With skill and determination, she worked on Pei's corpse, valiantly attempting to bring life back to the motionless body.

It is often said by people that during the darkest hour, a hero is bound to appear, their light slicing through the endless nightmare and bring joy to everyone. Of course, this didn't happen, heroes are dead, after all. But In this world of crime and violence, they could at least get the next best thing. A maniacal laughter blasted away from Q-Bot's speakers, a familiar cackle that usually foretold incoming mischief. Charlie stared befuddled at the toy behind him, at a loss for words as he listened to the previously-believed-dead man speak, and admitedly, such words fell on mostly deaf ears.

Like a machine shutting off, the rookie let go of Red in a split second, mindlessly rushing over to the tiny robot. His hands holding Q-Bot gently, unbothered by the blood now coating his hands.

"Pei...You're alive!"

Tears streamed down his cheek unabashedly as his voice broke. He probably looked like a complete wimp in front of his criminal peers. But he didn't care, his friend was alive, all else was secondary now.

"I was so scared...Don't scare me like that again, you dummy!" He mustered amidst sobs.

Regardless of his reaction, he WAS still able to catch Pei's last words, reminding him of why they had even gathered here to begin with. However, he was too much of a mess right now to really add any substantial commentary.

What's Left Of Love When It's Down To Atoms?
The Maw’s Warehouse, East District
July 10th, 2022 [Post-Arc 3]
Lenras, Passeri
”Jin Utusatu. Likewise.”

For the brief moment of time that Passeri’s hand wasn’t in her possession, it was because Jin was fine with shaking it. He stepped closer, and then... Strong grip, good two shakes, and that was it. Somehow it felt practiced. Maybe it was because it was a rough hand for someone dressed as a butler right now. He then stepped back a respectable distance away again. Maybe a machine was whirring up, because there were.. thuds. Routine, measured ones, echoing throughout the metallic halls of shipping containers and sheet metal.

”We have taken on several respectable chefs for tonight. You will not be constrained by the doctor’s dietary restrictions, so I hope that what they present will be to your liking.”

It was hard to focus on his information, because there was the fin of a shark. Coasting over the top of the self made barriers, dipping behind cover or back underneath the tide before popping back up. With each foot it got closer, another thud echoed out. The chair gave a suggestion of the height, the weight, the size of whoever else was appearing for dinner. The approach was giving a full college syllabi on the matter. And then the beast finally made a turn into plain sight, the same pathway Jin and Passeri had taken a moment ago. And then…

"Oh! Thought I'd have caught you two on the way over. Apologies!"

he apologized while waving, and picked up his pace slightly. Less of a predator’s violent rush and more the look of a man who’s about ten seconds off from missing the subway. Jin straightened upright a bit more, somehow, clasping his hands behind his back as he watched Lenras come up to the clearing.

Here he was. Passeri’s host. Somehow, the most noticeable thing about him at first was the cape he was wearing. An extremely large, brown, and furry animal had died so that Lenras could be quite warm himself. Work had also gone into making it look fashionable as well, which was good. Meshed with the suit as well. Lenras had chosen a dark red two piece for the occasion, with an embellished, barely noticeable rose pattern. Must’ve been a very light and expensive fabric, because it did not make a noise and barely a crease when Lenras came to a stop, crossed an arm across his chest, and gave the star a bow.

"Lenras Motesfont, at your service. I hope I haven't been keeping you long?"

Teeth. It was just teeth when he talked, his polite gesture only decreasing the distance between the teeth and things that do not want to be near sharp, pointed teeth. As good a segway from the fashion to the… well, to the obvious. Lenras was a monster. Scales glittered in the direct lighting with his movements, looking like a shattered disco ball. Inky black eyes in white stripes. The shark’s fin almost started on his forehead, tracing back well off his skull. And every second or so, the cape fluttered as his tail swung back and forth behind him, idly moving. And then he pulled himself back up, readjusting his tie and walking over to his seat, which somehow looked a bit too small now that he was standing next to it.

"I was just in the process of wrapping up downstairs. My apologies again. Oh, already started, wonderful."

And he sat down with a surprising amount of care, picking up a cookie in one hand and his glass in the other.

CS Link
Anger Management
Pre-Arc 1; August 1, 2019
South District
Charlie, Daigo
Daigo was deathly silent while Charlie gave his reasons, his gaze affixed to the young man before him as he talked about a moral reason for intervening. That it wasn't right to leave him to the wolves in this case. A part of Daigo wanted to interpret it as being condescending, like the first time he had bumped into him before. But the thought then crossed his mind: that, perhaps, someone didn't need a reason to do the right thing. For Daigo, this was something he couldn't comprehend out of adults - they were all cruel, cold, and selfish. They never cared about him, or those he holds close. He tried to find some way to rationalize that this was just another ploy for him to lower his guard. He so wanted to throw this guy's words back in his face.

But then he got a good look at him again, and saw just how much of a beating he had taken earlier. Because of him. A wave of pain made the blond hothead shudder before spitting out some blood onto the pavement before, painting it like an urban canvas. Maybe he was one of the good few ones after all. Daigo chuckled, though it came out more as wheezes as he felt a rib poke into his body. "Ack... fine... I believe you." he said, lowering his guard at last. "I just... just wish people would stop getting hurt because of me." he then said, averting his gaze away from Charlie. "You weren't supposed to be here and... you got hurt because of me, damnit..."

Roda the Red Roda the Red
CS Link
A Summer Breeze Scatters Blossoms
Katōre, Sankai
Ryutaro, Samira
A Summer Breeze Scatters Blossoms
"Ah, business." Megumi mused aloud before giving a chuckle, "Ryu is like his father in many ways, especially in his eye for business. I know he runs real estate back in Amestria." She then offered a warm smile to Samira, one that a child would receive from their elders when visiting. "I'm glad that he extends his aid to those who need it. Telabiim you said? Quite a ways from home you are then. I once visited with my husband when we were in our youth, when he was the foreign affairs minister for Sankai." She let out a sigh, reminiscing on better days as her eyes trailed off for a moment. "Ah but regardless, back to Ryu, yes."

She took another sip of her matcha tea before looking outwards. "His father was the first of our family to live outside Sankai. He found customs and tradition here to be oppressive... I never blamed him for that. He went to New Oasis, seeing opportunity to not only build something beyond but also to help build others up. In those decades, despite the violence, he decided to push for change. Using his wealth he ran for government, promising to rebuild the city with his experience and assets and to deal with the problems of those terrible gangs... even though I warned him of the dangers it would bring him and his family. Ryu was just a boy back then..."

Her face then betrayed a deep sorrow, cutting through her demeanor like a dagger. "And then a gunman took his life."

CS Link
A Summer Breeze Scatters Blossoms
Katōre, Sankai
Ryutaro, Samira
A Summer Breeze Scatters Blossoms

On entering, Ryu felt the smell of incense hit him within the familial shrine; sticks of incense, both still burning and long extinguished, lingered in the air as trails of smoke. Small amounts of candlelight provided additional lighting inside, away from the outside world to create its own bubble of reality. That of the dead which lingered in their material remnants. A few urns, shaped from obsidian and decorated with intricate patterns, lined the wall and the inner sanctum. Each was a member of the Hashimoto family from generations past, given respect and care in death. One of them went back to the founding of his family lineage, which was labeled with the name 'Hashimoto Jin' - the man Ryu's grandfather would tell bedtime stories about.

Other names lined the area, each with their own urns and their own sand pits for incense stick to sit within. Ryu picked one up and ignored them, opting instead towards the two that were most important to him here. The first read 'Hashimoto Kenji' - his father. While he retained his outer composure, deep within a part of him was stirred by the memories of what he once though was a great man. And yet, here he was in Sankai, going to question his grandmother about his father's integrity. Wordlessly, he lit the stick using one of the candle flames nearby before setting it in the sands in front. For a moment he remained silent, his eyes remaining affixed to the urn. Was everything you did built on a lie? he asked his father in his own mind.

He then turned towards another urn nearby. Here, his gaze softened from his usual mask as he stared at it. It was like living that moment all over again, now coming face to face with her remains. The name only read 'Yumi', as his grandmother would not permit her familial name to desecrate the shrine. And here she rested, amongst the revered dead of his lineage. Ryu sat on his knees, tears welling up in his eyes - and only then permitted himself to cry in this rare instance where he was alone in the whole world.

["I'm sorry."]

Beann Beann
What the Cat Dragged In
Eric's Apartment, Central District
Post Arc 3 || June 16th, 2022
Eric, Katya, Siru
What the Cat Dragged In
Siru stared intently at the fluffy calico, eyes meeting and locking in with each other. The man smiled, giving the cat a slight bow. He needed no explanations, the cat's mere presence was enough to show she was a being deserving of respect, her tail swayed on the air elegantly, almost as if she acknowledged his courteous greeting.

Eric's eyes went wide open, his torso jerking forward like a cat upon hearing the wet food can open. Those within Eric's inner circle know well that he can be quite the food-driven individual, and the chance of having Katya make more exotic meals than usual was the big saving great of tonight.

He stood up from the couch, brushing one of his partially-dyed locks behind his ear, he's had his handful of biting into them accidentally while eating already. The two young men followed Katya's indications, nodding in unison as she pointed towards the sink.

Eric went for it without thinking much, turning on the faucet and letting the warm water soak his hands. As he reached for the soap, he noticed Siru behind him, smiling kindly as he patiently waited for the Detective to be done.

"...No need for that, you know? C'mere" He raised his drenched hand, beckoning the intruder with a bending index finger. Siru was a little caught off guard by the sudden gesture, but quickly returned to his trademark smile before making his way into the sink, there was enough space for both to comfortably wash themselves.

"Popcorn sheds like crazy during the summer, so do the others, really, hope it doesn't bother you"

Siru giggled softly, pressing into the soap dispenser before scrubbing vigorously. "Not at all! I have a friend who is also a huge cat lover, so I'm used to it...Also." He stared at the detective directly. "I think she's not aware of it, but Katya herself often leaves hair on my things more than she realizes." He winked briefly as the soap finished dissolving.

"Your stuff, huh? Wait how come that-" Eric's entire body froze for a moment, a terrifying thought process coming into motion against his will.

The idea of Katya's fluffy tail shedding over the man's clothes carried along with it some imagery that horrified Eric to just think about, of the natural turn of events between two young adults in a relationship. Hand holding, hugs, cuddling...and after that...

The involuntary mental image sent Eric into a pure shock, critical damage plus typing advantage plus modifiers and the whole shebang. He stumbled on the spot, on hand holding firmly onto the sink, while the other clutching at his clothes, where his heart ought to be located.

"Oh my goodness, Eric are you okay?" asksd a concerned Siru, leaning from behind. Eric gave no answer, simply raising a shaky thumbs up in response.

Moments later, the two men had made their way into their seats, one was brimming with radiant positivity, and the other was fortunately expressionless enough to not let his misery come through.

"Oh, glad to know my flowers are being put to good use!"

Beann Beann
CS Link
A Summer Breeze Scatters Blossoms
Katōre, Sankai
Ryutaro, Samira
A Summer Breeze Scatters Blossoms
A perfectly plucked eyebrow raised out of curiosity as Megumi mentioned Ryutaro's father. Despite their years of friendship, bonding over luxury cuisine and reaping the success of their respective businesses, not once had Ryutaro mentioned his parents. Samira was never one to pry in other people's business. Was she nosey and a lover of tea? Yes, absolutely. However, she had Jack and a few others to entertain her with whatever drama circulated the gang. Her relationship with Ryutaro felt more professional — mature, in a sense where it would be awkward to discuss such topics like young adults, even if she was one.

So when his grandmother willingly spoke about his father, she straightened her back and leaned forward slightly, attentive and clearly interested in what she had to say. Samira brought the cup of tea up to her mouth, hiding a brief downturn of her lips when Megumi mentioned the New Oasis gangs and their infamous violence. She felt better leaving out half the truth about Ryutaro's mentorship, now knowing where his grandmother stood in terms of hang activity. Of course, any respective parent or guardian would disapprove of their child's involvement, even her own family was completely unaware. However for the sake of their public reputations, she hoped it stayed that way.

Samira gently placed her teacup down on the table, her head bowing slightly to offer her sympathy after learning the beginning and end of Ryutaro's father. It didn't come to her as a surprise though. New Oasis was dangerous because of the gangs, even more so as a public figure. Not even Samira's safety was guaranteed but at least her chances of being attacked decreased so long as she resided in the West District and maintained her involvement with the Albino Tigers. “I'm terribly sorry to hear that. Was the gunman a gang member?” She doubted she would know the gunman if they were part of a gang but she was curious to know more. It also begged the question if the gunman used regular bullets or special bullets to harm HPs. Was Ryutaro's father an HP? Did Megumi know Ryutaro is an HP? So many questions swirled in that pretty head of hers yet she hid it well with another sip of her tea.

joshuadim joshuadim
CS Link
Anger Management
Daytime, Pre-Arc 1, August 1st 2019
South District
Charlie, Daigo
Anger Management
Daigo's response evoked a smile on the blue-haired youth, unabashedly kind and warm like back when they first met. "Alright, there we go! See? There's no need to be so prickly!" He retorted, right about to pat the child on the back before reminding himself he was still in a critical state.

"Look, I don't know your story, or why those guys wanting to beat you up" He looked up, solemnly staring at the clear afternoon sky. "But if people are willing to get hurt for you, then I think that just shows how much they care for you!"

He stood straight, closing his eyes as he placed his hands on his hips, exhaling loudly through his nose. "If you don't want those people to get hurt, then just make sure you can protect them all! You're plenty strong, after all!"

He strong stance disappeared laughing awkardly as he scratched his cheek. "Well...not like I'm the best judge for that, I'm not really a fighter after all, hehe..." Once again he smiled at the blonde man. "I'm just glad we were both able to make it out fine, so don't feel now, okay?"

Charlie gently placed a hand on the boy's shoulder, his eyes brimming with determination. "Now lemme repeat myself, where do you want me to take you? You're crazy if you think I'll let you on your own in this state, you look like you'll fall apart at any moment." With his free hand, he pointed at himself with his thumb. "I'm Charlie, by the way, I think that at the very least I earned knowing your name."

joshuadim joshuadim
celestine renee cadieux
since when do they teach us to look up?
construction site, north district
vague shrug
asti, celestine
since when do they teach us to look up?
"Are you some kind of idiot?"

Celestine stared at Asti, confused by their reaction, "What do you mean...?" As she spoke she tried to pull herself out from underneath the metal pipes that were piled on top of her, blood pooling around her the more she moved. Noticing this, Celeste ceased movement and turned her full focus back to Asti.

"I have been called an idiot by others, yes, but I do not understand why you are asking me that," Celestine's eyes narrowed slightly, her expression serious, "But that is not what I am concerned about right now- Are you alright?" She repeated the question with more intensity this time, staring at Asti as she waited for an answer.

What a stupid woman, being more concerned about someone else when she is the one pinned beneath a pile of heavy metal pipes, bleeding out. Celeste cared so little for her wellbeing, which showed in how she brushed off her injuries.

Celestine was an idiot, but as long as her companion was okay, she was fine with that.

Aquarin Aquarin
Shishido Takakazu
CS Link
Mom Told You To Come Home Before it Gets Dark Because After The Sun Falls Good Things Happen
South District, Police Department
July 13th, 2022 || Post-Outbreak
Tak, Musai Kameron Esters- Kameron Esters-
Mom Told You To Come Home Before it Gets Dark Because After The Sun Falls Good Things Happen

A dim light flickered to life as its string was pulled.

The dull buzz of electricity as it coursed through the wires and reached the bulb. Wisps of dust floated through the atmosphere, dancing through the cone of light that beamed upon a metal table, spots of rust from gaps within chipped paint.

The weighty slap of a file landing upon the desk, the creak of a chair as weight landed on it, compressing the cushions. A man in a police uniform sat in the darkness; only with a scoot closer and leaning forward did his appearance gain any definition. A middle-aged man with a thinning hairline, chubby cheeks, a muffin top, and the faintest bits of dried sweat upon his collar. His hands were clasped together as he placed them calmly upon the desk, taking a swallow.

“I’ll be honest with you. We have all the evidence we need already. But I still want to hear your stories from your lips.”

Standard interrogation tactics, his words echoed across the featureless black walls, barred windows glowed faintly as the perspective circled around from the cop to the opposite side of the table.

From out of view into the center frame, a balled fist slammed against the table, enough for it to loudly clatter and creak; the handcuffs tied around the wrists clinked against the edge as they dragged their hands across the tabletop.

“Like I said, I ain’t do nuthin’! Ain’t got a clue what you’re fuckin’ talkin’ about!”

A voice loud and brash, tactless and obscene. Brows folded together at the seams below mangy, knotted hair. An uneven shave hugging around a sharp frown. Lifeless eyes glared with what little energy they could muster.

A man in a black and white tracksuit, dirty shoes, and a stained white t-shirt sat in an uncomfortable metal chair. He had himself leaned back into the seat far enough that the back of his head was against the backrest, his legs splayed out wide, pants hanging low enough to show the brand name of his underpants, his feet tapped impatiently as he attempted to look as menacing he could from his position.

“I don’t know why you keep askin’. I’m innocent, so let me outta here already,”
Tak continued to complain, rocking back in his seat, causing the legs of the chair to scratch loudly against the floor.

The detective took his aggressiveness as a chance to pull back, leaning into his seat, his hands still folded and placed over his chest as he swirled around in his chair slightly, “You can deny it all you want, but like I said. We already have evidence of your guilt. I’m trying to help you out here, if I hear your story I might be able to let you two off easy,” he stated and finally stopped moving in his chair, his eyes moving instead to a different part of the room.

“What about you? You’re both being accused as accomplices. I’d like to hear your version of events,” the detective motioned towards the other person in the room with a hand, another man hidden within the shadows.

Tak glanced at them from the corner of his eye; his frown didn’t lighten up a bit; in fact, it only seemed his mood soured more.

Because he knew how complicated this was about to get.

Zachariah C. Locke
St. Steinburg's Maiden Voyage
The Open Seas (Day 0), St Steinburg Casino
July 2nd, 2022 | Post Arc 3, TimeSkip 1
Hiachi, Zack (Naomi), Zach (dealer)
St. Steinburg's Maiden Voyage

Fishing requires patience.

As much as Zach knew that to be true, he could never enjoy waiting for the prey to bite. Were he someone like Vulken, he could burn the target into a crisp and be done with it. Hell, back in the day, Draken might’ve just burned down the entire ship (exaggeration) before calling it a day. Job done. Those who could survive a sinking ship, in the middle of the ocean, were few and far in between - least of all an NP with far too many enemies to be a good person.

Alas, the times have changed them all and Zach was, by no means, a Beckman. Jobs, for him, required setup. Research. And a whoooole lotta planning…a step he sometimes skipped when his patience wore thin. Merkola would’ve bashed him a new one if she knew, and were still around, but there was little use longing for the days that would never return. Instead, Zach focused on what mattered - the present.

His current present had him once more decked in a casino uniform, shuffling cards as he dealt yet another array of hands.

Zach didn’t dislike cards. Or gambling. On the contrary, he rather enjoyed games where the outcome was left up to chance. The thrill of the unknown, the weight of the stakes, and the tenseness of the atmosphere were certainly enough to get the adrenaline pumping. However, as the dealer of a poker game, Zach had little at stake since he wasn’t allowed to play. The outcome didn’t matter to him. Perhaps, if he were dealing Blackjack, he’d have felt less the urge to yawn, but one can’t always choose their jobs – least of all a job obtained through…questionable…channels.

Yawning on the first day, within the first few hours of work, would’ve been very unprofessional–especially when the fish had yet to arrive.

And so, wearing the pleasant smile one would expect from your average casino tip-earner, Zach took the buy-in and gave the newcomer his chips before dealing him his two cards. Or was it her? While he could see the lines of potential altering the newcomer’s appearance, breaking through the mask required greater focus than Zach was willing to put up to discover the identity of someone he didn’t particularly care about; They weren’t his fish.

Nor did he care if the scruffy, silent girl–that had swept multiple games since she joined his table- was cheating or not. It wasn’t his money that was being lost…and he’d rather not draw more attention to himself than he had to. Explaining how he noticed her shifting eyes, and how he knew of her potential–one quite similar to his own–, was far too much work. Criminals didn’t go out of their way to oust one another unless they had something to gain from it. Besides, it was kind of entertaining to watch her work. How much could the girl swindle from her fellow gamblers before one of the little richlings threw a fit? Would she get caught? Or would she walk away with much more money than she started with?

‘Bout the only form of entertainment he could derive from his current position, really.

Besides the killer stowaway under the ship, that is.

Or the sheer number of oddities wandering about. The fact that wannabe Tiger Eli, along with several other questionable individuals, had tossed money into the construction of the boat led him to suspect there was more going on behind the scenes than a whimsical desire to own a big boat, but uncovering such was side to his own job. His own agenda.

Returning his attention to the tedious game, which grew even more tedious because more than half the players decided to fold at the preflop, Zach did his basic duties as a dealer. Verified the bets. Announced the pot. Collected the folded hands.

The girl seemed to know what she was doing. The newcomer did not.

“Your options, Sir, are to call, raise, or fold.” Zach prompted boredly. “...Let me know if you would like me to explain the rules…”

God, he hoped not. That’d be one way to drag the game out longer. Zach couldn’t even remember if explaining the rules of the game was one of the requirements of being a dealer or not. Probably. Then again, if he were serious about his ‘job’, he’d encourage more bets, since the casino earned a portion of the pot. Be more vigilant about catching cheaters; Call them out for whispering to each other and whatnot. Fortunately for them, Zach wasn’t a stickler and really couldn’t care less.

His break was in 20 minutes.

miki miki tityanya tityanya
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Kanna Katsura
The Welcome Wagon
East District, Dragon HQ
Ruriko, Renjiro, Mirza, Pavel, Pasha, Dorian, Jessamine, Lloyd, Keith, Silva
The Welcome Wagon
"It's fine. It's just a little thing for —"

Kanna could practically hear the disappointment in Ruriko's voice, and just as easily understood why. She could also feel the tension in the room as soon as she walked in. After all, they probably weren't expecting her to appear in a setting like this.

The Jack returned the greetings received by the others with a soft smile, followed by a nod and small wave when Ruriko introduced her and Silva. Most of their faces, she recognized. But there were a couple that were completely new to her, which was to be expected. It was rare she had time to truly get to know them personally like this. Usually she would meet new rookies in passing either on assignments or at the Dragons HQ.

Truth be told, the reason she decided to come out here was because she wanted to be more involved in the day-to-day happenings among Dragon members. More often than not, she was always aware of any official gang business that was going on, but stuff like this usually flew under her radar. Plus, she saw it as a good opportunity to be more personal with the younger members and dispel any stigma around her stemming from her role as a gang leader.

Kanna turned to Ruriko, stepping off to the side as she spoke.

"Well, don't let me get in the way of whatever you have planned. That wasn't my intention in coming here. In fact, I'm very curious about what you have planned for the day."

The responsible side of Kanna was screaming to ensure that they didn't do anything reckless or anything to harm the Dragons' reputation within the East District, or anywhere for that matter. But in that moment, by some other-worldly force of nature, the Dragon Jack pushed those thoughts back. Yes, there would be a line that Ruriko couldn't cross. But today, that line would be very blurry.

Where this concern over her image came from, Kanna had no idea. Or maybe she was trying to mend her relationship with Ruriko? Whatever the case may be, the Dragon Jack leaned back against the wall of the room, her arms loosely crossing over her chest. Who knows, maybe she'd be surprised and nothing crazy would happen today. But this was New Oasis. Something was always brewing.

In any case, if shit really began hitting the fan, Kanna would be ready to damage control.

Beann Beann WhiskeyMarten WhiskeyMarten simj26 simj26 Jexon Whells Jexon Whells tityanya tityanya Roda the Red Roda the Red Doctor Llamabean Doctor Llamabean Slav Slav Coyote Hart Coyote Hart
Welsha Reaper
What's the Tea
Moonflower Cafe, West District
Yona Kowloong CasualTea CasualTea , Welsha Reaper
What's the Tea

Welsha tilted her head a bit when Yona said that she would search their phone for something, she had mostly wanted to know her likes so that she would be able to identify a good place. But she supposed researching a place online was also a option that she could of chose, when Yona motioned for her to follow, Welsha didn't really hesitate, grabbing her laptop bag, and followed Yona out. Welsha didn't know what to expect when it came to Yonas vehicle but it was pretty mediocre at best, though to be fair she did say she only recently came into the city, so she supposed it was a bit fair. Regardless it did make Welsha think that she wasn't very wealthy, probably average when it came to financial wealth. Though it wasn't like she minded that too much, most of her nice things were gifted to her by her parents after all and it wasn't like everyone was gifted with such a support system. Welsha soon took the front seat figuring it would be impolite to take the back one, besides it made it easier to conversate with them anyways, well atleast she though so. Welsha began to suspect that the car was perhaps new considering it's interior it would make sense, but those thoughts were put to the side as Yona entered onto the drivers side.

Welsha listened as Yona spoke in a foreign language to their Alexa, Welsha knew her share of foreign languages, but that was not one of the ones she knew. But she atleast knew the accent, but she wasn't 100% sure about that yet, so she opted to remain silent about that for now, but she did atleast gain her suspicions about where she might come from. Before she could even question her about it Yona brought out a flower shop, Welsha may play dumb a lot but she wasn't exactly a idiot and she understood the tactic of changing the subject, her parents trained her quite a bit when it came to certain areas. But she opted to play along with Yona anyways figuring that she was being paranoid, she would probably get more intel out of her later on when she was more willing anyways. "Oh, So you have a interest in flowers?" honestly Welsha wasn't all too interested in flowers, she did know about them mostly the poisonous ones, but her interest in them wasn't all that great since their mother considered them to be overall not very useful, a sentiment that was placed onto her for the most part. Welsha started to feel a bit paranoid looking at the rear view mirror to see if anything was off or following them, there were many people from different organizations that had reason to follow her, though there was also the possibility that they were following Yona. Opting to break the silence Welsha began to ask "So any real reason you came to this city specifically? Got anyone that you know living in this city?"
Yona Kowloong
Pre-Outbreak: June 21, 2022
Moonflower Cafe, West District
Yona Kowloong, Welsha Reaper @Peckinou
What's the Tea
Phew, looks like she didn't notice. Good. Perhaps she did but was just playing along with the subject change. In turn, she'll abide as well. "Ah yes, flowers are a beautiful thing. Not only does it make for good addition to scenery, depending on the type of flower it can make some nice dye or medicine." She said as she continued to drive. As she did, she started to notice Welsha's behavior as well. It seemed like they too had that feeling they were being followed.

So she wasn't the only one. Whether they were watching Welsha or herself or even both eludes her. She wouldn't know what sort of motive someone would have in following them, let alone tailing close by. She then heard Welsha speak once more, opting to keep them busy and shoo out such a silent atmosphere. Perhaps to not make their situation too tense. What she didn't expect was a question as to what her real reason was to coming to New Oasis. She pondered on the thought, wondering how she could explain herself. It did give her a bit of thinking, more so to do with trying to keep up this fake identity she's got going on. She can't let Welsha know her reason, but at the same time it wasn't actually a reason worth hiding. "Maybe just more freedom away from my other family members. My parents are good people but others don't have such intentions and goals as pure as them. They're very... ambitious." She said putting some truth behind her words. "What I want is to live my life the way I wish to, not be someone's puppet. Certainly not one tied up in all their drama." She took a look at the GPS and it looked like they were halfway there. It would still take a while. So why not keep up the topic?

"What about you? What made you pick the college here?"

Passeri Park
July 15th, 2022
The Suede Bee, West District
Passeri, Rohen, Dyne
Herein, a thicket of metal stalks and whirring stripes.

The Suede Bee was one of the Albino Tigers' numberless snapping jaws. A paradise of light and sound, an Eden wherein nothing was forbidden. From the heart's deepest sin to the tongue's greatest craving, all was permitted, and indeed too present within these median reaches of the Tigers' domain. All, of course, with the exception of that most succulent fruit of all: Victory.

A halo of muddled neon silhouetted Passeri's figure. As it tended to in this part of town, a dense crowd milled about her, their chatter joined together to form a near-impenetrable wall of noise. At her rear, the Bee's great, yawning entrance blinked with all the most welcoming colors of the rainbow. As much as she played the socialite, this was not her sort of scene. The chatter was too vapid, the constant mill of feet too aimless, and the trajectory of the night much, much too tragic for her tastes. Plainly put, she'd never really been much for gambling.

The odds were simply not a thing she had much of a talent for playing, but her quarry tonight was a different story. She'd yet to gather a full picture, but what had been painted for her was already bold enough in its colors to catch her interest. A Dragon deep within Tiger territory, a smile on her face and winnings in her pocket. Night after night. A regular. Brazen enough in her wits to stick her arm into the jaws of the so-called enemy day in and day out. A problem by the measure of most, but in her experience some of the most beautiful trees were grown from troubled seeds. It was, if nothing else, something worth looking into.

But there was the problem. As far as she might've climbed up the Tigers' bamboo ladder, this was still not her world. It took one to know one, and it took one to catch one too. Her lucky stars be thanked, then, that the Tigers had gamblers to spare.

'Waiting by the entrance. Black jacket. Purple dress.'

One such she'd invited here tonight. As ever, Passeri's finger had been tightly pressed against the tender heartbeat that was the constant flow of Rookies into the Tigers' 'employ'. From amongst latest swell of riffraff, she'd found at least one name bearing promise. Ex-PMC. Veteran Gambler. Cocksure Gunslinger. Rohen 'Crow' Vista.

What it was with military types and naming themselves after animals?

She'd had the woman delivered a brief when she'd been contacted. A two-person mission. Follow, observe, and confront. Rohen would handle the money, and she the chatter. Their objective was plain. Establish contact with mystery Dragon and find out what motivated her to delve so deep into such dangerous territories. What followed that she'd yet to judge. With the manner in which the Tigers' political space currently squirmed, a branch beyond their ranks was an attractive idea. Something, anything, to give her a leg up in this ridiculous coup. But now wasn't the time to dream of what could be. She'd heard interesting things of their mark for the night, but these days there were few judgments she trusted beyond her own.

For now, she at least knew what to look out for. Confidence in her step and a smile like the devil's. Hair, ironically, black like a raven's. Definitely not the sort of easily milked sad-sap that the Tigers' casino managers were so fond of... Which was probably why she'd had them complaining in her ear about it for the past few weeks. Another 'cheater' to be disposed of, at least so long as she didn't do something about it first.

Passeri pulled her jacket further over her shoulders. She'd learned her lesson about dresses in the evening from that dinner with Motsefont, but even through the thick, black leather, she could still feel the night's approaching chill. She crossed her fingers in hope that her company for the night would be arriving soon.

Rohen Vista
Hoodwinked [July 15th, 2022]
The Suede Bee, West District
Rohen, Passeri, Dyne
The West District. She'd never thought she'd find herself in front one of its casinos again. Better yet, she heard this one's quite well-known. And she's working for it. What a pain in her rear. What's an even bigger pain is the possibility that she'll be using some money to keep this mission going. What sort of mission is it, o' wise one? An intel gathering mission through deceit. She's going to hook up with someone from another gang and try to coerce an answer out of them. In other words, purely for the sick entertainment of her current highers as money apparently doesn't entertain you enough when you have fuck loads of it. It makes sense. What other use could you have for it when you have more than what you can figure out what to get in terms of necessities? Buy entertainment.

Nonetheless, she's got nothing else to do with her life. Why not participate in some petty gang activities to pass the time? It'd probably be a way better option than hanging out near an alleyway, looking like a pauper who spent all their money just to light a cig and smoke. Seemingly no goal in life. In this way though, no one would pay her any mind as she waited for her contact. She was given a communication device and briefed by a woman who 'picked her up'. She's going to do whatever this woman told her to in order to complete this mission. For whatever its worth, she waited. She'd been aimlessly gazing around until a buzz finally came in her ear.

'Waiting by the entrance. Black jacket. Purple dress.'

This prompted Rohen to finally look in that direction albeit with the same dazed expression she always held. "Break's over, I guess." She mumbled to herself. She dropped her cig to the ground and stamped it out with her foot, pivoting it a little to further grind it into the cement. Finally, turning on her mic to a push to talk setting rather than mute, she spoke softly but it was enough for the throat mic hidden under her turtle neck to pick up. "Copy, visual. Rallying." She bluntly affirmed automatically. She was still used to radio chatter used in a military setting. "Coming up from the alleyway. Hold tight." She added as she made her way across the street to the entrance of the casino.

Her walk was quite casual, like a drifter in the streets. Since the mission was all about disguising oneself and deceiving the other, she didn't know if the target was nearby. She didn't want to make herself suspicious. Is what she told herself, but that's just how she always is. Blending into the background was a surefire way to go unnoticed so nobody bothers you. She wasn't intercepted by anyone as she met up with the woman that she briefly heard her name was Passeri. "Yo." She bluntly greeted with her dazed deadpan expression. You could tell she didn't really want to be here. Not like they had anything better to do.


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