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

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Shishido Takakazu
CS Link
SCENE:
Car Insurance Commercials Don't Mention You Should Have Health Insurance
LOCATION:
West District
PARTICIPANTS:
Shishido Takakazu, Lorette Ramjammer Ramjammer
Car Insurance Commercials Don't Mention You Should Have Health Insurance

The dull sheen weakly glowed under the sun, and a stuttering engine choked out what combustion it could spit putrid smog in the air. The tattered rubber of tires spun around, squealing down the road. A scooter with chipped paint, rusted metal, and fading decals, still missing a side mirror.

Tak leaned forward on the cracked leather seat, his head hung above the handles, eyes behind goggles, his mess of hair kept hidden underneath his bowl-shaped helmet with its cheaply made racing stripe across it.

As usual, he didn’t obey traffic laws. He ignored red lights, cars left to slam their brakes and honk their horns at the intersection as he sped past. That constant glare he always fastened himself with only had his eyes peeled forward. He was determined for something, so much so that he flung himself head-first through traffic without a care.

A smirk of hunger on his face, a glint of desire in his eyes. He had something he needed to do and wasn’t about to pass out on it.

A flier fluttered in his hands in the wind, gripped tight between his fingers, and bright, bold yellow lettering on a bombastic red background could barely be made out from under his vice hold.

BIG SALE!

“I’m gonna get as much lunch meat I can shove into my damn pockets!” Tak exclaimed, twisting the handles to put on the gas, the sudden change in acceleration lifting up the front wheel of his scooter before slamming back onto the ground, “I was gettin’ tired of bread and butter sandwiches!”

His thoughts began to swirl; while his eyes were closed, his imagination manifested a cloud above his head, drool beginning to pool out of the corner of his mouth, “Oh, what should I pick!? Honey ham!? Smoked Turkey!? Bologna and salami! Roast beef and pastrami!”

His tongue hung out from his lips as he leaned his head back, the simple delicacy of deli meats tantalizing his starved taste buds; no matter what, he had to get to the store!

It was soon after that thought that a sharp slam knocked him out of his thoughts and flung him out of his seat; through the air, he flew, only a short distance, his clothes sliding across metal before--

The sound of shattering glass, landing against cushions and sliding across the front of a car to drop onto the ground.

Tak blinked. He took a moment to raise his head before looking around, glancing to see that he was now inside a car, his body hanging limply from the windshield. The alarm blared loudly in the background, reacting to the sudden impact.

Nonchalantly, Tak crawled out the window, sliding off the car and landing back on the ground. He dusted himself off, letting stray glass shards hit the ground before he reached up to feel his helmet, patting it for insurance.

“That’s why you wear a helmet,” his only semblance of driving safety is given validation; he looked to see his tipped-over scooter; the front had gained a significant bend, the headlight had fallen off, and one of the handles looked ready to break off at any moment.

But Tak kept his cool. Now wasn’t the time to freak out; he had much more important things to do. Wordlessly, he walked up to prop back up his scooter and quickly got himself back on, revving the engine back alive.

“Welp, time to get out of here,” he said with a harmless smile, not even looking at the car he had crashed into anymore like it didn’t exist, as if he ignored it, the problem would go away.

As long as he didn’t get caught, he’d be alright.

 
Dyne Enjyre
TIME:
Post-Arc 3 — July 15th, 2022
SCENE:
Hoodwinked
LOCATION:
The Suede Bee, West District
PARTICIPANTS:
Dyne, Passeri, Rohen
Hoodwinked

Numbers lost their meanings in a sea of digital flickers. Humans were not as logical as they believed themselves to be, really. That's why casino used chips instead of the hard currency. There was less psychological barrier in putting ten purple chips on the line than $10,000. Gamblers would love to believe they were completely in control, but they never were. They lost from the first step they took into the building.

The Suede Bee was another dazzling spectacle of wealth and luxury. Not opulence, no. Sophistication drew a different crowd and discouraged others. The truly exorbitant display of wealth hid behind a velvet rope of exclusivity. Inaccessible floors and guarded doors marked their entrance, teasing the presence of a different world. The gate excited those just arriving at the scene and drew envy and curiosity from those unable to enter, but at least for tonight, the high-wager area was not within her interest.

Dyne joined the chamber of dazzle and clamor with a full smile. The crowd drew distance from her entrance, unconsciously by the subtle nudge of her Potential and of course, her presence. She wore white. Her strut never slowed and her eyes met none as she navigated the maze to the closest poker table. Gold glimmered on her neck, her ears, and her arm linked with no one but a little purse that shook with chips to the brim.

Casinos were always a sort of fun, really. There were strategies in betting, how much you should, where, but it all eventually depend on the fickle hands of Lady Luck. She used to frequent one when her money was not her own, but she refrained since the endless coffer of her cousin closed. Of course, accompanying a date or two was always fun, but that little fun blossomed into something more a few weeks prior.

Brian was all she could ask for from a dating app's night of fun. Handsome, funny, and, most surprisingly, did not lie regarding his skills. The night was perfect and the flower charm he gave as a parting gift was adorable. Now, she did not believe in charms and the sort- well, maybe a bit, and a little bit more when her casino night netted her a $15,000 win without trying.

Okay, maybe she did not exactly win everything by luck. Her Potential was perfect for increasing the odds of winning on the roulette wheel, but she won oddly often on the other games, too. Not as much as her first night, but enough that she simply could not stop there. Day after day, her streaks continued and she did not know when her luck would stop. She had left four casinos and $244,000 behind. Even if she stopped now, she had profited amazingly from Lady Luck's fickleness.

Dyne blinked at the hand she was dealt. A pair of three, at best. She swept her hair aside and her golden accessory chimed.

"Call," she said crisply and sweetly. Her inhuman luck may have ended, but her victory did not have to, no?


DYNE NOTES​
— —POST RECAP: Dyne continues her casino tour after a streak of amazing luck. Today, she deigns her presence on the Suede Bee.

— —WEARING: white thigh-high dress, white jacket, golden necklace, gold earrings, beige watch and purse to match



The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit CasualTea CasualTea
 
Gideon Gray
SCENE:
Messy Delight
LOCATION:
Clark's Cafe, South District
TIME:
November 17th, 2021 | Pre-Arc 3
PARTICIPANTS:
Gideon, Rutger
MESSY DELIGHT
The silence that stretched out after Gideon finished his story was painful. Gideon desperately shoveled cake into his mouth in an attempt to fill the void. What a shame, shoveling such a delicate pastry into his mouth was the worst way to enjoy it. But he doubted that he could enjoy it anyway, with his nerves and all.

Thankfully, Rutger seemed to have bought Gideon's story, even though he was not quite impressed. Internally, Gideon released a sigh of relief. But that relief was soon replaced with an odd sense of dread as Rutger leaned towards him with horrifying words.

"Haha, nice one," Gideon laughed dryly. That was a joke from Rutger, right? There was no way someone as soft-looking as Rutger could say something like genuinely. Only those who were truly depraved like Hector, Helva, or Zulin could make a joke like that.

Gideon could finally begin once more to enjoy his cake, and he slowed down so that he could taste the carrot bits, the sweetness of the frosting, and the moistness of the cake. He shook his head, rejecting Rutger's offer of paying back, "Like I said, we're family here. You don't owe me anything."

Whilst Gideon was in the middle of a bite of cake, Rutger pulled out his switchblade. Gideon's eyes momentarily widened before he choked on his cake, and he hid his face underneath the table as he went through a coughing fit. Was Rutger secretly also edgy underneath all the cross-dressing that he did? Or was the thing that he said not actually a joke? Most rookies didn't have a solid grasp on murder, so Gideon automatically assumed the former.

When he had recovered, Gideon took a look at the blade in Rutger's hand. He wasn't familiar with knives, but he could discern quality when he saw it. And the switchblade in Rutger's hand did seem to be solidly made, and so Gideon nodded, "It does look like a good knife."

To show his method of fighting, Gideon reached into his bag to pull out a grenade and a stick of dynamite. He didn't have to make up any stories this time. The bombs were genuinely Gideon's preferred weapon. They allowed Gideon to fight with his full strength without worrying whether he'd hurt his enemy or not. If he needed to, he could avert his eyes after throwing the projectile, and they would still do as much damage as if he had kept his eyes locked onto his target. Additionally, grenades were perfect considering that Gideon didn't have the best physical strength.

"Explosives," Gideon said proudly, "I'm not strong in comparison with other HPs, but my aim is good enough and with a few traps, anybody too reckless will have trouble fighting me, no matter how strong they are."

If Rutger was going to freak Gideon out, Gideon decided he was going to mess with his charge a bit back. He leaned over the table and pulled the pin out of his grenade, making sure to keep a firm grasp on the lever to make sure that it didn't explode.

"You don't need to fight a fool that threatens your dominion when you have a grenade. The explosion will do the job of a hundred slashes. And I also get to watch my enemy go from cocky to regretting ever challenging a future tyrant of New Oasis," Gideon said, glowering at Rutger. The villain was going to show his protege that he could make jokes too.

Granted, Gideon had never killed anyone with his grenades. Gideon's expression softened as he replaced the pin back into his grenade before putting it back into his satchel. "But unfortunately, since you're taking care of our target this time around, you won't be able to see my bombs in action."

Slav Slav
 
TEDDIE TUCKER
SCENE:
Friends Who Slay Together Stay Together
LOCATION:
The Tucker's House, North District Outskirts
TIME:
Post Arc 3
PARTICIPANTS:
Celeste, Teddie
FRIENDS WHO SLAY TOGETHER STAY TOGETHER

“Gross! Gross!”
“Auntie Celeste is right, you don’t wanna get contaminated with Dragon lurgy, do you?”

With only a brief glance down before focusing on Teddie, Eliza stuck a foot between Carlisle and the man, hoping to separate the two. It seemed Carlisle had gotten the message, looking at Celeste as she leaned toward her, grabbing her leg. The man groaned again, with a bit more vigour.

“What?”
“Wasn’t me, dear.”

The couple realised at the same time that the man had woken up, or at least had some life to him. But at the same time they both looked down, neither having figured out how to proceed yet with the pleasant surprise, the man reached a bloody hand out at the only thing he could see through his blurred vision.

The wailing was immediate and loud as Carlisle’s arm was gripped and pulled away from Celeste. She flailed her little limbs, startled but not hurt. A boot was raised, and quickly brought down onto the man’s arm, releasing his grip immediately.

“So he is one of them killer Dragons.”

“And he’s awake now. Let’s get started. Celeste, I’ll let you do the honours.”

Neither specified exactly what Celeste had the honours to do, but the way they had even more bloodlust in ther eyes than before was telling.

 
X
CS Link
SCENE:
Acid Reign
LOCATION:
West District
DATE:
Post-Arc 3, July 15th (Evening)
PARTICIPANTS:

Xixix, Yarne @SpikeyMoth, Babarutthoth @Vorifengrous

Acid Reign

“Two Gals looking for a good time,” X said with an accent that all women from the countryside would be proud of; however, his face somehow remained a blank canvas betraying his colorful speech. He was most likely inspired by the perfect falsetto by their target. Hopefully, this would be over rather quickly, but his instincts told him otherwise. He gave his partner a thumbs up. His “partner” had taken point on this mission, so he should probably be the the first to deal with the chaos to ensue. Hopefully, he would be skilled enough to handle everything without X even having to lift a finger…he was the rookie after all, and it was getting dark outside. There were better things to do on a night like this then collect money from strange people in strange places though those adjectives probably applied to them more than anyone.

*Sorry for the late and lackluster post. Teaching started back up and it was hard to get back on top of things ;_;*






 
CHARLIE HUGHES
SCENE:
[Late-Night Chase]
TIME:
Nighttime, Post Arc 1
LOCATION:
Aksher Co. Offices, Sound District
PARTICIPANTS:
Charlie, Minato
Late-Night Chase
The boy visibly recoiled as he was barely able to process the information he was just given, the way his facial muscles contorted made the veiling of his sunglasses quite futile, anyone could make a solid guess of how those eyes looked liked right now.

"You've got to be kidding me..." He let out weakly, stunned by the criminal's words.

Human trafficking? Was he for real? Charlie was aware that the phoenixes were capable of extreme violence if necessary, something he wasn't a fan of in the slightest. But this? If this was true, the fact that they were willing to work with someone who casually dealt in such a heinous and inhuman was nothing short of world-shattering...But, what if he was lying? What if the man was just employing his silver tongue to fool him into helping his selfish motives? He WAS most likely an enemy gangster as well, man was too crafty and talented to be some random street runt.

The coarse skin from Charlie's hand creaked as it tightly balled. He was so lost on what to do, unprepared for such a short argument to shift the tides so drastically. Was he really willing to put his reputation on the line, and even tarnishing his trust from other phoenixes, just to heed the words of some random criminal he's never met before? It was utterly insane...But, if it happened to be true, the rookie might not be able to ever forgive himself for such a horrid mistake.

"Tch, gosh darnit!" He thrust his arm forward at the bound man, what seemed to be a clean strike at first soon revealed itself to be his fingers wrapping around the metal binding, lifting the intruder like a ragdoll up in the air, the motion making him land right on the boy's shoulder.

"I'll be watching your every move like a hawk, do ANYTHING funny and I'll make sure you regret it for the rest of your days, got it?" With that last threat, he broke into a light jog towards the staircase.

"So...What's the catch?" His eyes shifted towards the human cargo he carried, the hard sole of his shoes clacking against the concrete steps, one after another. "What do you have to gain from exposing this 'bad guy'? I'll be more willing to believe you if your argument's solid"



Elenion Aura Elenion Aura
 
DAIGO ASANUMA
CS Link
SCENE:
Anger Management
TIME:
Pre-Arc 1; August 1, 2019
LOCATION:
South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Charlie, Daigo
ANGER MANAGEMENT
The more Charlie talked, the less sense it made in Daigo's eyes. Why would this guy care for him when they had only just met? And only because he had every intentions of stealing from him in the first place? This guy was either a samaritan of some religious kind, or an idiot. Daigo felt inclined to believe the latter, but relented as he let out a raspy chuckle as a means to indicate that he was still listening. "I'm strong, huh?" the kid muttered before smirking, "You're not half bad yourself then. Flopping the big bad asshole around like a fish."

It was then that Charlie offered to help him get to wherever he needed to get to, considering the attention all of this would bring. But this brought an annoyed growl out from Daigo, feeling as though he was being talked down to again. But that quickly dissipated as he shook his head: "i'll live... I always do." he said, "Can't afford a hospital... though I don't need one. I'll be fine in a few weeks... trust me."

He then turned to the blue-haired man with a smirk: "Charlie, huh?" he asked rhetorically. "...Daigo. That's my name."


Roda the Red Roda the Red
 
Keith Sullivan
CS Link
SCENE:
The Welcome Wagon
LOCATION:
Azure Dragon HQ, East District
TIME:
Post-Arc 3, June 27th 2022
PARTICIPANTS:
Ruriko, Mirza, Renjiro, Dorian, LLoyd, Keith, Kanna, Silva, Jessamine
The Welcome Wagon
The brain worm of introversion wiggled inside of Keith's head, lips trembling as the room continued to get more and more packed full of strangers, they may all share the same cerulean scales, but were still strangers nonetheless.

Ah, there it was, words that brought the boy back to simpler times, albeit the words themselves not being exactly flattering. It was not the first time someone called Keith out on his meek posture and energy, and judging by how things went, it certainly wasn't going to be the last, either. The red-haired man was appreciative of the other rookie's intervention...Dorian, was it? Pretty hard to remember names when they're all dumped at once in a similar timeframe. But it was also nerve-wracking, to say the least, how was he okay nonchalantly confronting a veteran just like that? Did he wan't to get in trouble that badly?

Regardless of what Pavel might've thought of Dorian's response, Keith's attention shifted to Jessamine, or rather, was forced to by her...assertive 'corrections'. His body turning stiff as his slight slouch was straightened. His cheeks turned a light shade of pink as the poised little lady complimented his looks, an appreciated gesture, even if he was incapable of showing it, his facial muscles concocting a mixture of awkwardness and confusion. "Uh...Thank you?...Understood?" Why was that last part even said as a question?

Taking an involuntary step forward from Jessamine's hit, Keith was now closer to the small congregation of veterans, most closely to the girl with the black ponytail...Whose name the Rookie couldn't remember now (Again, boy wasn't doing too well with so many names at once). The mewling of kittens grabbed his attention towards the cardboard box. His peeking head took noticed of the fluffy and frail little creatures, a hesistant gloved hand nearing the edge of the box.

"Um...May I...Hold one of them, for a moment?" He asked softly, hopeful eyes staring at their...New owner, one could assume?

He was never the best at dealing with animals, he liked them but generally kept a bit of a distance from them. But who in their right mind could resist the alluring cuteness of a kitten?

simj26 simj26 Beann Beann WhiskeyMarten WhiskeyMarten Doctor Llamabean Doctor Llamabean Jexon Whells Jexon Whells tityanya tityanya
 
CHARLIE HUGHES
CS Link
SCENE:
Anger Management
TIME:
Daytime, Pre-Arc 1, August 1st 2019
LOCATION:
South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Charlie, Daigo
Anger Management
Charlie was quite hesitant for a prolonged moment, displeasure written all over his face as he pondered over Daigo's confidence...Or more like obstinance. "Hmmm, are you really sure?" No matter how capable the teen proved to be, leaving a child with broken bones to his fate could weight heavily on the boy's conscience. Yet realistically, he knew that he had neither the energy nor words to convince that stubborn kid.

"Alright then, Daigo, I'll trust that you can handle it yourself." Charlie patted at his clothes, foolishly trying to make himself the tiniest bit more presentable, a fool's errand considering what he just went through. "Well, I'd love to hang around but I REALLY need to go to work now, boss won't be happy about my late arrival" He remarked, naively ignoring the fact that his time of arrival would only be half of the problem.

He then broke into a job, rushing his way out of the courtyard-turned-battlefield. However, just a few feet away he gasped lightly, fumbling his heavy steps into a clumsy stop, nearly falling face first on the hard floor if not for the wild swinging of his arms. He backtracked his steps until he was facing Daigo once more.

"EHEM!" He let out, an open hand held in front of the teen. "Don't think I forgot why I followed you all this way to begin with!" He uttered with a little bit of scorn, before his features softened. "I really my need stuff back, I'll be in big trouble otherwise."

While he was subtle about it, Charlie resorted to his best puppy eyes following the request-slash-demand. He wasn't sure his landlord would be okay with being overdue again.

Finally recovering his phone and wallet, he gave Daigo a sincere smile once more, glad to know he could reason with the kid to this level. Quite frankly, it should be the least expected after he risked his neck for the kid, let alone the fact it was theft to begin with. But the blue haired boy just knew that the teen must been going to a lot, those weren't the eyes of a kid who had an easy life, they lacked the softness that his own had.

"Thank you." He placed the items safely into his deep pockets. "Well, was a bit turbulent but...I guess it was kinda nice meeting you Daigo." 'nice' might be too generous of a word to use in this context...but it only felt proper. He took slow steps backwards, still keeping eye contact with the youth. "If we meet again, I'll invite you to a burger, alright?" He then broke into a sprint, not wanting to make his boss any more angry than it was already expected, he finally left the alley for good.

Sadly for Charlie, this would be the very last day he took a step inside that convenience store as a worker. The unnecessarily stressful process of job hunting began anew the very next day.


joshuadim joshuadim
 
DAIGO ASANUMA
CS Link
SCENE:
Anger Management
TIME:
Pre-Arc 1; August 1, 2019
LOCATION:
South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Charlie, Daigo
ANGER MANAGEMENT
Daigo didn't respond to Charlie after having given back his possessions, figured might as well at this point given how much collective bullshit they had to deal with today already. "If... heh." Daigo managed to get out as Charlie departed, the young man rushing to his fiscal responsibilities. This left the battered hotheat to limp away from the scene, using the alleyways to snake around and past the crowded streets so as to not attract attention. As he walked, his vision blurred at a few points to signal his current condition. He wanted to rest so badly. Leaning over onto a wall and looking at a pile of garbage nearby, the thought did cross his mind that it looked comfortable enough. But he gritted his teeth and pushed onwards.

Using the wall as additional support, he continued to walk as his blood smeared onto the old bricks - giving a visible trail of pain on his arduous journey back home. Pushing through the more crowded regions of the south, as slow and difficult as it was for him, he managed to make his way towards the abandoned industrial parks that littered the region on the outskirts. Each one of them signalled a headstone for a company that once called this place home, only to meet a ruinous end from the catastrophic nature of this city. Either that, or it was just simply going out of business from the general economy. The former suited as the definitive explanation for Daigo, though he didn't really care at this point as he focused on practically dragging himself home.

Or, rather, what 'home' constituted in this sense: a small colony of outcasts and orphans, of kids like him that were trying to get by. Of course, he couldn't bring anything back today for them. Disappointing to be sure, but at the same time he came back alive. That was a risk he, Hannah and Amy all took anytime they hit the streets. This was just one of those bad days where they would come back limping and licking their wounds. But, at the same time, he would still be home with those he cared about most. Those who shared in his experiences of being abandoned by the rest of the world.

One of the abandoned factory houses was visibly different than the others; where the others showed the weathering of time with rust having eaten holes in the sheet metals and the structures themselves looking dangerously out of repair, this one had wooden fixtures to board up the holes as well as numerous other fixtures to spruce the place up. There even was electricity routed, as he could see the dim lights inside and a TV playing. As he stumbled to the door, he coughed again - letting out a spattering of blood on the ground below. Just a little further and he would be safe... safe from the bad people outside. Banging on the door haphazardly, he sought to get the attention of his peers before collapsing on the ground outside. As he fell asleep, he could hear the metal creaking open and panicked voices shouting.

They'd take care of him, they always did.

-Scene End-


Roda the Red Roda the Red
 
Nina Aguilar
✦ SCENE:
If Something Tastes Funny, Try It Again
✦ TIME:
May 6th, 2022 || Pre-Arc 3
✦ LOCATION:
Central District
✦ INTERACTIONS:
Tak
✦ LIMIT BREAK RANK:
F+
✦ If Something Tastes Funny, Try It Again

Nina stared at him with eye(s) equally wide, blinking short and repetitive as Tak went to shout over the railing, like she were trying to get rid of a shape burnt in her eyeball(s). The hell was this guy on?

There was this shameful, warm redness creeping up on her face as the crowd went back to party mode. She brought her knees to her chest for a moment, hands covering her face, fetal position on the squeaky bar stool— How did he know about Marcel?

Questions blared over the music in her head, her eye flashed under the patch just thinking over it. Was he one of his friends? Did he have one of those mind reading powers like in the movies? Could he blow up her head with his mind? All these questions and more, nothing she could stop to ponder about as Tak came back down on his seat.

She threw herself back on the counter, stretching the legs, sucking in her teeth before she snarked back at him— “Marcel would never, mm...”— Nina didn’t have the fighting spirit to add in the ‘Kay?’ at the end of her humming this time around. Her eye flashed, a neon string lost under the strobing disco lights.

At the mention of getting freaky over an eyepatch, Nina scowled — “Hey! It took me like 30-somethin’ minutes to pick and choose this thing, y’know!?”— She plinked a nail on the plastic gemstone that adorned her eyepatch, reeling back with a snappy ‘ow’ as she failed to measure her strength— “If y’ knew a thing ‘bout fashion you’d see the vision. This thing just adds to my charm.”

The more she looked at Tak, the more she felt…something. Something that sparked in her brain, a feeling that rose in her gut. It wasn’t long, as she looked at his dumb, idle expression, before her eye flashed one more time, the heat from it gathering to her head. Her brain expanded a couple sizes then, something shattered in her ears.

It was a muscle after all, she just needed to flex it to get her thoughts clear.

It was a simple equation, both the wavelengths of their singular braincells would cancel each other out, perforce, one would come out on top. Like a troglodyte clacking stones together and watching the spark turn to flame, with a line of drool coming down their chin, and by the glint of a bulb going off above their head— in Tak’s utter stupidity, Nina had somehow discovered… The gift of intelligence. Or rather, the curse of intelligence, now that she took the time to fully gauge the guy in front of her.

Nina understood now.

He was an idiot.

She was smart enough to see that this guy was just a prime waste of her time. He was funny to be around, sure, but that wouldn’t get her any close to finding this mastermind behind the miraculous drug.

There was little time to dwell on these newfound brainfolds, the bartender spoke up.

“Huh? You a narc or somethin’?” — She bent back, elbows propped on the counter, head craned back to shoot an accusatory eyeball at the bartender, one eyebrow wriggling like a worm. Did he think she was stupid or something?

“W—huh?” — She perked back up straight on her stool, watching the air grow quiet with anticipation, taut with unspoken tension between the mass of party animals. Almost like she could hear their hearts thundering with it, feel the excitement of those junkies as though it’d turned to a living, breathing beast prowling the dance floor. Hell, she was starting to get a bit giddy herself as she listened to the prof make his introduction.

Textbook comic villain stuff. She was half-surprised he wasn’t twirling his moustache.

“We partying hard now, huh…?” — Nina grinned, stepping up to the railing, blowing and popping the bubblegum in her mouth. She hadn’t even noticed Tak had disappeared with her packs of gum.

She could be patient.

She could wait this one out. Like a tiger in the greenery, counting down for the right moment to strike. But she was no tiger, she was a dragon in the making; and an azure-scaled dragon would leap right into the danger

The man of the hour was right there, it was as simple as beating him up, recording it and saving it for prosperity so the dragons could lick her boots, completely awe-amazed, later when she showed them.

Before she could put a foot over the railing, a voice sounded off behind her, a voice she recognized all too well.

She froze, cold sweat pooling down her face — “D…Dan…”


Dante Aguilar
CS Link
SCENE:
If Something Tastes Funny, Try It Again
TIME:
May 6th, 2022 || Pre-Arc 3
LOCATION:
Central District
INTERACTIONS:
Nao
If Something Tastes Funny, Try It Again

There was a stiffness to him as he sat there letting Nao patch him square with bandages, like a wind-up toy leftover in a corner of the room, Dante watched with a strained face at his old, ugly bandagework splatting wet on the parking lot. He’d dipped his face away so she couldn’t get a read on him, maybe have her think that that exaggerated frown of his was because he was constipated, or anything of the sort— but Dante was beyond ashamed.

It was a foreign feeling in a way, made him feel like a teenager. He’d never gone to a hospital not once in his life, even nowadays that he was breaking bones and snapping tendons on the weekly, his wounds would heal by themselves. No matter how bad, he would lick them dry by himself until they scarred.

He didn’t know what it was but he didn’t like it at all. Not in a sense of annoyance or disgust, but sheer pettiness. A stranger really didn’t have to be doing all of this for him— “I’m really a mess, man…” — She winced when she grazed a wound, his tenseness turning to a lazy smile, forming without his permission. It wasn’t that bad of a feeling anyhow.

Dante tossed his sweater in the trunk right before she closed it, flashed an annoyingly big, toothy grin for a split of a second before returning to his resting bitch face. Like a trick in the light. It was the oldest trick in the book; he’d have to come to her to get his sweater back, that way he wills the car ride into existing.

He really was turning into a highschool jock by the second, wasn’t he? — “Hell yeah, I am! I’m damn near turning into a popsicle here.” — There was an attempt at sound sassy and being annoying, as per usual, but he was already feeling the frostbite getting through the slits in the suits. It was starting to become a concern to air out his wounds like that

Though, through cold breaths and a slight shudder, he did throw a cheeky jab at her with a shit-eating grin — “Told you you’d end up getting your hands all messy.” — He started, walking ahead of her with his hands thrown out to a shrug. Idiotic.

“Oh.” — He stopped in his tracks the moment he shoved a hand in his pockets, being reminded of something. A cheap pack of cigarettes dangled around in his pant pockets. Generic brand, nothing special.

“Here, candy sticks,” — He turned on his heels, already toying with one of them lit in his mouth, passed her the entire pack and his lighter. Least he could do for getting her brother’s suit drenched in his blood, he figured — “For your concerns and services~”

“Think the bouncer’s gonna beat the shit outta me if I blow smoke on his face while I walk in?”
— They stepped back down to the club’s entrance, Dante only glanced at the bouncer with a deadpan look and raised brows, trying his hardest to piss him off without eliciting a reaction. Dangling the cig on one corner of his mouth, indeed, he blew fumes right behind him as they’d passed.

That grunt he heard behind him earned a satisfied smile from him. The blaring music and lightshow had settled down, for whatever reason — “I think I’ll go check up and see if that dumbass hasn’t been kidnapped already. I’ll wait for you at the bar if I find the guy.” — With that, Dante weaved himself into the crowd, dodging still bodies like he were a rat in a flesh maze. The crowd was awfully still, some chuckling to themselves, but he didn’t pay much mind to it as he pushed up the stairs to the bar.

A trail of smoke entered the bar before him, he cleared his throat, forcing out the lightest, most chirpy voice he could draw from his repertoire— ”Oooohh~! Hey, Tak~y, where are you???” — He brought his hands to his mouth to make his voice boom, flashing his eyebrows majestically over and over again, like an absolute idiot— “Have you guys seen my boyfriend? He’s, like, so handsome.”— He pulled up a picture he took of Tak picking at his nose, from afar of course. It was a classic, he’d made about a dozen fake accounts across different dating websites with that picture alone, setting him up (for failure).

“DANTE!?” — Nina choked out, in her mind, thankfully, damn near spitting out her gum at the zombified crowd. But she’d managed to keep her wits to herself. What the fuck was he doing here? Did he know about Marcel too?

“That fuckface’s not actually here, huh…? The joke’s not even funny if he’s not here to get mad over it.” — He sat down on the bar stool, propping an elbow on the counter — “Ah, fuck it then.”

“Run me a brandy with coke; while I wait for this guy to show up.”
— Dante pulled out his credit card, sliding it on the counter — “Cheap brandy. I’m not fancy.”



thebigfella thebigfella tityanya tityanya
 
Elise Cutter
SCENE:
Calling Amestria
TIME:
Post-Arc 3, Timeskip 1 | July 4th, 2022
LOCATION:
Not-So-Abandoned Storefront, West District
PARTICIPANTS:
Passeri, Dagger
Calling Amestria
Birthday, huh? She couldn't remember. It had been so long since she celebrated it. She did remember the times that it had been, by her family. With them gone now, there was no point in making a note about it. She never really had a real birthday either. The only memories she had of her younger days were in the snow, her frozen fingers clutching to a gun almost as tall as she was, pointed at giants. She was never taught the concept of dates, just how to kill, who to kill, when to kill. She could never have thought that the other children were more fortunate than her- she simply had no concept of a world outside the smell of gunsmoke and mud.

Even after she had left that world behind, she could only see and smell it. She was born into war, made for war, and that was the only thing she knew. Her family tried to pull her out of that reality, gave her a birthday, an arbitrary date, gave her gifts and offered her cake. A yearly tradition, and one that she had to make sure to reimburse when it came to the others.

She still remembered theirs. March 2nd, July 15th, August 28th, all engraved upon the dogtags she still carried with her. In those days, even now, she would take some time to wish they were still here, pour out a drink for them, and leave a pack of cigarettes for them. It made no sense for her to do that. The dead don't drink or smoke- she simply felt it was right. Their deaths were more important to her than she ever was, and so, she cast aside herself in the midst of it all. Years of hunting and running didn't give her much time to remember her own.

Elise Cutter was dead and forgotten.

“Ghosts like me don't need birthdays,” she said. She drew in a breath. Was that too harsh? She cleared her throat. “Just put it on whenever on your calendar. I don't remember it myself. Hard to remember when you're running from bloodhounds.”

She had been so engrossed in her own dark thoughts that she had not paid any attention to Passeri's hand in hers. Even when her smooth palm escaped from her calloused one, she was left entirely puzzled by the princess’ reaction. That, and she was entirely unaware of the why and wherefore in the first place. Yet, as she rubbed her palm with her other hand, the warmth that still remained from the Princess’ grip wasn't…unagreeable with her. Just the thought of it seemed to add a little ember in her heart.

As the Princess fumbled with her phone and brought up a map, the wolf instinctively leaned towards her to glance at the map from her shoulder.

She wasn't the type to complain about food, but she was a dyed-in-the-wool Amestrian who preferred good, real meat than whatever the Xianese had. Some of them didn't even offer beef, out of religious beliefs, and the seasoning they had was far more than she felt she deserved. Simple mushroom sauce over hamburg steak, or just bacon and eggs, that was what she liked.

Maybe she should treat herself to this choice, just this once.

“The diner it is.” She started towards the van. “And today, it's my treat. For the swords.”

Her smile was again, wan and on the edge of vanishing behind the clouds, but for once, it felt that it was a real smile.


The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit
 
Lloyd Sorvocah
TIME:
2022, June 27th
SCENE:
The Welcome Wagon
LOCATION:
Dragon HQ, East District
PARTICIPANTS:
Here be dragons
The Welcome Wagon
This sort of introduction party is quickly taking a turn when a box of cats involved. Lloyd scratches his head at the thought of what purpose these cute kittens may have. But it soon turns out that the two people who came in are not expected guests, so neither were the kittens. Still, the sound of the kittens were a delight. Who wouldn't love the sound of innocent little creatures, harmless, playful, and affectionate? However, as adorable as the kittens are, his attention turns towards Pavel, Keith, and Dorian. Mainly to Pavel's rude and unnecessary comment, and Dorian stepping with a bit hot.

Lloyd has the urge to step in aswell to not let things get out of control. Yet, he does not. He does not know these people. To immediately get involved in their own dealings is a bit too intrusive right now. What he does do, however, is open one of the windows in the room to let the smoke out better. This isn't supposed to become a hot box. But more importantly, one person's poor lifestyle choices shouldn't affect others, even more so with little creatures who are at the mercy of others. When it comes to Lloyd's judgement of Pavel, he is on the shit list already without them even having exchanged a single word. Perhaps there will be some redeemable qualities shining through later.

Now Lloyd's attention would drift to the table full of food, all brought in by one person. 'One person brought all this in? Goodness gracious. And from the looks and smell of it, it's fresh too. Nothing frozen store-bought,' he thinks. His smell leads him to the more meaty dishes presented on the table, making his mouth water. He guesses the social pressure of being the first to grab food is going to be on him. But damn, with how it smells, it doesn't seem like that big a deal. Lloyd grabs a plate and one of the meaty dishes presented on the table. He inspects it and relishes in the aroma before taking a bite. He savors the unique flavour. Maybe organised meetings aren't so bad afterall.


Beann Beann WhiskeyMarten WhiskeyMarten simj26 simj26 tityanya tityanya Roda the Red Roda the Red Doctor Llamabean Doctor Llamabean Slav Slav Coyote Hart Coyote Hart
 
Passeri Park
SCENE:
Telephone Line
TIME:
July 20th, 2022
LOCATION:
North District
PARTICIPANTS:
Passeri, Dagger
Telephone Line
Long, black shadows. Heaps of rotting trash, clad in plastic bags just as dark. Heartless alleyway walls. Where once was the blush of colour, now there was only faded greys and chipped paint. There hadn't been a fresh coat of the stuff here since the walls had been put up. Passeri remembered that. For some of these buildings, at least. When that hotel's neon declaration of vacancy first lit up the night... When the now-closed diner had opened up after renovations, stocked to the brim with bright and tacky furniture. The owners had been smiling, even at brats like her and Caio.

The windows were busted out, now, the bright signage that'd once been painted across them scattered across the floor within. If she decided to investigate, Passeri was sure that she'd find a stock of used hypodermic needles and filthy crack pipes buried just out of eyeshot, and in these wee hours of the morning, lady luck may well have had her happen upon one of the North's myriad addicts still riding the previous night's high.

The souls that were about at this hour were bleary and slow, those that rose and fell with the sun and those who did not fall at all. Passeri was not a stranger to their ranks, but only just. While at this hour she would typically be out of bed, beneath her feet would be the warm tiles of her bathroom floor, not cold, still-dewy pavement. The imprint of her body would have yet to fade from her bed, and a prepared breakfast would be waiting patiently for her upon her countertop.

Not so today, and not so the previous night either. Back in her penthouse, Passeri's bed lay in shambles, a messy sea of bedding thrown in one direction and then the next by a night of endless tossing and turning. It was a lost cause, and as such she'd risen before the sun. Restless squirming was exchanged for a steady, nervous pace. Out of her bedroom, around the living room, into the personal gym and then back out again.

She'd spent a long time combing through that fucking parcel while she'd waited. The photos. The messily assembled ransom note. The urge to douse it all in oil and take one of Elise's lighters to that wet, tattered pile of unwelcome memories, but she hadn't. Not yet. If all went well today, that was the first thing she was going to do when they got home. A rare celebration to add some cheer to these recent, awful weeks.

The first crack of light on the horizon had been the last straw on her back. A key turned in her front door and then rubber met asphalt. Traveling these early, empty roads, their arrival in the North had not come much later.

"I think we're coming up on the address..." Passeri's voice was low, her eyes trained on a hastily scrawled slip of paper. Half to remember, and half to not. Within her peripherals was that which was the most dreadful sort of familiar. The deepest pit of the degradation that made the North into what it was. Yellow-stained walls and yellow-stained eyes. Fingers that trembled more than they did not and arms that wore the tiny, pinprick bruises of a syringe's kiss as their only decoration. The wide, frightened eyes of children who knew nothing else. As much as Passeri had sought to forget, she still remembered it all too keenly.

This was home, after all.

Of New Oasis's districts, the North's were perhaps the most labyrinthine. A maze of crooked alleyways and dead-end streets, but as much of a maze as it was, it was still a familiar one. A practiced grace took her around the heaps of rotting trash, past the back alleys which were a threat and through those that were not.

"It's an apartment building. I don't remember if I mentioned it. I wasn't able to track the package back to a unit, but our culprits should be somewhere there, at least..." One more turn and their destination came into view. A fat, square block of apartments. Clothes dangled from the windows, and weeks-old garbage laid across the pavement before it. Hidden by the shadow of her hoodie, once well-fitted but now loose on her frame, Passeri's expression took on a sour edge.

"This is one of the city's apartment blocks." She could tell just by looking at it. The soulless architecture, no doubt raised in less than a year with the cheapest materials possible. They were one of the social department's flagship projects. A gold star to stick on themselves and show off to the press. All well and good in concept, but there were reasons why so many took to the streets even when units sat empty. It was never long before these places turned into either crack dens or bristling hives of gang activity, and the oh-so-gracious powers that be never did seem to take notice. It was the prior that she'd grown up in, and judging by the surplus of obvious dealers loitering around the area, it was also the prior that they'd be visiting today.

"That'll make this a bit easier, at least. These things are all built the same. There'll be a mailroom in the back with all the residents' names on the boxes..." And there were only so many people that could've known what was being held over her. An old classmate, some neighbor, maybe a particularly shitty teacher... Passeri was thankful, at that moment, that her memory had always been one of her strong suits.

"...so if luck's on our side, I should be able to pick out our mystery man and we can go and have a chat." She blinked and turned to Elise. She'd been so stuck inside of her head that she'd almost forgotten that she'd asked for her help today. "Um. Literally. This doesn't necessarily need to get bloody."

She doubted those words even as she said them.

"Anyway... The mailroom should be on the first floor. There'll be a utility hallway in the back of the lobby that leads to it... Assuming it's all the same in these things as it used to be, at least." Unlocked, she was sure. It was supposed to be the building supervisor's job to distribute the mail after it made it to the building, but they always made themselves scarce once nature started to take its course. As run-down as the building looked, Passeri was sure that everyone was thumbing through one another's mail by this point. "...So we nose around until something rings a bell, and it should be smooth sailing from there."

She doubted those words even more, and the facsimile of confidence that she put on to assure herself was no more convincing.

"Or it's a bust and we go knocking on doors for the next three hours... Hope you don't have anything on this afternoon." She meant it as a joke, but it came out all too flat. "But let's hope it doesn't come to that, hey?"

 
Last edited:
HECTOR MOSES
SCENE:
Torment Builds Character, Right?
LOCATION:
Wherever Gideon works
PARTICIPANTS:
Gideon, Hector
TORMENT BUILDS CHARACTER, RIGHT?

As Gideon prepared to leave, Hector set the good coffee back down, again not taking care with it, letting it slosh over the countertop. He didn’t need a coffee, he felt jittery enough, and could hardly wait another moment before hurrying through the exit, pushing the villain along with him.

“You’re not gonna be in the way. I’ve picked you specifically, and surely you’re not insunating that I’d pick someone incompetent, because that would mean that there’s something wrong with my judgement. And I’m especially sure you don’t think that, right?”

At Gideon’s concern over his uniform, Hector grabbed his shirt, turning him around to face him. He took a hand, damp with spilled coffee, and brushed it off him, leaving a brown smear.

”Alright, it’s ruined so now you can stop worrying. I need your head to be clear…” Hm. Even Hector figured it was easier said than done for the nervous wreck standing before him. He sighed, rolling his eyes. ”I’ll pay for a new uniform, so you really can’t worry about it.”

They’d wasted enough time yapping, Hector realised he hadn’t even explained what he needed Gideon for yet. He felt it might almost be better that way, there was still a chance Gideon could do a runner if he got too scared, so he kept his mouth shut till he’d brought the rookie to his beaten-up car.

”Alright, get in. We ain’t going too far.”

When the vehicle was in motion, that’s when he spoke again.

”So, you can get into people’s heads, right? Somethin’ like that.”

He tapped the wheel impatiently.

”Well, I’m having a problem with a guy. We’re trying to- And hey, this shit’s secret so keep your mouth shut, ok? - we’re trying to negotiate on some deals and shit right now but he’s way tougher than I thought he’d be. I wanted to see how useful you can be in making him a bit more receptive to what I’m offering. Meeting’s later. Like, an hour. So in the meantime, how’s about you practise till then? What exactly can you do?”

 
AKAMOZU JUN
SCENE:
Clipped Wings Cannot Rebirth
LOCATION:
The Roost, South District
PARTICIPANTS: Red ( miki miki ), Charlie ( Roda the Red Roda the Red ), Pei, ( thebigfella thebigfella ), Helva/Hiyma ( Peckinou Peckinou ), Eleanore ( mechanicalmania mechanicalmania )
Clipped Wings Cannot Rebirth
“Hm? Peipei's dead?” the young phoenix replied with a slight frown, his head tilted curiously to the side, as if the grieving cleaner had just told him some interesting tidbit of gossip, uncaring and unfazed by the obvious threat posed by the shotgun barrel she leveled his way.
Looking across the gaping chasm that split the room in twain, he finally took notice of the the familiar figure crumpled on the floor, a deep gash in his side blooming dark red across his clothing, pooling onto the floor in a crimson puddle.
An animated children's toy wailed at his side, trying in vain to gather the spilt blood within it's stubby pincers, and shove it back into the wound. Meanwhile, another, shorter figure knelt beside the lifeless body, a defibrillator clutched determinedly in it's hands.
"Oh! Guess he is," Jun remarked, merely shrugging his shoulders in mute response to the tragic scene.
"...Explains why he wasn't responding to any of my texts~."
"Aaanyways~..."
the boy begins again turning his head back towards Eleanore.
"To answer your questions, I was just doing a little "cleaning" job Granny got from some of the higher-ups, while she dealt with some creepo professor."
With a light chuckle, Jun adds, "Guy had some reeeally messed up views on 'age of consent being a form of oppression by the rich' or something! I don't really get it, but judging from the way Granny looks, I'm gonna guess he's worm food now, so who cares, right?"
As if punctuating his statement, Jun gives the sack of 'trash' to his side a firm push with the heel of his foot, sending it tumbling haphazardly into the newly created hole, where it soon quickly disappears into the darkness below.
"I don't know anything about any "betrayals" or "accusations" or whatever you're talking about, all Peipei sent me was a bunch of weird texts~."
Crossing his arms across his chest, Jun indignantly declares, "...but if he was hosting a party, or something, and he didn't invite me, then getting shanked serves him right!"
It was a shame, really. He was fun to watch stuff with, always knew the best sites to torrent them on too!
But, at the same time, Jun couldn't say he was too surprised; the guy always seemed to talk big, and lose himself in his big grandiose plans.
It was only a matter of time before he got blindsided by the unexpected.
Although, there was a bit of irony in the fact that Granny of all people did him in!
And yet, there was something...off about the body.
It didn't quite feel like the Pei he knew.
And that besides, there was something else about the scene that rubbed him the wrong way.

"You sure he's dead though? Like, 'sure' sure?" He asked, giving voice to his doubts.
"Cuz y'know, usually when you kill an HP like him, their little minions usually bite the dust with them, right~? Like, for example, if I..."
With a sudden brandish of his sword, he illustrates his point like a teacher conducting a lecture, pointing the edge of his blade carelessly towards Helva's neck,
"...Cut Helvy's head off right now, that thing over by Peipei's body would just *poof!* into thin air, right?"
As if to answer his question, a familiar, arrogant cackling fills the room, emanating from the tiny robot doll's chest, and as the twin panels unfolded to reveal a small television screen, Jun's hunch proved true, as Pei's face came into view, alive, well, and just as smug as he always is.
...Also he said something about Granny being in trouble, but she could deal with that on her own.
Charlie was the first to run towards the little android, snatching it up in his arms, bawling and crying as he hogged the devious mastermind's attention all to himself.
Well that wouldn't do!
Rushing after the blue haired boy, Jun used his diminutive stature to slip underneath Charlie's arms, greedily taking hold of the robotic toy as he excitedly drove his head upwards, inadvertently sending the hard crown of his skull colliding with the boy's chin.

"Peipei~,you never answered my texts~!! Wanna watch WoZY 3 tonight?"
"I'll forgive you for ghosting me, but only if you buy snacks~!"

 
CHARLIE HUGHES
SCENE:
Get(ting) Help
TIME:
Daytime, Post Arc 3
LOCATION:
Jiro's Dojo, South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Charlie, Hitoshi, Kaede, Ashley, Hector, Gideon
Get(ting) Help
"R-Right..." Charlie couldn't help but feel a bit naive after Gideon's remark, of course he was right. How could someone in panic calm down when those around them acted similarly restless? He continued to fan the older Phoenix, staying silent as to hopefully help the man calm down. It was easy to forget, with all of his silly 'supervillain' theatrics, that Gideon was quite the smart guy. Not only was he smart, but well-educated as well.

College...

Every now and then, that thought would cross Charlie's mind. He was meant to go to one in the past, and not any college, but the best education money could get you in all of Amestria. But fate changed its course, he changed his course. Even know, neck-deep into the life of organized crime, and having found a way of living that took advantage of his other talents, the rookie still wondered, if one day he could ever truly return to that world of normalcy.

He shook off those thoughts, remembering that it was not time to think of himself now. All that mattered right now was Hitoshi, and making sure he pulled through his panicked state. Luckily such outcome didn't take long, the boy smiling as the veteran started to look more stable.

"You're not dying today, Aniki. You'll be fine, and I still owe you that smoothie from the other day, remember?" He responded calmly. He wasn't worried about Hitoshi's question, the rookie knew that his dear friend could be quite the unnecessary drama queen at times.

From the corner of his eye, Charlie noticed Hector casually walking away. Of course he would, among many other things, the queen was a perfect example of just how shallow and hypocritical the concept of 'family' was to the Phoenixes. It was easy to claim such a title during the easy times, when you drink and party and enjoy the fruits of a job well done. Maybe even stick out your neck for one another from time to time to a reasonable degree. But when people needed you the most, when the weakness of the heart showed, that's when the gang turns the back on you.

It was a relief, at least, knowing that not every phoenix displayed such cruelty, those were the ones Charlie appreciated to have by his side.
joshuadim joshuadim WhiskeyMarten WhiskeyMarten @Lucem Coyote Hart Coyote Hart
 
BASH HIRABAYASHI
SCENE:
Iniquitas Deorum
LOCATION:
North District, Waterfront
PARTICIPANTS:
Kisara, Bash
✕ POTENTIALS BANNED:
None (Aiming to ban Prinz Gyoushi)
Iniquitas Deorum

The rain was fucking annoying. The ceaseless pattering of trillions of droplets making contact with the earth was hard to ignore as he waited for Kisara to say… well, anything. But when her lips finally opened to speak, the sounds of the world around him suddenly became dull, and all he could hear was her.

That voice. He’d grown so used to it– from the moment they met in that dreadful school to now. It was firmer now; stronger. The two had been through a lot together; They shared memories– both good and bad, fights, meals– lots of meals, and so much more. Through years of having each other’s backs, no matter what the situation at hand was, the two had earned a mutual respect amongst themselves, and had finally, finally gotten to the point where Bash Hirabayashi, for what was probably the first time in his life, didn’t know what he would do if he could never hear that powerful yet sweet voice of hers ever again.

He silently agreed with every word that she said, water dripping from his hair every time he softly nodded his head to convey his understanding of her words. He wanted nothing more than to intervene– to cut through with his own words, to tell her exactly how he felt right then and there, and to rush forward and hold her in whatever sort of dumbass embrace normal people who felt this way about each other would do. But, they weren’t exactly two normal people, were they?

That was exactly why when he opened his mouth, nothing came out.

…Well, scratch that.

Fuck! Frustrated, he growled, raising his boot and kicking the gravel beneath him in near perfect synchronization with Kisara. He froze for a moment, with some sudden, final realization playing out silently within his mind, before letting out a soft laugh.

Guess we’re really fuckin’ doin’ it this time, huh?

For a second, he thought back to his uncle’s teachings. Control. Not only control of the viper pit he now ruled over, but control of himself, as well. He smiled as his own hardened hands curled into fists. Yeah…

…He wanted this. He was fully in control of his actions. No more letting impulses get in his way.

“...Oi,” He spoke again before their fateful clash began. “...Think it was pretty fuckin’ obvious, but I wanna make this shit official before we do this thing. I don’t want anyone bitchin’ at ya, thinkin’ I’m treatin’ ya different.”

Quit fuckin’ yappin’ and spit it out already.

...You’re the new Ace, Kisara. I wouldn’t have it any other fuckin’ way, got it?

With a deep inhale, and a loud exhale that sent a cloud of condensation into the air. “Awright, Kisara! I sure as shit ain’t gonna be the one who's gotta go first, so let’s make a deal!” He grinned, unclenching his fists and lowering his body into a runner’s start.

Loser’s gotta say ‘it’ first! No holds barred!

Without waiting for an agreement from the opposing side, Bash’s foot kicked off of the ground. Small rocks flew out behind him like pellets from a shotgun, and he was inches away from her in less than a second. With a loud grunt, a violent overhand right shot forward like a catapult, aimed directly at the throat of his lover.

simj26 simj26

 
RAPHAEL SHAW
SCENE:
Dissonant Ichors
TIME:
Pre-Arc 1: December 21, 2020 -- Dusk
LOCATION:
Alleyway, East District
PARTICIPANTS:
Darius, Shen, Raph
DISSONANT ICHORS
“Fuck me, you're pathetic." Raph sighed exasperatedly. He sauntered back, hands fishing for something in his pockets. Producing a beat up package of cigarettes, the Serpent tapped one out and flicked open a lighter before igniting it. He held the flame to rolled paper pursed between his lips and inhaled. For the moment, he seemed altogether disinterested in the boy tied up in metallic ropes beside him. He'd even leaned against the same cold backdrop, one leg kicked up against the structure for balance. At last he spoke, but not before pinching the cigarette between two fingers and exhaling a cloud of grey smoke.

“You know, I just hand a wonderful idea," he said without looking over at his captive audience. Between drags, he kicked himself away from the metal backdrop and spun theatrically, discarding the half-smoked cigarette in a bank of snow mottled with red.

“I'll start screaming." As he spoke, he could barely restrain the insidious expression as it crept across his dark, youthful features. “And if some good samaritan should come along, well, I'll let them set you free. But... If it should be one of those nasty beasties, well..." He made a knowing expression at the blood upon the snow.

“How's that sound?" Raph asked. He was all teeth, now.

 
CHARLIE HUGHES
CS Link
SCENE:
Two Can Cross the Treshold
TIME:
Post-Outbreak, Late July 2022
LOCATION:
Central District
PARTICIPANTS:
Charlie, Alice
Two Can Cross the Treshold

Tap tap tap.

Tap tap tap.

Tap tap tap.


Charlie's finger was restless, hitting his arm over and over as his patience grew thinner. Amber eyes, reflecting the dim light seeping through the polarized windows, stared past the front seats and through the windshield, taking on the hundreds of meters of road ahead of him, brown waters faintly showing themselves on the corner of his vision.

Further ahead was the towering megastructure that was Central District, the city built atop another city, a huge area with a lot of ground to cover, a lot of ground to find somewhere lurking within...

It wasn't even an hour ago that Charlie's day was going on a drastically different direction. He didn't have any work for the day, generally speaking he had been taking very little work since the chimeric outbreak from weeks ago, he was able to walk by the end of it, but that doesn't mean he didn't take any heavy injuries in the process. In fact, at least compared to the great mental strain the last few months had been taking on him, his time recovering had been refreshingly peaceful. The rookie might've been far more battle-hungry than he'd like to admit, but everyone needs a good, long break from time to time, and if the key to getting that was getting beat up by a monster, well...So be it.

But that morning's peace was short-lived, Charlie's phone vibrated on his tea table, the boy's eyes going wide as he quickly recognize the name of the man having just messaged him. It was Elijah, the Albino Tiger he met all the way back in September, the charming man who was able to eerily smile through the tragedy of that day. He reached out to the Phoenix to make word on his promise: To contact him should anything dangerous should happen to Alice.

Heard she was heading to Central District, at least that's what my contacts have said, that's about all I know though.

And while further information would've been viable, he needed to say no more. Rushing out of his house and taking the first taxi he came across with, Charlie was making his way to Central as quickly as possible, praying for fate to mercifully pave a path towards her.

The sins of his past weighted heavily on his shoulders. He was going to look for his needle, no matter how long it took, or how big the haystack was.



AriAriAbabwa AriAriAbabwa
 
MILO NAGISA
SCENE:
The Guy Who Wrote “Art Is In The Eye Of The Beholder” Probably Did It On The Toilet
TIME:
May 3rd, 2022 || Pre-Arc 3
LOCATION:
South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Tak, Milo
THE GUY WHO WROTE “ART IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER” PROBABLY DID IT ON THE TOILET
"The begonias didn't do anything to deserve something like that, though. They're just being what they're supposed to be." Milo said frankly, letting it be the final word on the matter as the trio of maids ushered them in.

The walls were lined with the body of his work. Many of them Milo recognized. Many more he did not. As they walked down the opulent hall, they also walked through time. From early days—Man Discovers Fire—to a late Renaissance following a string of quiet years—Portrait of Madame Zed—Milo traced the wavering path of the man's career, with certain events, and the artist's mood at the time, reflected in the style and color choices on display. Some of the pieces were bright, sunny and clear—around the time of his first marriage. Others dour, abstract and aggressive—first divorce. The only throughline that connected them all was the telltale signature at the bottom right... And, he supposed, their presence in this gallery. It was the tapestry of a life, unspooled, laid out length-wise, immortalized in canvas. He was almost taken in by it.

"Yeah..." Milo quietly agreed, letting his eyes trail along the walls and ceiling as they walked, holding his satchel a little more closely. He tried to fight often those ugly, familiar feelings of inadequacy, though it was becoming increasingly difficult in the face of all this grandeur. The appearance of another man headed off Milo's downward spiral of intrusive thoughts before it could really hit its stride.

For a moment, Milo thought this might be the man himself. His whole body tensed on an instinct that lasted longer than the misidentification. Six hours... Milo found himself agreeing with the scruffy man beside him, though he didn't say it.

The maids ushered their small group (plus the latest addition) through another set of large, ornate doors that led into yet another opulently decorated, lavishly furnished chamber. Milo found himself agreeing with Tak's assessment at the beginning more and more. This was getting ridiculous...

Though at last, it seemed, their sojourn was at an end. Barker stood before them, now, along with a young woman, presumably the final member of their quintet. Milo felt his breath catch in spite of himself. In spite of what he knew. In spite of what he'd come here to prove. In spite of it all, he still couldn't help but feel in awe of the man who appeared now before him, both larger than life and, paradoxically, shockingly human.

When the preamble gave way to an invitation to step forward and be named—to name oneself—Milo only wished he could say he did so without the slightest trepidation...

"..." Taking a short, half-step forward, the young man stared unblinking at Barker. He knew this was a test of some kind. He lied in an attempt to convince himself he didn't care the outcome, that he didn't care what the older man thought of him. It was fruitless to try and feign nonchalance. What's more, it didn't serve his ulterior motives. No. Genuine sincerity was the correct course.

"My name is Milo Nagisa. To me, art..." Visions cycled over the lens of his mind. Multitudes upon multitudes. Everything, illuminated. "... Art is everything. Everything is art. Life is art in motion." After a pregnant pause, Milo regained the measure of himself. The intensity in his eyes dulled a little, making room for a bashful glance away as he stepped back in line. Was that too much?

 
Alliance of Apex Convinience.


Lorette Lècuyer CS LINK

Scene: Alliance of Apex Convinience.

Location: West District, Brother's Krimm Restaurant.

Participants: Lorette, Allister, Ryutaro.


"I feel like after a certain number of mysterious dinners where the other person just wants to 'talk,' you should stop going to them."

Lorette stopped scrolling through her phone, her gaze flicking upwards towards her assistant.

Allister had an easy smile on his face while keeping his eyes glued to the road ahead. His calm demeanor should have irritated her, but Lorette hadn't hired the man for his ability to break down at every perceived inconvenience. He'd have been an awful assistant and bodyguard otherwise.

What she definitely hadn't hired him for was his input on the number of secretive meetings she should be attending.

"When you become CEO, you can choose whichever mysterious dinner invitations you want to accept." Lorette put her phone away inside her jacket pocket to affix Allister with a firm gaze.

"Until then, all I want you to do is find room in my schedule to attend them."

The blonde-haired man smiled a little wider. Surliness was Lorette's neutral state on most days. If his employer was willing to expend the energy to complain about pointless things, then she had no real issues that needed tending to—something good for him and lucky for everyone around her.

It was just as well; they'd arrived at their destination.

After assisting Lorette out of the vehicle in a stately fashion, appearances to keep, they strode into a nondescript brick building tucked between two of the countless storefronts that dotted Esperance Road. What the two of them sought was below ground. Hidden from the envious gaze of those who may have had the money but none of the clout, the Brother's Krimm rested beneath the earth. It was there that the pair's host waited, and it was there that yet another threat would show its face.

Allister left Lorette to deal with the Hostess waiting at the front of the establishment and occupied himself, scanning the dining area for apparent and subtle threats. The Brother's Krimm passed the man's initial sniff test. None of the other patrons were anything close to threatening him, much less to Lorette. The dining people were too occupied with flaunting their wealth and connections to bother with anyone outside of their circles. Circles that each of them assured themselves were the most exclusive and influential in the room.

It was quite a lark, if anything. People wined, dined, and boasted as if nothing were amiss. Not in the city up above, and not in the private alcove roped off from the rest of them that the Hostess politely led him and Lorette towards.

Again, Allister hung back while Lorette took the lead. It would not do for her assistant to present himself to the Queen of Tigers before the very person he'd invited to dine with him got to.

As always, Lorette displayed the flawless professionalism that was standard of all her business dealings. Any emotions that Lorette felt upon facing the Tiger Queen were well-hidden and well-controlled. Allister already knew Lorette's feelings about Ryutaro Hashimoto.

The most pressing of them was her deep distrust of the man.

Allister followed suit. Sparing Ryutaro the briefest of looks one would expect from a man greeting one of his betters. He did not linger once introduced, merely excusing himself to take up his post just past the velvet rope blocking the party from the other rabble in the establishment. His task was straightforward. All he needed to do was stand guard and keep his ears open. He'd gladly leave the dirty fighting to Lorette.

"Your eminence, I will say that this meeting is unexpected. Still, it's an honor to be here this evening. In what way may I assist you?"

Allister smiled to himself as he listened to Lorette introduce herself. She was always ready to get down to business and was never one to waste time. He did not think the Tiger Queen was looking to start a fight. Ryutaro matched Lorette in peerless self-control and professionalism.

But Allister had known Lorette long enough to know the woman's foibles. She hadn't agreed to dinner for the sake of playing nice. Even before she'd first walked into the building, the woman had already begun to move her pieces on the board.

Allister, the dutiful assistant, would do everything in his power and beyond to see that each of them moved according to his Mistress' will.

[dive=thin][/divide]

joshuadim joshuadim
 
CAMILA GASPARI
SCENE:
Everyone's a Critic
TIME:
Post-Arc 3, July 9th 2022
LOCATION:
Feralia Art Gallery, Central District
PARTICIPANTS:
Camila, Takakazu
Everyone's a Critic
Camila rubbed her chin as the show began, taking in each word uttered by the presenter and replaying them in her mind over and over. The pieces of the puzzle were quickly falling into place. Of course that bitch Hillclad would make her gallery free to the public, the glowing praise from the press and the masses alike served as the perfect cover up to her clandestine deals, perfectly fit for the stuck up bourgeoisie and elite hungry for a feeling of superiority. This alone was already a good start to their mission, but it wasn't nearly enough. First off, they needed more damning evidence of this underground auction, and secondly, they still needed to dig up the truth behind the plagiarism claims.

A certain someone's loud snoring reached the veteran's ears like nails on a chalkboard. Oh for fuck's sake. she thought involuntarily, still surprised on her own patience with the young man, and how she had yet to just give up on his hopeless ass. Still keeping her eyes glued to the stage, Camila reached out to Tak's earlobe, giving it a vigorous tug.

From the left side of the stage, a familar, nay, a legendary figure stepping into the limelight. It was the rising star, the wonder woman with the talents of the old legends of the craft, and a heart bigger than her own manor, or at least that was the front she'd managed to present to the public. The audience-slash-clientele clapped and cheered exuberantly as she made her way to the center, the blonde man bowing respectfully as he took a few steps back.


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"Good afternoon everyone! It's so wonderful to have you all present here today." Debora exclaimed cheerfully, both her hands waving rapidly in a cutesy manner. "While it's great to have everyone enjoy my art freely, as you may know, I just can't help but create more and more every single day, I need to scratch that creative itch of mine." She paused, letting her hear some more low cheers from the crowd. "I create so many pieces that, well, I just think some deserve to find a new home in the hands of trustworthy ladies and gentlemen."

She brought her hands to her cheeks, her fingertips lightly sinking into her terse skin as her expression showed utter delight. "Ahhhh, just looking at you all gathering here, I feel the ideas coming to me as we speak!"

The man in suit took a step forward as two unassuming figures started making their way on stage, carrying a large, veiled artwork. "As you may know, what you're about to see is authentic Hillclad art that no one besides her have EVER laid eyes upon, now...Feast upon our first item of the day!" Clutching the ivory cloth, the host pulled it dramatically, the artwork now in full display.

Sin título.png


Gasps of awe and disbelief echoed through the expansive underground area, cutting through the otherwise silent atmosphere. Camila wasn't particularly impressed by the piece, raising an eyebrow at the vapid praise she heard in her vicinity. It was the usual kind of bullshit one might hear on the floor above them, stuff about the composition, color contrast or the possible symbolism behind it, she scoffed at their words under her breath, still set to staying silent, and seeing how things would play out now.

"Wonderful, don't you think? Now, the bidding starts at 125.000 Amestriyen, I want to hear those offers, everyone!"


thebigfella thebigfella
 
PEYTON XIONG
SCENE:
The Dead and The Deathless
LOCATION:
Vandalized Lot, North District
TIME:
Post-Arc 3 || Circa June 2022
PARTICIPANTS:
Peyton, Deirest

THE DEAD AND THE DEATHLESS
In one moment, Peyton felt like he was dragging the entirety of the woman's weight, in the next, the weight was weirdly absent. Looking back in confusion, Peyton realized that the arm he was dragging along was now disconnected from the woman's body. The easy cheer on Peyton's face gave way to curiosity as he stared at the woman's hand in his hand. It was still warm, and when Peyton gave it a handshake, the exposed sinews flopped from side to side. Peyton wasn't quite sure what he expected.

"Aw, why did you leave your hand behind?" Peyton asked the woman, "I don't need a souvenir!"

He turned back to where the woman was, but at this point, she was already collapsed onto the ground, blood pooling on the ground next to her. Gently, Peyton dropped the discarded hand next to her stump of an arm.

"Take it easy! My saliva's really good at paralyzing people! You might hurt yourself if you try to move!" Peyton said. He grinned whilst simultaneously sticking out his tongue to somehow illustrate what he meant. But at that moment, Peyton realized that the reason why the woman was on the ground was not only because of the paralyzing saliva-- it was also because she was dying. Rather disappointed, Peyton simply uttered an, "Oh."

Peyton rose to his feet, under the misimpression that his interaction with the wild and fun woman had run its course. The minute rifleman had plenty of experiences with death and killing someone-- at this point, his thought that he had killed the woman didn't even faze him. It was just a shame that he now had to get the blood out of his uniform.

"You were fun!" Peyton said to the woman as he began to look around for a dumpster to dump the body into once she died.

The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit
 
Keith Sullivan
CS Link
SCENE:
Spotting the Wingless
LOCATION:
East District
TIME:
Nighttime,Post-Arc 3
PARTICIPANTS:
Jozeph, Celeste, Nona-Me, Keith
Spotting the Wingless
Keith's blood boiled, nay, smoldered at the sound of the serpent's pleas. He approached slowly, his eyes, full of vehemence and resentment, betrayed his seemingly calm disposition. His hands opened and closed repeatedly, razor-sharp claws shimmering under the generous moonlight, veins of blood dripped down to their tips, a mixture of serpent's blood, and his own.

The dragon broke into a wild stride, eldritch limbs contorting in impossible ways as he swung at the serpent's direction. Fingers pressed together imitated the shape of a twisted and jagged harpoon, thrusting forward rapidly. Luckily for the young blond, even in his dizzied state his legs didn't fail him, barely managing to dodge to the side, the ferrous claws digging into the walls of the building behind him.

Keith didn't hesitate, following up his attack by pulling his stretched limb, the laws of physics doing their job, propelling him forward instead. He lifted his other arm to the side, malformed blades springing forth from his entire limb. This time, the serpent wasn't quite as fortunate, with Keith's forearm connecting with his chest, equally throwing him back from the blunt force, as well as the sharp edges digging into his flesh.

The rookie's feet clacked against the solid wall, his entire body sticking to the building thanks to his stuck limb. Still in that position, he cocked his head back, looking directly at his opponent. "Mercy, you say?! WHERE WAS MY MERCY, THEN?!" He exploded, his tempered shattered into a thousand fragments. He jumped off the wall, a cloud of dust in his wake from the concrete and bricks fracture by the violent dislodging of his hand.

While mid-air, he clutched at the head of the serpent, who was attempting to get back on his feet. Grasping at a handful of golden locks, the dragon smashed the boy's face on the pavement with the momentum of his leap. A wince-worthy crack heard from the point of imapct. "Your lot cackled maniacally when they killed them, when you took EVERYTHING from me!" He lifted the youth's head up, staring intently at his weak visage. "You and the others lost all right for mercy."

@gxxberkit WhiskeyMarten WhiskeyMarten @angel doe
 

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