Chrono Asylum: Prelude to Madness

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Vonz, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. [​IMG]


    All other angels are dead,
    But I shall not go.
    For one yet walks,
    With the wings of a crow.​


    "What differentiates us from the flock of lambs?" A sermonic voice echoed through what appeared to be an abandoned cathedral, sundering the senses of the followers who gathered wearing drapes and hoods, a cultic summoning.

    "Preacher; we are giants living among mice, so how long must we cover like the latter?" One of the subjects rose, revealing a face that had been marred. "If we are indeed the true kings that are to purge this world of the tyrant that subjugates us, then why do we suffer?"

    "My child, we suffer so as to wait. We suffer so as to thrive and we suffer so as to grow." The preacher, draped in white, spoke suppressing all defiance and coyly channeling it into a frenzy directed towards the organization of sin. "What we possess is not a curse, it is our right. It is not to be feared but embraced, for the art is not acquired by any but the Kings that will plummet this era of decay." As he counseled, his gaze slowly moved to face all his brethren who awaited their instructions with bated breath.

    "What differentiates us from the flock of lambs is that we are wolves that have been starving for far too long. In a week we will lunge our teeth in the flesh of the ignorant humans and the A.M.R.O lapdogs that have hounded us."

    A resounding cheer filled the cathedral, resurrecting it from an abandoned place of worship into a shelter of hope, souls crying for a change from the pain they had grown oh so accustomed too. But like any cheer it too eventually turned to silence and that befell far too quickly than any would have wished.

    Clapping eventually brought this gathering to an inaudible halt. Everyone found themselves facing the exit through which this taunt slowly drew nearer, that is until the silhouette of a man in red became vaguely visible.

    “Brother, are you a friend seeking salvation or a foe seeking retribution?” The preacher questioned, offering his hand as an invitation while the followers armed themselves if this boon should be declined.

    “Neither, I am but a reminder of your final fleeting moments. Worms don’t deserve to crawl above the ground and yet here you are in all your audacity, boasting to be kings when your place is buried beneath the sole of my boot.” The figure replied, his arrogance almost painfully casual with a smirk that dared to provoke.

    “What insolence! You dare to come into our abode and speak down to kings, remember your place boy….or better yet we shall teach it to you.” The Preacher scoffed as his arms rose upon high, as if to shatter the heavens and rein down judgment, and accordingly chains lunged forward from the gargoyle’s mouths that were mounted upon pillars all around the cathedral.

    The crimson heathen had suddenly found himself bound, ensnared by countless chains that kept him at bay while the council of these ragged kings contemplated on how to approach this situation. Several members chanted along a serenade of death, demanding blood, where as others sought answers.

    “Why have you come here at such an opportune time? Who are you exactly and who do you work for?” One of the members spoke up, his tone intimidating yet this attempt at interrogation seemed to fall upon deaf year as the prisoner merely continued to stare and smile a wicked smile.

    “I go by many names, some rather famous….some forgotten, but if you are all kings then you may address me as the king’s misfortune.” The convict replied, his tone even under such situations retaining its casual almost sarcastic demeanor.

    “You who are but flesh dare to walk onto a field of lions, daft fool! Do you really think you can bury us all and that too all by yourself? If we do get buried it won’t be in the ground child….it will be under your bones.” The Preacher retaliated, his furious reply a direct challenge to the man in red whom he had dismissed as a fool seeking an early demise.

    “There are just two little problems with your statement, number one I am not alone,” The prisoner jeered, his satirical expressions now unnerving this gathering of mice whose courage only continued to dwindle as they began to finally comprehend the symphony that had started, a rhapsody of their own demise and the first verse had been sung.

    “All other Angel’s are dead,” and as she spoke these words, the words took form. They thickened the air and the air obeyed.

    “But I shall not go,” the windows shuttered, the ceiling creaked.

    “For one yet walks,” bones felt heavy until every disciple and their preacher, these so called kings, fell to their knees.

    “With the wings of a crow,” an uncanny pressure weighed on their shoulders, slowly continuing to crush them. Immobilized, with eyes gaping wide from the pain of the invisible force that pressed against them all the while yet another silhouette appeared. This time of a child, who innocently sat on top of a window frame, her legs swaying playfully as she observed the carnage from on high.

    “Mistake number two,” the bound prisoner resumed with a smirk that slowly widened. “I am not mere flesh,” as soon as these words were spoken the gargoyles that were perched on top of the pillars, crashed to the ground, shattering. “For my bones are steel and steel is my serpent.” The chains that once shackled him now leisurely coiled around him, slithering across his body and gradually approaching all the pretenders, wrapping around their necks.

    “A king….can one….exist…..Angel?” The child spoke with stoic expressions and a mechanical tone. Her eyes fixated on the ceiling, as if appreciating a well painted mural, revealing the number –VI- tattooed on the side of her neck.

    “Well Rin, if there still is an Angel left in a world like this….we may yet find a king.” Her partner replied pleasantly, his veiled eyes mimicking his partner in looking on top where the corpses of all the followers and the priest were noosed by their own silver chains.

    ------------------Xx--------------------xX---------------​

    One Week Later
    Las Vegas
    ------------------Xx--------------------xX---------------



    “Dad, roll again, roll again!” Rena chirped loudly as she closely observed her partner blowing on a pair of dice with a large pile of chips decked on the center table. Bass echoed through the halls of the casino as several girls had already gathered around the crimson devil known simply as Angel.

    “Call the number sir?” The dealer nudged the Asylum, impatient for his decision on a gamble that appeared to be fairly impressive, well impressive enough to have the Casino on their toes.

    “I call thirteen,” Angel replied, his tone rather amused at the irony of it all. Such a gambit requires all the luck in the world and the Crimson Asylum picked the one synonymous to misfortune one, ah but such was the dramatic flair which this Alchemist possessed.

    “What…are you…doing, this goes against….protocol.” Angel’s partner suddenly interrupted, tugging on his coat with considerable strength, enough to pull him away.

    “Hey there kiddo…nice to see you awake, splendid timing….you were just in time to stop me from having a little fun….what a tragedy that would be…yes indeed.” Angel retorted rather sarcastically, though his humorous attempts failing to impress the Poker Faced Chrono.

    “Protocol 101…maintain a low profile, we are not here to indulge in…..pointless activities. Our reliable sources have said The Circus will be making an appearance. We are to……. patiently……await instructions and proceed…..accordingly.” The Chrono calmly reiterated their mission statement while dragging her partner out of the building, who despite his attempts to free himself found it hopeless. With a few crocodile tears he bid his earnings and the ladies a fond farewell. “So long money….”

    “You know we have been scouting Las Vegas for the past month, nothing has happened except me winning a lot of money and being dragged out before collecting it.” Angel complained, heaving a weary sigh while rubbing his temples from feeling the sorrow of his empty wallet.

    “In case you have…forgotten. Circue du folie is one of the few factions that can actually pose a threat to A.M.R.O.”

    “We just took down that cult in that cathedral, what faction was that? ‘Something Kings'? We deserve a break. There is no guarantee that these circus clowns will even show up in Vegas. There is also the fact that while most factions oppose A.M.R.O, aren’t these circus people just in it to give Alchemists a safe haven? They don’t care about war or power.”

    “You…know as well as I do……a team was lost…..when they were sent to observe The Circus, for A.M.R.O this is enough of a probable cause for an investigation.”

    “And you know as well as I do, Cirque du folie has managed to evade A.M.R.O for years. A myth has grown, a place called ‘The Carnival’ that is the head quarters of these clowns. Rather cliché but point is, it is shielded from A.M.R.O’s radar. Why would they just up and leave? It doesn’t make sense. Here they are coming out in the open, risking exposure. Are you sure our information is valid?”

    “It’s foolish to question our information, it is never wrong. As to…..why…..I suppose we will find out. Additional teams have been authorized by the director.”

    “What Mason is getting involved in this?”

    “He believes it is of…significant…importance. The fact…that they are sending in more teams…it means…the circus is expected…..rather so..--”

    “Go to hell Asylums!”


    “Really?” Angel thought out loud, as he held a knife that had been thrown from a distance. Managing to grab it by the hilt just in the nick of time, before it could hit his partner and incur her wrath. However the fact she was interrupted, well the deed had been done.

    “You shouldn't have done that……my partner believes a true gentleman never interrupts a lady.” Angel continued his tone rather mournful for the unfortunate fellow who had thrown that dagger. “A pity really, you rogue alchemists need birth control cause your numbers are spurring out of control.” He mused as the Chrono slowly raised her doll like face towards the direction in which the rogue was fleeing after which she merely redirected her gaze to her partner, shrugging this minor nuisance out of the way.

    “Well this is surprising…why isn’t that guy inside out?” Angel inquired, quite curious at this strange spectacle.

    “I am back!” The Chrono tweeted rather cutely with a face brimming with life, quite the stark contrast to Rin’s placid and evergreen expressions. “Oh, oh, oh Dad looks like we have more friends that have finally come to play!” She continued, her excitement managing to uplift even the lazy asylum.

    “Wonderful observations little one,” Angel acknowledged his partner’s deduction, rewarding her with a gentle pat on the head. “Looks like more teams have finally joined the fray…this should be amusing.”
     
  2. ((Woo~! Here we go! *wiggle* I do wonder about Angel's sense in calling thirteen if those are, in fact, six-sided dice.))

    The pair strolled down the busy street, heading toward the sense of another Asylum. "I want to get this done with as quickly as possible," the woman said, her voice little more than a murmur as she looked around through a curtain of dark blue hair.
    "Aww, don't go believing all the rumors, Bits," her companion chided, shifting the guitar case he was carrying to his other hand. "They're almost always exaggerated." The man looked around, running his free hand through his spiky sky-blue hair as he did so. "They're nearby. Towards that casino, I think." He veered in that direction, careful not to get too far ahead of his partner.

    The pair were both in their mid-twenties and reasonably fit, though the woman's loose jacket didn't clearly define her torso and made her build less obvious. She too carried a guitar case, slung on her back, though this one was thinner and clearly held an electric. "I think I see them, Sparks," Bits said, her gaze resting on a teen girl and an older man.
    "Huh. I knew the Prodigy was young, but...wow, she's young." Sparks lifted his hand and opened his mouth to call out to the other team, but was interrupted by a shout.
    “Go to hell Asylums!”

    The man passed his burden into his companion's waiting hands, and dashed off after the fleeing figure. Bits moved at an angle, aiming to cut the rogue off. The other alchemist didn't seem to care who he ran into, but clearly wasn't used to moving swiftly through crowds, and that slowed him down. Sparks was just a few feet away as the rogue reached the mouth of an alley. Seeing his pursuer close behind, thin braid dancing as the man moved at speed, and catching sight of the purposeful path Bits was taking, the attacker darted down the alley.

    That decision would prove to be a fatal mistake. People sometimes misjudged Sparks, for while he kept himself fit he lacked the obvious muscle mass most associated with strength and athleticism. That wasn't the main problem in this situation, however, for once out of sight of the crowd he was free to unleash a far more potent weapon. With a soft chant, lightning arched from his hand and across the distance separating the two, interfering with the rogue's motor control and causing him to take a tumble. Sparks was on him in a moment, the hilt in his hand extending into a sword that he placed at the rogue alchemist's neck. "Don't try to cast, or I'll cut your throat," he cautioned, putting a bit of pressure on the blade, enough for blood to start beading when the other man swallowed. "Do you work alone, or did someone send you?"

    The man's response was a curse and the start of a motem cast. The Asylum didn't give him a chance to finish it. By the time Bits caught up with him, he was on his feet, waiting while the heat of the plasma along the edge of his blade cleaned the blood off of it. "He didn't have anything useful to say," he told her in response to the questioning arch of her brow. She frowned, and went to search the body for useful information, before roughing the body up a little. She pocketed his wallet as well as any relevant items, and turned to go. They could look over what she'd acquired later, when there wasn't a risk of being found. For now, they had people to meet.

    ((I do need to ask, what's procedure when encountering a rogue? If they're just supposed to kill them, and not try to get any info, I'll change this.))
     
  3. "What does one do when one becomes immortal? He bathes in the blood of those who are not."

    The words startled the rest of the players at the blackjack table, and the raven-haired man who said them laid down his hand. A King and an Ace. He had just won his eighth hand in a row. Collecting his totaled winnings of about three grand in a small leather bag and straightening his suit, he moved to the bar and ordered a drink, as another fellow took his place.

    The new man grunted at the dealer to play him in, putting about a hundred dollars worth of chips on the table. They played a few rounds, some the jacket-wearing newcomer won, some he lost. "Just getting a feel for my prey," he said eerily, peeking at his hand. It was more than just a statement, it was a code. The raven at the bar and the snake at the table were working together, practically robbing the people who came and went from that table. "Hit." said the suited man, and his fellow repeated on his turn. "Stay." Once everyone else was out or satisfied, he revealed his hand along with the others. A queen and two fives. This repeated for several hands, the one drinking giving orders into a mouthpiece, the one playing listening from an earpiece. After winning a few thousand himself, he left the table, cashed in, and left. twenty minutes later, he was followed by the one in the suit. "Quite the haul, eh, Falcon? Sixty-three grand, total. From one table. Man, I could do this all week."

    Falcon nodded in agreement. "Indeed. Poor fellows never even knew what was going on." "Say, what did you used to use that particular 'talent' for, anyway? Before we started gambling?" "That information is my own to keep, Taipan." "Fair enough. Alright, enough dicking around. We need to find-"

    "Go to hell, Asylums!"

    "Found 'em."

    Taipan had just prepared to spring into chase, when another Asylum, whom Taipan had recognized by the codename "Sparks," did so first. Flipping his hood off, he and Falcon approached the intended recipient of the rogue alchemist's throwing knife. "Good afternoon, Angel, Reri. I am Falcon, and the pointy-eared gentleman to my left is my partner, Taipan." "Sup." "We're here to assist with the Cirque du Foile mission."
     
  4. Amesbury, England, 23:47pm – Three days earlier

    All year round, Amesbury was a local hotspot for nutjobs. They congregated around the mysterious Stonehenge like maggots to a rotten corpse, and perhaps one-in-one-million of the nutjobs might have some real power: alchemists with an interest in the sacrificial stones. A group had gathered on the slope of the hill, a woman tied and bound upon one of the more central slabs. She was sobbing through a rag stuffed into her mouth, and mascara stained tears rolled down her cheeks. She had very little clothing left to defend her dignity from the cold of the wind, or the cultists’ stares.

    Each of the group was wrapped in red garbs: five in total. They had gathered on the night in question, ready to sacrifice this woman for some unknown, illogical reason. What they hoped to gain was unknown to AMRO, all that was known was that a sacrifice was going to happen, and that Team Fatebound would intervene.

    From a hill across the way, Bryn and Casca observed the events with varied reactions. Bryn looked disgusted by the whole display, while Casca merely observed with a clinical interest. Bryn looked about ready to attack, her Halberd already in hand and her armour deployed. A suit of bright steel glinted lightly in the moonlight, and she would have been the easiest thing in the world to spot if not for Casca’s positioning. She had made sure their lookout was opposite the ritual site: just in case the cloudy forecast was made wrong. Casca had a single hand on Bryn’s shoulder, warding off the aggression of the armoured woman.

    “Casca, why are you holding me back? We can slay them easily! That girl is being endangered every second we stall.”

    The dark-skinned woman ignored the question for a second, until Bryn moved underneath the hand, clearly close to pouncing.

    “I am observing.”

    “Observing?! Why are you observing!? There is nothing more to observe! I will have justice on these…heathens!”

    “I am trying to discern the reason for their sacrifice: Are they attempting to summon deamons? Are they attempting to access forbidden alchemy? Perhaps they seek to merely rape the woman. I don’t know, and that is something I want to know.”

    “How far would you go to sate your knowledge, Casca?”

    “As far as I need to.”

    The tone in Casca’s voice was one of steel. She was warning Bryn of the importance that this had to her: as if to warn that ruining this chance to learn something new was the most dangerous course of action available.

    Looking through the binoculars, Casca observed as the tallest red-clad cultist seemed to stroll towards the woman and paint something on her midriff. The red paint was slick and runny: clearly blood. The shapes soon took form, and Casca smiled. “Pagan symbols. This is not a forbidden-alchemy ritual. Probably some hocus-pocus demon summoning. You can go wild, Bryn.”

    Bryn didn’t even hesitate for a second. Like a dog let off the leash, Bryn stepped on a sigil she had weaved into the ground, catapulting her through the air with a sudden acceleration. The armoured knight was hurtling from the perch they had observed from to the henge itself, soaring like a steel-clad reaper.

    “MY NAME IS BRYN MASON, ALCHEMIST NUMBER 19 AND THE FATEBOUND SILENCER. YOUR DEATHS SHALL COME AT MY HAND!”

    As she roared out her challenge, the group all turned to see the woman. For one unlucky soul, they were to slow on the uptake, and were suddenly grabbed mid-flight by the claw-like hand of the knight. She dragged him through the air and slammed his skull into the ground as she landed in the centre of the group: a fountain of blood erupting from the fractured skull of the now-dead cultist. There was shock amongst the four others, as Bryn rose over the group: towering over them all with an intense menace.

    A cultist uttered a word before Bryn lashed out with her Halberd. He was cleaved in two like a log, blood staining the stones and the grass underfoot. The three remaining cultists suddenly grew to their senses and drew their alchemy. Two suddenly held ghostly swords in their hands, while the leader seemed to weave alchemy.

    His weaving was stopped as something touched his shoulder: a gentle tap from a finger. His entire body grew cold and numb, suddenly made entropic by the poison of Casca. “Now, now. Don’t ruin Bryn’s fun. She so rarely gets to let loose.”

    The man collapsed to the ground, paralysed completely by the powerful toxin. He was conscious as Casca took a seat next to him, smiling contently as she looked at the already severe scene of carnage. “You and I can watch now, as Bryn dismantles your group like the rats you are. After that, I’m going to take my time…picking your brain.”

    The terror in the main cultist’s eyes was palpable through the paralysed face of the man. He could see his doom, and it was smiling at her with those big, brown eyes.

    00:13, Stonehenge

    With the blood cleaned off her blade, Bryn returned the weapon and the armour into their compact state, before looking at the scene of carnage with a newfound shock. The sensations of war were still in her mouth, and the pleasure that she felt while inside the armour, but now she felt the sweetness become sickly. She always hated the come-down.

    Pinned to the floor, the silently screaming face of the Cultist leader, being meticulously tortured by Casca, gave her a new sense of revulsion. “Hasn’t he told you enough? You already know what he was trying to do, the names of three other cults and his bank account details. Can’t you put him out of his misery?”

    Casca shrugged. “Nah. He wouldn’t have given that girl any mercy. Why should I show him any? Speakin’ of. Have you wiped her mind yet?”

    Bryn sighed. “Yes. She is now unaware of anything alchemy related and is in a AMRO car towards her mother’s house. She’ll be no problem.”

    Casca crooned her approval. “Delightful. That means I have all night with this little mors…” The mirth of Casca’s voice was cut short as she got a phone call. It was a voice she had learned to hate over the years: full of cocky authority. Her smile grew dimmer and dimmer as time went by, until it was replaced by a full frown. She sighed heavily, before stabbing her fingers into the throat of the crippled cultist. He choked out a last, painful groan before finally dying. “Change of plans. We are returning to base and suiting up. We have a mission in Vegas.”

    Three days later, Las Vegas

    Team Fatebound had managed to get to Vegas without any major issue. They flew via AMRO’s private facilities, and Bryn seemed to be intimidated by every foolish Las Vegas-ite who got in the way. Casca sneered at it every time, especially since a number of them were only ‘bumping’ into Bryn because of her looks. The poison alchemist had possibly dealt a number of doses of a minor poison to some of the worst offenders, invoking stomach cramps and vomiting in anyone who tried their luck with the less aggressive Bryn. Thankfully, Casca had kept that information hidden from the Bryn: wouldn’t want the sissy to think that Casca cared, or anything.

    “How are we going to find the Chrono, Casca? There wasn’t a meeting location or anything. Did they make a mistake or something?”

    “Huh? No need to worry. We’ll track them down tonight, after we get some food. I’m feeling like Greek today.”

    Casca led the timid Rich-girl towards a nearby Greek restaurant, where she convinced her to order some food. In truth, Casca was concentrating on identifying the nearest Asylums. She was shocked to detect a greater number of them than she’d predicted: showing just how serious the threat was perceived to be. She sighed, before trying to identify the most powerful of the signals. It stood to reason that would be the Chrono and her Lost Number. A part of her was interested in him: Angel, or whatever nickname one wished to give him. She deeply desired to clash wits against him.

    “Tell me, Bryn: have you ever played Poker?”

    Later that night

    Bryn and Casca sauntered through the Casino with a certain swagger: well, at least Casca was swaggering. She looked in her element, in the heart of Las Vegas: A predator that would devour any foolish enough to challenge her at any game of skill. Bryn, on the other hand, looked positively out of place, carrying a hefty looking brief case that held the suit of armour and her halberd. Casca soon sighted Angel, and had taken her place at a Poker table so as to watch the man. She casually bet on her hand and allowed herself to distractedly win a hand on a two-pair. He was…just gambling? That hardly seemed worth calling out herself and Bryn from all the way in Europe.

    “Go to hell Asylums!”

    Bryn and Casca both suddenly shot up, tense at the shout. While Bryn suddenly tightened her grip on the briefcase, Casca slammed her elbow into the man behind her, who was reaching into his pocket to grab a knife. It seemed there were multiple assailants after Angel’s head. Casca pushed a finger against the man’s neck, injecting a quick-acting poison without a moment of hesitation.

    “Bryn, suit up and kill anyone who would aggress against the Chrono and the lost number. I’m going to interrogate this naughty boy.”

    Bryn nodded, before twisting the handle of the briefcase. Metal seemed to spread up Bryn’s arm, sliding along the length of her body and covering her entire form in the terrifying steel visage of the Taurus Knight. Beneath the mask, Bryn was smiling with a new, malice fuelled mirth. “God, I’ve missed this power.” Bryn reached across the table and picked up a dice, whispering words of Vocum alchemy into it. Suddenly, she lobbed it at a rising assailant, wielding a pistol in his hand. The Dice hyper-accelerated in mid-air, fuelled by Bryn’s alchemy and slamming in between the man’s eyes…then through the bridge of his nose. Bryn walked towards Angel and Reri, towering over both before she bowed down to one knee. “Bryn of team Fatebound wishes to pledge herself to the command of the Chrono. It would be my honour to receive your next command. My partner is …interrogating another assailant at this moment.” There seemed to be a discomfort in her voice as she spoke about Casca’s methods. The brutality didn’t bother her, at least not with the armour on. It was the dishonour of it all.
     
    #4 LimeyPanda, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  5. ~The Brand~

    A look of casual serenity stared back into the eyes of the Asylum who upon disposing the Rogue, keeled before them. While the spectacle was rather amusing and the manners of this female Asylum were impeccable, a single conundrum had arisen.
    The blood of the victim slowly seeped onto the carpet, painting it crimson as the Knight gallantly awaited Ante Mortem's response. Silence is all that greeted them, an eerie stillness had crept over their surrounding vicinity, the only inhabitants appearing to be the Asylums and a casino filled with mannequins.

    "Do you understand the penalty of exposure?" The Crimson Asylum finally spoke while rubbing his temple, his casual tone running parallel with his weary expression.

    "Death," Rin completed her partner’s sentence in her usual deadpan manner, her cold soul-less eyes gradually meeting the gaze of the kneeling knight. The tilting of her neck revealing the digit -VI- branded next to her neck, a digit that had come to inspire fear and awe in the organization, for she was one of the twelve.

    "Exactly my dear partner," Angel nodded a few times. His fingers continuing to massage his temple, clearly the toll from what strange Alchemy he had cast. "Are you aware of the concept of time?" The Lost number continued, his finger tips striking against the table as if to mimic the ticking of a clock. "Time is a measure from past to the present till the future.....relatively basic? Wouldn't it be safe to assume if someone had control of time he could manipulate all said events?" A gentle smile spread across the reaper's face as he continued to tap the table melodically. "However I don't believe that is time's defining trait. I believe it is motion, movement, progress. Hence is it safe to say without time we would all merely be in a state of motionless stagnation?" By now XIII was no longer seated, his crimson silhouette approaching the Asylums with hushed steps.

    "Time is in the domain of the Gods." The Chrono replied, her expressionless and stoic persona daunting if not plain terrifying.

    “But we are far from Gods aren’t we?”

    “Demons..” came her reply, short and to the point.

    “We can only hope to mirror the impossible,” The blood draped Angel mused as he observed the mannequins around him. “While time may be out of a mortal’s grasp, its perception however is of mortal creation. So what if you hijack that perception and halt it? I think you both know the answer by now.” As if to nudge their direction, -XIII- calmly stared at the people around him, all of whom appeared to be motionless.

    “Repayment,” Rin whispered callously once more.

    “Yes indeed. Demons are not capable of favors, we barter and deal and you are indebted. What is the price of exposure…death….what is the price of life? That is what you owe us.” A saintly smile brimmed across his face as the Crimson Asylum slowly reached towards the knight, a hand shake to seal the deal.

    Upon the completion of the “agreement” via the hand shake, a strange spectacle would follow. Upon contact a sharp pain would ensue and from that moment detaching from the ‘deal’ would be impossible. Like venom slithering through the veins, the pain would spiral up the arm and finally spike at the shoulder, a pain resembling that of a burning sensation quite similar to being branded.

    “A time will come when I will require a ‘favor’ from you, when that time comes you will know. Till then I have left you a reminder, consider it…”

    “Insurance…” The Chrono finished the sentence, choosing the best word befitting the situation.

    "Lets try to be a little discreet eh kiddo?" Angel teased as he gently flicked the woman's forehead. "That will compensate for this mistake, but let’s not forget A.M.R.O has a relatively large but plug in its rear. Other Chronos would not take lightly, regardless of the predicament. I personally find their methods tedious."

    "You are...just old pa," The Chrono retorted, her gaze fixated at her partner's lazy demeanor.

    "Good afternoon, Angel, Reri. I am Falcon, and the pointy-eared gentleman to my left is my partner, Taipan." "Sup." "We're here to assist with the Cirque du Foile mission."

    "Your assistance is much appreciated however..-"

    Before -XIII- could bother with his witty remarks, the Chrono found a far more direct means of conveying their concern.

    "Weak will die; the choice is by whose hand."

    Ante Mortem would have most certainly continued their little game if not for the Crimson Asylum spotting something of interest. His line of sight seemed to be fixated on the rogue's corpse. "This changes things."

    "Miss Knight, be a sweetheart and dispose of the rogue. I do not need him interrogated," Despite the oddity of this, the order had been given.

    “Looks like things are about to get a little more interesting…..a lot more in fact.” He uttered these words before fading away in a black wisp, his partner shortly following suit before uttering a few phrases and cleaning the mess that was loitering the street, namely the dead body.

    And with that the sense of time once again began to flow naturally and with that life once again returned to the casino albeit with slight memory loss.
     
    #5 Vonz, Feb 1, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  6. The blue-haired pair left the alley at the far end and circled back around, but by the time they reached the casino again, Angel and Reri were gone. However, Sparks detected a few other Asylums, and headed in their direction, Bits in tow. Looking around, he spotted two faces that were passingly familiar from his time at Innocence. The tall woman was easy enough to spot, and he recalled that she was a fierce fighter. The sight of man with the pointed ears, however, was not a pleasant one. Taipan had always been a bit unnerving, and Sparks had never found the other man's sadism appealing. As for Bits, when she spotted the strange-looking man, she immediately moved to put her brother between them. He both disgusted and terrified her, and more than ever she wished to get this assignment over with. There was a third Asylum as well, but neither of them recalled him.
    "Heya guys, I'm Sparks, and this is my sister Two-Bits," Sparks said with a wide smile, extending his hand to Bryn. "We're here to help with the circus." No need to specify; they'd know what he meant.
     
  7. "Sloppy," Malady muttered into her drink. How did such asylums survive this long? She glared down at the spectacle for a few moments before coming back to herself as the man next to her repositioned himself to move his face closer to hers. She glanced out of the side of her large eyes, and the corners of her mouth tugged upward playfully.

    "You know, ahhh..." the fellow started, but stopped to stand as she stood up from her seat.

    "Thank you, Robert-"

    "Roger," he supplied eagerly, a dumb little drunken smile on his face, as if it were funny that she'd gotten his name wrong.

    "Roger." She gave him a polite nod. "You have been most wonderful, but I really must be getting on with my evening. Thank you for the drinks." She placed her empty glass on the bar, grabbed his hands, and chastely kissed his cheek. "Perhaps I'll see you around."

    "I certainly hope so!"

    She descended from the casino's second floor, leaving the fellow to his fantasies and drinks. Once on the gambling floor, she carefully made her way through the crowd until she had come to the scene of the crime. Apparently the Chrono and Lost Number had better things to do, so they had already abandoned the premise, but there were at least some other minions that she could welcome.

    "Hello boys, girls." Malady fixed Falcon's collar in passing, and paused to grab something from inside her coat. "I have the advantage of knowing who you all are, but you don't know me, probably." She fished some business cards out of her pocket, handing them off to her new pals. They just had her code name in embossed letters, with the title "Therapist" under it and an office phone number beneath that.

    "If you ever start feeling guilty about stooping to common thievery, you can give me a call," she said pointedly before allowing Falcon to take the card from her grasp.

    "Bryn, why are you in your armor? You are... slightly conspicuous. Casca, put that idiot down before you get arrested." She glanced around at the patrons of the establishment, who were starting to show signs of shaking off Angel's ignorance spell.
     
    #7 Kiddo, Feb 3, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  8. Slightly hidden among the crowd of gawking adults were two oddly dressed teenagers. One was an extremely tall blond boy dressed in a black dress pants and long sleeved white shirt. A black vest with gold zips decorating the pockets finished his somewhat understated outfit. Well, understated compared to the black haired ditz beside him. She was wearing an Alice in Wonderland inspired dress complete with pale blue and white stripy skirt. Decorating the skirt was black ribbon trimmings, poker inspired applique and darker blue ruffles. A pair of blue-grey stockings and a huge pale blue bow finished her cutesy outfit.

    Thankfully, with all the commotion created by the rest, people had stopped staring at the two of them. Edging slowly towards the front of the crowd, the two of them stared openly at the knight kneeling before a man in a red trench coat. Seira cocked her head to one side as the noise faded away. It truly felt like they were trapped in some sort of time-warp since the people were now motionless and pin-drop silent. She giggled excitedly and tittered about a red Victorian dress whilst she listened to the Angel addressing Bryant. Cameron, on the other hand, whipped out his phone to check whether he received any new messages.

    “Hey, Cameron! Did you get a picture? Did you? Did you?”

    “Why would you even want ….”

    “Awww come on! I mean where’s the fun in pretending everything was fine and dandy.”

    Seira grinned as she tackled her tall partner from behind. All around them a slightly buzz began rippling from the awakening crowd. Many were shaking their heads trying to get rid of that odd stupor that clouded their minds. As she wrapped her arms round his neck, the poor boy swayed to and fro before tripping face first over his violin case on the ground. Siera laughed a little unkindly as she playfully sat on her partner’s back. She noticed the small group forming round the entrance. The girl clicked her tongue lightly. “Don’t you think it’ll be fun if we said hello? Sooner we gather sooner we can leave. Thank god this is Vegas, eh? People don’t think much of a big ragtag group standing so conspicuously near the streets.”

    “Meh.” Her partner replied.

    Leaping off her partner, the Lolita laughed brightly, as she hopped towards the group. Her black shiny heels clicking rhythmically along the cemented sidewalk. As she neared the group, she did a mini pirouette, which sent her skirt flying rather immodestly. She made a show of pushing down the many layers of petticoats cushioning her skirt before giving a stage worthy curtsey.

    “Hello, all you merry people! Don’t you love Vegas?” She tucked her hands behind her back and leaned forward in Malady’s direction. “I don’t know who you are or how you know who they are, but can you guess who I am?”

    “Don’t you think it’s easier to just introduce ourselves?” Her partner asked with a slight sigh. His blue eyes skated over each person gathered there. A polite smile crept up his lips as he looked at them. “Sorry about my partner. I don’t know why she’s so excited.”

    He gave a slight shrug as Seira glared at him. “So, let’s get down to business, shall we? I’m Cameron and this ditzy girl beside me is Seira. We’re both happy to make your acquaintance.”

    "Seriously, Cams. You need to pull that stick out of your ass." She exclaimed with a sweet all too innocent smile.
     
    #8 Fox of Hearts, Feb 4, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  9. "This mission is hardly what it seems," Angel mused as he stood atop the hotel, 'Stratosphere', with his lovely partner gazing down as if observing ants go about their daily dreary chores. "Something very interesting is afoot, the blue print of madness is spread before us, can you see it my dear." XII continued; his spectacles glowing a brilliant red, reflecting the shine of the crescent moon above him.

    "These are......only.....speculations," the prodigy replied. Her mismatched eyes, stoic and unnerving, complimenting her partner's eerily veiled gaze.

    "True enough, yet of one thing we are certain. We have guests who have yet to be acquainted, lets pave the path for fools to tread." A mischievous grin shaped his face, a visage of malicious intent.

    "Ooh a game!" A sudden chirp echoed in a tone brimming with cheer. "Will we be playing 'capere avem', please say yes!" The little girl twirled excitedly as the second infamous personality of the Chrono finally surafced to greet her partner.

    "I had a feeling that would wake you up," The Lost Number replied in a tone uncharacteristically kind for he who dawns the title of the Blood Draped Angel.

    "Horay!" The Chrono cheered, lifting her arms and flailing them about enthusiastically while twirling once more. "Can I make the birdie, pretty pretty please?" Two puppy dog eyes stared back at her partner awaiting submission, for refusal was futile.

    With a sarcastic sigh Angel agreed to humor his partner and her overly zealous nature, simply observing the little girl lost in her errand, giving birth to a radiating orb that slowly grew in between her palms.

    Capere avem translated to 'catch the bird', a popular game played by Asylums where the objective is to reach the target before any other team, a race without limitations and the only rule being the Alchemists must remain covert. While this is often though as a means of a friendly competition, an ice breaker among Asylums its too purpose is for each team to understand the capabilities of their co-workers, to gauge their skill level and with a punishment for the loser. The role of the bait will fall onto them.

    "I did it!" The Chrono exclaimed with joy as she danced about waving a large orb of pure Alchemic energy.

    "Ladies and gentleman, I would like to interrupt your monotonous night for a special announcement," Angel telepathically shouted across Vegas, an open channel for all. "I am sure you all know the tradition when more than two teams are involved, we play a game and compliance is mandatory. So lets us see who reaches the birdie first, the winner will get a very special surprise."

    With that the telepathic message ended and the orb within Rena's hand found itself being swung with enough force to have it land near the outskirts of Vegas, floating around 300 feet in the air.

    "As one game ends... another begins," Angel whispered coyly, his crimson figure re-enetering the Casino along with his partner and lazily walking towards the group of Asylums mere minutes after this telepathic conversation.

    "As far as introductions go you lot lack a certain zest," he interrupted, an arrogant smile slowly spreading.

    "Oh my God where is my diamond necklace!" One of the women within the Casino shrieked alarming the security personnel.

    "Welcome to the race mice, we'll be on our way now.....can't really be associated with thieves now can we?" XIII whispered cautiously to the Asylums present before casually walking out.

    "Hey you, what do you have in your pocket!" One of the security personnel instantly dashed towards the fellow know as Johnathan Quinn. "That little girl was right!" The guard exclaimed as he pointed towards the pocket of the accused deviant.

    "Oh lord, that is it!" The lady instantly heaved a sigh of relief as her sight found its way towards the pocket of Johnathan, a strand of her diamond necklace clearly visible.

    "You are coming with me Sir, check the others with him!" With that said, a swarm of security personal surrounded the small group. A strip search seemed to be in order.


    -----Xx----Xx----

    "Hey Dad you put that necklace in that man's pocket so as to stall those people....didn't you?" Rena chastised her partner, a pout clearly visible on her innocent face. "Stealing is a bad thing Mr."

    "I merely borrowed it little one and hey I did tell the guards where to find it?" Angel scratched his head, his pleads of innocence failing to dissuade the Chrono. "Okay I am sorry, I swear I tend to forget who the parental figure is around here. Well at least we get to see how well our Asylum's time management skills are."
     
  10. ((I have Ryver's permission for this.))

    Bits paled at the approaching security, and moved behind Sparks, pulling her hands close to her chest. Sparks blinked, and put a hand in his pocket, to stare wide-eyed at the necklace. However, he was already working to solve the problem. They could not afford even a cursory search! Dancer, it looks like I need a hand. Can you get in the system and set off the alarms for their vault? That should distract them long enough for us to get away.

    I can, a feminine voice chirped in reply, audible only in his head. It will take me a minute or so to get into the system. Lucky for you there's coverage right here. Access in this place has been spotty.
    Even as she spoke, there was another voice, this one male and speaking to all the Asylums. Close your eyes, it told them, in a commanding and no-nonsense tone. Sparks and his sister both obeyed, but even behind shut lids they could pick up the bright flash that followed, and when they looked moments later, the guards were rubbing their eyes or blinking frantically.

    "That's our cue to leave," Sparks murmured to Bits, dropping the necklace and turning on his heel to hurry off out of the casino. He had to shove between two blinded security officers, one of whom grabbed him to keep him from leaving. With a few words under his breath, Sparks delivered a weak charge, just enough to make the man unable to fully control his muscles, and thus slip his grip with relatively little trouble. Looks like we don't need the alarm. By the way, please check the security cameras. I want to know who set me up. If we're being targeted by someone, I want to know as much about them as we can find out.
    You got it~
    Dancer replied, and she was off into the invisible flow of wireless signals. Their security is good, she added, as the pair of Asylums dodged past people. It may take me a bit to get into their records.
    Just do your best,
    he replied, reaching the door and pushing out into the sunlight. Once outside, he kept moving. Bits gave him a nudge, and indicated the direction of the birdie. "Right, that's a ways off," he commented. They were in central Vegas, and had to get to the edge. "Best use our ride," he decided, heading for where they'd left their rental, an adorable silver Tesla.

    ((Edited))
    ((Edited again))
     
    #10 shylarah, Feb 6, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  11. Five days prior...

    "Okay, they about a hundred yards from the intersection Jumbo."

    "Are you diverting them towards me?"

    "No, I'm pushing them towards them closer into town so that they can cause havoc." A man's voice replied sarcastically as he walked down the moon illuminated alleyway "Of course I am nimrod. Poe has been keeping tabs on them while I got everything set in place. As long as you are ready for the trio to run into you we are set."

    "How can you be so sure this plan will work?" Al said as he pulled Sandula out from underneath his clothing in case an unlikely event occurred in which the necklace would need to be quickly accessed.

    "The kid is no older that seventeen at most. You've seen how he has been following his uncle's men like an incompetent puppy and without a doubt at the first sign of an incident he'll bolt and run to where his uncle and the other men was before we handled them. The other two will follow quickly in tow since they are in charge of babysitting the boss's nephew. As long as things go smoothly, we'll be out of this town in no time."

    "Just don't mess things up Sheriff."

    "Do you think I mess things up like this just to screw with you?"

    "Your antics don't tell me otherwise?" Al said in mock anger as he pulled out Death's Kiss and tested it with a few swings as he waited for the prey to arrive.

    Hearing the footsteps of the trio slowly reaching the three-way intersection, Keith pulled out his gun and slowly meandered down the alleyway towards the intersection. It was times like this he wondered if he should invest in a melee weapon for the sake of intimidation without having to fire a single round as a warning and potentially wake up the slumbering town.

    "Stop!"

    His loud, booming voice was enough to halt the trio momentarily as they watched Keith cock his gun and raised it towards their direction and rapidly made his way closer to them. It didn't take long before the kid started to run with the other two following quickly in pursuit.

    "You better stop!" Keith said as he picked up speed and ran after the trio just far enough down the alleyway that he knew that they wouldn't stop until it was too late and would reach Al. Although he was technically the muscles of the duo due to size, Al's fighting skills was superior to his own and he knew that leaving Al off on his own with the trio wouldn't be a problem.

    Lighting a cigarette Keith waited for his partner to return who he knew far too well would be energized from excitement from the battle. As he waited, he heard a distant caw from Poe who he knew would be watching the battle and although he looked up out of instinct, knew far too well that even with the lights the city was emitting he wouldn't be able to see the raven. It didn't matter though. Poe would return if something out of the ordinary happened to report the situation. But Keith already knew there was nothing to worry about.

    "I thought you said you were quitting those." Al said, slapping the cigarette out of Keith’s hand with a look of disapproval.

    "I said I would, I just didn't tell you when."

    "Give me the box." Al demanded with his hand out.

    "Come on, just let me have these last few."

    "No. They are unhealthy and they smell wretched. I can't stand having you smell like cigarettes again." Once given the box, Al threw them away in the closest garbage can they passed as the duo made their way back to the main road. His clothes were already removed of any bloodstains with the help of a little alchemy but he was more than ready to head back and get a change of clothes.

    The present day...

    "I told you we should have left sooner. Thanks to these stupid bimbos and the drunkards causing the foot traffic here in sin city to be painstakingly slow we're going to be late." Huffed Al as he tried to maneuver around the offending group of people. "Seriously, you'd they would at least know how to use the sidewalk. It should be illegal to stumble around the city drunk. It would clear up the streets of these moronic people so everyone else wouldn't have to suffer."

    "Calm down, we'll be fine." Keith said knowing far too well that the only reason Al even more high strung than usual was is due to his obsession of having things perfect and being late was far from his mentality of keeping things in perfection. "We aren't very late. I doubt it will cause any problems. Besides, I can feel the presence of the other A.M.R.O agents nearby. We are almost there. Seriously though, jut take a deep breath. This isn't something to get worked up about."

    As the building where the Asylums came into view, the duo could hear Angel's voice giving them directiont about the game that was to take place. A small smile crept up Al lips as he listened, his intention was already focused on winning. "Come on, let's go Sheriff." Al said as he pulled Keith away from the front door as the commotion within started.

    "I'll get Poe up into the air." Keith said so that the two could both monitor if any Asylums came nearby as well as locate the quickest way out of the city.

    "Good." Al said hoping that the head start they've been given by not being held up by the security might give them the extra edge they need. He wasn't fond of being late but it seemed like this time around it turned out to be useful.
     
    #11 Rina, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  12. The situation rapidly became confusing for both Falcon and Taipan. Time slowed around them as the Lost number and the Chrono spoke, doom permeating the air. The words of the Chrono still rung in the ears of the bird, the cat having paid not much heed. And on a non-existent wind they drifted away as the smoke of the card player's cigarette. Falcon pondered and Taipan growled, the mystery consuming the minds of both.

    The raven was suddenly torn from his thoughts, handed a card or business, recommending him to a therapist as he was insulted by the same for his actions prior to recent events in the same casino that day, involving the cheat of a game and the parting of several men from their funds. He handed the card in disgust and offense to his partner, who sneered and ate the card. Immediately, the predator regretted this decision, finding he was not fond of the taste of paper and ink. Already the bird of war disliked the self-claimed "therapist".

    Taipan recalled a fleeting memory of a boy at Innocence he saw occasionally across the way, sending a razor sharp grin his way. People he knew he scared. This would be fun. "Sparks," he called, offering a hand in greeting. "Pleasure to finally meet you. It's been since Innocence since I saw that face of yours. I remember most your competition scores being shockingly high for your category." joked the flesheater.

    Quickly, a voice was beamed into the duo's head. A game of Catch the Bird was afoot now. Falcon watched as the energy was thrown. As security approached Sparks about a particular diamond necklace, Falcon headed out the door, signaling Taipan to follow as he did. The pair exited quickly, Falcon donning shades, Taipan his hood. They split and began moving in the general direction of the orb, Taipan slipping into an alleyway to traverse the rooftops, Falcon traversing by cab-hopping.
     
  13. At the Casino Heading to the Outskirts

    “They sure are in a hurry.”

    “Well they’d be stupid not to use the diversion.”

    The bright flash only affected those in front, but those behind were not moving either. They remained rooted to the spot while trying to figure out what just happened. Cameron grabbed Seira’s wrist and lead her through the gap created by the other team. One of the braver guards yelled for them to stop, but neither paid him any heed. With the lead they had, there was no way ordinary casino guards could catch up. Feeling cheeky, Seira turned behind and waved.

    “See you!” She crooned happily, as she waved to the bossy lady and the Knightess. The rest of the Asylums were not in sight.

    “Taunting them won’t do us any good,” her stoic partner pointed out coolly. “They still have time to catch up.”

    “We could get a ride out of here. Like a cab.” Seira suggested, as she leaned against the wall, smiling at the few passers-by who gave her a second look. “They are more readily available.”

    Cameron thought for a moment. Catching a cab was a good choice, but still not fast enough. They’d probably need a motorcycle or something. Urgh! The entire situation was not ideal. Hijacking a motorcycle was far too obvious. Of course, they could always use Alchemy, as long as they remained unseen. The teen whipped out his phone and clicked the map application. Grid-like squares appeared. Cams changed to something with an aerial view.

    “Cams! Faster!”

    “Shut up, okay? I’m thinking.”

    “Well, think faster.”

    “Got it! You won’t like it but it’ll work.”

    Seira quirked a delicate eyebrow, but decided to keep quiet as she followed Cameron’s lead. The two backtracked and entered one of the alleys. It took awhile for her eyes to adjust to the dim light. She made a face when she noticed Cams squatting down in front of manhole. Her blonde partner chuckled as he pried the cover. The prissy girl look positively ill at the thought of waddling in cesspit below.

    “I hate you.” She grumbled sulkily.

    She could have sworn he rolled his eyes as he climbed down first. Sour fumes drifted from below. She coughed a little and clamped a hand tightly over her mouth. The first thing she thought of was her pretty shoes. Cursing Cams under her breath, the girl closed her eyes and began focusing on channeling Alchemy into her shoes. She muttered under her breath. Feeling herself stumble slightly as her heels grew flatter, Seira threw out her hands to regain her balance. Her mouth kept moving as her concentration remained unbroken. Her feet and ankles grew warm as something began snaking up towards her shins. When she opened her eyes again, she found herself wearing a pair of black rubber boots. The only redeeming grace were the two pink bows decorated the outer sides of either boot. She shook her head. Practical footwear were always so ugly!

    ---------------------​

    Using Alchemy to speed themselves up, the pair zipped through the grimy tunnels following Cams' map. Most of the time they were running forward though occasionally he’d yell for her to turn right or left. Siera kept very quiet. Honestly, she wasn’t too confident about this route. They could be going in circles and she won’t be none the wiser. She was so deep in thought she almost crashed into her partner as he stopped suddenly. He gazed up with his handphone still clutching his hand. The light from the screen illuminating his calm face.

    “If we’re lost, I’m so going to slap you.” She said with a slight huff as she crossed her arms.

    “If I’m right, and we are close to our destination, do I get to slap you?” He asked.

    Seira blinked. He was joking, right? He had never ever treated a girl so harshly before. Then it clicked. He was joking! What the – that was so bad. She clicked her tongue to show her disapproval as she mounted the lowest rung. “Your English is better now, but you really need to learn to tell better jokes.”
     
    #13 Fox of Hearts, Feb 12, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  14. Vegas, City to the Outskirts

    With Bits humming softly along to the radio, Sparks cruised through the streets. Dancer fed him information regarding traffic, location of speed cameras, and other details to get every extra second they could, in a couple instances tweaking the timing on stoplights, using the emergency vehicle frequency as a starting point. Between the two of them, he hardly had to even hit the brakes for the entire trip.

    "I remember the guy with the pale hair," he said aloud. "I recall him working on some technical design. Pretty sure he was still a student at the time, so I didn't think much of it, but after what he pulled back at the casino, I wonder if he had a hand in designing whatever it was. Couldn't have been a flashbang, because there was no bang. Man, I hope he still does that." The man's eyes were lit with excitement. Bits didn't have his interest in machines, and it would be nice to have someone to share that with. She nodded absently. Her mind was already working on their next problem. "It's in the air," she said slowly. "I'm not sure how high up." She tapped her fingers on her thigh, considering. "There are three methods I can think of to get up there. The most obvious would be to use earth. It has the advantage of not needing a landing strategy after. However, it's also a risk of exposure if seen." Bits leaned her head against the window and closed her eyes. "The other two...well, we can use force or acceleration to get up there, but we'd need a /lot/ of power. The same is possible on the way down, but I am reluctant to rely on something so risky. A mistake would be fatal. The other method to break our fall would be to increase air resistance to slow us down." A slight smile crossed her face. "I believe I have a solution," she said. "I'll need to see how many people are around, but we should be fine. It's explainable to anyone that chances upon us."

    "Just in time," Sparks replied with a grin, as he made the last turn from the city road and headed out into the desert. "It's a bit farther out, of course, but there shouldn't be anyone around. Things are going to get rough once we encounter the other teams, since we don't have to hide now. Be careful."
    "The same goes for you," Bits returned. "I'll go for the birdy once we leave the car. You focus on slowing others down then. Until that time, I'll work to delay those we see."

    ((Just double-checking, but there's no one around farther out, where the battle will take place, correct? So we don't need to worry about being seen?))
     
    #14 shylarah, Feb 12, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  15. "You know, we should have found a tiger or something." Keith chuckled as the two ran down the most efficient road in terms of distance and traffic.

    "Seeing that we are in Vegas you're bound to find one if you wanted to, granted finding although it would be a complete waste due to the amount of time it would take to find and release one."

    "It would be worth it though. With all the commotion it would cause in the city it will make the traffic harder to navigate and cause those in vehicles and such to slow down."

    "True. But it doesn't solve our issue of getting out of the city quick enough. Why can't we just use one of the cars here? With your police badge I would think you could snag a car if you wanted to." Al said with an impatient tone.

    "No, it's too slow. We need something faster."

    "Faster? Such as?"

    "That." Pulling out his old police badge, Keith walked up towards a man who has obviously had a bit too much to be behind the wheel. "Excuse me sir. I'm undercover officer Jackson of the LVMPD. I'm going to need to commandeer your vehicle...."

    "What the hell do you..."

    "I am chasing a fugitive and need your vehicle." Keith said, not taking too kindly to the man interrupting him. "If you drive that motorcycle I will make sure that you charged with a DUI and do my best to make sure you receive the maximum penalty, don't tempt me. I'll make sure that you lose that motorcycle of yours." Not waiting for the man to comply, Keith stretched out and his hand so that he man would give him the keys and at the first sign of them, snatched them from the man's hand before he could change his mind. Climbing onto the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650 and starting the ignition, Keith waited for Al to climb on, obviously a bit unsure about riding a motorcycle.

    “You’ve driven one of these before, right?”

    “Well you see…” Keith started to say hesitantly as the two started to drive. “Of course I have. Do you think I’m stupid enough to drive one of these without learning?”

    “Asshole.” Al grumbled although a bit relieved that even though he wasn’t very comfortable on the motorcycle, the man knew what he was doing. “Is KFC keeping up with us?”

    “Poe is doing fine. I had him scout ahead as well as gain a bit of altitude so that he could see the upcoming streets.” Keith retorted with emphasis on the bird’s name. “However a better question is, what do you think is in store for us upon this midnight dreary?”

    “You can ponder it but don’t become weak and weary or we might just become forgotten lore.” Al chimed back, both referring to the famous Poe’s poem that both learned early on after becoming partnered. “Seriously though, don’t screw up. I want to win this.”

    “Haven’t you ever learned that it’s the journey that counts, not whether we win or not or did A.M.R.O brainwash you to the point that you never understood that.” Keith said as the two started to reach the edge of the city. “As long as we are not the losers it doesn’t matter. Someone else can take the opportunity to be bait.”

    “Well as…”

    “We need to stop.” Keith said abruptly as he pulled over to the side of the street.

    “What the hell. We can’t stop now, we need to hurry.”

    “No, we need a plan. The motorcycle won't drive well out there and besides that we need a plan of action.” Keith said mentally worked out a plan that would be sufficient for the situation ahead.

    “Have you figured it out?” Al asked his partner impatiently, knowing far too well that time was of the essence.

    “Of course I did."
     
    #15 Rina, Feb 13, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
  16. Bryn was caught by surprise as the Chrono and the Lost Number started to talk in strange verse. Were these people always going to be this confusing? All that was required was a sign of assurance and an order to kill. That would be all that was required of her, right?

    Then, the Lost Number mentioned her breaking of the law of exposure. She blanched underneath her helm. Did they really know nothing about her as an Asylum? Fighting without armour was a near impossibility for her: and yet they brought her into this public setting. Bryn had assumed that some sort of allowance was to be made for this mission specifically.

    In the moment of confusion, she responded on instinct to the offer of a handshake, and was suddenly met with searing pain. Fire crawled up her arm and through her veins: liquid fire that converged upon her shoulder. It felt like her skin was starting to sear off, in the shape of…something.

    She felt her breathing labour as she slowly rose, staring at the Chrono through the slits of her helm. There was…fear there, but there was also a carefully tempered anger. They were the eyes of a barely controlled beast, understanding of its situation enough that it wouldn’t lash out…yet.

    Casca, during all of this, looked on in horror and disgust. She had pinned down the assailant for long enough, and in rage she placed another dose of venom into him: a lethal dose, at that. He would die, slumped over the craps table, and she would be long gone by the time he was discovered.

    “You charlatan!” Her rage was clearly directed at the Lost Number. The indignity of the situation was beyond reproach. Only she was allowed to manipulate Bryn! Moving over to Bryn’s side, she quickly started to analyse the area of the mark. Using a little basic alchemy, she granted herself the eyes to see through steel, and she saw the shape and scope of the mark. Casca bit her lip in indignation, feeling sorry for Bryn, and by extension, herself.

    It was during this time that the Lost Number announced his game. Make the trip to the Navada desert and retrieve some sort of orb? Ridiculous. It was a waste of her time, and it stopped her having the veritable verbal shit storm she had in store for the lost number. He had robbed her of a chance to defend Bryn: to dismantle the bullshit surrounding this ‘branding’ and destroy the logic of his assumption that she’d broken the law of exposure.

    The other Asylums began to move away from the Lost Number and the Chrono. It seems they were eager to dance to his strings. Casca moved towards him instead, a glare of unhidden hatred on her face. “When this is over, you and I will have a long discussion over the trick you just pulled. Come Bryn, we have some strings to cut.”

    Casca helped Bryn to her feet in time to see a number of security guards surrounding the pair. It seems that a woman in a suit of armour was attracting attention, who would have thought? “I don’t have time for this.”

    Casca put her hand on the floor, a look of concentration forming on her face. “Adam and Eve, come with me. Pluck the apple, eat the seed. Feast on knowledge, succour on life. Learn the meaning of death and strife.” As she finished her small incantation, the guards suddenly paused and dropped their guns, looking around and seemingly ignoring the pair. She had infected them all with a heavy hallucinogenic poison. Right now, they were all seeing colours and in five minutes, they’d have a headache and wander where the cosplayer and her black friend had gone.

    “Bryn, armour off. We are taking the elevator.”

    Without anything further to say, Casca led her partner to the elevator, shooting off one last lethal glare at the Lost Number.

    “There will be no strings attached to me.”
     
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  17. [​IMG]

    “Hey, do you believe in chance?”

    A bombardment of projectors, flashing signs and sounds, vitality and joviality had conquered every corner of the gambling capital of the world. Despite it being the midst of February, the temperature was sharply rising by the second as the youth of the country flooded the niches and brought life to what would otherwise be a barren desert. Magnificent buildings towered over the exuberant mortals as if they were high nobles, who looked down on the lowly peasants whilst shining with the grand design of their attire, decorated with an array of beautiful gems that pleased both eye and hand. Indeed, their luxury was not a mere facade, for their beauty, akin to that of a field of colourful diamonds, was enough to even cast a shadow upon the stars themselves. The welkin was a simple canvas painted in the dark hues of the night. The little lights had all but cowered away, ashamed of their own weakness when compared to the majestic fountains and intricately decorated streets of the royal city. Only the moon, the mistress of this lustful time of darkness, was left watching over the sinful that scoured the earth, her rays calm and reserved, yet never touching the eyes of the humans, who had been blinded by the holy oreol of opportunity. Their souls, corrupted by greed and gluttony or enchanted by the innocent mirage of adventure and entertainment, were parading on the sidewalks where the electric globes illuminated the paths and the leaves of palm trees lightly shivered along with the beat of the nearby clubs. Some youngsters were shouting the lyrics of the latest hit songs as though they were a merry band of recruit soldiers heading out to war without knowing what horrors await them out into the battlefield, whilst others were lurking deep within the shadows, waiting for the very same ignorant festive chicks to flutter an inch or two away from the flock, in order to grab them with their sharp claws or lure them away with their fluffy tails. The show must go on, however, even if one or two actors are missing and who would spot the difference anyway? Such was the evening program of Las Vegas.

    Observing this masquerade of the bitter-sweet conviviality of life were two among the many, a man and a woman not past their thirtieth year. Pressed to the parapet and to each other, each held in their hand a cocktail glass filled almost to the brim with Blue Virgin, a sweet pinching drink, albeit it was pink, quite contrary to the name. The woman, a lovely young lady with long curly milky chocolate brown hair and leafy green eyes, had asked her partner a question and now looked at him with a half curious, half stern expression. The countless little stones on her teal knee-length dress glittered as they sharply reflected the purple light from the short safety wall and the tall lamps around the DJ’s seat, whilst in the background the charade of Vegas continued onwards. They were at Voodoo Lounge, a cozy rooftop nightclub where, while raves rarely occurred, the party was still rolling at full speed and many people were wildly dancing to a remix of one of America’s top 40 songs or taking a break at the hand-like seats. The mis’s companion, a naturally blond young man styling a purpureus shirt under a black waistcoat and jet black jeans, lifted his glass close to his lips, those two playful blue eyes not once breaking their locked gazes.

    “Some say that chance is simply the lack of knowledge of a specific individual. What might be luck to one might be normal for another. Others say that chance is the response of the universe, which is attracted by thoughts and feelings. That’s why those who think positively are likely to get good results and the depressed fall deeper and deeper into the abyss. And there are those that try to solve it as an equation, where one person’s chance is another person’s misfortune. I’m no looney scientist or whatever, but you know what I think?” he kindly explained.
    “Hmmm?” she let out a questioning sound.
    “It doesn’t matter whether or not something exists. You should just enjoy the moment without worrying if it’s real or not.” the man concluded, smiling as always, and moved the glass slightly towards his aqcuaintance.
    For a moment, the woman appeared baffled by the answer, yet shortly after let out a small sigh and smiled as well.
    “A toast for appreciating life for what it is.” she said.
    “A toast.”
    The glasses lightly bumped into each other, after which the both of them drank. The mango flavor tickled their tongues, allowing the vodka to quickly slide down and burn their insides. The man showed to signs of taking damage, for he could stand his ground for much longer. A third glass was nothing to him. Yet his delicate dove was already reddening and becoming more open and talkative.
    “Whatever it was that got me here, chance or whatever, it should have been sooner.” the young lady spoke. “I should’ve met you ages ago, not spend years tossing and turning over such stupid things like deadlines, stress, health, pensions or whatever it was. Intelligent, smart and knows the classiest cocktails! And to think I thought you were a one-night-man!” she chuckled and finished her drink.
    “Everyone has those moments.” he said as he leaned closer. “Some get it over with when they’re 26 and others - when they’re 60. It’s up to you. You decide.”
    “Mmmhmm.” she purred. “I decide I want to get it over with right now.”
    Moving in slowly, both leaned right. Lips touched. Jaws opened. Just when he was getting to the good part, both in his mouth and hands, a loud declaration pierced the young man’s mind:

    "Ladies and gentleman, I would like to interrupt your monotonous night for a special announcement,"
    ‘Я ТВОЮ МАТЬ-’ the blonde gentleman began the curse in his thoughts, yet could not finish, due to the other’s continuation.
    "I am sure you all know the tradition when more than two teams are involved, we play a game and compliance is mandatory.”
    Аре, ЗАЕ-’
    ‘Замолчи, Рио.’
    another harsh voice cut him short this time.
    (Quiet down, Rio)
    “So lets us see who reaches the birdie first, the winner will get a very special surprise."

    Gently parting away from her already weak in submission oral cavity, the blue-eyed man softly asked:
    “How about another drink? One last shot before we call it a night.”
    “Hmmmh.”
    the woman contemplated out loud, yet it was clear that there was absolutely nothing in her mind now that the alcohol from the past three times had settled in.
    “It’ll be red to settle the theme.” he promised and broke away from her, however, while taking a couple of steps towards the bar, he still gazed at his target with a smile, before confidently heading towards his destination.

    ‘Кадди, ты слышал?’ Rio asked the second person, who had silenced him before, telepathically while making his way through the small crowd that had gathered at the rooftop.
    ( Caddy, you heard?)
    ‘Слышал. А ты понял?’ the one at the other end of the line replied.
    ( I listened. And did you understand?)
    ‘Понял. Понял. Тск, глупые американцы.’ the blond hissed with disregard.
    ( I got it. I got it. Tsk, stupid Americans.)
    “Two Red Squares!” he called to the barman when his elbow finally rested on the counter.
    ‘Рио, мы должни делаем то, что они упорадочили. Никакой упрямсво.’
    (Rio, it is our duty to do that, which they have ordered. Don’t be stubborn.)
    ‘Хорошо. А где вы, Ваше Благородие?’ the youngster sighed and brought up his co-worker’s nickname, which had been pinned by none other than the player himself.
    ( Alright. And where are thou, your Majesty?)
    ‘Где-нибуд в парке Кларк Уэтлендс.’
    ( Somewhere in Clark Wetlands park.)
    ‘You’re in the wetlands?! Why the heck did you go there?’ Rio suddenly switched over to English.
    ‘Я положил конец двые истoрий.’ the other coldly replied.
    ( I put an end to two stories.)
    ‘Oh, those two rouge drug dealers you were talking about? Good. The birdie went west, by the way. How fast can you get to the hotel?’
    “Thank you~” Rio thanked the barman and headed to his girl with the two cocktail glasses.
    ‘Десять-петнадцать минут.’
    ‘Ten to fifteen minutes, huh? Got it. Meet you at the parking lot in fourteen minutes then.’
    ‘До встречи’
    ( Later. )
    ‘Oh, and Cad.’
    ‘Что?’
    ‘Switch to English, will ya? We’re in Vegas. My head’s a mess with constantly switching. Later~’

    With that the soundless communication ended, not a word of comeback to be made. He, who stood amidst the dark tall grass listening to the toad chorus whilst the city’s heartbeat could be heard echoing in the distance, could only put away in his pocket the red-stained piece of cloth he had been using to wipe away the memory from the surface of his blade. Cadmus Vesel, a man at the age of twenty seven, enjoyed the relative serenity the surroundings had to offer, yet wasted not a minute to indulge in such a peace and quickly placed his sword back into the right side compartment of his black guitar case. Albeit he was only three years older than his partner - Rio, the difference between them was evident.
    While his comrade had fancied jumping from club to club and from person to person, this black-haired individual had followed the scent of two rouge alchemists who had started an illegal drug business, which had quickly flourished, due to their powers being connected to plant development and water. The trail had lead him to their hideout, a small house near the wetlands of Vegas. Upon being confronted by the law of the underworld, the boys initially tried to fight back, but none of their attacks could even scratch the soldier. He allowed them to run off to the park, where they thought they would have the upper hand, yet it was merely the perfect execution ground. No witnesses. No sound. They had ruined the lives of many teenagers and most likely broken apart families. The quick death penalty was not an adequate enough punishment, yet the duo themselves were young, thus the silencer chose to give them their second chance faster, without any more pain from their current existence.

    Having fulfilled his obligation to the organization he was a part of, Cadmus prepared for another mission. It was the first task their team had been given by the Chrono they were to answer to for the duration of the Las Vegas assignment and, although both he and Rio’s loyalties still belonged to X, Cadmus nonetheless intended to follow protocol and obey VI and their Lost Number. While walking out of the park lands the one thing that puzzled the Asylum was why it was the partner that announced the game and not the Chrono themself. Once at the corner of Wetlands Park Lane and Hollywood Circle, the man took out a white chalk pencil and drew small symbols under both of his shoes, one on each hand, one on the back of his brown long coat and one on the front of his white shirt. They were all small parts of one sigil, which used his power over the phenomenon of vibration as a sigillum cast that would nullify any sound his body made, in other words, make him absolutely soundless. With the spell fully working, the man stood in place and concentrated entirely in himself, in order to commence a motem cast. Jumping once and tapping his shoes twice left and thrice right, a vibration was created from underneath him strong enough to send him upwards at a precisely 69 degrees angle. When in the air he strived to remain still, yet once he started descending, he clapped his hands four times, in order to create a cushion vibration, which allowed him to safely land at the corner of Jimmy Durante Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue. The moment his feet touched the ground, however, Cadmus continued the motem tap dance, which again sent him up to East Harmon Avenue. This form of alchemy was one of the easiest options for motem casters, namely because only the legs and feet were in use and there was a wide variety of steps, squats, twists and turns one could make. He continued the dance until finally exiting the residential area. At the corner where Algonquin Drive met East Twain Avenue he teleported under the bridge of West Flamingo Road where it went over Dean Martin Drive. There, he dusted away the white pencil, effectively breaking the seal. The rest of the way to the parking lot of the hotel he walked. The entire journey from start to finish took him precisely 13 minutes and 49 seconds.

    “Almost caught you late there, partner.” Rio joked when the two of them met up. “And I’m even ahead of you.” he added while readjusting his turquoise glasses.
    “You’ll either be too early or too late.” Cadmus pointed out calmly.
    “Looks like someone switched to English! Great, now we’ll blend in nicely.”
    “It’s surprising “blend in” made it in your dictionary pages.” the dark-wavy-haired man sighed. “I presume you got a car.”
    “Yep, right here.” the youngster admitted and tossed the keys in the air, only for them to land once more in his right hand. “Ten to fifteen minutes. Just as you said.” he winked.
    “... What was it?”
    “Some human-lover you turn out to be. A woman, of course.” Rio told him with a smirk as they headed towards the car. “Took her keys and wiped her memory clean. And if it didn’t work, all that vodka would have anyway.”
    “It’ll be troublesome to get her out of the room, though.” his comrade said while getting and resting his back on the seat beside the driver. He had no intention to drive after he had cleaned up, tap danced and lept through a portal to get here.
    “No worries. She’s not in our room.”
    “... Should I even ask?” Cadmus muttered with a sigh. Even if he didn’t, the blond would tell him later and “later” might not be the right time.
    “Well, now, if you insist.” Rio chirped as he started the engine and got the vehicle running. “While you’ve been running around for the past two days scanning the city, making notes and memorizing important routes, I’ve been doing some collector’s work of my own. The cleaning lady on our floor is quite the sweetheart, you see. Poor thing. She’s in her thirties, too. Gave her a bit of service once or twice, getting rid of her memory every time. With only a few rounds I managed to copy all of her keys. Just left little Miss Number Five in one of the empty rooms.”
    “And the security cameras?” Cadmus inquired, unfazed by what he had been told.
    “The one on our floor has been in maintenance since we got there.” Rio happily replied. “Oh, and I got us two VIPs for XS from Miss Number Three.”
    “Return them.” the grey-green-eyed man ordered.
    “No way. And let them go to waste?” the younger said while waving the passes with one hand. “She broke up with her boyfriend and said she’d be leaving town. These babies would have been just a sorrowful paper memory. How about you come along this time, huh? Loosen up. Break a leg.”
    “Води, Рио.” ( Drive, Rio )
    “Ok, ok.”

    Avoiding the busy roads and heading down the little streets, the team went around the western suburbs until finally leaving the car at the end of Altra Avenue, the very edge of Las Vegas.

    “Would you look at that.” Rio smirked. “Nothing like what we have back home.”

    What stretched before them was a dry wasteland of rocky mountains, pebbly sand and small strands of grass and bushes, all of which were under the veil of darkness and looked like a sea in the underworld. They would have to enter this forsaken land to find the treasure of their hunt and would likely come in contact with other competitors, thus both Cadmus and Rio were on guard.
     
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  18. The anomaly
    “You realize you have been trouble since the moment you joined A.M.R.O?”

    Angel’s head lazily scanned his surroundings, his attempts to locate the source leading him to stare into a dark alley straight into the abyss that shrouded a familiar nuisance. “I was wondering who would be mobilized, have to say I am surprised you were the one.” The Crimson Asylum replied in his usual nonchalant demeanor. “I thought you hated politics, surely you aren’t here to cast unwarranted accusations.”

    “You two have always been an unpredictable variable in our equation. There is no understanding you; it’s like reading a book without pages or deducing time from a broken clock. The Director may be able to ignore your antics but how long till the votes are cast and the Reapers……Reaped?” From the seasoned tone, it was clear who ever was conversing with XIII was well into his forties and someone who bold enough to face a demon.

    “Have you…contemplated the possibility that you equation is flawed?” He crowed as a wicked smirk slowly spread across the Reaper’s face. “Are you aware of the omnipotence paradox?” Angel mused out loud, his coffin being placed on the floor so as to make a bench. “Can an omnipotent being create a rock so big that it is unable to lift it? If yes, it seizes to be omnipotent. If no, it seizes to be omnipotent.” As XIII continued, his right fingers melodically tapped the frame of his spectacles.

    “Do you understand the anomaly; can your equation create a problem that it can’t solve? Quite a conundrum this causes, so I suppose I can understand the disarray and confusion amidst the top brass.”

    “Tread carefully; you are playing a very dangerous game.”

    Despite the clear warning, XIII merely shrugged his shoulders and walked off while dragging the metal coffin behind him and reciting what appeared to be a prayer.

    Nescio quid post mortem
    Quid ego novi
    infernum est ante mortem

    ------------------Xx--------xX------------------
    Rena couldn't help but giggle, her hands covering her mouth as if trying to keep her enthusiasm in control. Like a small child discovering an amusing secret and unable to wait for it to unravel.

    "So my dear little partner you will not tell of this little secret to Rin, now let us have some fun?" Angel whispered carefully into the Chrono's ear, his hands gently ruffling her hair. "You should go on ahead and enjoy yourself, I have to keep an eye on a....lizard that has joined us," the Crimson Asylum continued, a fiendish smirk spreading across his face.
    "You mean Lexix, Yay! He is such a funny little man. But I guess ill let you play with him first dad, though I'll be upset if you kill him without me okay?" The devlish little Chrono replied, her innocent smile and tone almost making her morbid words sound angelic.

    After a slight pause of contemplation, Angel finally conceded, giving in to his partner's pouts. "Alright fine, I will not kill him now scurry on child." He spoke, his hands gesturing the Chrono to 'shu'.

    --------------Xx--------xX---------------

    “Yipee, time to get started!” The Chrono cheered herself on as she twirled around playfully in her doll-ish dress. In tandem to her jovial motion the ground beneath her feet appeared to break as if exposed to tremendous weight. Once Rena had regained her composure a crater, 6 feet in diameter, had been formed beneath her feet where the child appeared to be suppressing dense gravity. An example of this situation would be like forcing the world’s largest metal spring in a tiny box, hence making that box highly volatile. To put it simply Rena had created a super trampoline.

    “Alley-oop,” the Chrono chirped before suddenly being pushed up into the atmospheric boundary layer, the sheer velocity rocketing her towards the direction of the outskirts. In a matter of minutes the child had reached her destination with a dramatic flair synonymous to the Reapers. As soon as Rena’s feet connected with the ground she dispelled all the force and velocity her body had endured, substituting it with the ground beneath her. The aftermath was a shockwave carrying enough intensity to stir up a cluster of sand and dust, impairing vision and movement.

    “Who wants to play first?”
     
  19. Shock and Awe continued darting through the many alleyways and side streets leading towards where they sensed the “birdie” was. Based on Cams’ calculations they should be nearing the desert, which was probably a mixed blessing. Fighting in the sand was bound to slow them down, but on the other hand falling into sand was going to hurt far less than landing on hardened asphalt. Seira was growing bored of communicating telepathically with her partner when he was clearly not even paying attention. She opened her mouth to repeat what she just told him, when Cameron whipped around and pressed his finger to his lips. He motioned for Seira look. There on the streets were two males strategizing.

    “Why?” Seira thought.

    “Because of him.” Cams replied in a breathy whisper as his finger pointed to one Asylum in particular.

    Seira stared. Oh gosh! The younger member of the opposing team looked too familiar. She vaguely remember seeing him around at Innocence, but couldn’t quite remember his name. Albert? Aaron? August? She only remembered it sounding like a mobster. Cameron stifled a snicker and she kicked him. He leaned back and gave her a “what were you thinking” look.

    “Hey at least I remembered the first letter of his name.”

    “Right.” Came that mocking voice inside her head.

    She fingered her necklace nervously in anticipation for what she hoped would be a glorious battle. The two of them versus the A guy and his teammate. Cameron had other plans. He instructed his partner to create a barrier to block off the road. She stared at him before nodding. This was not the first time they were going to split up. She definitely didn’t like it but she’d go along with his plan. Her blonde partner seemingly vanished, but she could hear the tell-tale pitter patter as he ran towards the road. An obvious ploy to call attention to their team. She sighed and pulled off her necklace. No time for velvet gloves!

    As Cameron ran down the road, he continued forward as he heard the characteristic crack of Seira’s weapon. Just as he slipped pass the barrier he looked back for a bit and saw Siera recalling the dart back to her. She twirled the weightier head around in her hands before flinging it once more in the Al’s direction. She gave him a playful wink. He rolled his eyes. Why wasn’t she going all out? A single dart was not going to scare anyone. Seriously! What was she thinking?

    Hearing a girly protest at the back of his head, Cams quickly tried to block off his partner as he rounded the corner. No he wasn’t going to let her in on his plan just yet. It was far too risky, and knowing her, she’d definitely throw a tantrum if she wasn’t happy with what he had in mind. Thinking it was safe, the rookie Asylum dispelled his current cast, and he took a deep breath. He was fairly confident the teams are just about to arrive. Mainly due to the fact that were no obvious sounds of fighting in the vicinity – no projectiles and other overt signs of Alchemy at work.

    The tall boy was staring in the direction of the orb when he notice a cloud bursting in all directions just underneath the orb. He raised his arms to shield his eyes in anticipation though it didn’t quite reach where they were. This indicated that the orb was still quite a distance away. He was so distracted by the spectacle that he barely heard the honking from behind. Turning around at the he very last minute, he barely leaped out of the way, as a car sped off into the distance. A cloud of dust was left in its wake. Cams coughed intermittently as he squinted, but failed to spot anything significant. Though he heard the loud crunching sound of the wheels running over the sand and gravel. He wondered briefly if the driver was going to risk driving out so far. That’s unless he (or she) wanted to risk damaging their vehicle.
     
  20. Vegas outskirts

    Sparks cursed softly under his breath as the car lost traction yet again. "Bits, give me a hand with the desert, would you? I can't drive well on this stuff. How are we doing in terms of competition?" he asked, resting one hand on the dash to invoke a bit of alchemy. A murmured phrase, and he'd let a good amount of air out of the tires, improving their traction.

    "Well, there's the guy you nearly ran down at the edge of town," she replied, grabbing a couple of the water bottles she had stashed at her feet and twisting them open. "Two vehicles, though it looks like one team is abandoning theirs. The other team we stopped. They must have something else in mind. And I believe there's a bird that belongs to a third group, so they must be somewhere around here as well. I don't know where the other teams are. Not far, I would imagine. And clearly that sand plume earlier wasn't one of them, or they are having trouble getting to the goal, because we've not been told the game's over.” Bits made a face, but spun her fingers to draw the water from the bottles, rolling down her window to send it out and in front of the car to dampen the sand in front of them with a broad wave. She then scooped her hands and pushed them forward to pull the moisture from the sand after they passed over it and bring it back around front to reuse. She smiled a little as the car managed to grip the ground and their speed increased once again.

    “What's your plan for the birdy?” Sparks asked her, after using a touch of alchemy to coax extra efficiency from the engine. “It seems to be up in the air.”

    “I'm going to teleport up,” his sister responded as she checked behind them yet again for other teams. Thus far, they seemed to be in the lead -- with the exception of whatever was right under the birdy. “And a wingsuit should keep me from landing too hard on the way down. If I'm too low the first time, I'll just port farther up until I'm -- wait, do you sense that?" Her expression turned into a frown.

    "Huh? Oh, yes I do. Wait, a sec, that's not an Asylum under the bird, that's our Chrono. What's she doing there?" Sparks sounded confused. "I mean, yeah they watch us, but...she's right in the way, especially if folks decide to fight." Sparks was never keen on fighting other Asylum teams. "What's she thinking?"

    "I believe this game has another layer our previous games did not," Bits replied grimly. "It's clearly a challenge. To get to the finish, we have to go through her. That makes this a lot harder."

    "We won't be able to do it alone," her brother mused, voice turning thoughtful. "At the very least, we'll need another team to provide a distraction." He ventured a glance at the woman next to him, and smiled at her expression. "Teaming up?" she complained. "Do we /have/ to?" But Bits was not stupid. They needed help, and it would be better to be forthright instead of duplicitous about their intentions. "But only until the Chrono's out of the way. Who did you have in mind?"

    "Cameron," was the immediate reply. "He helped us once, so he's already open to it. Plus we owe him -- and we know where he is after almost flattening him, more or less, and it's not too far." Sparks was already easing off the accelerator, and sending a mental line to the man he hoped would be an ally. Hey, we have a problem out here, he told Cam, as the car coasted to a gentle stop. Got a Chrono camping under the birdy, most likely intending to kick the behind of anyone that comes near. I don't relish the idea of facing her with just me and Bits. Would you and your partner like to lend a hand until the Prodigy is dealt with?