SIDE ARC Fractured Dimensions

rissa

the clairvoyant pterodactyl
Original poster
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N E V E R N O R M A L
phase 2: b l o o d b a t h














ḟ̴̧͇̪̘̦̮͖͎͙̠͍͙̤̖̜̯̠̦̳̗̲̼̪̝͉̘͙̖͙̯̞̘̖̭̻̯̙̣̀̍͜ͅŗ̷̤̜̤̼̹̫̲͉̹͓̤̲̗̝̪̫̗͉̜̤͍͇̜͚̙̗̂̊̀̓͗̌͊̋̂̿̔͂̋̀͒͆͆̾̽͋̑͊̌̿̂̂̓̌̅̃̏̎̾̄̍̆̕̚̕͜͝͝ą̶̢̢̙͓͔͉̯͔̝̬̜̹̜̞̬̞̝͇̤̩̯̥̳̘͍̼͇̞͙̤͍͕͙͈̅̓̿͒̀́͆͐̐̄̔̓̎̓̽͌̌̓̅͆̔͗͐͂͐̇͘̕̕͜͜c̵̡̨͔͎̠̮͇̙̞̩͍̮̦͎̖̰̙͈̺̰̙͚͍̠̼͕̜̗̼̪͑̏̂̓̄̓̉̆̑̐͊͗̇͋̏͋̈̉͛̓͌̃̔͐̍͋͌̎́̀̏̏̄̏͊̕̚̚͜͝͝͠ͅt̷̖̙͕͖͚̜̫͎̗͈̬̻͖̠͕̟̳̠͈̖̖̋ͅų̴̡̨̧͎̗͔͉̯̥͙̪̹͚̦̥̟̠͙̖̟̭͉̗̖̭̻͙͔̥̬̖̜̰͚̤̣͚̊̈̍̊̐͐̌̐͊̏͐̔͋͒̿̀͜ͅr̷̢̧̢̧̛̖̪̞̻͈̭͎͇͍̣͎̳͔͔̣̯͎͖͍̟͈̺͚͚̙͕̗̯͚̦̼̟͓͓̹̾̋͋̉̇͒̇̿̀̎̌̌͛̀̓̂͘̕̕͜ͅͅė̵̡̨̧̞̙͚̝̼͓̯̭͈̯̲̘̖̭̻͎̺͚̳̩̜͔̮͔͇͖̤͍̝̖̫͈̪͊̈͐̓́͂͜͜ͅd̶̢̢͇͍͇͚͎͚͕͖̱̥̩̂͊̀͒̾͒̄͑̌̇̀̄̀̌̓̉̿̑̈́͗̅͜ͅ ̷̡̡͖̮̥͎̼̺̝̘͔̞͎̤̘̥̪̞̖̝̳̣̙͓̱͖͙̣̺̹̮͈̪͔̺̥̼̼͔̥̝͓̯̒̌̏̄̈́̔̋͑́͛́͋̾͊̔̽̔̽͋̉̈́̐̈́̌̆̒͗̈́͘͝͝͠ḋ̴̨̢̨̢̧̢̡͎͎̳̝͎͖̼̪͓̱͖͇̦̙̯̭͉̭͈͍͎̗̮͉́̒̉̈́̅͂̐̀̉̑̇͘̚͜͜ͅȋ̶̢̢̩̙̜̻̟̤͕̖̟̪̰͓̟̓̑̓͑̂͊̐͛̂̋̓̀̃͊̂̍̏͒̐̈̅̑̏͊́̅̒̇̒́̇̏̕̕͝͝͝͝͠͝ͅm̶͎̄̍̍͑̉̂͘ẻ̴̢̢̛͓͙̞̦̹͕̯͎̗̬̹̠̳̬̬̩̪̭̺̰̘̣͎͈̻̟͔͕͍͎̹̗̮̻̙̭̜̘͔̖̗͈͛̄̄͒̍͂̈̈͗̂̽̀̍́̇̿̽͒͌̈́͒̎̔̍̍͌̔̒̃̂͝͝͝͝͝͠n̴̡̢̙̰̺̥̠̟͚͔̦͓͔̳̪̗̗̖͔̗̫͙̽̔̔̾̓̓͆̽̈́͑͗͊̒̒͊̽͊̒̾́̄̄̕͘͝͝͝͝s̸̢̡̧̢̢̨̡̧̡̨̢̛͕̠͓͉̞̯̯̤̼͔̪͚̙̱̥̮̭͚͔͎̬̙̭̱̝̞̥̙̰̭͒͌͋̀͒́̀́̽̒̿̓̎̅̀̆͛̋̚ͅͅi̴̡͍͔͈̦̐̏̊͆̚ͅơ̴̢͖͇̱̞̫̠͙̣̼̫̜͇̜͍͓͓̦̪̦̝͕̣͇̞͔̲̣̙̞͎͙̥͚̪̅͂͑̂̾̉̎̀̔̑̀́̓̒̾̄̂̆̌̃̀̇̉͛̿̾̔̉́͋̓̄͋͊̾͌͂͘͜͝͠n̶̡̡̨̨̛̛͍̼̳͓̰͇̩̳̺̥͚̺̤͇̙̼̖̹͍͙͙̘̗͉͎̖̯͇̖̅͋̑͂̄̄̆̓̊̀̓̅͗̊͒̈̐̒̂͛̔̏̏͜͜͝͝ͅș̷̢̢̢͖͈͎̝͎͓̯̣̤̣̰̳̤̲̤̺̮̼̖̳̣͙̤̹̩̙͍̥̯̙̒͋́͛͑͜ͅͅͅͅ​











A lone figure arrived a moment before a loud clap of thunder. She donned the iconic four-pointed star of the prolific superhero group, Starteam, and wore a suit so white and bright it almost hurt to look at. Jupiter took to the air, her long gold-brown hair rising with the static energy that suddenly swelled around her, and spoke in a surprisingly soft voice. “Good work, boys.”

She said it neither unkindly nor mockingly and from behind her partial cowl, a soft, reassuring smile could be seen. However, she gestured towards the nearest alley, signaling without saying that it was now their time to leave. Without looking to see if they did so, Jupiter released a wave of energy straight towards the quickly approaching automatons. Bolts of white-blue lightning streaked and zigzagged their way across and throughout the plaza, though none made their way towards Miles or Willem.

Small claps of thunder sounded with each impact and although most hit their target, the wave of automatons kept coming. It didn’t seem to phase Jupiter, however, as a hungry smile stretched across her face. “Go,” Jupiter shouted, “It’s not going to be safe for much lo—”

Jupiter turned, eyes alight with confusion and worry as she witnessed a stark yellow-white portal open up behind both of the men. She didn’t have time to reach them or shout another warning before they were both swallowed and dropped into the unknown.








m̶̧̨̯͍̯̳̩̰̙͍̗̫̞͖̦̩̤̞͙͚͙͂̀̀͐̐͊͂̆͛̍̈̄͊̾̅̈́́̽͊͒̈́̐̾̍̒͂̓̐̑͆̔̆͒͐̔̕͜͝͝͝ḛ̷͔̲͉̳̖̤͕̥̈́͗̄́̍̀͆͋͌͂͋̊̎̅͗̇̆̀͐̾̀̅͐̿͛̃̎̕͠͝a̴̢̧̡̢̩̘̫̳̹̮̼͓̙͇͍̭̜̭̬͚̠̱͓̲̦͇̖̭̙̻̺͎̘̘̜̘͓̠̾̈́̍̆̈́͌͐͗͜͜͠n̵̢̢̡̧̞̬̦͓̘̻̱̠͖͎̩͚̫̤̩̖̓͆͂̾̓̎̊̉̽͛́̊̾̍̋͂̾̾͐͆̋̐̎͒̕͘͘͘͜͜͝͠͝͝ͅͅw̴̡̢̨̡̡͎̙͍͎͉̜̟̳̝̘͈̗̝͍̯͓̫͕̝̟̣͓̺̣̦̭̟̤͎̭̦͇̐̾̂́̓̒̀͊̔͜͜ͅͅḩ̶̛̪̭̬̮̻͍̺̮͈̰̟̰̣͕̖͇͎̝̜͓͓̤͎͊̋̀͛̑̔̃̽̈́̉̒̈́͒̏̓̂̏͊̐̾̈́̐̍́̄̂͛̍̎́̍̌̔̏̓̈́̕̚̚̕͠ͅi̷͈̣̩͕̝̤̪͇̠̜̬̺̜̗̹̝͇̤̟̟̬̻̦̯̗̙̠̠͌͊́̍͑̐͒̑̐̐̕͘̕͜͜ͅl̴̨̢̧̮̲̞̮͇̤͙͇͚̬͈͇͍̥͔̖͈̭̹̹̝̹̃͑̒͌̐̊̓̈́̒̑͊͑̚̚͝͝e̴̡̝̯͎͎͓̘̣̞͓̗̻̙͚͕̝͈̟̾̃̃́͐̑͛͒͗͊̔̉̅̋́̐̓̇̋̈́͊͐̃̏̃̌̓͂̋́̊̀̚̚͘͘͘͝ͅ​







Suddenly, the pleading, desperate, nearly inhuman screech emanating from the industrial park became overbearing. Glass quivered and shattered all throughout the park and Jolene, caught in the middle of whatever was happening, would find herself dazed and confused within the commotion. Within seconds of the newly invigorated scream, Jolene would find herself growing woozy, as if something was assaulting her senses. She would notice, if just barely, a shoulder-width portal open up beneath her feet and slowly and then all at once, consume her.








m̶̧̨̯͍̯̳̩̰̙͍̗̫̞͖̦̩̤̞͙͚͙͂̀̀͐̐͊͂̆͛̍̈̄͊̾̅̈́́̽͊͒̈́̐̾̍̒͂̓̐̑͆̔̆͒͐̔̕͜͝͝͝ḛ̷͔̲͉̳̖̤͕̥̈́͗̄́̍̀͆͋͌͂͋̊̎̅͗̇̆̀͐̾̀̅͐̿͛̃̎̕͠͝a̴̢̧̡̢̩̘̫̳̹̮̼͓̙͇͍̭̜̭̬͚̠̱͓̲̦͇̖̭̙̻̺͎̘̘̜̘͓̠̾̈́̍̆̈́͌͐͗͜͜͠n̵̢̢̡̧̞̬̦͓̘̻̱̠͖͎̩͚̫̤̩̖̓͆͂̾̓̎̊̉̽͛́̊̾̍̋͂̾̾͐͆̋̐̎͒̕͘͘͘͜͜͝͠͝͝ͅͅw̴̡̢̨̡̡͎̙͍͎͉̜̟̳̝̘͈̗̝͍̯͓̫͕̝̟̣͓̺̣̦̭̟̤͎̭̦͇̐̾̂́̓̒̀͊̔͜͜ͅͅḩ̶̛̪̭̬̮̻͍̺̮͈̰̟̰̣͕̖͇͎̝̜͓͓̤͎͊̋̀͛̑̔̃̽̈́̉̒̈́͒̏̓̂̏͊̐̾̈́̐̍́̄̂͛̍̎́̍̌̔̏̓̈́̕̚̚̕͠ͅi̷͈̣̩͕̝̤̪͇̠̜̬̺̜̗̹̝͇̤̟̟̬̻̦̯̗̙̠̠͌͊́̍͑̐͒̑̐̐̕͘̕͜͜ͅl̴̨̢̧̮̲̞̮͇̤͙͇͚̬͈͇͍̥͔̖͈̭̹̹̝̹̃͑̒͌̐̊̓̈́̒̑͊͑̚̚͝͝e̴̡̝̯͎͎͓̘̣̞͓̗̻̙͚͕̝͈̟̾̃̃́͐̑͛͒͗͊̔̉̅̋́̐̓̇̋̈́͊͐̃̏̃̌̓͂̋́̊̀̚̚͘͘͘͝ͅ​








THREE HOURS AND THIRTY MINUTES

Voltae’s odd reflection answered her call, appearing with a sudden yellow-white ring around her eyes. There was a curious expression in her face that hadn’t been there a moment before and the reflection continued to stare with a sense of contemplative judgement. After a moment or two, the reflection reached out to Voltaeiche, slowly placing her palm against the glass nearest Voltae’s own hand. It glanced between them, as if it expected her to mimik the gesture.

When it wasn’t reciporcated immediately, the odd reflection backed away, haughtily and almost angry, and disappeared a moment later.

ONE HOUR AND TEN MINUTES

As Louis traveressed the dimensional mall, he would realize that despite the fact that it was eerily empty, spookily silent, and otherwise unperturbed even by dust, the mall was like any other. The decorum was still a rather dull, lifeless grey, but it was well stocked with all kinds of goods and merchandise that was real and solid to the touch. Removing an item from a store or stand wouldn’t set off any alarms and from the wide range of stores listed on the map, it suggested there was quite the variety.

If Louis decided to look at the gifted map, he would now notice two dots, one the color of his glow in the exact spot he was in, and one he could only assume was Voltaeiche. No matter what he did-- walk forward, back, or side to side, the dot on the map would react in kind. Perhaps a little disconcerting, but also quite useful. For now, everything seemed to be calm and peaceful and nothing stood in his way of exploring and gathering supplies.

THIRTY SECONDS

Once again, the building began to shake. It wasn’t as violent a shake as Voltaeiche would remember, but it was powerful enough to shake one from a slumber or catch one completely off guard. Noticed or not, the seconds ticked on, seemingly faster and faster as it did. And once the time was up…







b̴͚̺̘̪̺̖̫̝͇͙͎̘̜̺̝͋̑͐̔̈́͐̑̐̐̃̎̊͂͊͌͆̂͒̾̎͊̓̆̅́̋̾̅̐̓͋̚̕̚̚͝͝͠͝ ̸͙̥̳͈̠̙͓͇̳̅̈͛̏͆͛̀̇̚͘͝͝ļ̵̡̡̢̢̨̛̩͙͍͙͚͙͓̻̺̘̯̫̻̰͕̳͈̭͈̮͎̯̪̩̟͖̫̹̮͇̳̫͙̬͔͎͓̣̝́́͌͋̌̂͌̿͒̋̌̋̀̑̑̔̊̓̉̾͆̓͋̎̇̍͌́͐̿͆͌́̚͠͝͝͝͠ͅ ̶̛͕̣̥̐̊̒̈̆̇͑̆͑͂͆̒̍̇̇̃̽̓̈́͑̂͛̓̎̾̔̓̂̄̏͑̈̀͂̂̽͐̚͠͝͝õ̶̢̧̢̡͍̫̱̯̪̳͍̮̝̦̯͇̯̝̤̻͕̯̪̲̘̜͍̹̩͔͎͚͈̮̦̣͎͓͔͈̤̞̤̺̤̪̪̺͙̠̏͛̏̆͂̔̚͘͠͠ ̴̨̨̳̫̗̫̖̲̫͈͙͎̭̘̱͉̙̱͖͍̗͍͔̤̪̣͍͔̩͇̪͖͕͓͉͖̅̆͐̓͐̆̄̾̆͌̈̀̏͋͑̃̊̋̍͊̂͆̆̊̀͆̒̊́̑̄͗̍̃͑̅̽̈́̈́̚͘͘͜͝͠͝ö̸̧̢̨̠̤̹̖͕̞̥͙͍̱͍̥̥͓͎͙͈̯̙͕̻̯̠̙͈̬̯̳́̓̓́̆̈́͛̽͐̓̇̏̄̏͂̋̇͒͆̂̽̽̈́̇̀̆̀̐̔̇̐̍̎̈́́̋͘̚̕͜͠͝͝͝ ̶̢̛̥̗̞̱͉̭̫̫̰̫͕̲̮̦̦̫̑̇͊͒̾͋͋̉̂̂͗̽͆́̇͑̉̏̈́͒̉̽́͆͂̈́̋̽̈́̓̉̆̅̀͘͝͝ͅd̴̨̧̛̺̭͈̖̰͓̥̘̟͖̰͕̣̜͕̳͙́̊́̀̉̒̐̑̿͒̿̍͗͊͒̍̓͑̅̈́̊̑̒̽̀̋̽́͐̉̓͐̆͌̊͂̑̈́͘̕̕̕ ̶̨̢̢̡̨͇̰̞̺͈̭̞̯̤̭̩͍̪̪̪̠̗̝̣̩̫̥̺̥̱̭͖̙̬͈͙̮̖͎͖̻͇̗͓̮̩̻͙̼̉̿͐̅̈̑́̎̌̿̔̌̄͐̓̌̿̉̔̊̊̃̇̅͐͗͋̓̓̌͂̋̆̄̑̕͝ͅb̴̧̢̡̛͚̰̦̬̺͚͍̝̱̭̳̬̺͉̄͋̋̇̀̏̀͐̎͐̓̾͋̒̋͂̀̓̆͌̈́̎̒̈́̄̄̈͊͐̀͂̐̍̕̕͜͝͠͝͝ ̶̢̢̫͈̮̟̟̖̰̜̰̩̞̟̭͔̹̈̈́͋̔̒̓͜ͅą̸̧̛̪͔̣̙̗̜͖͓͓͙̱̘̙̫̫̲̳̘͉̼͕̣͖̦̰̼̱͔̤͔̻̥̪͔̪̯̰̙̜͙̤͆͊̏̌̎̂̈́̾́̌̄̒̌̀͂͌ͅͅ ̶͎̠͚̝̈́̍͑̈́̈́̽̐͊̈̂̾̉̈́̍̉̉̋͌̓̉̾͒̐͊̈́́̐͐͘͠͝t̸̨̠̫͚͈͎̪̏̈́̆̀̉̈́͊͗̄̋̎̐̔̐̓̎̃̐͑͋̇̍͆̓́̍̉͊̒̏̇̔̓̓̕͝ ̷̛̛̮̩̼̮̪̭̰̰̎̀̾͑̉͊̍̋̀̄̊͌̀͑̈́͋́̔̌̿̄͛̐̆̚͠͝͝͝h̴̛̛͍͒̎͐͒̂̐̆̓̆̽̈́̀̃͗͌̍̎̋̽̾̌̊̂͛͌̎̈̈͒̊̈̾͗͆̀͂̀͐͘̕͘̚͠͠͠ ̷̞̲̻̼̦̣̰͚̯̺̲̣̺͔̭͚̍̏͋̃̓͌̓̈́̑́̇͛̊̋̂̏͌́͊͌͐̈́̍̔͌̊́͆̅͒́̎̂̐̕̕͝ͅ​











Everyone found themselves alone, in an opaque glass-like dome that was impossible to see out of. Whatever was on their person prior to being sucked into the dimension remained, however, no signal could be found and certain apps and gadgets simply refused to work. No matter how hard one tried to escape, they simply couldn’t. It was nigh impossible to tell just how long they’d been there or how much time had elapsed, but after a while, things finally began…



Julian tried not to frown as he rubbed away at a tension headache just above his temple. It had been much, much harder to gather all of them here. Much harder than he originally anticipated. But here they were, in separate glass-like domes that they couldn’t see out of— not yet, at least —which formed a crescent around the Cornicopia. This newest test was inspired by a twenty-first century book he’d read a long time ago, on the behest of his first and favorite student aide. Thinking back, he always knew he would try something similar, as something inside him just knew it would force the best (and maybe the worst) out of his students. If it weren’t for the pounding headache, he would’ve been giddy with excitement.

From within his master dimension, he allowed his voice to travel to the five occupied domes. “WELCOME,” Julian exclaimed. “TODAY, YOU WILL BEGIN THE LONG AND ARDUOUS JOURNEY IN UNLOCKING YOUR TRUE SELF.”

The glass-like domes suddenly became transparent, allowing them to see one another. Of the six that were placed, only five of the domes were occupied and curiously, above each, were yellow glowing symbols. The pawn — the only dome unoccupied — suddenly lost its brilliant glow, and Julian Armine continued his speech. “THE FIVE OF YOU WILL BEGIN WITH A SIMPLE, BUT TELLING EXAM.”

Each dome was perhaps ten feet apart and about fifty feet away from the Cornicopia— a large, metal building with three flat sides and a roof, lit up by yellow lights. There was no entryway, but instead, open and freely revealing the cache of goods that laid within. Even with the distance between them, armor, weapons, and supplies could be seen. Each dome had a walkway, leading towards the building with built in lights guiding the way.

Everything else was surrounded in darkness.

Everything else was made of the unknown.

“TO PASS THIS EXAM, YOU MUST FIGHT. WITH OR AGAINST EACH OTHER, AS WELL AS…”

Before he could finish his statement, an unearthly moaning and growling could be heard from behind the domes. It wasn’t unsimilar to a growling dog and yet there was something eerily distinct about it as well. It slowly grew in pitch, until finally Julian spoke once more.

“GET READY, YOUR EXAM BEGINS NOW.”

A timer, which displayed ninety seconds, suddenly appeared above the Cornicopia. Within moments, the dome disappeared from around the Fang and he was free to travel towards the building. The Barman was next, ten seconds later. And then the Doorway, ten seconds after that. And then the Zephyr... and then the Crown.

The timer continued to shrink away and the moaning and growling continued to swell. It wasn’t until the timer struck thirty seconds that the gathered “students” saw what was making the inhuman noises. Tall, vaguely humanoid shapes revealed themselves, slowly crawling, walking, and making their way towards the Cornicopia. They seemed to be made out of the dark of the dimension itself and the only thing separating them from one another and the very darkness itself was an odd yellow outline and haunting yellow eyes.

”KILL OR BE KILLED. THE CHOICE IS YOURS.”
 

CloudyBlueDay

consistently inconsistent
Invitation Status
, , , ,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per week, One post per week
Online Availability
I check as often as I can.
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, No Preferences
Genres
Fantasy, Realistic/Modern, Magic, Scifi, Romance
LOUIS BAUVER-CALDWELL

It was getting hard to pick up his legs and make them actually go. His head was swimming, his bones were achy, limbs sluggish. Too much had happened for Louis to process and frankly he wasn’t even sure where to start. At least he had a destination in mind. A temporary one. One that could be useful, and not just a totally random side quest posed by an all knowing voice in the sky. Fuck that guy.

Then there was Voltaeiche. She seemed sort of innocent, pretty nice, maybe not the most observant. It was comforting to know he wasn’t the only one trapped in this hell, unless she was just another figure of torment. His thoughts drifted back to the young man who had helped him back out there in the real world, and then had just been… falling. From the sky.

Boy, did he feel useless.

Three hours and thirty minutes. Louis figured that it was probably a courtesy warning; three hours and thirty minutes until their next adventure. So, he was gonna make the most of this. Stock up. Training montage. Go into the next fight battle ready.

He lasted in the sports store for about ten minutes after the map alerted him to a mattress store around the bend. In his bag beneath the layers of clothing he had stuffed a matchbox, a pack of baseballs, a swiss knife still in its plastic packaging, a pair of swimming goggles, a refillable water bottle, and a in his hand he dragged a baseball bat along the floor as he sought out the comfiest looking bed to test out. He fell asleep gripping the bat like a stuffed animal and the bag still slung over his chest.

The thirty second mark arrived and Louis woke with a start at the sudden shaking of the building. It took too much time to gather his bearings, and it wasn’t really like he could do much except sit there enveloped in plush pillows and wait for the ceiling to fall on top of him. Then, he was politely dropped into a glass dome.

Guess those three hours and thirty minutes were up.

He was surprised to still have his items and angrily took a swing at the foggy glass with his baseball bat as the Omniscient Voice drawled on about the next challenge. Fucking fantastic. Louis took one more swing before realizing it was useless, just as the glass became transparent and all of a sudden he could see four other people in this exact predicament. Voltaeiche among them. Goddamn it, was this some sort of twisted battle royale? He caught the gaze of one, a redhead, and the eye contact was held for an uncomfortable amount of time before Louis pulled his gaze away.

He could see the Cornicopia in the middle - a bounty. No doubt, probably a trap. But also probably useful, slightly imperative, and likely dangerous but necessary. Then came that terrible groan from behind, a creature that Louis absolutely did not want to meet. And then, the weird symbols on everyone’s domes. Voltaeiche had -- a door? That sort of made sense. Redhead had a bottle, creepy guy had a crown, pretty lady had a tornado. And he had… a fang. Interesting.

A part of him was relieved to have some people in his position, possible allies, including Voltae, but at the same time… Louis was not ready to shrug off the feeling that they could just as easily be his enemies. No. He had to have a plan, a self sufficient one at that. Grab whatever sharp, pointy, monster-worthy loot he could find, fend off whatever he had too, and find a hiding spot.

The timer went up and all of a sudden the glass that encased Louis disappeared. He stumbled out, staring bewildered at his surroundings and the fact that he was the only person released at that moment. Wasting precious moments of his headstart to fumble for footing, Louis finally decided that, with this little gift, he was going to sprint up to the Cornicopia and find something, anything, that would at least make him feel a little more confident to take on whatever creepy dark monsters their evil god had sent after them. Whatever shouts or yells came from the others, he did not hear them, insisting stubbornly that he was in this alone.
 
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Radio Jelly

Galactic Gadabout
Miles Haverstash
"Atombreaker"

A Collab With CloudyBlueDay CloudyBlueDay

Miles slapped his palms against the smooth stone flooring of his prison, and at once heaved himself back onto his feet. As the hero rose, he whispered a litany of vicious insults under his breath. He had seen the glow beneath his feet, and though it had swallowed him quickly, it did not swallow him too quickly. Miles grimaced. He had been all but rescued--handed his freedom by a member of fucking Starteam and somehow, someway, he still was captured. He shouldn’t have let his guard down, and now he was at the mercy of whatever twisted plan the mystery madman and his army of muncher-bots had in store for him.

The thought made Miles’s skin crawl.

The Atombreaker tried breaking the opaque walls through both force and transmutation and found, incredulously, that neither sufficed. In fact, his powers didn’t seem to have an effect on the walls at all. After a while of trying in vain to escape, Miles moved back to the center of his dome, his mind electrified with adrenaline and fury. None of this made sense. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t change, which had to mean his powers were being blocked somehow. It just didn’t fit the profile of a madman. Who was this mystery villain, and did he trash an entire plaza just to capture one person?

Of course not. What the hell is happening here?

And then he heard it. An omnipresent voice carrying the promise of a “long and arduous journey.” Miles rolled his eyes at the ceiling. Classic villain bullshit.

Wait. Did he say five of us?

Instantaneously the glass of each dome became clear, and light flooded the exterior chamber. Miles gritted his teeth as he tried to pay attention to the words of the villain, hoping to glean something useful about whoever had taken them all captive. Simultaneously, he scanned the room, taking stock of all the other prisoners. Unsurprisingly, the civilian was there. Miles had seen his portal too, and he gave the stranger a curt nod of sorrowful recognition. The fact that the civilian was here made the mystery of this villain’s motivations all the more obscure.

Miles tried not to waste time thinking about it. It was clear whatever was going to happen, it was going to happen soon, and he needed to get a grip on his surroundings before it did. The Atombreaker’s eyes continued to wander, making out two women in the semi-circle. They both looked about his age, maybe a little younger. From what Miles could tell, the other hostages all looked to be in various states of disarray.

Makes sense. Maybe we are random kidnappings. Maybe he’s taking people who he’s seen fight and exhaust themselves. Would be easier that way…

As he stewed on the thought, Miles glanced towards the last captive, his eyes going wide as he took in the stranger’s appearance. Whoever this person was, he was probably the youngest, and as the Atombreaker’s eyes adjusted to the light, he began to notice Louis’s frighteningly pale complexion, and gaunt, colorless features. Miles felt his gut twist at the thought of how long this poor boy must’ve been held here to be so obviously withering away, and became so lost in the thought of it that he barely realized he was staring.

Then, the first dome opened, and Miles’s eyes followed the stranger as he made a mad dash for the cornucopia. Miles didn’t blame him--he too could see the shadowed silhouettes approaching from the lightless exterior. Mile’s own dome seemed to seamlessly vanish a moment later, and the game began for him in earnest.

Miles didn’t look back at the others: this villain was running some kind of test which meant Miles could count on all of them remaining unharmed until their own domes disappeared. Villains trying to make a point about something usually followed their own rules. Well, at least to begin with.

“Hey!” Miles shouted between footfalls, his gaze fixed on the stranger ahead of him. “Hey man, wait up!” The allure of the cornucopia was not lost on Miles. Presumably, they were all about to enter combat, and they probably weren’t going to get a lot of time to prepare. Still, if the fear of the situation drove them to chaos, Miles had no doubt they were going to get picked off.

“Hey man, hold on!” Miles slowed to a jog as he approached the cornucopia. Even as he moved towards the boy, his eyes darted across the veritable smorgasbord of supplies splayed out in front of him. There were all kinds of things ranging from weapons and armor to foodstuffs and toolkits.

Food?

Miles swore underneath his breath, and glanced back briefly at the other hostages as they one by one were released. If there was food, that meant that their gamemaster’s spiel about a long and arduous journey was not, in fact, classic villain bullshit. Whoever the mystery man was, he wasn’t planning on letting them go anytime soon. The Atombreaker turned back to the kid, who--rather irritatingly--seemed to just be ignoring Miles.

“Jesus christ, say something, will you?” Miles paused, feeling a quick pang of guilt. The poor dude was probably terrified. One could only imagine what he had already been forced to do to survive. “I know this is a frightening situation--I get that.” Miles dropped to his knees besides the stranger, and began to start throwing bags of loot backwards towards the advancing hostages. They couldn’t all afford to waste time trying to discern what was useful and what wasn’t.

“--And I have a feeling you’ve been here for a while, and no doubt you’ve suffered already. But before those--those things--get here I need to know if there’s anything you know about them, or the asshole controlling them, that might help me get us out of here.”

At the first few shouts, Louis didn’t budge. He’d done this before. Been thrown into a sick experiment, like a lab rat in a maze. It had never helped him to rely on someone else. He’d escaped the SPME alone, and he’d escape whatever the hell this was alone, too. He couldn’t shake the feeling that all these fellow people, Carrothead in particular, seemed somewhat familiar, but it only made him more uneasy.

Louis hopped over a few crates and piles of goods to put as much distance between him and Miles, dropping the baseball bat to grab the first large handle of a weapon he could grasp. While Miles gave him a very nice, heartwarming and touching speech, Louis was attempting to yank out what seemed like a giant ass sword to wave in his face. Dear god, he was talking to him like he was a little scared kindergartener. Did he look that freaked out? Fuck, he probably did.

Everything that spilled out of Carrothead’s mouth only made Louis seethe more. Suffered enough already? Damn right. He didn’t need some random person to tell him that. They were just fellow prisoners in the same cell and he had endured that before. This giant sword or whatever he was trying to pull out wasn’t going to budge… and who was he kidding? Not like he was gonna swing it anyway.

Chest heaving, Louis finally looked Miles in the eye again, his own sea blue orbs hollow and aching. “Don’t pretend that you know anything.” Louis muttered, the flash of a symbol catching his eye. “And don’t act like I know anything either. Cuz I… don’t.” He turned and grabbed the handle, yanking out a strange, futuristic looking sort of gun.

“Th-this yours, Fanta?” Louis muttered, trying to still his shaky hands enough for him to level the gun threateningly at Miles.

“Woah, woah” Miles swallowed hard, and took a precautionary step back, arms raised. “We are going to have enough to deal--Wait,” Miles understood what the boy had meant: emblazoned on the top of the wide and rectangular barrel of the gun was a faintly-lit symbol. The Atombreaker’s fear was immediately replaced with a burning curiosity “Is that…”

The Bottle. A piece of this goddamn puzzle.

Entirely on impulse, Miles staggered forward and grabbed the barrel of the gun in Louis’s hands.

“Woah -- HEY!” Louis shouted, entirely unprepared for the impulsive reaction that followed next. Who in their right mind lunged at a gun that was pointed at them?! He’d had his finger over the trigger with no intention to pull it, but all of a sudden it was being yanked out of his hands and his finger slipped. Something pricked his finger, and though the pain wasn’t intense, the surprise of the entire commotion allowed Miles to grab the gun out of his hands as black blood dripped from Louis’ index finger.

“What the hell…?” Louis hissed. “How come you get a gun?”

Miles frantically flipped the weapon over in his hands in search of something--anything that might reveal why it bore his symbol. Though he was intent in examining it, there really wasn’t a whole lot to work with. Miles wasn’t a gun nut, and even if he was, this particular weapon looked nothing like any handgun he’d ever seen. The entire length of the piece looked to be made of the same silver-sleek metal, save for some kind of chestnut--or maybe cherry--wood grip around the handle. It was a strange, if beautiful piece of machinery. One that was maddeningly devoid of any kind of instruction.

“I-I don’t know.”

Miles barely realized Louis had said anything: the young hero’s attention was already divided between trying to keep track of the advancing shadow creatures, as well as the other hostages. Things were moving too quickly. What did the symbols mean? Where they merely arbitrary, or was unlocking their secret necessary?

There was just too little information, and even less time to parse it together. Not to mention they had less than thirty seconds before the bloodbath began. The realization that they were out of time hit him like a truck.

Less than thirty seconds. Fuck. Fuck.

Miles spun around. “Listen, we don’t have a lot of time but it stands to reason that these symbols--whatever they are--are important to this whackjob’s game. See if you can find yours--I’ll watch your back!” Miles didn’t wait for an answer. He didn't have time. Instead, the young hero jogged over the mounds of upturned baggage until he could see all the other hostages.

“The symbols! Look for the symbols! Weapons!” Miles paused to look back out into the gloom at the oncoming horde. “And stay the hell together!” So little of the room was lit that it was impossible for Miles to tell whether the gloom-creatures were all that awaited them beyond the boundary. Trying to go it alone was just not an option. Afterall, if the gun was in fact a gun and not just some obscure puzzle piece, then he had to believe it would protect them.

Miles sprinted back around the cornucopia to where he’d left Louis. He gave the strange kid one last look before spinning on his heels and aiming the gun into the unknown.
 
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Sairento

-Not my art. Never my art. I can't art very well.-
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-Some Creepy Dome Place Thing-
-Three and a half hours later-

Voltaeiche was taken aback at how quickly her reflection seemed to reject her, barely giving her a moments notice to try reciprocate before vanishing. "Well...I'll probably see it sooner or later if it was really important..." Voltaeiche thought, making a note to try find a mirror as well as she moved away from the window. She still needed to find a suitcase to carry the food in!

...which she didn't. In the end, a duffel-bag was the largest thing she could find in the mall, so a duffel-bag the food was to be carried in. On the plus side, all her journeying around the mall had let her find a Super-mattress store in the mall. Making her way back, she ended up staring at a mattress in the window, hemming and hawing for a moment on whether she should go find Louis first before she took a nap. "We did say to meet up...well...nothing wrong if I just lie...down...for a bit..." she thought, her head on the pillow for scarcely a moment before she was out.

-----

When the shaking began, Voltaeiche was tempted to just go back to sleep. After all, the bed was so soooft and fluffy an-

Shaking meant earthquake. The mall was going to fall on them.

Half-springing and half-falling off the bed, Voltaeiche's half-asleep body scrambled to disentangle her limbs and grab the bag of food before she got to her feet. "LOUIS," she shouted, making a few steps away from the bed to search for the boy before she was transported to the odd dome.

"Okay...okay okay okay, stay calm," Voltaeiche mumbled as she walked circles around the new glass prison. "You're still breathing...you have a bunch of food on you...medicine will...hopefully be enough..."

When the dome's glass eventually cleared again (and after Voltaeiche nibbled her nails down and drawn meticulous circles in the ground with her pacing), she nervously glanced about at the other people. Fight? Dear god she hoped she didn't have to fight. She hated; no, abhorred fighting. She'd never been in a fight in her life! Seeing Louis in one of the other domes, she frantically waved, glad she would have at least one ally here.

"Louis!" she called, faltering slightly when he didn't respond. It was probably the glass blocking the sound and such. That was it. Noting the glowing icons above each dome, she frowned for a moment, knowing how the doorway applied to her, but...how did a fang apply to Louis? He'd been swimming in a flood, hadn't he?

Not that she had much more time to think about it, as the dome around her suddenly dropped and she made a similar beeline to the center cornucopia after Louis and the other guy.

"Louis!" she called again as she ran over. "Hey! Louis!" After the third or fourth time she was ignored, she slowed her frantic run, her thoughts trampling through her instead. "Why is he ignoring me? Is...is he planning to fight me? Oh please don't tell me he's going to do that...maybe I should just run...no I'm too close..."

Eventually shaking herself out of it, she made her way to a different part of the cornucopia from the other two, still somewhat dazed at the prospect of having to fight others when her hand brushed against a small rectangular box. "Is...is this a taser?" she thought, picking it up and turning it over to see the glowing doorway inscribed in it. "That's sort of morbid..." she mumbled to herself, pocketing the device as she heard someone shouting to stay together.

"Oh thank god someone's being a team player," she thought, glancing about and also grabbing a small mirror before she made her way to the front where the boy was. He looked a little familiar...but Voltaeiche couldn't put her finger on it. Besides, there were more pressing matters.

"W-what do you need me to do?" she stammered, letting out a nervous yelp at the approaching shadow figures. God, why couldn't it just be another building? She almost preferred that to the weird, shambling shadow zombies that were approaching.
 
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Doctor Jax

Lord of the Mice
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Current Identity: Willem La'Tour
A Dark Void
Surrounded By Monsters and Possible Enemies


It happened very quickly.

Sudden changes always did. Willem, however, was not unlike a cat, and while he was not necessarily ready to abruptly fall into a portal to some other hell dimension in which he was encased in a glass bubble, he was likewise not entirely unable to adapt. He rolled to his feet, his eyes flicking side to side as he tried to make sense of his new surroundings. A voice boomed somewhere - no doubt his kidnapper - and he narrowed his eyes in suspicion, rolling his shoulders as he paced the inside of the bubble. True self.... Unlikely. Willem was very aware of who he was.

Not a saint. A shaitan, an accuser of Man, meant to test and bring about better behavior from the apes that attempted to meet heaven. A man, with vision, and a purpose. He had no doubt that, from this person's verbiage, he must think himself the same. He would see whether that would bear out. Whatever the case, no doubt his plan was now abandoned. His mark would sit at home, unwitting of the atrocity he bypassed in this seemingly random act of fate. And he would be all the more ungrateful for it.

The dome dimmed around him to show a void about him, and five other domes, each with a glowing symbol and containing each a person. Across from his was Miles Haverstash, the Atombreaker, and his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Odd -- was this then a chance encounter, rather than directed? And this to be an exam as well... What was he testing? At the inhuman sounds that abruptly began, screeches and screams, he jerked to look, though his posture remained ready, his footing sure. He refused to be cowed. So this was a challenge of some kind.... He couldn't deny this was bizarre. Beyond bizarre, outside the norm of his entire experience. And there was the brief bite of fear, of panic.

But there was a more pressing order: Survive the next few minutes. Afterwards, consider the ontological ramifications of his kidnapping. After all, if he didn't succeed in the first, he wouldn't need to worry about the second.

Abruptly, the first of the captives was freed, and he was startled to find he recognized him: an escapee and fellow fugitive said to be some kind of dangerous metahuman, who claimed to have been captured by a secret group studying their kind. And then Haverstash, a former boy wonder turned lukewarm superhero. A girl whom he didn't recognize... Were they all metas of unparalleled caliber? What was this collection? It didn't take him long to realize they were all being released on a schedule, and he counted under his breath. Ten seconds. And then, of course, it was his turn. He had already dropped to a sprinter's crouch.

The dome fell. And Will ran for his life.

He was a streak of black against the ground, eating distance, but still it didn't seem fast enough. Behind him, he could hear the sound of the inhuman creatures - black humanoids in a myriad of shapes - trailing not far behind, and with a grit of his teeth, he focused on his hands. The bones began to shift, the tips of his fingers seeming to peel back out of the way of vicious looking claws--

LOOK OUT​

-- he threw himself to the side, and a humanoid lunged at the spot he had occupied, the extremist nearly losing his footing as he continued to run towards the building with its cornucopia of goods. Another swipe of an arm, and Will dug the claws in, shredding the limb apart with a hefty grunt. The creature screamed, and another seemed to fall in its place, Will narrowly dodging its inky grasp. Another, another, all seemingly a roiling black mass, encircling. He slashed, backed away, dodged, felled two, and yet another came to take its place. Only quick acrobatics over a back, a step to the side a way from a misshapen hand, kept him from being grappled.

He was being bogged down. He couldn't run any further. He needed distance. He needed distance.

He screamed.

It was an ear-piercing wail, and the creatures seemed more perplexed than afraid, backing away. Will used that time to make headway towards the pile, ducking and dodging the creatures that were beginning to gain on him. The pile grew closer, and he soon felt dismay as he realized it was largely junk -- food, scraps of items like armor that seemed random at best, a few weapons, though none that immediately seemed helpful. With a dash, he scaled the building with assistance from the claws as pitons, standing on its top. Down below, he could see the goods spread underneath him, his eyes scanning it quickly. Anything usefu--

Something piqued his interest, a bodysuit with a crown emblem, and his eyes flickered to the others.

Right. Them. Safety in numbers, if only for them to be handy bait.

"A higher vantage will allow for easier fighting," Will stated to them, voice croaking, leaving it up to them to join him.