My Terrible Rival Saga

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  1. "While there are countless realms contained within corporeal reality, there are those that exist in a Contained State. That is to say these realities exist in states of alternating stagnation and flux, depending on the whims of their Moderators. These Moderators are appointed to oversee the data-flow of a world, ensuring a consistency in events leading to a suitable conclusion. Contained State Shards are fragments of one overarching reality, at several different points throughout its timeline.

    Often, to initiate a state of flux and observe the possible outcomes the Moderators will cause slight differentiations in their provided parameters.

    Contained States and Contained State Shards exist within a dias, presented before the Moderators. The Contained State or Contained State Shard that is currently being explored and observed is moved to the center of the dias, while the others orbit around it. When a Contained State, be it a Shard or the original, is in orbit it is frozen at a point determined by the Moderators. Possibilities are explored in the Augury, which is the center of the dias. When in the Augury, Moderators are powerless to change any unfolding events; forcing their observer routines to initiate.

    At this moment, outside of corporeal reality, Contained State Shard 0023 is being observed. In their silent realm, the Moderators stare into their scrying dias with a great sense of muted anxiety. It is the first time in their long existence that they have been unable to remove a Contained State Shard from the Augury.
    " -0racle.

    The morning had deeply kissed the crown of Bridge City, casting the city in golden hues that danced and shifted with each passing vehicle. Ryobi had taken the sidewalk, rising from a daze outside of the Electric Mall and immediately setting on his way. Each step brought him closer to alertness, the pale grays of a monochrome reality giving way to a world alive with sensations and promise. Buildings had taken their proper shapes, with the full opening his eyes and slowly things were coming into focus. Slowly, he stopped, turning and rubbing at his temples; suddenly staring into two shadow smothered faces.

    "Do you know what today is, young sir?"

    It was supposed to have been their first meeting. Ryobi Tsunoda gave them his usual, friendly smile, allowing his eyes to close for a brief moment. They were dressed in long coats, indigo in color and bright enough so they could not be missed in any kind of crowd. He envisioned it as he stared through the shifting hues of light burning through his eyelids; the expression on their faces when he gave them an answer.

    "Why, my dear friends," he said, slowly opening his eyes, already the confusion was setting in, their mouths, the only immediately discernible features beneath the stark shadow of their hood were turned up in slight apprehension, but just barely, "today is the day of our lord. A Wednesday, September thirteenth and the day predicted by Aquinas," the concern became plain and they eyed the boy from behind their cowls, "today is the day that the end begins and the veil is drawn back." It was their speech, albeit paraphrased in Ryobi's own taste for cutting away unnecessary details.

    "There is no changing the past, but the future can be changed! The future built on this very city must be realized!"

    Ryobi slowly lifted his hand to the sky, letting his fingers clasp the distant Sun as he smiled a small, crooked smile; they were watching him now with something bordering on open awe, even though his performance had been largely sarcastic. He had felt it, before, the last time he had been here; nearly fifteen years ago. It was a breaking in the resonance of the world, a brief moment of silence where the distant waves broke and unseen lines converge to form a glimpse of fate. Still, even with the familiarity, it was exciting to experience the vast, thriving aftermath of a collapsing inevitability. The cultists of Dies Irae stared at him, then at one another and offered him a bow.

    "We are sorry to have disturbed you, brother, may your work be blessed in Aquinas' name," and with that, they simply turned back to their business of spouting vagaries at those who passed by; drawing in the unwary to indoctrinate them. Ryobi smiled at their backs, tipping an imaginary hat as he took strides down the busy street; genuinely starting to enjoy the day.

    "No need for that, pawns of Dies Irae, keep your blessings" he whispered, walking away, taking slow strides down the street; passing by storefronts and bustling citizens. Ryobi cast his eyes about, searching amidst the crowds.

    "Ah, there they are."

    Other familiar scenes. A girl wearing a black hoodie spray painting, mostly out of view from the street, long strands of pink hair hanging out from beneath her hood. Hoodlums, pressed together smoking cigarettes; casting glances over their shoulders. A minor car accident. Distortions that lingered and sang between breaks in the resonance that blanketed Bridge City. They were all arrayed in their proper place, but he couldn't stop to observe if there were any differentiations in their actions or habits. No, he had much work to do. Though he had cut away several useless encounters, it would seem that he would still arrive late to class...and that was where he needed to be, right now. Bridge City High lingered in the distance, a lopsided outline of clustered buildings and breezeways. Ryobi yawned, loudly and began making his way forward again.

    "Aquinas would like to place the blame on a malfunctioning Resonance Beacon and, therefore, onto me. The truth is far more disturbing. I have betrayed Dies Irae and caused an apocalypse. Regardless of the reason, the outcome will be the same. They will arrive here, soon. Upon their arrival I will be killed. This is nearly an inevitability. I seek to circumvent this course of action and utilize my worst mistake to preserve my chance to correct the future.

    Data-feeds to the Resonance Beacons were disturbed at the time of Weaponized Unit 0's impact, creating a brief window that allowed for the result of this 'malfunction' to slip away unrealized. That was not before it exerted its will. Where this exertion exists, in the form of lignering anomalistic flux, there is a rift between corporeal reality and an unknown space.

    I am sorry about this.

    It would seem that this distortion in the Augury and, thus, our world is directly the result of my ambition. I have removed myself from Aquinas' detection. Without my technical prowess, there are none in Dies Irae who will succeed in tracking me. Not where I plan to go.

    For this, too, I am sorry.

    May we meet again in another life,

    "Alright, the first sanctioned matches of this school year begin in twenty minutes," the voice was shrill and feminine, stripping away the layers of dizziness that enveloped the green haired girl, "so you've got a little bit of time to stretch or get some water, or whatever it is you feel like doing in these twenty minutes!"

    Peace Hayder opened her eyes, drifting back in from a warm haze. She remembered shuddering when the prospect had been proposed, though whether it had been with anticipation or dread she could not immediately discern. Bright, fluorescent light filled her eyes; the fires of synthetic angels drifting down on wings of ruination. Her stomach was full of butterflies and her heart fluttered into a cacophonous rhythm of roaring tides. Slender shoulders tensed and eager fingers sought the grip of her Dense Battlefang. She found it, swinging at her hip and steadied her swaying when her digits found solid purchase.

    There had been an announcement by their teacher, a voluptuous woman named Yukimura, the shrill voice from earlier, that Peace had been waiting for since she had first been handed her gray Ranking Jewel.

    That's what the feeling was!

    She brought her hand to her forehead and pressed her palm hard against it.

    I almost passed out!

    Yet it was true. That dream was finally coming to fruition. Her first bout as a Fighting School Network combatant. The taste of it lingered on her tongue, fresh and sweet. She briefly feared that she may begin sweating, but forced her now blushing face into a stoic scowl; despite the errant trembling of her lips.

    Around the room, others were scouting out their potential opponents even now.

    She considered them all, from behind a curtain of fervor. Everything was so new and sharp and ripe for taking; Peace felt invincible and ready to fight against the very current of the world. So, she smiled, wide and satisfied and started taking a slow stroll around the room.

    "It seems that many important things have been misplaced, but those that are worth noting appear to be completely intact.

    What troubles me are the new variables, these small ripples in the resonance of Bridge City that promise an upheaval of the established order. Tantalizing, yes, and utterly terrifying. I can not promise the coming days will be easy, but I can assure you that everything that is going to happen, no matter how terrible, will be for a greater end.

    It disgusts me how much I am starting to sound like Aquinas.
    " -0racle.

    "Do we really have to fight right now, brother," Ceridwen Auttenberg queried from behind the thick cover of an archaic tome, "is it required or can I simply take this time to pray?" She knew he would be rather upset about the question, so she lowered the book as a preemptive calming factor and turned to him; eyes alight with concern as she glanced beyond his profile to see the others already breaking into groups and easing in to conversation.

    "Perhaps I should ask the teacher?"

    Her fingers gently pressed against the old book, feeling the uneven and leathery texture of it and relishing the scent of dust it seemed to produce. It seemed so easy for her peers to mingle with one another and she longed to join them, quietly standing to pursue this odd goal. Ceridwen had come here to fight, surely and to prove herself to her brother, but that did not mean that there did not exist time for idle chatter. She felt, somewhere in her core, that these kinds of interactions were necessary.
    #1 Sleep, May 30, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2014
  2. Ahzera sat on the bench, head in hands. The woman spoke, but her voice was lost among the sea of other words in his head. A smaller boy sitting next to him looked him up and down, then quietly scooted away. Ahzera shook his head, as if it would do anything. "Not now... We can fucking deal with this later." He spoke to himself like a madman, rocking slowly back and forth on the bench. Stopping for a moment, he slipped a small vial from his pocket and downed the liquid. "Damn. Not enough... Not enough..." His face shot up, and stared blankly into the girl across from him. "Hi.. Hello! How are you?" Ahzera twitched, and slowly leaned back down. "Sorry, sorry..." He mumbled, not looking up.
  3. Enoch

    Enoch leaned in his chair, tossing and catching his ranking jewel with an air of boredom. Even so, a subtle smile crossed Enoch's face. His notebook was open on the desk, but the writing in it was scarce. Enoch never payed much attention to lectures. He'd rather learn by experience than hear someone talk about abstract concepts. Then the teacher said, “Alright, the first sanctioned matches of this school year begin in twenty minutes."

    The small smile that Enoch had became smile became full grin. He straitened up in his seat. The day had finally come. All of Enoch's training and work had led up to this point. Starting today, Enoch would fulfill his ultimate goal: To bring honor to the Minato clan, no, to all Yojimbo's. For the past fifty years, the F.S.N. had sullied the name of the Yojimbo's. Enoch would change that, or, at least try. If he failed, nobody would be surprised.

    Enoch stood up from his seat. He said in a loud voice, “I'm swear to you all, and I know this is a bold clam,that I will become either going to the greatest fighter or the greatest laughing stock here! My name is Enoch Xerxies Orion! Who wishes to fight me, and see if my oath rings true?”


    Aether sat straight in her seat, paying full attention to the teacher. Her notebook was sprawled with notes, and five perfectly sharped pencils laid in a neat row next to the notebook. Even now, she was furiously writing down the teacher's lecture. “Knowledge is power, they say, so I better get as much of it as I can.” Aether whispered to herself. The pencil that she was using became dull. Aether put it aside, and moved to pick up one of the sharpened pencils. Just before she picked up the pencil, however, the lecture stopped.

    "Alright, the first sanctioned matches of this school year begin in twenty minutes." The teacher said. Aether looked down at her ranking jewel. It was on the conner of the desk, a dull gray stone. Aether's stoic face broke into a smile. Aether overheard two student's talking behind her, a brother and sister.

    "Do we really have to fight right now, brother, is it required or can I simply take this time to pray?” The sister said. Aether turned around and addressed the girl.

    “No offense, but if you didn't want to fight, why are you here?,” Aether said with scowl. “I don't mean to insult you, but I am confused.”
  4. Liara

    All of this was an experiment. These fights were just to see if her equipment worked. As the teacher spoke Liara paid little attention. She was making sparks fly in her hand. Though it may seem like she was just wasting time, she was actually calibrating her gear... And wasting time. Just then, some random guy just downed something, before spouting stuff like a crazy person. He looked up at her and tried to play off not seeming weird. He knew he failed, as he looked down at the ground. She leaned back in her seat. "How's it going. Mind if I ask what that was just now? Some new drug their selling on the street? Well, then nice to meet you Druggy. Name's Liara." She meant that all as a joke really. It could very well be medicine... But narcotics seemed the likelier option.


    After the teacher's speech a student stood up, swearing to be the greatest in the school. What he was to be the greatest of remained to be seen. However he was placing his own honor on the table. To that, Tokaia felt a sort of respect for the boy. He stood at his challenge and turned to him. "Enoch Xerxies Orion, I shall accept your challenge, and see if your oath is true. But be known that I will not fall easily, for I must prove to myself that I am worthy of my sword. I shall go by Kaze no Seishin." Tokaia approached Enoch. "I sense a great friendship, or possibly a great conflict between us. In either sense I am certain that we shall sharpen each others skills, just as iron sharpens iron.
    #4 Reanimator Spuds, May 31, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  5. "My names Ahzera. It's to keep the voices down, not just a drug." His voice stopped wavering, and he began to sit straighter. "Please, let me explain my situation. It's a bit of a strange one, but you seem to be the kind of person to understand insanity." He still twitched, but it was few and far between. "May I explain?" His voice was smooth, and low pitched, with a small English accent.
  6. The voices eh? Well he accepts insanity, so that's a start... At least Liara called it that. "Sure thing Druggy, but I am sure its a bit more than strange. Well, carry on." She sat ready to listen, still letting the sparks fly from her hand, as she twisted a dial on the side of her over sized sleeves. "Don't worry I'm listening. So what brought upon this decent into madness? Were you born with it, or perhaps it was brought upon by a traumatic incident?"
  7. "You do know of undead, yes? Zombies, ghouls, and ghosts. Well, there is a more rare subtype of ghost-zombies. A normal spirit, trapped inside a soulless corpse. The only problem with this, is that the original spirit will have to vy for control, against all manner of other spirits and demons. Well, I'm one of those, the vial I downed contained a small dose of, for lack of a better word, spirit repellant." He stopped for a few seconds, gathered his thoughts, and began again. "Only thing is, I'm not JUST a spirit. My ethereal body, before my untimely death, was infected with the lycanthropy virus. The same werewolf that infected and killed me, decided to revive me. He, as you can see, failed miserably." The long speech seemed to tire him, and he slumped slightly. "What's your story, Liara?"
    #7 GoatJudas, May 31, 2014
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  8. "Lycanthropy eh? Tough luck man, sorry 'bout that. Me? Can't say much, really. I've just been a girl who has had an interest in anything mechanical. Doesn't help my dad was an Energy Master. I mean I still USE my energy, but not by itself." Finally Liara found the sweet spot on the dial. In her hand danced what appeared to be several small lightening bolts, but they never grew larger or smaller. They never dissipated and made room for another. They were consistent in every way. "Got it. You see I tinker with anything mechanical to see what I can do with it. This is one of those things. As much as I hate to admit it, I guess I am a little more like my father than I realized. Otherwise I wouldn't be here right now. Can't say I've had it as bad as you though."
  9. "A mechanical warrior, and a magic warrior... My my... I hope we won't have to fight, but if we do, you seem to be an equal." Ahzera retrieved his staff from under the bench, and ran a finger over the countless spikes. "How long will they keep us in here, packed like bloody sardines..."

    ((my apologies for a short post, its hard to judge how much ive written while on an iphone))
    #9 GoatJudas, May 31, 2014
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  10. "Weaponized Units are precarious beings, trapped between alternating states of consciousness made to routinely differentiate their level of awareness. Most Weaponized Units are left inert, until their number is called by the officers of Dies Irae. It has always been something an impractical partialness on Aquinas' account, that these abominations of magitech are frequently used. They are, for the most part, highly unstable; in regards to their Resonance Field Generator, by its very design and their very nature, due to the process of creating a Weaponized Unit.
    There have been several incarnations of the Weaponized Unit, stretching from the First Series, which I am intimately familiar with, to the most recent Ninth Series. Currently, I believe Dies Irae is utilizing the Four Series. At least in this moment, they seem to be. With their advances, which will occur in time, these Weaponized Units will become more common and their fluctuations will begin to interact with the Resonance Beacons in a way that could distort the buffer between Corporeal Reality and Ethereal Reality. Aquinas will most likely utilize this to his advantage, creating distortions within the Contained Shard by bringing several of his experimental Weaponized Units together. Though it is an uncertain and variable infested problem, I believe this will be a mainstay in his plan.

    The flaw in this plan is inherent in the Weaponized Unit. While they are controlled by programming, much as one would expect of a machine, the Weaponized Unit is essentially human during its latent 'down time'.

    Of course, defensive subroutines exist to prevent catastrophic damage to the unit; but this does not fix the most glaring error in their design: Weaponized Units are human. Their minds and bodies still essentially intact, albeit repressed by magic and dangerously high infusions of raw Resonance. It is this fractured 'wholeness' that makes the Weaponized Units particularly volatile in situations where their subconscious mind fights against the programming that seeks to subvert it.

    Realizing this flaw is an integral part of continuing the Weaponized Unit research and will come as inevitability to Aquinas and his associates. Once realized, the flaw will present a rather puzzling obstacle for Dies Irae. Their search for an answer will be futile and carve a path of failure through nine generations. Each one inching ever closer to what could be considered 'perfection', but ultimately falling short in their final, critical moments.

    That is, if one is willing to sacrifice countless lives and erase the will of a particularly potent Resonance Conduit. I do not doubt that Dies Irae will follow this path.

    My time in the presence of Weaponized Units has given me several hints about the nature of their existence and has revealed to me certain aspects of this riddle.

    I remember the first time I saw one openly weep when given a direct command. "Antithesis" was the codename given to him during creation. This was my first instance of directly observing a Weaponized Unit collapsing under the weight of its programming. There were others, that followed, countless others, but their names are long lost. Some of them cried, while others resisted with anger; they were the rarities, but, I was told that such behavior was to be expected from a machine that believes it’s self to be human.

    I helped decommission "Antithesis" and several of these other rare and primal souls through slow and deliberate dismemberment and destruction. Weaponized Units are invariably human on the inside, even if you do not choose to subscribe to the more esoteric sense of 'inside'.

    Dies Irae took their memories and I took their lives. Whatever remained was given to the magitechnicians, intended to be used in future projects. I bet there are still bits and pieces of those children still active, in new Weaponized Units.
    " - Oracle.

    Despite the dire urgency of his work, Ryobi could always find time to relax and partake of his favorite things. Black coffee was one of these things. The Ars Cafe, at his back, had become rather busy since his arrival there just a few brief minutes before. He stood in the sun, the cup of coffee clutched in his right hand; steam rising from the drink and into the air. Ryobi gave something of a giddy grin and took a long swallow of the burning bitterness. He sighed, afterward, a look of contentedness spreading across his face.

    Behind him, the cafe was alive, the sounds of countless mumbles drifting from its open door. Some complained about work, some ordered their drinks and others simply stared into space. He wished he could feel their thoughts and taste what made them tick; he wished he were a mind reader and sorcerer...and, strangely, he wished he could strangle them all with his Living Weapon.

    Momentarily, after his vicious thoughts subsided, in the crisp air of the autumn morning, his troubles were forgotten. Around him were arrayed the mainstays of a successful cafe's appearance; fancy steel chairs arranged around fancier glass tables, umbrellas overhead to block out the sun. He stood between two unoccupied tables, in the streak of sunlight that barely existed between the umbrellas' overhanging shadow. The streets were still crowded with countless faces and passing vehicles, all their sounds blending into a single melody of pleasure. Ryobi knew that it would all be ending, soon, at least for the people of Bridge City. He would make certain of it.

    "It's a nice day," he sighed into the air between sips of his coffee, "too bad I have to waste it dealing with..."
    A viscous black ink slid and dripped from the young woman’s body, clinging to her form as she walked and shaking down onto the pavement. The morning sunlight hit upon this thick, sticky ink, bright colors mixing and fading as Hazard Star took her spot in front of her companion. It steamed up, like the café’s patrons coffee, into the morning air and slowly it faded from reality, dissolving into the nothingness of whatever void it had emerged from. Leaving no traces of its existence upon the pavement or the girl.

    Morning The girl chirped, steam rising from her unpainted lips. Wake up late too or were you down to business?” Her left hand slid to her nose, pushing down her glasses that began to fall to the Earth though were quickly sucked into the void of her inventory before they met their fate of shattered glass. Myalarm clock broke Her lips were twisted into a smirk, the vision of a steaming device in her mind’s eye as she walked past the redhead. Youre buying me a drink, Ill pay you back later She continued to smile down at the frustrated man as she made her way into the café.
    Hazard Star was an odd kind of beauty, but one Ryobi had always appreciated. Even dripping with what looked like oil from another dimension, she had a certain kind of grace about her. However, that did not excuse her, in Ryobi's eyes, for being so damn chipper all the time. Ryobi smiled his best smile at her and tipped his invisible hat, taking a long sip from the still smoldering cup with his head, and eyes, tilted downward.

    "Good morning, Star," he lowered his hands, placing the coffee lightly on the table next to him, careful not to spill a drop, "you know me; always busy. I didn't think I'd be seeing you so soon." He chuckled, thinking briefly about how spectacular the explosion of her alarm clock must have been, and then simply offered a shrug. It wasn't the first time she had proposed such an exchange, one that, truly, rarely worked out in his favor. Ryobi slid his hand right hand into his pocket, briefly feeling for the loose dollar or two. With ease, he produced it, offering it forward to the empty air while the other snatched up his cup; awaiting her return, nursing his coffee and watching the slow procession of humanity as they pressed onward.
    Hazard Star produced her own measly coins from her sore wallet in exchange for a drink of bright, neon blue. Back to the chain reaver, Ryobi, she walked sipping slowly of the cold, sweet liquid from its metal container. She ignored the cold that clenched in her chest and seeped into her hand as she drank more deeply of the caffeinated beverage. Condensation formed on the can’s graffiti covered surface as she placed it down, water dripped down and pooled around it, collecting on the transparent glass table. Star sat herself, leaning forward over the can as she took in the redhead. She ignored the other patrons, the other steady flow of humanity that Ryobi always was so entranced in; she focused on him as she placed her chin on her knuckles.

    Any news or plans?” Her voice was low, losing some of its chirpiness for a more mundane approach though those who knew her were aware of the business atmosphere that accompanied it. She sighed, thinking of the upcoming day. F.S.N… hmm, were going to have to pick our matches carefully.”

    "Oh, there's always some news rolling in about this and that," Ryobi decided to sit across from Star, cradling the cup between his interlaced fingers; the tattoo that housed Gleipnir facing outward, touched lightly on the edges by the slight curl of his digits as he tapped them against the backs of his hands, "but today is a special day for plans," his grin became crooked, "do you know why, young lady?" He spared her the rest of the Dies Irae speech and leaned in, his own eyes level with Star's.
    "Because I've come up with something grandiose and expansive," he took a long drink of coffee, casting his eyes to the neon insanity of her energy drink and then back to her, "that can benefit both of us." He let it linger in the air, his head tilting to the side as stared off into the street.

    He stayed silent as he listened to the girl’s prattling, shifting slightly to look at her. Yvon Auttenberg leaned back in his seat, not sure what answer Ceridwen would want… probably she wished to sit and pray. Without further thinking the boy sighed, he had always found her unwavering faith to be a nuisance. He moved to answer her as she stood, perhaps…”

    No offense, but if you didn't want to fight, why are you here?” A strange girl snapped, grimacing as she looked on Ceridwen I don't mean to insult you, but I am confused.”

    Yvon locked onto the mouth those words escaped from, glaring at the shaman who had cut him off. While she had a point, it was a point he felt only he had the right to tell the poor stained glass saint. Gritting teeth he stayed silent, letting his sister defend herself for once.

    Off his attention slipped, onto the rest of the assembled crowd. Getting a kick out of the samurai and whatever the hell the first one who had stood up and shouted about honor was getting up to. Such a show, he couldn’t help but ponder about how bloody amusing it would be if both were weaklings.

    His fingers played with his watch as he continued watching, turning it back and forth without ever activating it, the constellation of stars held within the face changing with every turn. Leo, Orion, the big dipper, the southern cross, he paid no attention he’d seen them all before.

    Ceridwen cocked her head to the side, noting her brother's reaction. With caution she turned her wide, bright eyes to him and offered a small smile; a sweet contrast to the dark humor that had slipped onto his face.

    "Don't be upset," she whispered as someone shouted in the background, giving her slight pause to cringe at the noise, "I will handle this." Ceri had promised to be more assertive and lively in social situations, instead of burying her head in books and spouting scripture at people. As such, she composed herself and turned to the girl, offering the same small, almost melancholic smile.
    "It wouldn't be proper for me to engage in any form of combat without first saying my prayers," she slid the leather bound bible into a bag at her hip and placed her hands squarely in her lap; overlapping them as she gripped the golden sphere of her Blessed Crook. "While I've chosen to fight in this tourney, I daresay the choice was not entirely my own. God has given me an imperative," fervor gave her eyes a glossy, near manic cast and her small smile seemed to tremble as the word 'God' left her lips.
    "I was just curious as to the nature of these first bouts, as it seems that the Fighting School Network has released no set schedule about the fights. If I were forced to guess about this, I would say that today's matches are purely exhibition. If such is the case, I would prefer to stand aside; as my vows will not permit me to fight solely for sport."

    Yvon shrugged, Yes, this is all just a show. Mostly in regards to the higher ranks but, people still watch us newcomers. Were all going to judge each other, your choice whether to show them what you got…” He turned his attention from his device, giving the technician and saint a somewhat mischievous smile. His smile slipped however as he turned his head back to a duo he had overheard earlier, still catching bits and pieces of the unholy story. He mentally noted the male and what to do about its… situation.

    "Do I know you?"

    Peace Hayder had stopped dead in her tracks, amidst the noise of challenges and conversation, a look of concern creeping across her face; even as the words left her lips. She had been stoic and silent throughout her slow trek around the room, her vision dipped into the focus of an analytical trance. The boy before her now was plain, more so than anyone else in the room possessed of their 'gimmick' or particular style; which struck Peace as odd and strangely familiar.
    Have I seen him before, in passing? Was he in a dream I had from long ago? Did I say something stupid? But, really, who...

    She almost sighed, but the action was denied to her by a passing thought. It simply did not matter; this was her first contact in Bridge City since hiding her name and changing her appearance. Peace Hayder would not sigh; she decided and merely observed him with an expression that seemed to border on bored.

    Well, whatever, I've already opened my mouth.

    "I'm Peace," she offered, her eyes momentarily cast beyond the boy before her and toward the lurching mass of intermingling classmates that seemed to have begun congregating somewhere near the center of the room.

    He stared up at the green haired girl, blinking fiercely as his vision focused. The low buzzing noise growing louder as she had approached, the noise having infected his head since this whole thing had begun only … what, an hour ago? Perhaps shorter it was hard to tell, the buzzing noise though low and into the background was a building pain, head throbbing from it already and his vision beginning to out focus when his mind drifted off.

    W-what?” The boy stammered, blinking again as he took in the strange girl. No.” He spat, more blunt and callous than his mind had intended. David Archer’s hand closed on the strange jewel, the item he had been so entranced with before the greenette’s arrival.

    I just moved here.” His fingers toyed with the small gem, nerves taking hold. Breaking his stare he followed her gaze behind him, turning back quickly as the sight was even more unnerving.

    David His teeth found his lower lip, chewing for a second before he composed himself.

    Did she say her name was fucking Peace?

    "Yeah, I guess you're right," she said, nodding placing her hand on her chin and staring down at him, in turn "but I know a lot of Nobodies, so I guess I just figured that I might have met you somewhere down the line." Peace offered a shrug by the way of apology and let her eyes trail over the room. Ranking jewels glimmered in the fluorescent light; pinpoints of gray that seemed to make the air dance when they were touched. Of course, she had long been told that this was due to her poor eyesight.

    It had been so repetitiously thrown at her, when the subject was mentioned, that she had just assumed that her elders were correct about such things and always observed the slight movements with her own adopted sense of bemusement toward imperfection.

    "Welcome to Bridge City, though, hope you like it more than I do. Good luck in the tournament, by the way. I'm pretty sure you'll need it."
    David froze for a moment. What?” Shaking the shock of her words off, he began to correct her. Im not in the tournament.” The boy stood, pocketing the grey gem as he did so. I dont even know what this F.S.N is His arms crossed over, holding tight against his chest. Its not mandatory, I thought his teeth sought after his lip again, not noticing his own chewing of his flesh as he thought of that morning. His mother, while very insistence he join, had made a point it was optional… completely optional.

    She issued a low, throaty noise that dragged on for a moment before she clamped her mouth shut and slowly turned her eyes away from him.

    How the hell could he not know?!

    Peace Hayder sighed, despite herself and put a hand on her hip; looking at David with an expression that seemed to linger between concern and confusion. She thought, for a moment, without speaking, her free hand drifting to the hilt of her Battlefang. He had, indeed, been in possession of a ranking jewel; perhaps it was that he didn't quite understand the seriousness of his situation.

    "The F.S.N is," she shook her head, "look, whatever, that doesn't matter! You're in this room because you've been entered into this school years' freshman combatant pool and you have that," she pointed lazily in the direction of his pocket, "because you've already been processed and locked into the system. I-it..." she brought her thumb to her mouth and ran it along her lips, "it isn't mandatory until you're in the system, did you manage to go through registration without someone...anyone saying anything?"


    "What do you mean, what?!"

    Peace shifted her stance and her expression became something more akin to consternation. Her shoulders drooped and her head lolled for a moment, directing her eyes to the ground. Something in her was deeply concerned with this development.

    "Are you saying you didn't go through registration?"

    He bit down onto his lip’s flesh, indenting and nearly tearing the thin skin, and continued gnawing at the sore spot. This can’t be happening.

    I don’t know!” he finally stammered as his teeth gave it a rest.No one told me I was entered, I never got told about registration or did anythingthis morning some teacher found me, brought me here and I got passed that weird buzzing jewel and thats it!” He unwrapped his arms, left hand digging into his pocket and bringing out the strange gem. Uh, why does it buzz anyway? Its giving me a headache…” He glared down at the jewel like an unwanted bug, half wondering if he could just throw it away… David shook the thought, it was unimportant.

    Is it possible theres some other person with a name like mine? Or I dont know, I didnt fucking enter or register for this shitty fighting game

    Absolutely clueless...there's no way someone like this could get through registration. There's been some kind of error, or something. Its fine, we'll help...him.
    Briefly, Peace gave pause to wonder who 'we' could be and then brushed it aside as a neurotic tic brought on by some slightly increased level of duress. She watched him chew his lip as she kept her thumb pressed lightly against her lower lip; she watched the thin edges of white teeth gnaw at the skin; pulling it back and digging away at it. It was then that she registered full what he had said. Buzzing. She had never heard buzzing from a ranking jewel, not this current set nor the one she had seen around her household...but the strange shifting of the air around it; she simply understood, in that moment, though it was beyond her immediate cognitive capabilities.

    "I've never heard them buzz, but I've seen what they do to the air. That," she eased herself back into her proper, confident stance and lowered herself into a chair beside David Archer, her face showing less of consternation and more of genuine concern, "kind of gives me a headache, too," Peace regarded him for a moment before looking away, realizing she had been staring at him for some time, "I don't know, but there has to be a way to have your name retracted from the pool. I can't fight against people like this, it's just asking for a serious injury or worse," she straightened herself and turned to him again "I know I don't have any say in this, or, maybe, from your standpoint, I don't have any reason to be invested in this; but I can't let someone like you remain in such an obviously dangerous situation."

    He brought the jewel up, letting it catch the light, trying to see what Peace saw. Nothing really special happened; he squinted but shoved it back into his pocket as nothing changed. He sat down, clumsily falling into it as the buzzing grew and his vision doubled. I dont see the air thing…” his left hand came to his temple, rubbing his head butdefinitely fucks with my vision”. He closed his eyes, finding the darkness to be relaxing.

    Well talk to the teacher, maybe she can do it but, if not. What do you suggest?” He leaned back into the chair, keeping his eyes closed as his hands sat in his lap.

    And, why do you care anyway?”
    There was no hesitation in her.

    "I've taken it upon myself to defend those who can't defend themselves," while she knew, in a way, it would sound to be a cliché and tired vow for a schoolgirl to uphold; Peace Hayder thought of her family, of the Nobodies she had known and the Nobody she had been. But that was a different life left over from months ago; she had sharpened herself since then in time with her blade.

    "I've never been able to watch people suffer and...I know this is a path that will lead you to suffering. Miss Yukimura may know something about being removed from the bracket. Unless you choose a class, which would be my suggestion," it was a sore subject for some Nobodies and she wasn't quite sure how it would fare when pressed to David, but she carried on nonetheless, "you don't have many options other than fighting...or leaving town." She smiled at him, finally pulling her hand away from her mouth and allowing it to rest on the hilt of her sword.

    "You look kind of sick. Sit here and I'll talk to the teacher."
    With a few languid steps, Peace moved through the crowd and away from David's sight; yelling over the din of her peers.

    "Miss Yukimura! A moment of your time, please!"

    Their walk had been relatively pleasant, Ryobi indulging Hazard Star in the details of his plan. Though she hadn't yet agreed to participate, he had an inkling that it would be too much for her to resist. They stood, now, outside the wall of the school; Ryobi leaning against it, the cup of coffee still warm in his hands though it had nearly reached depletion. He sipped carefully, watching her from the corner of his eye.

    "So, what do ya think," Ryobi's speech was smooth and fluid, now, his usually proper inflection caving beneath the weight of his excitement and giving way to a more casual vernacular, "about all that, there, girly?" He tended to be manic, in times like this, alternating between his placid persona and the jovial half-madness of his true self in undulating waves; perhaps even dangerous waves. Pulling the cup away, he turned toward Star and leaned heavily on his shoulder.

    "It's great, am I right?"

    She listened as she sipped the now near room temperature liquid, blue drops of it dripping down her chin before being wiped away by a long black sleeve. She enjoyed listening at times like this, her own smile pale in comparison to the excited boy’s. His caffeine fuelled madness was amusing, switching between calm and composed and trying to hold in his own excited, maddening energies was a sight she relished in. Though, if the stitches that held together that madness unwound, well… we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

    She nodded slowly in response, the last drops falling to her tongue. The black & blue can, styled like graffiti hit the edge of the trashcan, a metallic sound resonating as it slid into the void and found its new home among friends.

    Ill do it
    Bridge City High loomed behind them, its strangely crescent shadow an axe-blade against the glowing lances of the sun. Even now, he could hear the murmurs of his classmates when he and Star walked through the door. The teacher giving them a short and meaningless disapproval before sending them to mingle with the dregs of budding F.S.N pretenders. He imagined that there would be a fight between himself and one of the wretches before the end of class; and the serpentine grin on his face belied some of his joy about the situation.

    "Excellent! I'm quite glad to be able to count on ya, Star, you're doin' me a huge favor. Now c'mon, we gotta go!"

    "You're kinda creepy when you're chirpy" She mused to herself.

    He turned his serpentine smile on her, taking the final sip of his coffee. Once the cup was empty he simply threw it over his shoulder; savoring the musical shattering of the glass on concrete. Removing himself from the wall, Ryobi took slow, almost sauntering steps through the school's open gate and up the small flight of steps leading to the main entrance; proceeding from there through the winding veins of Bridge City high, finally pausing at the door.

    Flinging the door open was only natural and stepping in like he owned the place just felt right. Wins, losses, pain and glory awaited in this room; the shimmering in the air and the pressure in the back of his skull let him know this much, though the faint whisper in his ear seemed more attuned to the matter at hand. Yukimura, talking to a green-haired girl, turned from their conversation and locked steely eyes onto Ryobi.

    Hazard Star stood, scanning the classroom and its contents for someone. Who, didn’t matter, just someone who’d be fun to fight. She tapped her fingers against her hip, humming to herself.

    They all look like dorks The girl sighed as she continued to stand and stare. No one, not a soul, caught her eye. Disappointing she overly pronounced the word, each syllable elongatedand I was looking forward to this too…” She sighed again, finding herself a seat. Might as well relax and let the bugs come to her.

    "Your names, please," the teacher demanded, taking a few steps away from her desk, though Ryobi could only notice the subtle bouncing of her chest as she made her way toward them. "I do not tolerate lateness, not after the first day. I suggest the two of you take time to learn the layout of this building, so this doesn't happen again. Are we clear?"

    "Ryobi Tsunoda. And yes maam," Ryobi offered with a tip of his non-existent hat, "never again, I assure you. It would be unfortunate if we had arrived tardy and unable to participate in the opening matches of the year. I apologize for my lack of foresight and," he cast his eyes briefly to Peace, catching just the tail-end of her hair as she made her back through the crowd, then to Star "interrupting your conversation. I hope this does not reflect poorly on us."
    She snapped her head up, looking at the well-endowed teacher with a smirk, oh how cute Ryobi was when playing nice. "Hazard Star. I apologize for my broken alarm clock, will get a new one this afternoon" She grinned, tipping her own nonexistent hat.

    Yukimura turned and walked away, back to her desk; apparently satisfied with the answers she was given. Ryobi stuck his tongue out, but only for a brief moment before he took a few steps toward the gathered students.

    "Looks like a lot of punks, this year," he commented in the airy, almost dreamy tones he used when in his placid persona, calm and level, a slight, crooked smile lingering beneath half closed eyes, "you're right about that much, at least, Star."
    #10 Daze, Jun 1, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
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  11. Katherine

    Kathrine did not seek a fight. No, eventually one would be left, and they would be forced to fight. There is no point in putting in extra effort when something will be done for you in the end. She will fight everybody at least once by the end of the year. Besides it seemed that everyone was already pairing themselves off. Inserting herself in now would just upset the balance. However just then two students walked in. She did not like the air around them... They rubbed her the wrong way. When the boy passed by she heard his comment. That was not the kind of thing she liked to hear.
    Punk? Did he just call me a punk? I shall teach him of his folly. "For one who has just arrived late, you dare call those who arrived at the designated hour a 'punk'? While I can agree that there are, for lack of a better term, 'punks' here, I have to disagree with your estimate. I count only two." Kathrine remained seated as she cast a judging glare upon the pair. "Now, shoo, unless you have some other business with me."
  12. He cooed into the air, a sarcastic noise that bordered on a whistle.

    "Business with you," Ryobi queried in his still-water way, the corners of his mouth curling slightly as he looked at the girl, "are you sure you want to initiate a conversation like this? 'Cause it just makes you look outright pompous, telling someone to go away after you opened your mouth," He placed one hand in his pocket and trailed the other over the brim of his imaginary hat, chuckling to himself. "I do not believe I understand your accusation, though. Would it not be easier to turn away than feel anger at the words of a complete stranger, let alone one you've called a punk?" A shrug accented his point and he turned his back on her.

    "But, hell, if yer so intent on embarrassing yourself; I suppose I could accept a challenge. If that wasn't yer idea, then I suggest ya sit back and shut your mouth," he smiled over his shoulder at the girl, watching her in his periphery. Gleipnir bucked against its restraints, at Ryobi's subconscious cue, causing his tattoo to pulse briefly in an acid green before he slid it into his pocket.
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  13. Standing, Ahzera growled, then looked over to Ryobi and that lot. Yelling in a Norwegian accent, he said, "All of you... Shut the FUCK up. You're doing yourselves no favors by annoying the rest of us with your petty squabble. Shut up, and keep it that way!"

    Another fighter stood up behind him, and tried to tell him to calm down, and sit back down. Ahzera took none of this advice, and shoved the other student onto the ground. He knelt, and nearly made the poor fool wet himself in fear. How he did this, was give in to the werewolf form a bit, just enough to change his face. While he was kneeling, the students brother came up behind him, and smacked the back of his head with an open fist. Twitching more now, Ahzera stood, and looked down on the smaller boy. His eyes turning a dark shade of green, he slammed into the boy, knocking him to the floor.

    Finally catching himself, Ahzera slowly sat back down, and breathed heavily. The other form wore off, and he leaned back against the wall, warranting glances from the others around him. Not even looking at her, he spoke in his slightly English accent, "Sorry, Liara. Got ahead of myself there."
  14. Kathrine

    Kathrine just laughed.
    "Anger? Who said I spoke in anger? That is quite the assumption. No, I was speaking in contempt. You irked me the moment you walked in. Both of you" Upon the challenge Kathrine stood up. "Oh! But you see my intention was for a fight to come to me. You have done all the hard work for me!... Just like a servant. Hmm... I like that name for you, 'Servant'." Just then one man yelled out. He caused quite the scene. "Well now it seems the people have spoken. Perhaps we shall let our actions do the speaking then. Of course I've never been a good speaker. I tend to delegate." Katherine turned to the teacher. "Ms. Yukimura, how much longer before we begin the matches?


    "Ah, why'd you have to go and do that?! I liked watching those two fighting! It was like the Douche-lympics or something! Gaaaaah!" Liara leaned back holding her head as she sighed.
  15. Yukimura lifted her head, briefly and cast a glance at her watch

    "About five minutes," she put her pen to paper, again, "so, you can go ahead and get started if you want."

    "Servant," Ryobi said, his back still turned, the back of his right hand pulsing with erratic energies, "I've been called worse, really, but to have it thrown in your face is so...hurtful," the manic giggle that accompanied it belied Ryobi's true feelings; he didn't care what the girl had to say, or whatever simple insults she'd attach to him.

    "Are we gonna do this?"

    Ryobi lifted his left hand and flung it forward, a small, nearly translucent box appearing. Briefly, he moved through menus and selected the opponent to send a challenge to. After being sent, it would take only a moment for the girl to receive concrete news of his intentions.

    "Or are you gonna dribble at the mouth all day, eh?"
  16. Enoch

    One of the students, a serious looking boy, accepted Enoch's challenge. Enoch pumped his fist in the air, “Now that's how you accept a challenge!” Enoch said. He scanned the room. Enoch saw the most of the class had disregarded his outburst, but other one who did pay heed, a knight looking fellow, seemed like he would take great pleasure in ripping out Enoch's throat.He was glad that it was Kaze that accepted the challenge and not the knight. Enoch said, “Well, Kaze, what ever happens, let's make this fight as flash as possible. We need to show these guy's what a soul on fire looks like!” Enoch flipped his menu open and sent a fight request to Kaze.


    “God, eh?,” Aether said. Aether believed in God, but with her father being a demon, they didn't get along very well. It was the same with God's servants. “Well, that explains a lot. I'm sorry that I bothered you, Please, go back to your prayers.” She took a slow look around the room. "Anyone wanna fight me?" She asked in a meek voice.
    #16 Diomedes, Jun 1, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  17. Yvon Auttenberg stood as the scene unfolded, his chair nearly falling back. The crowd forming blocked his way but he heard the pleas and begs, and enough to know the unholy monster was doing exactly what he feared. “I knew it, I fucking knew it” He spat, venom coating his tongue.

    He turned, for half a moment to the shaman, barely any interest registering in response to her words. His mind too clouded by scriptures he claimed to have abandoned years ago.
    “No, thank you. Perhaps another time.” His words were rushed as he scattered off from the small group. He made his way into the crowd, pushing them away, though by the time he stood in front of the vile creature most had returned to their idle chitchat.

    “I overheard your story” The white haired man began, composure coloring his face. “If I understand correct, you are an undead werewolf who happens to have spirits whispering in his ears every second of the day.” His right hand rested on the hilt of Causa Mortis, his left palm rested in the air against what soon manifested itself. The semi-transparent box sat there, every part of reality as Yvon was as he scrolled, finding what he needed. His index finger hit sent and his challenge was known to Azhera.

    Hazard Star sat back, quietly snickering to herself. “What a pompous bitch. Good luck, servant.” She grinned widely, feet now upon the table. He didn’t need her luck, really she was sure the match would be barely a game for the man but should be entertaining enough.
    #17 Daze, Jun 1, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  18. "Star, darling," Ryobi turned himself toward her, staring daggers into her form as he struggled with the burning sensation that had become more prevalent in his right hand, "is now the time to be prodding at me?" He knew she wouldn't care, but there were few moments in Ryobi's existence where he could tolerate being made fun of; he gave her a contemptuous chuckle, riddled with toxins and displeasure, before turning toward Kathy.

    His thoughts turned to the conversation between a seemingly bitter young man, who had just strolled away from his companion and the mongrel who had spoken to him, out of turn, a moment before. A noise escaped him, a near purr of excitement that set his eyes completely closed; fingers working automatically to redirect the request. Instead, he was issuing two further commands.

    One to the boy named Yvon Auttenberg and the other to Azhera and Kathy. His first request was that of forming a party, the second being a challenge of his party against their's. Ryobi's eyes locked onto Yvon.

    "Hey, you, how about we make this interesting, eh?"

    Ceridwen turned her eyes from the spectacle, recovering her bible from the pouch at her hip.

    "Yes, God and have no worries, you have done me no offense."

    She turned her thoughts away from the girl beside her and to her scripture, albeit only briefly enough to tilt her head and speak quietly over its spine.

    "Be careful, brother, this man is a snake."

    With that, she resigned herself to silence; satisfied at the absence of combat in her immediate future.
    #18 Sleep, Jun 1, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  19. "Very well. An unhappy servant is a poor one." Kathrine lifted her hand out and a wooden rod came forth. With her other hand she accepted the invite she had received. "Oh please, call me whatever! Hm... You know you may be right about that one... Star was it? Hahaha." Soon though she received a team battle request. "My! I'm surprised you didn't ask your girlfriend here. Very well then, I am not afraid." She accepted his challenge.
    #19 Reanimator Spuds, Jun 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  20. Aether saw two of the other students, David and Peace, having a heated argument. She got out of her seat and walked to them. Aether cocked her head and gave a weak smile, trying to seem as weak and soft as possible. “E-Excuse me, but do one of your want fight me? I'm want to fight, b-but, I'm a little nervous. W-Would one of you like to face me?” She said. Oh, that stuttering was a nice touch, Aether thought.
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