s-CRY-ed: Civil War

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Professor Crane

Original poster
OOC: http://space-kitten.org/iwaku/showthread.php?t=3465

The Alter Arenas- 1000 local time

Howards sat idly in the Alter arena. His progress had ground to a halt since he reached the edge of James's and Kiera's territory. He glanced over at the ongoing fight, some Alter user was trying to become one of his lieutenants. Howards had given him the usual treatment, beat whatever opponents Howards decided to throw before him.

The fight had been one sided for the would-be lieutenant. His Alter, a strange device that was attached to his back, seemed to have put him in some sort of drug fueled rage. Howards sighed before holding up his hand, signaling for them to stop.

Standing up Howards addressed the man, "You definitely have some power, but I don't think that's enough for you to be a lieutenant anymore. I want something more from you. Go to the edge of James Short's territory, scout a town, and report back to me. I want to know what Alter users are there and what their powers are."

Howards then turned to the rest of his small army that was in the arena. "This goes for anyone. Anyone who brings me information on land outside my control will be rewarded. The reward will be greater if you actually manage to take the control of it." After saying this he turned and walked away from the Alter arena.

HOLD ruins- 1000 local time

James Short stood in what little remained of the HOLD building. He kicked over a small stone that was covering the HOLD emblem before him. It was, somewhat, sentimental for the seemingly emotionless man. Even his lieutenants couldn't read him and they couldn't tell why he was so interested in the remains of what most of them had fought against.

James then turned to his lieutenants, motioning to the wreckage behind him, "I doubt I need to tell you what this is, what it represented. It was an icon of tyranny, but it was more. The reason it was seen as tyranny was because it was a shadow organization thrust into the light. In time I seek to rebuild this city and in doing so, rebuild HOLD, but without HOLY."

The lieutenants looked at each other nervously, HOLD was a nightmare for all of them. Why would he want it rebuilt? None of them voiced their opinion though, if nothing else, they had learned that James's plans would be revealed in time.

James let a small smile at the apparent nervousness of the gathered Alter users. "HOLD will become the normal policing force, integrating Alter users into it to enforce basic rules, but not to capture anyone with Alter powers. Without the Mainland trying to gain access to the Other Side, there will be no need, but on top of that, it will be a nice cover to what I am really doing. HOLD shall become the right hand."

James walked past his lieutenants to the entrance of the ruins. "We need people inside Kiera's and Howards's territory. From your reports, Vorn Marcil could be susceptible to changing sides. That takes care of Kiera, as for Howards, we need to start by targeting his lieutenants. Howards needs to have his rule largely undisputed, and so his lieutenants are a weakness. Find people to complete these tasks, I'll contact you when you have accomplished this."

Former Location of the Alter Forest – 1000 local time

Kiera was kneeling in a small garden she had been working on for some time, she hoped that one day she could regrow the Alter Forest. Until then she had to keep from losing what little she had. Pitting hope against fear was difficult at best, and many villages would take months to convince to switch sides, but if she wanted to ultimately win, she needed to take her territory peacefully.

Holding the territory though, that was generally a violent affair. Howards's blind ambition and James's ruthless tactics had been wearing on her and her followers. She stood up as she heard footsteps approaching. Turning she saw one of the village representatives. The man was out of breath, he seemed to have come in a hurry.

"Kiera, we have trouble," the first thing that came out of the man's mouth. "My village is losing faith that we can protect them. Howards's last attack was devastating, they lost a good piece of farmland and several houses in the battle. I can't convince them that Howards will not accept their surrender. Especially after they left him already."

Kiera's face saddened as she heard this. She walked to him quickly. "I'll go and talk to them, you go to the other villages, see if any will help to rebuild the damage done. Start with the villages closest to the forest. They're safer and should be more willing to help. Hurry now, I'll meet you at your village." Kiera ran off towards the man's village as he walked towards the nearest village. Kiera knew that by the time she got to her destination most of the other villages would have heard of the attack, and the following unrest.
Just outside of the Former Location of the Alter Forest - 1005 local time

Vorn was waiting on the roof of a building when he saw Kiera, his boss that he had absolute loyalty too, running down the street. ( Why is she running somewhere?) Curious Vorn jumps down and commences running to her. He quickly catches up. " Hey Kiera, whats going on? Why are you running towards the borders?" He waited for the answer as they continued running.

( Huh it wasn't that long ago when she took me in, hard to believe someone like her took power anywhere but all well. She's probably of to see a couple of the villages that got attacked last but, why would she need to go there... Isn't one of her top Lieutenants there? This is unsettling I'll go with her but this is unsettling.) With that he continued running until Kiera answered him.
Youko gently squeezed the shoulder of an old farmer, looking out at the field of newly grown sprouts and smiling at the progress that's been made in a short six months. Families were moving back, fields were beginning to be set, and life was going on. It was truly a miracle to be seen – that had to be seen. It gave her people hope, something to hold onto, and it was sorely needed in these times, especially since the recent attacks on a nearby village. The attack…

… her chest tightened at the thought. She hoped someone would come with information soon. The more Youko knew, the more she could calm the rising fear. It's been nearly three days since she heard anything, but Kiera always pulled through; the young woman always proved true to her cause.

At that exact moment, a man – a speckle in the distance – rushed toward the village. The people glance up from their daily chores, confusion settling upon their face. She moved quickly, recognizing the man for who he was. A sigh of relief escaped her.

"What's the news?"
From a distance, Adel watched the battle in the Alter Arena. The man was trying to become one of Howards' lieutenants. The battle was rather dull, but the mans alter intrigued Adel to a certain extent. The woman stood with her arms folded over her chest, her brown hair held out of her face by a crimson ribbon this time. Her blue-grey eyes watched intently, only shifting when she hear Howard speak out to stop the fight and make an announcement.

"Go to the edge of James Short's territory, scout a town, and report back to me. I want to know what Alter users are there and what their powers are. This goes for anyone. Anyone who brings me information on land outside my control will be rewarded. The reward will be greater if you actually manage to take the control of it." After saying this he turned and walked away from the Alter arena. Adel watched him go as whispers went around those few who were still around.

People began to scatter to follow his orders, as being in good standings with Howards was always a good thing. She watched the man in the arena below a moment more as he attempted to come down slightly from his drug induced-like state before he took off to follow Howards' orders. In the past, Adel had done a few scouting missions in both James' and Kiera's territories. Both were interesting individuals and so different from Howards in how they viewed things to be. The power struggle between the three could go any which way. As a gentle breeze blew through her hair, Adel sighed as she turned and slowly walked off to see what she could do to assist in Howards' orders.
Aurora listened along with her fellow lieutenants of Jame's plans, she was interested in his real plans but she knew it would be while before he'd reveal them. Aurora nodded her head and slowly made her way to the edge of Howards territory, she knew what she had to do slip in undetected spy on his lieutenants and discover who would be susceptible to changing sides.

She was perfect for this as she could blend into the shadows, invisible and silent. She'd had a lot of practice in her childhood, she walked slowly in making sure to stay hidden. She froze as she heard approaching footsteps, she ducked out of sight and saw Adel. Aurora had seen her before once or twice but she wasn't sure how strong her loyalty was.
In a village, Jennifer Johnson was just waking up from her long rest against a boulder. She stretched, stood to her feet, and gazed silently around her. There was nothing of interest to her at the moment, so she started wandering aimlessly as always. It seemed her life was nothing anymore except wandering around without anywhere to go. The world was full of people yet so empty for her. She stopped at a cold stream of water, gazing back at the reflection of a ten year old girl with pale hair in a braid, and washed the travel grime from her face and hands. She was pale, and thin, her red-and-blue eyes unusual to say the least. But as long as she didn't use her fire and ice alters, she remained unnoticed, so she thought. She wore a light blue shirt, ripped jeans,and dusty white sneakers, along with an inconspicuous seeming white vest..As she walked however, she ran into something tall....and solid. A person! "S-sorry..." She stuttered, looking up to see who's irritation she might have invoked.
Kozuku was more than slightly relieved when he saw Aurora take off to infiltrate Howards' territory. He had feared it would fall to him to return to the arena in order to gain intelligence on Howards' current plans and the behavior of his lieutenants. While he knew it was inevitable that he would encounter Howard' again someday and have to settle their score once and for all, he wasn't ready to do so. Not just yet, anyway.

Instead, he set out for Kiera's slice of the Lost Ground. Her peaceful reputation seemed to suggest his mission would go by without incident, meaning he wouldn't have to fight or use his Alter powers. This idea pleased him greatly, and he actually enjoyed walking along the roads through the territory, seeing for himself what Kiera and those loyal to her had been able to rebuild. Still, as tranquil and beautiful as this place was, it could all be lost in an instant if there was no one willing to defend it. With any luck, Kozuku would be able to find someone capable of repelling hostile forces if it became necessary.

Spotting a small stream a short distance away, he headed in its direction, thinking he might stop and take a drink, clean water being so hard to find in places these days. The cool, crystalline water seemed safe, and so he stooped to gather some in his hands. After taking a couple refreshing sips, he stood and made to go on his way again, when suddenley something below his eyeline wandered straight into him. Looking down, he saw that it was a young girl, who was now standing there looking shocked and a little embarassed. She didn't look like the powerful ally he had been sent to find, but that was no reason to treat her rudely. She might even know some useful information if she was from around these parts.

Kozuku grinned, chuckling at her stammered apology. "Please, don't be sorry. It's not your fault. If anything, I was the one who should have been watching where I was going." "So... what're you doing on this fine day?"
Jennifer stared up at the guy she'd bumped into, and blinked..... no one was really 'nice' to kids, so she was used to running away first chance she saw adults. "I was about to go scrounge for breakfast.... what are you doing out here?" She returned the question, curious about this person and wondering if somehow making friends was at all possible. She was calculating several escape routes just in case something went wrong though. Most of her experience with adults so far hadn't exactly been positive, and she was beginning to wonder if the majority of them just hated kids, or if she was just troublesome.
As Adel walked through the passageways of the arena she felt as if someone were watching her. Pausing in her gait, the young woman slowly turned and looked behind her down the pathway she was following. Her posture made it seem as if she would call out to see if anyone were actually there, but instead she just quietly scanned the area, stopping upon the shadows and lingering. There's someone there.. she thought to herself but soon turned and simply continued on her way. If the person wanted to show his or her self they would. If they were spies from one of the other territories, then Adel would let the others deal with them, unless they were bold enough to confront Adel their self. She continued at a slow, leisurely pace, the heels of her boots clicking upon the floor with each step she took. Her hands were folded behind her back as she seemed lost in thought. Perhaps she was. A soft sigh escaped her lips as she continued to hear movement behind her. Stopping once more, she stood there simply waiting, "You can come out" she said in a soft tone that held a slight foreign accent for the area. Adel was actually American born, and wasn't a natural native of these areas. Her family had moved to Japan when she was a young girl and that's when all the financial troubles began.
Getting the scoop from Kiera as they ran Vorn quickly went ahead of Kiera. ( Knowing Howards' he'll start another attack right when she's there or he will send spies to report on our location.) A few miles down the road Vorn ran into a spy. He had seen this man before and knew he was spying for James considering he saw him last time he spied in James' territory. Quickly releasing his alter he snuck up on him and dispatched him, he had been a really weak alter user who probably didn't even know how to use his alter right, so it was relatively easy for Vorn to dispatch him. ( The Fuckers get dumber and dumber all the time.) With that he continued on his way.
Aurora moved out from behind the trees she had been hiding in, she smiled a little at Adel. "Greetings, Adel isn't it?" She had no problems letting Adel see her face, she knew that Howards was already aware of her but he didn't know anything about her. She had purposely made noise to gauge Adel's reaction, she seemed weary or perhaps simply annoyed by Auroras presence.

She stepped a little closer and stood calmly with her hands by her sides, she appeared relaxed but she was ready to spring into action at the slightest show of hostility. She smiled at her again, "i was wondering how satisfied you are with Howards way of running things."
Adel waited for the individual to show their self. Finally the person came from behind the treeline and stood with the same smile. "Greetings, Adel isn't it?" the girl asked before moving on to ask how satisfied Adel was with Howards' rule. The girl had some audacity to ask such a question in Howards' domain. Obviously a spy. She racked her memory to see if she recognized the girl but all she could get was the name. If her memory served her correctly, she was one of James' minions. Aurora was her name. She wasn't sure what the girl's alter was, but time would certainly tell her.

Adel had no time to waste around with a menial spy who was just asking how satisfied she was with Howards' ruling techniques. Howards ruled the way he wanted to rule, as did Kiera and James. Each had their strengths and weaknesses, and none were any better than the other. They were ruled by their ideals, wasn't that how it always went? A soft sigh escaped her lips, "You waste your time" she bluntly said. This was probably the most she'd said in a long while, so the girl was lucky to hear even that. Without a second thought she turned and continued on her way. What the girl did next was entirely up to her, Adel would react accordingly.
Youko had run off to the neighboring village in a sort of panic. If there was anything she could do to help…her stomach sank. Memories of the past six months flooded back – the attacks were devastating. Her nose wrinkled in the imaginary stink of ash and smoke. Youko shook her head, trying to focus on the dirt path ahead.

She spotted Vorn as she entered the village and jogged up to him. She didn't know the man too well, but Kiera trusted him and that's all the woman needed to count the man as an ally. The reasoning: if you couldn't trust the people that you put your faith in, who could you trust?

"What's the worse of the damage?" Youko's voice was tight with concern.
Vorn saw Youko coming towards him and waited. Youko asked him about the damage. " Yea half the town is damaged or destroyed but I'd consider the worst damage the casualties. We have 40 wounded and 10 unfortunately dead. By the way Kiera will be here shortly and I have to scavenge the area to make sure there are no more of James' spies around. So I need you to take control here until Kiera gets here. And let her know that I ran into one of his spies on the road and I'll hopefully capture one of his spies." With that Vorn was off into the surrounding area.( Okay time for a capture and lot o' killing.) Vorn was not thrilled at the thought but neither was he bothered by it.
Aurora watched her walk away for a moment before calling out to her, "don't be so sure you've chosen the right leader." She said before turning and continuing on her way, slipping into the shadows. She knew she'd probably be chewed out for giving up to easily but she could tell that Adel was strong, and would need a lot of convincing to change loyalties.

Aurora spent a while watching Howards lieutenants but none of them ventured off on their own, and it would be unwise and futile to try and talk to them all at once. She kept an eye out for Howards but didn't see him, she noticed that there were less of his men around then usual and guessed he had ordered an attack. Since Jame's territory was fine when she left, she guessed they were attacking Keria.
Border between Kiera Willow's and Howards's territory.

A tanned man was sitting against a tree. A cigarette hung idly from his mouth. He was staring skyward towards the noon sun, his sunglasses protecting his eyes.

He hadn't been waiting there long, and the person he had been waiting for didn't keep him waiting long, as per what he learned had suggested. "Vorn," the man smiled, standing up from where he was. He waved at Vorn. "Good afternoon to you. Got any news of a place I could rest for a spell?" He shouted to Vorn. All the while keeping one hand hidden from Vorn.

Tairo Village

Kiera got to Tairo around time for lunch. The village had been devastated as she had been told. Looking around she sighed as she saw Youko. Walking over to her Kiera again looked at the damage.

"Thanks for coming to lend a hand. It's going to be an even harder year than we thought it seemed to be already. Can you help clearing some of the buildings so they have some place to sleep? I'll help with the crops." Kiera said before heading to what was left of the fields.
Stopping in front of the man Vorn put his blade to his throat. " Who are you?" Vorn replied irritated. " You don't remember me?" The stranger replied. Quickly snatching the mans sunglasses off Vorn recognized those eyes those red and purple eyes. " Michel bloody Raven?! What the hell are you doin here last I heard you were in Russia kickin some dumbass mobs ass." Vorn was generally surprised this old friend had showed up. " Well that was a while ago I decided to come back to the forest." Michel replied. " Well go south about a mile you'll run into a village, that is a good place to stay if you help with repairs on the town. Oh! And Michel tell the people there I sent you or you're gonna get your self skewered." With that Vorn was off and looking for another of James' Spies. " Well Ain't that bloody convenient I got to bloody work for my super huh." With that Michel Raven was off too town.
Border between Kiera Willow's and Howards's territory.

Michel smiled as Vorn ran off. "He still hasn't learned, a man in a rush never sees the cliff before it's too late." he commented as he made for Tairo. His pace at a quick walk.

He pulled his hand out from behind his back, revealing he had his Alter summoned. It was a mechanical glove, it looked to be comprised of steels and iron. Suspended above his palm was a small glowing orb. The orb was only faintly glowing, having the color of a dark red.

Reaching the outskirts of Tairo Michel held out his hand and put his sun glasses back on. The orb suddenly burst into a bright white sphere. making a throwing motion the sphere struck one of the houses, igniting it. After the house started burning the orb returned to his hand.

He threw the sphere several more times, striking a new house with the same result every time. Each time the sphere struck a house, is pulsed even brighter, to where it could be seen for a few miles.
(Knew It! Bastard!) " So Michel you thought you could pull one over on me eh... Hey I got news for yah this village has been deserted for weeks!" Vorn laghed watching his old friend now back stabber burn houses. " You know you shouldn't of summoned your alter when you went to James' side. I'd know your alter anywhere." Vorn had his alter summoned now and was ready to kill his old friend. " So lets put that nickname of yours to the test eh, Blood Pyro!" With that Vorn started the attack. ( Lets see if you see me like old times pyro.)
Youko watched as Kiera headed down to the fields. It was only moments before the area was filled with a loud-sounding blast. The black haze of smoke and engulfing flames didn't falter as it destroyed what was left of the village. Screams erupted in a sort of daze; people were pouring out of nearby houses – to the village well, into the forest, in search of loved ones. The familiar scene played out in front of her eyes. It was happening all over again, and that old fear came back, settling in the deep pit of her stomach.

"Find Kiera!" Youko shouted to no one in particular.

Pushing past the fear as she pushed through the crowd, Youko rushed to grab a bucket and help extinguish the fires. She was only one in several villagers trying to struggle against the blaze, save every bit of someone else's home. She had to continue fighting. Fighting to give another day of peace.
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