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.