To save what remains... (CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

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  1. You've been given all the power, boy.
    Now go and make your move.
    Curse us, these Gods aren't faking.
    Have mercy on the cowards, boy.
    They'll pray to have you lose.
    Help us, this world's now breaking.​
    Song: No world for tomorrow
    Artist: Coheed & Cambria​


    Outer perimeter wall: two days before the awakening

    "Daiki! Will you stop and listen for a moment!?" Halvon shouted after his Koek'enin companion. Ever since they both had been placed on probationary status for the incident at the Tavern in the NRD (How guardsman and military personnel refer to the Northern Residential District), Daiki had had a pretty poor attitude with him. To Daiki's credit, it had only been a few moons since, but that withstanding, Halvon hoped he wouldn't hold a grudge. "Look, I apologized didn't I? I know your not supposed to touch the dancing girls but I couldn't help it. They were so enticing..." The hulking Undradr trailed off a little as he caught up with his wolf-like companion.

    Daiki couldn't blame Halvon too much; he was an Undradr, after all. They loved the sight of a good looking woman. However, he had caused a ruckus, and that was a breech of their code of conduct. Any guardsmen would be met with punishment for disturbing the peace they were meant to keep. The two made their way around the northwest corner of the out wall of Bastion. Daiki's frustration with his partner was quickly quelled when he saw a small, faint orange flash of light. The flash had appeared deep in the wooded area just outside of the perimeter walkway surrounding the city.

    "Did you see that?" Daiki said, his eyes not leaving the spot that the light had appeared in, his wolf-like ears moving and twitching, trying to find out if there was some kind of sound outside of what was already happening in the forest.​

    Halvon looked in the direction Daiki had his eyes locked on, and placed a hand on his weapon, a large hand axe that was at his side. "Daiki, what is it, what did you see? Is it an enem...Hey, Daiki!?" Halvon called toward his partner, who was now slowly, sluggishly walking towards the forest. "Daiki, is everything alright? Where are you going, we're not supposed to leave the perimeter path on this kind of patrol, you know..."

    Daiki said nothing, and continued into the forest, with Halvon slowly following behind him. It was a few minutes before Halvon said anything again, still following his partner. "Hey, what the hell do you think you're doing, you stupid wolf! What if we're caught off the patrol road? We need to head..." Halvon stopped his speech completely, his brain trying to register, with some difficulty, what he was seeing. It was like a clearing...but it wasn't natural. It was as if everything in the surrounding area, all plant life, had just...died. Shriveled up plants, foliage, and twigs cracked under both their feet as they made their way into the clearing, Halvon holding out a torch to see if he could find anything that could have caused this. "I have a bad feeling about this, Daiki...this isn't good. We need to report this!" Halvon felt what could only be described as an unnatural heaviness in the air. It was thick and suppressing...almost hard for him to catch a single breath. When he did, though, there was a fog coming away from his mouth, as though it were a mid-winters eve. The silence was suddenly broken by Daiki's voice...though it didn't sound like Daiki normally did at all. As he spoke, he turned around towards Halvon, his eyes glowing a bright, shining orange color.

    "It will be fine, my friend. The time has finally come..."

    Market District: Two days later

    The city woke with a stir that morning. The bustle of the average Monday market rush was anticipated, and shop keeps, restaurateurs, and many others began to head early to the district from the northern and southern residential areas. Mondays were good days for the shops in Bastion, it was the scheduled day for produce and supplies to arrive in the city for the next two weeks to be sold, manufactured or repurposed. The first carts began to arrive in the early morning, dropping off their goods. The trains came into the station, and boats arrived at the docks with their supplies for the Industrial district a few hours later. By noon, the entire city was bustling with life and activity. Children going to their schools while their parents went to market, salesmen making their pitch to the random passerby to make a sale. The city was bright, and alive, despite the overcast of grey clouds in the sky and the rumors of two missing guardsmen going missing a few nights before. It was being investigated, but there was really no trace...

    It was subtle at first. Very subtle, in fact: it was as if it just...started. It was, indeed, late spring. A slight, dry warmth in the air. But it was...snowing. Just small, wispy flurries, was doing just that. The small, fluffy puffs of frozen ice fluttered to the ground. It was quite a sight, though. The entire city, once it had noticed the phenomenon, stopped what they were doing, just for a moment. They all looked to the sky, even the members of the parliament, locked high in their tower. There was something odd about this snow, outside of its timing during a warm spring day.

    It was if the snow was black.
    • Love Love x 1
  2. Outside the small tavern at the corner of the market, a commation was stirring outside, nearly emptying the tavern. In the corner, Celthric Rivtdale sat quietly drinking the cup of wine in front of him. Getting up, he looked for his sister and thought to himself Probably already outside. He gathered his helmet, shield, and spear and walked out of the bar and looked around him. Black snow fell from the sky, everyone but his sister marveled at it. She was laughing uncontrollably, twirling in circles at the falling snow. She loved the snow, and I guess even though it was black she didn't mind. Celthric took a glove off and reached for some snow, and found that it was cold and hot at the same time. Feeling uneazed, Celthric grabbed his sister and pulled her down the market road, towards the gate.

    "Were leaving Sis, I don't like this black snow."
    "What?!? It's just snow! What's the worse that could happen!"
  3. Em tosses back her golden locks and glances over to Eli- or Elizabeth rather licking her lips. He smiles at her, showing him her new dress he had just bought. The little boy wouldn't look at all like a boy in the eyes of the others, he wore a skirt and black shirt, knee highs and his long blonde hair pulled into pony tails. He wore glasses on the tip of his nose and was very pretty. Em laughed, "Always wasting your money on such things." She shook her head lightly. "I didn't spend money!" He exclaimed at her "I traded that pie I made." She rolled her eyes. "Come on, Elizabeth." She laughed, and hand in hand they went. Em was a short girl with the same hair color as her brother, a deep blonde color with streaks of light blonde through it. She let her hair wave about her hair though, not bothering to fashionably braid it or bother with it at all. Only when she needed to part and put it up when she practiced around with the bow and arrow. But she often got bored with it after awhile, she'd already picked up that skill after all. Running her free hand through her hair, she squinted at the sky with her deep blue eyes. Was... Ash floating down?

    "Do you see that?" Em demanded, blinking into the bright sky. Eli stared up too, adjusting his glasses. "Is it... Snow?" He offered for an awnser. Em's thin eyebrows knit together and a confused look settled on her face. "Black... Snow?" She questioned while Eli shrugged. "I guess so." He decided. That definitely wasn't natural. Black snow? No. They needed to get inside. "Come on." Em said, shaking her head. This new thing... It frightened her. Either the skies were so polluted with bad outputs and smoke that it was actually snowing black, a forest fire happened and ash was raining down, or... It didn't matter what story she came up with in her head, it wasn't a pleasant one. "Where do we go?"
  4. "But Sailus!" The little Koek'enin girl called after the older Inalian man, who's white-grey beard hung loosely from his chin. They walked through the busy market street, the girl walking with extra effort to catch up with the Inali. "I just want to look in the dress shops! Is that too much to ask, you old fart?!" The young Koek'enin mumbled under her breath. "I heard that, you little wolf!" Sailus, who's cane tapped loudly against the cobblestone causing the girl to jump a bit, said as he continued to lead the girl through the crowds of people.

    They were, without a doubt, an odd sight to see around these parts. Not to say Koek'enin children were an uncommon sight, but it was especially rare for Koek'enin to have pure white hair, who's eyes were bright, red orbs. An albino Koek'enin hadn't been seen before. And as for the Inali, who's age was beginning to show, it was also a very odd sight. Inali, during their latter years, had a tendency to keep to the city of Icuran in the south, to serve the Inali in their decision making with their peoples internal politics. With Sailus, however, this was not the case; he was on a journey with this young, and annoyingly hyper, Koek'enin girl. "We have come here for a reason, Tala! If we go around looking in every shop, we'll never get our tasks completed in a timely manner!" Sailus rasped, his voice airy and rough sounding.

    "But we don't get to see the city very often, like this! I'd like to at least take a look..." Tala complained, her cheeks puffing out in frustration as she continued next to the old man. Tala had on a small, green dress, her hair pulled back in a pony tail. A small, fake blue flower that was attached to the clasp holding her hair back, which was a surprisingly striking amount of color compared to Sailus. The old Inali's cloak was weather worn, tan and leather, his torso clad with a faded black best, white shirt underneath. The pants matched the vest, in both style and faded color.

    They both were having their discussion on a side street, right outside of the market square, where the main shops were. "You know it's not the time to do that! Maybe after, but only ma...ybe..." Sailus said, feeling something touch the top of his grey head of hair. He reached up, switching hands on his cane as he reached up, touching the top of his head where, whatever it was, touched. It was...snow? Or ash, but it was wet, so it wouldn't have floated. Sailus brought his hand down, seeing black, almost soot-like dirtiness on his hand. Tala looked at Sailus quizzically, found another of the flakes floating down from the sky. It went with the wind, fluttering around until finally finding rest on Tala's little nose. She tried to pluck it off, but it melted immediately, covering her nose in the same black soot like substance. "Ahh! it's like snow, but it's warm, what the hell!?" Tala exclaimed, trying to rub the soot like substance off.

    Sailus gave the young Koek'enin a look, "Watch your language, girl! But you are right, this is...not at all normal. I have a bad feeling that something is about to happen..."

    As Sailus trailed off, eyeing the sky as more of the flakes began to fall with increased frequency, Tala stared at Sailus with a disgruntled look on her face. "Yeah, we have time to look at the sky, but not go to the shops here?"

    Sailus reached down and flicked one of Tala's ears as she yelled out, holding them away from the old man, grumbling. "Ouch!"
  5. Vek Thurund was not in a good mood. His last shipment of silver was well beyond subpar. He'd probably be able to work it into inexpensive silverware at best. On top of which, his latest project was simply not coming together. The hand-wrought pitcher was not taking shape, nor did the platinum inlay work. He grunted thoughtfully and decided to give it up for now and do something mindless.

    Rolling his stool to the workbench by the window, he began the process of making silver wire for a filigree project. He took off his spectacles and rubbed his eyes. The undradr looked up and out the window. Then... what is that?

    Even here, soot shouldn't be falling this thick. Vek put his spectacles back on and looked again. That clearly wasn't soot. He made for the door of his workshop and peered outside, holding his hand out to catch this... snow?

    He stood there for a moment, frowning. Vek reached inside and tentatively grabbed his hammer. Just in case.
  6. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Bastion's marketplace, a young Koek'enin walked aimlessly by her lonesome. Her bare shoulders were hunched. Her arms clothed in green warmers crossed over her chest. Her chestnut ears were fiercely upright and her fuzzy tail was stiff in anger. "That ol' fart! What does he know?" Naomi Bao grumbled to no one in particular and ignored the curious looks of three Bruinas passing her by. Although her face was scrunched up in rage, if one looks closely at her eyes, you can tell she was close to tears, and she didn't like it one bit.

    "Gaah!" she screamed impulsively, warranting even more worried looks from people nearby. But why would she care? This was why, when someone had uttered a small "excuse me" behind her, she couldn't stop herself from looking murderous at the person who interrupted her inner rampage.

    "WHAT D'YA WANT?" she yelled, nearly scaring the life out of two young Unradr girls. One held a piece of paper to shield herself from Naomi's rage. "We hoped you could give us your autograph!" They both spoke as fast as they could. Their unusual request made her stop in her tracks, which gave the girls ample time to really look at who they were talking to. "Oh," they blushed upon realizing their mistake. "Sorry. We thought you were Lelyka Cheng. You know, from the play." And the two Unradrs walked away. But Naomi could still here them talk. "She was wearing the same clothes, too," one said. "Probably one of those crazy fans," the other replied.

    Naomi could only look down at her feet as she tried to make sense of the heaviness she felt. This wasn't the first time someone had mistaken her for an actress that she doubled. She knew she couldn't top those actresses' popularity. So, how come it's getting harder and harder for her to deal with it?

    It was then that she noticed the floating flakes painting the grey brick road she stood on with black splatters. What is that? She heard the same question repeated in whispers of wonder and curiosity around her. Instinctively, she glanced up at the heavens which was littered with specks of dark snow. One landed on her shoulder, dotting her with soot. Then another drop on her arm warmer which soaked into the cloth like ink. "Ah!" panicking, she tried brushing the soot away which, of course, made the matters worse. "The director will have my hide if I ruin this costume." Quickly, she took shelter in one of the dress shops nearby and hoped the black snow would let up soon.​
    #6 Mistress, Mar 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2014
  7. The black snow, which for the most part seemed only a minor annoyance, finally subsided after around an hour or so. With only a wet, soot like discoloration on most of the buildings and streets throughout the city, there was nothing amiss. Or so it seemed.

    It started off as a few random attacks. A school house in the northern residential district was one of the first. An extremely deformed man charged into the school house, attacking and killing the teacher and two children before the guardsmen could get there and put him down. It happened several more times, enough for the head of the guard to pull an entire section of the guard from the market district. It made them understaffed, but the residential district was apparently being swamped with reports of deformed individuals attack anyone and everyone they can see, with lethal force.

    * * * *
    "Well...this day has really gone to shit. The whole week, really..." The young Bruina guardsman said, leaning against a crate that was set to the side in the market districts square, which was bustling with shoppers. "What with the loss of those two perimeter guards a few days ago, now this weird snow, and now, same day we've got these weird deformed people, or-"

    " please shut up..." The Inali beside him said, who had his arms folded as he scanned the crowd of people around the square. "You talk too much, you know."

    "Well...excuuuuuse me..." The Bruina said, readjusting the bolt action rifle over his shoulder. "Thought I'd try and have a conversation with my partner, but I guess that's a bit-"

    "Shut up and listen, dammit!" The Inali shouted. It was a dull noise compared to the crowd. He couldn't exactly place what the sound was. "You hear that?" He turned to his partner, as the Bruina shut his eyes trying to focus on what he was hearing. "Sounds like...screaming?" He looked over at the Inali next to him, nodding a little as he spun on his heals. In each of the more open area's of the separate districts, There were guard towers for the marksmen to direct the guardsmen on the ground using a vantage point. Each guardsmen was also equipped with a communications trinket, allowing them to hear and communicate information in their head, each trinket connected to the other through several, needle like towers throughout the city.

    "I'll go up, see if I can find where it's coming from. I'll cover you." The Bruina wasted no time, rapidly ascending the ladder of the tower as the Inali made his way for the center of the square, drawing both his daggers from beneath his cloak. Upon reaching the top of the guards tower, the Bruina whipped the rifle around, using a hook on the railing to steady the weapon and using its scope to see the entire square. 'Alright, we've got...Oh, shit. Two deformed assailants, they've already started attacking a few civilians, maybe three on the ground already. Hurry up, they're both at your two o'clock!' The Bruina said through the trinket to the Inali, who made his way northeast from his current position. The Inali guardsmen reached the scene, seeing one deformed man crouching over a young man, who was obviously already dead. The Inali spun, the momentum of his movement causing the first dagger to imbed into the deformed mans side, and he continued to spin, using the rest of the momentum to bring the second dagger up, slashing the persons throat. With a loud, blood curdling screech, alerting the other deformed person there, who turned to the Inali.

    Civilians were running and screaming in all directions around the Inali, who brought up his knives in a fighting stance before the individual in front of him. He then heard something over his communications trinket that made him skip a beat, hesitating for only a moment. 'There...there are more. They're coming into the square from all directions!' The Bruina said through the trinket, and the Inali heard gun shots ringing out from behind him...

    * * * *

    It was pure chaos. People running this way and that, deformed people of any race charging around, tackling people to the ground. They took the people they caught by the head, and stared into their eyes, screaming. It was as if this act was...sucking the life out of the people that were caught by it, and each person this action was performed on would slowly become deformed, getting up and acting just like the deformed individuals who started this. They were now attacking people left and right, causing a rapid increase in panic. The guardsmen were trying to keep people in the shops to keep the streets as clear as possible, and giving instructions to anyone in the area to keep doors and windows shut.

    Whatever this was obviously not natural, and was happening too fast for the guards minimal force in the area to be very affective.
  8. [​IMG]

    "Seriously, what a bunch of trash this year! A handful of novice elementalists and one telepath. Worthless! 'Course, what would you expect? Nobody with a useful skill would waste it in the army!"

    Kazumi sat quietly across from Jagna, letting the Bruina play out his rage. When at last his rant lulled, she spoke up in a calm voice filled with ice. "The pyrokinetic boy has potential; his abilities are already better than what you had when you joined Mannguum. If his family had the same fortune you feed on, he would join the Academy and upstage you in four... no, three years."

    The small man turned his glare on Kazumi, only degrees away from having flames shooting from his head. "You think you're so special 'cause you're the only 'Ghost' the Academy has, Hoshino?! Your stupid parlor trick is worthless!"

    The Koek'enin kept her eyes closed, taking a small sip from her canteen before replying. "Is that why you're too afraid to challenge it?"

    "Guys, guys! Not right now!" Tirion, a kind-hearted Inali, interjected. He was the peacekeeper in the group and without a doubt the only reason Kazumi hadn't broken some of Jagna's limbs. The Bruina's violent temper had set him at odds with most of the group already, so if he were to challenge her she wouldn't hold back at all. But she couldn't be the one to open hostilities; that wouldn't be 'Right'.

    Jagna shifted his glare to Tirion, ready to scream at him next. He saw the looks the rest of the group was giving him, though--they were one wrong word away from throwing him out of the house. He had to back off for now. "Hmph. I'm going to my room!" The Bruina stomped off to the back of the house they were using for their stay in Bastion.

    With the center of dispute gone, Kazumi stood and walked to the door, her white robes swaying with her movements. She opened it to let some fresh air into the house; Jagna's outburst had made the atmosphere stale. Closing her eyes, Kazumi took a deep breath. Something fell against her cheek. Opening her eyes again, the Koek'enin looked up as the last of the abnormal precipitation fell. "Black... snow?" she asked aloud, reaching one hand out to catch a piece.

    "Hmm?" Tirion joined Kazumi at the door, soon followed by Freia--a small, blonde, Bruina woman easily mistaken for a child even in her twentieth year. "Black snow? Could this be an heir of Sesm?"
    "Don't be stupid, stupid!" Freia snapped at him. "How can you compare this soot to Sesm's beautiful Flaming Hail!"

    "But it's like ash-snow. Perhaps it is an unrefined version, the Syncer lacking in experience."

    "Impossible," Kazumi answered. "Look. It's spread all down the street, probably even further. Not even Sesm at his peak could cover such an area. This isn't Sync."
    "Then pollution?" Tirion suggested next.

    "That's even more stupid! The snow itself is black; it's not just a covering!"

    Kazumi's hand swiftly chopped down on the small Bruina's head. She let out a short cry and covered her head with both hands. "Stop saying stupid, Freia!" The Koek'enin looked out again, noticing neither the small tremors shaking Freia's body nor the warm coloring in her cheeks. "I don't think it's natural."

    "But you just said it wasn't Sync," Tirion pointed out.
    "It isn't. It can't be. But it's not natural, either."

    "Well, what's that leave? Some strange new invention?"
    "It could be... GHOSTS!" Freia exclaimed, grabbing onto the loose back of Kazumi's robe and throwing it up. She was swiftly given another chop, this one a little harder than the last. The blonde girl let out another small cry, her knees visibly quaking and a happy smile splitting across her face.

    Kazumi looked down at the Bruina. "Wipe that perverted smile off your face. Whatever it is, it's stopped for now. We should report to-"

    The sharp scream sliced through the still room. Kazumi had retrieved her staff before even thinking about it, brandishing it in the direction of the bedrooms. Freia had pulled out her knives and was watching the hallway in fright. Tirion had begun stepping toward it, his sword drawn and ready. Ryouji and Ten both had weapons drawn as well.
    "Jagna?" Tirion called hesitantly into the back. No reply was forthcoming, so he raised his voice for a second try. "Jagna! Report!" There still was no answer.
    "I don't like this." Kazumi muttered.

    "I'm scared~!" Freia cried.

    Tirion remained silent for a moment. "I'm going to check," he declared at last. "Freia, support me." He started into the hall, moving carefully toward Jagna's room. Freia followed a dozen steps behind, ready to throw a dagger at the first sign of trouble. "Jagna..." Tirion tried once more as he eased the door open.

    A horrible creature burst out, leaping for Tirion's chest. By trained reflex, Tirion engaged his Sync, 'Stone Skin'. The Inali was pushed over backward by the thing's charge, but he quickly brought his sword across to slash at the monster. His hand hesitated, though, when his eyes realized what he was seeing: it was a person... almost. Freia noted the same, so she diverted her throw to somewhere non-lethal. Tirion pressed his blade against the thing's throat and Freia's dagger sunk into its left shoulder.

    "What are you...?" Tirion began as he looked up at the abomination. It screamed right into his face, that same horrible scream that had broken their quiet a minute earlier. Tirion's face distorted, but he couldn't break eye contact. By the time Kazumi realized something was wrong, Tirion's body fell limp. There wasn't enough space in the narrow hall to swing, so she instead lunged with her staff, driving the disfigured horror off of her friend. She kept pushing, all the way until it's back hit the wall, and still she pushed. The impact and her anger-driven thrust were enough to drive the staff's tip through its chest.

    The body hung pinned to the wall, convulsing in its last moments. As Kazumi watched, a small smile pulled up the corner of her lips. Readjusting her grip, she gave the staff a small turn. The movement forced a few more convulsions as fresh pain wracked the creature. She gave it another twist, then one more before the thing finally fell still. She withdrew her staff from the wall, planting a foot on the thing's chest to pull her weapon free. Turning back to the others, her breathing was heavy. Not from exertion, though; no, this was the panting of arousal. She could feel her body heating up.

    The sight of Tirion laying dead on the ground turned that feeling cold. Freia was already crouching over him, cradling the Inali's head in her lap. Tears fell freely from her eyes. "I don't... get it! I don't even know what happened!" the Bruina screamed. Kazumi didn't know, either, but there was another thought that required attention. The Koek'enin pushed Jagna's door open with her staff, ready to catch any leaping monstrosity on its tip. Nothing came, so she looked into the small space. The window hung ajar and Jagna's body lay still on his bed, just like Tirion behind her. She would readily admit that she didn't like the tempermental jerk, but the fact that he was dead still hurt.

    Except that he moved. "Jagna?" Kazumi asked when she saw his legs shifting. The Bruina started to sit upright. "Jagna! You're alri-!" Kazumi's cry of joy was abruptly cut short when her comrade's face came up to meet hers. It was as disfigured as the creature that had just killed Tirion. Backing out the door again, Kazumi readied her staff. "Jagna..." she tried one more time, though she didn't have any hope.

    The beast screamed its challenge. Kazumi accepted.

    "Get away from Tirion!" Kazumi braced one end of her staff against the floor and raised the other to meet Jagna's charge. He caught the tip with one hand and spun around it, reaching out for Kazumi with his other. She spun to the other side of her staff and kicked it up between them, then wrenched hard to bring her weapon free. He hung on with frightening strength; instead of releasing the staff, Jagna was thrown with it until he smashed against the wall. With a sharp twist and tug, Kazumi retrieved her weapon and readied it for the next bout. Her eyes flickered over to her companions in the brief moment she had.

    Freia had immediately done as instructed, though it was evident that she didn't understand why. The other two were still close to him, though. Ryouji had dropped to his knees when he saw Tirion's hand move, calling out to him in misplaced joy. "DON'T-!" Kazumi almost turned to stop what was about to happen, but Jagna charged again. This time she let him out into the hall so the others could see; the Koek'enin sidestepped and let his charge carry him into the wall, then brought her staff across with a sharp jerk into the back of his head.

    Tirion screamed, Freia screamed, Ten and Ryouji screamed, even Kazumi screamed. Bringing her staff back, she sent it across again, continuing to smash it into the back of Jagna's head with short strokes. The confined hallway didn't allow her space to build momentum, but she didn't stop the assault until finally the thing's skull shattered and its lifeless body slumped to the floor. Without hesitating a moment, Kazumi turned to face Tirion and Ryouji. And Ten, she found--Tirion had quickly left Ryouji's body for his next victim.
    "Kill him, Freia! All of them!" Kazumi cried as she rushed to do the same. Freia was terrified like never before, but Kazumi's words forced her into action. Her second dagger shot forward and embedded itself in Tirion's throat. Kazumi thrust her staff into Ryouji's, having to forcefully stop herself from adding any extra twists. Freia ran past Kazumi to retrieve her first dagger as the Koek'enin insured Ten wouldn't rise again, then doubled back to watch Tirion's second death.

    It was a pitiful scene, their proud and noble friend deformed by whatever it was that had killed him weakly grasping at the dagger in his throat. Watching it, Kazumi's emotions were too conflicted to make sense of any of them. She raised her staff overhead, then brought it crashing down on Tirion's skull. He fell still, unconscious until he would die from his slashed throat. Kazumi rigidly walked past him and to the open door. Freia retrieved her dagger, tears streaming down her face as she looked at those who had been their friends.
    "What... is this...?" the Bruina asked weakly. Kazumi wished she had a specific answer, but there was only one she could think of.
    "It's the end of the world."


    Screams rang out from every direction, but the air inside the house was frighteningly still. Finally Freia stopped crying long enough to speak. "What do we... do now?"

    "We leave. One of those things became five and killed Sync users. There's no doubt the rest of the city is collapsing." Kazumi's voice was cold and logical. "Parliament has probably become a stronghold; so have other key points. The soldiers aren't enough to win an aggressive war against these things, so they'll have to remain defensive or die."

    Freia admired how she could stay so calm in this situation; while the Bruina just wanted to cry, her senior had already thought through their situation. Looking at Kazumi's back, the blonde couldn't imagine it any other way. She couldn't see that Kazumi was trembling slightly, that the only reason she hadn't collapsed in a hysteric heap was her vice-like grip on her weapon and the need to be strong for Freia. But Kazumi wasn't afraid, nor was she heartbroken. That very lack of sorrow was what terrified her so much right now--she'd just killed four friends, and the only sign she had felt anything was a small, damp spot underneath her robes. Kazumi wasn't even sure that she was a person in that moment; maybe she was a monster just like those things.

    Two small arms suddenly wrapping around her from behind roused Kazumi from her thoughts. Kazumi looked down at Freia, surprised her junior had embraced her so suddenly. The Bruina was looking up at Kazumi with a hardened expression, trying her very best to stop the tears. "Kazumi, promise you won't die. Don't leave me alone."

    She was astonished, unable to reply for several long moments. Finally a soft smile spread over her face. "Yeah. I promise. We'll be fine." Those words gave Kazumi strength. She wasn't a monster in this girl's eyes; that was enough to end her self-pity. Kazumi needed to protect Freia right now.

    "Alright. Then let's go kill these crappy monsters." Freia released Kazumi and stepped to her side at the door. Kazumi nodded in agreement and out they went.
    #8 Ray C, Mar 12, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2014
    • Love Love x 1
  9. The end of the world came like a storm. When the last of the black snow fell, for a moment, life in the market place went completely still. A short pause to marvel the end of such a rare sight. Then, as if nothing happened, it was back to the gradual pitter patter of the its usual noise.

    Then, a sharp scream from a distance pierced through buzz of everyday life like lightning. And another, and another. The usually lax Bastion guards stationed in the square had suddenly stood upright and tense. Many more soldiers appeared and cut across the marketplace to where the screams were. Their hands tight on their weapons while they murmured importantly and hurriedly amongst themselves.

    Vendors and customers alike grew uneasy. Still, they gave each other reassuring glances. Naomi herself, who had taken shelter on some dress shop's covered patio, caught the eyes of a bald man beside her and felt she should say something.

    "Crazy day, eh?" he called out, chuckling nervously. He was gathering some apple candy on his humble stall (it was really just a barrel covered in white cloth) inside a pouch.

    "Yeah," she returned a same laugh as his, scratching behind her fuzzy ears. "But I'm sure it's just another angry drunk gone wild too early." If Naomi had known how close she was to the truth, would she still have laughed?

    "Apple candy?" the Bruina offered her the pouch filled with his small red round wares. "On the house. I'm a big fan."

    "Thanks!" She accepted them, hesitant not because she didn't care much for the sweet and sour delicacy, but because she wasn't who he thought she was. "I'm not actually--"

    It was the screaming that made her freeze. And it was the people's panicked running that clogged her throat. But nothing could compare the sudden cold she felt when she saw the first of the monsters. They came in waves: what had once been people of all races were now running rabid and attacking everyone.

    And that was how the end of the world, like a storm, had hit the market square.

    To be continued...
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