Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Layne, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Cavern (open)

    Everything had changed. Everything was the same.

    Waking up alone in a huge stone cavern is not something that anybody should have to experience. The act of brushing frost from your clothes and not knowing where you are, or how you got there, or if you're even alive.. All things that she had gone through before but hadn't expected to do again. The sting of cold air bit into her skin as she moved, exposing parts of her body that had been concealed by her position. Dense white clouds formed at her lips with every breath, taking only moments to spread and vanish before they were replaced by yet another. Her skin was barely warmer than ice, but that didn't bother her. The cold had never been a problem for her before. A thick wall of ice off to the side gave her light from an unknown source on the other side, the shadows along the stone walls seeming too dark not to be hiding a deep secret. Her dress was so frozen that it crackled and clung stiffly to her form as she stood, forcing her to smooth it out. Despite the efforts, it hung oddly along the bottom and cracked up the side when she pressed too hard. The slit created almost looked as though it should be there, exposing one of her pale legs up to the thigh to the frigid air.

    Everything had changed.

    Turning her head a fraction to the left, she found herself gazing at a frozen waterfall that had, at one time, been cascading down the rock wall. It wasn't very wide, but the shimmering crystal was polished enough to act as a mirror. Moving one step closer, her eyes traced over the figure that she had become. The first thing that she noticed were her eyes, which had become such a pale shade of blue that they were piercing. Her skin, white as snow, was barely lighter than the curls that framed her slender face. Tumbling down to her knees, the white locks were mixed with seemingly random streaks of pale blue and silver, much curlier than was normally natural for her. Finally she examined the frozen dress that clung to her body like an ice glove. It tied around her neck, exposing a good portion of her skin with the sweetheart neckline and lack of sleeves. The brilliant sapphire silk lost its lustre under the layer of sparkling frost, but she could see that it went a little past the floor to give her a train. There were no embellishments, her eye drawn to her own leg in the slit she had accidentally created. She wore no shoes, the rough dips and spikes of the rock beneath her creating tingling sensations against her feet as she moved.

    She turned away from the makeshift mirror as a rumbling echo filled the cavern, the shadows below her seeming to move. For reasons unknown she felt no fear, only a calm acceptance as though she knew exactly what it was. The form that rose before her could have made her scream in different times, but now she merely looked on with curiosity. Glowing yellow eyes fixed on her, accentuated by the curved silver horns and sharpened teeth that shone like razors. The clawed feet that rose to rest on either side of her as the creature stood were armored in plate-like skin in various shades of blue, and a rustling behind her told her where the tip of the whiplike tail lay. She looked up, taking in everything from the muscled body, to the powerful legs, to the thin wings that seemed to sprout from the hips. Sarkan. The mere thought of his name was enough for the dragon to peer down at her, the gentle growl of recognition causing some pebbles at her feet to quiver. She nodded just once, a faint smile touching her pale lips as the sounds of rocks grating together filled the air. It was a deep, screeching sound worse than nails on a chalkboard, and she knew that this was the end. It was time.

    Everything was the same.

    Sarkan had turned to face the wall behind him, allowing her a perfect view of what was going on. The shapes of men and women with flowing hair and wicked claws began pulling free of the rock wall, releasing wails that gave her an instant migraine. They pushed forward, seeming to walk on air although they never completely disconnected from the wall behind. A deafening roar told her that Sarkan wasn't pleased, and his tail slammed against the wall hard. Three of the figures were shattered to a pile of crumbles and dust, but four more replaced them in an instant. She knew that she had to intervene, to at least try and defeat the bizarre enemy. She lifted her hands and pieces of ice rose from the frozen stream, mixing and blending until she had a twirling ball hovering between her palms. It hardened and smoothed until she was controlling a heavy ball of crystal the size of a softball. She lifted one hand to a position a few inches from her chin with her slender fingers pointed toward the wall, as if she was blowing a kiss. The ball hovered there, and she blew toward it softly. It shattered into one thousand slivers, each flying off with the speed and accuracy of a perfect dart. As each sliver collided with the deadly statues, they began to spread, covering every inch of the figure like a hungry layer of oil. Had the figures been truly human, the ice would have crawled into every hole it could find, effectively freezing them completely through.

    The figures began to crumble and collapse, only to be replaced with more. Water was useless here and ice easily overcome, there was nothing more that she could do. Fighting against figures of rock when trapped in a cavern was a futile struggle, and she did not raise her hand again in protest. The creatures advanced, but she was not the only one under attack. Sarkan had not given in, and refused to accept that this was the final moment of his existence. He reared back before lunging forward, and she could barely follow what happened next. The smashing figures slammed back into the wall, followed immediately by the full weight of Sarkan's massive body. What began as a small crack quickly expanded, creating a spiderweb that spread across the entire surface. The shrieks of the figures escalated so much that she fell to her knees, a hand on either side of her head as she fought the urge to collapse. As the wall caved in, several things happened at once. A blinding light filled the cavern, causing all of the remaining statues to fade to piles of dust. Sarkan vanished into the light with a roar, the sound fading in seconds. She collapsed in an unconscious heap on the platform, sprawled out uncontrollably as a wave of warmth washed over her body as gentle as a mother's touch.

    Myka (open)

    'Foolish child shall fall thrice, Marked with each return..'

    Myka stirred, slowly opening her eyes. Blackness spread before her, lit by a crescent moon and millions of stars sparkling across the sky. Something soft lay under her head, warmth radiating from it. She sat up a little and looked back, meeting the bright yellow gaze of Nyami*. The black panther stood and stretched out, nuzzling her cheek for a moment before vanishing from sight. She stood and looked around carefully, realizing that she was standing in the snow, not even a hundred steps away from the Sanctuary church. All was silent, the houses all dark as the women slept the night away. A single light sent a dim glow against the snow, leaking out from a window she knew without thought belonged to Kaleah. Taking a slow breath, she moved across the snow until her feet met the smooth cobblestone of the walkway. Turning slightly, her steps brought her to the front door that she knew better than any other place in the world. The weathered wood was coated in swirls of ice crystals and trails of snow, blown there by the wind. Laying a hand against the surface, she traced her fingertips over the cold surface until they touched the metal of the latch. She closed her eyes and grasped it, her heart skipping a beat at the click as the door swung open.

    Kaleah was sitting in a rocking chair in front of the fireplace, the slow rocking movement creaking against the warm wooden floor. Her aged face had turned to face the doorway, no glimmer of surprise reflected in her deep green eyes. She had known that Myka would return again, for the child if nothing else. It had been an entire year since Tairen had somehow wound up on her doorstep, screaming and hungry, but she never once stopped believing that her daughter would return. Time had changed her. The dark blue hair was pale now, a soft baby blue that hung far longer than it used to. Waving down past her waist, with shorter pieces framing her eyes. That was something else that had changed, her eyes. No longer did they shine with an emerald green that sparkled with curiosity and delight. They were now a few shades darker than her hair, still a sky blue that spoke of the deepest sorrows and an unfortunate wisdom that used to be absent from the innocent girl. The dress she wore came from an unknown source, but it was stunning. A pure white that hung off of her slender shoulders, the wide sleeves hung past her hands and blended with the full skirt. Lined with dark blue that matched the wide sash tied around her waist, it was almost angelic looking from the perspective of the elderly woman who had yet to move from her chair.

    'A child of mindless contradiction..'

    Light footsteps ran across the floor upstairs, the soft thuds marking the path of a child that was heading for the stairs. The small figure came hopping down two steps at a time until he froze and stared at the newcomer. His eyes were a brilliant shade of blue that could never be rivaled, a passionate color more vivid than gemstones. The disheveled hair could never be tamed, long black layers streaked through with a natural deep blue that fell in his eyes with nearly every moment. His pale skin held a delighted smile, and his entire face lit up in a second. Myka barely had time to register his antique-looking ivory button up shirt and his plain black pants before he crashed into her and she fell over against the wall. He laughed, his entire being radiated joy as she held him tight against her, his soft white wings curled around her, reaching further than his little arms could. Sparkling silver tears traced down her cheeks as she hugged him as tight as she was able, unable to believe it was him. There was no way he had aged this much, it simply wasn't possible. How long had she been gone? Yet there was no question that it was him, especially when he squirmed back a bit to give her a loving smile as his small fingers clutched at her sleeves. "Mommy, you're home!"

    Tairen (open)
  2. There were stories so similar to this,that one would almost gag at the cliché, but what would the world beif it didn't repeat in a shape just as its own? Everything had a pathlaid out before it, him, her – whatever it was, it had a destiny.It was just a cruel fact that some destinies weren't as easy asothers. Fate was a cruel mistress who enjoyed nothing more than tobring agony only to see the lengths one would go to survive. This, ofcourse, was the creation of many of “Fate's Fools,” as they werecalled, and each one became more and more ridiculous. First, it wassomething likely to be as simple as one tripping over their own feet,then another spilling their cup, or missing their mouths...
    Butthen it would get worse.
    People would start wars overmisunderstandings and over women of which they vied for. People wouldbecome pawns to churches who used them in order to spread their Wordin pools and rivers of fear and blood. Then, Fate had apparentlydecided that she would simply mesh all this together to make herselfa perfect little fool. One that would never even have a breath ofrelief so long as they walked upon the Earth. Never in their entirelife would they be able to bless the sun, moon, stars or even coolbreeze for their presence. Those allergic to Ultraviolet rays wouldbe easily scorched, others would develop fears of the dark to thepoint of blind paranoia, and then there would be others in a muchworse position.
    Namely her latest Fool.
    Through the trees and shrubbery in thedead of night was all volumes of concussions and shouts. Why wouldthere be such a racket so late at night? Who would be doing suchfoolishness at an hour like this? More importantly, for those whocomplain, why wouldn't you listen in? How could something such asthis NOT catch your curiosity? Listen closely, and you could hear itall too well.
    “Stop him! The Princes demand it!”
    “I'llhave your blood upon my hands, you bastard child!”
    “Kill theabomination of our nations!”
    What was this? How could someonesay such horrible things? The voices finally take shape as they spillout of the forest cover behind a small child screaming and crying,begging for them to desist in their chase for him. His body wascovered in rags that were once clothes, tattered to something thatcovered only the bare essentials of his bone-rack body. Scrapes andslashes riddled cream pale flesh and tears stung within them, voicepractically hoarse from all the abuse it had endured.
    “Please!”he begged, collapsing to the ground in a shivering ball. “I sorry!I no know why you angry!”
    It would do nothing for theboy.
    “Quiet your filthy trap!” An elderly man bellowed as hisfoot collided hard into the boy's ribs. In that instant, the childwas flung from the ground and sent flying through the air, landingwith a harsh, sickening thud twenty feet away.
    “He has causedour nation enough, Mentor,” another spoke as he drew his sword,practically ill with his desire to kill the child. “Let me have thehonor of spilling his blood!”
    The boy knew the risk here. Sincehe was old enough to understand anything at all, the five year hadbeen either hidden away or on the run for his blasphemous, dastardlycurse. It's why he, out of the eyesight of the now quarreling men,began to drag his way towards a small puddle. It's all he would need.Just that little bit and it would be over. That was all that wasneeded, and Fate could no longer laugh at him...

    The summersun beat down hard upon a nearly-nude body with it's riddled fleshand bare upper body, the only thing upon him that wasn't hanging froma high-up branch being black slacks that had small tears here andthere. A sound though, the snapping of a branch below him had quicklystirred him from his sleep and, instinctively grasping for the buttonup and robe that hung next to him, he tumbled with a hard thud to theground and laid there for only a moment.
    “C'mon, sleepy-head!”A gentle soprano rang out. “You don't wanna be layin' around allday and get found, do you?”
    The news, somehow, made him suddenlybolt upright. Quickly he threw on the clothing and scruffed his hairs it would fall more naturally from it's tangled mess from before.Now he looked more regal than refugee;
    His garb- which had been all leather,had protected him from much rainfall and any caress of any kind ofwater. The leather though was blue, and the base design that of arobe. The leather was intricately designed with complex patternsbordering each seam and cuff. Upon the left shoulder to the uppermiddle of his chest hung a chain that wrapped around to the back ofthe shoulder. Upon the piece that held fast the chain was a blue,sparkling jewel that shone like the lipid pools of the most crisp andblue of waters. Underneath the robe was a long blue shirt with muchof the similar design as the leather robe. It fit snugly to his form,but not so much that he had no room to move, and underneath saidshirt was a chainmail that reached the bottom of his stomach. He wasa slender man with gaunt features upon his face, dark circles saggingunderneath his deep and royal blue eyes. His hair- black- washighlighted naturally with the same blue as his eyes, which onlysomehow brought out the pale features of whatever skin had been luckyenough to be exposed. His pants were of a baggy leather that waswatery silk to the touch, but strong enough to withstand any normal,and his boots were that of leather that was steel plated underneath.
    It was just as he had gotten dressed,though, that things became very complicated. The whistling sounds ofa steel arrow hurled through the air and straight for the girl's headacross from him. Immediately his hand whipped out and snatched theprojectile just an inch before it would hit the girl's head.
    “Therethey are!”
    Dammit! They were still chasing him?! At this point,Xenos was hoping that the men would simply give up on their hunt forhim. Apparently, this wasn't the case.
    “Aaliya,” he barked.“Run! Go! Fucking go!”
    She wasted no time in abandoning him,but it wasn't even a generation of seconds before she gave out asqueal and a grunt.
    This was why he traveled alone – whoevertraveled with him would be instantly executed.
    With somethinglike this having become a very regular occurrence, Xenos didn't wastetime to procure from the robe's left inner breast pocket a long,silver knife. The arrow wasn't meant for him. He knew that. Everyperson who had hunted him down had made it very clear that he was tobe slain by nothing more than a sword, and so far, it had held to betrue. In each skirmish, a Prince of the Water Nation had accompaniedthe warriors to oversee the hunt and to report back to their fathers.It was a sport for the past nineteen years. The first to kill theabomination was rewarded with the supreme throne and all the richesthey could possibly stand to gaze upon.
    Now he was surrounded byten men in thick plated armor and heavy broadswords, only one of themhaving the rights to a horse. That one was one of the thirtyPrinces.
    “So,” the quiet tenor which held the knife muttered.“Which Prince is it this time?”
    “Alison,” came a deep,bass tone. The man was armored from tip to toe, covering up any kindof semblance that would give Xenos recognition. Broad shoulders heldupon them a claymore and a longbow crossed one-over-the-other, andthe horse which he wore was outfitted for a war. “And I will be theone to watch you die.”
    With that, three of the men immediatelycharged forward from his twelve, four, and eight. The one in hisforward view was coming in with a downward slash after having heftingthe blade above his head. The second, to his right and behind him,was giving out a harsh battle shout and forcing the sword to whipthrough the air in a horizontal slash from right-to-left. The one whowas his eight was doing the same, only in opposite directions.
    Theywere still stupid. Even after all this time.
    All it took was forthe small, lightly armored form to side step to watch as the threeslammed their swords into each other. But the degree of damage withwhich they dealt had Xenos panicked. Blood sprayed from under thearmor with cries that were quickly drowned out as the last sevenblazed forward with all intent and means to spill blood.
    Theblades weren't normal. They were imbued with some kind of magick. Butwhat was it?! Xenos – in all his time having been hunted – hadnever seen the likes of it that would cut through such thick steel!So, with that, there was only one thing left to do. As much as hehated to, since it had such a limit on it, he would be forced to. Butwho knew? Maybe it would kill the Prince Alison as well?
    Just asthe next from his ten slashed down from the man's upper right tobottom left, Xenos had slipped his free hand into the left pocket ofthe robe and procured a scroll while simultaneously ducking andstepping through the opening to the man's right. Once he was open touse it, Xenos let the scroll open and instantly, the last of thescrawlings flew from the scroll and planted into the twelve bodies –including the horse – that had been in the area.
    A detonationthat could be heard for miles could be heard ringing through theforest... And he was safe again...

    The cool night air skatedand slipped through his black-and-blue locks as Xenos approached –what he could tell from here – some kind of establishment. Shouldhe approach, or should he hang back? Were there people there waitingfor him? Would he have to fight again? If they were the same asbefore with their impervious armor, he would likely be easilyovertaken. Slowly, cautiously, the man began to step out of thewoodland's border before his eyes locked on two forms – a motherand daughter.
    He couldn't do it.
    There was familyhere. It'd be wrong. If they tried to talk to him, they'd surely behunted as well, and it's something that almost made him more pissedthan he could ever recollect. He already buried one person today, andhe wasn't looking for an excuse to do it again. So now, as he turnedto lean his back against a nearby tree, Xenos let a sigh slip fromhis lips.
    “This is fucked up...” he muttered quietly tohimself, his hands stuffing themselves into the enormous pockets ofhis robes.
  3. It wasn't long before Tairen had squirmed his way out of Myka's grasp and tugged on her arm until she followed him upstairs. There she found that he had taken the bedroom next to her old one. A low bookshelf stood in the corner, crammed tight with several childrens volumes. Beside it was a small desk covered in papers and tiny colored pencils, and his bed was a tangled mess of blue and white blankets. The window was wide open to let in the glow of the moon, and he didn't bother turning the light on when they entered. She sat on the edge of the small bed and he ran over to his desk, rummaging around until he found the paper he wanted. With a smile, he handed it to her and she looked down at it in shock. It was hazy and messily drawn as if it was all out of focus, but she could tell it was supposed to be herself. The thing that made her stare was that her expression was one of pain. She examined the background and realized that she recognized it. Tairen looked up at her tearfully and shook his head a little.

    "That was the last time I saw you, Mommy," he said, and she didn't have the heart to explain what had happened. She just set the picture aside and pulled him into another hug. How much had she missed in his life? She had no idea what he was like, what his favorite food was, what he liked doing. It was heartbreaking. He took her hand again and led her back downstairs. "Watch me, watch me!" he said excitedly. Kaleah laughed and shook her head, knowing what was coming. "You may want to step back, dear," she informed Myka. Obeying curiously, she watched as the child ran back up the stairs and climbed up on the railing. Her heart stopped for a moment until he jumped and his little wings began to flutter. He managed to fly for almost a full minute before he fell through the air and landed back in Myka's arms. "Did you see me?" he asked excitedly, and she nodded as she kissed his forehead. "My little bird," she replied, and he laughed with delight.

    Kaleah smiled and ushered Tairen along to the kitchen for a quick snack before bed, and he was raving the whole time about how good it was that Mommy had finally come to visit. Myka smiled slightly to herself and sat on the edge of one of the chairs, gazing into the fireplace. Was that what this was supposed to be? Simply a visit? She couldn't really justify uprooting Tairen's life here, yet she knew that she had seen and experienced too much to live here. Stay for a while, sure, but it couldn't be a permanent solution. She had friends and ideas from the outside world that just didn't fit here in the Sanctuary, even if everybody would accept them. Her mind craved the freedom of the towns and cities that lay outside, and she missed the adventures that she had found so often the first time she left. She sighed and looked down at her slender hands, eyes filling with tears. Was she supposed to let Tairen lead a normal life - one without her in it?

    So wrapped in her thoughts was she that she didn't notice Kaleah and Tairen making their way upstairs, or the sounds of his laughter as he brushed his teeth and wrestled his way into his pajamas. In fact, she didn't really register anything outside of her own thoughts until Kaleah touched her shoulder and made her look up in surprise. The older women informed her that her son was in bed, waiting for her to go up and tuck him in. She was also kind enough to mention that Tairen was a music lover. Myka smiled and nodded, standing and giving her adoptive mother a hug before going up the stairs.

    She stopped in her own bedroom to pick up her crystal guitar, then carried it into Tairen's room. He was already curled up in bed, eyes wide open and staring at her. "I heard you like music," she said softly, taking a chair by his bed and running a hand over the guitar until it spread and formed into a keyboard. Tairen nodded, watching the crystal keyboard with interest. She smiled and kissed his forehead, then leaned back and laid her fingers on the keys. It had been so long, she didn't know if she would still be able to play. Taking a deep breath, she began a simple melody and smiled to herself. "Goodnight my angel, it's time to close your eyes," she sang quietly to him. Tairen fell asleep less than ten seconds later but still she kept playing, silent tears going down her cheeks as she promised to never leave him and to always love him with her lyrics. "But lullabies never die, that's how you and I will be.." she finished, her music fading as she merely sat and watched him sleep for a moment. Standing up silently, she kissed him again and tucked his blankets around him, getting a soft snore in return. She smiled and picked up the keyboard, tucking it back into her bedroom before going back downstairs.

    "I'll be back," she said to Kaleah, who nodded without questioning. Not bothering with a jacket, Myka walked outside and pulled the door closed behind her. The Sanctuary was almost completely silent, but it was far from pitch black. Light from the full moon and sparkling stars reflected off the snow and gave the entire area a glowing appearance. She looked around for a moment, then walked down the stone path away from the house. Having no real destination, she merely wandered as her mind spun in circles. What was she supposed to do? Frowning to herself, she sat down on a bench after waving an absent hand to clear it of snow.
  4. Of all the times that he had ever beenaround anyone, which was the last one that survived? Alex? The oldman? Aaliya? Chance? Chase? All five of them were dead because hedecided he would let them come on in and help him out instead of manup and just let his curse be known or let them kill him. Really. Howstubborn did someone have to be to have five people keel over justfor him? Xenos shook his head at the thought and continued to mutterunder his voice.
    “It's ridiculous... Just fu-”
    A quietsnap of a twig in the area's snow brought Xenos's head up sharply. Itwas something that normally anyone who wasn't as paranoid as himselfwouldn't hear. Then there was more. Just from the rhythm of all thecrunching and snapping, he could discern four pairs of feet, allheavily armored. Though that deduction itself was easy seeing asanyone who was lightly armored wouldn't be stupid enough to tread soheavily.
    So now, slowly, Xenos made his way up the tree he hadonce leaned on and perched with his hands tightly gripping the branchbelow his feet. How many times had he done this? With as long as hehad been ducking, weaving, and dropping these guys, they would thinkto actually look up, wouldn't they? Or perhaps it was the bulk oftheir armor that didn't allow such movement? The collars upon thearmor were quite high, which meant that his conventional means oftaking out the men were out, though they sacrificed sight. Still...There had to be something...
    But now he noticed the directionthey were moving. Towards the establishment? For what? Perhaps theywere going to question the woman? But what if she didn't give theanswers they wanted? A curse slipped through Xenos's lips which madehim flinch slightly... Which made the tree branch crack. Unable tolook up, the armored men bent backward and began to jab theirpartisans upward, almost desperately in hopes that they hit therefugee. But it was all in vain. Xenos had just enough time to leapfrom the branch before it snapped off to plant his feet hard into theadjacent tree's trunk, then bounce off. As his body sailed throughthe air, Xenos drew his knife and, holding it point down, his bodyshifted to be perpendicular to the ground and he spun to add moremomentum behind his blade. The blade, surprisingly enough, strainedbefore it sunk through the thick metal of the first soldier's head,which caused the other three to back up.
    Before they could startjabbing at him, Xenos was able to roll through the impact andsimultaneously scoop up the dead soldier's partisan before quicklydoing his best to parry with the weapon. The movements though wereclumsy, since he had never trained with such, and he was quicklytiring out from the constant jabs and crashing blows that they senttowards his way. The racket that it made would easily be heard, butthere was no way he could let this drag out. As far as he knew, thewoman could be in danger. Even if she could normally hold her own, itwould only be a matter of time before they swarmed her as well.
    SoXenos did the only thing that he could do.
    With a sudden, barkingyell, Xenos threw the partisan at the furthest enemy, forcing him toshift himself off balance and for another to attempt to catch thefirst. The armor would be too bulky to stand without assistance. Withtwo of the three still distracted and the one that had not stilltaking the time necessary to wind up for one more strike, Xenos bentdown and slammed his hand in the snow.
    Immediately, all themoisture within fifty meters suddenly erupted with a vehemence thathad not been known by such a simple action. The sweat within themen's armor from the recent exertion made the casing like beingwithin C4 for them and pulverized their bodies to nothing but liquid.Mighty oaks were heavily scarred and splintered and the shrubberiesaround them were uprooted and obliterated, all while Xenos's bodyerupted upward to flail and then land hard on his back. His bodyalone had suffered heavy damage, and it took all the strength he hadto roll over and groan with a fruitless attempt to stand, hisforehead planted against the now bone-dry dirt.
    “Shiiiit....”he groaned into the dirt. “Not good... not fucking good...
  5. Brooding to herself in what was apparently an oblivious manner, Myka let her attention to her surroundings fail. She had no idea that anything was even happening at first. Nobody noticed her or approached her, much less attacked her. It wasn't until the racket really started to escalate that she looked up. Curiosity prodded her to stand and walk over to the source of the commotion, and it took a moment for her to register what she was watching. one man fighting three, with one already tossed aside dead. It was obvious that the three had more experience and armor on their side, but the single man wasn't giving in without a fight. She leaned against a tree and watched in perfect silence, not bothering to interfere. After all, she had no information on the situation and none of these men were familiar to her. They were all trespassing, that much was certain, and after they were finished she would inform them that fighting in the middle of the night wasn't exactly acceptable. She wasn't foolish enough to step between them right now and try saying so, though.

    When the man slammed his hand in the snow, she felt the energy shift and raised one startled hand just in time to create a crystal bubble around herself. The snow and splinters from the tree she had been leaning on slammed against the clear walls and she watched with wide eyes. It had been a long time since she met somebody who could do even close to what she did - and even then it hadn't been the same. Aralyn had used fire, not water, and Deme hadn't been the same either. Yet here was somebody who had just.. erupted?

    She let the crystal fall immediately as the explosion ended and walked quickly over to the man who was now laying in the dirt. Examining him quickly with a glance, she decided he wasn't going to die in the next few moments. Nodding a bit, she moved her hand and began rolling an enormous snowball that collected all evidence of the dead men, then she simply hurled it a few miles away into the mountain range. Next, she moved her other hand and covered the ground all in snow again except for a few inches surrounding where the man was laying. Satisfied to have effectively covered his tracks, she leaned down and prodded him in the side a few times.

    "You really should probably get up," she said in a reasonable tone, a faint smile on her lips as she tilted her head at him curiously.
  6. It was a few moments that Xenos hadlaid upon the ground, subconsciously checking himself. Surprisingly,the damage that he received was enough to make him weak, but somehownot enough to cause him to bleed or for his bones to be broken...Which was a first, in all honesty, so it was – as far as he knew –very common for him to be shocked. Slowly, steadily, Xenos stood fromthe ground and looked the woman up and down. She was fine? How couldthat be? Maybe she was just outside of the blast range? But when helooked where she had seated herself before, that couldn't have beenthe case.

    So she had to be some kind of Magicka user, as far aspeople in his country would be concerned. But Magicka didn't justencompass energy. It was a control over the elements and anythingelse supernatural. She had control over her ability, whatever it mayhave been that had saved her since he didn't have time to find out,but if it helped her, then that was good at the least. But what ifshe was like them? Little by little, Xenos could feel his thoughtsturning instinctively to the way they had always been when someoneapproached him.
    They were all after them.

    Now, as Xenosbacked up, snow crunching under the weight of his boots, his eyes became as hard as azure jewels.

    “Who are you?” he asked, hisvoice like a knife's edge. “Did someone send you? If they did, youmight as well take your chance while you got it.”

    And, even now,he was more than serious. Xenos was far past done with playing gameswith the Water Nation. They all were after him because of his curse.All it did was kill, so why keep him around? Even outside of theirnation, they continued to hunt him with such ferocity that they mightas well be possessed. Xenos's right hand clutched his left shoulder,though the free hand curled and shook tightly within itself, knucklesbone white and his eyes locked on her. He was waiting. Simplywaiting. If she was going to attack, then she was being given thechance. If she was going to kick him off the property, he could makesure that she wasn't followed. Undoubtedly there would be moreappearing soon if any were close enough to hear the concussive blast.
  7. Myka watched the man stand up, keeping a few feet away in case he still felt like blowing things up or lashing out at her. Fighting wasn't anything she desired at this point, though she wouldn't back down if he did outright attack her. Thankfully he didn't, he just looked her over. She did the same, taking in his clothing. It didn't really seem to fit in with what she had seen of the surrounding towns in this area, so she marked him mentally as an outsider. That was nothing bad or good, just interesting. She wondered if he had fled to the Sanctuary for protection from the men he had just murdered. Some had, in the past. He didn't seem relieved to see her though, and he hadn't begged her for assistance. Perhaps he had simply run here as a place to go since he didn't know the area - that would make sense as he was foreign.

    With the 'why' unanswered, she pushed the thoughts back for now and watched him as his expression changed a little and he backed away from her. Fear. It was clear as day to her, even though his expression screamed a will to fight and a refusal to trust her on instinct. That was a new thing for her. Normally she had quite the opposite effect on people that she had noticed - they trusted her with barely a pause after meeting her. This man was different, but again it didn't bother her. It was interesting. His questions made her blink slightly and she let the silence grow for a few moments before she responded.

    "My name is Myka, and the only thing that sent me over to you was curiosity due to the noise you made. I live here, as do many other people. If you're seeking refuge, we can provide it, but first you would have to come with me," she said, keeping her voice soft and nonthreatening so that he wouldn't jump and think she was attacking him or something.

    She stepped back and turned, walking back through the snow to the stone path before looking back at him. The offer was on the table and he was welcome to stay, but she had been rather serious when she said that he wouldn't be allowed unless he came with her right now. He couldn't just set up camp on the lawn, and he had just murdered four men on Sanctuary grounds. That was a grave situation, even if it had been necessary for self preservation. She suspected that nagging him about the benefits of staying might drive him away, so she simply looked away from him and began walking at an unhurried pace. If he caught up with her, wonderful - if not, perhaps he would be fine on his own.
  8. She had sized him up, just as he did toher. A predictable reaction, but it should have been visible enoughto see that, even if he did attack, there wouldn't be much that hecould do. Especially to a Magicka wielder as she was to him. It was apain to know that he could be done in so easily at the moment, butwhen her body language had been sufficient enough to know that shewasn't actually going to do anything more than speak, one would thinkthat his guard would have lowered. Right? Even just theslightest?

    Sadly, it wouldn't have mattered if the woman was agoddess. He still wouldn't be able to trust. Being on the run hisentire life in his home nation taught him better than that. Trust wassheer stupidity and far past simply being naïve. As far as fear, hehad learned that it was just as foolish as trust. Would someone whowas about to knock you off really show mercy if you were afraid? Tobelieve that was handing yourself over on a platter. But maybe it wasa feeling that he made oblivious to himself? Perhaps in all theskirmishes he's been in, he's always felt that tinge which compelledhim to fight harder?

    Either way, it didn't matter. Whether hewas scared or infuriated apparently hadn't made a single differencein what the woman now said. She was introducing herself. Moreimportantly, and more dangerously – if the area was being set upfor a siege – she was inviting him in. This was more than unfair,but who was he to believe he was better than accepting help? Besidesthat, she didn't even seem to give him the chance to make up hismind. So with a silent curse to the wind and a peer over his weakshoulder, Xenos began to follow the woman through the snow and ontothe paved path to the establishment. But instead of keeping to herpace, he let his body language become more urgent as he caught up.

    “If they're around and you're serious, Ma'am,” hemuttered while keeping close, his every muscle hardening. “Everyonehere is fucked. You sure you wanna take in a marked curse?”

    Hisquestion, even now, was honest. Smaller units who had been armoredfar less than the sentinels earlier had been creeping up on theterritory from every angle that would allow them cover. They heardthe concussion and knew just what it was. Now, if they needed to,they would slaughter every man, woman, and child without hesitationif it meant that they would have their man's head to take back to theNation. This curse was not allowed to live, and they would make surethat he fell to their blades. The Water Nation would not allow arefugee by the likes of him to disgrace their people, those who hadsuch strict control of their power. Their Magicka was blessed, and hewas the one to taint it beyond all recognition...
  9. A slight smile touched her lips as she heard him coming after her, and she glanced to her side as he spoke to her. He was genuinely concerned about the wisdom of accepting him here. That struck her as slightly surprising given how paranoid he seemed to be, she had expected him to just be happy for a place to say. However, she was glad to see it. Concern for innocents was good, and gave her a faint assurance that she had made no mistake in offering him refuge. She gave him a reassuring smile and shook her head slightly.

    "You don't need to be as worried about the people here as it looks. It's peaceful for a reason. We aren't without our own defenses, especially now," she said, giving no indication of what she truly meant with that because she wasn't going to bombard him with details he likely didn't even care about. "And please refrain from cursing since you don't seem furious enough to spout out words without thinking," she added absently, thinking of Tairen. She walked up the wide marble stairs of the church, which she had been leading him toward the entire time. Pulling open the massive carved wooden doors, she glanced back at him over her shoulder and smiled. "If you want refuge, you must come with me before we find you proper accommodations."

    Once done speaking, she walked into the entryway of the church. It had four doors, all of which were open. Two led into the main sanctuary, and one branched off either side of the entryway to small rooms with shrines to the two 'head' gods. The father god and the mother goddess, the leaders of the rest. Colored tiles made a spiral pattern along the floor, seeming warm due to the candles around the room that were always lit. She made her way into the sanctuary and looked around with a deep sigh - Oh, how she had missed this place. The high dome ceiling was painted with the images of hundreds of gods and goddesses, tiny details painstakingly added. It had taken weeks, and she should know - she was the one who touched it up every few years when parts faded. Around the wall of the sanctuary were small divets with tiny pillars, each set with a small statue of some of the larger gods. There were twenty in all, ten on each side. The curved wall behind each one was painted with scenes of what the god or goddess was known for. In the center of the sanctuary were solid wooden pews, polished to a shine. At the forefront, a simple stage with a piano off to the side and a dark curtain at the back.

    She sat in one of the pews and clasped her hands in her lap, looking down at her pale fingers. So much had changed since the last time she was able to come in here. She felt like she wasn't even the same person. Holding back another sigh, she looked back up and waited to see if the man would join her. If not, she would remain silent, but if he did she would speak.

    "You killed today," she would say simply, not even glancing at him.
  10. They weren'twithout defenses? Was she crazy? How were they not without defenses?All he saw was brick, stone and nothing else. And what was with themannerisms?! At any moment they could be swamped withenemy forces. How could she be so calm with his warning stillobviously fresh in both of their minds?! Though it didn't seem toaffect her even in the slightest. How come? So many questions, yethe'd likely gain no answer to such. So, instead of fruitlesslypursuing the subject, for now, Xenos allowed himself to continuefollowing the woman up the steps and to the enormous doors beforethem. Again he was reminded that he didn't have any kind of time tospare simply wondering if it was such a brilliant idea to mindlesslyfollow the woman into the establishment.

    Sohe did the only thing he could do;

    With a sigh andhis index finger and thumb pinching the bridge of his nose, Xenosforced his feet to carry him forward, as if the motion was absolutelydaunting until he was in the sanctuary. At first, it took him time toregister the fact that their surroundings were far from plain andblasé. The architecture that was being slowly absorbed by his azureirises was fascinating. Something he had never seen before. Not onlythat, but all the statues of so many different Focuses that adornedthe room with it's high-up mural was something that nearly confusedhim to no end. How many could possibly be here? Twenty, he counted,and twenty Focuses was something that wasn't even dared whispered inhis forbidding nation. So how could a group of people be so willingto do something like this? Weren't their Foci jealous of such athing?

    “Listen, lady,” Xenos started, pointing towards theexit. “I don't know how the he-”

    Before he could finish,though, her words had brought him to an abrupt halt. She was worriedthat he killed? She was seriously concerned that he just fended offfour threats to her Civilization? This was already beginning to looklike a hopeless situation! Xenos's thin fingers came up to histemples to gently massage at the hollows while desperately fightingoff an acceleratingly growing headache. This wasn't happening. Thiswoman couldn't possibly think they were safe. There could have beenat least thirty of the Water Nation's warriors infiltrating right nowand silently killing off her people!

    Then the thought broughtpanic, which made his disposition only worse.

    “You'reworried that I killed?!” He exclaimed, his eyes bugging. “You'renuts, right?! You gotta be nuts! You should've said for me to scramwhile you had the chance! Because of that, more of those... Those...GRAH!” Even though he wanted to, Xenos couldn't bring himself tocurse. It almost felt like a cardinal sin, like his own existence todo so. “They're gonna slaughter this whole establishment! Foci bemerciful; Why did I even follow?!”

    With that, Xenos began topace with a vehemence that could've created a trench below his feet.

    Further out, only a few generations of yards from theSanctuary, Xenos's every worry was coming to life. The Warriors ofthe Water Nation were closing in with a quicker pace, now more thansure that their target was here. Of course, even though the nationhad mostly taken in those who had a Magicka involving liquids, othershad a Foci of Fire- the Salamanders, Earth- the Golems and Wind, whowere the Sylphs. Their forces were equally balanced and all had aspecialization with colony and fortress invasions, so this wasnothing to them... But for the crime of simply taking in a refuge,the Water Nation would bring death upon these people. Child, Woman,and Man alike – none would survive as long as they had anyinfluence upon the decision. Some began to string their bows asothers unsheathed their swords with a deathly silence, slowlycreeping their way upon the establishment. Not a single one of themhad made a sound.

    And none who were felled by their bladewould either...

    ((Water Nation Warrior ((Light Armor)) in attachment)

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  11. Myka had to actually think about whether to be amused or not as she watched the flurry of emotions flying across Xenos' face. She would think that one on the run would have learned to have a better 'poker face', but he really seemed to have trouble with it. Her blue eyes sparkled with inner humor as she watched him ranting about her sanity - or lack thereof - and then as he paced along the aisle. He was wound tighter than a new spring, she decided. Poor thing probably didn't even know how to relax. She allowed herself a small smile and looked up at the mural, her eyes automatically landing on the sea goddess. Somehow, she knew this was going to be a long night. Withholding a sigh, she looked back at the anxious man and gave him a faint smile.

    "I am not insane, and I did tell you that you had the option to leave. You wanted a place to stay and hide, at least for a short period of time, yes? I can't imagine any other reason to stay," she said conversationally, rising back up to stand and gesturing him with one hand to follow her as she walked out to the entryway. "You likely followed out of curiosity, I imagine. After all, I do the same things you do," she went on, going out the door of the church and turning to him as she paused at the top of the stairs. "Understand this: I haven't changed my mind. You will not stay here if you don't go in there and confess, and receive forgiveness. However, that can't wait just a moment," she said, then smiled and led him down to the path.

    She walked along toward the area where she had found him. Though clean, a feeling of tense air here made her pause and look back at him. He didn't trust her, obviously, but she had to wonder why he hadn't killed those men long before now. If people were chasing him, why not just kill them or trap them somewhere? He could vanish and go anywhere, why was he running by foot? Those thoughts filled her mind as she walked along, but then she stopped and knew she had to speak or he'd continue on thinking she had completely lost her marbles.

    "Nobody can get inside this Sanctuary with ill intent," she informed him, her eyes like hard ice now, completely serious. "I wasn't paying attention when you slipped in with those men. I've been away for a long time and just now.. came home. After finding you, I put the barriers back in place," she explained, though there were many, many details she was avoiding. Things he didn't need to know and likely wouldn't understand - such as the fact that she had never had enough power before to reactivate the boundary that had been dormant for over a century. For now she pushed those thoughts aside, deciding that she would have her excited freak out moment later when she was alone. "If you're correct about more persuers, none can get in here with a desire to harm. However, if they send in a messenger, they'll walk through with no problem. Otherwise it's like slamming into a brick wall. I hope they aren't running when they find it," she said, a smile breaking through.

    There were details, so many details that she held back from his knowledge. She knew that if something really did hit the barrier, she had to be focused or she would be slammed with pain. That was no problem now since her thoughts were on it completely, but perhaps later she'd have to modify it somehow so that she could relax enough to sleep. She needed to talk to Kaleah..

    "Come with me," she said abruptly, not even caring if she was interrupting anything he might have been saying in response to her at this point as she turned and walked back toward the houses.
  12. He caught thesmile before she had spoken. What was there to smile about? Hisquestioning her sanity? Where exactly was he?! And what was thisabout “Choosing” to go anywhere? The woman seemed more persistentthan even the old man who had given him the robes he wore now. Andeven as she spoke, there wasn't much of a choice to begin with. Herbody language was too assuming to simply believe that he had anyoptions. If he had any options in this life, he would've just optedto have an easier life. Of course, that was likely an unfaircomparison as far as choices in this world. Sure, he had choices, butany choice that he didn't make was a stupid one, and that's why hewas alive.

    Butit always.. ALWAYS... cost someone else something more dear than anyof their possessions.

    Xenos hadn't noticed that he was nowstaring at the pavement just outside of the church's doors until hishead snapped up. Confess?! It was enough for him to actually bark alaugh. A laugh that was extremely sparse, no matter the tone it held.Even that of sarcasm, like now, was all too rare, and normally theyweren't kind at all.

    “Confess?!” he barked, his cacklingcontinuing. “What do I have to CONFESS?! The FOCI put me here as agame, lady! Haven't you heard a word I said?!” Now, his arms flungoutward, his body leaning forward. “I'm a damned curse! I'm notgonna get anywhere closer with any other “Deity” that might existin your culture! I'm here for the entertainment of the Nation'sPrinces!”

    Though, as she had continued through her speechabout the sanctuary's defenses, it appeared that it didn't reallymatter all too much. It probably wouldn't have mattered that he hadmade it known that he was just a black splotch on the earth's face.It was useless, though. Who would understand that even the Focus godsand goddesses needed entertainment? Apparently, thus far, it seemedthat this woman had a much gentler belief system. Now if only sheunderstood as he did, maybe she would've done the smart thing andsimply reject him?

    So now, having given up on explaininghimself, Xenos kept his mouth clamped and simply followed. His fistsballed and stuffed themselves as if reflex into his robes whilst thinlips pursed and tightened against each other. This was going to bedifficult for her to understand, and more intensely difficult toexplain. Even with her 'Defenses,' the area didn't feel safe. What ifthey were already within the barrier? How could she assume that theair couldn't already be filling with gasses from the Air Nation, orthat the earth below them were set to detonate from the worshippersof the Salamanders and Golems? And Foci only knew what could happenif they brought any of the Elite Magi here. But was it so importantthat so many be after one man?

    If only she knew what kind ofhavoc he had wreaked by simply existing – by coming in contact withjust the tiniest drop of water... But perhaps it would take showingher for her to understand. So now, as the woman turned to make herway to the residencies, Xenos darted in front of her and held out onehand, with only his index finger up to pause her in her movement.

    “Do you know what happens when you curse a Magicka wielderwith a catastrophic occurrence upon contact with his or her ownelement?” he asked, his voice now quiet as his eyes locked withhers. “Rather, do you know what the people must do in order topreserve themselves when this occurs? I'll tell you.”

    Now,Xenos paced a good thirty feet away and, after pulling out a pair ofleather gloves and slipping them over his digits, he scooped up aball of the snow below them and compacted it.
    “Honestly, youmust be asking yourself; 'What the hell is he trying to prove?'”For a moment he kept silent as he shifted the ball into his lefthand, pulling the glove off his right with his teeth. Afterwards, hespit the glove into the ground. “Well, let me show you. Pay closeattention...”

    Normally, Xenos wouldn't do something sostupid just to prove a point – just to get it across to someonethat he was a danger just existing as a normal being. So when hedidn't hesitate to grip the ball of snow with his free hand, it tookhim off guard. When his hand made firm contact with the snow, meltingit within the span of a second, the ball would suddenly detonate withthe force of a grenade. It didn't end at this, though. When thedetonation triggered, all the moisture within a thirty meter radius –just out of Myka's reach – erupted with a force ten times thatwhich was from the ball itself. The intensity flung Xenos high intothe air, shredding the outer robe and bringing his body to hit dry,dead earth with yet another sickening thud.

    Why he did such astupid thing, he had no clue, but the pain he felt right now was adamn good reminder never to do it again.

    Xenos gave out aharsh, more animalistic grunt as he slowly brought himself to hishands and knees to cough up blood, then check himself over.Lacerations from the sheer force of the exploding snowball were deepand – surprisingly – more severe than usual. So why the hell didhe do that?! Even now it boggled him. At this very moment, with adislocated shoulder and an enormous reminder that was slowly healingacross his chest, he continued to ponder through the pain just why hehad demonstrated something like that.

    “Gah, hell...” Hegroaned as he tried to stand. “Too much... Fucking snow... But doyou see now? Just something the size of a small snowball and I couldkill everyone around me, and I don't even have any control over it.”
  13. There were many things about this man that intrigued her, as well as many things that reminded her of other people. She hadn't the faintest idea who the Foci were or why he seemed to think that they were so powerful. Perhaps it was his form of a god, she figured, but that seemed silly for him to believe that a higher power would be toying with him. She couldn't help but be faintly amused as he put such an emphasis on 'deity', since she had met several herself and he seemed to not believe in them in the least. Finally after he fell silent for a moment, she just shook her head a little while walking down the steps.

    "I don't know where you come from, but the nation you are standing in right now has no royalty to speak of. So, wherever you're from, they're legally unable to get you anyway, even if they were concerned with the law and not simply killing you," she pointed out calmly with a gentle shrug.

    She had continued walking until he stepped in front of her, effectively making her stop and look up at him. Her light blue eyes were faintly curious, but he wasn't as subtle as he may have thought. So, that answered the question of why he had gone with such an explosion earlier instead of a more efficient method. A faint frown crossed her lips and she watched him pulling on his gloves, getting an idea quickly of what he was going to do. Already she moved her hands, discreetly pulling forth the power she figured she'd need since he was apparently determined to prove that he was a threat. She waited until one second before the snowball hit his hand, then moved. The explosion washed against the sides of a crystal tube that she had wrapped around Xenos, not even large enough around for him to spread his arms out completely. There was even a top on it, and it went all the way in the ground. She knew that he'd probably slam his head against it, but nothing else would hit him except snow. Maybe the hit would teach him to not act like an idiot, she reasoned with herself.

    Once the explosion was over, she calmly made the crystal collapse into a puddle of water and watched Xenos trying to stand up. Evidently he had fallen after the tube vanished. Oopsies. She found herself smiling a bit and she walked over to him with a cocked eyebrow. Once he was about halfway up, she pushed him over backward into a bowl of crystal just large enough to act as a chair. Waving an absent hand, she had it hover along beside her as she walked, keeping him at a decent height to carry on a conversation.

    "Attempt to get out of that and I'll chain you to it. You're weak and I can't have an idiot running around in the snow blowing things up. Children live here, you know," she informed him conversationally, nodding a bit to herself - and immediately chaining him down to it with several crystal chains and cuffs if necessary. "It's obvious you don't have control, I knew that before your demonstration. What you seem to be lacking elsewhere is trust and a sense of good manners. However, those are the obvious things, which don't really matter to people who want to actually get to know you," she went on, not caring if he was listening or not as she made her way to her original destination. "I wonder if the goddess could cure you," she mused, mostly murmuring to herself at this point as her expression grew more thoughtful. She hadn't seen the sea goddess in a very, very long time. Perhaps she should request an audience.

    She rubbed her palms together and spread them, handing him a crystal-coated ice pack. Tapping her head to show him what it was for, she turned and knocked on the door she had finally reached. After a few moments, Kaleah answered and her gaze immediately fell on Xenos. After a brief glance, she turned her attention back to Myka.

    "Is he the cause of the barrier?" Kaleah demanded, more distrustful than she used to be thanks to Tairen being under her constant care and her advanced age.

    "Not in the way you're thinking," Myka replied quickly, though she was honestly surprised that Kaleah had felt the barrier rising. The older woman surprised her quite often, it seemed. "I wanted to ask you about the Gra'zi. Is it still in place and active enough to be of use?" she went on, getting a stunned stare from Kaleah. Evidently they were both full of surprises. After getting a silent nod, Myka nodded as well and smiled. "Get some sleep, Madre," she said softly, closing the door and wandering back toward the church with the crystal bowl still toting along next to her.
  14. So she trapped the detonation thatwould occur. At least she knew how to use her abilities. At least allof the damage that would have been avoided due to it only expandingoutward would be averted to point inward at it's place of origin.Didn't she think that doing such would only increase the damagesustained, since the eruption had nowhere else to go but back inward?By the time she had captured him within a bow, Xenos wasn't exactlyin any condition to fight, but the revelation that her abilitiesentailed water had set him on a sharper edge.

    At least he nowknew that, in a moment's notice, she could probably end him withusing his own curse against him. Which was why he now waved off theice pack with a wary stare.

    But would she? With how she hadseemingly been quick to decide to chain him to the bowl he now satit, it was apparent she at least didn't want him dead. This was tooodd for him. Only five people in his life – all now deceased –had attempted to aid him in the preservation of his own well-being.But, now that they weren't exactly all too able to do such since theywere slaughtered and turned to ash, it just went to show Xenos justhow stupid it would be to try to help. It was foolish andlife-threatening. Not only that, but it spelled a life-time ofharassment from the Water Nation.

    Myka didn't seem tounderstand that, though the woman she had roused from her sleepseemed to hold an understanding. But at this point, this would be alltoo futile if he were to continue arguing. Instead, once Xenos'swounds closed enough to allow safe movement, his hands slipped intohis pockets and procured yet another scroll. Since he was humanbesides the healing and his curse, he needed such more than anyone inthis world. Especially since he was hunted. The scroll had a verylight feel to it, and within his grasp, it felt as if it wouldjust... Disintegrate. Which was the point. Xenos slipped open thescroll and planted the parchment to his chest before his body hadbroken down into ash and had drifted from the bowl. Each and everyparticle danced within the night's light before they individuallycollected into his form. From there, Xenos's body pieced backtogether until he was a full – healed – being once more.

    Xenos's eyes locked on Myka as she had excused the woman andclosed the door to return to the church, hesitating for only a momentbefore following behind. As he did this, though, Xenos's handscontinued to dig through the pockets of his robes to procure two orthree more of his alteration scrolls. These then were prepped for usewithout having to expose them and slipped into his right pocket. Heknew that if the soldiers ran into the barrier, they would simplywait until it had dissipated to make their move. This is why he nowhad the scrolls within his pocket for quick-use. As paranoid as itseemed at the moment, it was a habit that he couldn't hold himselffrom.

    But then something she said earlier had come tomind.

    “What's this Gra'zi you were asking about?” he said,catching up to be to her right and ahead so he could keep eye contactwith her. “And what about this 'Goddess' you were mumbling ofearlier? You seem more persistent about something that my people haveproven don't exist besides the individual Focuses. Why?”

    Sure,his tone was more prying. When someone talked of any other kinds ofdeities to someone born within one of his kind's Nations, one tendedto either do so or attempt to kill the other person who had donesuch. Since he was being hunted, though, and seemed to have at leastsomewhat an ally, that would probably be the dumbest mistake he couldmake. Say he managed to kill her. What would he do then? If thesoldiers managed to get past the barrier, they would slay everyonehere. Even if he wasn't here, if they were seen worshipping somethingother than the Foci, they would be slaughtered...


    Outside thebarrier, where the soldiers had been stuck, all had still continuedto remain silent... Until what they had dispatched for had began tothunder through with it's heavy, sluggish steps. To say the least,the being was enormous, standing at a size of thirteen feet and atleast six hundred pounds heavy in all it's muscle and what it wore. Abald head was adorned with a left side eye patch that spiked outward,its lens giving an infra-red sight to the eye. The right eye wasnothing but pure white, and the mask the gigantic man wore shieldedhim from all inhaled gases. But that wasn't what made him sofrightening. Upon his back was a plate that held hundreds of roundsfor the gun that was carried in thick, gauntlet-plated hands andforearms that led up to ridiculously large shoulder-plates. Upon hisleft shoulder was the water serpent, which was the mark of his rank,as well as the Sylphs emblem upon his plated chest. The firearm thathe carried in his hands was as large as one of the smaller soldiersthat now waited for him. It fired compacted grenades that, withanything that it hit, annihilated it's target on first contact. Theexplosion that would yield a blast radius as wide as Xenos's own, wasfor everyone else.

    “Where is the Blasphemous child?”The bald juggernaut demanded, looking down at the trembling warriorbelow him in so many more ways than one.

    “W-we know he isthere, Sir,” the little man stuttered, literally quaking in hisboots.

    Dread Tanks.
    They were aptly named.
    One alonecould level cities within an hour.

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  15. [I wanted this to be better - the end, you'll see what I mean - but I just couldn't focus and gave up u.u]

    Feeling the weight of the bowl shift, she allowed it to collapse into a scattering of snow and drift to the ground harmlessly with barely a thought as she continued to walk back toward the church. Once they were at the wide fountain, she paused her steps and listened to him as her pale blue eyes traced the majestic lines of the structure before her. The bottom layer was easily fifty feet around, constructed of a pale gray granite that shimmered with white and silver streaks and chips. In the bottom was a perfectly smooth layer of ice, as it was much too cold for the fountain to be flowing on its own. In the center was a pillar that was about five feet around, holding up two more layers of gradually decreasing size. At the top of the pillar was a small statue, so old and crumbled that it was hard to tell what it was supposed to be. She gazed at it, then turned to face Xenos and tilted her head slightly as she considered her answers to his questions.

    "The Gra'zi is The Weapon That Does Not Harm. The Goddess I mentioned earlier is quite possibly the only being who can truly help you. I've no idea of the Focuses that you mention - I assume you use them in place of Gods. I'm not persistent about something that doesn't exist - I am faithful about the truth," she said in a calm and quiet tone, gazing at him steadily and giving him a slight smile.

    She held up a hand to silence anything he might have had to say in response to that, then turned back to the fountain and walked in a slow circle around it, tapping certain places. When the circle was complete, the sounds of grinding stones filled the air and it began to sink until all layers were flat to the ground and the pillar was standing about four feet tall. The statue that was previously on top had unfolded to a circular platform, only about two feet across. Etched all along the top were deep runes, so ancient that Myka - who had studied them for years - only knew what about half of them were supposed to mean. Nobody alive knew what they all meant, not even the current set of gods and goddesses. At least, none that she had met so far did or claimed to.

    Pausing now for a moment, she held a hand against her stomach lightly as though in pain. Something was hitting against the barrier and it was sending twinges through her system. Not enough to pass out or anything like that, but it wasn't comfortable in the least and made her more and more aware that she needed to reinforce this as soon as she was able. If Xenos was right about being chased full force, which it appeared that he was, then she had an obligation to both grant him the refuge he sought and to protect her people. Nobody else here could do it, and she absolutely refused to let somebody be snatched from the Sanctuary to be killed or tortured or whatever else they wanted Xenos for. Sure, she barely knew him, but everybody deserved a chance to live freely as long as they weren't harming others. It seemed all of his harm had likely been an accident and lack of control, which was unfortunate but not a crime.

    "Whether you believe anything I'm saying or not, please stay quiet for just a few moments," she said, looking back at him for a moment before nodding and turning back to the fountain as the discomfort and pain continued to slowly grow.

    She ignored the sensations and walked to the pillar, climbing up to stand on top of it. Once she was completely balanced, she looked over at Xenos. Giving him a slight nod, she closed her eyes and placed her palms together, fingers pointed downward. Gathering her energy and power, she pulled it all in hard until she felt like she was going to burst. That was the moment that she spread her hands about a foot apart. A soft white light coated her body and faded, leaving her looking much different than before. Her hair was back to the deep blue instead of the pale, washed out looking shade it had been. Eyes a sparkling emerald, her expression was one of utmost concentration. Her outfit had even changed, showing off her toned body in nothing but a strapless shirt that barely covered her and a fluttering skirt that scarcely hit mid-thigh. It was impractical considering the weather, but it did allow her free movement better than a long dress, and it had been her uniform of sorts at one point. She had missed it, and it felt more like coming home than almost anything else had so far other than seeing Tairen and Kaleah for the first time.

    Technically, she wasn't supposed to be doing this without the assistance of the fire god. Although she knew him personally and missed him more than she cared to admit, she didn't bother calling on him now. He was busy and had a very different life than he used to, she knew that. Plus she was fairly confident that she could do this herself. Osuka didn't need to worry about her problems when he was supposed to be a god and taking care of other people. Plus, she hadn't seen him since before.. Well, before a lot of things happened. No need to bring up the past now.

    Long, thin ropes of water began from the ground to wind around the pillar - they didn't touch it, just swirled and twirled around it in an intricate spiral. They rose higher still, weaving a sort of net around Myka as well, almost a protective barrier other than the fact it was nothing but small ropes of moving water and not molded to be a weapon or shield. She wasn't even concentrating on them or using the least bit of energy to keep them there - they were being fed from a power source far more ancient than herself, one that recognized her inner power and soul.

    Starting from her ankles, white runes began glowing on her skin. They covered every inch of her, some invisible since they were under her clothes. Racing up her body, they last came to her hands and a brilliantly shining ball of energy formed between them. It was so bright that to stare too long would guarantee blindness, and the amount of energy contained was staggering. She held it as long as she could, then hurled it upward as hard as she possibly could. It rose high into the sky and seemed to explode, sending a wave of blue-white energy down like a bubble over the entire Sanctuary. A wake of shimmering glitter was left, faint and hard to see, but there. Now she wouldn't have to concentrate to keep anything out, she could be distracted and all would be safe.

    She lowered her hands shakily and blinked as the water collapsed lifelessly to the ground with a splash. Her body felt completely drained, and even balancing there on the pillar was proving to be too difficult. She swayed a little and realized she had to get down, but it was too late. Her body gave out on her and she collapsed weakly backward.

    You'll remember this one. Just take away the jacket and sleeves (open)
    You'll remember this one. Just take away the jacket and sleeves (open)
  16. Itfelt as if he would have to wait forever. Myka only continued to pacetowards what looked to be an all-too-elaborate fountain, with it'sgaudy décor about it. It's patterns were nearly too much for Xenosto take in seriousness, thinking that perhaps this was how sheworshipped the Goddess that she spoke of now. How could a “Goddess”assist the jester that she had made, if she was so great? Perhaps itwas those who were- to his mind- more blessed with a place to returnto, even if her life could've been hell... Or, for that matter, itcould've been a damned cake-walk and none of it would've mattered.Maybe that's why she was so apt to help him? But for that matter, howcould she persist that the truth is something that he himself hadn'tseen already? The Foci always proved their omnipotence throughcontrol of their pawns, and they did it well...

    “And as if Iam a mere child who ha-”

    But, to his dismay and slightirritation, he was cut off. Now, as he simply crossed his arms andgave a slight huff of aforementioned emotion, Xenos watched Mykabegin her slow pace around the fountain. For what reason did it serveto strike only so lightly upon the places in which contact was made?That answer was given soon enough as the shifting of rock rang out inthe courtyard. Xenos had to take a step back in order to actuallywith-hold his further irritation. If she was summoning a “Goddess,”it was quite the elaborate, flashy, and nearly unnecessary and – inhis opinion – selfish of the goddess to need such done. It was onlyafter what seemed just a few moments that his eyes laid upon deepetching in what looked to him to simply be cracks in thestone....

    Outside the Sanctuary, the men were preparing.The Dread Tank had begun to give commands to archers andbladewielders alike to charge, and once that proved useless, tobombard whatever was standing in their way, only to be fruitless. Thebehemoth of a man was growing irritated, and his trigger finger beganto itch. It was a trademark of the Dread Tanks. If it pissed themoff, they simply shot it and moved on with their lives. There was noneed to put up with such cockamamie bullshit.

    “You worthlesspawns!!” the Dread Tank exclaimed. “Why do you have to be soweak?! I told you to lay into it! Throw your backs into the strikes,before I blow your asses to the Netherworld!!”...

    Itwasn't hard to catch the pain that the woman was going through, butfor now, he simply stood by and watched. It didn't seem as any kindof urgent, mangling kind of pain, so there was no need to worry. But,naturally, it did pique his curiosity, and it took what littleself-control he had left to force back the questions that now floodedto him. And, apparently naturally for her, she warned him not tospeak for a second, so even if he didn't believe in the things shewas about to engage in, Xenos practically bit down on his tongue.

    This was foolish.
    Only the Foci and their Hosts couldcommunicate.
    If she was summoning a Goddess, then she had to be aHost to the Foci.
    That was...

    What was that? For a second,Xenos almost felt as if he had missed something, even though – withhis subconscious thoughts – he had been watching her the entiretime. A light had grown betwixt her fingers, and the fact that shehad did such had made him uncomfortable. Those who had control overlight had the same control as Fire. The Salamanders, as silly as itsounded since one would believe they be only reptiles, were the oneswho were responsible for gifting their Hosts and Workers the abilityto wield Light or Fire. But this woman was clearly a Water MagickaWorker, so she would've been at War with those who were under theSalamanders. The Undine Foci hated the Fire Workers, though thepeople themselves had seen fit to work together.

    But, now,his brain function halted as his eyes took in what was exposed now.The woman he was talking to before didn't seem so quaint and innocentanymore. Instead, she had seemed to change her entire outfit tosomething that was more uniform than it was for comfort. Even in thebiting cold, though?

    The tendrils of water that snaked aroundthe tiny plateau that she stood on made him shift backwards more. Wasshe preparing to turn against him already? Maybe she was working withthem this entire time? Xenos's right hand slipped into his pocket andgripped tight an Earth scroll, but this was slowly relinquished as herealized from her own stance that her focus wasn't on such a thing.Instead of moving outward, it caged Myka, and then began to spillforth from head to toe the same cracks that he had seen in thepillar.

    Now he began to wonder. Xenos's entire body languageat that point seemed to change completely. Instead of hisalways-tense composure, he seemed almost to be in hypnosis as hewatched the light converge in betwixt her digits. Sure, thisexperience itself was something to truly question what he had seenthus far, but attempting to comprehend as to why the girl was sogifted by the Foci yet he was cursed for as long as he was existenthad almost made his gut wrench.

    That, again, though, wastossed from his mind as azure irises followed the speeding ball oflight that projected upward and erupt in a display of Fireworks thata child from his nation would coo and awe at. The light spread aroundtheir area and left behind it the lightest traces of a defensivefield that Xenos had to squint to see.

    What was this woman?She wasn't a Foci -that was for sure- and she wasn't a Host...

    Buthe didn't have time to complete the thought as he felt his bodypractically lunged forward past the plateau that she stood upon tostop her fall before she crashed against the stone below her. Longarms extended almost inhumanly as his blur-like speed to cradle thewoman's weakened body, the minute weight literally nothing in hisgrasp. Why did she seem so drained? No host or worker was ever trulydrained of their ability or any working of their Foci.

    Sothat ruled out that she was a Host or Worker.. Or Focus herself.

    “Hey,” he said, speaking firmly to make sure she keptconscious. “Hey, what did you just do?”

    Thesudden shimmer of the bubble made the field now apparent, and for themoment, the squad who had been hammering and slashing away at theshield became blinded from the light. The reaction forced them toturn away and cover their eyes as they grunted in irritation andslight pain. The bubble had become fortified somehow. What did theheretics and blaspheming bastards done to do such a thing? How couldthey if the Foci had turned their backs on all but their own kind? Itwas baffling and almost demotivating...

    The Dread Tank, to saythe least, had had enough.

    “Move!”He ordered, leveling the automatic launcher dead ahead. “Move oryou die with this blasphemy!!!”...
  17. Myka felt the rush of air that would normally happen in the middle of a fall, but instead of the jarring pain of hitting cobblestone, she felt the firm grasp of arms. Heavily disoriented and unable to see straight, it took her a few moments of looking up to realize it was Xenos who had caught her and was cradling her like a child. She nodded a little and was about to pass out when he spoke to her, making her blink slowly. His question took a moment to process, but then she smiled at him and shrugged weakly.

    "I did what I had to do to protect my people," she replied simply, her voice shaky but not so much as to make what she said questionable.

    She felt each and every movement against the barrier just as last time, with one marked difference. This time she was simply aware of what was going on and knew where the opponents were, but it caused her no pain. It was the same as watching them from a distance, really. A whole lot safer and a whole lot healthier for her, though she wasn't think about herself at that moment. What truly mattered was that the pain couldn't force her body to shut down and leave everybody exposed anymore. Even if she allowed herself to pass out now, the barrier would remain intact. And passing out was sounding really wonderful about now..

    "I tried to tell you," she went on, struggling to stay conscious at least long enough to explain. "The Gra'zi. This Sanctuary was a place for blessed individuals of all sorts at one point in time before they all separated. The gods wanted to protect their students and yet not empower them to fight those who may not deserve it. The Weapon That Does Not Harm. It protects. It held large amounts of power from every single god and goddess in existance, available to any who could reach it. I actually thought it had been too long for it to be active," she explained, though at this point she didn't know if she was still speaking coherently or if she was raving useless babble.

    Hopping around like a rabbit near the edge of the bubble was Tairen. He had climbed out his bedroom window over an hour ago, as he usually did to go for a flight and get the strength of his wings up. This time, however, he had discovered something fascinating. People standing as if they couldn't come inside the Sanctuary, and they seemed really angry about it. He soon found the humor in it all and was hurling little black balls of dark energy at them, laughing delightedly when he realized he could throw things out of the bubble and nothing they threw could come back in.

    "Something's going outside.." Myka warned sleepily, tracing an abstract-seeming design on Xenos' hand with a single fingertip. When she was done, it faintly glowed gold for a moment before fading back to nothing. She nodded slightly to herself, then half passed out in his arms like a ragdoll.
  18. Well, at least shewas awake. That much he could be thankful for. Xenos had no idea asto where was what and what was permitted. The weakness in her voice,though, had hinted that she wouldn't be keeping conscious for long.That was the worrisome part. What if somehow they had broken through?He didn't know of any other defenses that the Sanctuary could havehad. And could the people even fight? He hadn't seen a single personbesides the child and who she had called Mother... How he translatedanything was completely obscure to him, but it was a talent hewouldn't question, and, thankfully, something he didn't mind at all.

    Now, though, as Xenos began to listen to Myka's historylesson of the Sanctuary, his interest once more became piqued. Why onearth would the Foci permit the construction of a weapon that wasn'ta weapon at all? The entire basis of the construction for such a“Weapon” was completely backwards. What kind of weapon didnothing but defend? It would be like calling a brick wall a Weapon ofMass Destruction. Though, since it wasn't his territory, he had nosay in what exactly was “Logical.”

    Still, it proved quirkyat best...

    “Sir,” barked one of the smaller soldiers as heslashed at a ball of shadows hurling towards him. “The child! Whatis he doing?!”

    These fools were incompetent. So much, infact, that the Dread Tank had lowered his weapon just to pick the manup by his skull and crush it in a spray of blood, bone, and graymatter before picking it back up and flinging it into the barrier.The effect, of course, was to scare the child into ceasing it's pettygames. If it didn't work, though, as he had suspicion that itwouldn't – being the blasphemous bastard child it likely was, thenhe would place his munitions in doing so.

    So, with an evilgrin behind his mask, the behemoth raised the enormous rifle withinthe grip of his right hand and pulled the trigger with no hesitation.Immediately, blast after blast of darkness laced explosive ammunitionthe size of a normal man's fist laid into the wall with eruptiveforce. If the child could cast outward with Darkness, how could henot fire inward? Of course, the blasts from the gun itself was enoughto blind his uncovered eye, so it was still difficult to tell whetherhis efforts – be they lazy at best – was making any kind ofprogress...

    Myka's words brought Xenos from a sudden lapsein consciousness just in time to witness a glow dying away upon hishand. What did she do? For that matter, who in their right mind wouldbe out at such an hour after hearing so much commotion? It hadn'tquite struck him yet that it may have been a child, so for now, Xenosknelt down to rest Myka's legs upon the ground as he withdrew ascroll from his left pocket and, after unraveling it, flicked theparchment. What came of this was a constant feed of archaic runesthat had been made up of his own created language to encircle thewoman and, after giving the floating words direction, disappearedwith the woman to take her to her “Madre's” residence.

    Withthat out of the way, Xenos withdrew one more parchment scroll fromhis inner robe and tossed it into the air, still bound, to watch itsuddenly become parallel to the ground and rocket forth in asouth-east direction... Where he suddenly heard a repeat ofautomated, heavy fire.

    Xenos' gut wrenched.

    His lips becameparched dry.

    “D-Dread tank? Here?!”

    Xenos wastedno time in following the rocketing parchment until he came upon theborder of the shield. It was almost instinctive how Xenos acted now.He didn't waste time in withdrawing one of the three parchments fromhis right pocket to slam it to his chest. From there, the perceptionof time and reality had suddenly twisted, warped, and bent until ithad slowed exponentially. At this point, Xenos' body would undergo ahigh amount of strain at the gain of a speed boost even he could notmatch without it, and thus far, he had met none faster. His bodybolted forth like a bullet as he suddenly snatched up the child andmade way back to the sanctuary, covering his tracks by makingmultiple paths until they were indecipherable....

    TheDread Tank suddenly halted his firing when he watched the lens thatcovered his left eye glow blue, then red, then home in on a target.

    It was who they were looking for all along.

    “TheCursed one!” The Dread Tank bellowed out. “He's here! Get yourasses in gear and break this fucking thing down! Use all the Magickaour Foci have blessed us with!”

    With that command given anddarkness now swamping around the man, he began to charge as bolts offire and tendrils of water followed with spikes and detonationsunderneath the earth combined with hurricane like winds slammed intoa central point upon the shield. It would, if it was truly done byMagicka, weaken the fortification of the shield at a central locationas if constantly slamming a chisel into a slab of marble until itshattered with the final strike that would be dealt by the DreadTank... That is, if the wall couldn't be fortified...

    “Ohcrap, oh crap- MYKA!!!” At this point, Xenos had stopped with askid and a hard panting, his foot just barely touching the front doorto the old woman's home, the child hopefully in tote if he hadn'tsquirmed free. Either way, she would have to be alerted.Automatically Xenos began to bang on the door with a strength thatrattled the enormous, oaken obstruction with an intensity that wouldstrike fear into any being.
    “Ma'am, open up! Please! We got aproblem here and if they're doing what I believe they're about to do,we're going to need to prepare!”

    Still, Xenoscontinued to beat and bang on the door, all the while looking overhis shoulder again and again. By now, he could see fire and clumps ofdirt wash and ping off of the fortification the Magicka had offered.They were going to tear it down by either confusing it or using allthe elements they could muster to find an immediate weakness, and ifthe Dread Tank was who he thought he was, it may not last muchlonger. By any means it was no undermining of the shield, but ratherwhat he had learned from observation.

    But, at the moment, itdidn't seem like the woman was answering. Maybe she was still asleep,or if Myka had made it here, tending to her? It didn't matter. Bynow, Xenos knew that he had to at least have someone's attention tomake it clear that things weren't well and that preparations neededto be made, and he needed it now.

    So instead, he decided toamplify his voice.

    keeping the child in his arms and clamping his ears shut with his hands, Xenos ground himself with his heels planted to the dirt, then took in one long, hard breath in...

    Before his voice erupted with the ferocity of five anger-driven men.

    “Vo'Siera ko gretia - Tu'falladia (Amplify toExertion - shout of warrior)!!!” he yelled, his voice now automatically overcoming thenormal decibel that a human could shout. Thank whatever deitiesexisted for universal magicka. “Eeh, su fretchia (Aah, listenup)!!! Kulo al mohalid setu zuko'nala vu'tu (Get your behinds up andprepare for battle)!!! ku'lauda Dread Tank vu nilao vuzhu ni lae nuvuboliu (Damned Dread Tank is gonna kill us all if you don't)!! ZILUVHOAL KADAU (Defend your city)!!”

    Sure, at thispoint, he seemed to be shouting nonsense, but it was to the pointwhere, not only did the amplification force the people who couldfight here to understand, being it a warrior's shout, but it wasenough to crack glass and shake buildings at their foundations. It's effect on any warrior who let themselves become subject to it would be their raise in strength and morale...

    Hewould be goddamned if another city fell without a fight just becauseof his existence.

    Sadly, now, hisvoice had completely disappeared, driven hoarse by the decibel atwhich he had achieved.
  19. Slipping rapidly into the darkness best described as being unconscious, Myka had no idea that she had been moved from Xenos' arms. She wasn't truly unconscious, but her mind and body had been so drained by her activating the Gra'zi that it was forcing her to rest and recover. Unfortunately, that meant that she wasn't aware of things going on around her. She was, however, aware of what was going on inside her own mind and able to help her body along to recover more quickly in hopes that she would wake up sooner. Now wasn't the time to be laying around uselessly, she had to be up and find out what was going on with Xenos. She didn't even know if the Gra'zi had worked since she didn't exactly have time to check before she was fading into this state.

    Tairen, on the other hand, was having a grand old time. The large creature machine thing that had crushed a man just to throw it around made him laugh. How gross! He kept hopping around and using his wings to get some additional height as he threw dozens of shadow balls at them. They were mostly harmless for now, made to just explode into a plume of smoke that could choke a person if they inhaled it. He giggled and continued on his merry way, until he saw the shots of the gun ricocheting off of the barrier in a wild array of sparks. Stopping, eyes wide, he was about to move forward in an attempt to touch it when he was suddenly in the hands of a man he didn't recognize.

    "Mommy!" he yelled delightedly as the man called for Myka, just wanting to add to the noise. He laughed more and tried to squirm out of his grasp to run back to play with those other people, but he didn't make any progress. Starting to pout, he was going to wail and demand to be set down, but then two large hands clasped over his ears. With widened eyes, he gazed up at the man and just stared up at the man as he started yelling so loud that the house seemed to be shaking. He even saw a window crack! Stunned and amazed, he continued staring at Xenos in awe.

    "La fine è qui! Alzati e combatti, voi inutili mortali! Oggi tutti morire!" Tairen yelled out after Xenos had finished and released his ears. He cackled and squirmed free, finally, and opened the front door to run inside the house and up the stairs.

    Kaleah walked into view and to the door, looking Xenos over for a moment before stepping back and gesturing him inside. Just inside the door, Myka was laying on the couch, after having given Kaleah the scare of her life. She stirred a little and managed to open her eyes, which felt like trying to life a building. After a few moments she sat up, her movements getting easier the longer she was awake. Her mind felt strange - not foggy or disoriented, but.. Something was different. She couldn't put her finger on it yet, but something had changed. From where she sat, she could hear Tairen playing upstairs, and she could feel the breeze from the door that said it was open. Turning slightly, she glanced to the side and saw Kaleah standing there with Xenos. Interesting.

    "Judging by your expression and the fact that I can still feel things hitting the barrier, I'm going to guess that the threat is far from over even with the aid of the Gra'zi," she said quietly, standing up and stretching out her muscles. She didn't bother changing clothes since this uniform was easier to work in anyway - she just grabbed the matching little jacket from the closet and pulled it on. After spending so much time on the bottom of the ocean, she wasn't really cold, but the breeze could bother her skin after a while if she let it.

    "Okay. Let's go find out how bad it is, shall we?" she invited, giving Xenos a smile and offering him a hand as she stepped outside and Kaleah quickly shut the door.
  20. Werethere truly no warriors within this place? How could a call – whichhe was sure enough to bring forth any fighting soul with the fervorof a god itself – such as this have failed? Truly, these peopleseemed without protection in the slightest, which only meant thatXenos had doomed them all. Just before he was ready to place thechild upon the ground, though, a sudden shout within a language hehad yet to hear brought his attention to something quite twisted andstartling in itself; the child was beckoning everyone to hurry up anddie, in short...

    So what in SAM HELL was this child beingtaught?!

    Itwas no matter, though. Before he could truly keep a hold upon thechild, he had suddenly wrenched himself free and scurried to theshelter of his room. Perhaps he had done so knowing that it waseither unbelievable or unaccepted behavior? Or maybe there was moreto this defenseless establishment than he had yet to see. When he wasbeckoned forth by the elderly woman that Myka had called “Mother,”Xenos quickly moved to the door and well into the room, instinctivelytaking a mental note of anything he could use in the unfortunateevent that the Water Nation's Dread Tank had breached the shieldwhich surrounded the Sanctuary. But, as it was, things here wereforeign to him, so his effort was in waste.

    Tohis left was Myka who had been stirring to wakefulness in what seemedto be a struggle for her very life. Was it so difficult to wake afterher recent toying with Magicka? Perhaps if it had taken that much ofher Mana, it would be possible, but it looked before as if she wassummoning from the pillar itself.

    Nomatter. There wasn't time for such musings. She was right enough withher musing. Of course the threat will not cease. As long as theshield was up, they would continue to place more and more pressureupon it until it broke. He warned her many times before that it wasfoolish to be so inviting of a marked man, so why did she insist?Better yet, why did he have to give in? It would've been easy enoughto walk away and have diverted such a crisis that was about tobefall.

    “Myka, I'm sorry, but this is a little bit too muchfor just two people. You really think that they're gonna stop with alittle chit-chat? They'll-”

    Releasethe elements and break the shield on my point!”

    At thatvery moment, more fire and water released utter hell upon the shield.Earth cracked and then suddenly erupted against a small area in frontof the bubble. But more importantly, assuming they were placing theshield under immense strain anyway, there was luckily for them apossible opposite to the wall of light that was in front of them. Dark energy that had snaked around the Dread Tank was suddenlyreleased with a flurry of explosive rounds that slammed with twicethe intensity against the shield. All their efforts rippled andwarbled in a display of raw, natural power that would make any oftheir foes quake to their cores. Many a civilization had fallenbefore them, and this one would as well, just as soon as this shieldhad been dealt with.

    They wouldn't know until the smokecleared, but that didn't mean that their efforts would cease afterjust that. Again, the Dread Tank charged more of the Dark Energy asmore fire, water, earth and wind now slammed against the bubble witha ferocity that couldn't be matched by any of their once livingfoes...

    The eruption against the shield quaked the Earthharshly below Xenos' feet and he scurried to brace himself. Theexplosion had actually shook the inside of the shield... Which onlymeant that, by keeping up the shield, they just pissed off one personthey shouldn't have, who just so happened to have an entire battalionof Magi and Warriors behind him. The warriors could do lessermagicka, but the Magi were what they had to watch out for.

    “Ifyou have anyone else here but you ready to fight, you better gatherthem.” Xenos warned with eyes as hard as jewels. “The Dread Tankalone is gonna take more than you and me – that I can promise.”

    With that, Xenos automatically sprang from the door in a deadsprint, tearing his way through the establishment and towards theplace he had once found Myka's – in his belief – potentiallyderanged child who was throwing balls of shadow at them. How longwould he be there until he had reached the clearing without thescroll, though? He hadn't been worried about being mindful of thedistance before, so now he wouldn't be able to be prepared for whatmay come. What if the Tank had broken through? What if the forces ofthe Water Nation were already pooling in and setting the area ablazewhile tearing chasms into the earth in order to ensure that no oneescaped?

    Healready had enough to atone for.. So why did he have to keep pilingmore upon himself?

    ((Sorry if it wasn't the greatest.))