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C.M. Iuvem has managed to advance past the demon. He tapped the orbiting mace, before destroying it, without leaving a trace.
Well, firstly, I thought the sacrifice was unneccessary and that we could at least talk through it. But this...impostor revealed itself to be a hardass. So I tried to get past it, without not really attacking it and blocking its possible attacks... , he replied to Evelyn, his deep voice laced with condescension, with his face focused on the hallway.
He levitated towards it and started running in it, preparing himself for any potential traps or attacks.
You could have just said no to my order. I found out you were having a tantrum, I figured I could take advantage of it to increase our chances of getting past the demon. You could have said no. I wouldn't mind it because, as I stated earlier, I had no intention of killing it...just getting past its fatass. But no, you decided to go along with it and prove your own point. You made it clear that human— no...Earthlings always like to shroud themselves in a veil of hypocrisy to prove the hypocrisy of other Earthlings. This self-destructive hypocrisy is what will cause Earthlings to destroy each other; And ruin forever what was a beautiful planet that already getting corrupted by you hyprocrites... , he abruptly stopped.
And I think I know who is the biggest hypocrite of them all... , he turned towards his squadmates, showing a smug, perfidious jagged grin, A whiny, little bitch that we all love and know as Evelyn, born Zahraa Tonderai! , his tone was sickly sweet yet clearly mocking. As he said that, he dynamically pointed a finger at the psychic, before he returned his focus to hallway and the artifact, and continued to walk in the hallway.
Just what is happening to me?! , the golem loudly bellowed at the trio.
Zalah and Teroras were munching some popcorns as they and Pandora — who was aghast — watched the current circumstance through Iuvem's eyes.
Wow...huhuhuhuhu...Daddy! I didn't know you had it in you! , her shock quickly turned into impish innocence, as she started to giggle mischievously.
Wow, Jupiturd! You savagely burned that Evelyn girl like it was nothing! , Teroras cackled loudly as strongly patted Iuvem on the back a several times.
Stop teasing me and be serious! , he yelled at them, What! Is! Happening! To m—
Iuvem, you sheltered little planet! Hasn't Ms. Glove told that famous idiom? Y'know...uh..."with great power, comes great responsibility" or something? Except you replace "responsability" with insanity or mean streaks... , Teroras replied to him.
Are you implying that, by constantly using my Chaos Mode, I am starting to lose my mind?!! , he asked, horrified.
So...so those strange anomalous feelings I felt in the darkest corners of my mind...while and before accessing the Chaos Mode throughout this year — even when I first unlocked it — were a fruit of this mode? , he looked at his own open hands. He sounded shocked, yet solemn at same time.
Well, you unlocked this mode by feeling large amounts of hatred, daddy! So it would be natural that the irregular use of it would lead to you slowly become the very hatred you felt against the shadow stringbean! , Pandora spoke with casual cheerfulness, It's like equivalent exchange or somesuch...
Iuvem didn't say anything. A tear fell from his right eye, landing into his right hand. The watery sound that this impact made echoed throughout the mindscape.
Edited by Theyja on Jul 5th 2019 at 10:53:12 AM
Cole - Squad 4
Cole powered down once it was clear they were passed the danger, and he was left wondering why they were so averse to this one episode of violence when there was no question about the rightness in wielding violence against the likes of the Guardians or the Terrans. There was no reason to sacrifice something of value to a monster they could easily beat to hell and back - right? It was just as far as Cole knew how things worked.
But then when it looked like they were through Iuvem just went from ready for combat to totally ballistic, rambling and malicious.
Running forward between Iuvem and Evelyn, he shouted after the golem, "HEY!! That was totally not called for, Iuvem! Not cool! We have our disagreements but I don't think anything happened that called for that! And—-Earthlings? Seriously? Don't talk down to humans, you hear me?"
Humans? I wasn't only talking about humans. Earthling is a general term to describe not only humans, but the nonhuman races native to this planet. I even consider the extradimensional races that had a strong bond and influence on this world and its people — such as demons, angels, daevas etc. — to be Earthlings... , Iuvem clarified, not even bothering to face Cole and the others, as he continued to walk in the hallway.
“Racist to an entire planet. I see.”
Somehow her resumed lower volume had not made her anger any less palpable. Though she was definitely calmer now. Her Eye was still flitting about maniacally, bulging and constricting its pupil inwards and outwards, but there was no psionic discharge. Each word in Iuvem's speech had only silenced her more. Like instead of fueling an animalistic temper tantrum, it had siphoned it out.
Now there was only seething hatred left.
“Iuvem, all I ask for is honesty. Honesty in what you say to me, honesty in what you do, honesty in your principles. If you tell me to do something, I'll do it. If you get mad at me for doing it, I'll get mad at you right back. If I cut off my hair out of impulse, I'm doing it for you. But clearly you don't care about that, because that's unnecessary.”
She paused for a moment to take a breath, before continuing in a more levelled tone of speech.
“I value you. I love you. Your standards, your everything. I love all of you. But I don't think we've been making that very clear, have we? Next time our lives are on the line, let's make sure we know where we stand. So something like this doesn't happen again.”
She tried to be considerate towards Clay for what he did, but she drew up nothing. She felt entirely numb by this point. She'd been utterly drained emotionally. So the best she could do was purse her lips into a watery smile and tightly squeeze his hand.
Wishing that she had a hood, of course. Or a hat. Scarf. Anything, really. She couldn't exactly hide her face anymore. She felt the most exposed and naked she'd ever been. The full extent of how her Eye stuck out of her skull like a tumour was clear for all to see. And the full range of emotions flitting across her face couldn't be disguised any longer.
“And he wasn't a hardass. He let us by.”
I should thank him when we come back through...
Edited by Enirboreh on Jul 5th 2019 at 12:40:26 PM
After that whole brohaha with the big demon, Vivian felt...she didn't know what way. Iluvem was acting damned weird, Evelyn was clearly pissed, and Clay had given up something important after all of the show was done. Not to mention all of that trouble with Cole. Sigh
Wait, was she actually feeling...exasperated? Very perculiar. Of course, that feeling didn't stop her from wanting to point out that you couldn't really be "racist to an entire planet" if there were many different species on it, but she managed to strangle that remark.
Glancing at poor Evelyn, she felt another unwelcome jolt of emotion. Viv knew she'd been avoiding the other girl since her big change, but right now, that didn't feel like the right choice. After a moment's thought, she pulled the basebal cap off her own head (why was she wearing it? she didn't have hair!) and quickly plopped it onto Evelyn. It would help, maybe. It couldn't hurt.
The tentacles floundered about as Ellie and Mason blasted away, its' flesh sizzling as it slowly started to sink back into the pit. Not that Shane would give them the chance. The tentacles froze in mid-air, leaving them sitting ducks. And easily breakable.
Sam gave the frozen tentacle a swift kick, before keeping walking.
"Nice for a visit, but wouldn't live here" He said "Is everyone alright?" He asked, checking the others.
There is always the need to keep going forward, but he wants to see the others are okay, and they leave in one piece.
Ryuu chuckled a bit as he left kanji reading Arashi in Martin's face. Just to let him try to figure out what they say.
Taking a minute to relax is important, even if he is dreading the amount of work he had to do once their moment of rest ends.
But enjoying the now is how they managed to keep some sanity.
"Alright, aside from maybe a little slimy." He mumbled as he shook some of the ichor off his leg and shuddered a bit. "But fine. Though, I'd much rather not be over the giant pit of tentacles and whatever the hell MAY be attached to those tentacles." He said, as he landed on the other side.
"Though, given the line up we have, I think we'd be fine if we ended up needing to do a dungeon run." He said with a nervous chuckle. He caught himself mid chuckle and he looked at the pit. He threw a big middle finger up at fate.
"Fuck, I did it again, didn't I."
In terms of doodling, Sally drew a heart, a flower and a small smiley face on Martin's face. Afterwards, she sits down to relax mentally.
"Thank goodness, we got through that. To be honest, I was a little nervous going in but, we're okay now and that's what is important." She says to the others.
"I just realized that was the first real battle I've had since becoming an android. I wish I could have done more to help. However, at least I am getting more used to this new body physically, though more work is still needed. I need to be able to help more."
Thanks to Squad 3's efforts, the remaining bats were quickly dealt with and the firey whirlwind soon dissipated. All that was left was the hallway beyond. With any luck it would lead them to the artifact in short order.
Though whether or not there would be anything guarding it was another story.
Eventually the different squads arrived at a large chamber in the center of the temple. It was adorned with all sorts of jewels and gems and surrounded by multitudes of carvings foretelling both grand successes and disastrous failures. But the most immediate thing of note laid right in front of them.
In the middle of the chamber was a worn Native American headdress adorned with feathers and tribal markings, and radiating a tremendous spiritual power for those who could feel it. No doubt this was the artifact in question. Not that obtaining it would be easy. It was surrounded by a powerful forcefield, the only indication being that the air in front of it was incredibly hazy. Sitting off to the side was a small table with two goblets, each filled with water. One was large and pristine, while the other looked like someone had pulled it out of the nearest dumpster. A sign next to the table displayed only one word formed with bone and stone: "CHOOSE".
Regardless of what the class chose, they could feel that were was more to this than it seemed. Very occasionally, the slightest of sounds could be heard from up above, as though something was crawling along the ceiling. If there was anything up there, it did its' best to stay out of sight. But whether or not it chose to reveal itself would depend on what the class did next.
Edited by kkhohoho on Jul 7th 2019 at 10:24:07 AM
"Hey everyone" Sam said, mildly serious. Yep, quite the creepy place
"So, this is totally not a trap" The sarcasm is palpable. But they had to choose.
"If I had to guess, the piece of junk looks like the most likely" He admitted, sharing his thoughts "Unless you could tell there is a third hidden somewhere, but I am open to suggestions"
Squad 1 - Temple - Ellie
"We got him!" Ellie cheered, landing safely across the gap with her passengers. "Good job, team!"
They quickly filed into the central room of the temple. Spotting her boyfriend, she strode over to him and gave him a quick kiss.
"You okay, Mimi?" She asked. "Did you run into a monster too?"
"Nah, just some hellbats." He responded. "Took care of 'em in a pinch. What'd you hit?"
"Tentacle monster. We beat it down easy, though."
"Not surprising." He smiled, and they kissed again.
Then he began to walk towards the goblets. "The traps in this temple were incredibly straightforward, so I'm inclined to believe this trial is straightforward as well."
"Careful, baby." Ellie called.
He grasped the filthier of the two goblets, assuming it to be the correct one. "Relax. Worst case, even if this is poisoned, I'm the only one who's both poison-resistant and able to actually drink." He raised the water to his lips. "Bottoms up."
So saying, Mikael drained the entire goblet in one go.
As Mikael drank the last of the goblet, he didn't seem too out of the ordinary. In fact, it seemed to just be a typical goblet full of water. Rather filthy water, but still water. The only thing out of the ordinary was that his joints began to feel a bit stiff, but he had been walking through the temple for a while now. Surely it wasn't anything to worry about.
On the other hand, the force field wasn't dissipating. Surely if he had chosen the correct choice it would've been gone by now? And were his nails always made out of obsidian?
Suddenly whatever had been crawling up there dropped down with a heavy thud. It was bulbous and horrendously obese, its' sagging yellow skin oozing slime and muck from every pore. It's head was like that of a sick toad's, diseased to the point that it almost seemed to be rotting. And yet, none of that stopped it from standing tall before hunching over and staring at Mikael as though he were a dead man walking. "YOU. CHOSE. POORLY." It belched out several large goblets of acid, spewing them all around the room.
Normally Mikael would have been able to dodge it well enough, but somehow he was still feeling a tad sluggish. Almost heavy. But that shouldn't have been any cause for concern. Or so he hoped.
Cole / Shane - Squad 4 / 1 (51)
Cole was thinking about making a remark further as they continued on - namely, that if he heard one more racist remark from Iuvem he would introduce Iuvem to the wall. But then it looked like they were free of trials and tribulations and stood with their classmates in front of the artifact in question.
He looked around and saw it looked like everybody else probably came up on some rather unfortunate circumstances as well.
It was when Mikael went forward that Cole tried to shout a warning, "Don't! We don't have any idea what's—-" And then the horrid, utterly repulsive monstrosity dropped down and uttered its statement as to the choice made; "You chose...poorly."
And Cole was in movement.
He saw for some reason Mikael was moving...not like he usually did. Sluggish. Almost drunk. And Cole didn't like it. Least of all the implications of the chalice being full of poison of some kind.
The monster before them was spewing acid...just looking at the globules made Cole fear the worst if one of the attacks connected.
He suddenly flew forward in a burst of light and scooped Mikael up in one arm, while the other was raised - and Cole snapped his fingers resulting in a huge blast of bright blue concussive force emitting at the monstrous figure even as Cole made to fly away from the proximity of the monstrous demon, forming a tightly woven psionic forcefield around them.
Shane for his part knew this kinda set up and didn't stay put.
As soon as he saw the demonic monstrosity, he darted in and used his icy talents to try and freeze up the monster's legs.
Squad 1 + 3 - Temple Sanctum - Mikael + Ellie
Mikael started moving the moment the stiffness set in, but was too slow. He gathered his wings around himself like a cloak, intending to use them as a shield against the acid, only for Cole to tackle him out of the way.
"Thanks." He mumbled, his voice coming out in a half-slur. He focused intently, mentally pushing against the sluggishness.
He found himself in a warm embrace, as Ellie all but grabbed him out of Cole's arms, and he leaned on his lover for support. She grabbed him by the chin.
"Honey." She said, "Don't do anything that stupid again, alright?"
"No promises." He murmured back, and kissed her before she could protest. Pulling away, he raised his arm. "Now let's combo this bitch."
A wall of rifles materialized in front of them, outside Cole's psychic shield. Ellie rolled her eyes at her boyfriend, but raised her own arm, grasping Mikael's hand with hers. The guns began to crackle with electricity.
"You're the one who chose poorly, asshole." Mikael spat, his words still slightly slurred.
Ellie suppressed a giggle. "Yeah! Now eat this: Thundershot-"
"-Barrage!" The two demons finished together, and dropped their arms as one.
The guns fired, and the electricity coursing through the barrels transformed them from rifles into railguns. The bullets set the air on fire as shrieked towards the bulbous demon.
Edited by kagescorpionakki on Jul 8th 2019 at 9:01:05 AM
It took a few moments for Martin to finally rouse himself after their art was finished, slowly pushing himself up before realizing he didn't really have the strength for it. His percentage was sitting at zero, not to mention the workout the Awakened skills put his body through. If the day came where one use of those powers weren't enough he would certainly be in quite a bit of trouble. "Were we able to free the souls he had trapped?" his voice was laced with exhaustion, but he was managing the whole 'stay conscious' act rather well. "Also did everyone make it out okay? I figured so long as you guys were there I could focus on rescue and control."
Without a mirror he could only figure that his team had stayed behind to make sure he was okay after passing out, which was a rather heartwarming thought had it been true. Still he would probably get a good laugh out of it later.
Clay watched as his classmates went to war with the giant abomination that had descended from the ceiling and ran the numbers in his head. He could take a few potshots at the monster and help out, or he could try and advance further and complete the mission. Seeing as some of the heaviest hitters the class had available were already on point he decided on pragmatism over sentimentality and weaved around the battle, using his force field to hold back any stray shots and make his way toward the unused cup.
'Okay, always more to these kinds of deals then are shown, but if there is a third option we are only gonna get the hint after we remove the first two.' he couldn't help but smirk as he picked it up. "Can't be worse then Carlos's 'shine, and that stuff could burn through that bastard's bones," he tipped it back and went to work.
Chibuzo didn't hesitate when the monster came into the room and started attacking them.
He intercepted the acid goblets with some Soul Flames. He then summoned two or three rats that darted towards the monster before jumping on his back and started viciously biting.
C.M. Iuvem, meanwhile, quickly went closer to the disturbance that was the forcefield around the artifact, ignoring all of the chaos going on with the monster and goblets.
Here it is...the artifact... , he examined it, Ehhh, too tribal for my tastes but, well...lemme tear through this forcefield... , on the golem's left palm, a drill-like lazer started to sprout.
...though it seems that Clay has drunk the other goblet. I should see what will happen after that...
Edited by CenturyEye on Jul 9th 2019 at 5:13:13 AM
If there was one thing the Aquatos knew about acid, it was that applying water to it tended to make it burn. Which was why she made sure to dodge and weave in a (rather spectacular) display of acrobatics until the monster's initial discharge of attacks had ceased. Regaining her footing, she took a moment to catch her breath.
The moisture in the air was lessened here, but she was drenched in sweat anyway. She had more than enough ammunition.
Weaving her limbs in their characteristic dance, she lunged forward into a palm thrust towards the beast and watched as her water spiralled into an intersecting helix shape and homed into the creature's mouth.
Assumedly, the acid was stomach acid. Alternatively, it was producing it from a mechanism inside its throat or perhaps its tongue. Either way, Lily aimed to make its own sizzling substance backfire against itself. It was a bit of a risk, since she wasn't sure what type of acid it was, but it was worth a shot. Heck, for all she knew it might end up making it stronger.
I'm such an idiot sometimes...
“I'm certain I could've drunk it. Idiot,” Holiday tutted, not hesitating in smacking the demon upside the head (albeit while standing on tiptoes to reach him) once she had made her way over. A brief glint of humour and relief was in her eyes, however, and she soon sobered and moved into a defensive/combat stance. The blades in her arms extended outwards, framing her forearms up to the elbow—and she lightly clinked them together to cause sparks to fly onto the ground.
“I recommend dissection. Smaller chunks, the better,” she stated, watching the slew of attacks and bracing herself in preparation for an opening. “Overwhelm it with variety. Much like how you do with me on games night.”
As soon as the initial attacks from her classmates had cleared, she launched herself and twisted her body into a rapidly spinning spiral of razor sharp blades and cold steel. Aiming to riddle the beast's body with gashes and cuts on top of the potential wounds it had received before. Though she hadn't planned on the escaping part yet. That might be a problem.
...She'd figure it out. Hopefully.
“U-Um... maybe you shouldn't have done that...”
After idly noting how Clay would inevitably be the death of her, Evelyn began to closely scan his body using her Third Eye to see how the goblet's contents were affecting him. In between flashing up her own forcefield and shooting bursts of psionic energy at the beast of a guardian. Multitasking had become important in this line of work. And she'd have focused on the artifact, but her concern was too great for that.
Vivian's gift of hat had been both a welcome surprise and massive confidence booster. She kept it firmly on her head in an effort for her newfound baldness not to distract her, and she had to admit that it kept her head warm too. The humanoid robot had received a colossal hug for her generosity. Which was about the time the albino's rage had quelled.
Clearly. It looked like it had brightened her whole day.
But they had a job to do, and she wasn't getting distracted now. She'd lament the sacrifice of her hair later. It made her realise how much she'd changed. Both physically and mentally.
She barely recognized herself in the mirror most days.
Sam looked at what was happening, and simply started weaving past any shot going his direction, even creating .
At the speed they are going, angle, to avoid it...
And to deal with the monster...
A big pile of snow was sent to fall into the monster itself.
Ever since her change, Vivian hadn't really had a chance to cut loose and try out her new body. She knew she was strong, sure, but knowing and seeing are two different things. They were facing a hideous frog-beast, she'd just gotten a surprise glomp from a close pal, and Holiday had those rather odd-looking blades sticking out of her arms. So why not try something unexpected?
Darting forward, Viv grabbed Holiday by the waist, lifted, then used her whole body to hurl the other android at the critter blades first. With luck, she would hit something important. "I probably should have cleared that with her first. Oh well. Spontaneity."
The creature reeled as near everyone's attacks came close to blasting it to smithereens. It stumbled in a daze, attempting in vain to right itself before crashing to the floor. It gurgled and hissed, the light of its' eyes going dim until it was just short of breathing its' last.
And then Lily and Sam force-fed it a drink of water and dumped a heap of snow on it respectfully.
For a moment, it seemed as though Lily's assault and Sam's makeshift snowbank were the final nails in the coffin. Buried under the small hill of snow, the creature didn't so much as stir. Not even a whisper or a groan. From where everyone was standing, it had been utterly vanquished.
Of course, it wouldn't be that easy.
Suddenly the hill of snow was blown to pieces, torn apart as the creature sprung up from where it had fallen. Its skin was wet and moist, the moisture rapidly healing the monster's body as it was quickly absorbed into its' flesh. It lept up to the ceiling just as Viv sent Holidy flying, barely missing the beast as it stuck to the ceiling's surface and rained down a volley of globules, determined to bring everyone to their knees.
Assuming everyone still had them. There was no telling when it happened, but at some point, Mikael would no doubt notice that he couldn't feel his lower legs. The reason being that they had turned to stone. Specifically solid obsidian. And the effect was slowly but surely spreading. As Clay's own body became slow and leaden, it was clear that the same thing would no doubt happen to him. Their only chance now was to defeat the monster for good and hope that was enough to reverse the effects. Because if it wasn't? Then the temple would soon gain a grand new pair of statues.
Edited by kkhohoho on Jul 10th 2019 at 6:27:09 AM
‘Well, s***’ was the unspoken (and unthought) addition to that. Apparently it not only wasn't vulnerable to being doused in water, it was actually healed by it. Amphibian. She should've guessed.
This is way too stressful. God, I need a cold shower once this is over...
Granted, she had the means to a cold shower pretty much anytime she liked. But it was the principle of it all more than anything.
In any case, she had bigger problems. Lily fell backwards into a spring of rapid, weaving handsprings that left trails of water behind her limbs as she dodged the swiftly approaching globules. Utilizing the mass and speed of the water as she regathered her footing, she began to spin and kick the globules back at the beast—before slamming her foot down onto the ground in a newly solidified stance as she lunged her body into a powerful palm strike. Unlike the graceful, swirling helix, a jagged spike of crystallized water shot out instead—much faster and much more deadly than her comparatively more accurate technique. Lily was pulling said moves out of the murky dredges of her memory. Brief flashes of her family's respective techniques. She was no doubt making a mockery of them, but it was all she could do.
Sifting through years of being killed in an endless cycle just to get there in the first place happened to be the unfortunate payoff.
Well, she was in the air now. That wasn't expected. But it wasn't entirely against her original plan, anyway. Narrowing her body into a torpedo shape, Holiday began to spin her blades at the wrists in preparation for impact—only for her to narrowly miss as the creature dodged, and she suddenly found herself rocketing towards the far wall instead.
But the ACP didn't give up. Nor did she dare let her current speed be lost. She twisted into a rapid spin opposing that of her blades, which retracted in favour of what appeared to be a foldaway tow cable. The serrated hook on the end shot upwards, impacting the amphibian monstrosity's skin above—which acted as a fine point for her to catch herself and divert her momentum into a vertical swing. A swing that ended at a half-arc, and she turned slightly to fully face her target—before peppering it with machine-gun spray from one hand and lobbing a couple of grenades for good measure.
They weren't sticky, that was the only thing. There was a good chance that one (or both of them) would miss and fall to the ground instead. But she was banking on them at least exploding in the air. The updraft may end up staggering it.
In whatever case, she would fall soon after; detaching her cable as she dropped from the apex of her swing. Her reinforced hull and skeletal braces would help cushion her fall. She just hoped she didn't land on anyone.
She made a mental note to punch Vivian for that. Then shake her hand off. Holiday was still learning emotions, but that felt incredible.
“C-Clay? Clay?!” Evelyn panicked, her Third Eye having picked up Mikael's gradual transmogrification and diverting swiftly back to her squadmate. “Oh... god, hold on...”
Okay. He's turning into stone. Don't panic. Glass, actually. That's glass. Seriously, stop panicking. We'll work this out, right? Just kill the creepy acid monster, then we'll work it out from there! It'll be fine!
Evelyn found that the more conviction her inner voice held, the more panic she tended to be feeling. Which was strangely backwards, the more she thought about it. But she didn't give herself time to think about it much further. A double-layered forcefield sprang up around them, and she began to pull him off to the side—half so he wouldn't have to worry about moving in a pinch and half so she didn't have to worry about moving him.
“Can you still fire from here?” she questioned, glancing back at the beast in an attempt to hide her anxiety. “I mean... your belt... is it doing anything to stop the...?”
She couldn't bring herself to say it. It was all too frightening for her. But she didn't let panic overtake her, and simply dropped her forcefield so he could shoot if he wanted to. She just had to stay calm. She couldn't lose it now.
It was to her surprise that it was actually working for once.
Edited by Enirboreh on Jul 10th 2019 at 12:53:11 PM
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