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It was raining today. Again. Certainly nothing out of the ordinary in Waypoint.
Waypoint wasn't a bad place to live, not really, just a regular sized coastal city where quite literally nothing happened.
Or, well, nothing used to happen. These past few months brought a strange sort of crisis to the city, one that left the people uneasy.
A disease, or so they say.
No one knows what it was, but the frequency was increasing. Just last night, news went out that it had claimed its newest victim - the mayor's secretary.
The people were getting more and more antsy, but there was no explanation and nothing they could do. Or so they thought.
The Otherworld was the collective unconsciousness of man, and as such mirrored the real world...with usually bizarre twists to it. It also usually shifted every day, so the details varied, although at least there was a general geography to things.
The Overgrown Dreams sector was roughly where the local (dirt cheap) amusement park in the real world was, just by Waypoint's bay.
While the real park was old and slightly dirty looking, the one in Otherworld was in literal ruins.
Rides and buildings stood there rotting, overgrown with plant life, the roller coaster choked with weeds and plants, and the asphalt cracked. A large hole was where the main staff office was supposed to be, and the rusting, overrgrown ferris wheel had fallen over.
Just like in most places in the Otherworld, there was a giant obsidian obelisk that stood in the center of the sector. And inside that obelisk were the minds of people that were sleeping. It was these obelisks and other such growths that the Enemy fed on.
A white blur fell from the sky, crashing painfully into a pile of rubble, before quickly dodging away as a literal fireball came down on where it landed.
The Celestial quickly go to her feet, reprimanding herself over and over again.
Her armor was almost all white, with black gauntlets and greaves, patterned like a futuristic knight. The helmet had a distinct birdlike motif, flaring off to the side of the head like wings.A visor completely covered her face. Thick metal chains wrapped around her arms, and a rapier hung at her side.
Andromeda-314 cursed herself again. She had been overconfident. She thought she had been ready for a solo hunt, as she didn't want to share the Umbrae. But she was just level one. ....And those things were waaay beyond her level.
A loud crash, followed by another intertupted her thoughts. Oh great.
The Enemy took the shape of monsters from human imagination. And these particular ones were designated the Chimera.
Ten feet tall and twice as long, pitch black skin and dead white eyes, the head and body of a lion, great leathery wings, and a tail that ended in a serpent's head. And there were two of them.
Yep. Out of her league.
Andromeda frantically called for backup in her head. One of the perks in being a Union - instant telepathic communications with any member, even the King. But she wasn't sure if anyone was close by.
She ducked out of the way of another fireball, and barely avoided an extended snake tail's bite.
Andromeda drew her rapier, stared at the two incoming monsters and hoped that she wasn't about to die.
Suddenly, out from nowhere, a hail of arrows sprayed out from some area of cover. And there was a lot of it in the surrounding area, so it was hard to pinpoint where exactly they came from.
The arrows were an attempt to cover Andromeda from the continuous onslaught of the Enemy, but Nameless was too far away to be able to provide more effective covering fire.
So Nameless vaulted over the fallen beam it was hiding behind, momentarily visible. Which wasn't much of an improvement. On one hand, it was a Celestial dressed all in black, but on the other hand, its appearance looked confusing somehow—like a thing with an unknown form.
But it certainly seemed to be aiming (hah!) to assist Andromeda. That was a good thing, right?
If Andromeda had heard about the Nameless Hero, this seemed like a good candidate to be said Hero.
Edited by JumpingFruit on Apr 10th 2019 at 9:33:02 AM
JJ looked around the theme park, eyes darting about like a wild animal as she slipped inside a dingy hall of mirrors.
"Should be about here." She muttered to herself, placing a hand upon one of the mirrors, with a brief glance over her shoulder to see if security had noticed her sneaking in. "Open Sesame." The girl commented with a roll of her eyes, stepping through the now liquid mirror as her armor slipped over her form.
JJ paused as she considered the scene before her with chimeras bombarding another Celestial and a hail of arrows. She let out a heavy sigh.
Goddammit I just wanted some Umbrae.
Cerberus-666 walked forward picking up a bit of rubble and pitched it at the head of one of the monsters. Then she walked forward, her arms spread wide. "Oi, asshole, right here. Nice tasty meal, right here, even painted a target on my chest, just for you. Cook me and I'm all your's" She yelled out.
Do it you stupid bastards.
Andromeda looked at the two monsters in front of her warily, first at one and then the other.
She was going to have to be smart about this. She couldn't take them both on, so she had to find an opening to escape.
At that moment, the chimera on the left reared up and Andromeda tensed...only for a rain of arrows to come falling from the sky, forcing both monsters apart, flapping their giant wings to avoid getting skewered.
One turned behind it and roared, looking for the source. Then, with a snarl, it flew in the general direction of the arrows, spitting fireballs all the way.
The other continued to stare at Andromeda, who by now had bolted to the side and was running as fast as she could. She wasn't sure what that was (briefly she wondered if her comrades from Lily White had heard her wild telapathic screams), but she'd take it.
The remaining Chimera roared and began to fly towards the running Celestial...and then a piece of rubble conked it on the leonine head. Distracted, it turned towards the newly arrived (and very noisy) Cerberus, letting loose a torrent of flame.
Meanwhile, in a part of the Otherworld far away from the Celestials fighting for their lives, something was brewing.
The Misty City sector didn't exactly...exist every day. It flitted in and out of the Otherworld randomly, one day appearing near downtown, another in the outskirts. The sector was characterized by the almost oppresively thick fog that hung in and around it, and the black brick buildings haphazardly strewn all over, all in various states of ruin. Regardless of time, the Misty City was always dark, only lit by mysterious orange lanterns that floated above the streets.
....As such, the Misty City, whenever it existed, became the local hang out of rogue Celestials.
And today, a small crowd had gathered inside the biggest building in the sector, a large, ugly rectangle whose entire roof was sheared off.
Inside the building, ten or so armored Celestials stood waiting, because Cetus-875, infamous unaligned rogue, was about to host an underground fighting tournament. Many Celestials wanted to fight each other, either for Umbrae or for fun, but the so called "peace" of the unions had locked that down pretty bad. And so Cetus had organized this - for a small fee of Umbrae, a place where they can battle and take Umbrae to their heart's content. And if someone died? Tough. The Kings would simply assume they had bitten off more than what they could chew with the Enemy.
The room they were waiting in was absolutely trashed. The black walls were wet, the floor was btoken and slippery and there was only one lantern.
But at the center was a small boxing ring surrounded by a metal cage that would be locked when the time came (that was something about the Otherworld - it almost always provided you with what you needed).
Cetus himself, in his aquamarine whale-themed armor, stood with his arms crossed, waiting in the corner.
Marine really appreciated the free mobility she got from her new superpowers. This jetski she could just summon from the ground didn't run out of gas, and the abandoned hellscape she drove it in never had to deal with traffic. It was easy to head into the twilight zone, ride out, step into the real world, grab a bite to eat, then cruise on out back through hell, stopping by suspicious spots to scope on the way. Case in point, the abandoned theme park was a hilariously obvious spot for the sorts of edgelords that'd join the Game, and Marine didn't wanna think about what that said about how well she knew that. She had a whole plan for this though! It was different!
In the abandoned amusement park's twisted doppleganger, the only one of the celestials that could actually fully call herself a Masked Rider pulled around a corner on her jetski, took in what she saw in an instant, and immediately took a knee. She was dressed in big angular armor that suggested pirates and sea captains, and the big anchor at her hip really sealed the deal. She brought it around to aim at her shoulder, and a string of energy strung it like an absurd ballista as her other hand grabbed a foot-long bolt to pull back.
So, she was taking aim at the beast, sure, but she was also absolutely waiting without announcing herself in the hopes that that second chimera would get engaged in a close enough melee for her to "miss" and wing one of these dopes for some easy Umbrium on the side.
Edited by Taco on Apr 11th 2019 at 9:45:47 AM
Corvus-122 normally didn't like fighting other Celestials. He knew the risks all too well. A Celestial without any Umbra was quite literally a dead Celestial, and he had heard the stories of what Capricorn did to Gemini. Even now, at his most desperate times, the thought of fighting others, potentially to the death, felt like a risk not worth taking, a stain he would never wash off even if he made it to level 10 and got his wish.
So the fact that Capricorn assigned him here, to join the tournament and get info on this illegal fighting ring? It felt like a slap to the face. Rationally, he knew why he got sent to this job — he was a lower rank, so someone like Cetus-875 wouldn't immediately recognize him as belonging to one of the guilds, and his ability to check on most regions in the Otherworld made him the right person to find the Misty City, wherever it reared its ugly head. But still, the whole situation left a sour taste in his mouth.
Don't do anything stupid, Corvus thought to himself, pulling up his hood as he carefully made his way to the building (For how useful his visor and ability were, against a fog as thick as the one outside, or a room as dimly lit as this, he'd see as much as anyone else could). Capricorn wants you to lay low for now, not draw attention. Or at least, not drawing more attention than fighting would already give you.
He headed towards the corner, stopping right in front of Cetus. "Is there where I sign up?"
Edited by Aquatica1000 on Apr 11th 2019 at 11:59:22 AM
Misty City Fight Club
Gemini made her way through the Misty City, towards a place she had heard murmurs about. A place where one could fight for Umbrae. She had only recently started, but she had managed to take care of a few of the creatures causing all the problems, but she felt that she was going too slow. She needed a boost... And a break.
"An underground fight club, huh? Sounds like a place I could make bank on. Or at least something... Just need to get a little bit more ahead, so I can take care of these monsters. And save Sis."
She entered the club, the dank dark room feeling... Almost a bit familiar. She had been to places like this once or twice before she went pro. In fact... Did this place actually look a bit like one she had...? Nah. Stepping up to the obvious king bitch in charge, she spoke. "I'm here to fight. Name's Gemini."
Cerberus let the flames wash over her, feeling her hunger abate for a moment before coming back, and immediately darted forward. Long curved claws appeared along her wrists.
"Pathetic!" She yelled from within the flames as they began to circle her and be sucked into her armor. Having reached the target Cerberus leapt and took a swing at the monster's wings with her claws.
Nameless scampered behind cover as fireballs sailed over her head, barely managing to escape being turned into a crispy fried Celestial, and took several deep breaths.
Then she sprang up again and launched several arrows at the charging Chimera (which by sheer luck was gunning straight for her). The arrows, with their piercing energy, pierced straight through the fireballs, catching fire in the process.
While that surely looked skilled, Nameless was in a pickle as she was bad at melee combat, so she tried to put some distance between her and the Enemy, vaulting over rubble, strafing irregularly, and taking careful potshots.
Pain Train Engage, Themepark
The air was heavy with ponderous footsteps.
The fight scene was being approached by less a suit of armor and more an actual mecha, a blocky and ugly thing shaped not unlike an industrial furnace. Hidden from sight was its pilot, breathing slowly - and taking notice that despite the pleasantly toasty insides of Fornax-013, he was seeing his own breath. It was that cold. Or perhaps he was just going nuts. Took him long enough.
Scratch that. The Enemies ahead were breathing fire. Now that was an enticing prospect. Douglas moved his eyes between the two monsters before looking towards the one Nameless was fighting with. He had no head for stealth - and no need for it. The thunderous footsteps only intensified as he approached, slowly raising his fireball launcher up and taking aim at the Chimera.
"Get clear." It was the only warning Nameless would get - a husky voice that was a mixture of a young body and an old, ravaged soul - before Fornax would begin firing, putting out a steady fire rate of fire, advancing towards the Chimera with the same monotone rhythm.
Get in. Do the job. Get the Umbra. Get out.
That was the ultimate mission he had thought to himself. It was a job. Nothing more, nothing less. Why, even the quick blip of aid in the back of his mind was nothing more than a calling beacon of some potential free Umbra being strung about on a string.
So this is why he came when he did. And it seemed he wasn't going to be the only ones there.
The Warrior in the gold and white armor, with the long, billowing cape out behind him began to step forward and analyzed the field around him.
Two Chimera. Big and tough and full of Umbra. One of his own, a Lily White off to the side. Two other Celestials having pulled the two Chimera, presumably off her and were tending to them themselves.
He didn't want in-Celestial fighting, but gods above, he'd do it if he had to.
So, he gestured and his cape billowed out behind him, quickly wrapping around his arms and sticking out into blades on his forearms. Then, he quickly made a decision...
He dashed for the one being chased and immediately made a mad leap at the Chimera, intending to drive its blades into its sides.
Whatever it took.
To be fair, Nameless was already clear of Fornax's shots as she hurried ahead of the Chmera chasing after her.
"Thanks!" she yelped, her clear-yet-unclear (Was it a girl's or a woman's? Was it a boy's or a man's?) voice ringing out.
With all the people that had arrived to help, she could finally catch a break, so she slumped behind a large piece of rubble to just breathe, clutching her bow tightly.
Oh, perfect, plenty of melee bastards ready to get owned in melee. Wild that it was two distinct fire kinda guys too. Ideally the bolt could pierce straight through the scrum and take a piece out of everyone with how huge the bolt was.
"Oh, crap!" She said as a token gesture of an accidental shot, then let loose straight at the chimera.
Damien was very antsy.
He had been quite content to observe the theme park's obelisk from a distance, maybe take out the various Enemy goons from a distance, duck away after he killed one, wait for things to die down and get back to it. It was a simple plan that would almost certainly go wrong whenever Kriger took over, but Damien was proud of it.
But no, everyone and their dog had to burst in and cause havoc, ruining a perfectly good opportunity for him to grow more powerful by himself. No doubt Krieger was more than a little amused about the latest turn of events (He was).
Fidgeting on his perch atop one of the Roller Coaster's many steep inclines, Damien had to make up his mind between helping out and getting whatever Umbrae he could, or simply waiting for the right moment to strike against both the Enemy and the assembled celestials. Despite really wanting to destroy everyone before him, Damien realized that he was more likely to survive the encounter if he just killed the Enemy and acted friendly afterwards.
Enabling the blast mode on his gauntlets, Damien fired a three shot burst at whichever Chimera had the most celestials around it, hoping that he might 'accidentally' harm a fellow celestial and maybe steal the Umbrae from them at the same time.
Edited by Eachiunn on Apr 11th 2019 at 10:20:59 AM
The Shark in the Theme Park
When the Chimera let out the breath of fire, that's when it happened. A figure clad in armor that almost made them resemble a shark darted forward, a red half-cape flowing behind them as they attempted to bring down a heavy club, studded with shark-teeth so it almost resembled a saw into the creature's side.
If successful, they would let their own weight drag the weapon down, sawing through its neck.
First Chimera - Andromeda, Cerberus, Cygnus, Pyxis
The Chimera met JJ's charge head on, twisting its body to protect its wings, and catching Cerberus's claws with its own. Snarling, it attempted to overpower her and bring her down.
At that moment, Cygnus came falling towards it, blades sinking deep into its flank. Black liquid seeped from the wound, and it let off a pained howl.
....Unfortunately the the snake tail sprang towards Cygnus, attempting to bite into him with its fangs.
And then Pyxis's bolt came flying towards them, ready to impale both monster and Celestial....only for said bolt to be stopped in mid-air as thick metal chains wrapped around it and pulled it to the ground with a loud clang.
Andromeda stood there, wincing. Stopping the bolt had done a real number on her shoulders.
She nodded at the other two and faced the Chimera again.
Second Chimera - Nameless, Fornax, Tagai, Algol
The Chimera kept barrelling towards Nameless, even as arrows kept piercing its face.
As Fornax appeared and bombarded it with flame, the monster recoiled slightly and snarled before flying back and returning fire at the young Celestial.
At that moment, Tagai jumped towards the monster, but it twisted at the last second, the club embedding itself into the arm instead of the neck....and then Algol's blast hit it head on...and Loke too if she didn't move.
Cetus glanced at Corvus, helmet shaped like a whale's head lifting up and down as if he was sizing the other Celestial up.
"Yea, this is where y'all sign up."
His voice had an unmistakable southern twang.
"I'm not about to let just anybody in, though. The damn Kings are looking to shut me down. So...I tell ya what, fight a few matches first, then I'll let y'all in the main event. Of course, I have to take an Umbrae fee...."
.....And then another Celestial announced herself, and the entire crowd went dead silent. Cetus himself actually stepped away from the wall and towards Gemini.
....And then a good portion of the crowd began laughing.
"Really? That's yer entrance?" Cetus said, amusement in his voice.
"Y'all think impersonating a King will get you somewhere in this place? As if! And of all people, you picked that one?! Gemini's dead as shit, darling!"
Gemini looked mildly annoyed, or at least as much as you can when your face is covered, the mirror shards making up her pseudo scarf starting to gather up a bit more in a different shape. "Lets not touch that nerve shall we? Does it really matter what I call myself when I have umbrae to obtain and a face to punch?"
Cerberus let herself fall back from her failed assault, rolling backwards and coming to her feet in a smooth motion. She looked over at Andromeda.
"What? No, shut up, that's disgusting." She growled quietly. "Honestly what is the world coming to when some jackass tried to snipe you mid-monster slaying, right? But you seem okay-ish. I'm gonna try to draw his attention, so don't try anything funny." Cerberus called out to her new ally.
Cerberus then pitched another piece of rubble at the monster's face. "Hey, look over here!" She yelled, leaping towards the chimera, taking a swipe at it's eyes this time.
Nameless loosed more arrows at the Chimera, swallowing nervously. Her quiver was half empty at this point, with the amount she had rained down. Obviously she had to ration them more, and make her hits count.
Which explained why she pulled the bowstring as far back as it would go, creaking in protest, and launched a high-speed arrow straight for one of the Chimera's eyes.
Edited by JumpingFruit on Apr 14th 2019 at 4:51:42 AM
Dammit! Pyxis snapped her fingers and thought for a second. Someone else would probably interdict her bolts again if she tried. Time for a different trick.
The anchor's bowstring disappeared as she thunked the anchor into the ground, then yanked it back up and brought a good chunk of pavement with it. With a brand new projectile acquired she gave the anchor a good spin around a few times, then snapped it back to send a sizable chunk of concrete sailing through the air towards the chimera.
Unlike everyone else in the room, though, Corvus didn't burst out laughing. No, his attention was spent looking at the newcomer's armor, figuring out any potential motifs for it. He hadn't heard of someone other than the Kings ending up with the zodiac constellations as their patron, but he figured that if any of them could potentially have a second Celestial hiding in the wings, it was probably the constellation often called "The Twins."
Sir Capricorn, we might have an issue, he thought, exploiting the Dominus-shared telepathy to alert the leader to the turn of events. Someone calling herself Gemini has entered the duel. I'm not sure if she's related to the fallen king, but either way, we can't have her running around unmonitored.
With the message sent, he turned his attention back to Cetus. "How much umbra are you looking for?"
Pain Train Abounds, Themepark
The sheer quantity of clowns around was getting on his nerves. It seemed everyone and their mother wanted to steal the Umbrae of these two particular Enemies. Or, perhaps, it was their fellow Celestials that were a more tempting target. It seemed the mankind really was vermin. Douglas strode forward, making no attempt at dodging the fireball the Chimera fired at him.
The fireball impacted the Fornax... and then nothing happened. Douglas let out a whistling laugh distorted by the thick plates of his frame, akin to a biting wind. "Foolish." Unfortunately, they had fools ready to die on their own side too. "I said get clear." He droned, advancing towards the position of Tagai and the Enemy, ready to engage with his brilliant flame, firing fireballs at the exposed parts of the Chimera.
For a brief moment, The shark warrior whooped...then she lifted her shield cape, hoping it would grant her protection against the blast rocketing towards her, the force would also allow her to rip the saw through the chimera's arm.
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