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You are stumbling ...
Falling from high above.
With no clear recollection of where you had been or where you will be going.
You feel lightheaded as if freed from all restraint. Though what feelings this sensation could cause is best left up to the one experiencing it.
Meanwhile, around you are cascades of words, letters, and random phrases tumbling to the unknown.
You follow the same path but at a slower less rushed pace. Plummeting calmly enough to make out meaningful words or details that should jog your mind a little.
Pray tell what could you be seeing in the maelstrom of words?
(All your actions and choices will be etched in stone)
The feeling of falling, of being free yet also having no limits. It's uncomfortable and yet not too cumbersome. Like being stressed out by the looseness of my body while also feeling as if everything could be let go of.
Yet, I didn't want it to simply come apart, I wanted to keep it all together almost in a panic. The blurring symbols and letters, I could barely even recognize them at first as my mind panicked trying to sort out its own state.
Eventually, though, I accepted things as they were, calming down. I looked around, trying to make out what I could. The words I saw were a variety of things like:
[i]I almost felt like they were urging me to choose something but I couldn't be bothered. I didn't want to make any kind of decision or choice. Wasn't it fine to choose simply not to choose?[/i]
Drifting through the rapid currents of unknowing, I struggle to gather myself, falling headfirst into a storm of befuddlement. Blinking heavily for a brief moment, my surroundings were thoroughly searched, my eyes spinning around the words before me trying to make out any meaning. I had not thought about whether I was dreaming or not, because it wouldn't matter if I was or not, the feeling would be the same regardless.
I gaze once more upon the words before me
Stability... Peace... Equality... Leadership...
Lofty goals, sure, but in this world it's just unfeasible. Trust is merely a theory and hope is a delusion. No, things are too late for this world. Another world, maybe, another me. I sneer at the concept, any such hope is merely a fleeting fiction, with no bearing on a substantial reality. Hmmmm, I don't want to wake up. Not yet. Where am I falling? I will not wake up before finding out.
* Coming to already in free fall is a harrowing experiance. Where am I falling too? What are these words? Do I have a parachute? I have many questions. Still, I guess this is what people call a lucid dream, so I doubt this is actually gonna kill me.*
* Then again, if this is reality and I am in danger of dying, I suppose I've had a good run. Bunch of stuff I wish I could have done, but I'm sure everyone ends up like that. And people die in mysterious ways everyday. Ha ha ha. Yeah right. What a joke. I think there's a differance between an unexplained death and... This.*
* If I could be heard while falling, all anyone would hear is a deep sigh. Thinking too hard about stupid things is dangerous. Instead, I decided to just pay attention to something else. Like the words that I passed. Or were they passing me?*
*Life. Dreams. Hope. Where do they come from? And where do they- Umm. Nevermind that. Words are a pwerful tool. Makes a man wonder though. If every word in every language is before you, why only focus on a few? Hmm. Maybe I should wake up if this is a dream. And if it isn't a dream? Heh. Good question. Maybe I'll figure that one out later.*
As I take notice of this newfound sensation, I briefly wonder what it could be, in an attempt to rationalise that which can't be understood. The fall, however, was not scary. The words around me conferred a sense of purpose unlike any I could have felt before.
These words I saw felt nostalgic albeit not because I had felt them before. In fact, I couldn't quite understand why it was nostalgia that I had felt instead of regret. Throughout my life I had indeed valued freedom but I had never really felt as though I had achieved it the same way I had envisioned it. Again, I attempted to rationalise the feelings my heart wasn't capable of understanding.
I stare around the... Area? Is this really an area at all or what. Can't tell, doesn't matter. What matters is trying to figure out what's going on here, and how exactly I need to deal with it.
The light headed feeling flowing through me is an utter pain in the ass. And I scowl upon truly noticing it. Along with my eyes going rather wide after taking in the fall. Is this gonna just... Kill me? That wouldn't be too shocking all things considered, or maybe I'll survive? Can't imagine how but logic seems a bit out to lunch right now anyway.
As it slows down and I begin to make out words, I'd raise an eyebrow curiously while realizing what they are.
I'm left with many many questions, especially about that first one. But for now my focus is placed entirely upon trying to figure out if I'll survive the landing. And if so, what the hell I'll do next. One step at a time, focus on the present.
I take a deep breath, watching the words flow by me, doing my best to avoid a panic. I may not know what is happening, but by focusing on what I can see and understand, I can surely make it through there as well.
Once I'm calm I take the time to listen to and focus on these words flowing past me
and to Be.
It was not the first time I had felt these words, though I knew not where it came from, rather it seemed almost natural, as if there was no other direction to go, nor thing to think of. Merely another inevitable part of a fate I'd already accepted
[Normally, if you fall while in a dream or a daze, your body has some kind of jolt or reaction to it, but this is not it, I'm not waking up. The last thing in my mind... I can barely tell, it's like a mumbo jumbo of different ideas and boring experiences. Still, this feels somewhat good, but I do not enjoy the feeling of not having a hard ground to stand on. But then the words show up, this is not most... reality filled dream I've had.]
[There's so much more but I can read only so many words. What even is this, I shouldn't be able to rationalize a dream. It's strange, but it probably is what it is.]
Dreams are odd tricks on the mind. Often, I find myself accepting my dream as reality in the moment, even if my subconscious knows better. This feels like one of those times, a dream but not a dream. Still, a sense of dread and dull panic washes over me. I’ve never been a fan of heights, but that’s because my greatest fear’s been the possible fall. Well, it used to be something else, but it’s falls now.
Daydream. Time. Solitude.
Those words are meaningless right now, but still catch my eye.
My heart is in shock, beating at a quick pace from the fall. I try and hold my head up in order to assess the situation. Whatever it may be. Though, the only thing that becomes apparent to me are the words that float by, making my first feeling of emotion be skepticism.
All the vocabulary being thrown around makes my head spin. The negative connotation only helping to make me worried.
I fall. But not in fear. In confusion. A mess of writing floats around me, impossible to discern anything apart. However, there lies a thin layer of order to the chaos, a small law in the anarchy. Following the laws leads to letters, following the letters leads to words.
These words hold some meaning. Even if unknown to me. For now. I fall.
A few words are grandiose. Other words are quaint. As the rest are almost confessional in nature.
(The mind has been found.)
Once you find your words the rest of the letters fall into the abyss and you are once again restrained by the memories of your current life. These recollections flood in filling any gaps that may have been felt earlier.
Yet they hold nothing on your current predicament.
A reflective surface then appears before your eyes. It is a clear thing seemingly composed of air and intangible, but able to reflect all the same. Ripples shift the surface until an image is formed mere inches from your face.
The image is of you, but with your eyes closed. Having lived with the appearance in the reflection for your whole life you can recognize each characteristic on it. Yet, there is an odd distance between your physical appearance and the way you perceive yourself now.
Free fall abruptly ends before you can really study the reflection.
You become conscious again in the middle of a graveyard.
Around you are various tombstones ranging from coloring, to inscription, to design with no particular rhyme or reason. They just exist there under the light gray sky and seem to endlessly continue on and on.
These tombstones pale in comparison though to the tombstone right in front of you that has a freshly dug up hole in front of it.
On the tombstone is hastily carved out lettering that states:
Here lies __________.
At least your name is better written then the beginning of the statement.
Might want to check your body.
(edited by Raconteur)
How strange it was to suddenly awaken in a place I've never been. Especially after a dream as odd as that. Regardless, I'd look around noticing a few things seemed diffrent.
"Did I get a haircut? Don't even remember doing that."
I didn't notice too much odd about myself aside from feeling oddly...shorter? There was also the strange feeling of being dead on the inside...wait, no, that was normal.
Regardless, I'd take a look at the grave in front of me. It was odd to be sure but also didn't seem like a reason for concern.
"Wonder if someone was trying to prank me. They should no better with someone like me."
I'd try to take a better look around, trying to find an exit to the graveyard. It was a bit eerie honestly, places like this made me uncomfortable.
I'd also look down at the ground, wondering if someone buried something I was meant to find but the idea of a dead body being down there also made me hesitant.
I hum a familiar tune as I fall, gazing upon the surrounding unintently and merely breathing in the view.
"Simple and clean is the way that you're making me feel tonig-"
I interupt myself as I glance over my gravestone, shock filling over me as I read my full name.
"Ah shit, here we go again."
I couldn't even fathom to try and get a look at my surroundings, seeing as how my supposed reflection was so...bland. A person that you'd see everyday walking by trying to get to class, now with closed eyes. It made me have to look at the reflection without my shades in order to make sure I'm seeing it correctly.
"Wow, that kid looks like they suck."
I flipped my hair and put my shades back on and adjusted my hat...that's when I realized that I am now a completely different person. Ironically enough being kind of the same height, but now I'm a girl...an anime girl no less. The voice, the looks...the lack of boy parts. It's something I might be able to get behind, if I actually knew about it prior instead of just getting into it.
"Excuse me, wha-"
I say as I rise from my grave. It was great to know that I can spend time making myself look good only to get dirty the first time I wake up once more. While I spend a few moments breathing air, looking around, and taking pride in my appearance, I notice the gravestone with my real name on it. It almost makes me want to puke, almost.
"Why the fuck would they do me like that? Ugh, I wanna get out of here so bad."
And so, I try and find an exit, probably rummaging around the place before doing so.
There were multiple things I could have woken up to, but a graveyard was not one I expected. I pushed myself up so I was sitting in front of the massive hole. It was way too big for a grave, and the stone, well... I just hoped it was just a typo. Or someone else. My name was pretty common, after all. But anyway, this grave was huge...
Wait. Is that fur? Is there a cat sitting on me?
“Oh god. Oh god. I’m the cat.”
As I squeezed my fluffy face, I now realized why everything seemed so big.
“What the hell?!”
Looking around, I noticed fellow men more befuddled than I. I walk towards an open space to address them all before noticing a feline demon. I decided that the enemy would provide ample insight into my character, and it would be relatively safe as there was only one. Rushing to ambush them, I pull out my... book? Ah shit, i'm an arcanist aren't I? How am I supposed to use magic, I can barely read! Panicking, as that surely brought their attention, I merely let out a nervous snort, speaking in an akward and frightened tone
"Oh, well, um, I don't suppose you wanted to talk, sir demon?
I'd look down at... Myself? I seem shorter than usual though, and from the corner of my eye, I'd note that my hair appears to be black quite strangely. What really seems off though is the strange metal belt with a rune inscribed round wooden flask attached to it. That and, the grave with my name on it. But that part frankly concerns me less than another thought. I pull the cork off the belt with a mix between excitement and grimace on my face. If this thing is what I think it is, and I'm pretty damn sure, I'm either about to get superpowers or die. Really really hoping for the first.
"Well... Here goes I guess. HENSHIN!
Vast amounts of water rush out from the thing before my eyes, for a brief moment they hover around me threateningly, but soon enough it would calm down as I stare blankly. The water takes shape around my body, forming into a thick set of dark blue armor accented by black, a modernized sleek version of an old-school diver's helmet makes up the helm. And the entire thing seems to be made of slightly moving solidified water. I chuckle a bit and stare down at my own name upon the grave with an eyebrow raised curiously under my armor.
"Hmm... Mizui Namiko, Kamen Rider H2O. I know who he is, not me. I know what he can do, which I seem to have inherited. But none of this makes any sense, and if I'm dead then why the fuck am I standing up and moving around, even as someone else entirely?"
I place my left hand on my chin, absently toying with water that moves to my whims with the right-hand. Liquid forming itself into various shapes while I try to take stock of the rest of the area. Finally, I form both hands into fists and begin walking around with a worried look hidden under my mask.
(edited by H2O)
As I look at my reflection, I’m not impressed by what I see. But having long since learned to live with it my only reaction possible is a sigh.
I close my eyes once more, finding myself in a graveyard in front of a grave. I look at it for a few seconds, cracking a grin before I note.
“Wow, they actually spelled my na....”
It is then that I notice my voice is... Higher, than usual. As if I were a young lad. I bring a hand up to my neck, as if that were to actually change anything, and find well-cared for fingernails. Next I feel my hair falling down my back and confirming...
“I’m gorgeous now. That’s... Weird, but I guess I shouldn’t complain.”
Once I’ve settled into my new.... State of being, I take the chance to glance around the graveyard. I’m not the only one here it seems, though I d....
Is the only word that matters as I run over to give Cait a hug
It was an alien sensation, but my ears instinctively turned towards the man that addressed me. I stood up and took a moment to look at myself again. If I wasn’t mistaken, I was a Cait Sith. The video game kind? The mythical kind? That... probably wasn’t the most pressing debate at the moment.
“I think you might be right about, uh, me being a demon, but I’m not exactly a...”
My nervous rambling only revealed more of my strange new traits. My voice sounded like an animal mascot. The kind in anime and stuff, higher-pitched and with a strong urge to add a “nya” in somewhere. And it was male. Okay, this analysis wasn’t helping. If anything, it just caused me to regress further into panic.
The sudden hug made me yowl in surprise and dig my claws into the arm. I realized what I did a second later.
“Sorry! I’m so sorry!”
(edited by Cait_Sith)
A relapse of memories. Who's? Mine. Yet they don't tell me why I'm here. So I drift. Looking for any rhyme or reason. Soon my eyes fall onto an image of myself. Watching myself sleep. It's uncomfortable...
Nngh! What was that..? It was definitely a strange dream...
Getting up a notice how I'm wearing almost all white, and how my vision almost seems... Blocked by something. Seeing the grave I can only assume that I was dug up in funeral garb
I guess... I died?
After a second of thinking, my concentration is quickly broken by noises around me. Taking a quick look I notice... Alot happening. Surely this was still a dream. There's no way there could be a talking cat and a kamen rider.
... What the hell is going on man...
(edited by Pancake_Knight)
“It’s ok, you learn to love the pain.”
My grip doesn’t get any looser as I cuddle the cat for a few more seconds... Before I realize that it actually talked back in a way I could understand.... I let them go, now feeling a bit awkward
“Uhhh... Sorry about that. It tends to happen whenever I see a cutewittlefluffyboy. I’www cough cough I’ll try not to do that again.
I'd be taken out of my thoughts by noticing... A cat demon? Cait Sith to be exact, from SMT? Being tormented by... Don't know one of them. And of course, frigging Goro Akechi? What the hell is this madness. I speak out in a deadpan and just look around at everyone.
"Okay so, can you two please get over the fact the cat demon is a cat? That really isn't relevant to... Whatever the fuck we're dealing with here and I'd like to try and figure that out."
I then turn to speak with the Akechi lookalike, he talks nothing akin to the real Akechi nor a certain Knight I know of which means... Very little, it means he could be anyone really. But it does mean I doubt he's really Akechi and that's for the best all things considered. I speak to him in a somewhat cheerful tone.
"Yo, I take it you ended up here just as suddenly as me? The getup raises questions I know, I half didn't expect it to even form. But it did so, gonna try and work out how all this Rider shit goes man. Speaking of working things out, might be best to see what the rest of you nerds can do now too. Call me paranoid, but all my knowledge of tropes is telling me I wouldn't have deadly superpowered weapons if I didn't need em. But hey, here's hoping I'm wrong on that count!"
I breath a heavy sigh of relief, wiping the sweat off my brow.
"Well, you act more human than demon, at least. But, a female demon? C'mon, man, I got enough to worry about here."
I do a shrugging pose like Sans when he makes a joke, before coughing and throwing my arms down again
"Oh, uh, sorry about that. Instead of making jokes, I should get to the bottom of things. Starting with who all these people are..."
I shoots glance between everyone present
"They look like a group fit for a Phansite.net rp."
A furrow my brow and stroke my chin in an exaggerated manner, almost like that of the popular ms paintt recreation of discord's thinking emoji.
(edited by Alphinaud_Leveilleur)
I stare over at Alphinaud for a brief moment, eyes narrowing under my mask as the water bending to my will suddenly just drops in my shock.
"Did you just say... Fucking hell you did."
I walk closer to him, pausing for a while and taking in the group before me. After that, I let out a choked laugh while snapping my right finger.
"HAHA, OH MAN! It's true we do don't we, and now here's the part where I ask everyone this... Does that whole 'Phansite RP' statement mean anything to the rest of you? Because it sure does to me."
I go silent and cross my arms over my chest. Glancing about the area for a second before letting my eyes settle back to the group before me.
The noise catches my attentipn. I guess there's people around, a sizable group. That's not really my thing, too many. I'd watch them for a while to see what they'd do. It seems like an odd gathering of people, their appearances that of...cosplayers? What am I wearing anyway? I look down to notice a simple gray coat and black pants, not too diffrent from my usual clothes.
I don't feel like aproaching them. Too many people. I'd get up and begin walking around while avoiding the group, seeing if I could see an end to this place.
[After everything was said and done, after I had seem my reflection and the strange feeling that something was off, that it was not the way it was supposed to really be. I turn to look at one of the graves and see my entire name written on it. At first, I do not know what to say, it is indeed my name and if it really was someone else's, it must be the freakiest coincidence in a long while. However, he just knew he wasn't in the exact reality of his own, and it was more than likely a strange dream of the which he was perfectly aware of; or rather, a nightmare. "I wonder if I will wake up soon" I think, not really finding it necessary to speak because why would I waste saliva. As moments pass by, I look down to myself and find a... really, really familiar machine on my left wrist. It was kind of bulky but not particularly heavy, and it had a cable that connected to a head set that had an ear plug of some sort, a small microphone and... an eye visor? Certainly I had never even wrote about it but of course I knew the information that Kazuya had on display was from the small left eye visor he had, similar to Aleph's.]
[This is COMP. It hits me seconds after. I would then run a hand through my entire body and realize I had suddenly become more muscular than I was before, or remember being, and I wasn't even close to how fit this body suddenly is. Furthermore, I'm wearing a green jacket similar to a blue one I know I own. A pair of black boots from an era distant in the future; a pair of military pants. And my hair was falling from my head, not as wavy as my own tends to be unless I make sure it straightens, this one was permanently in such a state. My facial features, too, felt somehow different. But the I feel my back, and take the object on my back that finally confirms to me what is going on.]
[I would simply stand there in absolute confusion.]
“I-it’s fine... w-wait, what? Hold up.”
My ears flatten. Sure, I used a Cait Sith on site, but that’s too crazy... right?
“Hey, uh, you use the Phansite, right? What’s your username? Everyone calls me Cait. Yeah, I know that’s not the correct way to pronounce Cait Sith, but even I don’t know how to say it. And... Mizui? Kamen Rider H2O? ...Tatsu, is that you?”
What the actual fuck is going on.
I twirled my now long, lilac locks with an incessant urge to sprawl out in panic, especially since now there's company. Somehow I'm the only one who didn't get epicly pranked on...because getting buried alive in the middle of an unknown graveyard was totally something that could get views. Though, that's probably not the actual reason on why they were all here. I raised my hand shyly when somebody mentioned a "Phansite".
"You mean that stupid site?...It does with me too."
I put a hand onto my chest, the shades not on my face as I look at everyone else. My eyes are having trouble trying to keep direct contact with literally anything that was supposedly living and thriving. I started to point at certain people, effectively calling them out despite not even knowing who the fuck they were in the first place.
"There's a cat. I never played the game, but I know what a Cait Sith is. Then there's Kazuya...the protagonist. Of a game I never played. Then there's a Kamen Rider. If I didn't know any better, I would've called you a power ranger on the spot."
I look around once more, my gaze instantly getting a bit empty, as if I should actually know who these people are. It's only because of familiarity, that for some reason I'm relaxing. But either way, I flip my long hair once again, giving everyone else an emotionless gaze.
"But even so, who are all of you? And who's bright idea was it to host some kind of Ren. Fair at a fucking graveyard?"
Uh yeah. Just here out of nowhere I guess. Oddly enough I think I've seen that get up before...
Narrowing my eyes, I question what the KR is telling me by abilities. I'm still me, I think. That is before I check my pockets and find a brass handle that lights up into a beam sword.
What the?!? This definitely isn't normal!
And then the words Phansite hits me like a truck. White garb. Laser sword. Field of view obstructed by red...
OH GOD I'M PK
My sudden realization at the state of my being being screamed at high as it can go. Echoing through out
(edited by Pancake_Knight)
I look between Cait and the Kamen Rider who was apparently Tatsu for a long while, my face redening and my body heat raising. I think of possible answers to give, mostly jokes. But I decide to be honest, the situation demanding I be so.
"It's... Mona. But you can just call me James."
I breath deeply for a few seconds before waiting for a good moment before turning to Tatsu and speaking to him casually.
"Got any extra Kamen Rider transformy things? I don't know how to use these grimoires my character uses."
You people are all far too loud. I mean, geez...
*I smirk, approaching the others.*
You could wake the dead.
* I snicker at my own bad joke. I grab the back of my neck before flinching at the cold of the metal. I'd begin mumbling to myself, looking at my new metallic hand.*
Right. Metal arm. That's gonna take some getting used to. Still, everything seems about how I wrote it. Metal arm's slightly heavier thatn I thought it would be, though I guess that should be expected from a mess of wires, steels and whatever else is in this thing. I like the lab coat. It's comfy.
* I'd stick my hands in my lab coat pocket. Looking back at the others, I'd smile.*
Well, this is certainly a strange set of circumstances, huh? Not late am I?
Roused from my sleep by some lightly irritating voices - I do so hate being awoken by anything but the sun on my face, I slowly stand up and take in my surroundings only to be left astonished, creeped out you might even say. Right in front of me was a tombstone with my name engraved on it
That was absolutely creepy. In fact, it reminded me of a scene from a certain movie... Well I didn't mean to die today so I decided to move away from the tomb. I didn't even bother to check it. The sooner I got back to my life and woke up the better so let's just do shit so I could wake up from this weird ass dream.
Of course, by doing this, I was forcibly reminded of why I woke: there were a bunch of people here and not just anyone. I knew a bunch of them quite well. Goro Akechi, the main hammy antagonist of persona 5, Alphinaud, a main character in FF XIV which I just got back into recently or Cait Sith, a recurring demon from the SMT series. There were some more folks too, though I only got a vage sense of deja vu from them.
"So... Is it going to be one of those dreams?"
It wouldn't be the first time I had a lucid dream so I mentally braced for impact, expecting the undead or some other crazy horror to pop out soon and eat me alive as I suffer horribly until I manage to pull myself out of the dream/nightmare. To speed things along though, I walked up to the group in absolute silence. If this was indeed a dream, it would just skip straight to the next scene without a need for expository banter.
A strange dream indeed. The strange words flying by my face as I fade into the abyss.... I remember them well.
That last word seemed somewhat out of place with all of those familiar yet somewhat harsh words, but whatever. I continued to fall. Fall right to that reflection. I smile and wave, but I realize something's... Off. Something weird is happening.
I awaken and look behind me. A gravestone with my name on it. I chuckle to myself, realizing it's probably just one of those nights. Have these weird ghostly dreams occasionally, almost like I'm roaming the world
"Well, at least they got my name right this time."
I gasp and cover my mouth. That was NOT my voice. Way too high, cute, and girly. It wasn't even an impression. Something strange came out of my mouth. I decided to check all over my body.
I was really short for some reason, I had a fox tail and ears, and golden blonde hair. I even had a kimono on... No way... This has to be a dream, right!? There's no way!
"AM I INA!?"
I screech at the top of my lungs wondering what the heck is going on.
As I try to calm myself, I see some faces in the distance, They seem.... Familiar. Almost like I know them. Some weird cat thing, what seems to be a weird white haired kid, some dude in watery armor and... Is that Goro Akechi? That last one was super weird yet extremely suspicious. I summon a fireball, just like this character I seem to be taking the role of against my will always does, slowly walking towards them with a slight look of fear in my eyes. Are these people forced into bodies against their will as well? Whatever it is, I need to see if they're safe or not... Can't trust anyone right now.
'Who are you people!? And why are you here!?"
The small fox girl standing before the other people may look embarrassing and kinda silly, I know, but hopefully the fireball is at least a little threatening?
Falling, falling and falling. Reminds me of some sort of game intro... It's whatever now, maybe I can focus on some of these words if I try hard enough...
These words felt oddly powerful to me for some reason... Not that I can focus upon them for too long before I plummet into my own reflection, even if it's just a brief glimpse, I can see everything wrong with me...
I awaken in the graveyard, confused and... A bit tired. I decide to look around before spotting... My gravestone? Huh, I knew that caffeine would kill me eventually... Though I didn't take into account how weird I felt until now, I feel... Shorter? Plus I feel somehow more lively, like I've been imbued with energy... Can't remember when I felt like this in awhile, and then there's this strange feeling on the top of my head and behind me, as if there's ears and a tail there. Might just be my mind playing tricks on me... Okay fuck it, I can't take that feeling behind me any longer. I attempt to grab at whatever it is... It seems to be soft, huh? Maybe I should take a look at it. I bring it over to the front to look a- Oh my god, is that a tail? Is... That my tail? It seems to have this purplish color that I'd never see anywhere else. I release it and then I start checking everywhere else. Hair and smoothness where human ears should be, check. Cat ears, check. Those little whisker things, check. A scarf with the familiar colors, check.
My voice... It's boyish but it still has a sense of ambiguity to it, as if there's a bit of feminine behind it as well, the boyishness is the main component so it's easy to tell that that I'm male... Or well, Niko's male.
"So, that means I'm Niko I guess?"
I can feel a smile growing on my face as I shout out into the grey skies above.
"YES! THIS IS SO FUCKIN' AWESOME!"
God I hope this isn't a dream.
Some slip into their new bodies with ease. Others can still see the remains of their reflection.
Escapism at its finest.
(The body has been lost)
Above the gray sky shifts allowing a sliver of ethereal light to shine upon you and everyone else in the vicinity. As it touches your skin/fur/suit/armor it almost renders you fully transparent, but within something snaps. It is a sensation best left up to your determination. However, the effect is instantaneous as you regain tangible form and the body now feels like a permanent skin.
(All thirteen players have gathered)
Should you have gone looking for an exit from the graveyard you would have not found one until now. The exit takes the form of a large, pristine gate with a marble path winding from the base of the graveyard to the beginnings of an acropolis. Standing at the base of the gate may offer a better view of what lies ahead.
Should you have not gone looking for an exit then the search had little to no effect on you as you were reuniting with new faces. Nevertheless, you do notice the appearance of the true exit and a new face among the crowd of people.
Or rather a familiar face depending on circumstance.
The newcomer is an odd specter with yellow eyes and perpetual shadows coming from his feet. He is equipped with an oddly familiar white shirt and checkered pants. Which would make him seem like a typical highschooler had it not been for his dark blue hair and haunted eyes.
You may be tempted to initiate contact, but he goes ahead and does it for you.
By spontaneously laughing in front of the entire group and breaking the somber mood of the graveyard. Whatever he finds funny is so hilarious that it takes him a good amount of time to recover his breath. Then he studies you and everyone else with his bright, yellow eyes before saying:
You know I couldn't believe it before, but seeing you all here is proof enough. Can't believe some of you are really as dead as me. Thought you were supposed to be the golden ones of phansite. HAHAHA.
The newcomer laughs some more at the situation.
I couldn't believe my eyes.... Or my ears... I was dead. In a fit of rage, my newfound body lit up on fire, full of rage, pain, and sorrow. Did I get killed? Was my soul dragged from my body? Did I kill myself? I needed to know, and I was gonna find out, one way or another, even if it killed me again.
"Do you have something to do with this!? Did you kill me!? Kill us!? What the heck is wrong with you!?"
Wow, I am not adjusting to this situation well. Sticking out like a score thumb when everyone else seems calm, some even happy. I could have sworn I just heard a boyish voice screaming out in joy. The fireball I had been preparing is ready, and I aim at the specter. But... I can't. I just can't. The real Ina would have done this in a snap, but I'm not her. I'm just some weird teen on the internet. I calm down and dissapate the fireball, and let the flames loose, bringing the ground around me to ashes. Breathe in, breathe out.
"Look, please, just tell me why I'm here...."
My small body and face is almost brought to tears.
Wow that felt weird... But hey, I can get used to this. I wanna stay like this forever... I didn't notice the crowd of people before, I was gonna go approach them but then... Huh, I feel like I remember that person... Might as well reply.
"Yo, it wasn't my choice to probably die of a heartattack from all the stuff I drink... Though if you had something to do with all of this... Thank you, I'm finally something I'm not. I feel genuinely happy for once in my life."
"Well, the pace feels different from my usual dreams... But whatever."
Normally, just thinking about something else would transition to another part of the dream. It doesn't seem to be the case here. There's probably still something I want to do here, even if I don't notice it. Getting close to the others who were probably still chatting away, I now notice the exit I had hoped for. The brief sensation of floating I experienced while walking over could easily be chalked up to me being in a dream. It made sense after all.
"Maybe these guys are just decorations? I'll go look over there to see what's going on. "
I head for the gate expecting, as usual, a zombie invasion, a gigantic hornet attack or something else that invades and hurts a lot. Suddenly though, I stop right there in my tracks. A specific word from someone laughing wildly in the group from before attracts my attention. I turn towards the laughing one and ask:
"Wait... Did you just say phansite?"
I know I recently got back to that website but I didn't imagine my brain felt so impacted by it that it needed to dream about it. I guess I did enjoy that touhou thread... Why wouldn't I dream of touhou then in that case? Ugh... This may be my own brain but I'll never come to understand it.
*I think on my situation somemore. "I'm dead, but I'm not that angry about it. Hmm. I wrote Sam as a calm person, unfazed by everything. Could that have rubbed off on me?"*
Or maybe I just don't care. Unlike the spitfire over there. I don't even remember how I died. Heh.
*I would smirk.*
Oh, so this is because of a cursed Phansite thread. I blame Mish for even allowing that on the site. There should at least be a rule about that. Disgraceful conduct.
* Grabbing the back of my neck with my human hand this time, I would shrug and shake my head.*
So then. Would you kindly get to the point please? I've become Sam, so I might as well start acting like him. And Sam hates people who waste his time.
*"Did that sound right? Ah, I hope I'm not coming off to strong." I would think, betraying the cool, calm demanor I was trying to give off. " Damn it. This situation makes no damn sense. I was falling and then I was dead and then I was Sam of all people. Geez. This is a headache..."*
For a moment, I feel like I’m falling again, but when I curl up on the ground and the sensation fades I realize I haven’t moved from where I’d been standing. I felt like I... lost myself in that moment. I slowly open my eyes to look at this new person.
“I’m... a what? What’s so important about the Phansite, anyway? Does it have to do with weird afterlife rules?”
Saying that just rubs in the reality of our situation. I pull my hat down so I’m staring at red fabric instead of everything else in this heaven or hell.
“I wanna go home...”
[Whatever was the case of the current situation, the person ahead was too loud. I hate loud people and those who lack any kind of social awareness. Not that I like it all that much but obviously I'm the only one allowed to stand out by not standing out. I can clearly see the exit now, not to mention the obviously...excited and/or confused others. Me, on the other hand, am definitely excited to have a COMP, but so much to look like Kazuya, much less learn that I may in fact be dead.]
This is too weird, dying shouldn't be like this.
[I say to myself, not like I can even understand the true nature of death. What is happening in front of me is as clear as day and despite the bizarre current happening, I won't just accept that. I can't possibly be dead, my senses are still complete, far too much. Unless of course something is happening, and my always active mind just got kicked up a notch, so I die in peace. But if I can be aware of all this at the same time then what am I to do? I'm taking too long to think all this, all to keep away how creeped out I am. If I really am dead then none of my dreams actually came to be, and she... I can't be dead, there has to be some other kind of explanation. The guy in front of me, "Shadow Mishima", seems to be using this as the perfect time to joke. At least I know it can't be her given the sudden act. Not like the mention of Phansite is any kind of surprise anymore, I might as well assume that either they are in the same exact situation I am, or they are another part of this illusion.]
Cool, if that's all I'm out.
You're not making any sense.
[I would very much rather be on my own and figure things out slowly, I refuse to simply accept this situation. At least I have to keep telling this to myself to keep going. I was given the chance to play the protagonist to a story that surpasses reality. To the "Exit" it is.]
(edited by Kazuya)
Suddenly I feel memories rushing back to me.... Phansite. Yep, that's the word that triggered it. A lot of these people looked familiar in the first place, but I started to piece things together.
"Wait a second.... Gin? Ted? You guys are here too? Dang this is so confusing.... Well, this is kinda a weird way to meet....."
I chuckle nervously, realizing they might not remember who I am, as I've been gone for quite some time. But hey, you never know. Things happen for a reason, and at least there are SOME familiar faces. I can't even tell who the Akechi is. Unless it's not supposed to be Akechi.
I didn't excatly love the current mood here. It wasn't really my thing and the appearance of more and more people only made me feel less comfortbale. Without much more dwelling on it I'd simply leave.
If I wanted to get home I needed a firm grasp of where I currently was. With any luck I may not be too far from home.
"This is just stupid...who dropped me off in the middle of a graveyard? It's a pretty shitty prank."
"Oh yeah, phansite? I'm pretty much always watching that place. Not that it makes much of a difference. Now that I think about it."
I briefly look around to see if I have a phone, but not only is it not in my pockets, my skirt is so short it can't even fit them. I do however find a knife... Whatever good that'll do. I hang my head with a sigh
"oh man, I'm totally cut off..."
There's not anything I can do about it though, so I'll simply have to find another way to occupy myself. Overall I don't worry too much about my predicament, except my overwhelming sense of boredom, until my woes are interrupted by the sound of laughter. I look to the shadowed figure, almost certain I'd seen him before. At once my mind starts spinning, looking into and analyzing their statement as well as its implications
"Ok, so if I'm dead that means I've been reincarnated. but reincarnation makes you forget your memories, at least in most versions of the story, which means I'm probably not reincarnated. Instead its more like one of those crappy Isekais, except I don't have my smartphone which is really a shame."
"While I don't care to die I don't mind a bit, but someone I love god I think I'd wish I did I suppose, because I won't like it, is all my Ego is." The lyrics ring through my head, distracting me before it brings me to notice something
"Wait, I can't be dead. I can't really afford to leave people behind like that. I.... We can fix... This. Right?"
I take a deep breath, no reason to panic, as long as I'm in public I'm strong, its that simple. I gesture to my... New form to illustrate the problem as I ask everyone, but mostly the seemingly familiar yellow-eyed figure for some reassurance.
Yes. I'm Gin. Well, I mean, actually I'm Sam but... Ah this is complicated!
* I shake my head, exasperated*
"Don't worry, I get it. You're Gin, but right now you're Sam because that's the body you got put in. You remember me, right? 04? Dude who used to have like 70 alts and had the 5th worst self insert on the site? Ugh, you know what, I should be glad I'm not Bona..."
I sigh in relief, knowing that things could have been MUCH worse.
"Yeah, I'm "Ted". Just call me Niko, though, I've responded to the name Niko before so... Yeah."
Wait, if all of this has to do with the phansite... Yeah, a lot of these people are familiar. Cait as... Cait, Yu as Quintus, Tatsu as Mizui, and mostly everyone else I could recognize, except for a select few.
"I personally think this is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I have perfect vision without glasses finally. Everything about me now is so much better than I ever was."
Too far to hear in on the large group, I decide to ask the one walking away from it for information. I had a strange feeling like I knew him, but I just could not for the life of me remember who he was. The fact I had never touched an SMT game would probably explain this, as even if I knew Kaz on the phansite, I had never actually seen his character outside of it so his physique and traits were completely unfamiliar to me.
"Hey excuse, mind telling me what's going on? "
Weird. I don't usually talk in my dreams. This is probably a nightmare then. I know those are much clearer. This is even better.... Can't wait to see them hanging. Brushing these thoughts aside I focus on the young man in front of me again.
Really... What a weird drea-er... Nightmare I'm having.
Beats me, they probably know though.
[I simply tell the familiar looking man that had just talked to me. I don't really know so at the very least I'm not lying at all. I continue my walk towards the exit after gesturing towards the larger group.]
I tilt my head towards Toki, scoffing and shaking my head.
"You can't afford... to die? So, what, you just wanna try and walk out of your grave and scare those same people to death instead? In fact, everyone should hear this:"
I look for a big rock to stand on and hold my arms out in a preaching stance.
"Look, I see you're all confused, but that's just because you're idiots who question alternate dimension bullshit. Yeah, we died, it happens. Now we're in an alternate world, with demons on it. And, as protagonists, we-"
I bend forward slightly, clenching my fists together, imitating a fighting stance
"-fight demons. To better fight demons, we need to form parties. As well, in order for us to better recognize allies, we oughta have a named organization. I say we call ourselves the hero-y defender guys or something."
I look at the white haired person, utterly confused.
"Ok, while I agree that we should be actively trying to find a way out of this, you SERIOUSLY expect us, after we just went through some weird combination of being Isekai'd and being thrown into a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game, to just act naturally? That is completely insane! We don't even fully know what we're up against yet!"
I try to calm down.
"We need more information first. Only way we're getting it is.... Through them."
I point to the mysterious figure.
I shake my head and sigh, now seeming to form a headache at the sudden newcomer's arrival and not really liking their explanation for things to much. If only they knew who just so happened to stumble into their ranks.
"Ugh, I'm not down for this."
I drop my head low and look towards the ground, hugging myself for comfort. Afterwards, I simply join Kazuya in going for the exit, not even bothering to try and make the best out of the situation, instead opting for what seems to be an obvious way out, of the graveyard at least.
"You all can try and form some big party and defeat the world so that we can be free or something, but I need some time to think. Involve me later."
I didn't even feel like trying to interact. It only made me stress in real life, and the only difference now is that I'm hiding behind a mask that I just so happen to like. When I had now remembered I have shades, I started to use them to my advantage, keeping my head upwards and pretending to have more confidence with them on while also denying all actual eye contact.
"I can't believe they made someone like me have to play with the adults."
As the light hits my body, an almost existential dread fills me. However, a small part of the light invigorates me. Thinking about it, this isn't the worst. Endless stamina and not being as idiotic could lend itself to be a powerful combo. Regardless there wasn't any use in sitting here thinking of your own mortality, being sad doesn't help you. Get mad. Bracing myself I get up while readjusting the mask to not obscure my vision. The material perfectly fitting to my nose. Looking for the first thing to blame for this situation I find the person spewing their rederick. Giving my neck a small scratch before clenching the laser sword in my hands.
You... Look. There's no way I'm dead. So you better wake us out of this before I figure out how to use this damn thing!
I've been standing quietly for some time at this point, I'd offer absently replies to confirm Cait's guess yeah. But that's really it for the moment. Honestly, I'm able to deal with larger groups, but my willingness for it... Fades pretty fast, the jackass laughing who seems to be 'Shadow Mishima' sets an end to that. I cork my flask closed and return to a simple Japanese man with spiked up black hair wearing a suit with no tie and dress shoes.
"This has all been quite something, if people figure out what they might need help with lemme know. For now though, just don't feel like dealing with... Everything really, far far too much going on. I can't say I'm entirely calm inwardly either, but fucks sake people, at least try to keep it down some. I got enough of crowds being well, crowds, at work."
I'd begin walking for the exit as well, though not really saying anything to the one who appears to be Kazuya. He seems about as done with this vast show it's become as I am by now, so no sense in bothering him unless asked about something. I absently keep my right hand on the belt while looking forward, haven't got a clue how to use this thing well, but if I get attack then superpowers are better than none right?
I look back at the group the one I'm talking to is pointing at... Yeah, no. I don't like crowds. Not gonna touch that.
"Eh, whatever. I don't particularly need to know. I'll just tag along until something happens."
Obviously, I don't ask for his consent. This is my dream, it's only natural for me to be accepted. Unless it's a nightmare, I'm still not sure. Then it would make sense to be rejected instead, but... Well I don't know. I have a good feeling about this one. I'll stick with him for a bit.
Thus, I decided to follow Kazuya towards the supposed exit, all while ignoring the rambunctious group behind us.
* I would watch as a number of the group begin to leave. I would sigh.*
Do as you wish.
*" But historically, it tends to be the people with the most relevant information that win wars."*
(Kazuya, H20, Quintus and Bartz have left the graveyard)
After abandoning the rest of the group you walk for a while with a few companions along the road less traveled by.
As you move further away from where you were the scenery begins to appear more detailed. Actual clouds become traced in the sky and the faint outline of trees can be seen as spread out from the path. Yet, everything still lacks in color except for the path beneath your feet.
The path becomes intricately designed with common icons of human history as the marble retains its firm structure. Once the icons become full blown pictures of famous fictional items and locations you arrive at two massive marble pillars.
In front of you are a large set of stairs going downward that serve as a continuation of the path.
From where you are now standing you are able to see a pristine valley seemingly filled to the brim with life. Birds fly overhead as unrecognizable figures move back and forth between portals of pure white light. There are no homes to be seen, but there is certainly life with vasts groups of entities moving into either a portal or the massive river cutting through the area.
No one seems to stay for long in the valley.
Suddenly a voice can be heard from a close distance as light steps come from the downward marble stairs.
Hey weirdos you know you were supposed to arrive from the usual place. Like I get wanting to be all cool and fancy, but you could have put your new life at risk.
Within seconds you are able to see a young man with purple hair walking up to you and the others. Dressed in relaxed clothing and with a kiss mark on his cheek he doesn't seem like much of anything. Though he is oddly carrying a ball of yarn in his right hand. Upon seeing you and the others he does approach with a chill smile.
Then he begins to rapid fire speak at you and the others.
Hewwwo people i'm Damon. The local master class student, artist, and weekend delinquent. It's not really my deal to like guide you or anything, but for some reason I felt like coming up here. Lo and behold I notice a bunch of people actually outside of the rebirth. Ya'll are pretty crazy by the way. Risking your chance at being used by wandering out of bounds. If you aren't careful enough you might even undo yourselves at this point. Though I dunno you all seem pretty smart not to do something that crazy.
(edited by Raconteur)
I should really learn to think before I ask for something...
I know it was quiet and awkward, what with the four of us walking together in this weird dream of mine... But I didn't mean by it that I wanted some chatty crazy-boy to start making a scene.
He's not making any sense either. New life? Undo ourselves? Whaaaa? I'll just pretend I'm not hearing him and move on. The beggars and crazy people usually just leave you be when you do that.
Thus, expecting the others to follow me, I decide to keep up the pace and follow the road road that leads to the valley. I gaze up at the sky, observing the birds and other oddities in the sky. Man my brain sure comes up with the weirdest junk... Why can't I be this creative when I'm awake?
(edited by Bartz)
[The entire place creeped me the hell out, this wasn't even a contest, but luckily the people tagging along have made it so that my irritation grows stronger, as I don't normally like people following me, especially those I don't know very well, and could be potential absolute strangers. Eventually we come across the freaky valley with the white portals and the strange entities. I can feel my heart sink for a moment as the quite possibly non-human beings are just moving from place to place. I would have to go down there, that much is obvious for now. Then, Damon appears. I sigh and sit on the floor; my arms resting on my knees. I do not look at him in the eye, whoever, as they are all centered on the COMP on my left arm. Worse comes to worse, I have all the power I need in the greatest of deterrents.]
Alright, I'll bite.
What are those entities and what do you mean by "Out-of-bounds"?
If what you said is true, I would like you to explain that, I don't want to fall for an eternity or get lost in a white void.
"Wha- hey! Don't talk to him ! It's plain to see he's just a looney!"
That being said, I stop dead in my tracks and walk back to Kazuya, muttering all the while:
"Unless I need to ? Fucking hell, this dream's more like a fetch quest... Let's just get it over with..."
This time, I speak loudly towards the newcomer, grating as he may be:
"Well, you heard him. Tell us what you know and what you need from us."
Fix: Florina is in the leave graveyard group. (Forgive the gm for she should not have posted while tired)
(Ina, Niko, Sam, Cait Sith, Toki, Alphinaud, and Pancake Knight have stayed)
You and a few others suffering from a myriad of emotions have chosen to stay in the same place.
The graveyard itself does not change with the departure of a few people, but the gate leading to the outside path has closed. It simply shut itself with little to no fanfare as the marble path crumbled to dust beneath its base.
As for the mysterious figure ...
Well he looks terribly lost and has taken a few cautionary steps back from you and the others. His hands edge toward a pocket in his uniform as his brilliant, yellow eyes gaze into you and the others.
Okay you people are acting really weird for the recently destroyed. Did something happen to all your heads on the way down!? If you still had any sense left you all would know that it was your creators that killed you off. Not me! I'm as much a victim of this as you are. So if you are gonna blame anyone for dying them blame the idiots that made you all for their own amusement and then killed you off.
The mysterious figure noticeably grows more and more frustrated as he speaks until he finishes. Then he takes a deep breath as if letting something go and quickly wipes his eyes with his other hand. When he speaks again it is with a weary and saddened voice.
The name is Mishimans by the way for the newbies. Dumb name I know but people used to call me Mish and it grew on me. Though its not really my name anymore.
He looks up once more.
Insult your shitty gods or curse them out for all I care. It won't make any difference since no one cares about any of us anymore.
His eyes unfocus after he finishes and he just sits on the ground staring at nothing in particular.
(edited by Raconteur)
"W-wait, I wasn't made! If anything, I kinda made the person whose body I'm in!"
I thump my chest with a closed fist. Solid and furry, which helps the growing existential crisis a bit.
"And you're - you're just - I don't know anymore. Where's the exit? What-"
Just my luck. The gate's closed. I wrap my tail around my body and squeeze it so hard it feels like it'll break.
"Niko... PK... what do we do?"
They're the ones I'm most familiar with, out of the people that remain here. I'm at a loss of what to do next.
I jump off the stone, looking disheartened. With no one else in their right mind still hanging around, I turn to Mish in desperation.
"What're you, some kind of villain? Well, not that that matters. What're your motives, then? Would you be willing to team up, and would I regret doing so?"
I don't have a god to curse or a creator I believe exists. I'll have you know that I'm an aethist.
*I smile before glancing over my shoulder at the now close gate.*
* I shake my head before looking back at Mishimans.*
So, we're dead. Lovely. Nice to know. Got any other pieces of information that could actually be useful. Like Puss in Boots over there said. An exit would be our first priority.
*' If I'm breathing, Logic dictate I'm alive. If I'm alive, that means I should try to keep it that way. Maybe I should have just left when I had the chance. This guy doesn't seem to be of much use other than being depressed as all hell. Pretty sure I read an RP with him in it once. Might have been a part of another. If he's the same guy, it's no wonder he's such a Nihlist.'*
So... We really are dead.... Wow. I mean i'm not sure about anything creation wise, but this is crazy.... My creator killed me? Why? And the person seems.... Somber....
"Well.... Why are we here? And can we get back? I.... I miss my friends... And my family...."
I'm kinda shaking, tearing up slightly. What the heck is going on....? Why are we dead? Who put us in these bodies that looks like our characters? And where are we? Unless we've been Isekai'd or something....
I shake my head. Does he not know WE'RE these character's creators... Or...
"So, are you saying that the bodies we're currently inhabiting were killed off... Or do the real... Us have our own creators and we're just the RP characters of something higher than what we were?"
What was this guy talking about? Were they talking to me even? No, of course not, they must have confused me for one of the people who seemed to be going the same way. I felt a little akward to speak. Like it wouldn't make a diffrence to say anything.
Relax, I just need to act like I'm not involved in the conversation. I'd try to just turn away and act like I was just someone who happened to be standing nearby. It wasn't my problem but if I walked away too quickly then that might seem suspicious.
I had a general sense of unease as well looking around at this place. It was really freaky, the ay that some things had no color and how there was some random field nearby. It almost felt like I wasn't ment to be here, like sneaking into the backrooms of a museum.
Was this a dream? No, it couldn't be. I was awake, I knew I was and I rarely had clear dreams. Maybe I stumbled into some weird play or something?
"So you're saying you do remember being killed off then?"
Once again I simply start thinking out loud scratching my head as I figure things through
"That's interesting, because assuming everyone else you've met here has done the same, that means we're different. Because I DON'T remember dying, which is probably part of why so many people are upset. That also means we're not dead yet, or at leasst not in the same way... But this isn't doing any good at this point."
with that little rambling over I let out a yawn and start looking around the graveyard, since its unlikely any of the others would help anyways.
"If no one missed me I'd be fine with this, but I just can't really risk that."
... Wait? Creators killed us off? I mean.. PK died sure, but I didn't die. Even then he was brought back... I might have jumped to conclusions. Maybe we should try to recap everything first.
Taking a second to calm down, I power down my beam sword and place it back into my pocket. Trying to remember anything else.
From what I'm gathering... This is where our dead characters go after they die. They get minds of their own and resent us for killing them.
For some reason. We got swapped. And the writers are here now instead of our characters. Following that logic... It can only mean that our characters are currently controlling the writers body...
At least that's my theory. Until we can find a way to reverse this we better get used to this as we might be here for the rest of time...
Here for eternity. That wasn't the worst that could happen.. PK arguably has it better then my existing body, especially cause I'm not a potatoe. Some of the others though...
Say, Mishimans, your the Wolf that got suplexed by Kalib right? Just to make sure you aren't Mish the writer right?
And for what we should do Cait... I'm gonna make the best of this situation. Think about it. If we were sent here we can get sent back. There's no use in sitting here wishing to go back. We have to take matters into our own hands. Try checking the graves, they might hold something and a word of caution. If there is anybody else here, they might attack us if they find out we are the writers. So try to.. Sigh... "Roleplay" if we encounter any.
Right. I still have stuff to do too. If we truly did die then we have been given a second chance. And I'm not letting to go to waste.
As I silently followed the people who left the graveyard in a ditch effort to be alone (which didn't work out), I found myself gazing at the odd scenery. It wasn't colorful at all, it was really boring; but my eyes seemed to dart around every inch of it. Noticing that there was now a bit of commotion with the people ahead, I started muterring under my breath while glaring at them from afar.
"Are you serious? What kind of crack are these people on?"
I really didn't want to make myself known yet, seeing as how far that got me in the graveyard full of all of those confused people. It's not reasonable, but it makes it so that civilized conversation is next to impossible. The mentioning of the Phansite still makes me shiver, and I hug myself in an attempt to forget all about it.
"I'm not going to be involved...like that guy. Yeah. He seems to be doing this super well."
More words that I utter under my breath, still looking downwards. I don't know what I was on when I made this character, but I'm glad I'm not like that one person that turned into a furry. My whole appearance screaming confidence even though everything I've been doing fuels my anxiety. Whatever weird acid trip we're on as of now, it's obviously affecting my mental psyche.
You are in the conclusion and the only way out is up or down.
Mishimans plainly states to you and the others as he tries to take in all the information being given to him. It's obvious that he is struggling to comprehend the nature of you and the rest, but it is a puzzle beyond his basic understanding. After a couple of pensive minutes the best he can do is once again stand and speak in a frank tone.
If you guys really are the creators trapped in the shell of your dolls then you are the villains. Or the good guys depending on whos asking. Though to me you people are heartless and cruel. Monsters playing human that like to torment your own creations.
The shadow chuckles before continuing his grim commentary.
You know my creator happened to be the most sadistic of you people. She made sure to put me in constantly dangerous situations against people I never stood a chance against. Instead of giving me anything good to defend myself she just gave me a knife to look cool as I got injured over and over. It's painful you know being constantly broken with no end in sight. When my end came it was almost peaceful, but she made sure that I remembered every last bit of it ...
Never even got that nice end I wanted either. She still uses my name so i'm just trapped here between dying and living until she finally lets me go. Gee wonder how many of you guys are doing that right now.
After having subdued his own spirit once again the shadow walks over to a gravestone and leaps to sit on top of it. Etched into the tombstone are the names of previously existing characters that had once existed but are not dead with their names long erased. Should you have ever had such a character you will see their name etched with the rest. The shadow taps on a random name on the tombstone and appears thoughtful.
These are the lucky ones that got to live out their lives and actually die. While i'm one of the unluckies that continues to exist in and out whenever my creator feels like it. She won't even give me the dignity of having my own name anymore. Anyway at least you all will get to suffer with me. Isn't that the best part of this whole mess.
The shadow's voice takes on a feminine tone as his mouth curves to a smile. Yet, his hands tremble and his eyes dart about as if seeking an escape. With feet fixed against the tombstone the shadow is unable to make any other movements and his mouth moves without any other facial twitch.
Mish speaks directly to you through the shadow.
(Your life is no longer your own)
(When you die the audience will claim it)
(The audience can do one of three things with this new life of yours)
(1. Bring you back with a resurrection)
(2. Damage the stability of your soul with ruin)
( or 3. temporarily control you through reckoning)
(Good news is that you guys won't die permanently in battle~)
(Bad news is that your free will can now easily be surpassed should the audience want to)
(Have fun kiddos~)
Once Mish is finished the shadow snaps out of its trance and appears visibly shaken. His yellow eyes even more haunted than before if that is possible.
Mishimans silently points to the location of the original gate as he tries to recover his wits.
(edited by Raconteur)
I look at my hands... Or well, Niko's hands. I never had known that my characters, or the characters I controlled, had real... Feelings and lives that I had out of my own control...
"Jesus christ... I never realized how awful I was. Fuck, I'm sorry, Niko."
I say to myself, basically, I'm not sure if Niko could still hear me, if anything, my mind probably overwrote his, he's just my puppet now... Well, could be worse. At least he doesn't have to suffer with me, I hope.
"How was I supposed to know how cruel I was? I thought all of this was fiction until now... I'm... Feeling kinda bad now."
I still feel good, at the same time... I'm better than I was... So I can't help but still be happy with this predicament. I process what Mish had to say.
"W-wait?! Audience?! Does this mean we're in like..."
Oh god no.
"Are we in a thread? Are we all failures to be seen on a computer screen? What kind of sick twisted bitch are you?"
I look at the the grave to see only one thing.
And that thing gives me shivers....
I turn away almost puking at the sight.
"Oh Arceus I completely forgot about him...... "
My TERRIBLE self insert... Do these characters really have their own lives? Almost like I've been playing with powers beyond my control... I feel kinda bad, but how was I supposed to know!? I'm just some kid on the internet who likes to create characters! This is unfair!
"But I don't get it! I've treated almost all of my characters with respect, only putting them into situations they can handle! Well, except for Bona, but I was a stupid kid back then... Why am I being punished for this!? Is it the endless alts?"
I try to recollect myself, but more news hits me harder than a truck.... What is this audience? Who are they? And.... Are they gonna help me? At least I can't die...
I look up at the sky, yelling out in this small fox girl body:
"Whoever this audience is, please let me get home! I never wanted this at all!"
I look over at the gate, hoping that it's our way out. I don't care what we have to fight, I just want out ASAP. I start walking, seeing if anyone else will follow.
(edited by Ina)
Completely unamused by the drivel falling out of the fictitious character's lips, I merely utter one single word in a tone reminiscent of an Italian plumber rendered in simple cartoon graphics
I raise my fists in the sky, shouting at the air
"Gah, I want to team up with REAL villains! Not edgy sops like this!"
I put my hands in my pockets and turn away from him, quickly revolving around the whole graveyard so I can ascertain as to every possible exit and where they would lead. I then mutter under my breath
"...Looks like i'll be on my own for awhile."
I just stare over at Damon blankly. How annoying to deal with, and as I reply in a slightly confused tone with my hand on the Calamity belt I'd narrow my eyes a bit.
"So... We might what, vanish just for having left hmm? How curious a thing to say the least. If what I'm getting here is right, you might also just be a lunatic though which that seems more liable to me. On the other hand, this whole thing is madness anyway."
I pause for a second and shrug a bit, I really can't say I've got a ton to add at this point. More questions are raised by his being here, and perhaps who exactly this character was played by is part of the puzzle too...? If that's the case, what's she got to do with anything here. Doesn't make sense right now, but I stay quiet for the moment, wild mass guessing ain't gonna get us anywhere after all so best not to bring it up without enough facts.
I take a glance at the tombstone once my attention has been brought to it... Wow, I sure did abandon quite a few characters, not even giving them their own, proper, tragic deaths. Such a shame
"Oh, huh, that's probably what he's talking about isn't it?"
That'd be a pretty awful thing to do to a person, but they're not people, and I can't think of them that way. Not i don't want to, or I shouldn't, they aren't, therefore I can't. I'd briefly glance back at the Mish, intending to apologize, empty as it might be, only for him to be interrupted by another, presumably his maker. I shake my head
"If we cant die, then why are we dead? Answer that ya prick."
before walking towards the gate that Mishimans pointed out, every walk's gotta start somewhere, and anywhere's better than here.
Damon maintains a relaxed air despite the hostility felt from either you or the others. He even hums a light-hearted tune before working his way to an answer. With a playful cadence he fires back a rather disturbing response.
Nah if you go out of bounds you won't vanish like whoosh. You will instead be torn apart completely by the forces of fate and either scrapped or remade into something else. It's just that simple~ So you may want to step away from the edges of the path before you trip into extra painful death time.
Damon does slightly frown at being called a lunatic. sick. twisted. sadis-
He recovers fine though and plows forward as if nothing really mattered.
Those weird things down there are just like you guys and me. They just haven't gotten their personalities yet or abilities or anything to really make them complete ya know. So don't judge them they are still trying to exist like the rest of us. Problem is these days creators are so lazy when making their characters. Like nothing amazingly unique comes up and they stay all weird or become a copy of the creators. So lame and boring. Though you guys seems lucky. Having all sorts of cool designs and actual personalities. Like this guy!
Damon skips over to Quintus and mimes awe as well as amazement.
Oooh or this fun looking person!
Damon approaches Florina with similar excitement and actually bothers to read the words on her hat.
Ah yes you guys seem pretty complete. I wonder what kinda stuff you inherited from your creator or do you just act like them? Oh never mind. Doesn't matter much anyway. I just have one comment on like two of you people.
He points at H20 and Kazuya.
You two are really boring with the designs. Like cmon seriously just two average Japanese dudes. What next some lame heroic personalities or are you just some manifestation of your creators ego trip. So lame.
[I would find the need to sigh yet again. Place two fingers on the nose of my nose, I stand up and keep walking down the road, no point in sticking around for long.]
Thanks but you talk too much.
[Damon was as I remember him from the one thread I had with Kazuma, annoying in a somewhat chill way, even if everything he said seemed better suited for a loud, screaming voice, similar to a goat. The skin I may be wearing right now is one thing, what I have on my wrist is the one fun part of it all, in the end. I would snicker at a small thought: "As if making a character that is not common or contrarian was enough". With the quick smile going away, I would make my way down carefully but quickly, just so I don't "fall out of bounds" just yet. But it would really suck if this was exactly what it was and all those things were some texture.]
"More importantly, there is definitely a link between creator and creations, in particular fictional ones. If this place is to have people or characters like ours, could it be that this is strictly connected to the Phansite? Or maybe it also leads into a bigger concept or plane. It could be that the collective unconscious is a thing, and this is exactly it. Whatever it is, I'll probably find out soon..."
[I think, trying to make sense of the situation. I have to wonder if she's around, hopefully some other character linked to her will show up. If so, it can somewhat give light into all this. Maybe it's some kind of bizarre dream if it's so...centric.]
Might as well keep the frustration building, I can't keep getting freaked out by this.
[I would mutter, trying to keep the fear and anxiety away.]
This guy definitely freaked me out, especially since I now knew he was talking to me directly. I still didn't know what he was talking about, his speech seemed like something out of a dream.
"Well...I, uh...I'm not sure."
I felt a little bit embaressed, my mind was moving too fast for my mouth to keep up. Right now, I really wished I was at home sleeping or writing, it didn't feel comfortable being outside anymore. I looked around me, I didn't know these people but maybe they'd back me up or something. I just didn't want to deal with this myself.
"I just want to go home. I don't think I know who you are. Sorry if I just don't remember or something. My memory has always been pretty bad."
"So, we die if we step outside? "
When you think about it, that's just common sense. You're bound to wake up if you try to leave the scope of the dream. I didn't quite feel like waking up though. I'll be sticking around just a bit longer, heheh.
As I listen to the rest of Damon's speech, a thought suddenly overwhelms me.
"Of course ! This is all a metaphor for overbearing parents that don't raise their children properly!! It all makes sense now! "
Heh. I'm a fucking genius. Still, I don't see why I'd dream about it... Sure my parents have been trying to make a comeback into my life but that wouldn't warrant this... Maybe I've just been spending too much time on reddit? I'll delete the app when I wake up. Not that I'll remember of course, hahah.
Clearly, Bartz, or whomever resided in him, had not truly heard a word that was being said to him. So entranced was he by his own idea, he failed to see the strict evidence in front of him.
He's not looking too good. Maybe I should say something. Quintus' dismay was apparent, and Bartz had not failed to pick it up. Worried, I hurried over to the man.
"Hey now dude, no need to be like that. We all have our moments !"
With a big smile on Bartz's face, I patted Quintus' back.
"Just chill, ok? You wouldn't want to end like mister grumpy walking away over there" I say, pointing to Kazyua. "So what this place is weird, so what you forgot a thing or two. That's no reason to let yourself feel down! Just roll with it! Good stuff is bound to happen soon."
I look back towards Damon:
"Do you have anything else to say? Something useful maybe?"
All our dead characters? That would mean PK and Danksuya. I can imagine one of them being okay with it but the other... Maybe even some other characters that i forgot with time. After a thoughtful minute I stand up and frown before speaking again
Say what you will about us. But to me. You were just words on a screen. Sure, I felt a piece of myself in every character I wrote, hell, sometimes I'd rather be one of them. But at the end of the day you were just characters. And... I'm sorry. Really.
Looking to Mishinans I give the most sincere look I can before turning my back and moving towards the door the others
Regardless I can't change the past. And we are here now. I'm figuring out a way out of here and it's clear the solution isn't here in this graveyard. From now on I'm PK. And if the audience wants a show. I'll give it to them. I recommend you all do the same by the way. If you run into somebody you used to write they'll probably won't be happy. I can think of a few right now, like a certain black creature or one with pink hair.
* I look over some of the graves.*
Hmm. I see. Is that so? Well, I never killed anyone off. Forgot some, perhaps, but never killed. Though that's only on the Phansite. If it were any characters I thought up that I killed off in my stories, then would be a few. None that I can see, but I haven't checked them all.
* I shake my head. Now's not the time to be thinking about such things.*
So, now we have to deal with a faceless crowd, do we? Glorious. Just glorious. This is getting way too bloody Meta for my liking.
* He would look back to Mishimans, with look of concern.*
You alright there, bud. You don't look so good.
I seemed a bit shocked once Damon came up to me, and up until I completely forgot about that hat I was wearing until he felt the need to read it. I held onto my chain with a tight grip, my eyes wavering once more with some worry. Especially with what he said about how we are supposedly not supposed to do this.
"Uhm...yeah, sure. I totally wasn't created because of some joke my creator thought was funny, nope, not at all."
I clenched my teeth a bit when I said that, holding back some more indefinite anxiety attacks. It seems that we're really going with this little explanation that we are our characters, and nothing can change that. Even if everyone else seems to have not gotten that by now.
"So, uh, Damon."
I can't believe that they made me have to be involved with these types of people. Especially using THIS character. At this point, Damon could clearly see my panic, but I didn't really care right now. I felt compelled to feed off of whatever bullshit the world throws at me next, but it can't really happen with the internal conflict that's happening right now. When my mind's racing, all I could think of was one question to say.
"What can we do to get back home?"
I keep my hat pulled down as I listen to the jumble of voices around me. Cait had it a bit rough, but he got off easy compared to some other characters... some which were even forgotten. I mentally apologize to the body I’m in for taking it over, even if it wasn’t intentional. But it’s not my body anymore, either, if the audience wills it. Whatever they are. In this inner turmoil, PK’s words resonate with me, and I sniffle and push up the brim of my hat.
“PK’s right. I... guess we can’t mope around all day. And I’ll have to be careful, especially if Kade’s here... Maybe this new body’s a blessing AS a disguise. I’ll probably have to act like the kitty here, nya.”
All of you are as real as me while stuck here.
Mishimans raises his head and grins sardonically at you and the rest.
Hey i'm fine, I had the time to come to terms with being controlled. Its you people that should worry about yourselves. Sometimes the audience can be nice and other times they can make you suffer for the hell of it. Give them a good show or they may just do it for you.
With that said the shadow leaps off the tombstone and leaves the group. Completely fading into the graveyard with time and distance. A nearby tombstone with a freshly dug hole in front of it instantly fades away once the shadow leaves.
When the gate entrance is approached there is a blinding light that forces your eyes to momentarily close. Upon opening them you are met with a room bathed in blue. This room takes the form of a nice hotel lobby with plenty of comfortable, blue seats and a rug that looks to be ripped out from a old fashioned movie. A few of the tables even have light snacks and some fancy decorations. A combination of flower vases and animal statues that are of course blue. There is no one else other than you and the people that accompanied you in the graveyard which gives the lobby an abandoned mood. Yet, there is a check in and check out desk as well as a flat screen tv with static hinting at some form of life.
There is also a light humming noise drifting in the air and steps can be heard from a mahogany door behind the lobby desks.
(edited by Raconteur)
Oh god damnit, you're not gonna get away that easily! I raise my hand up, and then...
I send a lower-leveled spell through my hand... God that felt weird, but hopefully it'll at least hurt them. If they didn't just straight up disappear of course.
"Well, I guess I can do that, then."
And then my focus switches to the blinding light, god that hurt my poor new eyes. Hey, at least the scenery change is nice, perhaps I'll just sit down on one of the seats, what's the worst that can happen, right?
"So... After that fucked up turn of events, does anyone want any like... Stress relief or something?"
As the scenery changes I cover my eyes from the light, only to find this strange room...
I look over at Niko, and nod.
"Yeah, I feel like I'm about to explode from stress or something.... Then again it wouldn't really hurt me in this body."
I walk over to him. I find it kinda strange that he LIKES this situation, but whatever. I just need a break.
"But when we're all calm and collected, we gotta make a plan and find our way out of here. While I kinda like this body I can't stay this way forever."
*As the bright light begins, I would cover my eyes like everyone else abserving the strange phenomena. As the room settles in, replacing the Graveyard of Misfit Alts, I would fumble around in my pocket and pull out a small, orange handled screwdriver and began messing with screws in my new metal arm and watching what, if any, effects it had on my arm, from forcing the hand to move to producing electricity. After a while, I would stop.*
I think that's how I wrote Sam doing maintenace. I guess we'll see. Seaking of which...
* I would grab a section of the metal arm and pull it out. The piece of metal would begin to unfold into a cane, which I would begin to use to walk a bit easier. I would pace around the empty hotel lobby and smirk.*
Let me guess.
*I would begin mimicing a certain old man with a long nose.*
"Welcome to the Velvet Room. This place exists between dream and reality. Mind and Matter."
*Like before, I would laugh at my own bad joke.*
Would everyone say that about right?
(edited by Sam)
I cover my eyes for a moment, waiting for someone else to comment to know the coast is clear and I cn see again. I blink a few times, letting myself adjust to the strange new surroundings. I tilt my head, listening to the other three talk for a bit before I mention
"Guess its too much to hope any of you three know what to do, right? I'll just... Do my own thing then
The last of which is spoken so softly as to be almost inaudible. I find myself shaking a little, but it doesn't stop me from going ahead and walking up to the desk. I briefly consider ringing the bell, but at the sound of footsteps decide to wait, as it seems that whoever works here is on the way anyways.
(edited by -Toki-)
"Well if any of you really feel stressed... You may scratch behind my ears, if you must."
I look at Niko confusedly, wondering how the heck that would de-stress me, but why not. I walk behind him and gently start scratching behind his ears.
Yeah, no-one's gonna-
* I begin saying before watching Ina. I give them a disapproving look.*
I stand corrected.
I look at Sam with a deadpanned expression.
"What? This is stressing me out man. I need something to calm down."
I watch Ina closely.
"Wait, you're actually gonna do it?"
I feel the first scratch and...
"?! A-aaah that feels gooooooood..."
It feels... Really good... Can't... Focus...
Not gonna lie, kinda weird hearing that. But hey, it actually kinda feels good to scratch behind his ears... I'll just keep going I guess? I gently rub right behind his his ears... Wow they're soft.
"This feels kinda weird... But I like it."
I stare curiously, the reactions of everyone else are... Enlightening I'd say. To think this is all a dream, that sounds logical, I want to think that's true even. But as I absently twist a finger a bit and feel pain for a few seconds, that thought just makes no sense. As for Damon's question.
"Mmm, quiet down yarn man."
Damon is exactly as I'd recall, but I'm just not able to muster up the patience to be that polite in dealing with him. It's not that I don't know how, just that I refuse to actually bother. That purple haired one I haven't pinned down as anybody yet though, they raise a good question. And focusing on the many issues in front of me is far better than the other reaction I'm considering, blind panic helps nobody after all, and if I'm gonna try and be like one of them...
"I'm also curious on that whole leaving question though. There's gotta be something one can do, hmm?"
I place my right hand on my chin, looking around for a moment and wondering if anything might come from the woodworks. Hopefully not, but given how weird this place is... Better hope I can figure out how to be H2O real fast if needed. The only comfort is the knowledge that my belt works at least.
God I realized how tired I feel... Unless that's an effect of the scratching? I yawn loudly... And then I uncontrollably begin to purr.
Wow. This feels really weird all of a sudden... But I mean hey, I'm starting to calm down at least? Just keep scratching for now, I guess.
Bona, seriously. Don't make this into another cat people romance thing like you did back in the old Leblanc threads with Bona and Naho. It was wierd then and being here, forced to watch in person, makes it even worse.
"Shut the fuck up and let me- Mrooow... Let me enjoy this."
Alright, enough enjoyment. I'm over it now, I think?
"Alright, alright, stop."
(edited by InterNiko)
"Do we seriously need to bring out the Boner nickname again? I tried really hard to stop it but you guys aren't giving me much of a choice.
I breathe out with an exhasperated sigh before dramatically flipping my long blonde hair
"Nah, it's fine. Not doing anything THAT far. I've learned my lesson. Plus, he literally asked for it."
I stop scratching, just as asked, and show that this isn't going anywhere weird.
(edited by Ina)
"Any more of that and I would've passed out... Or beat the shit out of you. Either way, I've learned my lesson. Let us all never speak of this moment again."
I look at Niko, nodding.
"My lips are sealed, dude."
I glare at Bona, narrowing my eyes and furrowing my brow.
"I think it's pretty obvious who's dying first."
I make a fist with my right hand and bring it to the bottom of my chin, holding the elbow with my left hand and smirking
"Maybe you oughta get some practice dying while you can, meatshield."
*I would chuckle a little at what Alphinaud had said.*
I wouldn't be so rude, but he's got a point.
I glare at Alphinaud, but it's definitely not threatening because of this body.
"Look, at least YOU probably haven't made a trash OC who is probably gonna murder us. I'm stressed as heck, man. I need a break every now and then. He offered a thing, I took it."
I sigh and sit down, wondering about the footsteps.
*I would lean against a wall.*
You know, Bona, I wouldn't worry about that. We don't know if that's how this works after all. And if it is and it extends beyond the Phansite, I'd be more worried about the characters I've killed in my time writing.
You are in the conclusion the only way out is either up or down~
Damon cheerfully answers as he picks up on your own intention or the intention of the others to leave. He pensively gazes at his ball of yarn and carefully picks it apart with one finger as he thinks. Soon enough something seems to come to his mind.
He happily states.
You know you guys are really weird on your own. Even the boring looking ones. I suggest that you don't follow the unfinished beasts into the light. They only go in cuz they have nothing on their own. Their creators couldn't even be bothered to make them a nice form or a voice to speak with in most cases. If any of you were to go in then who knows how you might change and snap. You might even be so broken that you become useless. Like a certain dog stuck in the graveyard. I've only recently gained this life, but I wouldn't want to lose it anytime soon.
Damon momentarily looks to where you and the other have been before returning to what he left off on.
I'm sure you wouldn't want to lose anything important anytime soon~
Damon's voice suddenly raises with a feminine tone and a rather saddened frown appears on his face. He seems to emotionally age in the span of a few seconds as his hands fall to his sides allowing for his ball of yarn to drop on the path. His eyes close in an accepting gestures as if he is used to this.
Mish speaks to you using Damon's voice.
(Your soul is no longer your own)
(It is split between the mind of the creator and the body of the creation)
(Your soul is now volatile and changeable)
(Some of you already have weak souls and struggle with the creation)
(While others remain steadfast and keep the line between creator and creation clear)
(If the creator lags then the creation can consume them)
(Maintain a balance or suffer the loss of self)
When Damon is released from his trance he immediately goes back to his normal mannerisms. Poised to continue before pausing and asking.
What were we talking about again friendos? Must have not been too important if I barely remember it haha. Anyway if you guys want out without your youness intact then you have to take the blue door in the center of the village down there. Don't worry the creatures shouldn't bother you if you don't bother them. Pretty much the land of zombies down there.
“But I wanted pet...”
My tail droops and I wander over to the lobby desk. I have to jump up and hang onto the edge to even see over it.
“Oomph... Hello? Anyone there?”
I shout in hopes of someone coming before either my patience or strength runs out. I’m probably accidentally making claw marks on the desk, but I’ll apologize for that later.
*I would chuckle slightly while watching Cait try to climb a deck.*
Do you need a book there Cait? Maybe cat sized stilts?
"....You're right, Gin. I shouldn't worry so much. I know he can't kill me, but I'm really worried about that audience thing.... What are they gonna do to me? I want my soul to get back to my real body in tact, he could be dangerous to that! And I don't think it extends past phansite.... I hope at least."
I give a slight smile, but it's not super genuine.
I look over to Cait attempting to climb the desk, or at least hang onto it. I can't help but chuckle and get out of my seat.
"Need some help there, Cait?"
I walk over and attempt to boost them up... Not before giving a good ol "Alley-oop", of course.
I was already starting to get creeped out but now this was just distressing. I wasn't sure what to do, it was easier to just do what I was told was best for now. I didn't know what any of this meant or what that voice was trying to say. Something about creators and creations...wait, does this have something to do with writing?
The guy standing nearby was Kazuya from SMT. I thought they were a cosplayer but could they be...? There's also a character from Final Fantasy patting me on the back...What was they name? ert? I don't recall. Finally was the strange man wearing armor earlier. The armor was blue...they were obviously a Kamen Rider...H20?
Realization began to hit me, these were all characters from Phansite...
"Ok, this place is really starting to make sense...in a weird way. This is...odd..."
Watching the antics happen around me I can't help but smile,
Heh, it's like nothing changed. Honestly this isn't the worst thing that's could have happened!
Actually, now that you've mentioned the Velvet Room... I wanna try something...
Walking over to an empty part of the room, I place my hand in the air as I try to concentrate. Muttering to myself under my breath
How did this go again? PK's persona came from Philemon so it should just be like Persona 2 summoning...
Taking deep breaths I picture how a summoning would take place. A rift in space time cracking apart, widening to reveal my mask!
I call upon you! Join me in these desperate times!
I was very shocked at the sudden change of Damon's sudden change of voice. It seems like that the message that the thing that possessed him said would have to be kept in mind, whether I liked it or not. Honestly, it all made sense. I just hope that everyone else can catch on eventually. And that I can calm down.
"It always made sense...I didn't feel like anything else was going to end up happening..."
I said to myself, now looking at the three that I ended up following on this stupid journey. Why did I think that ditching the graveyard was the best solution? Oh, because I'm stupid too. Well, either way, everyone does not look familiar to me, and sadly I don't look familiar to anyone else either.
"I...just hope that...none of the bad stuff that they said won't affect us...whoever you all are..."
Not knowing this, nor anything, made my legs start shaking instinctively, and tears came down my face. Now I was feeling a feeling I hate the most, and doing the thing I hate the most. I did a half-assed wave while keeping my face away from Damon so that he wouldn't see my crying.
"Being like me won't help anything...we need to do what he says...and go to the blue door..."
[My heart and movements completely stop as I hear the sudden change in voice, but not because it changed, but because who it belonged to. Although I had been walking past the person already, I couldn't move for a couple of seconds and was unable to find it within me to look back. My heart then started to race and my anxious sensations began to kick in. Despite all this, I simply kept on moving, now aware that I had to reach the blue door and avoid talking to those "things". I have no reason to speak, I just need to keep moving forward, just...keep walking, this is not like studying so it's miles easier to do. Just gotta think that something is waiting for me at the other side, no time to ponder much else. Other than either she's involved in this somehow, this is some kind of personal place made just for me, or something is playing tricks on me. Toward the blue door it is until something stops me, I suppose.]
"Isn't the blue door...bad? We were just told that we might lose ourselves if we use that to get out. I don't like the sound of that. There must be another way out or at least a way not to lose ourselves while still getting out.
That just seems...reasonable."
I wasn't sure how forward I should be with what I was saying. I was still nervous considering I still wasn't sure who I was speaking to but I spoke my mind anyway not wanting anyone to rush into decisions.
"alright, alright. Before we rush into anything, shouldn't we discuss things first? My name's... I'm Liam. What about you all?"
Hearing everyone worry made me act. I won't stand idly by when people are hurting. Not even in a dream. If I don't do something, no one will.
"Now, I know this is a bizarre situation, but we'll make it out of this. First we need to know if we take that blue door or not."
I point to kaz :" he seems intent on going, and I don't see why not. It's our best bet right now. Unless someone has another idea? We should examine all possibilities and see what's best for us."
“Whoa! Er, thanks Niko!”
I thankfully avoid accidentally kicking him as he boosts me up. Now I can actually comfortably see over the desk. While I’m looking for someone, I also take a moment to see what kind of objects are scattered on the wooden surface.
You and the other few stand in front of a tall blue door. It seems to emanate a aura of safety and as the door swings on its hinges you can catch a few voice.
Is but one of the few voices.
No one else in the square seems to be able to see the door, but that shouldn't come as much of a surprise. On your way through the acropolis many of the creatures simply ignored you and your comrades. The ones that were aware enough to notice your presence didn't approach so much as glide past into an open light portal. You were the weird one for paying attention to them in the first place.
Damon didn't follow you and the others either despite being able to see traces of the blue door. After discussing this door he simply laughed and informed you that the door was an impossibility for him.
In his words ...
The door is meant for those who have a shred of will.
Now that same door is in front and awaiting a choice from you and the rest.
(edited by Raconteur)
Maybe I'm about to form a contract.
[Without much hesitation and no time to waste, I decide to go through the blue door. I must find a way back from this, no matter what. Even if I never realize the full truth of this "world", it's not what matters right now.]
I sigh and decide to walk into the door as well. As for the questions from Liam, I'd decide to answer him at least a bit.
"A contract... Hah, wonder if they sell bottled answers and questions too. A name... Tatsu will do, and I haven't got anything better either."
I can't help shaking my head at the lame joke, it isn't very good. But it does at least give me something else to focus on as I try and take in everything we've heard, all this fucked up madness. And of course, wonder what awaits beyond this door.
(edited by H2O)
The humming emanating from the door behind the desk instantly stops allowing for a sterile silence to encompass the room. Only the footsteps can now be heard from that precise location and the sound doubles once a door shuts elsewhere. The steps approach closer and closer until the door creaks open.
A variety of events happen in that moment.
The hotel lobby suddenly expands becoming as wide as entire field. The walls move further away from each other and unoccupied seats stretch with them becoming move distanced. The seats being currently utilized are not moved so anyone sitting on them simply watches the floor shift away. While anyone standing or leaning on something is also not moved and the floor surrounding them just expands in four different directions. The process itself takes a couple of seconds, but once finished the lobby is clearly bigger and more spacious for any extra action.
Even the sterile quality of the room is shaken up with the sudden beats of typical action-esque music. There is no specific song playing, but the music carries a familiar quality of any energized sound in popular culture.
(At Pancake Knight's call a few sparks of light appear and a shape begins to form but it might not be what he expected to summon.)
(Kazuya, H20, and Bartz enter the blue door and arrive in the blue room from the elevator. They stand at the side of the check-in and check-out desks able to see everyone that previously stayed in the graveyard. From their location they can see Toki and Cait at one of the desks awaiting for someone to come from the door behind.)
(Florina and Quintus remain outside of the blue door now able to see everything since it is wide open. However, no one can see them as the blue door remain invisible to anyone inside the room. Giving Florina and Quintus first class seats to what is about to happen with a certain level of disconnect from the actual scene.
It is once all these events have occurred that the back door finally opens revealing two Japanese guys that look exactly alike. As if cloned completely the two guys have the exact same mussed up hair with thick eyebrows and slightly odd taste in clothing. With a youthful appearance both these guys have pixel-themed pants and a light jacket over a light blue shirt with pink sleeves. Many different colored cables hang from their jackets and around their neck is a trinket composed of different colored blocks.
They approach the front desk and await further compulsion
(The current residents of the velvet room have entered)
One of the young men flashes a wild grin as the door opens before him. He steps out and towards the front desk, the grin only fading for a brief moment as he looks upon the new faces.
"My my... look Parad, all these new players are here! It must be for us, right?"
The young man hops on top of the counter before taking a seat on the edge. He playfully kicks his legs as he begins to speak once more.
"Doesn't this place just get you excited, Parad? They're no Emu, but I think we can have some with them."
One of the men sighs and rolls his eyes at the assembled gathering, clearly disappointed. He looks down towards his empty hands, clearly a little upset. That expression fades though, in favor of a cold and sadistic grin. He stares directly at those present, meeting each in their eyes before looking at the next.
"Make it fun for me and my bro... We're kinda bored, and kinda need something to do to pass the time..."
He pulls a blue and red object, with a golden wheel on the front from his pocket.
"Of course, Parad. It makes my blood boil just thinking of how much fun we can have! I'm feeling puzzle games today, hope you don't mind?"
He holds his fist aloft for the other Parad to bump it.
"I don't mind at all, Parad. I've been meaning to break my combo anyways, so I'm quite fine with this outcome."
The other young man produces a similar red and blue object before bumping his fist against the other.
"You heard the man! We've been bored and I could go with a few rounds to get my blood pumping!"
I look at the two Japanese dudes in astonishment
"Ah, more Kamen Riders."
I walked towards the two men, waving at them
"'Lo there, before any of that, do any of you two happen to know where I can find a proper guide? For one reason or another, I woke in a body not of my own, a power I previously thought exclusive to the Ascians. My one concern is that I will have no means to play, as I am not educated in the primary magicks wielded by this person."
"What in the...."
Is this an ambush? What are these people doing here?
"Look, I don't wanna fight anyone right now."
Wait, I have to keep up my act! And Ina loves a fight..... I'm so doomed.
"But explain. Make what fun?"
I look around at... Everything happening. Especially the newcomers. Great.
"Oh baby, kamen riders. My faaaaavorite. Look..."
I glare at the look-alikes.
"I'm not exactly in the mood for games right now. So if you wanna start a fight, you'd best throw the first punch. Make it a good one too."
“Nyah? Uh... you’re... yeah, Parad. How do I tell you apart...?”
I try to recall the exact series... right, Ex-Aid because Emu. I think. This place isn’t helping my memory much. But the real question was, why are there two of them? It’s a paradox. I can’t help but start laughing at that thought.
Without really thinking, I had followed Kazuya inside the velvelt torture
room. Why did I do this? I was the second to advise caution and the first to throw it to the wind. How dumb of me... Regardless, i now face the consequence.
Wait a sec... These other people here... Weren't they in the graveyard earlier? Well whatever. I was now challenged. This must be the meat of my dream: the part where i suffer torment and pain only to wake up in sweat in my small bedroom. Let's just get it over with.
"what game would you have us play then? I'm not too bad at puzzle games if that's what you're indeed going with."
(edited by Bartz)
I keep the summoning up, however, what exits through the portal is... Unnerving. A greatsword falls from the portal into my hand, a red eye on the center of the sword guard, ever watching. The blade itself missing a large chunk of it, forming a circular crater like someone took a bite out of its side. As I hold the blade it speaks to me.
I am Thou
Thou art I
Take up my blade, and shatter those who stand in your way!
I am the usurper! The one who sinned! Mordred!
The blade then laughs as I hold it in my hands, before I can say anything the two parads walk into the room. Hostile... I'm surprised they knew they were us, or perhaps it was the audience? Never mind that.
If you want a fight you've got one here. I won't let you do what you want and hurt my friends. Mordred... I accept your power. Lend me your strength!
Walking across the hotel, I stand clear of anything else, holding the sword with two hands, getting used to the blade and its weight before entering what I would assume was a combat stance
(edited by Pancake_Knight)
Paradox? Oh, I know them. Their from Yu-Gi-Oh right? With the Gate Guardian. But um...
*I scratch the back of my head with my human hand.*
Aren't you guys supposed to rhyme? And be bald monks? But mostly rhyme.
"So I'm not the only one disappointed by their lack of rhyme. Or finishing each other's sentences.... But anyways."
I shake my head, glancing between the two Parads as I take a few steps back, calmly waving.
"Anyways, I don't.... Really want to fight if that's what you're going for. If this is the velvet room aren't you like.. Quest givers? I'm just trying to get home."
Spacing out, I stand at the blue door. My eyes widen a bit at the sight. They're still in there, and now, they might even just end up being a part of a bloody mess. Part of me wants to go help, go in and join; but that can't happen. My legs won't move. I simply turn my head towards Quintus as I watch.
"Ugh, how stupid. Here I am, suggesting to go through the door, and then...I can't..."
My words seem to falter a bit. I was trying my best to be assertive, despite most likely ending up as the youngest people there despite who my character is now. What was I even thinking when she was made? It's making me vomit inside my stomach.
"I don't know what Kamen Riders are...is that water guy like them?..."
Was all I ask as I have my eyes glued to the opening of the doorway, gripping onto my gold chain tightly. Even if it looked like I wouldn't care what Quintus would say next, I'd await a response in secret anyways.
I watched as a character I recognized approached the others within the room. It was surreal in a way, I was so used to being the observer anyway but now it almost felt like I chose to be one rather than things just ending up that way.
"Fear isn't stupid. It's just fear, it's normal not to want to enter a dangerous situation unprepared."
I realized it was just two of us now, that made me feel better. Talking to people individually was always easier than speaking to a group.
"That's actually one of the characters from the series I watched. Their name is Para-DX, the season they're from is based on different types of games. Para-DX specifically is puzzles and fighting games. If I had to guess I'd say that both sides represent a different game type.
They...probably aren't going to have a good time against him.
Wait...did that blue guy say his name was Tatsu? SO that really was H20. Uh, I'm not sure if I'd call them the same, H20 was just something we made up for fun. I'm not even sure how they'd compare to a real Kamen Rider."
[The changing rooms and scenery made it all feel more like a strange nightmare; a fever dream of the worst possible kind. Not only that, but more people would show up. Some of those that were back at the graveyard and-]
Not the Kamen Rider, god damn it.
[I would again press my fingers on the bridge of my nose and let out a sigh as I hear what it is exactly that they have to say. Similar to what the people at Phansite normally did, they wanted a fight. They wanted to fight us, how stupid is that? What is the point? What do we even get from this?]
You won't take no for an answer, will you?
If that's the case-
[I was going to say something else, but then the Akechi looking person was able to shock me by the summoning of a Persona, an actual, "real life" one. I would think for a moment and wonder if I was able to do something like that too. I would imagine I should be able to do so, but I can somewhat tell that whatever comes out, will not be Kusanagi or Musashi. They could be, but I should try it.]
[Some other time]
If that's the case then you can fight this guy over here, he seems strong enough to take on you both.
I'm not a fighter.
[I point to PK before turning around and walking towards the now unnecessarily far away seats. There is no need to sweat if someone else is capable of doing the same thing probably better.]
I stare at Parad, it just had to be him, didn't it? I have no idea how much will they've even got, but even if they had it... Parad is a fucking lunatic who barely deserves the title 'Kamen Rider'. If this were Emu or maybe Eiji I might try and appeal to reason, but not with Parad. Nobody else actually tried to give advice though, so I'd make an effort for those not in the know.
"Para-DX, capable of splitting into two bodies. Or becoming one for a more powerful form. One will be Perfect Puzzle, able to form barriers and manipulate power-ups on the field."
I pull the cork on my Driver despite the growing anxiety I'm feeling, I'm not about to sit this out... Helping's the right thing to do, from my perspective. Water floods my view for a brief second as I keep speaking.
"The other's Knockout Fighter, he focuses on close range brutal takedowns at a rapid pace, along with flame blasts. Not as many tricks as Puzzle, but a stronger attacker. NOW BOIL OVER!"
That last statement is a command to the Driver, the water forming around me suddenly heating up at a rapid pace and the armor's entire solid water structure now appears to be literally boiling around me. Heating rolling off it as the Boiling Water form takes hold.
"I'm assuming you two mean a fight as well, sadly. I'd much prefer to just play actual games instead, but if you mean to engage in violence... Guess I gotta stand up and do something."
I'm assuming the user known as PK is sticking his neck out, and I won't simply stand by and watch.
(edited by H2O)
Is that a stand? No... Given what he said, it's probably a persona. Shit, this dream is all kinds of wild! If he can do it then... Maybe?
But something else catches my eye. Or rather, my ears. I turn to the waterguy, who now became steamdude and say:
"You mean we're not actually playing but.. We're going to fight them? Barehanded? Just like that? For no reason?? What the fuck is going on here??"
This dream is definitely the wildest one since the hanging grandma dream... I was at a loss. I didn't want to admit it, but all these emotions.. They weren't really dreamlike. Everything just feels vivid. Is this... Really just a dream? No. It has to be. Personas, power rangers, cait siths and all that stuff, they don't exist in real life. This can only be a dream. Just.. A very weird one. Maybe i've been drugged? Hm...
And so, despite the action and heat slowly turning up in the velvet room, my mind wanders the current of thoughts, the sea of the human soul.
I nod as I watch the others fall to the side. Can't have any collateral damage. I clench the handle of the blade as the tip sparks with electricity. Shooting off the occasional bolt into the floor.
Knock Out Fighter and Perfect Puzzle. I remember Tatsu, or at least that's who I think you are.
And to the rest of you, if you aren't with us then stay out of the way. I'm not keen on trying to fight these two and avoid hurting one of you.
Then I scan the room quickly and notice Bartzs, yelling to him to snap him out of his daze
Barehanded? Hardly! I'm certain we all have some sort of power! Aren't you the one who can jump into the air as a Dragoon or something?
"Dragoon? What? This isn't Final Fantasy ! I thought we were going by persona logic? But then again, there's weird power rangers here too... Unless they also have Personas? GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH None of this is making any sense! I'm not fit for fighting! At best I can squish ants and hunt mosquitoes that pester me! I've never intentionally hurt anyone else and I don't plan on starting today !"
I was at a loss. Besides, a dragoon would be useless in such a confined area. Unless you could break the roof of course. But that's all hypothetical. I'm not a dragoon. I'm just... me. Powerless. Thoughtless. No heart or mind to prove my humanity. I just follow along through the motions of life . I simply wait and nod along until the end. I don't think there's anything I can do here.
Parad would turn the dial forward, causing a cheesy voice to shout out from his device.
A strange 8-bit wave covered the entire room, leaving behind medallions with odd pictures on them. Behind the first Parad was a screen reading 'Perfect Puzzle', which strongly resembled Puyo Puyo in aesthetic.
[What's the next stage?]
"Hear that, Parad? They think they're gonna fight back and win! Doesn't that just make your blood burn in excitement!?"
Parad would then press in the button on the side, causing a blue projection of a familiar to some suit to appear.
[GET THE GLORY IN THE CHAIN! PERFECT PUZZLE!]
As the screen passed over him, the suit would become his body, allowing him to place the gashat into a holster on the side of his belt.
"Your turn, Parad!"
Parad would turn the dial backwards, causing a cheesy voice to shout out from his device.
Following the initial 8-bit wave, a second screen appears and remains behind Parad. The screen was an intense red background with someone who appeared to be either Ryu or Akira in the foreground. Most importantly, the screen was emblazoned with the previously shouted title, Knockout Fighter.
[The Strongest Fist! Round 1" Rock & Fire!]
"I thought that's what they said but I couldn't be sure, Parad. It even sounds like they know of Riders..."
He smirks as the water clad rider makes his appearance.
"One of them is even a wannabe Rider! Well, I must say it does break my heart to see our new friends are so quick to avoid a game... but that's fine! We'll have these brave contenders be a warm up!"
Parad would also press the button on his device, causing a red projection of an unfamiliar to some suit to appear.
[EXPLOSION HIT! KNOCKOUT FIGHTER!]
Much in the same way as Parad, the screen passed over him and was enveloped in his red suit.
"Should we split them up, Parad? I'm itching to get up close and personal with these guys!"
I sigh. Looks like we're not getting away with a slap on the wrist. We gotta fight. I jump up off my chair with a sigh and ready myself, realizing that I gotta fight.
"Alright, fine. If it's a fight you want, it's a fight you'll get. Never been the best with puzzles, so I'll take the fighter one!"
I ready dual fireballs, not knowing what's coming, but hoping I can make it out of this, and whatever's next, alive. And audience, if you're hearing my thoughts or something, PLEASE let me just move on. I just wanna go home.
Yeah, sorry Bona. I don't think we're getting out of this one by saying please.
* I glance nervously at my metal arm before looking back to the Paradox Brothers.*
Hope I can figure out how to use this thing...
I sigh yet again. So we're gonna have to do some sort of wacky fight. Great.
"When I ask you to throw a punch, I want you to throw a punch. Not this shit."
I step beside Ina, taking out a simple baseball bat, it's not much, but it'll get the job done. Probably.
"Hey, I'm sticking by you. We're not proficient enough with the abilities of our bodies to hold our own just yet."
I mumble to myself, taking a few quick steps back as these people were prepping themselves for a brawl. I wasn't looking for it, but... I know how RP works I probably won't have a choice. So with an ease that I myself had never practiced I draw the dagger from my belt.
"P... Please don't do this. I just said I'd rather not fight. Just take the furries."
I add, gesturing to Nio and Ina.
"Uh, do we really need to fight? I mean, I'm kind of... er... that is..."
I flail my arms wildly for a minute. Okay, kitty, calm down. What do you do? Fighting or puzzles... uh...
"Hey! I don't know what to call you but Puzzle Parad! Do we really have to duke it out? We could play like... Tetris or something. That's a battle puzzle game. There's also Puyo but I can't get higher than a 4-chain."
"Eh, you guys seem to have your hands full, so i'll just take on the weak ones for practice."
I step inbetween Cait and Parado, looking down at Cait and grinning
"Your reluntancy to fight will serve me perfectly, but i'm afraid it's not in your best interest."
I grin wider, writing rapid jagged lines in my grimoire in an attempt to form a semblance of an offensive spell, tipping the edge of the book towards the cat.
Seeing everyone get ready to fight the two Kamen Riders head on makes me grow a bit nervous, since those two might not actually have the burdens of being terrified and confused of the new bodies they suddenly got transported into...
But at the same time, it gives me a new idea. The fact that the door's completely invisible to those inside the room, and that I get somebody to watch the shit-show go down with, I keep going in with the conversation. I glance towards Quintus as I spoke in a bit of a monotone voice.
"Oh, Kamen Riders from games?...how nice. I have a feeling that they're...very into it. Unlike everyone else in there."
Once the mention of Tatsu being H20 makes my mind go numb. I never knew alts, and I still don't. In fact, I don't know who Quintus actually is, and nobody would ever know who I was instantly unless I just up and said it. Since that is the case, I turn my head towards Quintus.
"What if those two are just like us...but they aren't...like they've lost all of themselves...and are now that character...like what Damon mentioned..."
I shake my head and try to rethink the thoughts that are just rushing inside me, trying to recollect them and start over. That'd be a horrible thing if it were not true, so I dissmiss it entirely and try to diverge into a new topic.
"Surely that can't be the case. Speaking of, what is your name? Mine right now is, uhm...Florina. If you couldn't tell, I'm like that Pancake Knight over there in a way...though surely their creator took them seriously, right?..."
[I can't help but feel some kind of wonder as I see both men transform a tad far away from me. The idea that all these people with so many powers and abilities had all gathered was a once in a lifetime experience. Persona, Tokusatsu, apparently Final Fantasy characters, original ones, and... the kind of off-putting cat demon that is apparently Cait Sith. All nice and good until I remember I have access to 12 different monstrosities. I look at my left arm and try to tinker the COMP. It doesn't exactly have a screen, nothing but buttons in weird shapes that barely resemble common keyboard. How did Kaz even use this thing? I press my right hand on my head and feel a piece of gear. Of course, the headset and eye-goggle-thing it has. I slowly slide it over my right eye and quickly discover that its purpose is to relay information. It shows the current "Moon Phase", although I cannot exactly guarantee it will apply here. My macca, which is at an impressive "992345". My vitals show here too. Interestingly, where the magnetite should be, lies a single bar labeled as "Energy", which should be my own spirit giving power to the things, and I have to wonder if my spirit alone can power them like Kazuya's does. Whatever the case, this "Scouter" shows almost exactly what the game would during the 3D sections, just like the SMT2 manual presented it through in-universe lenses. I try different keys and finally, reach the "Summon" tab. I think for a moment before pressing it and seeing a complete list of the demons I currently have; the exact same list Kazuya does, from Pixie and Cerberus, to Beelzebub and Sraosha. I would then move the scouter from my eye and turn back to the group about to battle; I can try the dangerous task of using SMT demons later on...and deal with the trauma of seeing them on the flesh.]
"I am sure you wanted to be a part of this. Why don't you also get on with it and let your heart go wild."
[I look everywhere as a somewhat familiar voice talk to me. No one seemed to be talking to me anymore and yet someone's voice said something.]
"What is there to fear? The power you have has no comparison. You have the body of a messiah, so why not use it? I'm sure you won't die. In fact, they should fear your mere presence."
[I shake my head and try to ignore it. This world is strange, but why would it use a slightly modified version of my voice to try and confuse me? Was I going crazy? Was it a monster's doing? Perhaps it's the result of my mind changing bodies. Perhaps it was a... Persona? But they can't normally just... talk to you, can they? I would imagine it's closer to talking to yourself. Whatever the case, I shake my head and stay put on my seat. No reason to do anything foolish.]
I'm really starting to lose it if my own narcissism is starting to develop sentience.
[I try to joke to myself; both to keep the anxiety away and for my mind to try and process everything that has been happening.]
Noticing one of our own turn against us, I watch as they try to attack Cait, I frown before breaking off and getting between the two
I don't know who you are or what body you control, but don't say I didn't warn you. I won't tolerate anybody hurting my friends. Cait. Just deal with Parad.
I then charge forward, tipping the edge of the blade forward, trying to skewer the abdomen and the tome before yelling out Zio and conducting electricity through the blade
I almost laughed. Becoming their characters? I could understand wanting to get into it but I'd remember who Parad was on site, who both of them were. He couldn't imagine them both getting that sucked into their role but still, there was a certain morbidness to it.
I really hated having a dark sense of humor sometimes, not being able to help but see something funny about something so messed up.
"My name? Not sure if I'm some character like the rest of you. Maybe I didn't get placed into a new body? I don't know, I don't feel that diffrent from usual, just a bit more...uh, well like I haven't just been sitting at home for a week straight.
Guess if you wanted to call me anything...Lux...That name will do for now."
I'd think about the one who looked like...PK. That was certainly odd. I guess it would be the user PK then.
"So, that's PK. That's a little upsetting to know they got wrapped up into whatever this is. Their character was kinda serious in a way but still usually goofy. I'm guessing the real PK won't quite be like that."
I start shouting, my voice powered by my dismay at the sight of the impending battle:
"You guys can't be serious... Are we really fighting?? I don't know these guys but judging by you all... You guys seem to know them, right?! Just tell them to stop!"
I get this very ugly feeling of impending pain. Like my whole bodybjust knows it's coming and is doing all it can to take the brunt of it. I hate this feeling. But if I get hit by something, I may finally be able to wake up from this weird fucking nightmare.
I need... I have to find it in me to just go all in. No matter the outcome, I'll wake up and it'll all be over.
I stare down the pair of Riders before me. I could say a whole lot about these two, but I won't bother. I just nod to PK and step forward, Perfect Puzzle isn't really my speed at all. But I'm not much of a fighter to begin with frankly. Water coils around my body like a snake ready to strike, and rather than blasting out towards Parad.
It begins by flooding the ground a bit, boiling water that somehow doesn't turn to steam covering the area in front of me between myself and the other two Riders in a single instant as I prepare myself to try and take advantage of H2O's penchant for laying down traps. It likely won't work, but it can't hurt.
I'd also shout out towards the fox girl with flames, likely O4 considering it appears to be that Ina girl he played. Whatever the case, they might be able to give me a hand here. Though I doubt they can keep Knockout at bay for long, it might be enough if I can... Nah, no way I'd be able to control my Driver's full power. I doubt the real Mizui could considering his state when I ended up here, let alone me. Still, maybe a clean full power hit can do something if I just land it?
"Alright, I can't promise you much. But I'll do my level best against Puzzle! You guys call me a wannabe... And that's true, but even so? I gotta try, just wouldn't be right to sit and do nothing when I might be able to help."
I hate that I'm saying that because I sincerely believe it. But I do, and I've gotta say it anyway. In part simply to remind myself why I'm about to do this...
The now blue Parad would simply laugh at the proceedings, flinging a dark purple medallion toward Alphinaud. Said medallion, upon contact, would cause debilitating confusion, to the point where movement isn't even an option.
"Oi, you're supposed to be on the other team, don't make us go and have to kill you first... Hell... you thought you could just waltz in here and start ordering us around... 'Guide us?' Yeah, I think we'll do just that, all the way straight to hell."
He would push his red counterpart forward, patting him on the back.
"We'll split 'em up later, Parad. For now, I want that smug grin to become one with the mud."
Parad would just wave his hand dismissively towards the others.
"You know who we want first now, so either relish in the extra minute of life you've got, or get in our way and see what happens... It seems you guys know enough to know we aren't even fighting at full force here!"
The red clad man steps forwards after feeling Parad nudging him into the fray. He laughs softly behind his mask while stretching his arms, mild cracking can be heard as he limbers himself up for the big encounter.
"The game hasn't even properly started and we've already gone from PvP to PvE. I can't say I condone friendly fire, least of all from someone who takes on the weakest targets first."
The eyes of the mask flash a brilliant red as Parad continues to march forwards. He briefly glances down at the boiling water and then to the small girl with fireballs.
"This has really started to get my blood boiling... I just really hope our turncoat friend here lasts more than two hundred hits!"
With that remark he steps directly through the boiling water. As he makes his way through the water and towards Alphinaud, it would be possible for people to see the flames on his chest beginning to glow brighter with each step.
"Now, if Parad didn't make it abundantly clear, you should all take a moment to collect yourselves while we rid the game board of an unnecessary piece. Otherwise, well, you probably won't enjoy the bad end we have in store for those who interfere."
Stopping a few meters away from Alphinaud, Parad begins charging energy into his blocky gauntlets. The flames on his chest begin to dim slightly as flames run up his arms and coat his polygonal fists with a raging inferno.
Parad punches his right fist through the air and launches a massive fireball directly at the dazed Alphinaud. Upon impact it would release enough force to knock him back a fair bit, but he'd still be kicking. For now.
Given their temperament, this won't end nicely for me... But whatever. I'll endure what I must endure and wake up. This has gone on for long enough. It's probably just the heat making me have these delirious visions. Let's make this little fantasy escapade final.
Having come to terms with things, I breathe in deeply...
And rush towards red power ranger. With my fist in a ball I simply aim to deliver one strong punch to his face. I doubt this'll have any effect though. I don't have a persona, nor do I have any magical weapons or powers. I'm just me. Even in a dream, I can't see myself as being any special. I'm just me. A simple human being drifting down the river of life. Come what may, I'm ready.
*I breathe deeply. ' Let's see. How did I write this again? It's mental based. No trigger mechanism needed to be physically activated in the arm. The cane, yes, but not the arm. So in that case...' I open my eyes and look at the blue Parad.*
Keraunos System: Beam
* The mechanical arm springs to life, electricity surrounding it. Then, the palm opens, revealign a small barrel that fires a large beam of electricity at the blue Parad. If it hit, it would pierce right through him, not lethal but it may be enough to stun him. I look on, laughing.*
Ha ha ha. Tha-ha-t actually wo-ho-rked. Ok. I think I got this.
Keraunos System: Beam: (Heavy Electric damage to 1 foe. Pierces Electrical resistances except repel. Chance to stun. Target: Paradox Blue.)
I stumble backwards, too surprised to properly react to this sudden betrayal, but the Parads of all people stop the fight before it can even begin. Not wanting to get between them and their new prey, I bite my tongue and join the crowd of onlookers who haven’t really shown much interest in joining the fight. I’m not one for fighting anyway...
“Is he... going to die?”
I try to distract myself by staring at my furry hands. I might be forced to fight after the Parads are done with their new punching bag. I mutter a few things under my breath. Mazan. Maragi. First a small whirlwind, then a tiny flame form in my paws. Good, I can still use these. Not sure about the sword, though. I back further away to try and get used to these. I can’t handle watching what’s going on, so I focus on practicing making green whirlwinds fly across the floor instead - not towards anyone of course.
“T.. They’re really doing this... Ok.”
I freeze at first, watching Alphinaud get destroyed. There’s not really much I can do after all. Or rather, there’s not much I could do. But I’m not me, I’m Towa. And there is something Towa can do.
But I’m not going to get close to them, so instead I take a deep breath, bending to the side and hiding my right arm away from the Parads as I start chanting.
“From the air and the current in order to fulfill the ancient pact...”
While I can try to be quiet, the firm glowing coming from behind me and crackling of thunder in my hand would make it fairly obvious that I’m preparing something.
I stare onwards at the madness unfolding before me, the traitor being attacked by Parad... That actually makes some sense almost, they want a good game, some idiot on their side doesn't help with having fun at all.
Sadly... I'm not entirely sure what to do now. The problem with H2O is that while he's utterly immune to water and even works best in it, his allies simply weren't. Now I'm the one facing that problem, so magically flooding the building to get something of an edge while possible, isn't viable in the least bit.
So for the moment I just wait, water absently spreading around the field of battle even more yes. But save for that simple action which gives me a bit to work with later, I'm just observing. Though I am woefully prepared to interfere on behalf of those who haven't tried to murder anyone. Mona's on his own.
Oh wow, Lux. I have a feeling that I would know that name by anybody. In fact, it should've been obvious to me who Quintus actually was, but I've been blinded by my own insecurities to try and put the pieces together. Granted, nobody could try and figure out that this character was...mine.
"Oh, Lux huh? I think I've actually heard that before..."
Now, I was just going to say it, since there's no point in holding it back. Just like how it was pretty much just useless to try and keep this a secret for long. It'd only hold me back, but first, I might as well try and call out on who my conversational partner is.
"Wow, Yu, is that really you?...I'm still mad that I can't remind you about Awakenings efficiently. It's been like, what, over a month by now?"
I laughed a bit at that statement, knowing full and well that the man probably had a...life, outside of the phansite. Even then, it's hard to try and get weighed down by responsibilites when you have a family to help ease the burden.
"You should know who I was by that, but, in case you didn't...I'm Mal. The child that lurks around. I feel like me and...the person being Ina, really shouldn't be here...but I guess, we are. I wish it wasn't though."
Once the betrayal starts, I stop. What the heck just happened!? This dude just attacked cait- wait a second... Cait is here too!? First Niko, then Gin, now Cait!? Geez, at least I'm surrounded by people I recognize I guess. I dissipate the fireballs and stand back, blocking and hoping nothing comes at me.
"This was... Really unexpected. You never thought this would happen too, right Niko?"
I just stand there and hope nothing happens.
[I cross both my legs and arms as everything starts going to crap. I consider that maybe I should get further away and try not to look too smug; I don't want tick any of these guys off. I think about that option for few moments before standing up and trying to reach the wall the furthest away from all this commotion. I don't want to get caught into it, and besides, if I am to attempt demon summoning, if I were to be forced into fighting, using a Persona or just the Kagutsuchi sword is too risky with two close combat experts, so trying to use my demons would be ideal. Still, would they trust me? I know not just anyone can be a summoner, and given the limitations given into this type of thing, I might be able to summon two at most at the same time. But I wonder if they'll even listen to me... so my best shoot is to attempt Pixie or Pascal, they may help. I may have to prove myself for the others, especially Beelzebub, he might just kill me the first chance he gets.]
Pascal or Pixie...
Might as well.
[I keep my back to the wall and my eyes straight to the fighting that is going down, not really paying much attention but enough to make sure nothing gets too close. I slide down my scouter and reach the Summoning option by using my COMP. The first one on the list is Pascal, with a clear description of his skills; Diarahan, Agidyne, Madness Nails, Megaton Raid, Makajamaon, Fire Breath, Attack All and High Counter... to think even the passive skills show up, like this kind of world knew it was a videogame. Then again, apparently all SMT life is digital.]
[I summon Pascal, and feel a strange sting deep inside. Not in my body but...somehow deeper. I look at the "Energy" gauge and it drops almost to the bottom, slowly recharging, but I can tell it'll take a while. A figure slowly emerges from the shadows, from the myriad of numbers coming out of a digital vortex. The take shape of something that is bigger that is as big as a lion. No, even bigger, and far more muscular. White fur with tints of blue. A bone-like armor covering certain bits of it that seems to be as strong as steel. The gigantic demonic beast would open his three eyes and look deep into me. I feel a shiver run down my spine, I had never seen a beast like this.]
"You look like Master, but you do not smell like him. Your spirit is different, your facial expression too."
[I can't exactly move away from here, and the beast studies me with his scent. I know for a fact he's trying to find out who or what am I, and what my motives are; I made sure he was capable of something like that. He starts to show his fangs, probably because he found something bad. This is not good, at all.]
"Your scent is foul, I don't like it, it is not Master's. Or Yuka's. No, it is like Master's, but tainted, selfish. Leave him alone, don't corrupt his spirit."
[I need to convince him I don't mean bad, and that I'm trapped in this. If he can pick up that I'm at least telling the truth, it should be fine.]
I... I’m trapped inside Kazuya's body. This was not my choice, and I don't intend to do anything but leave it alone.
It's possible we may be forced into battle, so for the sake of survival... We need to get along.
When the time comes, he needs to get back to Valhalla, and me, home.
[Pascal would look at me in confusion, picking up on me telling the truth, and probably realizing I know way more than I let on. However, he would close his eyes and sit on the floor.]
"I can tell you don't have bad intentions and all that you said is true, but I have to think it over. Master would do that. What is your name?"
[I take a few deep breaths to calm down and relay to him the name I would use.]
I can't tell you my real name, but you can call me Kaz.
I'm not Master, but that is how I'm better known.
[We both share one final look before Pascal lays on the ground, thinking, and I remain with my back hugging the wall.]
I am blasted against the wall behind PK, rubbing my forehead with my left hand and pretending to look confused
"W-what? Where... am I?"
I stand up and walk forward, tapping PK on the shoulder
"Friend... I appear to have lost my mind for a second. W-what happened? Why am I here?"
I can't help but watch this scene. It's an utter trainwreck. Everything happening at once just... Ugh.
"Hell, I can watch this all day, honestly. I love seeing the high and mighty ones get smacked around."
I make sure to keep myself in a position that would probably allow for easy attacks and also allow for me to quickly switch to defense. I hope that's what this position is, at least.
"But I know for a fact that we're definitely going to HAVE to fight eventually, and I'm not gonna keep myself open."
I take a step back as the Parad's deal with the traitor, if you can call him that. Makes sense, they want a fight, not a victory. I watch as Alp is pummeled and thrust behind me. Feeling the tap and hearing the excuse I sigh
You might have fooled the real PK, but not me. Mordred.
As I call on my persona's name, three beams of light converge on me, amplifying my physical capabilities. Taking the blade I point the tip of it at Alp
In one motion, I thrust the blade forward, aiming for where I think the heart is, if it connects, I twist the blade around in a circular motion, using the sharp crecent middle of the blade to carve a hole in Alp's chest before pulling it out. The idea in my mind was the cut out the heart. A sure way of execution.
I'd laugh a little, outed already. Guess it was pretty obvious but a good test anyway. Still though, it was curious...
"You should really be careful who you reveal your name too. The people around might claim to be our friends but there's no way to really know for sure.
Though, only people who really know me or are at least from early enough on would know about Lux. I'm surprised honestly you remembered that.
As for awakenings...is now really the time to bring that up? The situation right now seems...weird."
Once I knew it was someone I was familiar with I was talking to I felt a lot more comfortable speaking my mind.
"I don't think any of us really belong here but here we are anyway. At very least I don't think most of us do want to be here even if we do belong here.
Again, that's assuming everyone is who they say they are. This place already seems odd enough, not out of the question to assume the people here might just think they're real."
I simply smirk as PK thrusts the blade towards me, falling backwards to the ground as my heart is pierced.
(Pancake Knight cleanly slices up Alphinaud's chest and once he is finished a hole can be seen in the center of the mage. Alphinaud falls back once the procedure is complete and his heart drops out of the wound as a leftover of the incident. Alphinaud is dead before his blood even has a chance to dry on the hotel carpet or Pk's blade. His body remains completely still on the floor.)
(This death will be marked by ruin.)
(Mona's soul decays within the shell of his own creation. The line between him and Alphinaud is further blurred as he loses some memory of his life as a creator. The few memories rapidly crumble to dust and it is unknown if they can be regained at a later time.)
(One scene until Mona can rise again)
I sit there in shock.... It really just happened... We've only just started doing things and already someone's dead! I mean they can come back, yes, but that doesn't change the fact that this is messed up! I didn't even know the guy! Or, I think I don't. For some reason the way he talks to me.... He seems familiar. I gotta know who he is.
"Hey, uh.... Who was the guy who just died?"
... Don't hurt my friends. Maybe that'll teach you.
With that done, I swipe my blade to the side, flicking the wet blood off Mordred as I walk back to the main battle, white suit coloured red.
Now then, where were we? Uh, I'm not sure actually 04...
Actually, now that I think about it, I don't really care. This dude did threaten me after all. And wait, he called me 04? Does that mean he recognizes me? Hold on, what guy looks like Akechi on the phansite.... Wait a second...
"Wait, PK? Is that you?"
That's the 4th person I know! Wow, this is very weird. I know so many people here. But why group me with these people? I'm just a kid who doesn't know, like, anything!
I ready the fireballs once more, looking at the fighter Parade. I know nothing about Kamen Rider, but hopefully I won't need to so I can beat 'em down. Or as Ina would say, burn 'em to the ground.
Parad would laugh as the electricity courses over his armor, a crackling arc surging downward toward his legs. He would seem to flex his body, allowing the electricity to damage him internally before it reached that point, the damage wasn't much, but it was certainly better than nothing.
"Hmm, Parad... I see four agendas here... We have the righteous, the indifferent, the preparatory... and the suicidal! He used electricity, when the other guy is just spouting out water! Talk about fish in a barrel! Though, there's no fun if the prey just offs itself through its own sheer stupidity... Maybe I'll let this dumbass see what an insect he is!"
Parad would flick a light golden medallion toward Sam, which upon contact shrinks him to a size that would cause him to be forced to swim in the water just to avoid drowning.
"Anyone else wanna drop a toaster in the tub? Or are the fools out of the equation now? Cause this game isn't very fun so far... You guys kinda suck at this whole not being boring thing, and the whole not being braindead business that humans love to tout apparently."
Parad lets out a small chuckle from behind his mask as Bartz charges in with a wild punch. The hit connects and causes Parad's head to recoil... or so it seemed.
"Heh. Just kidding..."
Parad turns his head back towards Bartz and swiftly grabs the man's face with his left hand. Bartz would be able to feel the heat radiating off Parad's gauntlet as Parad continued the increase the pressure and lift him off the ground.
"I believe I made myself clear on the no interference thing, but..."
Parad glances over in time to see Alphinaud's demise.
"The unnecessary piece was eliminated. I regret that it wasn't us that finished the job, but that's beside the point. What this means for you now is that we can begin the real game!"
Bartz could hear genuine excitement from behind Parad's mask, but he wouldn't hear it for long. All the flames that were being stored in Parad's gauntlet start pouring out until a massive burst of flames would send Bartz flying through the air. His face would be a little bit charred, but he'd still be in the fight... for now.
"Whew! That was a decent warmup, so now I'm really ready to go! You seem like you're going to enjoy playing with that one, Parad. So I'll go deal with the kid with the fireballs!"
Parad begins marching towards Ina and her group with his dukes up.
"Alright you lot, show me that you aren't a complete waste of space!"
I stare at Parad for a moment, that is... Fucking elec, around all this water? In truth, H2O's water is pure. Except blood got mixed in meaning it'd conduct despite the normal state. Either way, now that the fight is on I shout out a command to my suit's magic.
"Right then, oh Spirit of Flood, grant me a distraction."
The warm water that covered the ground maybe up to a normal person's feet at most suddenly collects into one point, all of it starting to boil and bubble hard while forming into... Two copies of myself. Mizui himself wouldn't really bother with such tricks, not unless he felt a dire need. I however see a need, to begin with. And as the two clones of myself begin running toward Perfect Puzzle I'd also let loose with a rapid strike, water forming into a pair of tendrils that aim to grab onto the Rider's shoulders and hold him with inhuman force. Though if it's strong enough to match someone like Parad, that remains to be seen.
Either way, my distractions would try and slam their strangely solid watery fists that hold blazing heat within right towards the man. And if his suit had even the slightest of cracks when contact was made, parts of their body would turn liquid again and try to rush inside the armor.
"Hope this does something at least..."
The glow in my hand reaches a peak as I finish the chant
".... I call upon thee, Thunder Spirits!"
with those last words, I wave my hand in front of me as I turn to face Parad Red, the one with the fighting game. For the first few seconds nothing happens, then suddenly the air above Parad Red lets off a brief crackle, the only warning before a bolt of lightning shoots down from the empty space above him.
For me, its somewhat exhilarating, being able to not only try, but instinctively pull off something out of a fairy tale.
What in the hell is that?
* I try to dodge but even as Sam, I'm no ninja. Maybe if I was Cobalt I could dodge it, but as Sam it doesn't quite go the way I wanted it to. Instead, my "dodge" more resembled trying to side step, tripping over my cane and falling to the floor. Still, it might go over my head. Maybe.*
I can't focus. It's all too nauseating, from the recent "death" to the fighting going on everywhere. Now this Parad guy is walking up to us... I sigh and check my- Niko's phone. I put on his headphones and put the music app on shuffle... Much better.
"I could say the same for you."
If he gets close enough, I'll swing at him, yeah it probably won't do much of anything. But I gotta give it a shot.
Alright, now is the moment. Do or die, literally. Can't let my memories die! Can't! I ready a leap as the fighter Parad heads towards me, and I hop up in the air. I need to do her signature move! At least stall them!
"Play with fire, you get burned! Triple Star Blast!"
I fire... Heh, fire... Two fireballs at the fighter Parad, and do a flip in the air sending one big one at him once more. If it hits, it's pretty darn hot. Like, super hot. I touch the ground and hope that it'll hit him.
Uh, yeah, I said it earlier... Like I said, I don't really know, all that matters right now though is that we fight, so fight!
PK then watches as Bartz gets blown back, hoping that the others can distract Knock Out Fighters as I see what Tatsu is trying, rushing forward to Perfect Puzzle I take Mordred and slice at em wildly, sacrificing any technical skill for speed. It was unlikely to cut any holes for the water, but at least it would distract if not damage him
The violent heat blast sends the poor wanderer flying about the room before crashing against the wall. A cry of pain resonates through the room as the last embers of Parad's blast die down around my face.
This pain. The burning sensation. It stings all around my face. WHat the fuck. This can't be a dream. Even I have to admit it now. This just can't be a dream. For fuck's sake what is going on this doesn't make any sense god damn it I don't get any of this what is this why how who what's happened to me please oh god please save me i'm not cut out for this I...
This isn't a dream. But then... How? How can they exist? Who are these people? What's up with them? What's up with me? This has been bugging me for a while now, but my voice doesn't exactly sound like mine. I've been chalking it up to dream logic until now but... I can't deny it at this point. My screaming voice confirms it. I'm now sprawled on the ground and the sight further cements it.
One of them mentioned "Final Fantasy". I've always loved that series. It's what sparked my love for video games. I owe a lot to it. I understand why he said that now. My clothes. They're unmistakeable. There are only two characters in fiction that I know of that dress like this. One is that one royalty from those biscuits I used to get as a kid. The other one... was Bartz.
Bartz Klauser. A wandering youth who became a hero to save both his world, and that of a dear friend. He fought against the evil mage Exdeath, whom had gained control over the power of the void. His story was a simple one. A fight for freedom. For his friends. Loyalty but also duty, as he had been chosen by the crystal of wind. The gameplay was lit' too. Really loved the job system in that game.
Taking all of this in, the evidence is undeniable and my fellow friends' actions become a bit clearer. One of them had mentioned the phansite. I assume it's the one thing that connects everything. Probably anyway. Nothing happens without a reason after all. But...
"If I'm really Bartz then... "
I raise my voice, shouting to no one in particular, but hoping to get an answer none the less.
"Do you think I can do crazy things too?"
The pain in my cheek had yet to subside, but the surging adrenaline kept me from noticing. This is insane. Unbelievable. It may as well be a dream... But it isn't. This is what I'm living right now. I just have to roll with it. Deal with it. Make the most of it. So that's what I'll do.
Florina watches the following scenes with a sigh, putting her hand on her cheek and leaning her head where her hand was as if she actually had something to hold her head up in boredom. I glanced at Yu and spoke in a more relaxed tone.
"Y'know, if it was up to me, I'd totally want to end up being Ashley from Resident Evil 4. At least in this situation. It's better for some savior to rescue us, but it seems that we have to become our own heroes. It still sucks, but it looks like that people are finally getting the memo."
Staring at the door more, I start to ramble on at this point, twirling my purple locks as a sign of not having much else to want to do. It's not like I'd want to go through that door, and I'm not going to. It's just that it'd feel much better knowing that this situation wasn't in our faces like it is now.
"I myself, prefer the computer screen, thanks. It doesn't feel awkward when the internet has your back sometimes."
But at the same time, my eyes dart towards Bartz in disappointment. It was only now that he figured out. Right when he got smacked in the face, it was then he put the pieces together. As always, the others seem to be uh, trying to make the best out of this and survive, but on instinct, I give a conflicted stare at that Ina girl.
"I kind of hate how much 04 seems to be taking this lightly. Makes me want to do the same, but here I am. PK and Kaz seem to be taking the initiative...I guess. Mostly for Kaz since he just seems to be talking with the things he's summoning. Water Man has such great synergy with electricity girl. That one boy's already dead, so I can't comment on him, but I wouldn't be surprised if these idiots that put us here would just make him come back. Especially if he ends up like the two they are fighting right now..."
The comments seem to go on and on, especially talking about how unfair it is that someone cute like Cait and Niko have to be in here with them, since they do look like the types to end up dying first, at least maybe after Alphinaud.
(edited by FL0R1NA)
Okay. The mage guy’s dead. And PK killed him. A... bit harsh...
That’s an understatement, but I’m trying to not have a full on panic attack here. I end up giving up on my tornado practice and, carefully stepping across the wet spots on the floor, go to Niko’s side.
“Whatcha listening to? We might end up fighting as well, but I don’t want to... can Niko do anything besides guns? If those two Kamen Riders get too close, I can blow ‘em away for ya.”
Mostly nervous chatter to kill time. And ignore the impending battle.
[Being somewhat aware of what just happened, a shiver runs down my spine and my stomach moves in the most awful of ways. I slowly slide down, trying to breath so I don't pass out from the sudden rush of nervousness and anxiety. I close my eyes, I cannot think very well all of a sudden, and so, I hold my head with my hands. Pascal would open his third eye with curiosity and use his nose once more.]
"You are not used to battle. You are still weak, too green."
[After a couple of minutes, with the sound of fighting and their talking being all muffled by my closing ears. I had to agree with Pascal, I never fight, and much less am used to the kind of thing that is going on right now.]
But I can't die, I don't want to...
[My vision becomes normal and so does my hearing after a few moments, as if all the fear I felt since the beginning finally hit. Luckily, I didn't faint. Pascal would get closer, and while it is still scary to have such a big creature next to me, it doesn't feel as threatening.]
"I shall help you, for as long you prove yourself worthy and strong in spirit."
[I would look at him in the eyes, not knowing what it meant at first. But given how I had written his personality, so close to that of Kazuya.]
"You should fight to earn your right to survive. You cannot ignore people in need, even if you fail to help."
[I would keep quiet for a few seconds.]
Why should I?
[Pascal would be quiet too for a few moments, like he knew I already knew the reason deep down, even if my entire being called it unnecessary, or fear got in the way.]
Because it's the right thing to do.
"Because it's the right thing to do."
[I always know that, I always feel the impulse, and I can only ignore it for so long by using anger, weird justifications and allowing fear to win. The only real obstacle is my own predisposition to nervousness making me lose it, or my own explosivity clouding my judgement.]
"You do understand. When you feel capable, I shall test your spirit by aiding you in combat, not fighting for you."
[I nod silently. It's not that I'm a good person, but... I really can't help it. My head would hurt for a moment, but I wonder if it's because of the stress.]
"About time you started to wake up. I swear you're really beginning to piss me off."
"So self-righteous, I can't deny I feel the same as you, but still... you would rather go about it a bit differently, don't you?"
"Don't lie to me, I know you veeeeeery well, nerd."
[That voice again. As soon as it stops speaking and let out a sigh, and my headache goes away. For the moment, and in order to calm down, I stay sitting against the wall, the one furthest away from the battle. Pascal does the same, expecting me to soon join in. Dunno how much that'll take tho.]
I still keep my focus on being ready to swing... But I'm good enough at multi-tasking so I chat with Cait.
"I'm pretty sure this is... Heartbreaker by Pat Benatar. Also, I can do plenty besides using a gun... Speaking of guns, I'm not sure if Niko was carrying his pistol before we ended up here. God I hope he was, but knowing my luck, probably not. He's got a persona though, but if PK's persona is anything to go off of, I can only assume it's not gonna be Yog-Sothoth. I wonder what my own arcana is."
I smile at Cait.
"But I digress. You're a great friend, I want you to know that before our impending demise."
I'd just listen for a while. I was never really good at responding when someone ended up talking a lot but I could at least listen. What was important was that I knew this was Mal and for now that was the most I could be sure of.
There was something else bugging me as well. I barely considered it before but that voice that came from Damon. Yeah, it was familiar.
It was Mish's voice, wasn't it? That explains Kazuya's freak out but still...not enough. Though once this revelation hit me a more terrifying truth began to loom over me. I'd written before, I knew a twist when I saw one.
When they finally finished I would chime in once more. I had been considering the situation carefully as well now.
"Maybe, for now we just need to do what we can to survive. I have a few theories on this place, one being more terrifying than the other but I'd rather present it to all our 'friends' as soon as Parad goes away...honestly, even with how effective they're fighting I don't know if they can win.
Only the main character in the season could beat them really at first and that was only after losing the first time. On top of that, the main character of that season only won mostly because they had overpowered abilities a lot of the time."
As the water rushes into Parad, it would find the armor to be flawless, not a chink nor gap to be found. It's almost as if the armor itself is a part of his body, almost as if he was one with his armor, almost as if someone who watched Ex-Aid would remember that little tidbit. Despite no point of entrance beneath the suit, Parad would still scoff aloud.
"You're going about this whole 'game' thing completely wrong! Using brute force against the technical fighter, what'd you expect!?"
That said, his time spent mocking the faux Kamen Rider didn't require all of his brain power, nor his physical strength. As PK charged him, he used small hand motions to complete a combo of orange medallions, which upon becoming one would fly directly to his fiery counterpart. Upon contact, all fighters would feel compelled to either direct their attention toward Knockout Fighter, or their attacks. Really it's both, there isn't an either or. Of course prior to this affect, Mordred did strike true, and Parad's armor gave off sparks that fans of Tokusatsu are bound to recognize. It wasn't a large burst of sparks mind you, but the fact they were there should serve as a reminder that the two Parads aren't invincible, at least to anyone with the experience to recognize that fact. The other medallion that was directed to Sam would, of course, simply move to the side and downward, shrinking him.
Parad would stop in his tracks for a moment as he senses something in the air. He looks up just in time to hear the crackle.
Then came the lightning. The bolt hits its mark and Parad's body convulses for a few second as the same Toku style sparks fly out from his suit.
He stands eerily still for some time, giving Ina ample opportunity to land her fireball barrage. More sparks fly out from the suit, but those who were paying attention could see the flames emblazoned on his chest beginning to glow brighter. The lightning strike managed a dim glow, but this last attack caused them to glow far brighter.
"Those ones actually hurt."
Parad begins to move once more, stretching out his limbs after the two attacks. By this point, the orange medallions would connect with Parad and cause him to give off a soft orange glow.
"Now this is more like it! I can tell you lot aren't really trying, so do me a favor and cut the disrespect. 'Cause if you don't start going at full power, I might feel bad when I do.... nah, probably not."
Flames begin to climb down his arms and wrap themselves around his gauntlets as he stands ready.
"Come and get some!"
"The feeling's mutual, Ted. And hey, maybe you'll get a sweet new Persona like PK did, too. But I'm not sure if... wait, are those two even trying?"
I'm no Kamen Rider expert, but those two definitely aren't fighting at full force. It's like watching a lion play with a kitten. This isn't good. I squint at the two Parads.
"Yeah, if they actually stop pulling punches, we're screwed. Nice knowing you Ted. But if by the off chance we're pulled in, we might wanna choose wisely... The puzzle dude said something about using 'brute force against the technical fighter' or something, so maybe we should fight like their games...? I dunno. Cait's a minor demon so he doesn't have the strongest skills, and you don't have much force yourself, so we might be best against Mr. Medallion Dude."
I say "off chance," but knowing these Kamen Riders, we'll be dragged in one way or another. I note those who are still on the sidelines... Kaz catches my eye.
"Hey, Kaz, are you okay? ...I mean, you're clearly not, but I'm still worried."
I feel significantly less good about myself when the red Parad shrugs off the lightning with little more than a scratch. But at least I tried, right? I'd just kinda freeze for a second before muttering to myself
"no, no, that was really about it. I mean.. I guess I could try ice but I don't reallyknow if that'd work out.. Just... Better than nothing."
As before, I'd hold one arm behind my back, which begns to glow with a faint blue light. This time, its an air of frost that gathers around my fingertips as I start the chant while staring intently at the fighter Parad.
"From the chilly northern winds to fulfill the ancient pact..."
I get back up from my slumped position into a crouch.
Given what I know, there's a high probability that I'm Bartz. Well, it's mostly the clothes. If I'm anything like the others here then... I should be able to do something too. It's a good thing I fell on a character I know so well. I can count myself lucky! I'd be lost if I had become someone I didn't know about.
And speaking of knowledge. If this world is governed by video game, anime, or whatever else rules, then we can probably come up with an attack plan. The glowing thing on Red's torso has got to indicate power or something like that. That's how it usually is, anyway. Does this mean that taking damage fuels his attacks? Or is it the magic aspect of the previous blows he took in? If so, then I know what I should do. He said he was a fighter right? Then that's what I'll become... But... Uhhh...
"I should probably see how this all works first..."
Bartz's abilities vary from one game to another. His main gimmick his his "job" ability though and that's usually a constant. The other constant is his default weapon. Maybe I should start with that.
I don't really know how I'd manifest a weapon out of thin air like he does... Let's just start with mental training. Seeing yourself do something is always a good start. I picture the scarlet blade and hilt, its uneven guard adorned with gold, the crimson flourish hanging from the hilt... I try to muster in me the courage required to wield such a blade... And as I do, a slight tingling sensation washes over my right shoulder. It moves up my arm which feels heavier. This electrifying sensation rises up to my hand which I now held straight in front of me. A bright yet soft light envelops my hand as the sword's weight materializes in my hand. There it was...
"The Brave Blade !"
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH OHSHITOHSHITOHSHIT ! My hair stands on end, my eyes widen. I can't believe what I'm seeing.
I'd kill to get a replica to hang in my room. And here it is... the "original". Maybe? Who cares. It is to me. And if I can bring the brave blade in here... Then I can surely change jobs too!
I once again focus on the imagery and sensation such a job change should procure. Soon enough, a bright light would engulf me. I could feel myself change physically. I felt stronger, more resilient. It made sense considering this is the job that has the highest HP and strength stat in the game. I hope it affects me in the same way here too... I could also see various martial arts techniques play out in my mind. My body's muscles twitching as they play out, as though they were ready to execute them on their own.
"This body is incredible!!"
As the light recedes, I now discover the full extent of the transformation. My body had gained in musculature without compromising it's lithe frame. The brave blade had vanished altogether. Barehanded was the way of the Monk. His ample trousers and green open vest allowed for mobility but at the cost of defense.
I managed to land a punch before... I can do it again! All I need to do is put them out of comotion. I ran far quicker than I had managed earlier and tried to land a couple of quick blows to test the waters. I would then quickly retreat. I couldn't afford to take another shot like that at point blank range. I needed to use my newfound footwork to keep out of reach of those fists. For now, seeing the results of those first few hits would be enough
(edited by Bartz)
I see that the barrage hits and I almost begin to cheer.... Then I see it powered him up.
"Well, that was useless."
But I gotta fight fire with fire! BOOM! I'M ON FIRE TODAY! Oh wait, that's another. Then again, Ina did love her fire puns.
"Ok, I remember that I let her power up by focusing my energy..."
As I focus, a flame appears at my chest. I grip onto it and let the flame consume me as I'm surrounded by an Aura of fire.
"Now we're talking!"
Hopefully this doesn't backfire. And that's 3 for 3! So many puns in my head!
*I scramble to get back to my feet, mumbling profanities as I do. I look over mysefl and see that my fall managed to at least save me from being shrunk. So I have that. I chuckle lowly.*
Guess what? I'm still here.
* I would charge up my metal hand with electricity and launch it forward in a wave. If all goes as planned, the electric would go across any water left on the field and strike the two Parad's.*
To answer your question from earlier, I'm not using electricity out of stupidity. But when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So, what are you gonna do?
I listen to what Quintus over here says with a bit of a yawn, and it makes me wish that I knew anything about Kamen Rider. For some reason, I actually thought that water man over there actually was a legitimate Kamen Rider and not how he was described at all. Nevertheless,
"I might not know more than half the people here, but I do know for a fact that all of us are probably from the Phansite. And to think, if I stayed retired I would've not had to go through this mess. Oh well, at least I don't have to be lonely again."
Children can retire from things, right? It's not like they have actual reasons like the elderly do, but the details don't matter. What matters is how bad everyone else in the room is at holding the two off. Granted, they didn't expect this, but at least they're not dying. That's a plus.
"I also have a feeling there's going to be some stupid explanation for all of this that contradicts what you say. And it might also contradict what I say about the two in there being people we might know. But hey, it's all I think. It's stupid I know, but still."
[Pascal would growl for a moment and I would feel the need to look where he was looking at. A rather...weird looking cat was coming closer, a creature I would identify as a Cait Sith. That would explain why Pascal got so aggressive quickly.]
No no, it's not just any demon, don't worry.
[Pascal would look at me before backing off, not really caring all that much.]
"I understand. I do not like cats."
[I wonder if this was because of his time as a normal dog so long ago, who... really knows how long ago that was. After all, Pascal jumped on the Terminal in the game and then didn't show up until way later, fused or not prior to that. I would turn to the... rather awkward sight of a bipedal cat right in front of me, someone who knew my nickname at least. I would stay quiet for a second before replying. Not like I have much to fear with Pascal ready to rip out their throat if they tried anything.]
Thanks for worrying.
[I didn't know what else to say, so I would just keep quiet, trying to pay attention to the battles, even if I was probably being rude. After a few seconds however, I think of a good question to ask.]
How do you know who I am?
[My head would hurt once more, this time a tad more intensely than before. I had to hold one side with my hand because it was so sudden.]
"You're not stupid. You already have an idea with all people are saying and how they act. Not foolish enough not to notice the clear anxiety signs, but not smart enough to act on that..."
"Don't make me get angrier."
[As the pain disappeared, I would take a deep breath. I know what this is, there is a big chance this is someone I know, and perhaps I know everyone else already. If this was the case, I would simply need to make a question to confirm it. I would turn back to Cait.]
Don't tell me... are you Cait?
No, I don't mean the name.
I mean... "Catto"?
Sorry, I don't really remember your real name.
[If this was the person who I thought it was, then they would be able to quickly reply to the specific nickname. Had I only used the "Cait Sith" name I run the problem of being told "Yes, I am the demon Cait Sith", or simply being told "Yes, I'm Cait". However, this way I can immediately tell. Just in case; and I know Pascal is on the same page as I; I prepare to gain distance subtly. No point in making them worry if I still don't have any idea. But, if this does happen to be Cait, THE Cait, then I will have no reason not to believe everyone else is someone I know.]
As Mordred strikes I smirk, hearing that familiar Toku sound was almost therapeutic if it weren't for the fact that imminent death might happen at any time. As Mordred finishes the final strike against Perfect Puzzle the taunt medal kicks in. Mordred nearly flying out of my hand as it rushes to Knockout Fighter. Reeling it back with my mind causes it to send a small flash of feedback as I get a vision. Rainy weather. A flash of blades. Then, intense pain.
I then scan the room, my gaze falling to Knockout Fighter. Having convinced myself that they were responsible for this pain I rush towards them with Mordred in one hand, and a laser blade in the other.
As I approach, I start with a stab forward at the chest with Mordred, before transitioning it to a small spin to create a little breathing room. With the extra room, I tap a few buttons on the laser blade's handle, setting it's blade into a sky blue before throwing it at Parad's feet. Regardless if it connected or not, it would explode in a torrent of ice before going inert. Once that's done I finish the combo off by throwing Mordred above Parad
[I]Mordred then spins furiously as it falls down, creating a sharp spiral downward. Once the spiral is finished Mordred would shatter and fade away, causing me to hold my head in agony, reminding me of PK's special persona rules, fuse the full version before casting spells. This would leave me open to attack, hoping desperately the assault would at least give me a turn to recover myself.[/i]
That familiar nickname causes my ears to perk up. I tilt the brim of my hat upwards and smile.
“Yep, your local furry is here. I don’t think I ever told you my real name. Maybe I mentioned it in passing once, but...”
I sigh. I can’t even use my own name properly here, since I’m supposed to blend in or something. Keeping a wary eye on Pascal (cat instincts probably), I pull on my cape to let it wrap around more of my body like a red blanket.
“The important thing is, that confirms you’re our latino Kaz. And as for the rest of us, well... this is the world’s worst Phansite meetup. But are you sure you’re okay? You looked like you had a migraine for a sec there.”
I just mutter a curse, of course, that didn't work... Stupid thing to forget, but it's been a fucking while since I saw that show. Either way seems like we have no choice except to focus upon Knockout now so that's exactly what I do.
"Nice job PK, it's at least good to see they aren't actually immune to damage!"
Despite that shout, inwardly my concern is still very very large. Doesn't do to show it though, so instead focus is placed upon at least trying to give PK some time to recover. The two water clones both rush over to Parad, hands forming into solid watery blades as one tries to stab Knockout from behind. The other would make an effort to engage him directly at the front with a cut that rushes far more skillfully than I'd be able to. Of course, it's being controlled by an ancient spirit and not me, so that adds up.
"Now get some of this..."
My own skills are basic at best, of course, I could maybe try and call up more of Mizui but he's only got so much practice himself. Either way, the next move made is to blast forward with another burst of boiling water, the magic of my belt easily controlling it and forming the substance into a spear that flies through the air and rushes straight into my front copy on the way toward slamming at Knockout's chest. The copy itself seems fine though, water hitting other water isn't that dangerous.
(edited by H2O)
I feel okay, I'm just thinking, I have more than a... few theories.
Would be able to explain though, but...
[If this is really Catto then I should not have anything to fear, besides, she's familiar with the concepts enough for me to not even start from the basics. So I might as well say it.]
Remember that Kaz has a Persona?
Well, I think that this body is manifesting my own... and I have no idea if this is normal, it probably isn't...
But it talks to me. I can barely realize what it is, and anything he says feels like something I would, so nothing feels wrong, somehow...
And yet, it hurts my head.
[I very slowly reach my hand towards Pascal and scratch his head, which immediately makes him calm down further, as he realized we knew each other. Backing down, he would look back again at the people fighting.]
So that could mean a few things.
It could be extremely powerful, and my mind is not used to it. It could be impossible to control and it's the embodiment of self-loathing. It's a case of a Reverse Persona, as I cannot exactly use Kazuya's.
It could be one, or it could be two, or all three.
If... I end up joining them, I may have to risk it to survive, just the Hinokagutsuchi and Pascal might not be enough to take down a Kamen Rider, and I’m still unsure if I could take using four demons at once.
I’m sure I could defeat them like that but… they may kill me instead.
There are aspects to demon summoning people tend to ignore… it’s all in the extra material, so I can’t blame them.
[I chuckle in a false way to ease tensions, awfully aware of how much power lies in my reach, and how possible it is I will kill myself using it.]
Being bolted back to this world, I sit up on the ground and dust my body off. Not noticing any immediate difference, I realize I must've gotten revived without any penalty. I smile towards the wall behind me and get up, looking towards PK and flashing a strong grin.
"The bloodlust is strong in this one. Although, I am flattered to have someone lust after me regardless."
I stretch for a few minutes before trying to do some of the steps of the Fortnite default dance, stumbling on most parts. I then look around, deciding to head towards Niko's group.
"How do you do, fellow heroes?
...Y'know this game is pretty boring. Excluding any sort of tutorial doesn't make a game difficult, just unfair. Let's all play something way past cool like Garfield Kart."
I slowly nod as I listen to Kaz’s explanation. It made sense. Handling all that power would be tough for us, especially since we hadn’t even spent a day in these bodies. I counted myself lucky for Cait’s relatively weaker but more basic magic. Once he’s done, I speak up.
“I don’t really feel any different mentally besides some new feline urges, so I guess not all of us got the Persona part carried over... Maybe it’s due to our state of mind or something, I dunno. I’m guessing your Persona’s gonna be a whole new one like with PK. As for demon summoning, not an expert on that, but controlling four high-level demons doesn’t sound easy in your current state.”
I draw my sword and tap the point on the ground. It feels odd to hold, yet it’s fascinating to look at.
“You may not have much you can use at once right now, but you’ve got the rest of us, nya. If you’re in trouble, I’ll be sure to back you up.”
All we’ve got is each other, so -
My voice cracks and I jump back with my fur on end. Yep, Mona the mage was alive again. How, uh... oh right, what Mish said. I mutter to myself and brush my fur back down.
[I would look at the one guy's body was it was revived and I feel... taken aback? Strange? It certainly wasn't anything close to being scared but at least now I knew more than a few things. I appreciate Cait's intent but it's unnecessary. I don't completely accept that we will need each other to survive, especially with powers and all but... I know it too, that we NEED to work together, especially now with the two Kamen Rider somehow enjoying all this. I've never liked doing things with others, I would much rather carry on completely on my own for some damn reason.]
"You think you're better than others, just that. No one could even dare to compare."
[My head hurts again, it's "me" speaking once more. I cannot exactly deny it, it's not like this other me can even say anything I haven't noticed, and I already know of deep down. At worse, this thing will only repeat the things I already dislike about myself and can't fully accept, unlike a true shadow who will most likely use things I never even consider. But with this... it's my pride, which will get in the way of all, I have no doubts. Not like I can't subdue it.]
"But if you feel it so deep inside then why not run with it? Now you have the actual powers to prove it and yet you stand back while the others will probably die against the ridiculous scaling of Kamen Rider. Doesn't that make you angry?"
[Of course it does, Kamen Rider is just mildly annoying as any other live action Japanese thing that isn't Super Sentai, that with their weird acting method and all, even if it is cute. Now then... the idea of people dying right in front of me is... it's honestly terrifying, to be trapped in such situation and quite possibly being the next victim. Even if the possibility of coming back is there...]
"The only truth is that I have to fight. So go crazy, I've been telling you. Lose your senses and then the anxiety will go away."
[You're... no, not you, me.]
"if you allow yourself to be angry then you'll be perhaps foolish enough to run in. Not like there is much to fear. Don't tell me you're going to let others die again and again and again. Not to mention they are treating this like a game. Doesn't that fill you with...say...wrath?"
[It certainly did, I was clenching my teeth and found myself pressing my fingers against the floor a bit too hard. My head didn't hurt beyond some random stings, as if stress and frustration was building up. It may be just me, but I think some... I think I saw some very light, transparent kind of crimson fire somewhere close, like around the floor under me. And... around my body, but I can't really tell myself. I would turn to both Pascal and Cait. The demon companion looking at me strangely.]
You two should try to relax, losing our nerve is not a good idea.
Just do your best to accept what you at first and make questions when the characters show up.
Or if something contradicts something we knew before.
Parad, having distracted his aggressors, takes a moment to think, and seems to have an epiphany. He creates a combo of red medallions and brings them to himself, his arms now seemed to have rubberized. He uses this power to reach out and drag Kazuya toward him, as he is no doubt distracted by his red counterpart. Should Kazuya reach the blue Parad without too much of a struggle, he'd find himself unharmed. Any attempt at resistance would after all only net a tightening of the coil that was Parad's arm. As soon as the distance between the two was closed, he'd move his mask dangerously close to Kazuya's ear.
"Oi... that punk that ruined the game came back, and I have a little bit of a grudge when people use extra lives. Do me a favor, and I'll make it to where you and your little gang get out of here unharmed. Kill that annoying piece of trash... Make him stay dead until we've had our fun and we'll let you three go. The cat, the wannabe cat, and yourself... Fair deal huh? Course, you're free to refuse, and I'll put you right back in your corner so you can shove your thumbs up your ass while me and my buddy go to town. Then when all that carnage is over, you're next you Digimon loving freak. Consider my offer, you can tell the others too, but only you know this right now, and frankly I'd prefer to keep it that way, hmm?"
Before any response was given, Kazuya'd be placed, gently as he was pulled, back with his 'friends'. Parad's arm would whip back to its normal size, and he'd gaze directly at Kazuya, his eyes giving off a feeling of pressure one would expect when confronted with a critical decision.
Parad doesn't have much time to prepare as his attackers all rush him down one after the other. He was lucky enough to fight Bartz first, parrying the first couple blows only to let a couple later strikes meet his head. He reels back as Bartz makes his retreat.
"Tch! It looks like I got a little bit too cocky."
He glances over at Ina and Toki. Neither of them were a threat at present, but maybe he should take care of them first...
Parad cocks his head in confusion. Something had surely zapped him, but what-
"Ah... the small man is still trying to make a stand I see. I'll be right with you little guy, just sit tight and don't let the corpses squish you!"
Parad has little time to react to the enraged PK charging towards him. He quickly throws out a punch to knock Mordred's first strike out of the way, however that only propels PK's spin. A rain of sparks flies out of Parad as the spin strikes collide, only to stop as PK launches his other blade. Parad grabs the laser blade and stops it midair, some sparks flying out of his hand.
"Ha! I could see that coming a mile a-"
Then the ice would unleash itself and coat Parad, freezing himself in place momentarily. But that moment is all Mordred needed for the follow up attack. The spiral strikes of Mordred send out more sparks from Parad as he's cleaved from his icy prison.
"Haaah... haaaah... you're a clever bastard..."
Parad takes a breath as his final attackers make their presence known. As the first water clone approaches him from behind, he quickly spins around and delivers a devastating roundhouse kick to its head. The momentum would have him spin back to face the clone fighting him head on. His fists would once again parry the blow, however a large amount of sparks would pour out of his fists.
"Now where was all this power earlier? You should've just come out of the gates-"
The gem on Parad's forehead shines for a brief moment as the boiling spear is launched. His eyes lock on to the weapon and he deftly swipes it out of the air.
"-swinging like that!"
He crushes the weapon and lets the boiling liquid soak him, the flames on his chest glowing brighter as they do.
"Alright, now it's the Boss' turn to go! And I know exactly what I plan to do!"
[KNOCK OUT CRITICAL SMASH!]
A loud voice booms across the room as the flames around Parad's gauntlets explode with power and streaks of multicolored lights. He steps towards the dazed PK with purpose as his right fist swells with colorful flames. Once he was in PK's range, he lets loose a massive fiery uppercut on the young man.
The strike would send PK flying vertically as Parad limbers himself up for the follow up strike.
"Party isn't over yet!"
As PK falls back down before Parad, he lets loose a second fiery strike. The punch would land directly on PK's chest and launch him along with a massive fireball. Said fireball would explode as soon as PK collided with a wall.
"Now that's really got my blood boiling!"
I freak out, PK just probably got killed! I really need to be more careful...
"Alright no more playing around! Time to get serious!"
Ok, Ina is fast so....I got it! I run at extreme speeds around the fighter Parad, so fast I leave behind a flaming trail. Eventually a pseudo Fire tornado surrounds him, and it should block his vision. If it doesn't it probably just keeps him in place so he doesn't get scorched by the flames,. That is if they even hurt him in the first place. If they don't, I don't know what to do next. I'm just hoping this works...
Yeah, I may be small. But I have the heart of a-
CPU: FOREIGN CONTAMINANT ANALYSED.
I'm sorry what?
* I'd look at my metal arm in confusion. A small holographic screen appears appearing a bunch of technobabble I didn't really get. *
Umm. Run Counter measures?
CPU: COUNTER MEASURES LOADING. PLEASE STANDBY.
*Huh. I forgot I had Sam's arm have a CPU. I think it had Mayu's voice implemented into it. Not as eastern as I thought she'd be. Oh well. I would look up at my two giant opponents.*
Well, if it counters being somehow shrunk by this guy I suppose I can wait. Until then.
*I would activate my Keraunos System once more before firing muliple beams at one of the Parad's, aiming for the eyes in an attempt to blind one of them.*
"Alright! I managed to hit him! But..It didn't seem like blunt force is the way to go..."
Still focused on knock-out fighter, I notice the other folks' attacks. I'm concentrated on their actions, but I can't help hearing their words as well.
"Catto... PK... Kaz..." This time I shout towards them:
"You guys really are from the phansite aren't you! It's me, Liam! And I think I'm stuck in Bartz's body! This isn't a dream right? This is really hap-"
But then, the red power ranger unleashed his devastating attack. It left me frozen. This isn't a dream. Not even a nightmare. I could feel the impact all the way here. I thought we could have a chance but... Shit this is just insane! No one could survive that... That was PK... I really liked that guy! But... before he went down, his strikes seemed to send a lot of sparks flying. I need to calm down. Our chances of survival, our chances of succeeding in this fight, any odds how lucky or unlucky they may be, are purely inconsequential. I'll make it out of here. I still have so much to do and see. Death is harsh. I know that. But I can't cry now. I need to FIGHT!
Once again, I shout, not just to them, but to myself as well, to make sure my emotions don't overwhelm me.
"Don't worry!! He's probably fine! He'll stand back up in no time! For now, just focus on the enemy !"
I once again turn my attention solely to myself. The monk job doesn't cut it. that's a bad pun I need to go with a bladed job... And the most proficient with that can only be...
I focus once again. My gi and headband are shimmering. I feel their existence waning. If I were a magical girl, it'd be the cue to launch the stock transformation animation. My shoulders feel heavy, my whole body feels heavy. It's not unbearable though. It's the weight of protection. I find myself clad in crimson armor highlighted with black oriental motifs. Attached to my side is a long blade, a katana. Specifically, it's the legendary Masamune, a legendary blade used by bartz's predecessors and subsequently sealed inside an abandoned castle.
Both the blade and my body have a very different feel from that of the monk. The monk was supple and precise, but the samurai is rapid and powerful. It's a job focused on delivering a swift death to the enemy, preferably in one strike. Not because they're not viable beyond the first strike, their innate increase to their dodge stat makes them quite efficient at staying alive after all. It's mostly because they consume a lot of energy and resources.
I draw my blade. The resulting sound feels weighty. As I do however, a sudden burst of energy overcomes my senses. I'd almost forgotten about it, but this blade has the capacity to enhance it's user's speed. In the game, it guaranteed a first attack. I should probably be able to act first here too.
I run into the fray once again, but instead of using the sharp edge, i go for the dull side. The invisible hand of the crystal once again guides my strike as I hit the fire parad with a Mineuchi, a sword technique that makes use of the dull side of a one edged blade. It allows the user to temporarily immobilise the enemy, sometimes even paralyzing them for a while.
Of course, I hope for the second outcome, but seeing how devastating this guy is, I don't actually get my hopes up. But I need this to work... Otherwise, I probably won't be able to get my second strike ready...
- action -
Mineuchi, or blade bash: a low damage move with a high chance of paralysis.
once again, the glow behind me intensifies as I finish the chant.
"... Come forth, Ice Spirits!"
I extend my left arm at the fighter Parad, and with it comes an icy chill. I blow out a frigid tundra wind, littered with shards of ice in an attempt to freeze him.... Only to find that some genius decided to surround him with fire, greatly dampening, if not nullifying the attack I spent so long charging.
"I swear to god every time I try bringing ice anywhere someone has the bright idea to send out a huge wave of fire at the same time, like come on people I did the big, glowing thing, with the chant and everything, how hard could this POSSIBLY BE? I'm literally just asking you to stand there and NOT cancel out my attacks."
As one might be able to guess, its a little frustrating to see all one's efforts go to waste, I was never fond of wasteful things and to see some kid bring my efforts to naught when we're supposed to be working together makes it no better at all.
My splitting headache subsides a little as I regain my bearings, feeling Mordred tug at the veil between soul and the physical realm. However, before I can react I hear those dreaded sounds of a finisher coming my way. Only having time to speak one word.
Being thrown into the air helpless like a fish out of water, all I can focus on is the immediate burning pain. Falling back down I feel the iron hot fist blast me into the wall and explode before falling into the watery floor face first.
Luckily I didn't keep burning thanks to the water, that's about as far as positives go though. For a solid minute I sit there in agonizing pain, not having the energy to bring myself to respond to the pain just yet. Finally after I while a large hand is summoned through a blue crack in the air as I whisper Mordred's name. The hand picking me up gently as a glow surronds me, healing the worst wounds up a bit.
Nngh... What doesn't kill you... Makes you stronger right...? Sure feels like it's gonna kill me... That just means you've made me even stronger though!
Checking over myself I notice that my wounds are mostly burns or bruises, no cuts, it'll hurt but I won't die yet. I hold out my hand as the arm brings my laser blade back to me before the arm fully exits the rift to reveal a knight clad in dark armour with a large stab wound in its chest.
I'm not dead yet, so come on and finish the job! Me and Mordred won't fall to such a weak strike!
Even though I talk big, its fairly evident that I'm.not doing the greatest, and the only reason why I can taunt is by channeling PK, I would still be groveling in the floor if I didn't have his body. I give Liam a small nod though, maybe if I can draw another round of aggro I can let them do some damage. Better then just sitting here and doing nothing.
(edited by Pancake_Knight)
I just noticed the battle unfolding before me. I yawn apathetically and start flipping through pages of my grimoire. My mouth widens due to the surprise of a sudden realization whilest looking over the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parad.
"Oh, those guys are supposed to be the tutorial fight. Well, whoever it was it really wasn't the best way to start the game. Scripted fights are the worst. They oughta just give us a big open world to explore, like BOTW. Yeah, whatever, i'll just practice on the wall or something.
Hm, the rules of this world aren't purely sourced from one thing. Maybe just saying the spell works?"
I place the book in the palm of my left hand and make various aetherial traces on it at random. Pointing the front of it towards the wall, I begin to bellow out sagely before stuttering and instead drooping my arms to the ground and bending at the knee
"Guess i'll find out tommorrow.."
I then close my eyes slightly, laying on my side and curling up. My breathing halts to a steady pace.
[A game, they were treating all this as a game. I felt some new sense of disgust deep inside, something that I knew was there but didn’t know could affect me so much. I don’t care about the sad attempts at threats, I’m starting to become too furious to even consider them.]
"One word and they lost you. Will you finally wake up and act?"
[Looking through the summoning list and already prepared for a new ally, I would quickly confirm the selection. The numbers come out of the vortex and form a rather large figure, a Shiki-Ouji. The demon would look at me; then at Pascal.]
Shiki: "What the hell is this?"
Pascal: "There will be enough time to say soon, focus on fighting."
Shiki: " I trust yer judgement, so even if the kid feels all strange, it can't be all that bad… so for now, I’m listening."
[My head would hurt a bit after the summoning, as it takes a bit of power to even have them out. Of course, this doesn't mean I'm out of commission, it only makes my annoyance worse. The demons would stand in front of me as I stand up, the flames still going as strong as they are peaceful. The red would slowly turn to blue and they would form a circle under me, around me. The flames would grow quickly and then, as I close my eyes, trying to concentrate, my teeth hurting with how hard I'm clenching them, even as I keep my lips together. My breathing accelerates and a small card descends from up above, spinning. Looking at it, I can recognize the drawing. It was the Justice arcana, numbered as "VIII". Of course, it would have this number in this deck. The back of the card would feature something closely resembling a ghostly knight with cracked armor. Then, with my index and middle finger joined I would poke it, and the card would break, its pieces joining with the flames as it creates a rather glitchy-looking figure that is almost the size of one single Shiki-Ouji, about three meters. As the armor and ghostly appearance becomes clearer and clearer, something deep inside feels strange, a sharp pain would overtake.]
"I am thou..."
[I wanted to scream in pain but I couldn't. The blue flames turn red. The new card would appear as the Reverse Devil, overtaking Justice; shattering itself and forcefully entering the Persona's body, it would shake violently; something else was trying to escape from within the limits of armor. Sharp, long fingers would claw their way out of the main body and shred it to pieces as its true appearance is revealed. Wearing something that looked like a coat fused with a straight jacket, a small piece of armor would cover his right shoulder. Its arms had long pieces of cloth, binding the arms together, although parts of it were ripped by the very hands it tried to hide.]
"...thou are I."
[He would begin asphyxiating me with the cloth, separating the arms even more, making it harder and harder to breath. The only thing keeping my away from death's grasp were my own hands trying to keep the tightening cloth in place.]
"Took you long enough, you think more than you ever say and that's starting to piss me off. I really HATE you."
"You, who remains a slave to causality, rage against everything that is in front of you and around you, allow yourself to become the monster you are deep inside!"
"Let that wickedness consume you..."
[I can't think anymore, everything's too fast, but I can't avoid my own glare at the two enemies ahead. I take a stronger grip of the cloth, trying to rip it apart. I shall say our name as I break our bindings with my own hands. With the cloth forcefully ripped apart, I take one breath.]
"The Worthless One with a Master...!"
[Pascal and Shiki-Ouji would not waste any time. The first one would quickly run towards Knockout Fighter, unfazed by flames. Jumping into the air, he attacks with one severe Megaton Raid. Shiki-Ouji, on the other hand, stands his ground and Charges.]
My heart threatens to jump out of my chest as Kaz is dragged away, but thankfully, Puzzle Parad lets him go after saying something that my cat ears couldn’t catch. I nod to Bartz and give him a small smile.
“Yep, that’s me. You okay? Don’t overdo i-“
The flames coming from nearby distract me. It’s the flames of a Persona... wait, why are they turning red? I vaguely remember either Strega or Adachi’s Personas having that color.
The card confirmed my fears. A Reverse Persona. I’m frozen with shock, but the tearing of the fabric and the attacks of the demons bring me to my senses. We’re starting to go all in, so I better follow suit.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this... F-Force Dance!”
I swing my sword five times, but only four green whirlwinds spin towards the Parads - two targeted at each one. I’m not charging all in just yet, but I’m close enough to launch a decently-aimed ranged attack. I take this moment to yell over the flames and high winds.
“Kaz, can ya hear me?”
Yes, I can hear you Cait.
[I'm certain I was able to reply on my own, or...was it my Persona? It didn't sound like my usual voice, and I didn't even move my lips. I keep looking forward, but at the same time I can feel myself turning to face Cait. No, my Persona has turned itself to look at her with his bright yellow eyes.]
I am finally awake, and mine ears are ringing. The heartbeat has gone crazy due to the adrenaline.
Stay focused, I'm bagging these assholes... to think they treat all this as a game...
[I'm certain we don't have enough time to really act just yet, and so, all that awaits is the aftermath.]
Los haré pedazos, juro que los haré pedazos. "I'll tear them apart, I swear I'll tear them apart."
Knockout Crit Smash, that's a Finisher... Every Rider's got em of course. That applies to even my mockery of a fan creation. Knockout's blows to my water clones would hurt them enough to cause the magic making those things up to fail, sadly there isn't much I can do about that. On the other hand, while he's attacking the others what I can manage to do is slam a large button that's on the left side of my belt's flask. Warning sirens blare and a deep inhuman voice begins screaming out from it.
"STATE CHANGE! FROZEN ARCTIC WATERS!"
It makes sense that Boiling would merely stoke up Knockout's flames even more. In mere seconds my suit's entire style changes, no longer blazing hot but formed from a strange mix of solid ice and merely absurdly cold water. I tap a button on the flask's right side now though.
"FLASH FLOOD WARNING! FROZEN CALAMITY!"
Arctic waters begin rushing out of the flask at an insanely fast rate, the whole thing quickly starts to rush at Knockout Fighter. Waters shifting into various spikes blades and massive cannonballs of ice that fly all across the field in an impressive display of power, along with horribly sticky raw frost that aims to hold him in place for a moment. Ultimately, it's a form of Rider Shooting, something Parad would be quite familar with no doubt. There is a slight twist to it however, as the attack ends it would not only do serious damage if able to land. But also create a few more clones this time formed out of an icy slurry, three to be exact leap up from the remains of my attack.
"Come out of the gates? Come on Knockout Fighter, we all know that a Rider doesn't open with his best attacks. That just isn't how it's done, and faker or no I do have some respect for traditions."
I frankly can't believe that I'm mouthing off at him, but it does to some extent help me focus. Inwardly I'm terrified, but that doesn't really show. If anything, I sound calm and cool... Of course, that's a side effect of my new form.
With all of the spiritual and moral awakenings occurring, something would change about Parad. The light of the attacks would illuminate what appeared to be ethereal strings looming over Parad. They seemed to be holding him back, and as he recovers from the wind, he seems to acknowledge that fact. Using a purple device that seemed to digitize on his arm, he cuts the string with the saw end. A hollow shriek echoes throughout the area, and the eyes of Parad's mask go blank. With limp movement, he switches the device from the saw end to the end with two barrels.
"Get... out... of... me...!"
He lifts the weapon to his head, and fires directly into his temple. His body goes limp, and fades away in a sea of pixels, initially gold, but now a muted gray. The only thing left, is a brightly colored games console.
"Speaking of boiling blood, I'm glad to see you still haven't learned your lesson! Thanks for the boost!"
Parad runs his fingers across the inside of the flaming tornado. Sparks begin to fly out of his fingers as the heat starts to power him up further. The time he had to power up would be cut short as one of the clever contenders tries using ice.
Unfortunately, the attack would be severely weakened by the addition of fire. That being said it did dispel the flames and remove any additional power going to Parad. He wipes off the water on his suit as he laughs.
"Haha! Whew! You guys are too much! I haven't seen teamwork this abysmal since... well better not to get on a tangent."
The laughable display was enough to give Bartz the opening he needed in order to land a decisive blow. Parad barely had time to spit out a few words...
"Shit! He's fast! Gah!"
The strike doesn't send any sparks flying but a few streaks of electricity would arc around Parad's body as his movements slowed to a crawl. Then adding to the list of growing concerns was the ominous looking persona and the mutt charging right at Parad. His eyes flash for a brief moment.
"What... what the hell is this!?"
I could barely speak. I couldn't say if it was the shock from this situation or the absolute fear I felt looking upon those demons. Much to my chagrin I can't move either. Is this how I die? That's just how nightmares are I suppose.
Pascal's strike hits its mark and sends Parad flying as his eyes return to normal. With the effect of the orange medallion still on the field, he would be kept airborne by the four tornadoes produced by Cait Sith. A shower of sparks would erupt from all around Parad's body before the winds fade and drop him to the ground unceremoniously.
He manages to lift himself up on his elbows, but that's about it for the moment. However, he was just in time to see his double do himself in.
"PARAD!? WHY!? Damn it all! Why did I black out? Damn it damn it damn it!"
He slams his fists into the ground and creates a noticeable crater.
I stop dead in my tracks once I see that the fire powers him up, but all of the other attacks take him down so I cheer.
"Aw yeah!!! Just as planned!"
But.... Then I look back.
"What in the...."
Suddenly, right before my eyes, the puzzle parad just... Killed himself. But...what are those strings!? He cut off some sort of string from himself... Was he trying to break free of his binds to this world? And then I see the fighter parad greiving on his elbows and knees... No, I need to stay back. Don't know if he's dangerous. But... What if he's like us too? What if he was promised a way out if he could defeat us?
As I think over things, I also decide to look over myself, seeing if those strings are there too.
I just stand there for a few seconds, eyes wide as I stare at where the blue Parad was. There's not much to think about, or do really. Just... Stating the obvious.
"Did he just kill himself?"
it wasn't that uncommon a thing in anime, so its not like I wasn't introduced to the concept. But actually watching it go down was... Totally different. I don't really have anything to add, or any real reaction as I simply process the events occurring.
I just... Watch as one of these kamen rider dudes, I think the name was "Parad" kills themself, and also as everyone attacks, Kaz's persona looks cool, probably would be cooler than mine. The suicide is a tough scene to witness for myself, but the other Parad has pretty much left himself open.
"Welp, time to capitalize."
I rush at the other Parad to catch him off guard, hopefully knocking into him and sending him to the ground. If I do somehow get him to the ground... I'm going to slam this bat onto his skull so. many. times.
I stab my sword into the floor to let out the confused and nervous energy building up inside me. I should be happy about one less Kamen Rider to fight, but the strings and his suicide fill me with dread. Something else is at play. I finally pull myself together enough to sheath my sword. I can only understand part of what Kaz was saying, but his tone was enough to convey the feelings behind his words.
“Kaz, try to focus. Not on Parad. On anything else. That FE gal, your pet Cerby, that stupid desk I scratched, anything. He’s as good as done.”
I just hope that’s enough to keep whatever’s eating at him leashed, or at least delayed. I send another Force Dance Parad’s way with a few waves, two out of only three tornadoes aimed at him.
“Hey guys, don’t outright kill him! Just rough him up enough so we can get ‘im to talk!”
Heh. I can't believe the Sword Slap actually worked. I gotta make use of this and deal a heavy blow while I can. Time for the samurai's specialty: the Ia---
Did... Did he just?
A visceral feeling takes my stomach as my hand instinctively goes to my mouth, dropping my katana on the way.
This isn't right... He- he died... This wasn't supposed to go like that... I just wanted to make'em calm down, not kill them! Why did he do this?
What about the other one?
My eyes turn back to the red parad, and quickly, they spot Niko on his way to beat the living tar out of him.
Parad's already injured. The two are supposed to be one, so half of him going out like that has to have dealt some damage... I gotta make sure he doesn't die!
"Guys ! Stop it ! Don't hurt him anymore than necessary !"
I run up to the fallen rider and pose myself between him and the rest of our group in order to protect him. I'm even willing to take any blows that would be directed towards him.
"He probably knows things! Instead of hurting him, we should try to make him talk! We all need to calm down!!!"
As soon as the Parad's stop their assault I fall to the floor and groan a little as Mordred heals the rest of my wounds. The pain lingering a little while longer.
Ngh... This... Thi- huh?
I then watch as Perfect Puzzle acts strangely before shooting himself. Flinching as the shot goes off. It was unnerving, but I focus on how its better him then me. I won't be ruined. I then hear the others cry out, they can do what they want I suppose. What I'm interested in is what Perfect Puzzle dropped, if it was a Gamer Driver...
Tatsu! We gotta destroy that driver! We can't let Parad use it!
I then throw Mordred over as I take PK's crossbow into my hands and try my best to aim it into the air, if Mordred isn't stopped he would fly over to the trinket Perfect Puzzle dropped and flip it into the air as I take a deep breath and try to pierce it with a bolt.
*Looking up frm my place being Smol, I watch as Parad shoots himself. Now, there's really only one way to react when you see a tragedy like that. So naturally, I started laughing.*
Ha. Did... did he just... Ha ha.. Serves you right you absolute fu-
CPU: CONTAMINANT ERADICATION PROTOCALS ENGAGED.
*I got distracted just long by my arm long enough for my coping mechanism to wear off and calm myself down. Always good for something like that to happen. As I return to normal sizem I grab my metal arm, feeling it spark.*
Ah. Much better. Now where was I? Oh yes. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
* Sam swings his hand, sending a pulse of electrical energy forward at the remaining Paradox brother. His aim would be to stun or paralyse with the bolt. Though I refuse to show sympathy for anyone who tries to kill me and I have super electro nerd powers now, doesn't mean I can lose sight of my morals. Thou shall not kill and all that, yeah?*
I woke up from a quick nap, my head was down the whole time so basically I missed a few seconds(?) of people getting beat up. Fine by me, it's better not to have to watch the suffering of others...probably. I rub my eyes and yawn.
"Oh, where's that other Kamen Rider again? Did he kill himself or something?"
Ironically enough, the lucky guess was correct, but either way I didn't really care all too much, unless it was one of my internet friends. Surely it wasn't, most likely. Maybe. Though, now I get to see that everyone else has seemingly turned the tides against the Kamen Riders. Took them long enough.
"Ugh, I would go in there and start jumping him, but at the same time, I do not trust them enough to know when to finish the job. There's probably some stupid second phase."
Another yawn escaped from my mouth as I looked more at the scene, and mainly trying to take another good luck at the characters I wouldn't know. Because some were extremely obvious, and others weren't because I was stupid.
PK's rush draws my attention, mostly because...
"DUMBASS, THAT ISN'T A GAMER DRIVER!"
Mordred is stopped, mainly by a burst of ice that rises up from the water I've spread all about the arena. I don't know what the hell that thing is, but I'd like to try and find out more. No telling if we'll need it later, like some kinda key item from a boss maybe. As for Liam...
"Leave it be PK, I wanna see what that thing's deal is! And also, that he might know more is great and all, but Parad's got a lot more power where this has come from! Tell you what, I'll go along with your... Plan if we can call it that, but I don't think it's a great idea."
There's a voice in the back of my head saying 'slaughter your enemy before he kills you'. But that's not really me though. No, I know what influence that's from. My three clones do remain aimed toward the scene of Knockout Fighter on the ground, but for now their attack is held back as I simply stare at him. With any luck we can make Liam's idea work, but I'm not going to hold my breath on that count. It very much can hurt to try, however, I'm far from sure that I can kill someone even in a fight he started. So try I will even against my better judgment.
"Look alright, you guys came out swinging here. We didn't ask for that, so can we please just stop now? I know you have more and all, but come on."
"Don't kill him!!"
I jump in the way of Sam's attack, tanking it as good as I can, though the paralyzing effect soon washes over me, causing my muscles to twitch.
I fall to the ground, helpless.
G-gah! Right! I'll hold onto it then!
Seeing the ice fly out of the ground, Mordred stops before swooping around it, still flinging it into the air. But this time with me running up and jumping to grab it
(edited by Pancake_Knight)
I start feeling a bit drowsy, but am unable to fully rest due to the commotion. Feeling lethargic, I stare at the one of the Parads and slowly muse over. Upon seeing him raise the weapon to his head, I reach out my hand towards him and try to quickly get up off the ground.
"Wait, stop! Don't do it!"
Seeing him dematerialize invokes a feeling of dread within me. I force myself upwards, grazing the ground with my other hand.
"This is wrong, no should-"
I found myself choking up and unable to say anything. All I was able to do was bury my face with both my hands and gently cry into them.
My goal is one, Cait. And I'll make sure I get it.
[My ears are ringing, my heart is going wild, the adrenaline is making everything faster but at the same time slower. I can react, I can think, but more importantly, I can feel. Pascal's attack was effective enough, but the reaction he had was an interesting one. So, you can feel fear, but it doesn't make any sense for the kind of person who had just tried to force everyone into battle with such an eager attitude. More importantly, the strings that are coming from the guy that just-]
[The thought of it was hard to imagine, but looking at the body disappear and the words it said, made something clear. This was just not normal, and if not an illusion then they were also being controlled somehow. Which means that there must be a way to make the react. At first, the demon made it easy, but I wonder if it's correlated to the damage, because if Knockout Fighter really did "pass out", despite the reaction, then that can only mean that there is someone inside, if not the character himself. Not that I know about Kamen Rider enough. Forget the dead bastard, I can care after this is done, move forward; Fight; FIGHT; LET ME FEEL THE ANGER. Soon enough, most would try to talk to him and even the Final Fantasy person would get in the way, only to get shocked.]
Ironic, I love it. But you're useless as you are right now.
He won't die but he'll suffer until he can wake up.
Así que... "So..."
[I don't even use my mouth, my glare is set straight to the remaining Parad. However, it seems like my Persona is able to do the talking, still, all of that, I would've said anyways. My body is in a strange frenzy, so for my inner self to make communication so easy, I appreciate it. Belial would quickly fly forward with vicious intent alongside the massive Shiki-Ouji. Pascal too was prepared to attack once more. Taking advantage of Liam's paralyzed body, Belial grabs him by the leg.]
Apartate, estorbo!!! "Out of the way, dead weight!!!"
[The Persona launches him at the approaching Ted hard enough for them to get knocked back more than a few meters back. Belial had a particular affinity for physical related things. On the other hand, and with his enhanced strength, Shiki-Ouji would punch him twice thanks to Mist Rush, and furthermore, had a 75% chance of leaving the objective Dizzy were it to hit. The main demon, Pascal, who can reflect any fire thrown at him and resist any physical attack, would keep his distance and let out a powerful roar, casting Makajamaon on Parad, with a 50% chance to Mute, and so, stop any kind of ability he had. Of course, this only applied to magic-like abilities and I'm unsure if it would even work on him.]
If you wanted to play, then here I am, Parad!!
See what happens when you treat the lives of humans like a mere game!!
I'll break each and every single bone in your body until you realize it, so you better wake the hell up now.
Oh great some guy got in the way... Only to be paralyzed. Thanks whoever did that. I keep rushing towards Parad.
"Alright you son of a-"
I get cut off as Kaz's persona launches the guy who was defending Parad at me. He hits me full-force and I let out a general noise of pain as my head hits the ground really hard. My eyes seem to close on they're own... Is this what it feels like to be knocked o-...
oh shit i just noticed i used the wrong there/their/they're
i'm a fucking dumbass lmao i meant their not they're and now i can't change it since it was an hour ago fuck
I was honestly only half listening to Mal at this point. There was so much to make note of with this fight and I didn't want to miss any details. It really was almost like one of the threads we would all make together in how things began to play out. It really made me start question everything here.
"You should probably pay attention to what's going on. Even if its not your thing we're kinda in a desperate situation right now. I think its important to establish who should be trusted and who shouldn't. Death doesn't seem permanent here so if someone isn't who they say they are there could be real problems later on."
Your fate has been determined.
There are no strings or chains attached.
It is the mind and body that binds.
The mind and body that has damned you.
Go forth into the final part with this burden on your soul.
For you will need to steel yourself to face the many trials yet to come.
You are no longer being studied.
The two tornadoes make their way towards Parad with little issue. He attempts to bring himself to his knees while the winds send sparks flying in all directions.
"Haaah... haaaah... You lot are going to need to try a lot harder to-"
Before he could finish speaking, Sam's wave of electricity was well on its way towards Parad. But that wasn't what stopped his words, that honor would go to the selfless actions of Bartz.
"HEY! YOU IDIOT, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING!?"
Parad seemed to reach a hand out towards Bartz, but it would be for naught. He was helpless as he watched the imposing figure of Belial toss Bartz aside and towards Niko. His eyes flickered again.
I remember this sensation, this fear. I was staring down Cerberus and Shiki-Ouji once more. Not only that but their master, the villain standing before me.
"HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO THEM!? WHY DO YOU WANT ME DEAD SO DESPERATELY THAT YOU'D ATTACK ANYONE IN YOUR WAY!? WHAT DID I EVER DO TO-"
I'm not sure if the crunch rang in my ears alone, but Shiki-Ouji's strikes certainly landed without holding back. The force of the strike sent me spiraling backwards before leaving me sprawled out on the ground, gasping for breath. My head was spinning and I could feel the vomit rising, but somehow I managed to swallow it back for the moment.
"....it hurts... why?... why am I having a dream like.... gah... this? Something.... something isn't normal... urf.... about... this..."
I clutch my head in pain as the mutt lets out a massive roar. The pain from the noise and the fact that I was either concussed or far worse only made the roar worse.
"S-STOP.... STOP IT!"
Parad's eyes flicker again as he continues to clutch his head. The pain and disorientation were strong, but from the corner of his eye he noticed a large purple medallion.
In a last ditch effort to do anything, he grabbed onto the medallion and tossed it at PK. The purple item would easily weave through the air and collide with PK.
The power item PK received would cause his vision to blur momentarily before clearing into a distinct scene. Two Parads fighting each other, in the very same room that PK was currently inside. After the brief image, PK regains his vision.
This is it, THIS is the Parad I wanted to see!!
[The demons would back off and not attack this time around, in fact, Pascal would simply run at him and pin him down, his fangs ready to attack directly into his throat. Meanwhile, and thanks to Shiki-Ouji's large stature, he would use both arms to immobilize Parad's arms. Belial would hover over the Kamen Rider.]
I will not kill you. In fact, you should be grateful I got rid of one of the ones that was going to try and end your life. It seems like the physical punishment worked to wake you up.
Before this reaction, you were attacking everyone, and almost killed more than one.
I simply moved to stop such behavior and...
[I make sure my words can be heard around the entire room, or rather, I make sure Belial's voice be heard all around, so that nothing out the ordinary happens. I have to admit that I was angry, I still am, but anger does not cloud my judgement too badly, it only makes me more capable for acting. That said, my ears' ringing was finally disappearing, and Belial would close his own masked face to Parad's.]
...your words pissed me off.
So unless you leave that transformation of yours right away, or say you give up loudly...
These demons and I will keep attacking.
So, what will it be, Kamen Rider Parad, or whatever the HELL your actual name is.
[With his sharp index finger, he pokes the helmet. I'm just hoping this works. I hate fighting and staying angry or this frustrated when I can clearly see the suffering is tough. I just need to stay fixated on the words Parad dared to say, let it fuel my motivation.]
Calm the hell down, don't dare fight back and you better gives us some answers.
Phansite, does it ring any bells?
My voice would squeak a little as I back towards one of the walls of the room, hoping to be as far from the actual event as possible. it was kinda fun at first... But after watching someone kill himself and seeing all this... Violence that had worn off pretty quickly. Instead I'd be trying to speak up, but with the mumbling and apparent chaos of the room its doubtful many could hear me.
"I think we won.... You can stop now..."
by now I'd be standing off to the side of the room, fidgeting nervously as I shift my weight between my legs. Really there's not much I can do now anyways but wait and hope things go well.
The booming voice causes my fur to stand on end. My hand reaches for my sword, but I relax a little once Kaz starts interrogating instead of, you know, killing. I try to stay out of the way as I dash across the room.
I’m not as big as usual, so dragging Niko is a bit of a challenge, but I manage to get him a bit farther away from the fallen Kamen Rider. I check his body for any damage while keeping an ear out for any trouble. I can smell something metallic near his head, so I can tell the source of the near-instant knockout. I balled the fabric of my cape against where most of the blood probably was and turned my gaze back to Parad.
*I would lean against my cane, looking at the remaining paradox brother with a feeling of discomfort.*
This is getting a bit pathetic to watch. Though it looks like the fights gone out of this one. We won somehow. I guess.
I look over to the other Parad as the voice explodes across the room, and the figure looking over him.... Is that... Kaz!? Wow, that's a face I haven't seen in forever! But... Something seems odd....
"So uh.... We won?"
I try to lighten the mood. Heh, lighten...
Well, I hope nothing is too awkward or scary in the situation we're in right now...
I sift through my person, noticing a hard green gem in one of my pockets.
"Heh, i'm a healer, aren't I? It's about time I play that role."
I stand as near as I can to everyone on the battlefield, drawing any polygon in my grimoire over again. Harnassing the power of the green gem as I draw, I manage to successfully surround everyone with a lime aura, undoing the damage wrought against them as the magick flows into their bodies. I then towards the remaining Parad, reaching my right hand to them and emitting green, benign energy which would flow into and seal up their wounds.
"Please, let us quit this foolishness. I'll not allow anyone else to die this day or any other!"
As I jump through the air, I grasp the game console before making a little poof on the floor. As I get up Kaz's voice booms. I cover my ears as I toss the device over to Tatsu, he might know more about it then me.
... Is this really nee- ngh?!?
As the purple medal flies to me, I try to sidestep it but to no avail. My vision blurring out as the scene plays before me. I watch the two Parads fight before I stumble forward back into this reality. Thinking. Wait, didn't Parad just say dream? Is he like us? Regardless, I'm not one to shed blood if they won't, and Parad was a trustworthy character if I remember correctly. Stepping up to Parad I get down on one knee and lend a hand
Hey. Remember me? The name's PK, er, not really but it's what I'm going by for now, the guy you punched earlier. You mentioned a dream right? We are just as confused as you are, if you can explain anything about this place we might be able to help. Hell, from what we were told your friend might come back just like how that guy in the cloak did.
As I speak to Parad, I notice how off Kaz is, as a safeguard I open two tiny blue rifts in the floor. One next to Mordred and one behind Kaz. If he acts out of line...
Oh, and Kaz? Maybe go a bit light on him. He just watched his friend die. His nerves must be on edge. Give him some space. The rest of you can also rest up for now yeah?
[The one speaking had revealed himself as PK, yet another person with whom I am familiar. I probably noticed this fact before, but I can safely say who is who, or at least say this for the most part. Still, this made my blood boil to an extent I had rarely felt in my life. For one, there was Parad who treated the lives of people here like a game and had attempted murder; awfully close to it. Regardless, there the very possibility of him having been controlled just like the last one seemed to be. In such a case, the answer is obvious, and therefore, this method, which was working, was to be pushed until the guy inside actually gave anything that was worthwhile.]
You have the nerve...
[PK however, he had killed a man with no hesitation. Not knowing such a person would come back to life, he had not a single doubt he could quickly eliminate him. A man who was not being controlled, a man who, just like everyone else, was confused and attempting to survive. Can I honestly blame him? No, unless he did pull through with some monstrous act. He could've been knocked out, paralyzed, put to sleep...]
But you killed him...
[Most of what I was saying, or rather, Belial, was in a lower voice than usual. That's right, to kill as the first option, and then to have the audacity to ask to take lightly what this masked bastard almost did to everyone else? No, not you, a killer, a murderer doesn't get to talk to me like that. You are scum, lower than trash. You are LUCKY the other even came back, and there is not a single way of telling if it was a complete return, or even if returning is a good idea.]
You have some nerve, PK. First thing you do is kill a man and then you come to ask in the most annoying and arrogant, self-serving, self-righteous attitude that I should go easy on him?
[Belial would face PK, getting closer so he could see eye to eye. Indeed, Belial's head should be bigger, but their eyes would meet quite closely. The voice that would come out would be full of malice, anger and even disgust not even Parad had to face. To think I would have to talk to a murderer.]
Until this Kamen Rider can prove that they are like us, and gets rid of his power, then he's not getting any chances. I'm not letting something like this get any stronger, because at least I know how crazy it can potentially get. And I'm sure you or someone else here can attest to exactly how bad it could be.
In short, just like you didn't show mercy to the person you so easily killed, then maybe you should consider being consistent and do the same here.
[Belial would then stand up yet again and look down on PK. Both of us, no, me, I'm disgusted.]
You must be glad the other came back to life. Unless you knew already it could happen, but I doubt it.
You are trash, if it weren't for this other person, I would've already broken your arms. See if KILLING yourself can fix that, fucking bastard.
[That said, Belial goes back to silently await for Parad's response; the demons well in place still.]
Self serving? Self righteous? Arrogant? Me? Who does he think he is talking to me like that? He posed a threat to us. I wasn't going to let him walk all over me, nor will I let Kaz, as long as I have this power it should be used.
If your talking about the person earlier Kaz, I take full responsibility for it. He threatened Cait and tried to attack her. Thats enough ground for me to do something. You see, I have the power to protect my friends, and I'll do it, no matter the cost. Unlike you, I'll act on my values. Murder is just a tool. Those who can't be reasoned with must be destroyed.
I then stare into Belial, my eyes seering with anger, my fists clenched and my nose scrunched. Why hold in your anger? Let it loose. I have the power to make them cry. But there's a better idea. I walk over to where my laser blade is and pick it up, shaking it awake and forming a dagger with the laser and pointing it at my own heart as I walk right up to Kaz, only mere inches from him. Meanwhile Mordred quickly travels through the rift in the floor and flies right behind Kaz, if it would strike it would have to pierce the both of us due to the close proximity.
If you want me to be consistent I will. That reverse persona and these demons could pose a threat to us all. Hell, I'm a threat. So should I kill you, or should you kill me?
As I stare at him I hold completely still, the beam knife still at my heart. I don't fear death. I fear the pain and sorrow that comes from it. Now that we can be brought back all I have to do is make it painless.
So. What will it be? Are you gonna make good on that promise or run back to your corner and wait for me to do everything?
And here I was hoping not to get involved. I better do something now even if I'm not fully convinced on things. This debate of theirs is likely to muddle the results so that should be the first thing I try to deal with.
"Well, Mal. Looks like I'll have to interfere after all. Really hope Parad stays down or this might be more trouble than it's worth."
I would finally enter the door. I was nervous but I can't let those nerves stop me now...Actually, I felt oddly...confident too. Normally, I never felt this way but something deep within was pushing me forward.
If I arrived on the other side as I thought I would I'd immediately call out to both Kaz and PK.
"Hey, is this really the time for theatrics? Aren't you forgetting where you both are and what's happening. Take a moment to analyze the situation. The Morality lessons can wait."
This entire thing has become one grand chaotic mess... But even so, I'm forced to mostly agree with Kaz here. Killing people is... It's a bit much. No not just 'a bit much'. It's murder, and despite the fact I like to think I can kill if I have to, it isn't something to just fall on that quickly.
"PK, that's enough threats of violence. I don't exactly want to get between this, but I will. Here's a question, did you know he was going to come back? I really hope so, because if not... That'd say some scary things right there."
Water's Calamity, the icy chill that flows forth from my Driver in this state is about the only thing that's keeping my voice even and level. If not for that I'd be freaking out one way or another. As is, I keep myself together. Even as icy water creeps towards PK's feet without a sound.
"Now, I think that in fighting is a damn waste of all our effort. To be sure. But this entire... Event has been rather concerning in a lot of ways. So as much as I want to agree with who I can only guess is Quin, and thus... Well, whatever. Point is, this needs to be sorted out before we can focus on the matter at hand enough by my wager."
The water would suddenly leap for him, quickly coming up to PK's knees as I sigh with my hand now in the open.
"Look alright, even if we might be forced to kill. Don't act like murder is 'just' some other tool, it isn't. You helped me out in that fight, so I really wanna give you the benefit of the doubt here. But I ain't letting this come to blows on either side if I can help it. And I damn well ain't gonna stand by if someone who just proclaimed murder as a valid option tries to strike. But I think we can avoid that happening if we all just take a moment and think."
More like hope, hope very desperately. But the calm tone I say it in manages to give my voice some credibility at least, outwardly, and the mask of my suit hides my worried face below.
[As PK approaches and Mordred appears behind me, I feel somewhat...worried, surprise in fact. Almost like I wasn't expecting such a response, much less one that revealed so much and quite possibly left him in a worse position. My rage was building up, but I couldn't exactly risk letting Parad go. I need the demons right there; Pascal knows it best. Furthermore, Belial must remain there to battle in case anything goes bad and to properly communicate. And so, as PK says his words, I must use my own voice. Let the anger turn into motivation like always, it's not like I'm impulsive.]
If you really want an answer, then you should probably kill yourself. With how much you champion murder, contradict yourself and even prove your impulsiveness, there is no one here who is a bigger threat to everyone and themselves.
Your friend calls you out on your monstrous behavior, and what you do is jump to the conclusion that surely one must die, the very same kind of person you just said you were going to protect.
What? Will you also threaten to kill Cait when she calls you out on how much of an asshole you're being right now?
[Quintus...no, probably Yu would finally appear, I had been wondering where he was the entire time.]
Of course, I know, that's why I haven't kicked his ass all on my own.
Why use my demons and Persona for this
when there's an overpowered Tokusatsu guy over there that's far more dangerous.
[I would give PK one final look, realizing that it is indeed for the best I keep my distaste for this current him to myself for a moment, especially now that even H2O was getting involved...or perhaps, Tatsuya? That's who wrote this character anyways. Regardless, I simply walk past the murderer and gesture to Cait to also stay away, just in case.]
You're right, this isn't worth it.
I know you and Tatsu know about Kamen Rider far more, is there anything we need to know?
Well, assuming you're, well... Yu, that is.
[I would turn to Tatsu, realizing I was kinda rude.]
I will assume so, and if it's not then sorry but the question stand.
Oh, and thank you, I couldn't really risk calling back the demons or my Persona to deal with this, and using the sword would've been fatal, I don't really trust myself with that sole weapon just yet.
[I feel cooler now, like a strange point in-between anger and clarity, perhaps I should call this a serious mood? Professional? Maybe determined, when you control your impulses and use it mindfully. Whatever was the case and at the very least, anger has served me well in the recent years by helping me push through the anxiety and predisposition to nervousness my body tends to have. I wonder if it's so much easier now because of Kazuya's own body.]
(edited by Kazuya)
...I'm having all these strange dreams or something while I'm out like a light... I can't remember most of them but in one I was drowning in some sort of red liquid while being yelled at by multiple... I can't remember right now, all I can remember is being pulled out of the liquid by something. As I am, I finally come to. I gasp and open my eyes.
"Agh! Jesus christ... How long was I out for?"
The first thing I see is Cait, it looks like they helped me.
I smile at them and look at what else is happening. Wow, all I can say is that it's a major shitshow. I push the balled up cape fabric off of my head and get up. My head is still pounding, and I'm a little disoriented, but I try my best to keep myself upright.
"What are you guys doing?! I was out cold for I don't know how long, but whatever this is about, you need to stop."
I was pretty much defenseless at the moment, I had let go of my baseball bat when I got knocked out, so it's near the one guy who was shielding Parad.
(edited by InterNiko)
I almost drifted into another quick cat nap before Yu made me realize something. Can’t waste my life away sitting at an invisible doorway. Common sense, but who needs that at a time like this? As I enter, it clearly seems like people are really in dire need of it.
“Great job guys, you’ve really done it. Too bad we still can’t seem to accept the facts for some reason.”
I said in a dull and bored tone of voice, looking around me to take another quick glance at all the company that surrounds me. Furries, people that should be dead, people who are wrapped up in problems with morality for some reason, this room has it all.
“And by the way, I’m just gonna go by what Yu said. Hopefully the adults can settle this between themselves like actual adults.”
I turn around to this person I probably missed as I came in late. How were they not here already? And wait, did they say adults? That means they're a just a kid like me! Crap, that's 2 people that really shouldn't be here... Well, no one should be here, but that's not the point. Wait, I don't know them too well but... Teenager... Does that mean....
"Mal? Is that you?"
I'm hoping I'm not right, but knowing how on the nose I've been about being dead, the room being a trap, and some other nonsense, I feel like I'm probably right.
while all of this is unfolding, I, Bartz, am helplessly convulsing on the ground because of Sam's elecric thinggie.
Try as I might, I simply couldn't get the words out. God damn it.
Seeing everyone start to turn on me, I can't help but feel. Betrayed. I was doing this for them? I was fighting for their sake. But it appears that I'll always be alone. Flipping the beam knife around I power it it into flame mode before picking up Mordred and staring at it. The blade flickering a little in and out of existence. After a quick second in the ice I cut a hole in the ice with the blade before slashing it apart with my laser blade. Looking to the person that just entered. That was Yu right?
Fine. Whatever you say. I'll stand back for now.
As for your question Tatsu, yeah, I knew. That wolf told me so. Even if... Nevermind..
I then look to Kaz, the words he spout make my soul burn. I give him one last look with fire in my eyes before it begins to burn out. Perhaps I will. Perhaps I'm destined to always be the one against a thousand. I'm okay with that. Every good story needs a villain anyways.
Do what you want then. Kill him. Spare him. It means nothing to me.
Accept the facts? No. I already did a long time ago. You can only trust yourself. That's why I need to get out of here. I'll step on as many bodies as it takes. I'm getting out.
With my resolve steeled, I step away from Parad and give him one last look. I tried. It's up to the others now.
My body... broken. My eyes... blind. My soul? Not looking too great. I can see a light, not really the thing you want at the end of a tunnel, huh? It's... fading. You're supposed to go into the light to move on, right? So why can't I? Why can't I get to that damned light, why the hell can't I rest, why can't I feel anything!? Why!? Why me!? Wh-
"Shut up, you lost. The game didn't end, and you lost."
That wasn't my voice, not by a long shot. I shouldn't even have a mouth to say anything, so why can I hear that voice? It sounds familiar.
"You didn't win, so I took you out. This is my ride now, and it's not over for me!"
That's right... Something happened, something went wrong. I lost control... no, someone took it away from me! That's whatever the fucker's talking about, I could have won, just a little bit more, I had to make it fair, so why did he stop me!
"You wanted to make it fair... I wanted to make it fun! Fair games aren't always fun, everyone knows that! It's only not fun when you're on the receiving end! You held yourself back, you kept your distance, there was no "me" for you, there was "him". 'I' didn't kill them 'Parad' did! Is that it? Keep your distance and get out of here? Gimme a break..."
What was... was I really? Of course, those strings, I was holding him back... wait, he cut them! So why am I still here? Why is he still talking to me, why aren't I dead!? WHY CAN'T I GO HOME!? FIRST HIM AND NOW ME!? IT'S NOT FA-
"It's not fun, either. What'd I tell you, someone has to hurt for us to feel better, and you sure as hell didn't hurt them, so now I'm hurting you! It's fun too! You don't get it, neither do I, but who cares if someone's having fun! Speaking of... I got a partner out there who's being controlled too, so do me a favor and get lost. Nobody's gonna know what happened to you anyway, so let me take over."
Nobody...? No one? That's... fucked up... I can't even say goodbye? What?
"Quit stalling, I'm taking over, and there's no room for two in the pilot's seat!"
The light... it's gone... does that mean... I'm gone? Sorry mom, sorry dad, I guess I wasn't ready after all...
"That's better... now, I think I've got a few records to set straight!"
Where Parad once stood, now an amalgamation of gray pixels hovers. It has a horrid aura, one that emits pure fear. It takes a humanoid shape, as a screen appears in front of it.
[GACHAAN! MIX IT UP! DARK FISTS STRIKE FROM BEHIND! PUZZLES THAT MELT THE MIND! SITTING ATOP HIS SHADOWY THRONE! PERFECT KNOCKOUT!]
The screen passes over the pixels, revealing what would have been a combination of perfect puzzle and knockout fighter, the only difference being that the eyes were the only part of the suit that had any colors apart from the belt itself. His first action was to turn the dial on the belt, close the front, and open it again.
HIDDEN MOVE! PERFECT CRITICAL COMBO!
From behind him a horde of medals would fly toward the crowd. All of Kaz's demons would be struck with a red medal, which would cause them to receive a spike in power, and attack anything and everything. Toward PK, a pale sea green medal that shields him in a golden bubble, impervious to attack from the inside and out. Toward Kaz himself, a light indigo medal that makes him feel every ounce of pain that was inflicted on the red Parad up to this point, the red Parad would notably feel his pain leaving his body. Toward Bartz, a black medal that shrouds him in impenetrable darkness, nothing could be seen within, and nothing could be seen out of. Lastly, to Parad himself, a light blue medal, that upon contact would render him invisible in every sense of the word. Shortly after this, a blast of force that clears the area around the red Parad. Observers would notice what appears to be him being held up by the neck, carried by an invisible force to the wall, which he is promptly slammed into.
"Been a while, Kalib... You probably can already guess that your time's up here, you were more fun than the other guy, but still not fun enough... Any last words?"
I had expected a second phase. I knew well enough that Riders always tend to get a power up when they most need it but the nature of Parad's transformation would still be odd.
I didn't want to be involved at all, I didn't care about anything that was going on...right? Should I help? Could I even help? Without even thinking about it I could feel myself backing away further, not wanting to deal with the present situation.
There was a thought that kept resenting in my head. A confident voice, one that was my own, would speak internally.
'Stop being weak, you need to make a decision. This isn't the time to stutter.'
I know and yet...I can't decide, it's too difficult. It shouldn't be my problem, let someone else deal with it...that was selfish though.
Meanwhile, I'd just stand there, backing away from everything. Unable to make a decision even as it was presented before me.
"W-what is this?"
What am I asking for? I know the answer. It already aligns with what I thought earlier and yet I play the part of the fool anyway.
Oh great, the first one to notice me was the person that I used to hate for literally no reason. Behind my shades, I rolled my eyes and then spoke to this fox girl in an annoyed voice.
"No, I'm a Russian from 1928 that's ready to establish Communism. Of course, who else would possibl-"
Yes, this is what I told myself. Yes, everyone else probably would've known. Wonder why they didn't finish it. What was going through our minds? I should've expected this from Karate Bug People.
"Goddamnit, I knew it. It was so obvious too, stupid! Ugh, my goodddd!"
Due to not being targeted, I immediately take this chance to hide behind Yu, taking out two pistols and loading them. Once more, my tone grows agitated, but I couldn't really help it. The obvious might be super apparent, but it won't stop me.
"Look, you expected this stupid obligatory power up, I'm sure everyone did. So why wouldn't you expect to not get involved with something so dumb like this? Whatever internal conflict you're having, you better solve it so that you can help out!..or have an epic power up montage of your own too, that's fine by me."
"No problem. And what happened was a little argument but it's all over... now..."
I just had to open my mouth. I curse under my breath and stand up, letting my cape fall back. The blood would probably stain, but it was red on red anyway, and currently the least of my concerns.
"So that Parad is... Kalib? And is the guy who shot himself back? Or...? Gah, I'm mixing up my Parads. Guy being held is Kalib. Which is just what we need right now."
My voice drips with sarcasm in that last sentence. Still, I can't do much, and Niko's still dazed. I step in front of the catboy and draw my sword, facing the demons and hoping Pascal doesn't let his dog instincts take over in his rage. The last thing I need is to be chased up the wall by a demon dog.
"Oi, Niko, can you stand? We'll be having a lotta trouble soon!"
[Before I can get any kind of info, I see the new enemy appearing. Nice, awesome, just what I needed right now. At the very least the other guy was someone like us but I have no reason to allow my surprise to overtake me, not now, I need to-]
[The Scouter over my eye immediately tells me something is wrong with both demons, bless this "Status" screen. Whatever was that the new Kamen Rider was doing, it was the cause of it. Just one second, that's all that is needed to return them both. Although the original game mechanics just let you do that once, these guys are in no way shape or form working by the rules of the same game, but some based on the things necessary for the writing to work, and as such. I choose the general "Return" key on the Advanced COMP I thankfully wrote about, thanks Tatsu. Now I just need to-]
[Something just hit me, and I feel strange pains all around my body, intense, severe, but my body itself isn't injured, the status doesn't show my HP going down at all. My mind, it needs to be fixated on that, I can't keep them screaming down but I do my best to keep my mouth shut, building up my frustration through the pain, at the fact that I can barely take it, because I want it to stop, it needs to stop but it won't anytime soon, my mind is going everywhere but it's general focus is on my vitals. I am alive, I will remain alive, this pain is nothing but the proof that I live and can survive. My mouth hurts too, because my teeth are being clenched so hard I wouldn’t be surprised if they were breaking, not that it was possible. Falling to my knees and finally getting a kick of adrenaline once again, I press my hands on the floor and look ahead to find the Kamen Rider completely gone, but luckily the demons too. I can summon one soon, it doesn't matter. Belial too is probably roaring all on his own; his image glitching for a moment before it subdues as the pain I myself was feeling slowly disappears beyond the impact of the original strikes. To take so much pain all at once when that other guy at least had time to recover, it hurts, it still hurts, but my family had said it before and I've learnt this from a very young age, from their words, life's own rules and my own actions. "If you fall, even if it hurts, you need to keep running. Don't stop to cry." And if this is the pain I am to feel, and if my body is strong, a body that cannot be easily broken, the blood and flesh of a Messiah...]
I'M NOT SCARED ANYMORE!!
[Belial and I would yell that out as his image tries to stay together and I myself get back on my feet. It still hurts, but the adrenaline, I'm sure it's gotta be helping somehow, all I can think about is one thing: Victory. Now that I feel fear, I'm not afraid, if more comes let it, I have a job to do, things to achieve. My breathing is heavy and my body trembles, but it can't end just yet. I clench my left arm in a fist and unsheathe the Kagutsuchi with my right hand. I have to say it, I need to try it. Let's do it, "Morale Boost"!]
This is it, the moment of truth!
If not even death can hold us then give it all away and move, let your dreams die, your hopes, your bonds, they will not take them down!
The powers only you can use and know, let them take you beyond!
[These words, born from pure emotion, they would reach everyone, and that's everyone that is trapped. Our entire party, if you will. That includes even PK, Yu and Mal. Those who fight and those who don't or can't. And so, everyone in the party would feel a sudden raise in their capacity to deal damage, that their bodies can take even more punishment, and that their senses have been augmented, precision raised, evasion too. I have no idea how this energy manifests, but it has no bounds or nullifiers. The remnants of the spirit of a leader. Perhaps it was Belial's own skill? Doesn't matter, next demon does.]
“That doesn’t look good.”
i once again state the obvious as Parad makes his new, edgier form known. I wasn’t really helping much before, and given how much stronger these form switches tend to make them I probably can’t do much even now.
So again, I simply watch for a bit, not that I can do anything else. Kaz gives a nice little speech, but even if I were to try something, I can’t expect to hit our opponent without seeing them, and surely other people who are closer are better to help... Kalib?
With my own position painfully clear, I pipe up just loud enough to be heard
“I’ll just... Be over here. Let me know if there’s something I can do to help.”
As Mal scarsastically gives me some BS answer, I turn around at the sudden sounds behind me.
"What in the..."
And then I see that amalgamation that didn't hit me for whatever reason and I back up.
What this... Thing said confirmed my fears. It was Kalib, I didn't know the dude too well but he still existed, I guess. I turn back to Make.
"Listen, how about you put whatever you have against me aside and stay back. I've changed and I just wanna get the hell out of here already. I'm not sure about what character your body is in right now, but if they can do anything, now's a really good time to whip it out and help us!"
I ready some more fireballs. I won't let anyone go down without one hell of a fight. That's what Ina would do, so that's what I've gotta do.
"I may not be able to see him, but let Kalib go monster! He just wants out of this world and he did nothing wrong!"
Just solve it? If it was only that easy. It was never that easy for me because I was someone who was stubborn in my ways. I knew it before, if I had a choice between suffering or taking the easy way...I'd almost always choose to suffer because I never want to feel like I got something without even trying.
My hesitation was a reflection of that in a way. Would I allow myself to have to struggle to get what I want or would I simply choose not to act? Once I make a choice I have to invest everything into it because if I don't then I'll only end up disappointing people.
What do I do? Can I do anything? Everyone got these incredible powers but as usual...I'm still not good at anything. No, I refuse to admit to being useless even if I am. That was part of being stubborn too.
"You think an internal crisis can hold someone like me down? If that were true I'd be unable to act at any given point. Even if I am, I refuse to believe that I'm powerless!"
Ok, I went ahead and said that, now what? What power can I possibly have, what can I put my all into at this moment?
It doesn't matter, I'd begin walking forward once more, fueled by Kaz's words but unsure of what happens next.
Oh come the fuck down.
*I would say before getting knocked backwards by the shockwave. Groaning, I would get back to my fight.*
I'm starting to think I'm getting bullied. Wait a moment? What did you just say?
* Kalib? I recognise that name from somewhere. Unfortunatly, I'm starting to get a headache from getting knocked around and having my shape changed and coming back from the dead and everything else that's happened to me today. Welp, pain means I'm alive. Assuming something else was about to happen, I'd brace myself for whatever impact would come my way.*
I kneel to get a better look at the parad that was Kalib. Soon, however, I stand and jump back upon seeing the new Parad jump in.
"Who woulda thought putting off binge watching would be the death of me."
Solemnly watching the actions of the new Parad and breathing deeply, I try to casually walk over to the water-themed Kamen Rider and cautiously stand beside them
"As long as you don't plan on spamming Marin Karin, i'll leave the fighting to you. If you're close enough, I can heal you. If we use everything we've learned from all our gaming experiences, we can win this!"
Parad didn't have a moment to act as he felt a massive blast of energy and then the feeling of a hand at his throat.
"Gah... y-you... w-what is t-this? W-Why turn.... a-against me?"
As Parad is finally slammed into the wall, his eyes flicker once more.
I hear something... I hear a voice... I hear a name... Kalib. Who is that? Wait. No, that name does sound familiar. All too familiar.
It all starts to come back all at once. Damn it all! How could I let myself lose sight of what was going on? This whole situation could've been avoided if I was stronger, but this is always how it goes right? Ever the fuck up, no matter how hard I try there's always going to be someone that needs to save me. I'm honestly pathetic. But hearing Kazuya's words allows a single truth to ring in my ears; at this very moment, I am me and I am real.
I struggle to laugh as I bring my hands to grip around the arm holding me in place.
"Hah....haha.... I'm sorry.... it shouldn't.... have been you... I... should've went first... I'm not strong... but there is something I am..."
My arms seem to go limp as another laugh rises from my throat. It takes a moment, but my hand finds a very important button, and presses it down.
[KNOCKOUT CRITICAL SMASH!]
My fists are bathed in flames and multicolored lights as I attempt to stare into the eyes of my invisible foe.
"I....am....the....real....Kalib.... and everyone.... loves an underdog story!"
I put my all into this last ditch effort. I bring both fists up and try to crush the invisible arm holding me with a flaming pincer attack. This was all I could do to try and save myself. I could focus on helping the others should I manage to save myself.
As Parad powers up again I simply stand back. Watching the multitude of medals fly out, with me getting hit by the protection orb. As Kaz's cry comes out I feel a surge within me. What did I want to do with this power though? Nothing. I didn't want anything to do with him. But that was petty, instead I take Mordred and run up to the invisible foe being hit by the second finisher.
Die! Mordred! Give me your strenght!
Once I'm close enough, I jump into the air with Mordred at my side, flying downwards in the shape of a drop kick, the blade propeling me forward into the invisble monster as we spin downwards like a drill
I watch everything going on. It turns out that one of the Parads is Kalib, so I instinctively reach out. As if I could reach him, seeing him attempt to hurt the monster that's sending out those medals fills me with hope. Kaz's morale boost helps me a bit with my disorientation, but I still feel strange. I step in front of Cait.
"I'm fine, just stay behind me."
Hey, can't just keep me locked away in your noggin forever.
Come on, the evoker is right there on your left leg, you can turn the tides if you just use it.
"...I'm not even sure what you can do. How can I know that'd you could turn things to everyone's favor?"
Shhhh, don't worry about that, killer, you're workin' with a master level here. If I wasn't, how would I have been able to decieve so many humans? I've still got my yeowoo guseul, kiddo.
"...Fine, let's see what you can do... Kumiho."
I unholster the evoker and bring it up to my head.
I pull the trigger, my scarf starts flapping wildly.
"I am thou, thou art-"
"I, let's get this started, kid."
The persona seems to take the form of some sort of sinister, twisted(not literally) nine-tailed fox, it's bigger than the average fox, that's for damn sure. It looks at me and chuckles, its yeowoo guseul(literally translates to fox marble) quite visible in its jaws. I reach my hand forward and snap my fingers, I have a good idea of where the invisible thing might be. A part of reality itself flips open and sends out a spring-loaded boxing glove from the dark void behind it at... Hopefully the monster.
"...Lucky punch, seriously? That's the "tide-turner"? Fuck me, dude."
"Alright quit fooling around you masked freak! Let him go!"
The morale boost that was unknown to me, I can feel it! Power courses through my veins, and my flames grow to twice their size.
"Huh..this is weird."
I smirk. Nows my chance to stop this thing!
"But doesn't make it any less perfect in timing!"
I dash towards the invisible parade, it's kinda easy to tell where he is considering he's holding up Kalib.
I leap into the air and dive straight down, hopefully slamming the invisible Parad with a flaming kick that would deal some pretty decent damage if hit.
What a nice morale boost. It's pretty much expected from our nice and good leader that's trying to reprimand someone for having common sense. That's cool and all, but all these people that are awakening their personas around me is making me feel inadequate. In order to fuel my ego, surely insulting someone would do me nicely.
"bUt iF tHeY cAn dO aNyThInG, nOw'S A rEaLlY gOoD tImE tO wHiP iT oUt aNd hElP uS! Yeah, it's not like I don't have the power to fucking delete your kneecaps when I pull the trigger."
Likewise, Yu over here being a sensible person, since my half-assed pep talk supposedly did something good. Though to be fairly honest, he probably didn't need any of my help with his newfound inspiration. What isn't sensible is the fact that he's walking forwards. Especially since he's blowing my cover...because I'm hiding behind him for cover.
"Excuse me? Don't go! MY COVER!!!"
I start running to follow close behind him, keeping careful to not try and stray away behind him too long. Knowing that my cover is a living breathing person that has to move, I take this moment to take some potshots at the invisible Parad with my dual pistols. Somehow, a few of the bullets become incarcerated with a blue magic energy that would have the almighty power to fracture some bones instead of puncturing into the body.
Despite the incoming assault of damage from both his front and back, Parad would simply become visible, just as the one he held in a choke hold clocked him at full force. It didn't phase him, and he simply rotated 180 degrees, putting his victim in the way of every incoming attack. Funny how attacking someone with a flaming hot meat shield works. Even after taking the incoming attacks, Kalib would find himself with a sawblade aimed at his chest, with no remorse behind the mask his eyes were forced to be locked with.
"Everyone might love an underdog story, but Rocky lost his first fight you know... except of course, he got to live to see tomorrow, too bad, huh?"
[THE PUNISHER! CRITICAL SACRIFICE!]
It would hurt, more than anyone in the room could imagine. Kalib could feel himself fading, he wasn't himself, he was a limp corpse. A soul torn to shreds, trapped in a body he didn't earn, how would that feel? Sad? Painful? Lonely? Maybe something that'd fill you with rage? Not like the corpse felt emotions, he wasn't real.
[THE END OF THE LINE!]
"They aren't like us. We know why we're here, we can leave at any time! Isn't that right... Parad?"
There was no Kalib here, there wasn't the lovable goofball that couldn't come up with a name better than GYM. There was just Parad... and Parad. He couldn't save himself, and it seemed the universe knew that, at the very least, his now lifeless body did. It wasn't the end for him. Parad had battles to win, games to enjoy... arrogant douche bags to kill! The corpse felt a tugging inside, inexplicable, yet powerful. He was Parad once again, nothing else could hold him back. Soon he too would be replaced by a monochrome Rider much like the one that had just ended his life.
"Get up... The game isn't over yet!"
Another Parad would flick a golden rimmed medal toward his regained ally, showering him in healing green light.
"You owe me after letting that puppet master get in even a single punch!"
He'd flip the cyan weapon mounted on his arm. Pointing the barrels at those who opposed him, firing several shots, whether they hit or not, doesn't matter.
I simply watches in stunned silence. What exactly was happening?!? There was so much happening, who should I target? Should I target anyone at all? No, it was too risky right now. I should put my trust in Kalib.
Hey! Your better than this! Fight with all your strength! Its the only way to survive in this world!
Parad looks at his new form as the green light washes away his injuries. As the light fades he rolls his shoulders and turns to the other Parad.
"Heh. You're right, I do owe you..."
I grin behind my mask as I loose a right hook at the monochromatic man before me; decking him square in the side of the head with a fiery fist. Distancing myself shortly thereafter.
"...a couple more punches that is!"
Everyone could see the single blue thread coming out of my head. It wasn't much, but it glowed brilliantly, my will coursing through this borrowed body.
I turn my head to verify everyone's safety, they looked a little roughed up but that wouldn't stop them... at least I hope it won't.
"I won't pretend to know why I'm still kicking Parad, but I do know that I'll do everything in your power to stop you. I've already let myself indulge in the fantasy long enough, but this is where I draw the line."
I face Parad once more as I tighten my fists. This was bound to be suicide, but in this world, after what I've done...
"I don't know who lies beyond the faces I've seen today, but I do know some of you. I'm sorry. If I wasn't so weak, none of this would have happened... we could've worked together."
I take a deep breath. It was plain to see I was scared, what with the whole me shaking like a leaf thing. These were more than actions on a computer screen, this was what passes for reality at the moment. And reality was calling for its dues.
"But right now I'm going to be a little bit selfish... all my life it has always been one fuck up after the other and I don't see that changing anytime soon. So I'm going to do something right for once in my life and clean up my own mess. Please stay back... not even I know what's about to happen."
I twist the device inside my belt before opening and closing the front.
[HIDDEN MOVE! PERFECT CRITICAL COMBO!]
"This is our bad end. I'm sorry I let us both get too carried away. See you in Hell, pal."
The room begins to shake violently as a whopping thirteen glittery blue medals appear in the air above Parad. They'd spin and circle around him before stopping in place. The thirteenth medal would position itself directly above Parad as the other twelve medals each activate and display a different zodiac constellation.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I and everyone else would soon find out. From each constellation came a proportionally sized asteroid that would collide with Parad. After the twelve asteroid onslaught, the final medal activates and reveals a small blue star.
"This is game over, Parad!"
With that the star goes supernova and lets out a tremendous blast of energy aimed directly at Parad, and consequently myself. I didn't have time to check his Rider Gauge before I started to fall, but it's safe to assume that did the trick.
As for me? I crash to the ground on my back, the health display on my chest showed a single flashing red light. I was alive, but just barely.
*I would take a few step back, smiling nervously, the corners of my mouth twitching at the sudden PK Starstorm.*
What... just happened? Please, someone explain this shit to me.
I'm speechless. This.... Wow.... After hitting Kalib with the kick by accident, him being killed and turned bad, but actually being good and almost killing himself for it?
"Yeaaaaah, I have no idea Gin. Or Sam. Or whatever, ugh nothing makes any sense anymore!"
I sit down, wondering what in the heck is happening anymore. I'm so confused and my head is spinning. I just want out. But I am really worried about Kalib... He's almost dead...
"Someone should probably heal him.. please tell me someone has healing skills?"
[Speechless again, and now the pain at least was completely gone. I would run my hand on the back of my neck and properly stand on my place. I would look around and many things had happened, so much in fact I couldn't really make anything out, not at first anyways.]
Good... job, everybody.
We're okay, I think.
[I would then try to approach he who seemed to be Kalib, and staying relatively close to him, pointing my sword at him just in case, I say the most sensible thing I can for the moment.]
Parad or Kalib, we can heal you based on what you say.
[I can summon Pixie, she shouldn't be hard to convince. After all, even she has the tendency to play with people, she had come to actually care thanks to her bond with Kazuya. Now, I have no reasons to fear him, but so many weird things have been happening that I might as well act safely. Soon enough, Belial would disappear from sight, and the "Energy" gauge would be full once again.]
I just want confirmation; we don't need any other fights.
While I would try and make some sense out of the situation...I can't find any possible way to. Mostly because I believe that you really shouldn't try to do that when all this stuff had happened. I stay quiet not because I'm speechless, but I don't care too much about it. Even if it was a very nice moment.
"I still have doubts...but hopefully we don't have to go through some other bullshit."
The fact that I helped hurt Kalib even more made me feel a little bad, but in hindsight trying to even attack the thing holding him up was a stupid move. After all, everyone else who tried went up close, what would bullets help accomplish?
"Anyways, thank god somebody went and helped to heal him. I can't, I have no healing spells. This character I'm in is literally just a fucking fortnite skin."
I kept my distance for now. No telling if this was over or not yet and I wasn't willing to take any chances. I had no way of knowing how dying might effect me in my current state and I wasn't too convinced yet that things were as they seemed.
"Hey, all of you. Don't drop your guards yet. We need to confirm whether or not that attack actually finished the other off."
Watching Kalib's kamakaze move, I merely shout in protest
But am unable to finish before the last meteor descends
"No sooner do I heal a guy that he attempts to finish himself off. You may have well as stood on the other edge of the arena."
I frown at the Kalib that was on the ground, looking away towards where the other Parad stood and crossing my arms.
"With how much unnecessary damage you guys take, i'l learn all these spells in no time."
I shrug my shoulders and raise my hands in the air
"Speaking of which, we better set up camp after this."
My Rider armor stays out, I'm not nearly careless enough as of right now to dismiss the only thing that means I might survive at least some strikes if things go south. Without this shit on my body is merely a human, one in good shape but hardly able to survive a strike from a transformed Kamen Rider.
"What Kaz said pretty much, and who I think is Yu too. I don't want to end up doing more of this, but if it comes to it... I'm a Kamen Rider and all, yeah? Can't give up the fight if people need me. If we can avoid it though, then it'd be much much better to simply stop this crap."
My voice is still disgustingly calm for someone in this madness, but that's to be expected considering the state I'm in. Hah, that's also part of why I don't give up my Henshin right now, the icy cold power flowing through me helps to keep my mind... Focused, cold, collected. Once I take it off, who knows how I'll react.
I simply watch and stand back for the time being. The situation was precarious and I didn't exactly feel like the one blowing up. Instead. I fuse Mordred back into his full form of a giant dark Knight. Slamming his fists together to surrond me in a cascade of light
Mmm... Heat Riser!
With Niko acting as a shield and the fight basically over, I end up relatively unscathed. I give Niko a small smile.
"Kumiho. Nice. I'd ramble on that thing more but now's probably not the time for mythology nerd stuff."
I step forward and perk my ears up to listen. Whatever happened, Kalib's alive somehow, in some sense of the word. I'll have to accept this as fact. Just going with the flow... like Kaz said, letting all the pieces fall is better than just questioning everything. It's the only thing keeping me from completely freaking out to be honest. Speaking of pieces, I'd better check to see if the non-Kalib Parad is still alive. The fur along my spine rises as I slowly approach where the enemy had been.
After all of that, my persona desummons and I adjust glasses that aren't there. I should probably stop that habit.
"Well that sure was a ride. I just hope Kalib will be okay... I also hope that the other power-ranger-looking fuck is down for the count finally."
I flash a thumbs up at Cait.
"Yeah, we should probably nerd out about random mythologies later."
Waking up from a blondness/paralysis induced coma, i wake up, my head still foggy, my vision still blury. It takes a fes seconds for me to get my bearings
"ugg.. My head... Wha... What happened... What happened to the power rangers? Am i still dreaming? Am i still bartz?"
I try to stand up, but quickly end up crouching again. That's easier for now
Kalib groans as he closes the belt once more and removes the device inside of it. His transformation fades in a blur of pixels and his borrowed form of the human Parad is shown once again.
"It's all Kalib. Scout's honor and all that... now can you point your sword away from me and destroy this stuff?"
He says as he tosses the belt and the device towards Kaz. He then sits himself up to face his... well he hopes he can still call them friends.
"It's good to be back in control... but I'll be honest with you guys. You don't want to heal me. I'm just hanging on by a thread here..."
He looks towards Quintus and H2O... or rather...
"Yu and Tatsu, huh? The fight is over guys, or should I say this fight is over. You're safe for the moment, so take a breather."
He hangs his head as the shameful memories begin to flow back.
"That being said, you guys need to be careful... sure we can use the powers that these bodies have but if you give in too much, well, you saw what happened."
He looks around to the faces that he feels like he should know but can't quite place.
"This place, the Velvet Room, I'm leaving it to you guys. Although, I'm not entirely sure it'll keep being a saving grace for much longer. Just one of those gut feelings y'know? Granted that could be from the chainsaw earlier."
He lets out a dry laugh. He didn't know his own mortality was enough to dampen his humor, but it's good to know. By the time Cait is able to make it to Kalib she wouldn't find a body, just a broken belt and device similar to the one he just threw to Kaz.
(One journey has ended and now another can begin.)
A sharp ping reverberates around the room once Kalib has said all that he needed to say.
The elevator doors that led to the beginning open again. This time revealing an elegantly dressed man in his late forties. This blue adorned man clothed in the finest of concierge uniform runs a gloved hand through white hair before taking a place behind a destroyed welcome desk.
All you fools have really mussed up the area. Haven't you ...
With an elegant snap of the man's fingers the room fixes itself to its prior state. Erasing all signs of Kalib and Parad's existence as you and the rest are effectively healed.
Might want to take more care of this place given that it now belongs to you.
The man's yellow eyes study you before leaping to the next and once done he sighs.
Some among you are already on the way to meeting the same fate as the guests you just killed. Do take care of that soul of yours. They are not easy to replace nor will the worlds be kind to them.
With that said the man slaps a rusted key on the desk in front of him and beckons for you or someone else to come over.
My name is Walton and I will be of service to you until you succeed or fail. It's more likely that you will fail given the fact that no one has succeeded in escape. There is still room for hope though, right? Anyway you are welcome to stay and recover here, but your only way out is to take the elevator to elsewhere. Though before I continue ...
Walton assess you or a few others a second time.
You may want to settle scores now and see if your soul is still in one piece. I suggest you avoid the mistakes of the previous owners.
(Pancake Knight, Bartz, Ina, H20, Alphinuard, and Quintus face soul instability.)
(Kazuya, Cait, Niko, Florina, Sam, and Toki are currently stable.)
Whether my soul was in one piece or not? The answer was obvious, I knew deep down it was and I knew I had no choice but to accept it. Of course, I had no reason to tell anyone else about that.
"Scores to settle? Do those really matter right now?
Actually...no offense but I don't think I care too much. Everyone here says there this person or that and you all seem so quick to believe that. How can you be so certain?
There's a possibility that nobody here says they are who they are. I mean, the odds that everyone from Phansite just so happen to be in the same place? That's too perfect for a setup honestly by whoever's behind all this."
I stare at the new man intently, turning back to the rest of the group after he says his piece
"This guy must be the new villain, throw the book at him!"
I then toss my grimoire in his direction as hard as I can before facing the gang once more
"Anyways, since we're in the Nexus I say we do the stupidest stuff we can imagine, or at the least all the fun stuff. Actually, there's bound to be plenty of stores we can raid. Let's see if we can't break into Gamma's old arcade, am I right?"
I didn't know the dude well, but now he's dead.... but I can't let that phase me. I probably have a lot ahead of me.... And then the other guy comes in, introduces himself, and puts the key on the table. I don't grab it, not trusting myself with the responsibility. But I smile anyways.
Then I hear many words that worry me a ton. No one has made it out of here alive.....? N-No, I can't let that happen, I need to make it out of here. And then there's all that soul talk.... I've been getting into this role way too much, that means.... No, it can't be right?
"S-So if my soul is unstable will I know? A-And can I fix it?"
I start having a worried expression on my face. I want out- no, I need to get the heck out of here soon.
I sigh. I was hoping we'd get to keep Kalib along for the ride, he seems like a good person, and I wanted to get to know him better. I stare at the new arrival, a velvet attendant by the name of Walton, still going off of the naming scheme from Frankenstein, nice.
"Apologies for the destruction, we aren't too well adjusted to our new bodies and such so we didn't put up the best fight ever."
Soul in one piece? I wonder what that could mean.
"Elaborate more on the soul part, please and thank you."
It was a lot to process at once, so again I ended up doing little more than standing there and listening while trying to gather my own thoughts.
The first thing I knew is that this is a lot less fun in person, and I didn’t even get hit.... I don’t stand out or comment on anything for a while, until this... “Walton” catches my attention
“You mean there’ve been others with this... Problem?”
I let the others continue their talking before taking note of something Alphinaud said
“Hey, Wait, I don’t remember having an arcade, cafe, sure but that’s not mine anymore.”
I place a hand on my chest. I don't feel too different, so my soul's probably fine. Probably. My tail sways while I think. Kalib... is gone, from what our Velvet Room attendant said, but he was dead anyway right? Right? I wrap my cape around myself like a blanket and dig my claws into my arms. The little Q&A session starting finally gives me the drive to speak up.
"W-wait, escape? What do you mean? And, uh... do you know how we got this way? Like, you know, into these bodies? Is this the real afterlife or something? Mishy didn't explain everything."
"Pretty sad that Kalib had to die, but it might've had to happen. I dunno if we could've avoided it."
Once Walton over here comes in, I start to "listen" to literally everything he says with little intent to actually reply. At least, reply with a sensible question like everyone else is for some reason. Sure, he was vague, but I could fill in the blanks myself.
"Right, well, I don't really care too much, thanks a lot sir."
After I seemingly brush off his message with sarcasm, I pull out my phone once again, playing a random mobile game while whistling to pass the time. Maybe someone else can ask the dreaded question, because I surely can't.
[I catch the overly heavy belt and strange device with both arms before I even try to properly places them under my left arm. After the last few words to the which I don't know how to respond, I put away the Kagutsuchi back into its sheathe.]
Yeah but we can still try-
[Then the one man would appear and fix everything with the snap of a finger and in a single wink and you miss it moment, even Kalib is gone, but not the things he left behind. I look at the key for a moment and then simply take a few steps back. I couldn't really mourn him, not now, not when whatever happened to him is easy to explain, or if anything happened to him at all. There is too many things to answer and yet I remain here with almost no ideas at all. Maybe he’s dead, but I can’t just run with such an idea, it’s going to keep me down. I can feel sad later. I just need to act coldly.]
... guess not.
[I would just keep walking back and then turn to face the man, Walton.]
I don't think there is much to settle here, I already said my piece and the battle is over but...
Doesn't matter, it doesn't seem that we can die, but based on everything else...
[I close my eyes and can feel my soul doing just fine, nothing to worry about. Except the fact that souls are a thing.]
Based on what everyone else is saying, then the soul can be hurt.
So if we can't physically die like the other guy, then that can only mean it's our soul the one that is paying the price. And then, we can't guarantee dying and then coming back has no consequence.
[Looking once more at the key, I decide to walk forward as I reply to Yu. Assuming indeed that it is Yu.]
Whatever you think this is I can tell you I am very real and so is whatever this is.
I can tell you I'm Kaz, not Kazuya, because not many know the blunders of the RP Hub and what exactly happened, not to mention Haz's server and all its glory, or the Illuminati chat.
I feel like I am myself, and everyone else seem reasonable enough, so just run with it.
That is my advice.
[Why am I even saying this much. Must be true, I am not thinking about it much anymore, I just speak, I let the words come out instead of double guessing myself. I stand in front of the man and try to simply take the key he had slapped on the desk.]
I heard her voice, so I'm moving on until I find her again.
Thanks for whatever it is you're doing, and I hope you're not the one behind it.
Can't be too trusting, sorry if it's too rude.
[I have been talking the entire time with my usual polite tone, which sounds serious but chill. I don't really want to sound as intense as I did before, it's not like I feel angry or frustrated, just determined enough to see what this is all about. I must be going crazy, if I wasn't already. After it was said and done, I decide to put both belt and device inside the small bag Kazuya should carry at all times. I can ask about it later, whatever it is and however it works, there must be some future use to it.]
As i get back up for real this time, i hear quintus and his doubts about us.
"Now, now, don't be like that. You can tell this isn't life as we used to know right? And you understand that we're all as confused as you, yes?
I don't think it's that unlikely. If anything, it makes sense. It's the thread that connects us all. It's the reason we and not someone else end up in this mess.
Besides, who we are right now is intrinsically connected to the phansite. Probably. There's no reason for an outsider to be here. At least that's how I've come to understand it."
This time, mostly muttering to myself,
" still, the integrity of our soul huh... "
I'm not good at introspection. I was never able to understand myself. No way is that going to change just by swapping bodies. I'm still me inside after all. Well.. No point in thinking about it. I never felt like i had a soul or anything back in life. I don't see how i'd suddenly grow to feel like i have one here. This stuff is too complex for me to fathom.
"whatever i guess.
Anyway! Guys, what should we focus on from here on out? Staying alive? Escaping? Regaining our lives? What do you all want to do?"
I'd look back at Kaz...Yeah, it was obviously him at least. I wasn't sure who the other guy with the weird getup was but they had at least didn't seem like a fake. However, I felt the need to point at the main cause of my concern.
"Alright, I believe you're Kaz but seriously..."
I'd point to the idiot who just threw a book at Walton and then started speaking in one of the most irrational manners I think I've heard yet.
"Either they aren't real and are doing and incredibly poor job at acting like one of us or they're mentally unstable. Either way I don't think it's a good idea to put any faith in them or...act like they're connected to all this too."
I nod my head at Quintus and cross my arms
"C'mon, it must hurt to be this serious. You haven't even given us your name and you're already making preconceptions about us. -I... don't think it needs to be said that we all have our differences. But if we can't work past that and find common ground, what hope do we have of surviving any of this?"
I then walk over to Bartz
"I think we should remember that 'haste makes waste' and take a moment to get to know each other... or at least discuss strategies."
I wave my right hand towards the aquatic Kamen Rider with my left hand in my pocket.
"Ay, Tatsu, you seemed pretty good at this shit. Wadya think?"
*Yep. I am still completely lost here. Also, looks like I was right.*
Still, blaming us for being attacked out of nowhere is low, man. Victim blaming.
*Pulling a screwdriver out of my lab coat pocket, I would leap into a chair and begin doing the usual Sam thing of performing maintenance. Honestly, I'm not even sure why I'm doing it. Maybe some left over will of the 1000 IQ idiot or something. Hell if I know. Anyway soul seems like it's stable. Or not more unstable than usual. So whatever. *
Preciate the invite to stay, Walton. I need a bit of a rest after having my size changed like twice. I'll be ready when everyone else is. Don't worry. Heh, like anyone is actually worried.