The Moonlit Streets of Akihabara
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A bank of fog rolls through the ever bright Akihabara as the full moon hangs in the night sky.
"Termite, Flea, Louse. Come on out."
A voice speaks from inside the fog as it begins to dissipate. Left behind is a man that would be familiar to most, Kalib. Albeit, those who have met him properly could tell something was different this time. As the man emerges, so to do three small black orbs from a dark alley. The orbs had beady red eyes trained on the man before them.
"Hey Boss. Sorry 'bout you meetin' us like this. I reckon you'd fancy an explanation... I ain't got one for ya though. We were just up and cast out."
The center orb speaks, larger than the other two by a small amount. Kalib would approach the two smaller orbs and place them within his coat before lifting the center orb, bringing it to eye level.
"You and the others have grown to an extent Termite. Your circumstances are unfortunate, but we'll find a new host for you. You could be as strong as Hookworm if it weren't for your incompatible partners."
The man calmly strokes the orb with his left hand as he makes himself comfortable against a nearby wall.
A young woman in black armor and an insect-like mask wanders through the night, there'd be a swarm of bugs trailing along above her head as she walks down the streets with her eyes closed.
Despite not looking at anything, through her swarm Skitter would easily spot Fakelib leaning against the wall and talking to... An orb of some kind? Is this the same one she spotted at the mal that night? Wel, best speak with him... She'd walk up the man and cough a bit.
"Well, fancy meeting you out here Kalib, or is someone else? I heard you at the mall the other day, and you seemed... Different for some reason, so what's the deal?"
She'd then look down to the orbs, something about those things gives her... It's not an entirely bad feeling, but it is odd to be sure.
"And what are those things anyway? They almost feel like bugs, except I can't control them and I think they're a lot more complex."
Emerson walks through Akihabara, carrying a large bag of goodies he's bought earlier that day, including a few posters of various subjects poking out of the top. He doesn't really pay much attention to the fog, but the moment he hears a familiar voice in the distance, his head jolts.
Is that... Kalib? Sheesh, the heck's he doing out this late...
He laughs to himself, before walking over towards the direction of Kalib's voice. When he reaches the destination, he notices another familiar face.
Ah, you're... hmm, I don't think I caught your name, did I?
And Kalib, hey! Er, what're up with the orbs?
Fakelib looks up at the masked person and their entourage of bugs with a small whistle.
"Eh? Oh I see. You met him. Odd that I didn't remember you."
The man scoffs slightly before standing properly.
"I'm Kalib all the same, but it's my first time properly meeting you. And you saw me at the mall? I tend to go there and monologue on quiet nights. Helps me sleep y'know?"
The man almost doubles over laughing but quickly calms himself. He'd begin juggling the orb in his right hand as he continues to speak.
"This guy right here is a Despairasite. Not organic in the typical sense, nor anything in the typical sense. They're definitely something else. Anyways, I created them."
The man looks to the newcomer with a warm smile, oddly enough he manages to make it look like the real thing.
"Oi! How's it going, Em? Fancy meeting you here! And this little guy is just a project I've been working on! Haha!"
*Roaming through the crowd was a nicely dressed woman. She might seem more interested in the various televisions she's passing, but the rolling in fog distracts her.*
Huh? A fog? This wasn't supposed to happen today. It's probably nothing.
*She then notices the small group gathering around a floating orb.*
Or maybe it is something. I really hope not, though.
*She makes her way out of the crowd and toward the group. Not saying anything at first, just standing a bit away from them.*
"Despairasite? Sounds... What do they do exactly? And uh, I think I heard something about hosts? I'm... Depends on what that means, but I guess I might be up for it?"
Upon seeing Em walk in, however, she'd turn to the boy and give him a curious glance. No she didn't give him a name... and how in the hell does he even know it's her?
"Have we met... Oh who am I kidding, yeah it's Taylor Herbert, and how the heck did you guess who I am from meeting me when I'm dressed normally anyway? Not that I care too much, but I am curious about it Em."
A few bugs would hover around Mariko, for some reason they seem to be watching her... Which they are, namely because Taylor is, in fact, spying on her via the things. But no need to say that~
Oh, a new project, eh?
A... Despairasite, huh. That sounds... unusual.
Emerson gives a nervous smile and rubs the back of his neck, squirming a little as he looks at this odd "project" of his.
So, uh, what do they do exactly?
Emerson turns to Taylor, thinking for a moment before laughing a little.
Oh, sorry, I kinda just remember people by their energy signatures now. Well, nice to formally meet you, Taylor. And, er, I guess I got introduced, eh? But just for the sake of this conversation, hello, my name is Emerson.
He extends his hand out to her for a handshake, giving her a warm smile as well.
Spongebob was walking through the area. He wasn't aware of the strange things going on.
There sure is a lot of bugs tonight. I should try to catch some with my handy dandy butterfly net!
OOC: Yo get this fraud Spongebob outta here. It's a Jellyfish Net you dolt.
OOC: It's a butterfly net above surface duh! don't bully me just because your some veteran fancy rper! I'm smart sometimes.
He stops juggling the now very dizzy Termite as he looks around once more.
"Oh well you see. They're sentient creatures that team up with a host to grow stronger together. Despairasites is a bit of a dreary name, but it fits to an extent."
He laughs shyly as he sees the new woman in the crowd.
"This fella here is called Termite. As you can imagine, he has a knack for breaking things! He feeds on energy from battle, particularly when beating a strong foe and knocking them down a couple notches!"
He taps the top of the orb and it swiftly transforms into a very large and shadowy termite. The beady red eyes scanning the faces very quickly, almost as if his head were still spinning.
"Howdy! Fancy meeting you lot and all yer twins. Wait.
Triplets? Quadruplets? Stop movin' so quick! I reckon y'all are a group of sextuplets!"
"I may have gone overboard. Anyways, Termite, Armed Mode now!"
At the command, the shadowy critter begins to melt and reform into a large sledgehammer with red beady eyes on the head.
"This is another trick they are capable of! Cool, right!? Haha!"
His eyes then catch a certain porous fellow.
"Looks like I found the perfect host for Bookworm...hehehe..."
He spoke under his breath to avoid sounding too evil.
Huh, I thought I heard something say something sinister!
...I miss Patrick...
Spongebob pouts only for a moment before smiling again raising his butterfly net/jellyfish net and starts catching the various bugs around the area.
*Mariko swats at the bugs that are watching her.*
It's not even spring yet, go away you stupid-- what is, wait is that a shadow!? And you're making them into weapons!?
Knocking strong people down in battle? That's... She was expecting something that sounded evil, but that could actually be used to do some good couldn't it? Not everyone who's strong is good after all, and isn't fighting people her job already anyway in no small part? And that hammer might be able to smash open holes for her bugs...
"I'm interested, such a being seems... Well, I'm all for knocking people down a notch myself now and then."
Taylor's awareness would flick for a moment, she can feel her bugs being caught by... A sponge? Well, no need to stop him or anything. The insects would simply keep acting like normal as Spongebob chases after them.
"Anyway, you said he needs a ghost? I... Might be able to take him in? If you're offering anyway."
She'd then turn to Mariko, the bugs suddenly fly away from the woman as Skitter's eyes gaze at her. Shadow? What's that...
"Uh, what exactly is a Shadow anyway? I'm not too versed in all this magic stuff or anything, but it can't be that bad right?"
OOC: That's definitely a way to view it, but would Spongebob in character even know to call it as such? I personally believe he'd still call it a Jellyfish Net, unless he's already been informed of such a change. However, I do understand your opinion in the matter, and I respect it. If it's a part of his established character I was unaware of, I apologize.
I didn't mean to come off mean, I was aiming for a more playful response, but I can see it wasn't taken as such. Once again, I apologize.
Em watches as the Desparasite is turned into a large sledgehammer.
So, er, why exactly did you make these again? They're cool and all, but this whole thing's gotta stem from something, right?
He squints at the orbs, a bit wary of the unknown nature of them.
He looks behind him, seeing a odd yellow figure skipping around and catching bugs, as well as an unfamiliar woman swatting at the bugs.
Hah, it sure is lively tonight. I wonder where all these came from...
"Well, looks like your still up to the same things, boss."
A young man wearing a thick gray cloak with the hood brought up over his face would walk into the dark alley. Only his eyes would be visible through the darkness shining with a blue coloration. He'd seem to approach Fakelib directly, his intentions wouldn't in any way be hostile and instead, he'd seem to approach the situation extra casually.
"Hope you don't mind me interrupting anything but there's something I need to ask you about in private later. Of course, if that'd be okay with you. I don't imagine it should be any trouble, right?"
What's a Shadow? Geeze, you have Personas everywhere yet nobody knows what a Shadow is. They're pieces of human psyche that exist in the collective unconsciousness. And that's all you really need to know.
They don't like humans usually, and for whatever reason gods like to get them riled up.
You could tame your's and make it a Persona, though. But those don't become hammers.
*The exposition clearly wasn't something she liked giving, rushing over it and giving the most bare explanation she could get away with.*
"Em with the solid questions as usual! Very astute!"
He approaches Taylor and hands her the hammer. She'd feel a small prick in her palms should she accept the item. And then moments later it would turn into a shadowy liquid and retreat into her body. Nothing terrible would occur, just some minor discomfort as Termite eventually came to a rest near her lower back.
"Now don't panic and allow me to explain. Probably should've said that first. Oh well. All you need to keep in mind is that if you don't constantly fight and gain that energy, he'll slowly sap yours. Nothing much, you'll just become fatigued a lot quicker."
He turns back to Em with a grin.
"I'm creating these creatures to harvest energy for my next project. It doesn't have a name, but I'm going to fix everything Em. This world is unclean. And my benefactor and I are going to change that."
His smile grows even further as his questionable actions are called out by the mysterious woman.
"Ah. You know what Shadows are then? Tell me then, how is converting a Shadow into a weapon that can be used for my ideal world any different than converting my Shadow into a Persona to be used for my ideal world? Am I wrong to weave the negative facets of mankind in with the good?"
His smile fades and he laughs.
"Even if I explain my actions and motives, none of you would truly understand."
The appearance of Quin would give the man a start.
"Nice to see you again Quintus. I'm happy to see you're on the right side of the... nevermind. I've been meaning to check in with you anyways, so this is no issue at all. In fact, I was just wrapping up."
Emerson takes a few steps back after listening to his words.
Kalib are you... feeling all right?
Er, th-that wasn't a very "solid" question, huh?
He puts his hand on his forehead and shakes it, trying to think, before sighing and staring him straight in the face with confidence, but trying to keep a happy disposition as he talks.
Well, on the topic of solid questions, why don't you tell me about this unclean part of the world?
Persona... Hehehe, she's not quite sure on what those are either really.
"Question... Persona? I'm not really too sure on those either, are they another kind of magic or something? I'm... not from around here, to say the least."
She'd sound very unsure of herself at this point, but any thoughts of that are cut short as the young woman glances toward Quin. Boss? So he knows this guy then... Another host perhaps, assuming that she actually gets Termite then he might just be someone to speak with.
"I guess you must be a host then? An-"
As the Despairasite works its way into her, Taylor would stop speaking and... Show no real reaction beyond that, she's clearly not new to this whole pain thing. And fighting all the time? She already does that anyway.
"That's fine with me, I've got villains and criminals in surplus around this city after all. Gangs, a few magic users, the odd corrupt cops, Skitter isn't exactly running short of foes to face down... Hmm, where to start now? Armed Mode, yes?"
Termite would... Grin? He doesn't have a face, but there seems to be something like a grin nonetheless as the beady-eyed hammer takes shape in Taylor's hands. She'd heft it about for a moment, hmm, shockingly lightweight, or is that an effect of the thing's power? And... Oh my, acid as well huh? Burning through armor perhaps, this will need testing.
"I think this might be the start of a good team! His power might just work with what I already have pretty well, in fact, I'll need to do some testing of course, but I've got an idea..."
How is it any better? Geeze, who do you take me for? He could explain it better.
For starters, you aren't even explaining your "better world," just saying we won't understand. That seems pretty suspicious to me.
Also, if Shadows and Gods do a good enough job messing things up, they don't need Humans like you meddling in things and making it worse. What happens if that thing starts attracting other shadows to it?
*She was actually counting these things off on her fingers as she goes through them. Before sighing at yet another question.*
What do I look like? Some kind of exposition? Personas are what happens when someone controls their Shadow. Usually by accepting it, not by turning it into a hammer or a sword.
Quintus would simply watch through the darkness shrouding their face. It wasn't everyday that he got to see someone else undergoing the process. He wondered what this new host would be like anyway. With that done though he would look back to Fakelib with a subtle smile.
"Glad we understand each other well enough. It is rather interesting to see someone else become a host though I won't lie when I say watching the process as an outsider makes me a little squeamish.
It seems your also right to call this world unclean. I've seen it with my own eyes and that's why I need to talk to you now more than ever. There's something on my mind and I think you're the one to help me move past it."
"Humans like me, huh? Odd that you'd phrase it that way. But I'll admit you do have a point. I should at least try and explain myself."
He turns his nose up at the woman before looking at Em.
"My benefactor and I plan to free the world from those who'd attempt to control it. Sure it sounds like absolute nonsense, but that's the summary. Mortals don't need someone to keep them in check. We can do that ourselves."
His eyes pass over Taylor as she undergoes the process, taking it like a champ too.
"But surely you'd all just laugh at the thought. Or make me out to be a rebel without a cause. Regardless, he looks a lot better with you than he did with his other hosts."
He rubs his temples before turning to Quintus.
"The process gets easier with time, unfortunately. But color me surprised, I wasn't expecting this. Time to... take a step forward, was it? Well I can't say no at this point."
Quintus would finally begin smiling as he lifts the hood covering his face. He seemed oddly calm but there was a certain intensity to his eyes that could almost be out of character for the usual tired looking boy. It was as if he just woke up after being asleep for a long time.
"I see, I wouldn't call that being a rebel. I'd call that exactly what this world needs. I've definitely made my choice then. I'm going to help as much as I can. No one else should have to die because the gods will it so...
A world where we no longer have to live in fear of them..."
Quintus would almost seem to be excited at the thought. It was the most refreshing idea he had heard in what felt like years.
(edited by Quintus_Geminus)
Hmm... you aren't wrong that humans don't need someone telling them what to do. Though you should be careful, even people with intentions of saving everyone can do bad things.
*She looks at Quintus and takes in the way he's talking....*
Ugh, where is he when he would be useful? He's better at these speeches.
Emerson smiles nervously again at Fakelib.
Oh, well that's... interesting...
I mean, I don't disagree with the world being unclean, and I can't say I like a controlling god, but I haven't really seen much of that around here recently. Sure, Succoth and Nyarly or whoever else is around are still out there, but their influence isn't that crazy, right? And if they pull something, we'll beat 'em down like always, right?
Quontus would just seem to sigh at Em. That mindset is exactly why he came to this conclusion. It was the same mindset every other "hero" had pointlessly spouted at him but it was just another unrealistic ideal.
"I think you're missing the whole point here. Can you guarantee that people won't die in that fight like they always do? People like Gamma or people like Lux, the always end up dying because of that broken cycle and yet you still just keep the ideal of beating them down?
The world's already almost ended before and I don't want to see anyone else have to die because of a few heroes who can't do their job right."
"We can't keep playing on the defensive. I won't see mankind be toyed with any longer. Too long have gods gotten away with their actions... but no more."
He shoots Mariko a glance.
"I don't need to be careful at all. I know that people will call me a villain. Be it for denying their beliefs or that I'm acting on my own desires. But I don't care."
Hmph, I don't know what heroes you've run into but my friends wouldn't let anything close to ending the world. Seems like you're just mad that you got a bad shake.
Anyway this conversation is getting boring. Don't go causing any trouble, I guess.
*She shrugs about halfway before sighing and starting back toward the crowd. They aren't doing anything inherently wrong. They're just weirdly cultish, probably living on the edge, and most likely will become an issue someday.*
I need to depart now. Work calls. Bye, had fun!
"I... Really don't have a horse in this race right now, I'll step in if people are getting hurt, but I'm not gonna wage war on gods or anything."
She'd begin walking off from the scene, not even bothering to stow the hammer away as she does so and shoots them a glance over her shoulder.
"Anyway, this whole thing sounds crazy to me ya know? I think Termite has the right idea here, he wants to go kick the shit outta something. And I've got just the people in mind. Catch ya later~"
Before this little event, she'd actually been on her way to a fun little Yakuza owned building...
Full of guns to be sure, not to mention all those pesky armed guards. Termite vanishes for now as the girl's swarm of bugs grows, she'd smirk below her mask and wander off into the night with a fair bit of violence in mind... No killing, but a few broken bones and acid burns on scum won't be an issue, right? Not like she'll get anything done by playing nice after all.
Emerson grits his teeth and turns to Quintus, before stopping and calming himself a little.
I, generally, have every confidence in my fellows here. Casualties are going to happen, no matter what, and they happen because people have to make sacrifices to fight for what you're trying to do with some miracle project! They chose to use themselves to fight against the injustices in this world, and they did it knowing they might die.
Moving on from that a tad, are you certain no one will die in this plan of Kalib's? Do you even know exactly what you're signing up for, or are you just vouching for any project that claims to suit your interests? I may trust Kalib, but I also don't trust someone spouting words so differently than their average act!
He turns to Fakelib, keeping his temper high as he talks to him.
So, damn it, brief me on your whole damn plan Kalib, so I can stop possibly making myself look a fool!
(edited by Emerson)
"Trust Kalib? Why...why do any of you trust him!?"
The air begins to drop a few degrees as Fakelib's temper begins to rise.
"He has never once told anybody about his past! About who he is! About what he is! Yet everyone just loves him! Why? WHY!? He's nothing but an idiot who can't..."
He shuts his eyes for a moment and goes quiet.
"I've said too much. Look, I'm not the Kalib you know. I'm the real Kalib. And unlike him, I know I'm strong enough. Nobody will be dying on my watch, but I'm not above breaking a few eggs to make this omelette. So I'll use the Despairasites to gather energy to power the greatest weapon we have. I will have my revenge."
His lips curl in anger as he finishes speaking.
Emerson simply stands there and stares at Fakelib for a minute, before giving a little laugh.
You know, I think the reason Kalib is so loved is because how genuine he is. He really tries to be nice to everyone, not out of any reason but being himself. And he really just wants to protect people, y'know. When I first showed up, he was right there, helping me alongside everyone else in fighting my Shadow. People don't really care if he has some troubled past, and to be honest even if he does, he's still the same Kalib who's been so nice to everyone this past year or so.
And I mean hell, if his whole thing is an act and he'll come around to backstab us someday, so what? He'll be pissing off a hell of a lot of people if he does that, including me. And it wouldn't be the first time he's done it to me specifically, willingly or not. So he'll have a damn tough time with all those people wanting a piece of him, eh?
After taking a quick breather, Em walks over to Fakelib, puts his hand on his shoulder, and smiles.
And to be honest Kalib, if this entire thing is some sort of revenge against your other self, I don't blame you. Seriously, I can't imagine what it's like to have another version of you that's so loved, when you're not really that person. Gods, even I'm jealous of him sometimes, although that's a slightly different story.
So really, if you really want to save this world, I'm with you. And if you stab me in the back, well, I wouldn't take it any differently than should the other Kalib do it.
He drops his head and just stands there for a moment.
"You're close. I'm not after him for revenge... although I can't see he isn't someone I'd like to clobber a little bit."
He laughs softly and brushes off Em's hand before looking up.
"He'll eventually remember everything. The stronger I get, the quicker it will happen. You should hear it from him. As much as I'm Kalib, he's the one you have all that respect for."
His eyes seemingly shine with moisture for a moment but he looks away.
"If you do intend to help the cause, just be ready. It won't be easy going against the heavens. But I doubt you'll die that easy. I should know, we tried that before!"
I mean, trying to save the world through action like this, it's a gutsy move, and knowing you'll get disliked for it, and heck, embracing that fact, is even moreso, so I wouldn't say the other Kalib has all
my respect between you two.
He laughs quietly, putting his left hand on the back of his neck.
I won't say I'm not still skeptical of your plan, which I still know so very little about, but honestly that's just the type of person I am moreso than anything about you. So, I guess I'm in. And, er, if you need me, uh... I dunno, make some major energy spike or something. I don't have a phone.
(edited by Emerson)
He laughs again.
"You should really get one, but if making a lot of energy will get your attention... well it'll be a fun exercise."
He pauses for a moment.
"I don't know all the intricacies myself. The plan is still working itself out, but what I do know is the energy is important. Beings born from human hope and belief could only be destroyed by despair. Light versus dark in a sense. Who would've thought that darkness was on the side of good. No. Good and evil are too simple to define either side here."
It's sort of a middle ground, ain't it. I suppose it's some kind of... Grey Holy War, or something.
Emerson just stands there for a moment, taking in the sights along side Kalib, then turns to him again.
Well, this has certainly been a day. But, alas, I figure now's a good time to part ways. Au revoir, monsieur Kalib.
"French doesn't suit you, Em."
The man sneers as he turns his back, a bank of rolling in around him. He waves his right hand in a dramatic fashion.
And like that, the fog covers the man and dissipates once more with Fakelib nowhere in sight.