Secret Story: A World Flipped
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You have been chosen. The criteria of this selection are as vague and mysterious as the selection process itself. One day, there was a flicker in the window, or was it a puddle, perhaps a mirror? Something was there that didn't belong, a trick of the mind perhaps, had it not been persistent. Everywhere you went, he followed; man within the reflection, staring. Soon it wasn't a problem of sight, but of hearing too. A grating sound that penetrated the depths of the mind accompanied his appearance. It stopped as abruptly as it began, the sound that is. The man still stood there, staring into your eyes. Without any intelligible reason, he spoke. It sounded as if he stood just behind you, but a quick glance revealed whatever scenery you occupied.
"You are chosen. There are others like you. Only one can survive."
Like that, he was there, behind you, piece of what looked like plastic in his hands. Any attempt to interact with him, was met with silence, physical contact seemed impossible, as he disappeared the moment he was touched, appearing just out of vision.
"Accept it. Fight! Until only one stands!"
Upon taking the plastic from his hands, a flash of light would blind you. Upon clearing, the others he referred to would stand before you in a hall of mirrors.
Setsuna WAS having a good day. She tried to push the man out of her mind, for it was something she didn’t understand and she didn’t want to seem crazy. Every now and then she would find her eyes darting off towards him, and she quickly refocuses herself as if nothing was wrong. But finally it grew to where she could no longer ignore her frustration. The high-school age girl swipes an arm in front of her aggressively as she finally snaps.
“Oh come on, what’s your deal? Just stop following me.”
The other man didn’t seem to register her words, much to her annoyance and simply reappeared elsewhere. Worn down to the point of relenting Setsuna sighs as she accepts his offer
“If this’ll get you to stop bugging me then fine, just wh....”
Soon enough the girl is blinded and left, dazzled, in an unfamiliar place
“Tch... Not even gonna listen to my complaints...”
Tony found himself sitting at his desk, a glass of bourbon in his hand. He swirled it around without much care, or rather, he would've cared less until he noticed something strange about his mirror.
Getting to his feet, he glances where the man should've been in his room. Nothing. Then came the noise which had Tony down his drink and set down the glass.
"Alright, I'll bite. Not too often I get someone who wants my attention this bad."
He turns around to face the strange man.
"Not quite sure I like the sound of all this, but hey, guess it's time for me to play at being the hero again. Jarvis, hold my appointments for... I'll let you know when I'm back actually. I have a feeling this is going to keep me out late."
"Do be careful. Have a nice trip."
With that he grabs the plastic from the man and is whisked to the hall of mirrors. It takes him a few moments to regain some semblance of vision.
"Gah! I could've done without that! Wizards. They're always a headache."
Taylor Herbert, average high school drop out/mildly superpowered vigilante. One moment she's just walking down a street, the next she's being stalked. When he appears in person she doesn't even bother trying to speak with the weirdo, instead trying to slam a heavy black hammer that pulses with some green sickly looking substance towards him.
Upon noting the lack of his flesh boiling away she just curses and soon enough finds herself in the hall of mirrors with the others. Staring at then curiously dressed in her jeans and a simple black shirt, holding the hammer in both hands while looking over those gathered. And speaking up in a wary tone.
"So... Guess you all ended up here too huh? Weird place, and I could do without the ranting to murder people. Not exactly keen on doing that here."
Not keen, but not entirely unwilling if she's honest. She'll pick herself if worst comes to worst, but looking for another choice is still her first option...
Setsuna would take a quick step back as someone seems to come into being near her, or maybe she simply didn't notice the other person's arrival. Either way the girl's fists are up in a second and ready to fight
"Alright, where'd you take me and why am I..."
The girl blinks once she actually gets a good look at Tony. She breathes out an irritated sigh and drops her guard for now
"Great, its a different weird old guy. Today just can't get any worse can it?"
and it gets worse with another weirdo, this one in full cosplay just popping out of nowhere for no reason. As if nothing could possibly make it better. Setsuna simply glares at the other girl, still clearly incensed
Tony finally collects himself and looks around, only to find himself staring down some kid with her dukes up.
"Wow, first of all, I look damn good for my age. And second of all, I wouldn't tempt whatever powers got us into this mess like that."
He grumbles to himself as he turns to Taylor.
"You mean to tell me that killing people isn't your favorite pastime? Well, that's that I guess! No need for us to worry about the hammer wielding stranger after all."
Taylor raises an eyebrow at Tony. The sarcasm isn't lost upon her at all. But what can you do... Heh, none of them have any reason to trust each other at all so they?
"You've got exactly as much reason to worry about me as I do about you. But maybe there's another way... Like that guy who brought us here."
She shrugs while holding an Absent mental conversation with her "weapon". As per usual it suggests simply beating down anything in their path. She'd rather not though, for now.
"Who knows what options will present themselves to us though. Only way to find out for now is just waiting I guess."
There is a flash of the face they all knew in the mirrors. Soon it forms into a full portrait. In his hand is a briefcase, one which he throws toward the group. From each reflection of him an image of the briefcase forms, but each are as corporeal as the man was. Once the reflections come together, the briefcase becomes tangible, opening automatically as if forced by some divine will. Inside are three rectangles made of what appears to be plastic, on one side is a blue piece of something sticking out. Just looking at them caused that grating noise to echo throughout the room.
"Accept the decks. Form your contract. Fight. The last one standing will receive great power."
Each deck contained four cards, none of which meant anything at the moment. Once they were all gathered up, the mirrors would collapse in on themselves, revealing a familiar city with unfamiliar beasts leaping about. There was an innate understanding of what had to be done for whatever reason. All that was left was to break the seal and contract.
“That’s what, 50? Still pretty old.”
Setsuna leaves it at that, crossing her arms as she looks around the room again, grinning. She’d let those other two weirdos be until the one who sent them here interrupts their thinking to throw things at them again.
“That’s it? You dragged all of us here for your weirdo anime fight club? What are you crazy?”
deapite her verbal protests, Setsuna would be the first to bend over and grab a deck, looking through the cards
“This supposed to be Duel Monsters or something? Not gonna her far with these things.”
"Yeah, yeah. Geez, if all kids are this mouthy then I don't want to think about what I've got ahead of me."
He rubs his eyes before speaking to Taylor once more.
"I gotta say, you might be onto something there. That guy should have all the answers we're looking for."
Before he could dwell on the thought any longer, he notices the man in question appear before him once again. Not only that but the piercing noise also returned, much to Tony's dismay.
"Yeesh! Are genies this bored nowadays? Couldn't handle just sitting around and decided that having a bunch of strangers duke it out would be more fun?"
Tony snatches a deck from the case and eyes up the blue portion before flipping through the cards.
"Don't come crying to me when I bust your little game wide open."
The girl nods to Tony. All told, she'd rather die trying to defy this guy than just murder random people to save herself. And if they survive going against him, even better.
"That he should, and if he won't give them to us...Well, I'm game to try and make him. Might not go great, but I'll take it over doing what he wanted."
With that said her hammer vanishes into the girl's right arm, pulling itself into her body with an only mildly sickening sound. One she seems very adjusted to while starting to shuffle the deck herself before taking a set of cards.
"Nothing to do except try and learn more for now. Figure out something about this guy and his little game if we're lucky. Or maybe just try and live. Depends on how dangerous it is out there really."
Despite the dire circumstances, there's a slight smile on Taylor's face while cracking her knuckles a bit. After a moment she'd speak again in a slightly cheerful voice.
"Oh, and you can call me Taylor."
"What a pain."
Setsuna looks through her.. Selection of cards, deck was too generous a term for them at the moment. Still, she was going to have to go through this, dream or no. So it was better to get it over with. While the other two are talking amongst themselves, Setsuna would go ahead and walk out into the city, tearing up the single seal card in her possession.
"Alright which one of you wannabe Digimon is teaming up with me? The sooner I can go home the better."
Taylor would sigh and soon enough regardless of Tony's reply begin walking out herself, holding the seal card in both hands and quickly tearing it into half while moving out. Soon enough she'd find herself standing before an oddly humanoid cricket-like beast.
"A bug huh... Eh that is sort of my thing and all, guess we'll be on the same side for the moment then."
Her voice is fairly sure while holding the contract card in hand, preparing to take... Well her powers don't seem to work on this thing entirely, so direct control might not work out great. But the creature would feel a telepathic link forming. And with the card in hand, she's fairly sure that it can be turned to her use.
Tony follows shortly behind the other two after flipping around the seal card in his hands. He held his head high and had purpose in his stride as he tears the seal vertically.
"I suppose I should give my name too, huh? I'm just your friendly neighborhood millionaire playboy philanthropist..."
He stops right in front of the large bull looking monster and turns around to face the others. He holds up his contract card before speaking again.
"My name is Tony, but you guys can call me Iron Man."
To Setsuna flew a bat with a large blue gem in its torso. As she showed it the contract card, it appeared to disappear, but her deck became emblazoned with a bat shaped emblem. The same would go for Tony. Taylor's deck was the only one with major alterations, the side opened for the cards having changed from left to right, and the emblem being less indicative of what monster lurked within.
"Very good. Now... If you do not fight, you will not survive!"
With that final message, the monsters vanished, and the world opened before the three. It was wrong... Everything was backwards, and there were no signs of life. A hollow wind billowed through the towering buildings, now no more than husks.
Is all Setsuna says as she stares at the bat-like creature that approached her She already knew what to do, it was a simple matter of destroying her seal and contracting the creature. Its power would be hers for the time being as it alters her deck. Now on her own the girl lets loose a cocky grin
"its just like one of my anime. Now then.. Where's the next one?"
Of course, she was mostly talking to herself as she looks across the desolate, forsaken world. There were other players, sure. But it'd be more fun to beat up on monsters than just murder random people she hadn't met
Tony whistles as the world opens around them. The twisted and desolate landscape caused the hair on his neck to stand on end, he looks down at his deck to try and take his mind off the environment for a moment.
"So fighting is the only way to survive?"
He lets out a single laugh as he clutches the deck tightly.
"That's some next level narrow minded thinking, I'm honestly impressed. However, I'm sure I can think my way out of this one. Just a matter of how long that's going to take..."
Tony wanders over to one of the nearby buildings and peers inside.
"I must say I can't stand all this quiet. Hey Taylor and uh, other kid, what are your takes on all this?"
Taylor would glance at her new deck for a while before responding to Tony, spinning the hammer in her hands causally while speaking.
"My take... I'm a vigilante, not a murderer. There's some shit I just won't do, and our new friend seems to want to push all of us past that..."
She'd sigh while walking up to the building as well, that guy who brought them here. Seems like a real jackass from her viewpoint, to put it mildly.
"I dunno exactly how to beat him, but I'd rather try that than just doing whatever that bastard says. That's where I am right now."
While Setsuna's search was fruitless, Tony would discover a bright red humanoid figure, what appeared to be a shuriken on its back crouching. A human corpse was lying in front of it, and visually the corpse looked fresh. Clearly it was feasting, indicated by the sounds of bones crunching and flesh ripping. It had a pool of blood at its feet, mixed with a strange green viscous substance.
Tony would stop dead in his tracks as soon as he saw the creature. It seemed like the hairs on his neck wouldn't be given the chance to rest any time soon. He swallowed hard and tried to move past his initial concern, that body didn't have a shred of life from what he gathered.
"Hey pal, love the fidget spinner!"
He called out to the creature as he finally steeled himself for the coming conflict.
"I'd say I hate to interrupt, but I'm pretty sure we both know that would be a lie. So why don't you come over here and we can have a nice conversation about why eating people isn't okay."
He didn't know what his plan of attack consisted of. All he knew was that he had a plan. Attack.
The young girl's senses spread themselves out wide, every actual bug in about a mile radius that she could remote use would spring to attention and begin rushing towards their foe as the girl takes control of them. Various flying stinging things charging at the monster's eyes and aiming to strike, even if it didn't hurt much it'd hopefully distract.
"So this is one of our enemies huh... Fine with me then, I've used worse things for my own ends before."
For the moment she holds Termite at the ready but makes no real move to get in closer, simply watching it closely not only via her eyes but through the bugs under her control as well. Trying to work out a better idea of how to attack this thing effectively.
"Guess I'm helping you for now at the very least, so uh surprise, I can control bugs. Real good superpower, I know."
Her voice is only mildly sarcastic while absently speaking to Tony, without even looking away from the foe for a moment of course.
"Man what a pain."
after spending what seemed like a long time looking, Setsuna is met only with useless, empty streets. The girl breathes out a sigh before she goes on, continuing to explore
"You'd think there'd at least be a park or something."
The monster seemed to take notice at the newcomer's presence. The beast took what might have been interpreted as a a quick glance at Taylor, before its focus rested on Tony. The shuriken on the floor was quickly in its hands, and it created sparks as it was dragged across the floor. The monster seemed to make more grunting noises. It wouldn't outright attack, but it had the shuriken held aloft, as if warning the two away.
Setsuna would simply find a convenience store, stocked as if someone was there just this morning. All of the labels were reversed, in fact, every piece of text was written as if it was in a mirror. Go figure.
Tony laughs loudly as Taylor reveals her ability. He brings a hand to his mouth to try and silence himself as the relatively imposing creature steps towards them.
"What is it with me and getting tangled up with teenagers with bug powers?"
Tony's laughter would come to an abrupt stop as the unpleasant noise rang through his ears again. He clutched his head as he frantically looked for the source; which he found in his own reflection.
The other Tony had a crooked grin on his face as he tossed and caught his deck. Tony found himself clutching his deck tightly as his other did the same. The two sides raise their decks up to their reflections, which causes a belt to appear upon Tony's waist.
"Hey, Taylor... I think we may want to play out the game properly when fighting these guys. I'm not sure how much your critters are going to do against that bogus ninja."
Tony slots his deck into the opening of the belt.
"How does this work? I just say transform? Oh?!"
In a flash of armored reflections, Tony is quickly suited up in a sleek green suit with chrome highlights on his chest and shoulders. On his face was a green mask with a horizontal chrome visor and antenna placed on his forehead.
"Now introducing the latest and greatest Iron Man armor. Mark Zolda! Get ready!"
With that he draws his new sidearm and launches a few shots at the approaching monster's arms.