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A PREFACE

This roleplay is going to be centered on a very… self-centered character, and will involve demands of characters that will most-likely upset them.  This is just a statement of self-awareness that that’s the kind of roleplay you’re getting into.  Just know that the feelings expressed by characters in the roleplay don’t reflect those of the host (me) as this is just a fun little test for things. 

V is not for Valentine Picture

INTRODUCTION

Greetings, User.  I, Urd Wallace Breckam IV, will be your guide for this venture.  You will see your character entering a white and red room with LOVELY pillars.  In front of them is a podium, and atop this podium is a parchment.  Please have your character answer truthfully to the questions listed, as it will determine your score for the future (except Riven, unless he wants to).  Afterward, your character will be escorted to their own personal paradise until further events.


More information SHALL be provided in the future… GLORIOUSLY…


Once you answer each question, explain why, then place your answers in the comments.


Q1: How far would you go to save the love of your life?

A) As far as it doesn’t change my general routine or inconvenience me.

B) As far as it may be at my expense, but I wouldn’t die.

C) I would give up my life to save this person, be it hesitantly or otherwise.

D) I would give up my life and/or make life worse for others—even as far as killing innocent—to save this person.

E) I would save this person… even if they don’t want me to.


Q2: How far would you go to save an enemy, someone who despises you?

A) As far as it doesn’t change my general routine or inconvenience me.

B) As far as it may be at my expense, but I wouldn’t die.

C) I would give up my life to save this person, be it hesitantly or otherwise.

D) I would give up my life and/or make life worse for others—even as far as killing innocent—to save this person.

E) I would save this person… even if they don’t want me to.


Q3: Which of the following traits do you find attractive?

A) Greed

B) Gluttony

C) Wrath

D) Jealousy

E) Self-Pity

F) Corruption

G) Laziness

H) Ego

I) Obsession/Addiction

J) Apathy

K) Deception


Q4: What is the color of good?

Q5: What is the color of evil?

Q6: What would you do with an abusive spouse?

A) Leave them.

B) Abuse them back.

C) Leave their fate to the authorities.

D) Endure them.

E) Show them that you can be even worse than them.

F) Make them fear/respect you.

G) Bring in an exorcist.

H) Kill them.

I) Attempt to change/save them.


Q7: What is your best pick-up line for each of these locations to the person you want to hit on?

Location A) Bar/Restaurant

Location B) Warzone

Location C) Church

Location D) Schoolyard

Location E) Haunted House

Location F) Apocalypse (Preferably Zombie)

Location G) Park at night, alone

Q8: If your partner gave you permission to take advantage of them in any respect, what would you do?  (Please keep answers within wiki guideline rules)

Q9: What would you demand in return if someone you knew was bad for you wanted you?

Q10: Do you believe you are a good person?

Q11: Are you a stoic no-nonsense not-interested in crazy-but-really-interesting people type of person?

Q12: What does your ideal woman look like?

Q13: What does the ideal you look like?

Q14: Where would you live if you could?

Q15: Are you a good person?

Q16: Will you like, favorite, and subscribe?

Q17: That’s the end… What do you have to say about that?

PLEASE WRITE THE FOLLOWING WITH YOUR NAME BELOW

“I __________ by signing this promise to respond daily, and believe I can balance this roleplay with other things in my life.  I will not abandon it and then move on without speaking with the creator first.  I understand that I am expected to see this through and will strive to do so.”




Placements

Here you will find where each character is placed in terms of points. At the end of the event, the points from their quiz answers will be added to the points that will be shown as the roleplay progresses. The current placements are in no particular order until points are given.

  1. Xan 63
  2. He-No 62
  3. Asonja 55
  4. Rixcit 55
  5. Mars 18
  6. Riven

STARTERS

XAN

“DOWEE DESIMUL!” A loud voice sounded.  Xan found himself suddenly standing in a long hall.  Slight creaks surrounded him just faintly with rows upon rows of books.  The ceiling was designed with lined constellations .  Behind him was the door for the exit, and dozens of stories with slight humming in the back were seen and heard.

To his far left was a single woman behind the desk: hair in a bun behind her with blue circular glasses.  She was a pale blue  mouse with round ears, about a foot shorter than he.  She wore a small white and silver skirt-suit, and seemed to be writing down on a series of papers: a single strand of hair flopping over her eyes which she regularly adjusted.

"..." Xan remained silent for a few seconds as he glanced around at his surroundings. "A..Library." He observed.

"TIS INDEED!" The voice of the Urd Man called from above.  "You have arrived in your designated area! Hooray! Now! You must know that what you experience will be quite actual in all scenarios."

A score sheet appeared over his head.  "In two days, a storm will appear.  You must construct your shelter!"

At this, the woman at the desk paused, looking about with confusion: probably wondering why a shelter would be built in the library.

"What kind of storm? And what is this for?" Xan questioned, Jabbing a thumb at the score-sheet above his head.

His hand passed through it.  The voice did not answer.  The woman faintly spoke up.  "Do... you wish to purchase something?" Her voice was distinctly Irish.

"Hmm. I might indeed. But for now, I have a few questions to ask you.." He replied. Somewhat glaring at the score-card, before drifting over to the desk that the mouse sat behind. "That is. If you're willing to entertain such nonsense." Xan said, in a jovial manor.

"What would that be?" She fixed her glasses.

"For starters, a name to call you by, other than Librarian would be nice. Secondly. Where am I? as in, where does this Library stand?" He asked.

"The library sets in the city," She answered.  "I... do not know what you should refer to me as."

"Mm. Then I shall call you Paige. Pun fully intended." Xan chuckled a bit. Before glancing around. "What kind of weather do you have around here?" He inquired.

Five points given.

"Normally?  It's warm enough... sunny," She noted.

Xan nodded at this. "Well then. Apparently I need to construct a shelter, Dear Paige. One that can outlast a.. special storm." He grinned. "Perhaps you can be of assistance."

She looked up to him completely now.  "... How?" She cocked her head.

"You seem like a smart woman. I might need you to navigate your library, and to figure out a solution to my problem." He said, admiring the starry details along the ceiling wall.

"Oh," She straightened a bit.  "W-well, um, what would you need at the moment?"

Five points awarded.

His eyes narrowed. "Hmm. Currently, I need to see a map of the city. While the library counts as a 'shelter.' I do believe I have to construct my own." He replied. Giving Paige something to do.

"Um... well we do have a section on maps.  It should be near the back left of the second floor."

"Thank you, I will be back shortly.." Xan nodded before turning to walk down the long hall of books.

He found that no one else seemed to be in sight.  Rows of shelves were the only other company.  Some audiobooks and DVDs were seen eventually as he neared a curved staircase on either end of the walls.

He absently ran his fingers along the wooden sides of the shelves, as he traveled down the hall to the stairs. Once he arrived, Xan quickly climbed the stair-case, not wanting to waist anymore time.

He soon found himself at the catalog section of the library where various books and rolled maps were placed on shelves next to varying globes.

Gracefully navigating to the back of the wall. Xan looked among the things for a map of the city he was currently in.

As he didn't have a name for the city, it seemed faint any chance of finding the right one, but then, to the left, mounted was a map with the tagline "Our fair city".

Arching a brow, he went to investigate the parchment on display.

The city wasn't very detailed, as if parts were being written in as it went.  the library was the only labeled section.

"Find what you need?" Paige asked from behind.

"Not exactly but it will suffice." He replied, twisting around so he could actually see the mouse. "You know. There's not much here to really consider this place to be a city. I have yet to see another soul.. Other than yourself.. Wandering the library. Doesn't it get terribly boring?"

"It pays," she noted.  "You need to make a shelter or something, right?  You're looking for a hardware store?"

"Yes. Along with a good solid foundation to build from.. You dodged the question, by the way." He said complacently.

"I, what?" She rose an eyebrow.  "The boring part?"

"Indeed. Boring for you.. that is. I would be good living here until I ran out of materials to read." Xan said, Closing his eyes. Despite lacking a visible nose of sorts, He Seemed to inhale the woody smell of the library. "So, you mentioned something about a hardware shop..?" He reminded Paige. Opening his eyes once more.

"It was what I suggested, yeah," She looked to the map.

Xan tapped his chin thoughtfully. "The map of your city is rather. Spare. What happened to the inhabitants?"

"Nothing," She shook her head, pointing to a now filled-in section where a hardware store was noticed.

"...Intriguing." He muttered. "Well, lets be off then.." Xan declared. Turning heel to head towards the stairs.

He found that he was now already at the front door somehow.

The parasite came to a complete halt. Eyes narrowing. "Dearest Paige. Does this sort of thing happen frequently?"

"Parts of the map appearing out of nowhere?  No..."

five points added

He glanced up at his scorecard. Taking note the new numbers. To test a theory, he reached for the exit handle and swung the door wide open. "Life can be quite the mystery.." He randomly commented, holding the door open for Paige. "Ladies first." He gestured.

"I'm... coming with you?" She blinked.

"But of course. Some fresh air will do you good. Besides, You know your way around here better than I. Without your assistance, I might not make it.. alive." Xan replied with a bit of dramatic flair. He was laying it on pretty thick.

"Oh.  Well, I suppose.  I'll... have to close up first though," She looked off a ways for a moment.

"Hm. Well. Tell me what I can do to help assist. Two pairs of hands are better than one." He persisted. Determined to see if his hunch was right.

"I just need to lock things up.  I'll be back in a moment," She stepped back to go back to the desk.

Xan ended up peering outside while he waited, to observe the new scenery of nature.

The city was being drawn into place as he looked.  A fall neighborhood with not a car in sight.

A faint chuckle "thoUgHt youhAteD th- furr-" it was cut off as Paige walked back up.  her hair was down.  "Okay, that should be it."

He stood there, leaning on the door post, staring off into space. His tail twitched several times, before Xan actually made eye contact with Paige again. "Ah, great.." He said, attention snapping back to the present. "Now then, Shall we be off?"

She nodded with a smile, stepping out.

Ten points added...try-hard.

As I suspected. He thought with a grin. "Now Paige, this might seem like a silly question. But is there anything floating over my head?" Xan asked.

"There is, yeah," She nodded.

He nodded thoughtfully, As they walked along the pathway. "Do you have any idea what this.. 'storm' is..?" Xan questioned.

"... Wind... rain... lightning?" She listed as they turned a corner.

He rolled his eyes but managed to bite back a sharp insult. "Mmmhm. Hail.. Tornadoes.." He added.

"You think it'll be that intense?" She blinked.  "Guess it makes sense: shelter and all... Just... it just sounds really... sudden- oh, here we are," She gestured to the large warehouse building in the distance: a large logo on the top with dozens of various barbecue models lining the walls.

"Considering the circumstances, I can't help but believe the worst." He said, pausing to inspect the rows upon rows of barbecue stands. "...Do you people really enjoy roasting creatures this much..?" Xan said to no one in particular.

"They're leftovers from Summer," Paige informed, stepping up to the front doors which opened automatically.  "Next-Year Rush."

"..Ridiculous." he muttered. Following Paige closely from behind.

"Agreed, but have you ever barbecued?" 

The store was empty.

"..Never once in my life. Crispy food is useless.." Xan looked around, arching an eye brow. "Wow. Either the Next-Year Rush is a genius marketing move, or this place has been shut down."

"... You know, this didn't really happen till you walked in," She noted.  "Maybe that has something to do with it... A-anyway, you wanted... wooden boards or something?"

His eyes narrowed in suspicion, "Yes. Quite a few stacks of boards and some materials for walls. I'm going to need a binding substance too.. I think you guys use.. Nails for building, Right?"

"Nails... glue... rope..."

"Eeeeeh, we'll go with nails." He determined. "Now to find it all.."

Pagie walked down the rows, pointing to various drawers.

Xan followed after her, and opened a few drawers at once to see his options.

Various screws and nails were found: some long, some thick, some made of wood.  Some had hooks, some had joints, and so on.

Xan went with two boxes of long nails, and a box of thick nails as well. "..You wouldn't happen to know where the wood is..would you?"

"Shouldn't be hard to find," She noted, walking down the halls.

He sighed, and followed her along. "Why does your town seem to be.. Sketchy? Or.. Unfinished?"

"I think I prefer the latter description.  Sketchy implies something devious is happening and I don't want to think about the possibility of something evil going on..." She eventually turned down to a row of various wooden materials.

"Oh..Anything can be twisted into something quite wicked, if you put your mind to it." He said half-jokingly. Handing the boxes of nails off to his tail to hold, before picking out several slabs of wood.

"Do you want a cart for that?"

"..Yep. That would be appreciated."

She walked off a ways to pull one over.  It was entirely quiet otherwise.  Making a fortress against a storm in a nearly empty city: save one Librarian...

The parasite pulled some roofing as well, and hefted everything out of the aisle to meet Paige for the cart.

She pulled it up to him.  "We'll probably need more.  No one else being here, I doubt you'd need to pay for it."

"Ah good. Otherwise I would have killed the cashier." Xan said coolly. Dumping off his supplies and steering the cart to the exit.

"Oh no," She replied, assuming he was joking.  "What else do you need?"

"A carlstn, stones, and while we're at it, A body along with a few dozen innocent souls. " Xan grinned. It was hard to tell where he was joking and where he really was being serious at this point. The only thing that was recognizable was the heavy amounts of sarcasm.

"Well if we're doing a blood-ritual, there should be books on that," She replied.

"Good.. You really must show me sometime, It could be useful.." He said, leaving out the.. '..on you.' bit. Pushing the cart out of the store.

"That was a joke," She replied, following.  "... Actually maybe there are bo- anyway..."

"Boanyways? How exotic." He teased. "Please, do continue." Xan remarked, turning up the pathway to a hill that he could use to oversee the city.

"Just that there might be weird arcane books," She shrugged.

While there were buildings that signified a general neighborhood of apartment buildings, houses, some stores, it still seemed quite underpopulated.  It was late afternoon.

"Hm. well.. Looks like I shall build here." He announced. "Its close enough to the warehouse, so trips won't be too long. Plus the hill is great for deterring floods." Xan added, picking out a hammer and his nails for the building.

(x-x I don't actually have to go through the whole process of building a hut thingie. Do I? cuz' that'll take forever.)

(You won't have to describe the process.  It'll skip to however long you'd estimate it'll take him. X{D)

(Great. Because I have no knowledge on building houses except for Minecraft architecture x'D)

"Alright.  Well, uh... I'll just be going back to the  library now?" Paige half-asked.

"Very well then. Keep an eye out for this.. storm." Xan said absent-mindedly.. He was more focused on his building materials.

(You can decide how long it will take him.)

It took him the rest of the day to set up the frames. Since he didn't need to sleep, Xan also worked through the night till dawn. By then, he had completed his 'shelter.' Which was a modest looking shack, with some random trench dug around it.

The smell of caramel was fragrant in the air as Paige was walking over with some assorted drinks and a bag.

Xan was sitting down, legs crossed, leaning back on of the walls. He was currently trying to scrub the dirt off his scales. His gaze flicking to the girl as she approached. "Well, hello again~" He grinned.

"Hi- I brought some... whoa... you're... done already..."

"Wonders can be achieved when you have a little practice.." Xan said. Tapping the wood wall with a curled fist. The water stuck to him left a damp circle on the wood.

"... And you think this'll help protect you against the storm?" She asked, reaching out to hand him one of the drinks.

"..I would say yes under most circumstance. However, in this case, it's best to wait and see." Xan sighed, noticing the beverage. "Hnn. No thank you." He said, waving it away from himself. "That is my food's food. Not my own." Standing up, he dusted off his tail.

"Your food's food?" She raised an eyebrow.  "Is there a special kind of creature that drinks tea?"

A mischievous look sparked in his eyes. "But of course." Xan replied, stepping awfully close to the mouse.

She leaned back a bit, ears flattening slightly as she blinked.  "... Uh..."

"..And MY what a special creature she is indeed." He exclaimed, words honeyed with malice. Actually petting Paige's hair for a moment.

She leaned back a bit more, looking back and forth.  "I-... uh- " Her hand instincively covered her cheeks for a moment, though did little to mask the obvious response.

"This will only hurt.. a lot." Xan chuckled a bit, as he morphed into this weird goop. Which snaked its way into her skin, being absorbed into her body via her pores. In a matter of moments He had gained control of her body. "Ahem, testing testing.." He uttered. His voice more feminine, and squeakish now.

The body contorted for a moment: short squeals coming out before stiffening with silence outside of Xan's own actions.

"..." Xan paused, snagging the tea and cracking it open for a sip. "Bleh. Snapple." He sighed, dumping the rest of the tea out. Now that he finished his shack, He wasn't quite sure what to do next..

(Caramel peach tea actually X{D)

(Can he sense the thoughts of people he takes the bodies from?)

(You had me at the word peaches @_@) (Also, yes. Thoughts can be audibly heard unless the person knows how to hide them)

The rat went past the immediate question of "What" and changed to "Why"... in very loud volume.

"Ack. Shush you." Xan sighed with exasperation. Pinching the bridge of his muzzle, between the eyes.

It was now that she decided to go with "What did you do!?"

Xan rolled his eyes. "I'ma a parasite dear. This is how we live. lets get straight to the point here, if you don't stop thinking nonsense, I will personally silence you. By certain means." He replied is a creepily calm manor. "Oh, the irony. Shushing a librarian." He chuckled for a moment.

"Why did you do this!?  Why can't I move?"

"You're stuck in a state in which you can see, hear, and feel everything I can. However, you can't actually move , Because currently you aren't in control. I am." Xan answered, pinching his new mouse ears. "Huh.." He muttered.

"You had your own bod- ow!  Hey!"

"Yes, a body that is excellent for looks, and skills. But terrible at consuming anything. Which is why I have your body now~" He grinned, taking another swig of the peach tea, despite having declared it terrible earlier.

She stopped talking mid-sip, waiting until it was over.  "I made that tea! I made... it..."

"Hm, quite nice. However, what compelled you to use caramel?" He questioned. Checking the bag for anything else she had brought.

"... How  long is this going to happen?"

"..Until I feel like leaving." Xan responded, trying to tie the mouse's hair back into a low pony tail. Hair in the face can be annoying.

A slight struggle was felt in the hands, just slightly.  "I didn't do anything to you!  I was helping you!"

"I am well aware, dear." Xan replied. Becoming a bit irked. Easily silencing his hand twitches with great expertise. "That is why you can still think these rather daft questions, as opposed to being consciously dead. Or in Salim."

"Give me back my body!  It's not as good as yours, is it?  You could build that whole thing without it!"

"Good glory, so whiny.." Xan rolled his eyes, opening the door to his shelter and checking to make sure everything was in order.

It seemed that the more he used her body, the more it fueled Paige's resolve to yell at him in the mindscape, giving the occasional twitch to his fingers or toes that was unfortunately the strongest amount of strain possible in the conditions.

It was late afternoon, sunset approaching.

Xan was fiddling around with some odd 'necessities.' Which included a few hefty books from the library that he had swiped. "Theres plenty of things that could be improved about this structure. However, I think I'll leave it be." He said to no one in particular.

"I'm not the only one who works at the library.  They'll find out you took those books."

Xan's eye brows shot up. "Oh? Perhaps they'll arrest me and 'put me behind bars.'" He said sarcastically, a rather smug smirk graced his face.

"They'll see you on the cameras, not me.  When they find us, I'll do everything I can to yell it out."

"Mmmhm. But which form am I in now? I truly doubt your guards will make the needed connections to figure out I can change forms. As for yelling. You can barley manage to twitch a finger, let alone fight for vocals. Hmm. Its a pity, I might just have to put you down. You were once charming but I fear you've grown into something of an annoyance." Xan replied calmly.

"And get yourself killed in the process."

"Oh? I'm surprised you know this." He remarked, setting down the book and peeking outside.

"Have you seen anyone else here?  What happens when it's just you and whatever storm is coming?  You'd be alone and you'd get no help.  That's if whatever person gave you that score doesn't want me alive in the first place."

"But I'm not alone. I have you~" He purred. "..However, if I found myself alone. eh." Xan shrugged. "Its not that big of a deal." He downplayed.

"... You... What made you do this?"

"..My mother needed groceries." He replied sarcastically.

"Do you even have one?"

"No. I was grown in a lab." Xan confessed. "I am an all powerful being that lost his memory, and now wander the earth as a edgy demi-God." He sighed, throwing an arm over his face. "Now you know my terrible secret."

"You're selfish, and evil, and..." She stopped there.

"..I'm touched, really. You flatterer." The parasite gushed. Waving a dismissive hand near his face, like he was fanning himself.

The response back did not arrive.  She went silent.  He was alone in another body.  The world was empty around him.  The shack was his base, and the day was getting late.

"..hm." He mused, heading outside to watch the sky set.

The next day arrived.  No activity was seen.  Urd's voice sounded "TEN POINTS AWARDED FOR SPEEDY BUILDING BEFORE THE END OF THE FINAL DAY!"

Ten points added

"YOU MAY SKIP TO THE NEXT EVENT OR WAIT!"

"I wish to skip.." Xan stated, crossing his arms as he watched his score rise on the chart above his head. "While your rather ridiculous voice is still here. Perhaps you can answer something for me. Who is assigning points? And why am I being tested?"

A screen of a man appeared in front of Xan for a moment.  "I'm sorry.  My responses are limited.  You must ask the right questions."

The screen vanished as Urd's voice returned.  "I CAN TELL YOU THAT IT IS NOT I WHO CHOOSES THE UPS AND DOWN OF YOUR SCORE, NOR IS IT MY DESIGN OF YOUR INCLUSION!"

The night passed.  Lightning was striking at a building in the distance.

Xan had spent the whole night reading. When dawn rose in the cloudy sky, Xan had decided to crack open the door to peek outside.

A blast of wind slammed against him, tearing at the structure he had stored himself in.

The mouse gasped a bit, the air overwhelming their senses. Xan quickly fought to slam the door shut, and once the little click was heard. He moved to check on the structure of his house.

It was certainly being shook.  The ground below him was the cause it appeared.  A small crack was slowly forming below his feet.

He muttered a short string of unintelligible words,  as he squated down and running his fingers along the crack. Sighing, he took some of the sawdust that still sprinkled the floor, and packed it into the crack. Then, in the most ungentlemanlike mannor. He spat onto the now-filled crack. Starting a hydration effect, which forced the wood and sawdust to harden.

Unfortunately the crack was getting larger, and... larger, and another crack was forming.  The shelter was shaking, getting...higher?

"....Well that's not good." Xan commented, steping backwards, and pushing open the door to check the house's exterior. 

The wind was bombarding, making the door opening possible if done inward, but outward, it would soon crack.

In a fusterated growl, Xan gave up with opening the door. Instead, he busted the door hinges off. Then quickly hefted the door to the side wall of the building.  

Blasts of harsh winds flew in, tearing at the walls of the shelter.  It was like being inside a tornado.

Xan gasped, unable to move from his current position without getting a lung-full of air.

A protruding piece of earth was growing out from the side of the building, shaking upward.

"Time to abandon ship. " With a bit of effort, Xan jumped out of the house's open door way, and anchored himself to one of the walls of his shelter for a moment.

The world was getting lower and he was getting higher.  The air was thinning significantly.

"Oooh dear." He strained, jumping up onto the roof, getting a steady grip on the building.

Lightning was growing around the base, the protrusion now out the top of the building.

"WHAT IN THE BLAZES. THIS IS NO STORM." Xan growled, At this point his only goal was to escape the house he had built.

The house was crumbling beneath him slowly, the mountain-like structure poking out getting wider and wider.  Briefly he noticed a faint Five points added

Xan quickly worked his way over to the stone surface poking through his once whole structure. Clinging to the Jagged rock for dear life.

The air thinned even further but he was getting close to the eye of the storm, the lightning barely missing him,but being quite blindingly bright.

He winced at the sudden light change. "Gracious me, END already.." He wheezed.   The mouse was having some trouble breathing,

It went higher and higher, the lightning more frantic, even smashing bits of the mountain away as it went.  It was then that she yelled from within the remains of her mind "How does it feel!?"

"..Like there is a lot of pointless baggage that needs to be cut." He replied darkly. "Your usefulness dwindles. So dear. I think its time you got your body back.." With that, Xan released his grip on the mountain face. Then in one quick heave, left the body of the mouse, and took a goopy jump back to the rock. Leaving the girl to either fall, or save herself. In a few moments he reformed back into his original state.

She vanished into clouds below as the storm continued on.  It last for hours before finally settling on a black night.

Irked, and damp. Xan sat on this short ledge that had formed along the mountain side. Wringing his tail of moisture that once made it heavy and akward to use. Once this was done, Xan gave up on fussing over his appearance. Instead, he looked to the sky for a sign of starlight.

Nothing was in sight in the air sadly.  He was at least a few miles up.

He sighed. Looking down to peek over the wedge he sat on. Forcing his pupils to dilate, so he could get a better look at his surroundings.

Nothing seemed to be in sight from this height.

"..." He inwardly groaned. Scooting out from the ledge, and getting a good foot hold on the rock from under. Climbing up was easier than climbing down. Nonetheless, he started climbing down from his veery high perch.

It certainly took a while but eventually he would see the surface below.  The city was overgrown now with plant-life.

Arms aching, Xan stopped his descent for a moment to take a breather. Which gave him enough time to see his new surroundings. "..Someone clearly. Forgot to cut the grass." He joked to himself. Chuckling a bit as he began his downward climb once more. When he finally reached the grassy ground below. Xan sighed. But this was not a sigh of relief. 'I get the feeling that the worse has yet to come.' He thought.

A poof was heard behind Xan as a voice greeted "SALUTATIONS!"

"...Eh.." Xan grunted, whirling around to the source of the sound.

It was the Urd man.

"Ah. It's you. I don't suppose you could tell me whats going on.." He mused.

"You are a competitor," The Urd Man informed.  "You gain points through situational actions.  The next challenge is nearing."

"..Hm. What pray-tell do we compete for?" Xan questioned. Silently disturbed by the short man's odd appearance. He looked like a towering giant compared to Urd.

"I believe part of it is power."

Xan stood Impatiently. Tail swishing back and forth. "..We win the game by the number of points, yes? When will the next event begin..?"

"Very soon," Urd noted.  "An army will approach.  You must defend your subjects."

For some reason this response cracked Xan up. "...What subjects? I'm no ruler. Let alone a defender." He tittered, wiping an imaginary tear from his eye.

"Oh that is quite observable," Urd nodded, "considering your last throwing-away of companions.  NEVER THE LESS, your quality of protection for your subjects will determine your placing."

The tall man shrugged. "If it's a competition, the others should have no problem eating my dust. " His ego practically sang.

"Very well," With a bright flash, the Urd Man vanished.

"...Guess all I can do now is.. wait." Xan sighed. Walking off some ways from the stone mountain to get a better look at the weed-infested city.

It wouldn't be until the next thirty minutes that a long series of footsteps were heard at the far end of the city.

Xan's head tipped to the side. his 'ears' perking up slightly. He quickly sped around the outskirts of the city to find the source of all the racket.

People: hundreds of people were crowding around a section of the city.  They were surrounding the library.

"..And so it is here, that my 'subjects' appear for the games." Xan observed. Nearing the mass of people.

Most appeared to be mobian, reptilian in fact. When they noticed Xan, they began walking toward him, calling out to him with such statements as "Help us!", "Protect us!", and "Can you help us?!"

"Ugh." Xan groaned inwardly. Face palming himself. "This is pathetic.." He muttered under his breath. None the less, he slapped on a seriously fake smile, and greeted the public. "Aha. Yes. Hello there. I'm here to help put an end to your miserable lives." He announced. Words dripping with sarcasm.

The people continued to chatter about but as they did, Xan felt a sudden crack of a metal chair hitting him in the back of the head.

The parasite grunted in pain, instinctively reaching for the back of his head. Everything became a blur of color as he lost his balance and fell to the hard ground.

The people swarmed past and around him, some pulling him up.

Dazed, Xan made no move to stop any of them. He wasn't very heavy at all.

A familiar voice called over as he was held up "That's for dropping me."

Shaking his head, Xan forced himself to focus. "Paige, darling. I half-expected you to be in shreds." He managed to say. Taking a few steps on his slightly precarious legs.

"Please," she bitterly teased back, leaning against her chair.  "You more than half hoped."

"Why has she struck him?" One asked.

"Quite right." He replied, without a trace of regret. "Yet, here you are. By some miracle. Apparently I forgot to clip the angel's wings." Xan's head still throbbed. But he wasn't going to let that get in the way of this odd game he played.

"Are you going to be draining all these people next?  Stealing their bodies?" She asked.

"Eh heheh. It's not much of a necessity as of now. But it's bound to happen in the future." He smiled. Licking his lips. Subtly trying to provoke the little lady.

She lifted the chair once more.

"What about the army?" One asked.

Xan promptly plucked the chair out of the mouse's grasp. "This is for sitting, not hitting." He said. Setting the chair down, and resting a foot on top of it, to discourage chair escape. "With any luck, Paige here could swat them all to death." Xan teased. Answering the stranger in the crowd.

"He's not going to save any of you," Paige folded her arms.  "He'll probably eat you."

"They'll be here tomorrow!" Someone called out, as if not even hearing the statement.

Xan rubbed his hands together. "Well, that does put a of a damper on my time." He sighed. Not bothering to questioning where this information came from.

"How did this all come together exactly?" Paige questioned.

"It was broadcasted on television," Someone informed.

"By the fabric of the universe, fate has unfortunately brought us together." Xan droned. Leaning closer to the nearest stranger. "How many of you are there? Doesn't have to be exact."

"Uh... two hundred maybe?" The man shrugged.

Pursing his lips, Xan stopped to think for a moment. "Do you know who or what is attacking?"

"An army of something.  That's all they said."

He nods slightly. "Where are some fortified places in the city? Specifically, one with few entrances, and a good exit. Perhaps a underground railway?" He prompted the person.

"We have a subway," Someone informed.

"Is there a map of the subway that I could check?" He inquired. Not even looking at the person anymore as he picked dirt out of his scales.

"At the subway probably."

He sighed. "..Then take me to the subway."

He was soon led to the subway entrance.  A flight of stairs down would bring him to the halls.  By the sound of it, some were passing through at that moment.

Xan promptly descended the stairs, and marched down the halls for the layout of the subway systems.

It went through an oval-pattern for the route, the city being at least a couple hundred miles in total.

He ran a finger down the directory. Tracing the route of travel. Looking for the various stations, and exits. "Hm." With that, he backtracked up the stairs again. "I want you to instruct the people to gather supplies, and move into the subway." Xan said to the stranger.

"What kind of supplies?" The man asked.  Paige walked into the entrance toward Xan.

"Basic survival resources. Along with materials to seal off stations." He defined further. Lightly grinning as Paige appeared. "..Hello again.. Finally come to apologize?"

"What's your game here?" She demanded.  "Why would you be helping anyone?"

"Because I'm The Good Samaritan, here for the people." He smirked, drawing an imaginary halo over his head.

"... Right," She stepped closer to him.  "You're just going to stand there looking tall purple and clever."

"On the contrary. There is much to be done. Unless.." He paused, leaning downward. Bringing him even closer to Paige. "..You. Don't want my help." Xan pouted. A dark, knowing look glinted in his eyes.

She stepped back slightly. "You're not doing a good job convincing me that you want to help," She replied plainly, "just that you're playing some game with these people.  What's the end game?  More points your score sheet?"

"I would be lying if I said otherwise." Xan confirmed Paige's suspicions. "Consider it a win win. Hun." He ruffled her hair, returning to his original posture. "..Do you have a weaponry around here?" Xan suddenly asked.

She looked away with a wince, instinctively shoving him back.

"Ehehe. I'm not sure if that was a yes or a no." He chuckled. Amused with the mousette.

She didn't respond, simply walking back up the stairs.  Most of the people were at the top, still waiting for him.

Xan rolled his eyes, and followed after the little lady. When he emerged from the subway, the first thing he did was clap his hands together to get everyone's attention. "Alright. Listen up. Firstly, I need to know if there is a weaponry shop here. Specifically guns. Secondly. I want the power to the trains in the subway cut off."

"I can show you the weapons shop," Someone volunteered.

"I can handle the subway," Two others nominated.

"Good. I want the rest of you people to begin to settle into the train tunnels." He instructed. Turning to the volunteeres. "You two, make sure nothing can move those trains. We don't want them barreling down the tunnels." Xan said to the two subway helpers. "So, with that much being said. Lead the way." He said to his guide.

The people got to work, some following Xan to ask what they should do.  Those guiding tried to ward them off as they arrived at a depot.  "The guns, ammo, and so on, they'll be locked up in storage."

Xan nodded, "I need to take a looksie first. But I might need some assistance moving things." With that, he went walking into the store and heading straight for the back of the depot.

The storage door was locked, by a large steel barrier. Paige seemed to have followed Xan's little group.

He checked around for a lock of somesort. Not even bothering to glance back at the mouse. "Seems that I have a shadow." He commented. 

"Something like that," She replied.

One of them walked over with keys, unlocking the doors soon.

Behind were a series of crates on shelves, each locked as well.

"Hm. More keys." He rolled his eyes. Unsheathing a blade from his arm, and slicing the lock off a nearby box. "Well, it might be too much to hope for a handheld gatling gun. Buut, you never know until you try.." He muttered. "We're here for defensive weapons to protect the subway. Pick out anything that could be of use."

"We'll carry them out to the subway.  Move men!" The leading guide began a relay with the others, moving the boxes out.

Paige walked over in front of Xan.  "Outside, now."

"..Oh my. So much ire for one tiny mouse." He exclaimed. "Very well, let's be out." Xan grinned, Strutting outside the store with the mouse.

A crowd was outside, some moving the weaponry, and others simply waiting for what would come next.  Once outside and in the public's eye enough, that is when the move was made.  She wrapped her hands just below his shoulder, pushed him back, and locked her lips to his, a forceful press ensured to not be unnoticed.

Flinching, Xan was taken aback by the sudden display of affection. However, He quickly recovered his composure. Grinning in the kiss, he lightly bit Paige's lower lip before wrapping her tail around her body, and pulling her away slightly from his body. "Down girl."

Her expression was... neutral.  Not smiling but not scowling.  All she gave before walking back was a small bob of her eyebrows, as if a taunt or 'I gotcha' moment... to some ends.

A mischievous look played on his face. "Perhaps you'd like to try again when I'm hungry." He said cheekily. Releasing the mouse from his grip. The spines on his back stuck out slightly. Like cat's fur when they are spooked.

"Count on it," She replied.

"Sir, do we know where the army is coming from?" Someone asked.

"Not yet, I was sidetracked for a moment~" He replied, ribbing at Paige. " However I intend to find out. Are the people moving down into the subway system?" Xan asked.

"A large amount are, yes."

"Good. In the mean time, I would like to check the other regions past the city. Do you perchance have a Land Telescope?" Xan inquired. Forcing his spines to lie flat along his body.

"Probably at a general store," The man informed.

"Oh I'm sure we can find it easily," Paige walked past Xan from the back, pushing his spines down.

Xan flicked his tail at the mouse. Instinctively trying to shoo her away. "..It's rude to violate personal space without permission, Missy." He tutted.

"You all about that I'm sure," She brushed past him, toward the rest of the city.  "Coming, quilly-guy?"

"..But of course. Someone needs to babysit you." He responded, following close behind her, but remaining at a safe arm's length away.

They were led to a large general store.  Many people were raiding the shelves, going somewhat crazy and a little violent.

"..." Xan seemed strangely placid. Like the crazed raid was normal for him. "Hm. Looks like we hit rush hour." He joked.

"Maybe we should do something about it," Paige half-growled, walking inside.

The man rolled his eyes again. heading inside the building. With a short sigh. Xan produced a loud and abrupt whistling like noise from within his throat. Attracting the attention of most of the townsfolk. "Stop fighting among yourselves. It will get you no where." He said loudly. Voice echoing down the store. 

"We need to get as much as we can!" Someone yelled back.

"It's not yours!" Someone else replied to the person.  "You have to share!"

There was a long pause of silence, until Xan started clapping. "Ah yes. Please continue with your brash contending. You are all making the situation brighter with every Chip bag that you fight for." His voice thick with sarcasm. 

"Some of us are hungry," The man replied.

"We're all hungry."

"Where do we put it then?"

Xan sighed. "I'm sure the rest of your kind are as well. Get the bigger picture. Stock up on goods then bring them back to the subway. You can feed more mouths working together than you can working for yourself."

"I'll get a group together to regulate," The man who guided Xan to the gun storage informed, walking into the chaos.

"Greeeat. Now, to get that scope." He trailed off, wondering into the outdoor sports department. "Errands. Honestly.." He murmured. 

It didn't take long to locate where the scope boxes would be located... though, the packages were opened... emptied.  Paige was leaning against a nearby wall.

"..." His head turned to Paige. "Darlingest Paige. Where has all the scopes gone~?" Xan asked, glaring at her in suspicion. 

She didn't answer, just winked with a smile.

"I can't take you anywhere, can I?" He remarked. Sauntering over to the girl. "A wink does not count an an answer, Dear."

"Mouse," She replied.

Without a second thought, Xan wordlessly snaked his tail around Paige's hips, spinning her around to face the wall. Patting the mouse down for any strange objects hidden in her clothes.

Nothing seemed to be in her pockets but her phone and a pocket glasses case.  Her own tale whipped around at him as she tried to push his down.

A sigh sounded from behind Paige, hot air briefly ran down her neck. As Xan released the mouse from his clutches, his spiky tail retreating back. "Paige, an army is coming and I would prefer to know which direction they plan to storm this massive city. Where has the scopes gone? Has one of the townsfolk snatched them?" He asked, irritation edging the question.

"Oh, so you actually care about them or you just want to get ahead or...?"

He snorted. "But of couuu~urse. Nothing brings me more joy than to selflessly assist others with their comical problems." Xan rolled his eyes.

<"What, is, your, game?" She sternly questioned.

Xan firmly patted the mouse upon the head. Once again reminding her of her shortness. "Why, pray tell, are you so invested in poking your nose where it doesn't belong?"

(Only a foot shorter than him remember X{D)

(Silence, knave @_@ all is shorter than Xan. Except me. Who is slightly taller.)

"It does belong," She replied bluntly, a half-wince as she moved her head away.  "I want to know what you're doing and why."

"I play the same game that the rest of my competitors perform. If that was obvious enough for you. The only real reason I choose to deal with you and your squirming people is for the sake of beating this 'game'..." He stated blatantly. Looking bored, and ready to move on.

"And what about me exactly turned you off then?" She huffed.

"..You confuse my interest in creature-kind for my apparent 'interest' in you." The corners of his mouth twitched, with a hinting smirk.

"You did hear where I put the words 'turn off' right?"

"What says I was ever 'turned on' to begin with?" He asked, arching a brow.

"Nothing," She replied grimly.  "That's' the point..."

Xan was becoming more and more puzzled. "...Indeed?" He agreed, brows bunching together upon his face.

She rested her forehead in her hand for a moment, groaning.  "I'm assuming you don't act like you do just because you're some sadistic jerk that hates everyone because that sounds too stupid.  I want to know what you have against me."

The man's eyes flashed briefly. "...Dear. You and your entire blasted species fail to realize just how lucky you are. Independent. You need no one after your pubescence. You could wander away to far off land and remain all the same. I envy that. There is no place I could go with out dragging another being along with me.." He trailed off, rolling his eyes at the thought of another host. Absently running a hand over his headcrest. "Now then. The. Scopes. We need to find one." He enunciated. Roping the conversation back in.

For a brief moment that slight bit of... naivte perhaps?  If it was, she certainly wouldn't have defined it as such.  She would have defined it as good-will, but in a sense it was still both.  it was a brief moment of innocense--forgetfulness and remembrance--of what she thought of him before being dirtied.

For a brief moment, she could be assumed to feel rather sympathetic.

This too faded swiftly.  Tail whipping about behind her, she took a glaring step toward him, face nearly touching his.  It was certainly not a huffing closeness of attraction hormones, but simply a sign of defiance and independance.  She would immediately begin to storm off after stating simply "I made you tea without a thought about what you were.  You stole my body then threw me away.  Find your own scopes, you parasite."

Xan watched her leave, expressionless face giving nothing away. His lifeless eyes devoid of any real, warm emotions. After a few moments, he turned and stalked off.  In the opposite direction of Paige. Heading to the back of the store presumably to search through storage. 

Some people were found, gathering them up.  A few waved to him as he entered.

"Has any of you seen a land telescope or binoculars lying around?" He asked the few folks. 

One tossed a pair of binoculars to him.  Another went toward him but were about to hit his feet.

Xan caught the binoculars then sidestepped the incoming foot crusher. "Gracias~" He thanked the person.

The man nodded before returning to... what they were all doing.

In a brisk manor, Xan left the building, and pulled a random stranger from off the streets to speak with them for a moment. "You are now assigned to over-see everything. Make sure the people continue to work towards enforcing the 'bunker'. " He instructed.

"W- me?!" The man was wide-eyed, cowering a back.  "I don't, how do I make them listen to me?!"

"Try less trembleing and more rationality. These are people I'm putting you over, not wolves. Should your authority ever come into question. Remind the rebellious ones of their current predicament. The thought of death always seems to sober even the most clouded of minds." Xan said, flicking his tail. "I shan't be gone for long." 

"Bu-... I... I'll try..." The man shook his head but gradually started toward the subway.

"Good man." Xan called, as he too turned to leave. Waking down the street, and looking around for a nice tall building to perch from.

There were quite a vast amount of tall buildings, skyscrapers and the like as far as they could see.

"Hm." Xan pondered, selecting one of the fairly large buildings closest to him. Handing off the binoculars to his tail to hold.. His blades slid out from his arms, stopping halfway out for good grip, but no nuisances. In a few swift moments he scaled the building. Instead of taking the stairs. Once he was to the top, he flipped up onto the roof. Pausing to admire the view,

The city was like a massive circle surrounded by desert.  Large dust clouds were in the far distance. They were strangely white, like steam instead of smoke or sand.  Nothing was seen past them, and considering the circumstances, this was probably a worrisome concept.

Eyes narrowing, he took the binoculars from his tail's grip, and attempted to make out the cloud in the distance.

The cloud was mostly still.  It hadn't been moving toward or away from the city.

"We're the only ones who know.  You realize that, right?" The mouse's voice came from nearby as she opened a door.

The two slim antenna on top of Xan 's head swivled around in the direction of the mouse. Xan however, made no attempt to move from his possition. "..As in. This entire situation being nothing more than a game?"  He half-asked for clarification.

"Don't patronize me by asking," she replied dryly.  "I only came here because I'm blackmailing you." He didn't seem to take her threat very seriously. "Oh good. For a second there I was worried you were falling for the same trick.. Twice." Xan chuckled, lowering the binoculars from his face. Inwardly annoyed at the clouded mist in the distance. 

"You don't care, but no one else going to get what I'm saying.  For all we know, those people aren't real, and I might not be either, but even if this is just part of the game that I'm... who I am, saying what I'm saying, I still think I'm self-aware.  So, if there's a chance I still get to be alive till the end of this, I'm going to make sure I get to that point.  With that said, I've been recording just about everything.  I know you hate all of them, and you don't really care what happens as long as you win, but I can make your chances of winning this whole thing much worse."

"..." Xan considered throwing another snarky remark. But he managed to clamp his mouth shut, as he realized that the mouse.. Could indeed. Make things worse. "...And your point is..?" He prompted.

"I want to you keep me alive..." She took a long breath.  "And I want to be treated like a person."

"Hm. A humble request." He murmured, turning his head slightly to look at Paige. The thought of killimg trehe girl crossed his mind, but then he lightly winced knowing what it would do to his rank. "It seems I have no choice." Xan stated evenly.  

"That's what happens when you waste the the chance you had to have choices," she replied.  "Now, you're looking for the army?"

"Yeeeeeees." He said, rolling his eyes. "I suspect that they are out there, hiding within that cloud in the sand dunes." He pointed, handing the girl his binoculars.

She looked out toward the clouds.  "... Are you going to scout it out?"

"That's the general idea." He replied briefly. Glancing down to the expanse of roads below. "I can't seen though it, perhaps getting close will bring in more tangable information."

"You have fun with that," She handed the eyes back.

The parasite flashed a toothy grin. "Keep it, incase you need to obsurve me. At work." He said, stepping up to the ledge of the building, and jumping off.

Some people still about screamed a bit as they saw him jump, not sure what he was doing.

He descended from the top, keeping close to the building walls. In a few brief moments, he drew out a blade and dug it into the building's wall. Slowing his descent, but not bringing him to a compleate stop until he was a good 7 feet above ground. From there he just yanked his arm out of the tattered building wall and flipped off, landing upon the ground. Xan paused to bow dramadically to his spectators, rising to make haste to the outer ring of the city. 

He was soon near the cloud.  It became quite hot as he got closer, the inside of the cloud being quite thick.

Xan didn't seem to mind the heat. However, He was exceedingly cautious as he moved closer to the cloud. Making little to no sound in his movements. 

He eventually was inside the cloud.  It was quite humid.  It was almost as if liquid sand were floating about the air.  The thickness gave no indication of the depth or length of his location.  He would be going blind for all intense and purposes.

'..Oh ye of little faith..'  Xan thought to himself as he blindly walked forward. Arms streched out to feel for anything infront of him. 

He didn't feel anything but eventually he did start to hear clattering from his left.

Tensing, His head swiveled in the direction if the noise.   

It didn't take long before *PAAR* a gunshot, loud and wide.  It wasn't very far away.  It almost seemed right in front of Xan, but the cluttering sounds and eventual footsteps were further away.  

He was on alert now more than ever. Quietly creepimg forward, and eventually around the area of the general noise. Quietly his blades slid out of their sheaths, making him at the ready for attack. 

Foreign language--muffled by what seemed to be some kind of barrier along with metal steps--rang soon from one direction, then another, then another.  Every direction soon was dominanted by this.

Xan fought the urge to face palm. "This was a stupid idea.."  He thought. Using the sand undertoe to camoflauge beneath the earth, he made an attempt to take something, or someone.. By suprise. 

(At which direction? X{D)

(Look down, look down..) (Dug down to the left-ish  x'D)

(Sneaky Xans @_@)

He found himself moving up into the underside of a metal machine, probably some form of tank judging by the underbelly.

"Ahah.. Good thing I moved."  He thought. Being careful as to not alert anyone of his presence, he slowly continued along the lines. Tunneling forward in the sand. He was deep enough to avoid telltale shifting sands up above. 

He was eventually through the steam cloud, arriving at the near end of this army--or at least this section of the army--where many metal-scaled bulking figures stood about.  They were quite reptillian, with tall scaled shoulders--to say nothing of the rest of their bodies--almost as if they were robotic but organic also.

Xan carefully peeked through the sand to inspect his opponents, before quickly diving back into the sand. "Bio organics." He groaned inwardly. Having a moment of uncertainty. Which he quickly brushed off, pressing forward underground until he reached the end of the line of soldiers.

"Movement!" One called suddenly, stomping a foot to the ground.

Two Purple hands suddenly seized one of the soldiers foot, sucking them them under the sand. Knowing he would have to be quick. Xan immediatly attempted to knock the soldier out, by jabbing two fingers into their neck. 

As the skin of their neck was covered by scales, while they were certainly stunned by the situation, they mostly just looked over at Xan with surprise.

"Mm. It was worth a shot." Xan grunted. Stabbing the soldier through the back, and raking his blade down the man's body. "Excuse me, I'm late for a very importaint date.."  

There was a sense of penetration against the body, cracking some of the scales, but as a reaction, the soldier was immediately sent into a pain-fueled rage, his large hand whipping around into the side of Xan's head while screaming.

Startled, Xan quickly realised his error in the action..Especially as he got thwacked in the head. "What..." He questioned, his little tunnel was crumbling because of the man's ruccus. Xan himself was reluctant to try possesing the soldier, because he suspected mechnical augmentations. However, if the man continued to thrash about, he would have to resort to it. "Is there any way.. you could just. Lie down and die?" Xan  grunted. 

The soldier responded by swinging once again at Xan, nearly falling back as his other arm went to his cracked spine.  The sound of metallic clicking was just a few feet from Xan's head.

Tsking, Xan kicked the soldier squarely in the chest. Shoving him into the sandy tunnel wall. Causing the whole thing to colapse upon the two. 

The soldier collapsed underneath the weight, but other hands were soon digging through toward them both.

"..Scouting mission turned into a cut n' run." Xan muttered, stabbing upward several times before digging further down to avoid the army of scaly reptiles. He ended up 'running' some ways before popping out of the Earth, clear of the mist.

Scraping noises were heard behind the mist.  Revving and grinding.  It was getting closer.

Uprooting himself, Xan dashed for the nearest cover. His purple scales were now more of a muddied brown amethest.

The desert was mostly flat.  Some small stone structures were about that would provide some form of protection.

Sighing, he ducked behind one of the stones. Making a mental note in his head from what little he had gathered. 

The nearing sounds eventually stopped some couple yards away.  A gravelly voice called out "Why don't you come out?"

"Because I fear that I may be blinded in the glory of your appearance." Xan called back scarcastically. Knowing he needed to make a move, quickly. 

"Do you know why you were attacking us?" The voice asked.

"Mnn. Was curious if there was a toy inside the box." He replied. 

"Who are you?"

"Better question is, who are you? Or rather, what are you?" Xan said, shifting around in the sand. Slowly digging a hole as he stalled. 

"More like you than those things in the city."

"Mm. How comforting. Quite the party you seem to be planning, Am I invited?" Xan commented. Referring to the army of men in the nearby cloud.

"Yes actually," Footsteps were starting from the far left and right.

Xan was gone from his spot, a hole left in his place.

The sound of fingers snapping were soon followed by large poundings as massive vibrations shot into the ground.

Down underneath the sand, Xan shuddered. "Ugh!" He growled. Re-surfacing as quickly has he could. 

A large scaled hand reached to grab him by the head and yank him over.

The parasite groaned, disliking the thought of what came next. Drawing a blade, he sliced at the man's huge hand. Purposefully cutting downward, opposite of the direction the creature's scales lay. Allowing him to occasionally cut under the scaleish armor.

A second arm quickly took hold of his bladed arm, though he did cause some damage to the man holding him before the other gripped him.

"Calm yourself," The second instructed.

Xan dangled from the man's hand, like something of a doll. Glaring at the soldiers, and remaining silent. 

"So," One of the larger ones addressed, stepping forward.  His face was layered with scales, barely peaking out from some, a faint purple-slate skin with blue eyes and sharp teeth.  "What would make us enemies?"

"You give me very few signs that we are 'friends'. Why is there an army sitting at the doorstep of this city?" Xan replied in a strangely calm way.

"You aren't from that city.  You don't owe it anything, so why should it matter to you?"

Xan shrugged. "Under normal circumstances, I would wholeheartedly abandon this place. This however, is not a normal circumstance... And. You're not real… Well, truly real… Are you?" He questioned. Narrowing his eyes.

"What an interesting and philisophical question," The figure chuckled. "I would say yes, but I doubt that would convince you, though I am a bit curious as to why you would think you're imagining us. What I know for certain is that we should be allies at this moment."

The parasite rolled his eyes. "Against what foe? " Xan asked, managing to bite his tongue, and keep his mouth shut before it got him in trouble.

"A city of mobians, and I wouldn't use the word 'foe'.  More like... prey."

"Ts tsk. I'm afraid that 'civilian' is off the menu, good sir." Xan tutted. Concealing his rising discomfort from being held by the head.

"Oh, and I suppose you have some deep-rooted sentiment for them?"

"..Why does everyone assume.." Xan started to mutter, but then cut himself off. "No. I do not. I do it for the sake of sport." He declared, tail lashing behind his body.

"Oh we don't assume," The man informed, waving to the other, who dropped Xan.  "In fact, we very much think you hate their type just as much as we do.  That's why we're here after all.  We were supposed to eradicate them with you."

He landed on his feet, indignantly. Intrigue sparking in his gaze as the man finished his thought. "Me? Aha. So you're not the ones calling the shots." He observed. "You were sent."

"Uh, no. Well, I suppose you could phrase it like that. We were sent a message that these things live here and so we jumped at the chance. We were also told another reptile would be there who hates them. Said something about you working with us."

"..." Xan was rubbing his temples. Presumably because his head ached. "Ehe. Very well then. My answer is still no~"  He stated firmly.

"... Your final answer?"

"Hmm, give me a year to think about it..Come back in the spring, when the whole city has been moved.. Then. You shall have my answer good sir." He said in a snide way.

"Very well," With that, one of the soldiers sent a fist toward Xan's stomach as another grabbed as his arms.

Gritting his teeth, Xan tucked his legs into his torso, and yanked himself downward with as much force as he could muster. Either in attempt to pull the guard down, or free his slim arms.

He was free soon after, but others were immediately pounding down at him, kicking and punching.

Getting his tail stomped upon, Xan yelped, rolling away from the mess of angry reptiles. Swiping any weapons that dangled from the nearest guard. Finally, he jumped up to his feet. "Rather rude of you.." He pouted.  

A fist was lunged at his face after this statement, as he was currently surrounded by an army of muscle, scales, and bladed arms.

Xan ducked down, scooping up some sand, and throwing it into the eyes of his current attacker...Also drawing his blades. As he jumped over the man, and landed away from the masses of beefy reptiles. ".. Terribly familiar for some reason." He muttered. Knowing full well he couldn't take them head on. 

"Skilled," The leading reptile called over.  "And very much a waste," A ramming sound was heard and immediately after, the ground around Xan shook rapidly.

Eyes widening in surprise, Xan fought to keep his balance. Making a clumsy jump away from the shaking ground under toe. Crash landing into the ground.

One of the reptiles was already on his tail, a flying kick toward his back as the others swarmed.

He whipped his tail around, and forced the sharp spikes up. Creating a sharp whip at the end of the parasite's rear. Unable to see behind him, he ended up getting nailed in the back. Giving the attacker a foot full of needles, and causing Xan to wheeze. "Whyyyyyy..." He managed to groan hoarsely. Throwing the man off his body, and forcing himself up.

The man immediately doubled down, slamming back at Xan once his balance had returned, and another was right there in wait.

"You may be wondering why you haven't been shot," The leader noted.  "Well that's just because we're not going to kill or capture you, just pummel you and send you on your way."

"Brilliant. If I say so myself. The repetitive abuse.. Of your brute strength really brings out the rock-like intelligence you possess." He chuckled. Voice cracking. Tired of being used as a punching bag, his physical form suddenly melted into sludge. Like icecream on a hot day.. Receding away from the group of men at alarming speeds. Eventually diving under the ground, and left to return to the city.

They didn't chase after.  They just watched until Xan's trail vanished under the cloud and he was in the city limits.  

Once he arrived into the city, His body's reconstruction was slow. Creating a weird melty effect to his limbs, and a slightly deformed face. As everything worked its way back into place. The first thing he did was cough up a mouthful of sand. "..Ugh. I will be picking rock from my teeth for weeks." He sighed. Uncertain he wanted to face anyone in his current , Strange, And pained, condition. 

Strangely enough, while some of the people still at the surface noticed him, it was the mouse that dashed over looking quite shocked.  "Are y- W-what happened to you?"

Xan made a weird gurgling noise, which one could assume. Was a laugh. "I'm fine, leave me be." He stated waving away the mouse from himself.

"Are you dying?!" She tensed

This inquiry intrigued Xan, but he made sure no indication of surprise was apparent. "..No. However I've seen better days." He replied, voice gritt4y. Trying hard to keep his distance from anyone and everyone.

She glanced about for a bit before taking his arm and slowly pulling him away from sight.  "You can't be seen like this..."

He followed her lead without a word. Touching his arm was a bit of a mistake, though. Because it was all sticky.

She didn't seem to care at the moment, getting him into a building and letting him go afterward.  "You can walk right?"

Xan looked down to his feet, then back up to the mouse. Kinda giving her a 'Seriously?' look. "Yes. I can walk." He answered briskly. Flopping down on the ground, resting his chin upon his clenched fists.

"Good, because that's all the help I'm giving," She walked through the building, looking for anyone or anything.

"..." Xan made a small smile. Remaining there for the rest of Xan's body finished reforming. The goopy appearance was.. For the most part. Gone. Along with most of his minor injuries. But there was still some bruising here n' there. With a sigh, he slowly got up and stretched his limbs before exiting the building.

He was then yanked back inside.  "Are you going to be limping or looking bruised out there?" Paige asked in a... muffled vo- oh she had bread in her mouth.

"Most likely." He replied, grimacing. "The army that approaches seems strangely prepared for my usual tricks. I need to figure out a plan." Xan said. Rubbing his wrists absently.

"Figure it out while you recover.  You're not going out there looking weak."

"Tis' but a scratch." He quoted reluctantly. Leaning against a wall to think for a moment.  "Thick hide... Perhaps electrocution? Hnn.. With that machine, the subways would be more dangerous than the surface.." Xan muttered to himself. The occasional stream of unintelligible ramblings would slip out. 

Paige went further back into the house to continue looking for whatever was available, giving Xan time to heal and think.

"Hnn.. Maps. I need extensive maps of the subway and any surrounding service tunnels that connect to it." He muttered. "Paige. I take it most everyone has already evacuated to the subway..?" He called. Fidgeting with his tail.

"Didn't you put someone else in charge of the others?" She called over.

"Ah yes.." He mumbled, picking sand from his teeth. "Unfortunately, finding him means venturing outside. So. Unless the man happens to be conveniently wandering around this building.. " Xan faltered. Suddenly cocking his head around to look out a window. "How much daylight have I wasted.."

"You were gone for... an hour or so?  It's the afternoon so..."

Grunting in acknowledgment, Xan stood up to walk the halls of the building. "The city is going to need.. Some serious traps." He sighed. Voice echoing down the hall.

Paige approached eventually.  "Well I'm going outside now so hope that turns out well."

Blinking, he slowly nodded. "Mmmhm. If you find that boy. Let him know that I am back in town." He instructed. 

She didn't really reply to this but she did pause at the doorway.  Her hand tensed for a second and then she was out.

Xan deliberately watched her go, waiting for her to completely leave. Now that she was gone, Xan looked down for a moment to inspect himself for injuries. He was pleased to find that most of them had patched up, leaving little yellow blotches all over his body. "Nothing too major. Recoup can wait for another time and another place." He thought solemnly, turning his full attention to the hall he was standing in. "Now then. Let's get to work." Xan announced. Heading down the hall to search for anything useful.

The building seemed to be a rent home.  Some supplies here and there, food here and there, a shotgun in a casing, some beds, some lights, a furnace, and some computers.  That was about it.

"Brilliant." He sighed dramatically. Taking the shotgun in hand, he then swooped over to quicklymcheck the computer out.

Two points from the Almighty Urd for glorious typos.

They seemed to be wiped clean for the most part, save for the basic format, and a self-made website for the rent-house company.

(I REGRET NOOOOOTHING! You don't scare me, Urd @_@)

"Vague. As usual." Xan snorted. Abandoning the computer, and exiting the room. Slinging the shotgun case over his shoulder as he left. Checking around the hall for any other rooms he might have missed. 

Nothing of interest seemed to remain in this building.

With that, He left the building. Glancing about the streets for any signs of a stray citizen. 

He heard some in the far distance talking or walking, but no one was in sight now.  It was like before they arrived, when it was just him and Paige... except now he could hear the echoing wind, watch some trash fly about the streets, feel the countdown of when the mostly-quiet would end.

Flicking his tail, Xan moved down the street. Searching for a with two things in mind. Explosives, and lots of metal wiring. He knew the explosives was most likely back at the weapon warehouse he had visited earlier. As for conductive metal wiring, his best bet was the hardware store. So, he wandered the city streets looking for just that.  

The very few people he came across gave him directions, offering to aid in the gathering.

He accepted the volunteers and continued on to collect the supplies. The group eventually stopping at the Hardware store. Cleaning the store of any copper wiring. "Find something to put all of this into. Carrying all of this at once would be bloody murder to the arms.” Xan instructed a random citizen.

"What exactly do we do with it?"

"You would find the answer to be.. quite shocking." He joked. Pausing to see if anyone would laugh. Greeted with silence, he sighed and continued on with his reply.  "We will be creating coils. Lots of coils." Xan frowned. Rubbing the back of his neck. 

"Once they're braided, what do we do with them?" 

Xan wiggled his eyebrows. "Then. We assemble a version of the tesla coil. Anything eeeelse you would like to ask?" He asked, right after his answer. Rolling his hand as if he was attempting to reel in a response. 

They went silent and got to work.

Nodding to himself a few times, Xan's next move was to find the kid he put in charge.. Which would be difficult since he failed to ask for a name. "You there. I put a man in charge over the townsfolk earlier today. Have you seen him?" He asked, singling out a stray citizen. 

Look up

(Uuuuugh. Too tired to give a rip, wikia @_@)

(X{D)

"He's at the Subway," They answered, pointing back toward the location.

"Mn. Very well then. Gather the supplies and bring them to the subway. I need to oversee any construction to the coils.." He said, turning to leave in the direction he was given. 

They nodded and soon were on their way.  The group had rushed far ahead of Xan to the subway but as he neared, a sudden scream came from some blocks at his left.

Xan cringed. Face palming himself as he realized that he would have to go and investigate. Sprinting down the lane, the man searched for the source of the cry. 

Three dead bodies were found.  One had a spike in its back reading "Be ready.  Last offer."

The assailants were heard leaving the city with mechanical crackings.

"..." In a few brisk movements, he was over the bodies and examining them. "Well. Things are just rosy.." Xan mumbled. 

Only one was stabbed, the others simply pounded to death.  No one was in sight to notice thankfully, but no doubt a panic would ensue if these were to be found.

Xan glanced around before hefting the impaled body and carrying it the closest building available. Setting the body upon the floor, and turning to retrieve the others. After a few more rounds, he had successfully gathered the bodies under a shelter. 

Some voices and footsteps were heard.  Some of the people gathering the cables and such.

Sighing, He slung one of the bodies over his shoulder. Then he grabbed a leg from each of the remaining two and dragged them across the room.. To a more sealed off location.

It was nightfall now.  Some people eventually began to search for when Xan went.

After he had stashed away the bodies, and checked over the bodies one last time. Xan wandered outside. "Hn. And so the darkness falls." He observed. Backtracking to the previous road, and briskly following it to the subway. 

The people were there, the coil being almost complete at this point.

"Ah. Progress was made while I was away. Good show. Now. Where's that boy..." Xan mumbled, scanning the area.

The mobian was seen nearby, organizing people up as they distributed the food.

Xan snuck up from behind the boy. Lightly tapping him on his shoulder to get his attention. "Have a few moments to spare?" He grinned. 

The man jolted a bit, turning to Xan with risen shoulders.  "W-what is it?"

"It seems you've taken good care of the people... " Xan observed. "Good job. However, this is not what I am here to discuss. I need you to find out if there are any tunnels that run through or near the subway... Such as maintenance shafts, or sewers. We might need a quick getaway.." He said, mumbling the last bit. 

"There we some people going through the schematics actually," He pointed to some people inside a stationary subway car.

"Excellent. I shall go take a peek.. As for you. Continue with your work. It frees up my attention to other matters." Xan said, trailing away from the lad to stride to the subway car. In a few brief moments, he was at the door to the section of the train.. "So! I hear there is a map you've been studying?" He announced himself, as he entered. 

"There are tunnel entrances throughout the sewer all around the lining of the subway," They informed.  "Aside from that, there are the oxygen vents."

"Hm. What are the dimensions of the tunnels? Where do they lead?" Xan asked, standing over the bunch to view the schematics. 

They pointed to the blueprints laid out over a seat.  "About six up, ten across.  They go all about the city, mainly to other subway sections."

"I see.." He murmured. "Do any of the tunnels lead out of the city?"

"A few, but they aren't large enough for people."

Xan backed away from the map, sucking air through his teeth. "Greeeeeat." He trailed off. "Now. Under the city.. Is there pockets of air? Perhaps we can collapse part of the ground down into the pit." 

"Under it?  Throughout the whole city or just the subway tunnels?"

"No. The tunnels. The subway tunnels..." Xan mused. Resting his chin between his finger and thumb. "However.. It's a bit of a long shot." 

"The only pockets there'd be would maybe be from old models caved in, and even then, those are doubtfully deep enough."

After nodding a few times, Xan backed up to the exit. "I appreciate the assistance. I really must get going.." He said, before exiting the cart and walking straight back to the new overseer of the 'operation.' "..Feel up to a little late night gallivanting?" Xan inquired as he marched up to the lad.

"Patrolling?" he guessed.

"Trap setting, actually," Xan replied quickly. Inwardly sighing at his need to overcompensate. 

"Alright, let's hurry," He rushed out.

He made a small smile, but made no attempt to stop the lad from running off. "Firstly, we need the gear for the traps, good sir. Secondly, we need more people." 

"I need people out here!" He yelled back, and thus others did follow.

"Boop!" came an Urdly voice from behind.

Xan flinched, whirling around to face the Urd man. "Don't do that." He huffed. 

"B-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-...BOOOOOOOOOP!" Suddenly rapid face pokings followed at high-speeds from the imp-like fuzzy man. 

This greatly annoyed the parasite. He buried his face in between his hands, then launched after the man child. Whipping his tail around Urd, Xan yanked the short man's legs out from under him. "PLEASE tell me there is a greater reason for your arrival... Other than to peeve a busy man." He said, with a hinting growl. 

"Your efforts must quicken for the deadline before attack of the army nears close!" Urd informed.

"Mm. Tell me something I don't know." He muttered under his breath. "I would inquire about weaknesses of the enemy. But I assume you are either unaware, or incapable of informing me.." 

"I can inform you that your bonus will be determined by the amount of enemies you destroy compared to those you save of your subjects."

He nodded. "Very well then. Is there anything eeeelse..?" He asked, disliking being near the Urd.

"Do you have experience in parenthood?"

Xan was taken aback by the question. "Um. A rather odd topic." He said, giving Urd a puzzled look. "..No..? I have very limited experience in raising young.."  

"HA!" With that, the small man vanished in a rainbow puff of smoke.

With a dismissive flick of his tail, Xan abandoned his position to find the boy. 

The gathered group was scattered about but still in sight, scouting locations to place the traps they had carried.

"...Well then." He observed. Leaving the people to their own devices as he left to set up charges along a focused section of the city's outer ring. 

Outside, he could see the hot mist still surrounding, but a few of the soldiers just barely in view.  Most had arms folded, watching, taunting with their eyes.

Xan saw them out of the corner of his eye, but decided to ignore the soldiers. He would be seeing plenty of lizard men in the morning. Returning his focus to the task at hand, he moved away from the soldier's gaze to avoid possible backfire. Once away from thier sight, he decided to set up charges within a nice sized building. A few floors up from the ground level. Once he was done, he left to go check on the progress 

The area was soon covered some hours later.  It was eleven at night.

"Hm." He grunted. Returning to the subway to check out the tunnels.

Most of the people had huddled into small groups at this point.  It seemed they were... waiting.

"..What are you doing..?" Xan inquired to the nearest group.

"What should we do?" One asked.

He paused. "Brace yourselves. I assume you need rest, so... Sleep while you can." Xan replied, glancing about for the train cart he was in earlier.

The people inside were still looking over their table.

(Do you wish to skip to the attack point?)

(Yep. He's done with whatever.) 

It was just before the sun would rise.  A scream came from some ways inside the mist.  The army was roaring, ready to strike.

Xan was standing just outside the subway, twirling a little gun in his hand. "Ladies and gentlemen, that is the starting sound of a hellish day.." He grinned grimly. "If they get too close to the subway. Pull back into the tunnels. Every other able man is to be geared with a weapon to defend them." He said to the lad he had put in charge.  

Five points added

"Should we wait till the traps go off outside?" The man asked.

Paige was walking over.

"Oh yes. It will be a colorful display. But no more than a block away. If they are any closer, return to the subway." He answered, watching Paige near. "Well. Hello."  

"Hi," She didn't look at him directly.  "... Seeing how you organize everyone, almost gives the impression you care about them... You gonna die?"

"Pft. Oh how you wish it to be so." He grinned, watching her intently. "But not today."  

"I don'- tsk," She just looked off a ways.  "Whatever," She started walking off.  A thoom was heard in the far distance, the entrance of the city.

For a brief moment, his focus changed, and Xan's head swerved around to the direction of the odd noise. This however, did not last long. "Tsk tsk. Where do you think yooooou're going, missy?" Xan sang, with his attention returning to Paige. He grabbed her by the arm and gently pulled her back. Xan turned over the girl's hands. Putting the gun in one palm, and a detonator into another. "Here. Take these. I will need your.. assistance."  

"W-" She pulled back.  "I'm not- I've never been in combat in my life!"

"I'm not asking you to do a little dance, sweetheart. We have our agreement." He frowned, crossing his arms. Words sharp and caustic. "However, it would be good to have a pair of eyes over the city. To let me know what's happening, and where.." Xan produced a wireless earpeice from who-knows-where. Offering it to Paige. 

"Teh..." She reluctantly took the piece.  "So I just watch from a building or something?"

"Mmmmhm. Unless you find an alternative." He answered absently. Quickly taking the other ear piece and sort of.. Hooking it over a small horn on his head. Leaving the earpiece near his actual ear. "Anything else we should go over?"

"You have more people looking around because I can't zip around the whole city."

"Well, obviously. I have several communication headsets that will be passed out. You're just the special one." He said, wiggling his eyebrows a moment. 

"Uh huh..." She took a breath.  "Fine, where?"

He took out a map and pointed to a specific building. "Right here. There is a building a few blocks down that is rigged with explosives. It should be enough to cause quite a bit of rubble. But I doubt the entire thing will come down." Xan said, looking to Paige. "It's also fairly in-between the main subway entrance and the city lim

its. You would be in the middle of it all. Can you handle that?"

The Urd adds two points for typos

(My flipping Owl finger nubs are to blame) 

"... What if it ends up caving in the Subway and people in it?" Crashing was heard, another boom.  The army was at the city now.

"It won't." He answered firmly. "Keep in touch. I need to go.." Turning to the lad again and tossing the ear pieces to him. "Hand those out to a few citizens. Preferably the more calm, level-headed ones."  Xan said as he started off slowly in the direction of the booming.

She stood for almost a minute before the information fully went through, or perhaps it was just contemplation.  Regardless, she did eventually jog.

Xan could see them in the distance, breaking against a nearby building.

He squinted and quickly dashed across the pavement. Ducking into an alleyway for cover. After a few moments of waiting, Xan peeked over the corner to check out what he was up against. 

At least ten of them were crushing the foundations.  The building literally toppled over them.

"..What..?" Xan murmured under his breath. He remained planted in his spot , waiting a moment to see if they were still alive. 

The wreckage moved as the soldiers seemed mildly inconvenienced, simply chuckling as they shoved it aside before charging further in the city.

Xan retracted back into the alleyway. He facepalmed so hard, he left a little pinkish mark on his face. "Brilliant." He sighed. Leaving the alley to hunt down the men.

An explosion went off in the far distance.  Some of the men were running about, setting traps still.

"Wh.. Get back to the station!" He commanded. Swerving around on his heels to head in the direction of the explosion. 

Immediately some ran back, the others remaining however.

"They're climbing the buildings," One of the observers called on the mic.  "Some are going toward a cul-de-sac."

"Stay out of their way." Xan radioed. "...And which dead end are the others heading to?"   

"I'm on the North-West area, so around there!  They... they've got what look like explosives!"

The army was getting closer to Xan's area as buildings were begin dominoed slowly.

"Why am I not surprised.." He growled. Quickly scaling a building, and leaping along the rooftops. Checking the area for his reptilian friends.

They were getting throughout the city, diving into buildings, almost as if drilling.  One saw him, and his grin was chasing upward.

(Um. Grin chasing upwards?)

(I was bein' all creative @_@.  He's running up the building after him.)

(Was so confused. Thought the dude's smile was stretching up and off his face x'D) 

Xan sort of made a small smile, and jumped off the building side. Forcefully ramming into the man, nailing him through the building's glassy exterior.  

A crack went off as the man then grabbed hold of Xan, rolling into the building in an attempt to pin him to the ground.

He succeeded in pinning the purple creature. However, Xan has his eyes trained on the soldier. He kneed the man in the gut, suddenly forced himself upon the soldier. Melting down again into a goop. 

The man was stunned, rolling over and yelling over for others.  The building was beginning to tip.  Explosions were going off.

Explosions? Tsk. It's gonna be a bumpy 'ride..' Xan merged to the soldier. The body falling limp for a few moments, rolling across the floor as the building tipped. 

The soldier spasmed a bit from the invasion but relaxed soon after.

Xan forced himself up, shuddering a moment. "Ugh." He sighed. Running for the hole they had busted into the wall, and climbing out of the building. 

The army swarmed through the streets, searching about for any and all life.

Xan had picked up the mic that had fallen off his head, and quickly climbed back down. Forcing his pupil color to fade to the lizard's natural eye color. He the moved with the people, Hiding in plain sight. 

The soldiers began pounding the ground open, creating tunnels.

He stood, assessing the situation. Occasionally glancing up at the building tops for any signs of his 'eyes' and 'ears'. 

Most of his observers weren't in view at the moment.  It was soon discovered that they were trying to talk to him but were talking about the same time, resulting in each one canceling out the others.

Xan casually hid the mic under his hand, and scratched at his cheek. "Shut up for a few moments." He radioed quietly. "They're going underground. Repeat. They're going underground. Someone relay this to the people down there." With that, he turned to see if he could follow his fellow soldiers underground.

They hit a power line, sending electricity everywhere, and thus the pulse shut down the entire block. 

He snorted. Typical idiots. Xan thought. Certain that this would not slow their progress 

They didn't seem to mind the electricity, simply continuing on..  Another explosion was heard closer to the subway entrance.

Xan's head whirled around. And he bolted for the subway entrance. "Be warned. I'm with another. I will look like the enemy." He tried to radio. 

"How do we recognize you then?!"

Xan passed a few, but as they saw him charging, they began following after.

He snorted. "What? Can't tell by my award winning personality?" He chuckled. "Check for a marking under the left foot... And watch for changing eye color." Xan gave a more serious answer. He turned and waved to those trailing behind him. Shifting his eye color back to teal, before bolting for the subway entrance.

As he entered, he saw no one inside until glancing to the sides at which point he saw at least twenty with various random guns in hand--mostly shotguns--poised but not fired.

The others were almost right behind Xan.

"Stand down. The soldiers are coming through the tunnels. They'll be here shortly." Slowing his run to a trot, He swiped one of the citizen's weapons. Then hid himself on either side of the entrance. 

(Y'know. I've just now noticed.. Are citizens following him, or other soldiers?? x'D ) 

(The enemy soldiers)

(I knew something was wrong with my reply x'D x'D ) 

The soldiers charged into the tunnel, turning just in time for the bombardment of artillery to fire against them, knocking two of the reptilians against each other even.

Xan jumped out and picked off one of the men, slamming his head into a wall. "Hello there.." He grinned.

The soldier did little other than gape, though another was beginning to yell into a small piece on his cheek.

The man shot at the soldier's face with the gun he had acquired. "...I don't need you tattling." Xan lightly growled, gripping the other soldier's face. "...Even your own men cannot be trusted. Can they, good sir?" Xan said to the soldier in his grasp. A few glowing markings were crawling from Xan's hand to the man's face. 

Xan was tackled, the civilians still firing as long blades began forming out from the arms of the soldiers.

"Weeeell. You men are full of surprises." Xan commented. Drawing out his own blades, bloodied from the flesh it pierced through. He took a stab at the attacker on top of him, then threw them off with his new found strength. 

They held their own against him as they were all equal to his strength.  A tacking sound was heard from near the entrance.

Xan snorted. "There is no easy way to dispose of you, is there?" He growled. Shoving a blade underneath a row of scales lining the soldier's side.

While he stabbed the soldier, the others stabbed back just before they were all blown back with him by a grenade exploding from the entrance.

"Wh-.." Xan hit the floor and rolled around a few times before bringing himself to a hault.

The civilians began pinning and restraining the stunned soldiers with various metal and more.  Some they immediately dragged to the tracks, tossing heavy bricks on them.

(We need a Mjölnir)

"More coming you're way in about two minutes!" Someone called on the piece.

"Oh I'm well aware." Xan sighed. Getting off the floor and walking over to the soldiers. "You are all one big, massive headache."

Most were incapacitated, and those who weren't were being fired upon by the civilians.

"Do we have any explosives? I have an idea." He asked no one in particular. "We also need to gag these soldiers." 

"... We just threw a gre- Yeah we have explosives," Someone answered.

(Doodles was a tired. Sorry for the herp derp)  (HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW dare you) 

(Ugh. My reply got eaten by the internet T_____T) 

Xan had already torn off some large pieces of cloth and was tieing the whole strip over the soldier's faces. He didn't say anything more, instead, he waved a few people over. Swiping their grenades, he demonstrated to them by attaching it to the underside of the tracks and rubble.  

(Thought as such)

"What is... wha-" They questioned.

"We have more like them incoming." He answered as simplistically as he could manage. Continuing to add explosives around and under the men, 

The others began helping to set the charges.  "What do we do after?"

"You will evacuate the premises.. I will remain here." Xan enunciated. "If you have anything else like this, add it to the rubble.." He called to the rest of the people.  

Most soon cleared out though a few decided to remain.

"..." Xan noticed the few stray people, but simply shrugged. "That's your choice." He muttered, keeping one of the grenades with him as he stalked off to the stairway exit. Taking a peek outside for just a moment. 

The remaining civilians kept around him as they prepared.  Footsteps were soon heard from both ends. 

For safety precautions, Xan backed away from the stairs, and kept a fair distance away from the incapacitated soldiers.

Soon, the soliders were charging through the area.

He waited a few moments, before slipping into their ranks. The color in his pupils fading to black. He made no move to make himself known, rather, the man waited. 

His civilian soldiers had moved into the nearby restroom now, waiting in case they were needed.  The soldiers noticed Xan, most walking to the pile of bodies.  "And how did you manage out of this?"

"..I was scouting down the tunnels. Heard gunfire. Came to investigate to find you, and.. them." He gestured, casually pointing to the body pile. Waiting a few more moments for max damage. 

"Where are the mobians?" They began spreading about in search.

"They seem to have fled down a track tunnel transit." He observed. Edging away from the soldier to the tracks beyond.

Some of the soldiers immediately made their way toward the tracks and the closed off tunnel.

With that, Xan glanced around and noticed a stray member of the group. He disliked the idea of setting off the explosives. So now he had to improvise. Approaching the man casually, he cleared his throat. "..Ahem. Nothing personal. But in the next thirty seconds, you're going to get strangled." He whispered. 

"What?" The soldier blinked.

The man grinned, and in sudden speeds he wrapped his arms around the soldier's neck, moving behind the enemy's back. Putting him into what appeared to be a chokehold. The soldier bucked but Xan quickly left the previous body, and entered the man he was strangling. In a few moments, he had thrown the limp body off his back and pulled a gun on the soldier. "Stand down." He ordered. 

The soldier he left from... was unconscious, and he now had the attention of the others.

He had known the soldier would be unconscious, but he remained rigid for his new watchers. Grabbing the man by the arm, he yanked the limp body up. "This one tried to attack." Xan noted. 

"Yeah.  We saw," Booming was heard outside of the subway.

Xan dumped to body to the floor. Head turning to the sounds echoing from the outside. "Hm?" 

Soldiers started into the restroom now.

Rolling his eyes, Xan plucked the grenade from his previous host, then brought of the rear end of the men as they entered the restroom. 

Gunfire soon started up as they entered, the civilians inside letting lose their artilary.

Xan fired several rounds into the man in front of him, he held on to the body to act as a sheild as he moved down to kill the rest. 

The soldiers were being gunned down slowly, but they still had power at their disposal.  One charged straight into the wall itself, tunneling through it... and through a civilian.

"...Welp." He grunted, taking his flesh shield and chucking him at the tunnel other soldier had created.  He then turned to knee another man in the back, landing the blow with a solid crunching sound. It was uncertain if it came from Xan, or the man. 

Outside the city was being ravaged still as the battle went on, this group of soldiers were falling but one of the still remaining civilians felt it important enough to call out "The explosives!"

"Tsk. We need to draw them in. C'mere.." Xan grabbed a civilian by the scruff, and motioned to the others to run. Taking a step outside, Xan held the man up. "I found them!" He bellowed. 

The civilians did as instructed as the civilian just silently looked about in panic.  The soldiers turned immediately toward them.

Xan trotted back inside, assuming the rest of the men would follow. 

(Inside to which part?)

(The station, :P )

The soldiers were soon in the station as the other civilians escaped.

Xan gestured to the tracks. "There's more hiding down in there. Beyond the blockage."

The soldiers were soon atop the tracks.  His headpiece was trying to give him messages from the observers but due to the body-jumping and constant interference, it was coming in suddenly all at once.

He cringed at the sounds and for a moment considered crunching the headpiece. But Xan shook his head, and took the grenade in hand. "Hold on." He growled to the civilian, as he pulled the safety pin, and threw the grenade directly at the pile. With that, he immediately scooped up the person, and took off in a mad dash. 

The subway crumbled from the explosion, the soldiers inside buried.  "There are dozens heading to the city power plant," Someone informed.

"Oh. Much fun. Can we override the system of the plant from afar?" Xan radioed back. 

"You want to make it explode?"

"Seems to be the theme for the day, Yes." The reptile confirmed. Setting the man down on the ground. 

"You'd need someone who actually works there, or knows the system.  Otherwise, we'd have to deal with it manually"

"You wouldn't happen to work at the power plant, would you?" Xan asked the man, trying his luck before he returned to the fight.

"I don't," The man shook his head.  "Sorry..."

"Worth a shot. Get back to the others." He said, turning to walk down the hall some ways, before busting a hole into the ceiling and climbing out. "How far out is the power plant?" Xan questioned through his com. 

"Six miles from your location," The hawkeyes informed.  "There's a car in your area that should still have keys in the ignition... It's mine," They groaned.

"How unfortunate." He said sarcastically. "I'll take good care of her.." Xan assured, leaving out the 'maybe' part. He hated cars but he knew he'd get there faster if he rode one. After he found the car, he popped open the door and put his foot on the gas. Speeding off to the road.  

They were coming up on the power plant area: lone in the section but surrounded by many of the reptilian soldiers who had not quite noticed Xan yet.

Xan had decided to ditch the car, and parked it a good distance away from the plant. It seems His large body had left some marks on the cushions. Quickly charging down the lane, Xan soon was amongst the ranks of his fellow officers.

They were already breaking through the entrance at this point, about ten flooding in as the others guarded.

The man followed them inside, trying to grasp at the layout of the building. 

Like most of its type, the interior was... a mess.  Long machinery and tubes about, ventelation, some ladders and stairways.  Controls were everywhere.

"Ugh." Xan instead decided to find out where the furnace was. If there was one. Climbing up a ladder to check up a few of the consoles. 

Luckily various maps of the levels were shown about.  The furnace was on a lower level, and some of the other soldiers were making their way toward that section.

The burly man hopped off the platform, and followed after the group. Trooping down to the lower section.

"Get them attached," One of the soldiers ordered as they started bringing in these strange organic leech-looking objects toward the furnace.

"..." Xan didn't say anything, though he clearly had questions. He glanced around the furnace for it's control room. There was computers to be found. 

Computer screens were nearby, attached to stands.  The soldiers had little interest  in them as they were attaching the leeches to the furnace itself.

Slinking away from the group, Xan slithered off to access the computers. Scanning the screens for a way to shut the plant down, or mess with the controls. 

It was littered with passcodes for nearly every action, including those for emergency shutdown.

He face palmed, and decided to just smash the console. 

(Passcode bar, for putting passcodes, not showing what they were.  Sorry couldn't think of the right word for that.)

(Oooooh ok) 

One of the others shot him a confused look.  "Passwords?"

"No." He grunted. 

(Confused again, others as in the soldiers down below?) x'D

(The soldiers are everywhere.  They didn't all go to one spot.)

"I hate computers. The buzzing is annoying." 

"Well don't go smashing everything.  You'll make the place blow up."

"........." Xan stared at the men for a few moments. "Yeah. Sure." He grunted. You've got to be kidding me. He thought. Glancing back to the rest of the computers. Without hesitation, he charged through the electronics. Continuing around the area, destroying whatever computed. 

The system went into lockdown, but with the smoke and electronics damaged, the input and output was mixed. The soldiers began chasing after Xan.

Xan ripped a broken console off the wall, and chucked it at the men, continuing his path of destruction anyway.

Pipes began bursting as the building even started shaking.

The man took that has his queue to leave, smashing one more piece of hardware before backtracking to the exit. 

The plant exploded with surges of heat, smoke, steam, lightning, and hardware.

Xan had made it out of the building, feet singed, but still functional. So he charged forward and away frommthe building as best as he could. 

Time Limit reached.  End of mission barely reached.

Fifteen points added.

RIXCIT

“THE WIND IS HOWLING!” a loud voice sounded.  Rixcit found himself on a cold lone beach just at the edge of a long series of mountains covered in moss, with the tips in snow.  The sky was white and cloudy: the waves large, but never crashing far enough to reach his feet.  The wind sounded as a slow pattern of black sand passing by him toward a crevice-like trail directly behind.

"Where the hell am I...?" He looks around before looking at the trail. "Hm.."

The flowing sand seemed to whisper... or sing as it went. "Onward," It tuned in a distinctly feminine voice.

"...Assuming the odd womanly voice wants me to head to the trail," He starts walking along the trail, "Just what am I dealing with here?"

"Whatever you want... or don't want..." As he and the sand trailed through the path, the sand at his feet slowly became grass with a snake or two slithering back with some ladybugs flying up.

Breaking the mood came a large voice of the short crowned man.  "Is this on? GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS! THIS IS YOUR ALMIGHTY URD SPEAKING! You have arrived in your designated area! Hooray! Now! You must know that what you experience will be quite actual in all scenarios.  Also,"

a score sheet appeared over his head, starting at zero.  "You will be scored based on your actions.  BEST OF LUCK!"

"...So I'm stuck in some sort of game?! What the hell!"

The sand turned to Rixcit, pausing at his actions in mid-air.  The voice of Urd was gone... and then it came back.  "YOU HAVE TWO DAYS TO CONSTRUCT A SHELTER BEFORE THE STORM!"

He sighs, rubbing his face. "Great. Making a shelter in two days. Not hard at all," He looks at the sand, "And who're you?"

The sand flew back a bit, then toward him again.  "I am... what would I be?"

"...I don't know, to be honest. All I know is you're sand and a woman."

"... You think of me as a woman?  Not simply a girl?"

"You don't sound like a girl. So you're a woman." He shrugs, looking around for material to make a shelter.

"Hm..." Her voice echoed for a moment.

Five points added

Only some broken-off stone, grass, and sand was seen about in this canyon-like mid-pass between the mountains.  Further areas could be seen in the far distance.

"..." He looks at the points counter. "Hm." He looks at the sand. "Bad news, no materials in this place besides stone. There's some areas a little ways away. Can you make it up there or do you need some help?"

"Up?" The sand floated upward, as if looking to the mountain tops.  "Oh... yes I believe so."

"Need help getting up there?" He looks around, making ice bowls to keep stone chunks in.

"I... should be fine," The sand began floating further up.

Five points added

"If you insist. I'm right here though." He merges the bowls into a single sphere, all the rocks contained inside, "Alright, let's go."

"Hm?" The sand circled back.  " 'let's go'?"

"You don't know what that means? It means that we can go leave now. Unless you need to do something?"

"Go leave up or down to the path?" The sand asked.

"Hm...I didn't see anything on the path, so I'd say go up. Maybe more stuff to build a shelter up there. What do you think?"

"We can see more up," The sand noted.

"Then let's go." He starts walking upwards.

The sand floated upward.  Soon the air got somewhat thinner as flecks of snow were seen floating down.  Some thirty feet of walking up, the path was more clearly seen.  Various splits were about, but in the far distance, a mile or two, was an opening with random trees scattered about the way.

"And there's the wood for walls." He looks at the sand. "So...are you normally sand?" He steps on the path.

"... I... suppose.  Would there be a different kind of sand?"

"Erm...I meant, like are you a person sometimes?"

"Like... you?" The sand circled him a few times.  "Should I look like you?"

"What do you mean by that? Look like a humanoid figure, or like myself?" He looks at the sand as it circles.

"Like you... both I suppose..."

"Erm...Not like myself. But a humanoid figure. If you want that is."

"Hm..." The sand stretched out, some faint thin legs and arms connecting to a stick-figure like body.  The wind blew against them coldly as the day continued on.

"Hm." He looks at the figure, setting the ice container down.

The form thickened slightly, a basic body form swaying in the wind now.  "Will this do?"

"Sure, for now at least. Feel free to make yourself look however you want. Just, tell me if you get cold."

The form nodded.  "Where will we be going?"

He points at the trees. "We'll need those to make walls for the shelter."

The sand figure floated toward the trees.  "We will cut them down, yes?"

"That's the idea."

The figure sped up, flying over to one of the trees.

"...?" He looks at the figure.

She began scratching at the tree's lower trunk, though it didn't seem to be doing much to it.

"Do...Do you need any help?"

"I don't think I can affect these very much like this," She informed.

He forms an axe out of ice and grabs his sword. He hands her the axe and he walks over to the other side of the tree with his sword. "I'll cut on one side, and you do the other. Ok?"

She nodded, her hands thickening around the axe as she began to chop.

He starts doing the same on his side.

Soon the tree toppled, a brief spray of maple liquid shooting out.

He sidesteps the spray. "Hey, did any of this get on you?"

The sand figure shook her head.  She began cutting off the remains of the trunk.

"I could do that." He helps.

She stepped back.  "How many more will we need?"

"Hm...I don't know. We'll probably need more than one though."

She placed the axe down, floating up to look for more.  "Will we need food?"

"Do you eat?" He looks at her.

"I do not think so... Not like..." She waved a hand down her face, "this..."

"...Go ahead and make yourself a face. I'd rather you not starve because you can't eat."

"What kind of face?"

"Hm...One with a mouth," He points at his mouth, "A nose," He points at his nose, "Ears and Eyes," He points at his ears and eyes. "Add any features you'd want."

"Hm..." She floated down to the sap of the tree, scooping some up a bit as it slid over her, forming into varying patterns.  It took on a somewhat nervous-system style at first as the sand thickened further into a much more solid feminine form.  The dark orange sap became like stripes with most sections circling the joints as if holding them.  Cuffs around two wide pointed ears in the back and a slightly long pointed muzzle with hollowed eyes and long fingers.  A tail developed.  She looked somewhat like a coyotte.

"Huh. Nice look." He gives her a thumbs up.

Her eyes crowned up a bit with her cheeks, implying a smile.  "More trees to cut down, yes?"

"Yep."

She began floating toward another in the far distance before turning back.  "How do we carry this one?"

He makes a carriage out of ice. "With this."

"... Nicely," She nodded, making her way toward the next tree.  A sudden large blast of wind sent the sand creature distorting to the side for a moment.

"??"

She was forced to dive under in a circular pattern and press against the side of the mountain from the wind.

He spins his sword and stabs it into the ground, making a wall of ice to defend against the wind. "Are you alright?"

She resolidified, turning to him with a nod.  "It's harder to ignore the wind like this... heavier..."

"Easier not to get blown apart though.." He takes off his jacket and tosses it to her. "But here, maybe it'll help."

She jumped over to catch it, quickly skidding to a halt.  She examined it for a moment before putting it on.  The sun was nearing sunset.

"...Darn. We're losing light."

"More trees," She mutered, walking now toward the next.

He follows her. "Can you keep going?"

"I believe so."

It didn't take long to reach the tree.  It was much taller, though no thicker.  "... This is going to take a while.  Two days, yes?" She asked.

"Probably."

She began hacking away at the tree.  It took only some short minutes to break, but as it collapsed, it began sliding down the mountainside.

"!!!" He starts running after the tree.

(A little more than "!!!" would be appreciated.)

The tree was crashing into the ravine,  the steep slick snow-covered ground beneath his feet making travel difficult.  The sand girl chased after.

"Stupid, tree...!" He continues running.

The tree finally stopped at the bottom, splitting in many sections as water splashed upward.

He stops at the edge of the water. "..."

The girl eventually arrived, stopping next to him.  The sap from the tree leaked into the water.  To the left there was a cave.

"...A cave."

The girl stepped into the water to pick up the tree but began to sink as her feet were getting wet.

"Hey, hey. Don't forget that you're made of sand!" He grabs her hand and pulls her out of the water. "I'll pick up the tree."

She stumbled back, falling on her rear.  She looked over her foot,shaking it a bit to try and dry off. "Should... I look into the cave?"

"We'll both go." He helps her up.

"What about the tree?" She asked.

Ten points added

"I'll get them later. Then we'll see if a fire can't be made." He starts walking towards the cave.

It was quite wide and tall, but hidden well enough on the turning side of the mountain.  Water leaked into it from the stream, but it wasn't nearly deep enough to be of concern.  Moss grew out throughout, a tunnel of sorts at the back.

"Hm...Goes a bit deeper."

The sand coyotte walked further into the cave, toward the tunnel.  "It's quite dark..."

"Sure is...Wait there, I'll go get a piece of the tree to use for a torch."

She nodded, sitting down at the side.  As he looked back out, the sunset was overhead, fading.

"Hm..." He starts fishing out pieces of the wood.

Mostly it was bark that broke off into the water, though some two or three stakes of the inner wood were found about.

He picks up a piece, examining it closely. "Better be good for fire.."

Sap was over most of them but they hadn't quite soaked yet.

"...I think these are good enough." He bundles up the pieces and walks back into the cave. "Alright! Found some pieces we could use for light."

"How do we light them?" She asked.

"..." His head droops. "Knew I was forgetting something..."

She looked about the cave for a moment.  "There," She walked over, digging out some dry grass.  "Will this work?"

"...Yeah, that would work. Nice thinking."

She smiled, handing it over to him.

He sets it down, trying to make a torch out of the bundle and grass.

It was a nice fit, but still no spark.  "We rub it or something?"

"Yeah, we'll probably have to rub it."

"... Okay... Are... you going to do it?  Since you're holding it?"

He starts rubbing the sticks together against the grass.

It took a while but eventually a spark started up, with smoke forming at the base.

He continues rubbing. "C'mon, light..."

Fire began to flicker out, a glow forming soon after.

"Yes!" He continues until a decent sized fire appears.

The sand girl clapped her hands, causing a bit of her fingers to burst out slightly before solidifying again.  She slowly poked at the fire curiously.

He stops her hand. "Nope. Fire hurts to touch. Don't want you burning yourself."

She pulled back slowly, looking at her fingers.  "Am I burnable?" She looked back at the tunnel ahead.

"I'd rather we not find out. I'd rather you stay nice and unburned." He makes a torch. "Shall we?"

She nodded, heading into the tunnel.  As they made their way through, it kept to a rather thin form, but thankfully did not bottlecap--shrinking against them.

The path went on for a good half-hour.  Clicking sounds were heard farther ahead, but a faint light was also seen in the far distance.

"Do you hear that? Clicking."

"Yes," She looked about, toward the floor.  "Oh..." Various insects were crawling about the walls, but a vast amount on the floor, with pinchers on a great many of them.

"...Oh."

"Do we turn around?"

"I think we should...For now at least."

She started to turn back, glancing to the light in the distance.  "Will we come back?"

"Yes. We'll come back. But we'll have to think of what to do about the bugs."

She looked at the fire, then back to Rixcit.  "Could you... freeze them?"

"...That's...That actually could work."

She stepped to the left to be out of his way.

He looks at the bugs, stepping up and placing his hand on the ground. Sheets of ice form, covering the bugs.

The sand coyotte knocked the ice a few times before stepping forward.  "That was... um 'cool'... I- I didn't mean to make that a joke."

"It's fine." He steps forwards on the ice. "Be careful, it's slippery."

She nodded, tip-toeing over it.  Some bugs were about the walls still, prompting the sand coyotte to run forward.

"Easy!" He follows her.

Nearing the light soon, it was found to be quite small, but an exit none the less.  The sand coyotte quickly slipped through in a more airborne form.

"...Hm." He looks through the hole. "Just how small is it.."

(Ups.  Sorry.  4 inch radius)

"...Hm." He crawls through. "Tight...Fit..!"

The crack gave way as he exited, landing into a body of water.

"Woah!" He falls in, making a splash.

It seemed he was in a lake or pond.  There was no current here and above, the mountains were nearly out of sight.

He looks around in the water for a brief bit, before swimming to the surface of the lake.

The sand girl was waiting for him.  "Sorry, I wanted to help but... water..."

"It's...fine. It's fine." He coughs up the water. "I'm good."

She reached out a hand to him.

He takes her hand.

She pulled him further up the shore.  "I-" She stopped.  A roar came from the distance.

He grabs his sword. "What was that?"

She started walking toward it.

He looks at her, before following.

Thumping sounded as a beast was running toward them: a large bear.

"...Big bear."

As it got closer, the running height seeemed to be around twelve feet, and it wasn't slowing.

He draws his sword. "Guess we're about to kill a bear."

The sand coyotte stepped back as the bear jumped at Rixcit, biting at him.

He stabs at it's face.

The bear fell forward at him as the blade pierced its head.

"Oh nononono...!" It falls on him. "Umf...Get...off!"

The weight was over five-hundred pounds, the teeth poking at just below his neck.  The sand coyotte tugged at the body, slowly tilting it to the left.

He pushes it off slowly. "Of course it's this heavy...!"

Eventually the bear toppled, flopping with a slight hissing breath on the ground.  "... I hope that was the only one," The sand coyotte noted.  "This doesn't help make a shelter does it?"

"No, I don't think it does. But it'll provide food, so we don't starve at least."

"How do we move the wood into here?"

"Hm? Into the cave?"

"Into this opening... I guess we could climb back over?"

(Please reply)

"Sure."

She turned to the mountain borders, flying up the side of them.

He follows her.

They were soon at the top of this section.  It was far colder here as they appeared to be almost a mile up from the original mountains before the cave's trail.

He looks around. "Hm..."

"Should we build the... shelter, here?" The sand coyotte asked.

"Yeah. That'd work."

She began slowly digging at the ground.  "... Should I make a... ditch?  While you gather the rest of the wood?"

"...Sure. I'll be back soon. Don't be afraid to take a break every now and then."

She nodded: slowly taking a slab of the icy dirt upward.

He leaves to go get the wood.

(You wanna skip to him coming back with enough wood?)

(Yep.)

It was the end of the day by the time he was back.  A ten-foot wide hole was being dug.  It was a square, and two feet deep so far.

"...Huh. Not bad."

The coyotte looked over to the amount of trees.

He's collected a fair amount. Probably enough to make a decent sized shelter.

(As in, how many trees)

About twenty trees.

"How do you want to place them?" She asked.

"Hm...We'll stack them. Five for each wall."

"How will we bind them?"

"With rope."

"Where do we get that?"

"...Dammit.." He starts tapping his foot in thought.

"... Should we search more?  Maybe... maybe where the bear came from?""

"Yeah. That's probably best."

She started back down toward the closed-off section of the area where the bear's body lay still.

He follows her.

"Do you want to... see what can be done with the bear or look around?" She asked.

The enclosed area  held some long plain to the left before more rock walls blocking off the rest, and on the opposite side; the lake.  While a cave or entrance of some sort was not in immediate view, perhaps there would be one from where the bear came from.

"...I'll look around, you stay here."

"... What should I do?"

"...On second thought, come with me."

"... Lead the way," She nodded, stepping over.

"There has to be a cave that grizzly came from..." He starts looking around for one. "Maybe there's rope in there.."

It was some walk before coming to an underpass.  Water was at the base, and planks of wood were floating about it.

"More wood." He picks up the planks.

The wood was fairly thin, not very sturdy, like it was the side of a crate perhaps.

"These were a crate once. There might be rope nearby..." He looks around, hoping he was right.

Nothing else appeared to be in sight except for the underpass filled with water.

"...Dammit." He takes a deep breath and looks underwater.

Through the water, he could see the underpass led to an opening, some kind of beach.

He takes his head out of the water. "Alright, there's an opening. Do you want to stay here, and I'll check?"

"I could... fly over it?" She theorized.

"Yeah, go ahead and do that. I'll meet you over there." He dives underwater.

The water was thankfully not the coldest, not warm, but mild.  It went on for a few yards before arriving at the beach opening.

He climbs up on the beach, shaking himself off. He then looks around.

In the short distance was the remaining pieces of what appeared to once have been a wooden and metal beach house.  Most of the pieces were in the water now, slowly drifting out.

"...That could've been useful if it were intact."

The caramel-colored sand coyote floated down near him.  "What... is that?"

"An old beach house from the likes of it."

"Can we use it?"

"If we can fix it up."

"We're going to rebuild it?"

"Why not? It'd be faster."

She shrugged.  "Should we bring the wood we have over?"

"Yep."

"That will probably take a while," She sighed.  "Oh well," She floated over above the remains of the cabin.

"I'll go get the wood." He heads back.

She waited until his return.

He comes back, bringing the wood.

A pile of metal drums (as in containers now... instruments) were laid out: the sand coyote standing in front of them.  "I found these in the wreckage."

"Hm. Wonder what we could use these for..." He starts examining them.

They had images of fire on them.  They felt heavy to the push.

"...Oh. That's what they were being used for."

"What should we do with them?" The coyote looked to the remains of the beach house.  "Should I try to get pieces out?"

"I don't know.." He looks at the barrels, before growling and stands up. "But it don't matter."

"What do you mean?  Should I move them?"

"Nope. I'm gonna do what I should've done and make a shelter out of ice. You have a problem with that?"

"I... don't think so?  As long as it doesn't melt."

"I'll refreeze it to make sure it lasts during the storm." He starts making ice walls for the shelter.

"That's very considerate," She noted.  "Should I help move the wood and stuff inside it?  Maybe we'll need it or something?"

"Yeah, good idea."

Considering she had to float above the water to pull the pieces over, it would take her at least a few hours, and the remaining housing rooms were easily too hard for the light sand creature to push over.

When he's done making the shelter, he starts to help her move things into it.

(How long would you wager until completion?)

(Hm...He's got the basic shelter down, maybe just bringing in the stuff and he'll fortify the walls and roof. So...maybe two hours? Give or take?)

(Alright)

Night had fallen at this point.  The shelter was completed.

Ten points for swift building

"There, that wasn't so hard." He looks over at the sand coyote. "...Hm."

The coyote walked over to him, sitting down next to him.  "It is very nice-looking," she nodded.  "... Do you need food?"

"I'll..think of something. You know what? I forgot one thing in all this."

"Hm?"

"Your name. Do you have a name?"

"... I... don't... think so... I don't remember," She looked down.

"Hm...If you can't remember...then how about we come up with one?"

"What name would sound like me?" She asked.

"Hm..." He looks her over. "...How's Maple sound? I mean...anything sand-related would be too easy."

"That it because of the..." She looked over her hands at the tree-sap stripes.

"Is that bad?"

She shook her head.  "No.  I think it sounds... friendly.  Pleasant."

"Oh. Maple it is."

She nodded, a smiling expression seeming to form.  "... We have another day left, don't we?"

"...We do?"

"You had two days until the storm, yes?  We've spent one day."

"..." He throws his arms up. "I thought we were almost out of time!"

"... Well," She scooted in slightly closer.  "Do you want to do something until the days are over?"

"...Like what?"

"Well... um... what is your life like?"

"..." He scratches his nose. "Um..."

"... You don't know?"

"No, I know."

"Then... is it a problem?"

"...It's not exactly a nice story to tell."

"You do not wish to tell it then?"

"I can at least tell you that I wasn't born naturally. Or born at all, really."

"... Built," She assumed."

"Bred. Cloned. Whichever."

"There are more?"

"Nope. I'm the lone exception."

"Do you know who made you?"

"Yep. He and I left on bad terms."

"You do not wish for me to ask anymore, do you?"

"I'd appreciate it, thank you."

"... Do you like bears?"

"Why?"

"You killed the bear."

"Oh. That. I don't have a problem with them. That one tried to attack me though."

"I haven't seen any other animals.  We're alone, aren't we?"

"Probably...How's the jacket holding up for you?"

She hugged the jacket.  "It is very comfortable."

"That's good.." He rests his chin on his hand.

(Do you wish to skip?)

(Will I lose chance for points?)

(I suppose but it's unlikely to really add more than maybe ten total and even then it'd need a ton of work to push for.)

(...Fine. We can skip.)

Morning woke them--or just one of them--when the ground started to shake.  The air was swirling around the ice barrier.

"Hm...storm's starting up?"

"Is... that's it," She looked up.  "... We'll be okay, yes?"

"I hope so...I'll keep reinforcing the barrier."

The ground began to crack as blasting winds soon swirled up around them.

"The storm really does not like the outside.." (Hooba)

"It's not... too bad..." She noted.  Water began crashing upward from the storm as the ground beneath them began to rise, portrusions shooting up below.

"I...think it's getting worse."

The spikes were now getting quite large and close, as some were coming out from beneath them.

"Storms usually do NOT cause the ground to suddenly break apart like this!"

Maple moved back, suddenly not feeling as safe as before.

The spikes continued to grow from beneath them, in fact at a rate where if they remained where they were, they would be pushed and/or stabbed/crushed by them.

"We cannot stay here! We need to move!" He opens a hole in the shelter's wall.

The coyote flew toward it, tugging at Rixcit to come after her.

He follows her through the hole in the wall.

The ice was shattered as the ground was shaking all about.  Maple tried to pull Rixcit upward to keep him from getting stabbed by one of the portrusions, but at this point they could see that they were being blasted upward as the ground lifted.

"Woah!" He flails in the air. "This is NOT a storm!"

Maple pressed to the ground, holding Rixcit below her to keep them both from flying off.  The air was getting thinner and pieces of sand were flying around them, scraping.

He stops flailing, since he's now being held down.

Unless he were to do anything otherwise, they would stay like this for the next couple of hours, air thinning more until finally the mountain they were now atop stopping, but the storm raging on until eventually subsiding hours after that.

He does nothing, besides grumbling.

The sun was rising up... the day had passed on to a new one.  Maple seemed to not be interested in removing herself at the moment.

He looks up at her. "Erm..Maple?"

"Yes?" She asked.

"...Storm's over."

"Oh... that is good," She replied.

"Yep." He looks ahead.

"... Are you okay?" She asked.  They were quite high in the air, above clouds even.  Nothing seemed to be in sight except for the flat mountain top they stoo- well, lay atop.

"...Yeah, I'm fine. Going above the cloud of the storm? Interesting."

"I think the storm ended."

"Yeah, I think so too."

"Should we go down off this?"

"Sure."

She flew off him, going to the edge, then over the edge of the mountain.

He starts climbing down.

The rocks were quite sharp on the edges, mostly straight down with the climb.  After some time, he would eventually see the surface far below.

A massive set of craters where the waters now set into as lakes, still boiling and sizzling with steam going upward.  Jungle-trees were growing at the center of each, with some rocky mountain ranges still about.

"Well...that storm did a lot of damage."

Maple floated down to his side.  "Do you plan to climb down the entire way?"

"I'd break something if I jumped down. And I can't fly like you."

"I could... carry you?"

"...You can?"

"I can try I suppose," She took hold of his arms, slowly beginning to descend downward.

"Huh...Didn't know you were this strong."

"I... suppose I am," She eventuallylet him down on the surface, circling to the ground before resolidifying in her coyote form.

He dusts himself off. "That's a skill to be proud of."

"Thank you," She nodded.

Five points added.

"GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING!" Came a high-pitched English accented male voice from behind.

He jumps and turns around, sword in hand. "WHO THE-"

The short Urd fellow floated in front of him.  "CONGRATULATIONS!  You have successfully survived the first trial!"

"YOU-" Rixcit lunges at Urd.

The Urd fellow vanished as the hands reached his neck.  "GREAT SCOTT!" He hid behind Maple, who was stiffening at the strange fellow.  

"YOU PUT US IN A PLACE WHERE A STORM EQUALS THE LITERAL APOCALYPSE."

"That is an exaggeration, my sir!" Urd replied.  "And you did survive.  I have come to inform you of the next event."

"Wha...WHAT NEXT EVENT?!"

"In the contest of champions," Urd calmly answered.  "An army shall be approaching.  You must protect your subjects."

"S...Subjects?!"

"Yes, your loyale subjects, which you must protect."

"..." He just stares at Urd, eyes wide and one twitching.

Urd kissed him on the nose then vanished.

"..." He's just staring at where Urd was.

"... So we defend people now..." Maple pondered.  "... Where are they?"

"...I have...NO idea."

"Then we start moving yes?"

"Yeah...Let's go see if we can't find civilization or...something."

She started forward, floating over the many large lakes that were still quite hot.  Maple seemed to stagger in her movement a bit from the heat, trying to remain solidified.

"Need some ice?"

She turned back.  "Maybe that would help.  It's just... really hot here.  Maybe if we get to the mountains?"

"Mm." He forms some ice for her. "Here."

She floated over it, her chest heaving out just slightly as if taking a nice long breath.  "Thank you," She partly panted out as they made their way up the mountain.

five points added

It wasn't particularly steep, and the trees were nearly dripping with various veggetation--some of which looked actually edible though foreign--from up high on their three-story branches.  

"It...feels different. Does it feel different to you?"

"Differe- in what way?" She turned to him.

"I don't know...I can't explain it."

"... The fruit?"

"Yeah. The fruit."

"Do you want to take some?" They were nearly at the top now.

"I'm not hungry yet. Are you?"

"I don't know if I actually can eat," She replied.  "Should I try?"

"...If you want to."

"Once we've found the people maybe."

"Yeah, if we find the people."

As they arrived at the top of the mountain, they found it to be quite flat.  The trees were... lesser, with far more stumps than trees.  They seemed to be closer to whatever people were near, particularly considering the smoke coming from the far distance.

"...So there is people. When did that happen?"

"When the world transformed?" Maple theorized.  "... I think I liked it better when it was filled with snowy mountains..."

"Yeah, I think I did too.."

"... um..." She stepped off the ice to the floor.  "This feels not as hot... should we hurry over to it?"

"Sure."

(The minimalistic replies strain the Strudel)

She began floating faster toward the location.  As they got even closer, they came across a fenced-off community.  It was fairly modern but with quite a few trees and tropical scenery about.  It was small and the fences were made of wood.

"...I'm just going to go ahead and say that guy was responsible for all of this."

"... That guy?"

"The one that showed up. The...What'shisname."

"The floating one you tried to attack?"

"He put us in a storm that made the ground explode. It was justified I feel."

"I didn't say it wasn't," She noted.  "... Are we going inside?"

"Sure, I suppose. See what kind of people are living here..."

(Please add in actions for these things.  Otherwise it looks more like he just says something and stands there and I just have to assume something's happening.)

As they arrived at the fence, they found metal linings at the gate with a microphone at head-level.  A button was just below it.

"..." He looks at the microphone and presses the button, leaning into the microphone. "Hello?"

A short pause later and "Yes?" Came a feminine voice on the other end.  "Who is this?"

"Erm...Rixcit. And Maple." He gestures towards the Sand-Coyote.

"... Those names aren't on the records.  So you're new then?"

"I guess we are." He looks at the town.

"... Alright," The gates opened and inside, a bustling town.  It was modern enough in dress and talk by the sound of it.  A patrol tower was to the right, looking down at the two with caution.

He stands to the side, letting Maple go in first.

She did as such, turning to him as they went through.  "So... these are the people you need to protect?"

"I'd assume so..." He follows her, looking around.

"Do we just ask for who's in charge and tell them about what the floating man said?" She asked as they went further in.

"Yeah, maybe we should. We should start now." He looks around, walking towards a group of people.

Most of the people about didn't pay them much mind.  They went about their day, not aware of whatever danger that may come up.  Maple decided to speak up a bit as they passed by with a small "Um... hey?  Hell-" then she turned to Rixcit.  "How are we... gonna... yeah..."

"Well, when in doubt..." He draws his sword, shooting an ice shard into the air. "HEY!"

They all froze.  He had their attention.

"Everyone paying attention? Good. I've heard some news and my companion and I," He gestures to Maple, "Want to give your leader the news. Now, anyone willing to tell me where to find them?"

They pointed down the road toward the far back center.

"Thank you for lending us your time. You can go back to..whatever you were doing. Come on." He starts walking to the center.

Maple followed alongside, though the people remained silent, perhaps a bit intimidated.  The building of government had two guards at the front, checking people as they walked in and out.

He stands at the front, looking at the guards. "We're here for important business."

"alright, let's see," The waved some metal detectors around them.

Only thing they'll see on Rixcit is the sword he's carrying.

"Sir, you'll need to place the sword with us until you return from the building," The informed.

"...Eh?" He looks at his sword. "...Fine. Don't touch it anymore than you have to." He unclips his sword and hands it to one of them.

They placed the sword in a nearby box, holding it stiff.  "It will be kept securely, Sir, we assure you,"They informed, stepping aside to let the two in.

"Good. Come on, Maple." He enters the building.

They were soon nearing a council hall.  Seven members sat at high-up desks, looking down to the two as they entered.

"Do you have an appointment?" One asked.

"...No? We're here on important business for something very important." He crosses his arms.

"Alright, what is it?" The man asked calmly.  "You have... two minutes."

"There's an army coming. Since you're the ones keeping the peace I'm assuming, I figure it'd be best for you to hear about it."

"... How do you know of this army?  Where would it be coming from?"

"...Someone who witnessed the army and couldn't make the journey here. Look, all you need to know is that they're coming. Make sure that your city is safe enough to ward off the attackers, and I'll try to clear out as many as I can."

"... We'll... alert the public..." They replied cautiously.

"...Wouldn't that cause an uproar?"

"We won't be notifying them until we have confirmation of this army you're talking about."

"Ah. Ok then." He uncrosses his arms.

"... Is that all you came to- what are your names?  Where are you from?"

"...We're travelers. Found ourselves here after a while. And our names? Mmm..." He looks at Maple.

"I am Maple," Maple waved.  "He is Rixcit."

"... Are you going to be staying here?" The man asked.

"Do you have rooms for us to stay in?" He looks at the man.

"There are hotels."

"...Right. Of course. Yes, we will stay here. Only fair." He starts to walk out of the building.

Maple followed quickly after.  "Do you think they will believe us?"

"Frankly I'm surprised if they do. I'm still having trouble believing it."

"Why?  I- I mean, it's... strange with that Urd person saying it will happen but..."

"That's exactly why." He looks up at the sky.

"Maybe we should... patrol?  Go about the area surrounding this city to see if there IS an army?"

"...Sure, though we might not see them."

"... How long should we search then?"

"We'll have to look higher." He looks around. "Better vantage point.."

"... But how long do we search?" She asked again as they neared the gate entrances to the community's exit.

"...For a few hours at most. We find anything, we report it to the guys in the building. We don't see anything, we go to the local hotel and rest. If he's wrong and there's no army, we make a break for it." He looks around.

"Bre- You think we'll be in trouble?" They soon were out to the rest of the mountainous jungle-like biome.

"I just told an entire council that an army is on their way to wreak havoc. I'm not sure what they'll do if the army isn't real, but I sure as hell don't want to find out what it is," He keeps walking. "Call me a cynic, but I'd like to make sure we don't suffer the worst case scenario."

"I suppose you're right," she nods as they made their way back to the incline to the rest of the biome.  It took about a half-hour before they came across anything.  It just seemed to be a shaking tree in the distance, though this was one of the more larger trees.

"...What the hell is that?" He looks at the tree, narrowing his eyes.

"A tree?" Maple flew closer.  It was quite black in the trunk, with the leaves seeming stiffly stuck to it despite the shaking.

He follows her. "Odd tree.."

As they neared, the actual form of this... creature, became revealed.  The leaves were small... tendrils, the branches arms, the body in sections, scaled and constantly sweating.  Hissing was heard at the ground where the soil and grass was burning up.

"..Not an odd tree. Not even a tree! The hell are you?!"

The creature didn't reply.  It just burrowed into the ground: sending a shock across the floor as it vanished within seconds.

"...That didn't sound good. At all," He looks around. "If that was one of the soldiers, I'd say that was proof of the army."

"Ho- do we have something to take pictures of it with?" She looked down the hole it burrowed into.

"...No." He buries his face in his palm. "My fault."

"Your fault?" She looked back to him.  "I do not think anyone would blame you considering you were just... put in this situation... We could bring someone to see the hole maybe."

"Sure..." He looks at the hole, then at Maple. "Let's go back."

They soon returned, and were standing at the council once more.

"So. You wanted proof? We just saw some sweaty reptile tree looking thing that just burrowed underground. Gonna need one of you to come with us so we can show you where it was." He points towards the exit.

"We'll send a group of guards with you.  How far is it?"

"Outside of town. It won't be hard to tell since there's a giant hole where it burrowed into the ground."

"How far outside of the- here," They were soon sent off with a group of five guards to the location.

"This is the hole, right here," He points down. "Careful, I have no clue if it'll come back up."

"... This is at least ten yards..." One noted, looking over the whole thing.  "... How many did you see?"

"One." He crosses his arms.

"... We need to hurry back," Immediately they rushed back, leaving the two.

"..." He looks at Maple. "Think they believe us, now?"

"Yes, but what should we do?  Go into the hole?"

"...Go into the hole where the ugliest non tree I've ever seen just went into." He seems to be thinking. "...Sounds dangerous."

"Then what do we do?"

"...Maybe we should go down there." He crosses his arms.

"... Okay..." She began slowly floating downward into the hole.

He starts climbing downward.

The hole was slick, moist, and rigid.  It became warmer as they went and slowly faint tappings, tickings, were heard as they went into the darkness.

"Ugh...That thing was way too gross for my liking. Need any ice?" He can't look at her since he's too busy climbing.

"I am okay," she informed.  Eventually they arrived at a horizontal part of the tunnel.  It went in multiple directions and was no less gigantic.

"...Wonderful, so there's more than one way to go," He crosses his arms. "Where do we go..?"

"... Whichever way is... I... I don't know," She started toward the right path.

"...Hm." He follows, holding his sword.

As they went through the path, they began to smell a thick warm odor, like eggs by the scent of it.  Ahead on the downward path were basketball-sized grape-like... objects, imbedded in the sides of the wall.

"What...the...Oh no." He stiffens.

"How do we get them all?" Maple walked in the center, keeping her distance from them.

"...I could just shoot them all with ice." He suggests, looking around; He also keeps his distance.

"I guess... if we can get as many of them as possible before that thing comes back."

"...Are you up for this?" Icy mist forms in his hands.

"Not really but I do not think I have been ready for anything so far."

"True..." He starts spraying ice everywhere to cover the eggs.

(To stab or cover or...)

(Fixed the edit.)

The eggs began to shrivel a bit as they went covering them.  "Should we destroy all of these first or the ones who created them?" Maple asked.

"Destroy as many as we can. Then finish off the one that spawned them."

Maple floated up toward one, forming her hand to a blade as she stabbed into it.  Guts and goo flew everywhere, all over here, prompting her to scream, wiping frantically in disgust.

He looks at her, eyebrow raised. "Erm...Need something to wipe that off?"

"I just don't want to hit those anymore," She gagged."

I'll...just cover them in ice." He continues to freeze the eggs. "And uh, I'll see what I can do to help you clean up."

They could feel a rumbling ahead.

"...Can I stab this thing with my sword?" He ponders, as he keeps freezing the eggs. He looks at Maple. "See if there isn't somewhere it can't reach."

"What do you mean?" She looked about.

"I don't know, maybe somewhere it's body won't crush. You know so we don't get-...So one of us doesn't get flattened at least. I mean, the thing's coming right now; if you've noticed the tremors." He gestures around the two of them.

"Oh, those," She glanced about.  "So we lead it somewhere?" The shaking got closer.

"...Nevermind. We'll just kill it."

"H-how?" They could see the ground starting to move nearby.

"...With this." He holds up his sword. "If you don't want to, get somewhere safe."

The ground tore up as the tunnel began collapsing.  In the far distance they could see its somtach, shooting upward from the ground.

"..." He starts shootin ice at the stomach to freeze it over.

The stomach cracked the ice immediately upon contact, the muscles and its movement seeming too strong to a simple spread as it passed through the roof.

"...Ok then." He shoots jagged ice at the stomach.

The ice cracked against it, small bits sticking into it slightly.  The walls were falling down around them.

"..." He picks up Maple. "We're leaving."

She tensed but wrapped her arms around him.  "A-alright.  Whe- EE!" Behind them the further down path was caving in fast.

He runs like no tomorrow, forming ice under his feet to outspeed the collapsing path.

They were soon back at the deep hole and two paths from before.  The massive creature was shooing out just above them, it's head quite visible.

He shoots jagged shards at it's head, continuing on his way out.

He had the creature's attention now as it turned down toward him.

He looks at Maple. "Can you get out of here?"

"I can fly," She noted.

"Then do it." He looks at the creature.

"W-well you're holding on to me.  D-do you want me to-" She tried pulling up but the creature was about to crash into them.

He lets go of her, forming a spiked ice barrier to the two to defend against it's attack. "Just...go!"

She fell back a bit as the creature slammed down on the barrier, pushing it and Rixcit through the floor below.

He grunts in surprise, gritting his teeth as he keeps the barrier up. He makes spikes form out of the barrier, the momentum of the spikes aiming to stab into the creature's head.

With the creature's mouth having been open, the spike went through it, causing the entire weight of the beast to come down on the barrier as it fell dead.

"G'ah! Damn..heavy thing! Get the hell off of me!" The barrier cracks a little, considering the weight of the beast.

He was burried below the beast's dead corpse now, under the ground of dirt.

Next part happening.

Ten additional points total.  No bonus for lack of completion.

ASONJA

“RANDOM CHANCE!” A hot bright canyon is where Asonja’s feet landed.  He was under the shade just next to a stream of water: sparkling against the sun.  There were many caves about and smoke was seen in the far distance, miles ahead.

A body was in the water, slowly drifting down the way.  At first it would seem they were unconscious, but as she blinked,  it was clear she was simply relaxing in the slow current.  She was an insect it seemed: a butterfly with thin yellow wings: black fur and gold stripes.

With Asonja's many questions and concerns about where he is now, the female first had caught his eye. He inched toward the stream as much as he could, trying not to be taken by the current, to grab the body and bring it ashore.

He slowly and carefully brought the body down to the ground and knelt beside it. "Hmm...her pulse seems weak," he says quietly. "Her lungs are probably water-logged..."

"Um..." Her eyes flickered open.  "... Why aren't I in the water?"

This conversation was quickly stopped when a voice called out "Is this on? GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS! THIS IS YOUR ALMIGHTY URD SPEAKING! You have arrived in your designated area! Hooray! Now! You must know that what you experience will be quite actual in all scenarios."

A score sheet appeared over Asonja's head.  

"Two days until the storm.  You must create shelter!"

"Are you serious?" Asonja said, looking at the score sheet. "I am going to suck at this game..." He mutters to himself before looking back down at the female, speaking normally. "Are you alright? I saw you floating by this river here. Anything hurt, broken, etc.?"

"I was only relaxing," She shrugged.

Ten points added.

"..." He looked up at the board, narrowing his eyes. He might have an idea on what was up. "I see...I was slightly worried, that was all. Do you need help getting up, or...?"

She started to stand up, but her wings were too wet, weighing her down.

"I will take that as a yes..." Asonja says as he helped her up by holding her hand, and wrapping his left arm to keep her steady. "There we are...I do like those wings. I wish I had some of those. Must be great to flight around and feel the wind breeze. Or, am I thinking it wrong...?"

"It is very nice," she nodded.  "The sky is too hot for it mostly though."

Five points added.

"That's understandable. I hate areas like these, where it's too hot. I just wish I could conquer air and sea; it's so much different than the land." Asonja then sighed. "I'm talking too much, I apologize. What I'm more concerned with at the moment is finding some shelter, food, and some drinkable water. I'm unsure if this lake here is suitable to drink from."

"I don't know if it has the same affect to you, but I've been drinking from it," She shrugged.

"Who knows." Asonja shrugged as well. "But, at least we have a water source. Now, we just need to find food and a roof or something over our heads. I'm not a good builder nor a scavenger so..."

"A roof?  Why?"

"I have a feeling a dangerous storm is on its way." Asonja said. "It's just a hunch.."

"You follow the weather?"

"...I guess?" Asonja shrugged, slightly confused. "I hate rainy days, but yet I like cloudy weather with few bits of thunder and lightning strikes. It's rather calming to me, and it's not too hot and not too cold. I'm not a heat nor a sun person."

"I don't think anyone would like this kind of weather," She noted.  "So...we just walk on?"

"It seems that way to me." Asonja says as he begins to walk, his arm still around her to keep her up. "Let's follow the river this way, and stay in the shade. Well, at least I prefer to stay in the shade before the sun goes down."

She nodded as they went.  It wasn't long before they arrived at a fork in the road.  They could attempt to scale the middle wall, but the canyon was too high on either side to tell where the two paths went.

"Shoot...this is a predicament..." Asonja sighs. "I suppose we're going to have to guess where to go. Which side of this road do you think we should take?"

"Me?" She rose an eyebrow.  "I don't really..." she looked at the water as it passed under the wall.  "I was just floating about in the water.  I don't really know."

"Yes, you're right...I shouldn't put you in that situation. I apologize." He thought for a moment, sighing a bit afterwards. "We'll go left."

"... Alright," She shrugged, following him to the left.  The path went on a downward slope, very slowly.  The shade grew as the height of the walls rose upon their descent.  Cracks along the walls and the increased volume of echoes filled each step.

"Thank god for shade..." Asonja says. "I was just about to sweat. Do you want to take a break from walking, by the way?"

"Are you tired?" She asked.

"...Yeah, hate to admit it. I don't walk long distances...." He slowly and carefully sat down on the side of the canyon wall.

The butterfly flapped her wings a bit, sighing as they were still a bit heavy.  "Whenever you're ready."

He nods, and massaged his legs a little bit. "It's going to be a long and painful trip..." He mutters before being silent for a while. "...Oh Jeez, I forgot my manners. My name's Asonja by the way." He looked up toward the sky, as if measuring the humidity, the cloud formations, and just the sky in general.

"Does your name mean anything?"

"...What do you mean by that?" He looked at her for a moment. "Like...origin-wise or importance? If importance, then it means nothing. Origin-wise, also means nothing. After all, it's just a name. What's so special about it?"

"It sounds irregular," She noted.

He shrugged. "My parents probably hated me. I'll never know." He puts his hands behind his head, this time looking back up at the sky.

Cracking sounds came from high up.  With so many loose rocks far up, the speed they'd fall at would be... leaving an impact.  It was nearing 2-o-clock.

Asonja looked slightly concerned. He looked at the female. "Can you stand without my help? And run?"

She took a few steps.  "I can walk at least."

"Well, we need to get out of this spot soon." He says as he has gotten up and walked along with her. "I might be paranoid, but I feel that a boulder from a 100 meter cliff of about 80,000 kilograms is about to come this way at high speeds. It'll leave a huge mark if we stand there any longer."

She looked up.  "Oh... right," She started walking forward again.

After a few moments of silence, Asonja asked. "So, I said my name...what's yours?"

"I don't know,"She answered.  They seemed to get further down as they went.  The light was beginning to dim.

"Shoot...we're losing our heat source." Asonja mutters under his breath, seeming to ignore the fact that she has no name. "We need to find some wood or anything burnable to create heat for the night.

The girl looked about.  Aside from some roots poking out, nothing appeared in sight.

"...Oh boy." Asonja says. "We're gonna freeze out here. Knowing that it gets super hot out here, it'll get super cold. Be careful."

As they went, the two found that there was a continuous path forward going down, but a hole to the right.  Loose rocks, large enough to climb up.

Asonja looked a bit nervous, gulping and stepping back slightly. "Uhh...maybe we should go a different way...I think the right way is a bit better than this.."

"We walk back then?"

"Yeah. I'm not a fan of heights, basically. And I hate falling, as it also correlates to my fear of heights."

"I'd fly up but it's pretty... small.  Do you think we'll get back to the surface before dark?"

"Maybe...it depends on how far down it goes, or how fast we can get up."

"Well, which way do we go then?"

Asonja sat there for a moment, thinking. He didn't want to hurt her feelings, though even if that was his thought, there was no possible way he could upset her by changing plans. He doesn't acknowledge that fact, sighs, and says, "We'll climb down."

"You mean walk down further?"

"...Yeah that. Sorry, I'm not thinking straight at the moment." Asonja scratched his head a bit.

"... Alright," She started further down.

Five points removed

It went on for a half-hour until finally clearing up.  The two were walking out to a flat section of the canyon, walled off at the sides.

He had his arms crossed, walking along-side. He was silent, as there wasn't much to talk about, in his mind. At one point, he wanted to strike up a conversation, considering he lost a few points. He mentally shook his head, as nothing was coming to mind. He looked up at the sky, trying to tell the time by using his instincts, but they didn't cooperate with him at the current moment.

There didn't appear to be any further path in this massive opening, though some grass was growing in select spots.

"I could probably fly out," The girl noted.

"You could, but I'm not sure how I could get out of this." Asonja shrugged.

"I... could try to carry you out?"

Asonja scratched the back of his head, looking hesitant. "I mean...you could do that. Wouldn't hurt to try, but I'm not sure that I'm light enough."

She wrapped her hands around his arms, slowly flapping up some feet before collapsing back down on the ground.

He sighed, and thought for a moment. "I figured so...It was a good try though. You're pretty strong, I'll have to admit." He complimented as he thought.

"I guess," She shrugged, looking up.

Five points added

"I... could fly up to see if there's an opening?"

"Sure. I'll be down here. I'll join you momentarily. Just call me and I'll try to get up there faster if you're in trouble."

"Okay.  I'll be back I promise," She started toward the edge of the walls.

Asonja said nothing at first, but then cupped his hands around his mouth to shout, "Be safe, okay?!" He looked confused as to why he said that. He felt weird, knowing that he doesn't usually say that. He shrugged it off, thinking it was instinct. During the rest of the time, he kept watch of her and thinking at the same time.

She was soon out of sight.

Five points added

Asonja was alone, and the sun was slowly nearing the late afternoon.  The wind blew, and slowly the sound of a creaking could be located at the far end of this canyon enclosure, just behind a cracked section of the wall.

"I have to think of something fast or I'm a frozen pancake..." Asonja said to himself. "Though, I am curious about that crack...could I fit in there? No, that's too dangerous...I could get squashed pretty quickly...drat, come on! Quit being such a wuss and get on with it." He went to check out the crack before doing anything else.

Through the crack, he could see what seemed to be a very rusty old vehicle: the door swaying back and forth.

"...I swear if this is a Model T Ford, I will be surprised..." Asonja stated as he went closer to the vehicle to examine it.

The crack was a bit too small to get through, but the car seemed to be some old form of Jeep.  Perhaps it was carrying something.

"Oh shoot...I don't think I can get in there. Dang it..." Asonja sighed. "I mean...I could try it?" He got onto his knees to see if he could crawl in it. "How'd the Jeep get in there anyway?"

There wasn't much else could see through the crack, but perhaps it could be damaged.

"My curiosity is picking at me...I need to see this for myself closer." Asonja got up to his feet and tried to make the crack bigger by, illogically, pushing at opposite sides of the crack. Perhaps he has forgotten what he could do with his body...

The pressure wasn't doing much.  It seemed most of the weight was pushing out rather than going in.

"Darn it... I'll try to remember this location for later once I get in." He ran back to where he was previously, going back to thinking. "Perhaps there are places where I can get a foot hold?"

The butterfly girl was flying back toward him now.

"Oh! What'd you find out there? Did anything attempt to hurt you in anyway?"

"W- no, I'm okay," She shook her head, landing.  "I saw some kind of car though."

"I did too." Asonja said, pointing to the crack. "I figured that there would be some way to get in there from here, but I had no luck. Was there an open end on the other side to get the car?"

"It was kind of covered in rocks... Maybe we could... break the wall open or something?"

"I did try that, but I am not sure we have any explosives or super strength with us." Asonja shrugged for probably the 3rd time in the last few minutes. "Dang, it was a pretty cool Jeep as well, and I think I saw something in it too...now I'm just desperate to get that thing open."

"...So we just walk back then?"

"No, I think I'll have to find my way across this..." He cracked his knuckles and went up to a wall that he thought was good enough to have grips on, and tried to climb it. Though, he didn't get too far when he slipped and fell about a meter. "Argh...no use."

(Wall near the car thing?) (Yeah)

The butterfly looked about, walking back with a stick.  "Maybe this will help?"

He took the stick anyway, looking rather determined. "We can try." Instead of using a stick for an expected purpose, he dug the stick into the ground a bit until it had a good stability. He jumped onto the top of the stick, keeping his balance fairly well. Then, using his core energy that he hasn't bothered to use before, he jumped up just about at the top of the wall. He brought himself up. "Alright! I made it over! Come along!" He fell off the other side, but didn't land on his feet, but on his back. "Owww..." His voice echoed slightly on the other side.

"W- I- I was meaning using it to break the wall open!" She flew up and over quickly, looking around for Asonja.

Five points added

He got up, rubbing his side which was damaged from the fall. "Argh...that hurt...well, at least we got to the other side. Shall we go check on the Jeep? I bet some pretty interesting stuff is inside it."

"... Are you sure you're okay?"

He nods, though he actually sprained a bit of his back. He just pretended that he was fine. "Yeah. I've been through worse. Don't worry about it. Come on, let's go check on the vehicle."

"... Okay," She stepped up to it, looking into the trunk.  There were canisters, rope, some electronic equipment, wood...

"Jeez, all of these seem to be old...I'd say about thousands of years old." Asonja says, digging through stuff, but with great care. "I've heard about these vehicles being used in battles or something. At least, that's the first time anyway. I doubt one of these were the ones used in battles.."

"They might be," She shrugged.  "... Maybe there's oil in it?"

"Let me check." He walked to the front, knowing exactly where the hood was. He opened it and unhooked the oil from the engine and used a flashlight he found in the jeep to look inside. "Yup. There's oil, but it's OLD oil."

(Lucky for you, yes there is, but that's for me to decide.) (Whoopsies, sorry. I keep doing that.)

"Well, can we still use it?"

"It'll be rare if it works. The chances are pretty low." He jumps in the driver seat and tries to find the key for the ignition.

The keys were hanging from it.  The butterfly girl looked over.

"Oh. They're already in. Okay, don't fail me now..." He turned the key to try to turn it on.

The car made a brief sound before a larger sound... and the larger sound was a boom.

"..Was that the jeep?" Asonja asked, worriedly. He was stopping what he was doing.

the butterfly was above now.  "It definitely was... Maybe we shouldn't start it.  I don't think we could drive it anyway unless we dug it all out."

"Aww..." Asonja sighed. "Shoot. I really want to drive it too. I hate walking."

"Maybe we could take the oil out for fire?" She asked.

"True..." Asonja stated and tried to find an oil container. "Perhaps if there's some extra oil and some matches, we should be fine."

There were some boxes in the trunk.

He went to check the trunk, checking to see if she was still around, as if he got the impression that she got bored and left on her own. He usually thinks this a lot.

The butterfly girl waved silently.

He waved back a little bit, but he looked hesitant on doing so, like he was confused. He went back to checking the boxes, occasionally looked back at her again like she was going to vanish soon.

The boxes were empty, save one with some very stale old food.  The butterfly looked quite confused now.  "Are we going to move the oil into the boxes?"

"Yeah, it's going to be difficult because...well...we can't lift the car. I'm not strong enough to do so, but I know how to drain the oil and that's from the bottom. Bare with me here, patience is key for survival...at least I've been told. I ran out of patience a long time ago to begin with so..." He stopped talking as he emptied the boxes and tried to slide the box under the jeep as well as sliding himself under it.

The back half of the jeep was tilted upward; enough for him to fit most of his body.  "Should I try to break the wall down so we can slide the car into the rest of the area?"

"That'll be great, thank you." Asonja manages to find the oil drain from under the jeep, moved a bit, and opened the drain so it would fall into the box. "Ah jeez, it reeks..." He coughs and crawls out.

It was mucky and black but oozing out all the same.  The butterfly began kicking at the wall, but did little to break it down.  She started pushing against it with a broken piece of the car.

"Do you need help with that?" Asonja got up and touched the wall. He began to turn purple, and the wall burst open, a bit bigger than was supposed to be intended. "Whoops..."

The butterfly jerked back, looking back and forth between him and the now open wall.

"...Just pretend you didn't see that..." Asonja muttered and walked back to the Jeep.

"What was that?" She asked, immediately ignoring the advice.

Asonja sighed hopelessly. "Nevermind..." He pulled out the crate, and closed it, seeing now it was full of oil. "Alright, we got the oil for the fire. We're gonna have to work together on dragging this out."

She nodded, walking around to the back of the jeep.

Asonja walked to the front and began to glow purple again as he pulled. The jeep began to move forward inch by inch.

The butterfly pushed and soon the car was sliding down the incline: bouncing against the stone as it neared the flat ground ahead.

Asonja moved out of the way so he wasn't squished by the Jeep. "Sweet. We might have gotten ourselves a good source of transportation, if we can repair it."

"How long will that take?" she looked up.  "It's... getting late."

"Probably not long enough until the storm arrives." Asonja notes. "We're going to have to make the fire here for now."

"What do we burn?"

"With the oil." He points to the crate.

"What do we burn the oil on though?  It won't last forever..."

"...The crate itself?" Asonja shrugged.

"Is that enough wood?"

"Probably not enough to last the whole night." Asonja scratched the back of his left ear.

"Maybe we could... look around... more?" She didn't seem particularly sure of herself with this suggestion.  "... Can you use your purple to... fly up?"

"I dunno..." Asonja stated. "I've never quite used it before. I mean, I have, but I don't use it at all. I'm supposed to use it often but I don't. It gets weaker whenever I don't use it."

"... So... you can't?"

"I can use it...but it's very weak as of right now. What you saw was..probably the weakest that I have used the ability."

"... Maybe you should rest..." She sighed.  "I wish there were food..."

"There would be in the Jeep, but it's probably way overexpired..." Asonja sighed too. He then came up with an idea and picked up some sand. "There's another thing that I can do...Dunno if this is enough to do it." He glowed purple, very dimly, and the sand in his hand swirled into what appears to be a small rectangular box. He handed it to her. "I'm not sure what you like, so in this box should contain your supposed favorite food. I apologize if I get it wrong. I'll be starting the fire momentarily."

"... How would..." She opened the box.

Inside was possibly enough food to feed her for the entire night, packed with her favorite snacks and main courses. Asonja was sitting there, twiddling his thumbs, like he was nervous if he got judged for getting them wrong. "It takes a lot of practice...but with the right amount of mass, I can turn sand into anything of use...to a certain extent."

(So he's turning sand into something that reacts to what others think?)

(It's basically saying that he's turning sand into something that he THINKS. He's not psychic so he doesn't KNOW that it's right.)

(How is he doing that?)

(By turning the right amount of sand as a placeholder for the nanites to go around the sand and form it into something physical. Is that alright to do or...not?)

(Well... it's possible to do, but the nanites are naturally stone and metal physically.  It would involve type pink chaos energy to change the material.  If that's something he can do, then yeah.  I'm just trying to figure out the context is all.)

(Ah. All it is is that Asonja is trying to appease her by giving her food that he created himself with his abilities. He is nervous because he thinks she won't like what he gives.)

(That's fine, but is what I described what he's doing?)

(We'll go with yes)

(Alrighty then.)

"... You're magic?" she asked.

"In a way, sort of." Asonja answered. "It's hard to explain, though."

"We still can't get up though?"

"I mean, we could." Asonja states. "Though, it takes a lot of work, even for me. Even with my abilities, I'm still pretty weak."

"You made a box of food."

"...Yes, I know." Asonja says. "I never used it for anything fighting wise or survival means. Unless it was absolutely needed."

"Can you make the car... repaired?"

"...You know what? I think you might be on to something." Asonja stood up and went to the car. "I've never really quite fixed a car before, but I think you might be right. It'll take a while, but rest up while I do this. You've done a great amount of work for me to get this far, and I want to repay you now."

Asonja picked up more sand, and attempted to slowly create the parts needed, his glow a dim purple.

"W-well, I mean, I mostly just flew and looked around," she scratched her head bashfully, "but thanks."

"Hey, just relax for a while." Asonja states. "I got this. Just eat your dinner, relax, and maybe take a nap or something and I'll do the hard work for now. I'd feel guilty if I hadn't helped out."

"You did a lot already," She noted, but sat down as suggested.

"Since when?" Asonja asked. "I don't remember helping you all that much."

She looked up to him from her box.  "You carried me for a while, helped with the car, opened the wall, got the oil out..."

"...Well I suppose that's true..." Asonja muttered a bit.

"And now you're helping with the car."

"Yes, I am..." Asonja said. He was standing there for a moment, as if trying to find more excuses to say.

"... How is it going?"

"...I think it's going well, thanks for asking." He seems to have finally gave up on bringing himself down on a lower level for the moment. He went back to working on the Jeep.

She looked over the progress.

The Jeep seemed to be just about fixed on the inside. He was cleaning off some of the rust and openings with new parts. He was also cleaning the outside of the jeep, giving it a new dark grey paintjob.

"... Will it... drive?" She asked, walking over.

"I think so, but the ignition is a bit rusty. I can't fix that, but everything else should run fine."

She hopped into the car.  "Do you drive?"

"Yeah." Asonja got into the driver's side. "Well, maybe. It shouldn't be too hard. We'll learn as we go." He brings out the key and puts it into the ignition to turn it on.

It sputtered before starting up.  The lights even turned on.

"Sweet. That's a good sign." Asonja says as he gripped the wheel. "Alright...there's a switch here..." He looked to his right at the throttle, and put it on drive. "And two petals...maybe this right one makes it move?" He lightly tapped it.

The car slowly moved forward.

"...Interesting. Alright, I believe we found or source of transportation." Asonja stated, turning off the car for a moment.

It was night now.  "Should we drive back to that other path?" The butterfly asked.

"Seeing that we can't go anywhere else on this one, I don't see why not." Asonja turns the car back on and begins to move the car to the opposite direction they came from. He didn't go very fast, mainly because he was nervous.

They were soon entering the pass again.  The car slowed at the uphill drive but did not lose gas... yet.  Cracking noise were still heard above.

"...Those noises are making me more scared than I already am..." Asonja says, looking up and around.

The butterfly took his hand, squeezing gently for reassurance as they passed by.  It took at least twenty minutes to get back to their starting point at the path fork.

Asonja had surprisingly held onto her hand for a considerable amount of time. He kept going at the other path. "...I also appreciate the reassurance; it means a lot to me."

"I can tell," She nodded as they reached the split.  "We're past it now though."

Asonja still held her hand though, like he had other worries. "That's good...we're crossing new territory here, and it's rather nerve-wrecking."

"Well, it's- hhungh..." she tucked in a bit at the sudden cold as they went higher up the path.  Night in the desert.

Asonja gripped her hand a bit tighter, and the nanites travelled across her body and wrapped her in a soft fluffy blanket. It seemed to be a pink color, but it was hard to tell. "Will that help?"

She stiffened a bit.  "How... are... th-these ar-"

Asonja was silent, looking to be slightly embarrassed or ashamed. He he continued to drive with the headlights on, going in one single direction slowly.

"How long?" She asked.

"...Not sure." He answered finally, after about 20 seconds of more silence. He looked down at the speedometer for the speed and the remaining gas.

They had an hour or so still on the gas.  They were nearing the top of the canyon area, allowing for a better view of their heading.  The smoke had long been gone from the far-away distance, but some kind of structure was visible at a higher point at least three miles ahead.

"...Interesting. Signs of life?" Asonja asked, speeding up only slightly.

"What?"

"Nothing, I though I saw a snake..." Asonja shivered a little bit. "I forgot that snakes are venomous in the desert."

"As long as we're still moving, they shouldn't hurt us right?"

"Yeah...I hate snakes. They're creepy."

"Have you been bitten before?..."  She changed the subject soon after.  "You're supposed to make a shelter right?"

"Yeah, I was." Asonja stated, ignoring the previous question on purpose. "Do you want to stop here to make it?"

"No... well... I mean, can't you use that... sand to make it?"

"Yeah, but do you want me to do it now?"

"Well, we have the night and the next day still so we can wait, right?"

"True, true." Asonja nods and continues on his way. "Also, on the snake thing again...I don't mind answering to your question you wanted to leave behind, so I apologize for bringing it up again, but in case you wanted to know, yes, I have been bitten by a snake before. Poisonous. I believe it was a Rattlesnake."

"I'm... sorry to hear that.  You're not dead though, so... that's... good," She attempted to sound comforting.

"I was honsetly surprised I lived. I was, probably 4 years old when my parents were still around. They worked miracles, especially my father. They both had something special, but my father especially was an interesting case. My mother always made people do what she thought was necessary. I once got in trouble for getting in a fight in my school, and when I told my mom the story, she was fumming and got me out of it. She hates it when I get in trouble when I do something right. My father, though, he was busy working all day, but when mom was out of town, he would be there to protect me and my twin brother. He can sort of grow like my brother can; I think manipulating growth is natural in all dragons, though I was born from one, so...I wouldn't imagine me growing to the size of a building anytime soon."

He realizes that he was talking too much and decided to stop talking and continue driving.

"... You can turn into a dragon?"

"No, but I am part dragon. I have the dragon's blood in me, but I'm not physically a dragon."

"Is that what let you do the... sand thing?"

"Nono, that's something else. Which is...harder to explain. You see, there's another kind of...species, I guess we'll put it, that has a much different system of how they function. They're known as Identities. My brother and I are part Identity, because our parents were as well.

"So you're three things at once?"

"Blood-wise and structure-wise, yes." Asonja rubbed the back of his head with his free hand. "I have the blood of a dragon, outside body of a hedgehog, and a bodily system like an Identity."

"That sounds... difficult."

"Yeah. That's why I get called a monster sometimes for what I do." He shrugs as he continues looking ahead at the wide, vast dirt road of the desert.

"That's... silly, did you do anything actually monsterous?"

"...Not...really...You honestly got me stuck on a road block on my train of thought, I've never thought of doing anything monsterous to begin with...I did want to several times, but, I never actually did them."

"Huh... And you didn't come to the canyon just by yourself right?"

"I just appeared here, but I have some suspicions." He was starting to get really tired, as he had shadows under his massive eyes and his eyes were narrowing. "I'll never know for sure how I got here...but this atmosphere is making me sleepy...maybe I haven't actually slept in about a few weeks..."

"I can drive for you if you'd like."

"Nono, that's fine...I can...do this..." He leaned forward a bit, before snapping back awake. "...Yeah, you can drive..." He stopped the car and got out of the driver's side. "Careful, the sand is really cold."

She climbed over the seat to get to the driving seat.

He sat down on the passenger seat. "Okay, you remember what I told you about how to drive it?"

"Not really," She began driving forward.  "I'll go slow.  You sleep."

"Alright..." Asonja sat there for a moment, hunching a bit. He didn't seem to be falling asleep, but he was close to. It looked like that his brain was overworking itself, causing him to stay awake.

Eventually they neared an end to their driving by means of a steep makeshift stairway toward a large wooden building it would seem some ten or so yards up.

Asonja was just about to fall asleep before he noticed they stopped. "Eh...? What happened?"

"I think we're here," She informed.

"Here...? Here where...?"

"The thing we were driving to?" She guessed.

"I suppose...I'll go check it out." Asonja gets out and walks up the stairs. He was horribly tired and uncoordinated; he almost fell down the stairs many times.

The butterfly girl kept behind him, pressing him forward until they finally reached the top.  The wood boards creaked loudly once they stepped up to them.  No light was seen inside, and most of the glass windows were broken.  

There was a balcony and innerhouse it seemed.

"It appears no one's home. I believe we can make use of this place." Asonja stated, and walks inside. "Please have food and a bed..."

Cupboards were located, and to the far left was an old but usable bed.  It seemed stable enough.

"I think I found a bunker or something," The butterfly called over form another room.

Asonja ran over to her. "A bunker? Where?"

She had moved over a carpet rug, showing a stairway underneath.

"Whoa...this is just foreshadowing something dangerous, I just know it." Asonja stated.

"The storm?" She asked, stepping inside.

"Most likely." Asonja stayed above, actually scared of the dark below. She looked up to him.  "Are you coming?"

"...In a minute..." He stated, and he slowly made his way inside.

It was quite pitch-black, especially considering it was night.  "There has to be a switch," The butterfly began feeling around.

Asonja had fallen down the stairs and he held himself against the railing, panting and gripping the railing tightly to the sound of cracking wood. "I'm okay, I'm okay, everything's fiiiiiiine."

"You're not bleeding, right?" She asked.

"At least I think so." He checked his body. "...Yup, that's blood...etch, why I did taste it...?"

"What?" A stumbling sound was heard, followed by an "oof!"

"Oi!" He tried to find her, by walking around. "You alright?!"

"I'm okay!  Can you make a light or something?"

Using his Nanites, he created a lantern with a dim candle. "Here. Anything broken?"

She was standing now, seeming unharmed.  "I don't think so."

They were in a basement.  Boxes of various stored goods and a fridge were inside.

"Oh!" She walked over to a switch, pressing it.  It shocked her, forcing her to step back.

Asonja came over and stayed beside her. "Alright, easy there." He says. "Perhaps we shouldn't touch that anymore."

"Yeah," She fixed the fuzz around her neck.  "What is all this stuff?"

"Looks to be vintage." Asonja stated, getting closer to them. "This is possibly a fallout shelter, in my eyes."

"Should we open them?  You haven't eaten anything."

"True. I'm not really hungry to begin with." Asonja shrugged, his stomach growling loudly in protest. "...Well, maybe a little." He changed his mind. "But, with food possibly this old, I wouldn't recommend eating from them. I'd advice checking the expiration dates on them, if they have them."

"Uh..." She looked over the boxes.  "They just have labels.  Maybe the food has the dates inside?"

"Perhaps. I'll help you out." He walked over next to her, and opened up several of the boxes.

Inside were various assorted foods in cans.  Most were soups with a few with some alchoholic beverages and chocolate pudding.  While they showed expiration dates, considering neither of them knew what the date was currently, it didn't appear relevant.

"...Well, only one way to find out." Asonja went into a box and pulled out a random bottle, being a can of soup. He opened it with a can opener he spawned, and took a look.

It had a strong smell, but thankfully not a bad one.  Noodles and liquid inside.

"Hmm...so far so good..." Asonja spawned an electric oven with a pot, and poured in the soup. Only because he was too lazy to go up the stairs himself to put them in the oven. "Now, we just heat it up and see how it'll taste."

"You can do... a lot of things," The butterfly blinked.  "... That's... really cool."

He chuckled a bit, obviously flustered with his anxious tone of voice. "Heheh...I don't really think it's that cool."

"I can't make stuff like that with my hands.  How did you learn all that anyway?  I- I mean, I know you said you were that... Identity thing, but like... you trained or something?"

"Well, firstly, I didn't even know I had it. It was more like I discovered it on accident. Remember what I said about that snake accident I told you about? That's basically where it all began. Once the Rattlesnake bit into my arm, I had to amputate it so the poison wouldn't spread. Once I did that, I noticed how easily my skin pierced and it turned into sand. I was so scared, I went to my brother who just told me to give it a moment and it grew back. Eventually, I experimented with it and I learned that I could convert the mass of this sand into something of equal mass, and I could basically make whatever I wanted."

"So snakes can't hurt you anymore?"

"They haven't been, apparently. Nothing was able to hurt me." He then mumbles under his breath, "except words..."

"Words?"

"Yes, words. People don't know it, but words actually hurt more than physical attacks." Asonja hinted something pretty dark before getting the soup of the stove to give it a taste, despite how dangerously hot it was.

"Like... low self-esteem?"

"In a way, yes...also this soup doesn't taste all that bad. It seems safe."

"That's good... Wait," She stepped out of the basement area.  "There's a breeze..."

"...A breeze?" Asonja asked and followed. "You're making it foreshadow-y, don't do that, please. It's scaring me already."

"Well there is," she noted.  "... Maybe we should close up the house?"

"That would be best." Asonja waved his hands, sand going in all directions. The sand closed windows and doors, as well as sealing them. "There we go. That should hold for a while."

"So we just wait here until the storm ends, right?" she walked back down.

"It seems that way, yes." Asonja replies. "And, before you ask, I am VERY afraid of thunder and lightning."

"I don't like those either," She shrugged.  "... How long can we keep the light?"

"For a while, I can presume."

"Hm..."

"Greetings!" A voice yelled from behind Asonja.

Asonja screams, poofed into sand and wooshed behind some boxes.

"Great Scott!  Control yourself, man!"

He refomed back to his physical form. still behind the boxes. "Sorry...it's my self-defense mechanism. And, yes, my self-defense mechanism is turning into sand and flying away. Don't ask questions."

"I have arrived to inform you that you may skip into the future if you are completed in this moment.  ALSO, Ten points for early completion of first task."

Asonja blinked a few times before coming out of the boxes. "I uh...sure, timeskip it is."

The voice ended, and suddenly loud winds were heard outside.

"Ah jeez, it's just getting worse..." Asonja sat down on the cold, basement floor. Of course, storms were not his strong suits.

"Maybe if we- Ee!" The butterfly jumped back as a loud crashing sound was heard outside.

Asonja jumped too and went to the butterfly. "What happened? Was that thunder...?"

"I don't want to find out."

The ground began to shake beneath them.

"Oh God, even an Earthquake?" Asonja stated, before creating a stabe steel pole to hold onto.

They could see small cracks forming in the ground.  A slam was heard as a large plank of wood went shooting through the doorway.

Asonja formed a steel wall, breaking the plank's path toward them. "Don't tell me...it's a Tornado with a little mix of an Earthquake..."

The hole caused by the plank was leading to strong winds seeping in, breaking pieces of the door as it went.

Asonja attempted to stop it, but the house was already gone. The basement remained, and he made sure the pole he made earlier was still stable. "Hold on to this pole! It's all we got to stablize ourselves!" Asonja shouted over the roaring wind.

She gripped it tightly, looking around just as... the basement began to rise.

"This is stronger than I thought...Hold on!" Asonja's right arm transformed into the sand again, and he created steel box around himself, the pole, and the butterfly. "This should keep us safe for a while...It's quite sturdy..."

The air began to get thin as they seemed to be going higher into the air.

"...Ooookay, that's not good." Asonja says. "At least we're still alive..." Asonja tried impletmenting oxygen masks into the steel cube; he dared not to open anything from outside the cube.

The storm would go on for hours, banging and turning the room about.

Asonja was sitting there, waiting for this storm. "So uh...do you wanna play cards or something?"

The butterfly didn't seem able to respond, just clinging tensely to the pole.

"...Yeah, it's best not to talk or anything." Asonja gets up and holds onto the pole as well, coincidentally putting his glove over her hand.

Eventually the storm ended, and everything went silent.

"...Oddly quiet here..." Asonja stated as his arm transformed into a blade to cut a rectangular window to view the outside

They were miles in the air.  Their bunker of sorts was held up by a large mountain.

"What are the chances," Asonja looked surprised. "Sheesh...how far did we go?"

The butterfly shakily stepped over to look.  "Th-that'. that's high.."

"It's alright, we seem to be pretty stable here," Asonja reassured. "I might be able to chop part of this mountain's tip and make a flat ground for us?"

"We aren't going down?"

"...Well, we could do that, but it's still very steep." Asonja noted. "It would take a while for us to climb down without the proper equipment, even though I could spawn our own, it's still dangerous."

"How long can we stay up here?" She asked.

"Not long, I'm guessing. It's still way too dangerous to climb down from here."

"Then how do we get down?"

"...Either we climb down, or slide down." Asonja stated. "As I've said before, both choices are still dangerous."

"Maybe if I fly slowly down I can carry you down?" she suggested.

"Alright..." Asonja says and the steel box turns into a flat steel platform. "I'm very light, I think.."

"Well... here we go..." She took hold of him and began to descend.

He carefully held onto her, the steel platform behind them forming into sand and then back to Asonja's system. He made sure that, whenever this fails, he was coming up with plans to make sure he doesn't get hurt.

They were able to descend for about two minutes before the butterfly began to groan.  "Are we close to the surface?"

"Let me check..." Asonja worriedly looked down to see.

The surface was in view, but still very far down.

"I'll take it from here," Asonja says. "On the count of three, you're going to let go, I'll grab onto you, and I'll take the rest. Alright?"

"What?"

"Just let go of me. Trust me.."

"... Uh..." Her grip loosened.

"Everything will be fine..." He says before he lets go on his own, and grabs her arm to take her down with him. While falling, he carries her bridal style, and he concentrates as he grew wings of his own; they looked like tattered black dragon wings, having a wide wingspan. He freefalls to the surface, and stablizes before reaching the ground safely. His wings vanished in a sand and back into his system. "Just now I figured out I could do body features, too."

"J-just now?" She asked, shaking slightly.

"Yeah...it takes me ages to think of what I can do, so..." He sets her back on her feet, patting her shoulder. "There we go. That was quite the fall, but, we're still alive. That's good, right?"

She nodded, looking about the area.  The desert canyon was now overgrown by grass, and the canyon inclines were filled with deep rivers.

"Whoa...what the heck happened?" Asonja took a few steps forward, looking out at the horizon.

"It's... it's very different," The butterfly rubbed her eyes.  "You are seeing this too, right?" She rubbed the grass.

"Of course I do." Asonja stated. "We might both be dreaming and our minds both connected and made this...dream world, maybe. It feels real to me, but it feels too peaceful..."

A pop sound was heard before "SIR ASONJA!" behind the hedgehog.

He jumped, but did not scream. "...Oh, it's you again. Greetings again." He says, wiping his forehead for a moment.

"I have arrived to-"

"Who... who are you?" The butterfly stepped back.

"I am Urd!" The short man then turned to Asonja.  "Your next trial awaits soon!"

"...Next...trial?" Asonja asked in confusion.

"Oh yes," He nodded.  "An army approaches soon.  You must protect your subjects!"

"...Oh dear." Asonja responded.

"That is all.  FAREWELL!" The Urd began to vanish in a cloud of bubbles.

"...Interesting fellow." Asonja states and he looked back at the butterfly. "Well, I'm not going to ask any questions. It's time to prepare for another obstacle."

"What subjects did he mean?" The butterfly asked, looking about.  "I don't see anyone."

"Perhaps he referred to you, from what I'm getting." Asonja theorized. "Or, maybe he means we'll meet others along the way?"

"Well I'm just one person," She noted.  "... Guess we'll have to look for them."

"Agreed. Shall we?" Asonja got ready to go.

She nodded, walking about.  "The building's completely gone.  ... Should we go toward the lower canyon areas?  The not-flooded ones?"

"Good idea." Asonja nodded. "Though, it was be better if we got to a water source so we can filter it out for drinking."

"Well," She looked to the near left where the rivers started.

"...Look at that." Asonja stated, shrugging. "Well, that should be where we'll make a shelter for the time being."

"Another shelter?"

"Yup, since we don't have one anymore." Asonja states.

"Well we have this mountain we could carve I guess."

"...You're right about that, but that river there looks to be too far away," Asonja peacefully protested. "I think it would be ideal if we had quick transport to the river for water than having to walk, like, 2 miles to get it."

(The river is actually only about ten yards away.) (I know, he's over-exaggerating) (Was expecting something like 'That wasn't specified' but okay den)

"It's not really very far," She noted.

"...Well, yeah, but you know I don't like walking." He responds.

"... What happened?"

"What do you mean what-" He sighed. "Nevermind...Let's go with carving out the mountain for our shelter."

"What about finding the 'subjects' or whatever?"

"We will do that after I carve out the mountain. It shouldn't take more than 30 minutes."

"... Should I time you?"

"...I mean, if you want, if that's what helps you." He shrugs as he begins to drill a cave in the side of the mountain with his giant drill arms. 

She watched him go, but after about twenty minutes, they could hear voices and footsteps in the far distance.

Asonja stopped drilling as he already made a pretty deep hole in the mountain, with supports and everything. He stopped to check what was happening, and began hearing voices too. "...Is that the army he was talking about?"

"I'll go see," She flew out of sight.

"Don't go too far without me." Asonja followed her.

She slowed a bit.  "Thought you were building."

"I'm done with the cave thing, but furniture will have to wait."

"Fancy," She smiled, continuing until they saw a vast group of people by the riverside. They looked quite dirty, with men, women,and children, standing about.  Some were salvaging some kind of wreckage from the water.

"Perhaps that I might need to make more room in the cave to shelter these guys if they need it.." Asonja theorized.

"There's... there- there's like four-hundred of them or something," She noted.  It was more like two-hundred, but at such an amount it was hard to tell.

"Yeah, you're right. I'll go ahead first, you stay behind me incase they start shooting me in the face." Asonja began walking toward them.

"Sh-sh- okay..." She went behind him as they approached.  The people soon noticed the two of them.  "That's him!" Someone called.

"Wait, who?" Asonja stood for a moment, putting up his index finger in confusion. "Hold on, wait, I'm infamous for some reason now?"

The butterfly nudged Asonja.  "You know that's not what they mean."

"You're him aren't you?" One asked, walking toward Asonja and the butterfly.

"What're you talking about?" Asonja asked

"We were told that you'd come to help us," He informed.  "After the storm hit."

He thoguht about that for a moment, crossing his arms. "Really...? I'm in, I'll help you guys out."

"Wait, isn't there an army that's going to attack?" The butterfly asked, looking over to the man.

"We didn't hear anything about an army," The man shook his head.  "I didn't at least."

"So these are the subjects he told us about..." Asonja whispered to the butterfly. "Well, regardless, we'll help you out."

"We were building a shelter earlier," The butterfly informed.

"Where?" The man asked.

Asonja pointed behind the massive cave in the nearby mountain. "That shelter."

"Thank you," The man turned to the others, calling them follow.

"I didn't put furniture in it, though, so it's gonna be uncomfortable and cold for a little while." Asonja says before running up ahead of the men and going inside the shelter.

The butterfly followed.  "Are we really going to fight an army?"

"Probably. I think so." Asonja answered.

"How?" She glanced behind as the massive load of people started entering.

Once they got in, the cave seemed a bit bigger on the inside with seperate rooms like a bar room, sleeping quarters, and a living space with foods and other drinks. Asonja says, sweating slightly from the work, "We'll have to figure that out."

The area was soon filled though many of the people were complaining of injuries and hunger.

"The food and medical supplies are in the room farthest back south of this area!" Asonja calls, trying to generate order.

"They are?" The butterfly asked.  "When?"

"Just now." Asonja says.

"That doesn't... what?"

He held up his hands, in which were sand. "Rememberrrr?"

"But you're sta-... you work fast... Why didn't you want to go to the water?"

"I figured the mountain would be good for spacing, so we're not too cluddered together to generate discomfort." Asonja says.

"Are we going to purify the water now?"

"Yes. Are we going now?"

"... I don't know," She groaned slightly.  "Um, should we?"

"Well, firstly we should make sure everything's in order first before we purify the lake." Asonja answers.

"How do we do that?"

"Look around, see if nobody's dying or anything, maybe take a survey on how to full everyone's needs."

"Uh... that's... gonna be hard... okay," She gradualy began to approach the other people, meekly questioning some on their conditions.

Asonja came along with her, keeping an eye on the situations. Asonja didn't think it would take long.

Very many people had very many different problems to address.  Some had medication they needed, others food, others sleep, others were searching for their loved-ones, and others were still freaking out.  Oh, then there were the ones dying or injured in general.

Asonja did his best to tend to those needs. He didn't seem to want the butterfly to stress out as well from all of this, so he did everything himself.

(Which was he able to tend to though? X{D) (Mostly the ones who were hungry and injured.)

The butterfly had left to the outside at some point, calling Asonja over.

After some time longer, asonja then had some free time to head outside with the butterfly girl. "Sorry for the wait."

"So... do we look for the army?"

"I suppose so." Asonja said. "What I have now should relieve them for a few hours."

(Have been waiting on Origins Unmade)(It's BEEN done for, like, two days.)

She nods.  "Where should we start?"

The area ahead just let immediately to the incline to the river that the two found the people at originally.  Behind them was a surface-level river and to their sides were mountains.

"I think we'll check the area ahead first." He points there.

The butterfly flew ahead to the spot they first met the people.

Asonja followed up later. "Nothing of interest here except possibly more food and water storage."

The river was fast with bits of houses flooding across.  "Maybe the army is further down?  I can't find anything else from before... Aw, the car..."

"Oh shoot, I forgot about the car..." Asonja scratched his head for a little bit. Before he snapped his fingers and thrusted his hand up to the side. A huge pile of sand exploded up from under the ground. The somewhat same Jeep from before had returned, except it was all black and had a faster engine. "Hope you don't mind the better version over the original."

"... Is it like... hard to make those?" She blinked.  "You made that in seconds."

"It's energy-wasting, but it's hard to make me run out of energy." Asonja says as he walks to the car. "Well, I'm tired all the time anyway, so I guess the energy I make is put into reserve."

"You're going to be okay, right?"

"Eh. As long as I don't use too much in one sitting. If that's the case I might melt. From the inside."

"That's... scary, um, where do we take the car?  Do we just drive past on?"

"If we're going to scout for the army's location, it might be best to drive it out in the direction where the other subjects came from." Asonja suggested.

"Okay!" She hopped into the car, nudging the door open for him with her foot.

Ten points added

"Score." Asonja muttered quietly to himself and got in the car, turning it on. "You seem jovial today. I'd like to see you happy more often."

"Well the whole... storm, that was kind of, r-really terrifying.  I just... if this is all a game, and I guess you're like, the main character, then I'm an NPC right?  So, it wouldn't really mean much if I died?  At least to whoever is doing all this."

"That was awfully too specific for comfort." Asonja says as he drove toward the opposite direction where the refugees went. "Please, do not say those things. It's okay to think that, but please do not say it openly to me, as if you mean to be degenerate of yourself. I will not allow that. But just know, if you are taking care of the main character, which I believe is not possible in my standards, I'd be the Anti-Hero. Not a villain, nor a hero. In the middle, per say."

"... I think you're a hero in this case," She noted.  "You're kind of not doing anything anti-hero-like."

He rubbed the back of his head. "I just feel that way, it's different than actually experiencing it, I think...I just don't think I'm fit to be either a hero or a villain."

"But you're doing heroic things," She enforced.  "Is there something that makes this not heroic?"

"...It's most likely my past that's holding me back, I don't know." Asonja sighs. He continues driving staying silent for a while.

They neared eventually a massive body of water.  It was uncertain if this was an ocean or simply some large lake perhaps.

Asonja took note of it, incase it was an important landmark. "Hmm...I don't see anything yet. What about you?"

"Just the water," She replied.  "... Are they going to sail through?"

"It looks big enough for an ocean liner to be on." Asonja answers. "Quite possibly."

"Should we go over it?  I'm not really... sure if it's safe, being so far away from the people we're supposed to protect."

"No. Let's not." Asonja states, and makes a 180 degree turn by going in reverse, drifting to the left, and shifting to drive without losing speed. "The subjects we have in the cave are more important. We'll prepare there."

"Oof!" She clung to the seat briefly.  "Alright.  How do we prepare?"

"Barricade the front, and get some healthy, well-fed, and emotionally stable fighters who're willing to save themselves in case intruders come." Asonja stated, seeming to already have a decent plan already made up in his head. "Also, sorry about that...little thing I just did there with this car. I should've warned you first..."

"I'm okay," She replied.  "Alright, so we should hurry, right?"

"Yes." Asonja nods, going about as fast as the engine could take without overheating.

The butterfly clung tightly to the seat.  "I-if the army's supposed to b-b-be against you, d-do you th-think it'll b-be really s-special to go against, against you?" She asked somewhat vaguely while jittering against the terrain's bumps.

Asonja slowed down a bit to avoid the vibrations of the heavy terrain; it was already dangerous enough to be going fast. "Like, me singular and nobody else to back me up? I dunno about that, one man's army doesn't usually win against a 100,000 man army."

"I guess, but, I think that depends on how they'd counteract your abilities," She replied.  "Like, if they just try to de-power you, then they wouldn't do much against everyone else in the cave, but if their way of counter-acting you is to have really strong armor or something then that's different, right?"  Asonja may have recalled that the butterfly girl had been inquisitive and theorizing throughout their journey, but her ideas seemed to be more... intellectual than before.

Asonja did take notice of it, but decided not to say anything. He was, so far, impressed with her theories. "Well...maybe. But if it was just me and I had the heavy armour on, then yes, that would be an issue. Heavy armour and brute strength may make me almost impenetratble, but I would hardly move. So I'm guessing it's safe for me to just go in with everything that I can, perhaps."

"I guess we'll have to wait till they attack to find out now then, huh?"

"I suppose so." Asonja says. "I might be the leader or the General of this whole thing, in case something explodes between me and the army. I'll make sure nothing happens to the cave, or you."

"Oh... thanks," She blinked, a slight red tint forming at her cheeks for the moment.

Five points added

Asonja smiled a bit and nods, as he looked around for the mountain-cave. "I hope we're not too late."

They were nearly there, the mountain far above them.

"Good." Asonja sighs lightly a bit. "No sign of the army yet...that's a good sign. We might have some time to prepare after all."

"What should I do?" She asked.

"Perhaps youcould check to make sure all the food is good, the water is not contaminated, beds are made." Asonja stated, but stopped for a moment. "I know it sounds like a lot of work females would do a lot, but I'll assist you with that. We have to make sure that the refugees' needs are met by first starting from the bottom: Food, water, and shelter.

"I... uh, okay.  That bit about... 'females' was a bit weird but okay," she stepped inside.

"Sorry, I was in a world where a lot of people get offended easily by opinions." Asonja shortly followed. "Glad that you can take opinions though, that means you're mature and intelligent. I like that."

"... Yay," She partially-enthusiastically replied, looking about.  "Alright, we get to work then."

Things appeared to have settled by that later evening.  No army was in sight, but at the same time, the water was seeming to rise, evaporating slowly into the air.

(Don't you mean shrinking if the water is evaporating?)

(No.  I mean the water is rising upward and evaporating.) (Ah, gotcha)

Asonja sat at the entrance, taking watch patrol for over the time of settling everyone's needs. "Nothing yet..." Asonja stated. He has probably never felt relaxation before since he's always on edge.

The butterfly walked out soon enough.  "Nothing yet?  ... Honestly I wish they'd arrive by now..."

"Why's that?" Asonja asked. "Just to make things more fun?"

"No," she shook her head.  "I want it to be over... Do you think it would be fun?"

"Well, not fun, but just something different from all of...this." He motioned his hands toward the cave and the subjects within. "It's kind of gotten boring to me."

"So... you prefer having the army than being bored when it's safe?" She asked in earnest.

"I'm always on edge for something." Asonja states. "I can't relax, even when it's safe...I learned that lesson a long time ago in my youth."

"... You don't look old," She noted, a slight smile.

He seemed to smile lightly himself, chuckling a bit. His smile was unfortnuately hidden with his back turned in the chair "Well, time flies, hun. Can't do anything about that, can you?"

"Me?  No, I don't really have... powers or anything like you do," She replied.  "... So you're... not young then?  Like thirty or something?"

"No, no no no, goodness no." Asonja stated. "I'm only around 17 to 18. I'm not THAT old. I just feel like I'm 30, is all."

"Oh.  Okay theeeeeeeen, uh..." She looked about. The water was covering the area in thick fog.  They couldn't even see the entrance of the cave now.

"This is odd." Asonja says quietly. "I've never seen fog this dense before...and it's only a sign."

"What do we do?  Can we clear it?" She stepped away a bit before immediately rushing back.  "Tha- that's thick..."

"This is a bad sign...a very bad sign." Asonja says, getting up. "Get everyone to the safety room to the back. I'm staying here in the front."

"W- uh, okay..." She started to step back out.  "I... I- I hear them.  here we go," Asonja could hear her step away, then he heard nothing at all.

Asonja stood there for a moment, and looks around. "Awfully quiet...everything okay over there?" He raises his voice a bit.

No response came... for seconds... a half-minute... a minute... longer...

Asonja tried walking around. "Butterfly?!" He raises his voice a little bit. "Where'd you go?!"

He couldn't see anything, couldn't hear anything, but he could feel still.  He found himself still in the grassy section outside the cave.  If he knew which direction to go, he should find the entrance.

He took a few steps around, waiting to touch stone.

He found the side of the mountain cave.

"Thank the dragons above I haven't been killed yet..." Asonja grumbled to himself as he followed along the wall inside the cave, continuing to shout for the butterfly.

He eventually came across one of the people.  The woman jumped as she saw him in the fog.  "Oh you're here!" She hugged him.

He jumped a bit, blushing and smiling a bit. "Y-yes, I am here. Is everything alright so far?"

The woman began to answer but the two were knocked into by another one of the civilians, this time a young man who gave a brief "Ughf!" as he collided with them.  "Where did this- can't see anything!  Can't we block the entrance or get it out!?"

"I'm afraid there's no way to close the entrance, actually..." Asonja states, rubbing his head a bit. "In this kind of dense fog, the hinges would be rusted off at this point...considering that clouds can squeeze through anything..."

"Can't we do something?!" The woman asked.  "What caused this anyway?"

"That, ma'am, I have no idea what caused this." Asonja responds. "All I know for right now to stay on our guard. Try to gather up everyone and evacuate to the emergency trapdoor in the southmost room. South is just to your left."

"But we can't see anyone.  We can't HEAR anyone."

"That is true..." Asonja muttered. "I suppose the best we can do is stay put and keep our guards up. We don't know what's going to happen or when this'll subside."

"Can't you make a wall to block the entrance?"

"It's going to be difficult as I need to see what I'm doing, but I can try that." Asonja states as he tries to make his way back to the entrace to slowly build up a stainless-steel bolted wall.

The gas inside remained but as the way out was blocked, the gas seemed to slowly fade away.  Whatever was causing it was only from outside.  Slowly Asonja began to hear peoples' voices again.

"Sheesh...that was very weird." Asonja states as he wafts the 'gas' away. "I wonder what that was about..."

As the gas vanished, he found that far fewer people were now inside the cave.

"...Uhhhh..." Asonja looked around for a while. "Did 75% of the population just dissipate in midair?"

And then, panic.  They weren't running around breaking things, but they were walking about and getting loud, looking everywhere for loved ones.  The butterfly wasn't in sight.

"...Wait a minute..." Asonja stated and went around as well to join the crowd. "Shoot, shoot shoot...WHERE'D SHE GO?!" He began to glow a dim purple, his eyes shining as well.

One of the less panicked individuals started to look about.  "The... bunker?" They suggested.

Asonja was already there, leaving a smoked trail behind him as he seemed to have gotten in there very fast. He looked inside the bunker. "Everyone in there? You all okay?"

Many were inside, though the butterfly didn't appear to be.  Then again... Asonja never saw her go inside the cave... only into the mist, and now the entrnace was blocked, the mist trapped outside along with whoever else was not inside.

"Shoot...she's outside out there..." Asonja growled a bit and made his way to the entrance. "And a bunch of others...Guys, stay here, I'm going out!" Asonja merged through the wall and out to the outside to avoid more fog coming in.

The fog seemed to be fading around the area.  No one else was in sight, but the sound of stomping in the far distance, across the large river, was heard.

"...What is that...?" Asonja looked paler than usual, trying to find the car.

The car didn't seem to have vanished: parked nearby.  The stomping was turning to splashing now though.

"This does not sound good...I'm afraid of what's over there.." Asonja muttered. "But my curiousity is getting the better of me. And, the safety of that butterfly." He gets in the car, turns it on, and speeds off in the direction of the sound source.

He was at the river's edge soon enough and the sounds were across it.

"What in the world is that...?" Asonja mutters, trying to find the source. He still had trouble locating its source, but was somewhat nearing it, making sure he wasn't falling in the water (fixed it)

(I was honestly just wondering X{D) (You shall not wonder no more, for I have fixed the problem @_@)

Long-legged figures neared, black armor over their bodies as they approached.  Their very bodies seemed to turn the water they walked through to steam, a large hissing from them as they neared.

"So that must be the army he talked about earlier..." Asonja muttered to himself before stopping the Jeep, keeping his guard up as they walked closer.

They stopped some feet in front of him.  Two men and one woman stepped a bit closer.  "Greetings," The female spoke out, a low but feminine tone behind a thin triangular-upward helmet mask.

Asonja answered back with a slight nod. "Who are you all?" He asked in an attempted polite tone, as well as a curious and concerned voice.

The woman chuckled slowly... lowly before answering "Why- we are Dre'core... seemingly not so different from you we sense."

Asonja says nothing for a while. "Never heard of you before." He finally responds back. "I did hear some stomping over here, and I was curious to know what that was..."

"That was us."

He raised a finger, taking a breath. "...Right. Right...I was worried, that was all. What business do you have here, if you mind me asking."

"We are here to spread in a way."

"...Spreeadd whaaat?" Asonja asked, broadening his words in confusion and concern.

The black scales slid back from the figure as she stepped forward, long thin legs, slate skin of a toned and curved body.  Slim eyes with green irises, with long pointed ears and black streaked hair that flowed down.  Her face narrowed at the jawline, like some sort of elf almost, though by the long tail and fur, perhaps something else.  The others had similar features as their armor peeled back, showing only some scales here and there still part of their bodies, at the cheeks, foreheads, arms, hips, and so on.  They were quite lovely really, if not... dark.

Asonja had a mixed feeling about this situation, to the point where it got too confusing for which one to feel. He turned his Jeep back on. "That...doesn't quite answer my question, but I need to find a certain somebody who got lost in the fog. I have to find them. I NEED to find them."

"Your butterfly, yes?" She asked.

"Yes..." Asonja looked at her. "Do you know where she went?"

"She is with us," The woman answered.

"In what way...? Is she...like...a prisoner for you or...is she working along-side you?" Asonja was incredibly concerned and showed some bits of emotion while he spoke this time.

"We've taken many of the people lost.  They will be like us.  Like you."

"...I'm not sure I'd want to do that..." Asonja answered. "I do not think I'd be capable of that. I just want her to come back to me, that's all I ask for. I have people to take care of as well."

"And we can make them better.  We can take care of them."

Asonja was, again, getting very mixed feelings in this situation, possibly overthinking it. "No...I just want the butterfly back. With me. I do not quite trust you, considering I don't even know what you...and the others, do."

"So you choose for her?"

"I do not wish to join, as I do not know what to expect." Asonja states. He was either very jealous of the power, or is being considerate.

"You could be like us," The woman gave a gesture to her own rather flawless figure, gesturing to one of the men next.  "Everyone could be."

"What does it mean to be you?" Asonja asked. "What do you do?"

"We are strong, durable, intelligent... winged," Large scale-lined wings sprouted out from behind her, seeming to grow from the armor itself.

Asonja irked a bit, his pupils shrinking just a bit. His emotion was clear: jealousy. He groaned a bit, looking away, thinking. "They're too good..." he muttered to himself. He sighs and looks at them. "Fine...you have my interest."

"Would you like to come with us?" She asked.

Asonja took a while to answer, before he sighs and nods. "Fine. I'll tag along."

"That doesn't sound like one who wants to."

"Then how do I convince you that I am serious about going?" Asonja asks. "I have an inept ability to show my true emotions as I always wear a mask to hide my suffering from my own mind and beliefs. A bit deep and possibily a bit too much information, but, yes, that is my excuse."

"Then, do you wish to truly come with us?"

"As long as the butterfly is safe and sound with you, then yes." Asonja says, his eyes showing a different answer: 'Power'.

The woman nodded. The armor-like scales slid back over her as she turned back with the others, the mist slowly returning over the water.

Asonja, slowly and carefully followed while he was in the Jeep. He was contemplating whether he was going to regret this or not. And wondering if they really do have the butterfly waiting for him.

They vanished from the area, arriving at a large camp.  It was underground and quite moist.  What was not a tent of sorts was a pod... these tree-like pods lining the area.  Asonja could faintly see into them, where these people were being slowly changed.

He still followed, seeming to be second-guessing himself just by looking. He wasn't sure wether or not that this was a good idea, but he was certain the butterfly was here somewhere.

They walked till the very end of the path: arriving at a much larger... capsule of sorts.  "You wish to be as us... there is a test."

"What test are we talking...?" Asonja says, walking up to it slowly.

"The others in your care.  You must bring them.  If they come willingly, we promise you this reward, and by that we do mean a very actual and positive reward."

"..." Asonja was quiet again, sighing a bit in thought. "I'll try to bring as much as I can. My Jeep can only hold about 8 people max, including myself. Do I have a specific deadline?"

"Our mist can bring them.  You will have two days.  We will send an example with you."

He nods, then he looked around. "...So uh...how do I get out of here and get back to my Jeep and cave?"

"Back through the mist," The woman pointed back.

"...Right." Asonja nods and walks out the exit, stopping for a moment to think to himself before walking completely through the mist.

He arrived back at the large mountain where the remaining people resided.  The mist having cleared in that area, few people were out to test the safety.

"I recently just came back from inside the mist." Asonja tells them. There are people there on the other side that will assist you. If you follow me there, you will be safe. Everyone else is waiting there."

"... What?" One asked.  "What do you mean?  Did they take the others?"

"Yes." Asonja nods. "They will help you, and I guarantee that they're fine. They'll make you stronger beings, so I have been told. We have two days to get you all there."

"Where's the girl?" They asked.

"The butterfly, I am not sure." Asonja shook his head. "The people there told me that the girl is there as well. Everyone is there."

"... Hey!" The pointed to the mist.  Something was coming out of it, one of the pods.

Asonja turned around to see the pod, backing up a bit.

The pod opened, and out from it fell a familiar but foreign figure.  The scales like the others: bright pink at the ends, with the skin-like fur being white, and the wings coated in the slick scales as well.  She fell unconscious on the ground.

Asonja came up to her and kneeled before her. "Hey...are you okay?" He asked quietly.

She slowly, shakily,forced herself up... from the ground.  "I f-feel...s-strange..."

He helped her up a little bit. "What do you feel...? Bad, good?"

"Uncomfortable," She answered.

"At least you're okay..." Asonja answers, trying to get her back to her feet.

"What happened?"

"I believe the army has gotten to you once you passed deep enough into the Mist." Asonja says. "I recently met them and was give the task to bring all of the other refugees there as well."

"W- why?" She looked at her hands.  "I- the- they did this?"

"Yes." Asonja nods. "I do not know why, but I think it's for a power reason...I agreed to do this same thing to get you back."

"Why?"

"I didn't want anything bad happening to you..." Asonja answered, a little quiet. "I thought that they captured you or something bad and I was going to have to get in there and get you out."

"You... did that so I could be free?"

He nods. "Yes. But you are okay now, yes?"

"I... guess..." She looks at her hands.  "...hm..."

"If anything happens, just let me know." Asonja states. "I don't want anything bad happening to you or anybody else."

"Why are... why are we trusting them?" She asked.

"I don't quite trust them yet...I'll trust them when I feel like it..." He says. "You're alive, and that's part of the deal. The next part of the deal is me getting my hands on what they have for me once I bring the rest of the refugees in."

"But- didn't... didn't the weird floating guy say..."

"Yes, I know what he said, to be careful." Asonja says. "I'm going to dig deeper into this rabbit hole. They've already grabbed my attention to the point where I cannot help myself but to get to digging. I'm going to find out what they're up to, and perhaps find a way out."

"... I can't turn back can I?"

"That I do not know...I would have to ask the ones who ran this...experiment on you. If there is, I'll make sure I will turn you back."

"Why would you turn back?" One of the people asked.

"Because, some people do not like the idea of having power." Asonja states. "I, however, crave it. And many of you probably do as well. I want this power because...because..." He looked confused for a moment. "What do I want it for again..." He asked himself for a moment. "I thought I wanted it for myself..." He muttered again.

"... We just go through the mist?"

"Yup. Keep going into the mist and they should be there to greet you."

Immediately the person ran through.  The butterfly turned to Asonja.  "... I... need to..." She walked back into the cave.

Asonja looked...quite confused. What did he do wrong, he wondered. He decided to follow her, at a safe distance away.

"I just need to be alone for a little bit, okay?" She asked immediately after seeing his shadow after her.  The others were crowding, many asking questions about the changes, the strange group, the mist, etc.

Asonja sighed and looked at everyone else. "Give her some space, guys. Do as she says." Asonja states. He decided to go into the lounging rooms and sit on an armchair, in thought for a moment.

The questions followed Asonja himself.

"Yes, quite an issue," Urd noted, appearing next to him.

"Nyeh!" Asonja jumped a bit. "You always scare me when you pop into existence..." Asonja says, holding his chest. "I don't think I'm cut out for this...I've already ruined everything as it is, I'm becoming a selfish megalomaniac. What the heck is wrong with me..." He questioned.

"Whatever is the issue?" Urd inquired.

"The butterfly that I'm supposed to be caring for is rather upset with me because she was taken by the army. I'm not sure what to do..." He states.

"Do you believe it is wrong that she has been transformed?"

"She looks like she's upset with it. I wanted it for myself so I could...be more powerful myself." Asonja stated. "But I also wanted her to stay the same."

"Do you know who the enemy is, Sir Asonja?"

"No, I do not." asonja shook his head. "All I can think of is me being the enemy...I feel more fit that way."

The Urd bonked him on the head.  "You are the protagonist.  You are not the enemy."

"I don't FEEL like I'm hero ya know." Asonja rubbed his head for a moment. "I feel more like I'm in the middle...an Anti-Hero, perhaps."

The Urd bonked him.  "I SAID PROTAGONIST!  NOW, enough of your self-refleciton of personal position.  You are the protagonist.  You are to decide who is your enemy and who is your ally.  Things will not stay waiting forever."

"Wait, I was supposed to decide this whole thing the whole time?!" Asonja grumbled a bit, rubbing his head again. "Seriously, I think you're giving me a concussion or something..."

"Why else was my message 'An Army approaches, you must protect your subjects'?"

"Fair enough..." He grumbled. "I'll think of something, once my concussion is healed..."

"Make haste!" With that, the Urd man vanished.

He rubbed his head and got up from the chair. "Alright, think...who's the enemy and who's the ally...?"

"People are going into the mist," Someone stated, approaching Asonja.  "Are they supposed to be?"

After some hesitation to answer, he nods. "Yes. They promised to help us, so let us accept their help."

"What happens when you go through?"

"I'm not sure...once all of the others go in, I'll be the last one to go." Asonja says, crossing his arms. "I'm certain enough that they're here to help us."

"... You don't know what happens on the other side?"

"No, I do not." Asonja shook his head. "I'll be experimenting later."

"You think we should go though?"

"Yes, I believe they'll be a massive help to us, as I have said before." Asonja states, walking past the person speaking and heads to the fog. "Come on now, we shouldn't be wasting time."

"... Alright," the man followed him into the fog.

Asonja was waiting for the army to appear, still walking in the fog. However, he was a bit nervous and uncertain about the whole thing, still.

He was soon on the other side, with the pods.  The army was walking about.

He was getting a nervous atmosphere again, looking down from the army and tapping his fingers together. "I hope everyone made it across here..." He said to himself.

"Yes, we have... some," The woman from before approached.  "Where are the others?"

"They should be behind me." Asonja states, looking behind him and then back up front. "I do believe we don't have much left."

A few people had followed through, walking about, but the vast majority of the still couple hundred people were not with him.

"...Two days, right?" Asonja looked back at the woman.

"Yes.  Two days."

"Okay, cool." Asonja went back through the fog back to the cave.

Many of the people were still there as before.

"Come on guys, get into the fog." Asonja politely commanded them. "There are people there to help all of us out."

"We don't believe you," One spoke up.  The others seemed undecided.

"Please, I know these guys will help all of us out!" Asonja tries negotiating with both parties. "I'm...I'm very certain that they will!" He had some slight hesitation as he was a bit nervous for speaking up.

"Right," Some began turning back away.

"Where's the butterfly girl?" One called over.

"She's one of them!" Another replied.

"They'll help us!" Asonja says again. "They'll protect us and provide us the strength we need to survive!"

"How do you know?" One called.

"I know because I believe it's true." Asonja says, seeming to feel a little confused; he never quite said "believed" before, or anything on the lines. He hardly believes in anything.

"Where's the butterfly!?" Another asked again.  "She got turned, what's she got to say?!" They started looking about.

"I...don't know..." Asonja said, now looking quite worried. He went to look around for her in the shelter.

She didn't seem to be about.  Perhaps she was in the shelter.

He decided to check there, trying to call her. "Hey! Butterfly, where'd you go?!"

A hole was dug out through, most-likely from her new... powers.

He tried looking through the hole to find out where it went. "Butterfly?" He called again.

It went... out, into nature, then made a turn to the right: toward the area they led the people from.

He continued, clearly desperate to get her back. He was practically going as fast as he could through the tunnel.

He was soon out of the tunnel and out toward the direction of the stream where they people had been.  There was a swirling in the water ahead, in a small spot..

"What the...?" Asonja ran toward the swirling water, confused at what it was.

A small hole could be seen far below in the water.

Unfortunately, Asonja didn't jump in the hole. Not that he couldn't swim, he just hates to swim.

(Wait... what?) (Whoopsies, I thought that made sense)

He could hear nothing else--see, nothing else... for the moment at least, or the minute, or day...

He chose not to go down, his curiousity was itching at him. He wanted to find another way down without getting wet or holding his breath.

He still had access to any sort of abilities he possesed that could aid him.

He grumbled to himself, as if wishing he knew his abilities more. He carefully, very carefully, went into the water. He shivered how cold it was, grumbling about that as well. He tried to use his abilities to create a bubble around him and insulate some heat inside the bubble as he made his way down.

The water was fairly timid, though the current fairly strong.  He was soon at the bottom where the hole was located.  It was just large enough to push into.

He pushes himself through, trying to keep the bubble in tact.

The hole went for some time before coming out in a very hot cave.

He freaked out for a moment, mainly because of how hot it was. He luckily made an invisible coating around him that sort of made things less hot, but still felt dangerously hot. "Butterfly?" He called her again.

His words echoed through the cave, going further downward.

"This is scaring me more than it should..." Asonja muttered, going further inside.

It got hotter and hotter the more he went.  He could even see magma dripping down the walls at some point.  A large opening was in the distance, with a waterfall of sorts... only it was lava.

Asonja tried strengthening his heat shield as he pressed on. Clearly, he couldn't get anywhere. "Dang...I'm going to get heat stroke if I continue..." He said, tiredly.

He could see something far downward, in the lava, seeming to just bob up and down.  Seemed to be a body.

"What the..." He tried getting closer without burning himself. Though, the temporary shield wasn't doing so well closer to lava.

It was her.  She was conscious, just lying there.

"H-hey!" He called out to her, trying not to faint from the heat. "W-what are you doing here...?"

She looked up.  "W- you followed me?!"

"Of course I did...I was worried...about you." Asonja was starting to tumble, and almost lost his balance which would've made him fall in the lava. "And the others are also worried too...I came to get you."

"Are you okay?" She called up.

"Y-yeah...just...really hot down here. I'm fine..." He tumbled a bit more, trying to go backwards. His center of gravity was aiming forward, though, which made him tumble down the hill. He luckily stopped himself by making a spike into the ground to stop him from nearing the lava.

"You shouldn't be in here if it's bothering you."

"I don't care if I die here." Asonja says. "I don't know if I have said this before, but I could really care less about what happens to myself. I care more about others' safety than my own, and I don't care if I'm reckless in the process. I just need to know that you're safe, and we need you."

"Why do you need me?"

He was quiet for a moment. "People need proof that this army people will help make them stronger and survive. They basically need you as proof of their help, and I'm certain that this army is essential for our survival as well."

She flew upward to him.  "I thought that was what you were supposed to do."

"Yeah..." Asonja nods. "This is quite all I'm used for at the moment; being the messenger these days." He tried climbing back up the hill with his spike he made.

"... What am I supposed to do?  Tell them to go?"

"Basically that and show them that this army is helping us by making them stronger beings. They don't believe any word I say," Asonja states, in which he shrugs at. "I don't really care if they believe me or not, I'm really hard to believe at times, but I'm, again, really certain that this army is good."

"... Okay..." She stood next to him now.  "... We go back then..."

"You don't have to if you don't want to, butterfly..." Asonja says as he finally got up to the top of the hill, sweating madly and very close to fainting now. "I was also making sure that you were okay as well...I'd hate to hear that you died in a river of lava...that wouldn't have been good for any of us..."

"... Here," She reached over to put his arm around her shoulder.

He let her do so, having to be lifted off the ground in order to have his arm around her now, since she was taller than him. He was awfully quiet now.

They were eventually back out to the river.  She let him down on the ground gently.

He almost collapsed, but his body balanced for him. "T-thank you for bringing me out..."

"You're not going to die, right?"

"I'll try not to...but I'm probably going to...pass out here in a second..." He held up his index finger, as if asking her to wait for it, and then he collapsed.

He woke up in the strange underground area where the army remained, lying on a stone bed.

He groaned awake, getting up slowly. He rubbed his head for a moment. "What happened...?"

"The heat made you pass out," The butterfly explained.

"Oh...right..." He rubbed his head again before sitting on the edge of the stone bed. "Thank you for that."

Five points added

"They saw you go after her," The scaled woman informed as she approached.

"Really?" Asonja asked, supporting his upper body with his hands as his elbows rested on his knees. "What did they say?"

"They were impressed," She explained.  "Now they are here."

Asonja was quiet for a moment, then he had a slight smile. "That's good to hear...I'm glad they're doing fine. Now..." He stands up, stretching his back. "What about me?"

"What about you?" She asked, a hand going to her hip.

He shrugged. "Good question." He picked at his ear for a minute. "How many are still left outside?"

"None."

He blinked a few times. "So...does that mean...?"

"Come with me," She walked away from the butterfly.

He looked at the butterfly for a moment before following the other girl. "Right..."

The woman led him far away before asking "You ARE willing to do anything to get this power, yes?"

"Yes..." He nods. He looked hesitant to answer, but he did so.

"You did well to bring them here, but for some to survive, not everyone can."

"I see..." He responds.

"If you accept this, you will have your reward, and you will not be disappointed.  You can be like her," She gestured back toward the butterfly, smooth skin, perfect scales, majestic wings, elegant.

He gulped at that, obviously interested. "I do...I do accept this wholeheartedly.."

"De-...lightful," Immediately he heard the gassious sound of a pod opening.

He looked around to find the source, actually quite nervous, but excited nonetheless.

Directly behind him.

He turned, quite embarrassing to have not known that before. "How long will this...process take...?"

"Some hours.  You won't be conscious."

"Right..." Asonja walked closer to the pod, and stepped inside the pod. "Okay...I'm ready."

"Turn to face the front," She directed, cuffs opening up for his hands and feet.

He does as he was told, looking slightly nervous but did say he wanted this.

He was strapped in and just before the shield went up, the scaled woman gave him a small kiss, then the glass went down and things went... yellow.

Of course, nothing was being recorded in Asonja's brain as he was unconscious. He probably didn't remember that he was kissed as well, but only time would tell later.

When he did eventually wake up, he found himself with... longer.  He was l- taller.  Scales, the skin, a long tail.  He could feel his body sheathing and unsheathing them.

He took a good look at himself for a moment, taking it all in. "This...this feels amazing...!"

The pod opened and he was greeted by others of the transformed.  They knelt.

He was slightly confused on why they were kneeling, but he didn't say anything about it. He stepped out of the pod, very carefully.

"Welcome," The woman greeted.

He nods, clenching his fists for a moment. "I've never felt anything like this before..." Asonja states, the only thing he could say while at a loss for words.

"You are as us now... and they see you for the leader you may be... but there is a final act required."

"Final Act?" Asonja asked her, taking a look at the butterfly for a moment.

She led him to an opening where one of the people remained unchanged.  "This one attempted to stop the process."

"I see...why is that?" He asked the question to the person.

The man didn't answer.  Looked frozen stiff, terrified.

"He's scared..." Asonja says, crossing his arms. "Why're you scared? They're here to help us out, like I said before..."

"You're all crazy..." He whispered out.

"Crazy? Elaborate." Asonja commanded in a polite manner.

"GET AWAY FROM ME!" He tried to run, but one of the many held him still.

"He thinks that we are monsters.  We have advanced and he would have killed us to stop that," The woman informed.  The butterfly watched from a short distance as the scene played out.

Asonja looked at the butterfly for a moment and then back at the scene. He was thinking all of this through.

"What will you do?" The woman asked.  Asonja could feel a tingling above his head... the score bar.  

This gave him a bit of pressure, as he wasn't exactly sure what to do. He wasn't much of a leader type, as he feared that whatever choice he made would somehow end up being the wrong one. He was standing there, and even looked up at the score bar for a moment.

"What, will, you, do?" She asked once more.

"Hold on..." Asonja asked of her politely for a moment, spending a few more seconds before coming to a solution. "Just leave him be. I do not wish to provoke him and cause conflict here. I don't want any unnecessary violence to occur because of this."

"He will not stop.  What do you plan to have done to stop him?"

"Take him away and calm him down by negotiation." He says, rubbing his chin for a moment. "Or, if still stubborn about it...we could always make him into us anyway, but I still believe that would cause quite a bit of problems...so...we can always go by Plan A first." He crossed his arms. "Just get him out and make sure he doesn't come back unless he wants to talk negotiations with us...please..." He muttered the last part, as if he resented against sounding demanding.

"... Very well," They picked up the man, dragging him out.

He sighs and puts a hand to his head. "Well then, I believe that finishes the final act. Now what is left?"

Ten points added

"... I think that's it," The butterfly began to approach him.

He looks at her, smiling a little bit. "Sweet. Now I feel a little more at ease." He then looked at the other woman, keeping the smile. "Thanks, both of you for all of this so far."

"Me?" The butterfly asked.

"Well, yeah." Asonja says, looking back at her. "If I haven't have dragged you from the river, I would've been dead by now trying to find my way out of the desert and find refuge."

"... Can I... talk to you in private?"

"Sure." He shrugs. "I'll follow you."

She nodded, taking him some ways away from the others to a rocky wall.

Asonja followed, looking quite worried. "What's wrong..?"

"I'm... not... worried exactly, but... I don't know.  This all feels strange, but," Her hand reached out toward him somewhat shakily, "good, at the same time..."

He took her hand for a moment. "I feel the same way...I'm not sure what to feel first."

"... Even so... thank you..." She hugged him.

He lightly hugged back, patting her back. "No problem...no need to thank me..."

And then...

DING

And she was gone... and the voice of Urd rang out "THE FINAL EVENT HAS ARRIVED!!!!"

then the ground shook.

"F-final event?!" Asonja got up, looking around for a moment. "What final event...?"

(To be continued @_@... Just waiting on Riah now)

MARS AND RIVEN

“POWER OF TWO!” Both Riven and Mars found themselves dropped at the gate of a massive castle.  It was silver with white designs along it.  A glowing forest of twisting trees surrounded it.  It was nearly blinding but thankfully the doors opened to show a more general volume of light inside.

A lone woman, tall and thin, with a tall neck and pointed face, stepped forward wearing a black dress that trailed yards behind her.  She gestured to the inside of the castle as if inviting them.

Riven and Mars looked at eachother, then the woman, before shrugging and walking towards the castle. "... How come this castle isn't grimdark and mine is..?" Riven mumbled to himself with a small sigh.

"I believe tha-" Before the woman could speak further, the voice of the short crowned man came up "Is this on? GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS! THIS IS YOUR ALMIGHTY URD SPEAKING! You have arrived in your designated area! Hooray! Now! You must know that what you experience will be quite actual in all scenarios."

A score sheet suddenly appeared on the heads of both of them. "You will gain and lose points based on your actions! Best of luck!"

"... Well, to answer your que-" The woman was once again interrupted when Urd quickly called back in "Oh yes, and you have two days to construct a sustainable fortress before a terrible storm comes through."

"Huh.. Construct a sustainable fortress? This a game show..?" Riven asked, while Mars just shrugged.

"This castle is a fortress enough I would have assumed," The woman noted, pressing a hand to her chin in pondering.

"Is something going to happen to the castle?" Mars asked.

The woman looked to Mars, blinking once or twice silently before looking down again.  She didn't seem to have an answer to that question.

Riven just shrugged, taking the piece of paper off his head. "Well.. Time to make like Perturabo and fortify fortify fortify~" He chuckled.

"That's Dorn.." Mars sweatdropped, still wondering what the heck he got himself into.

Riven's hand passed through the sheet, as if it were a hologram.

The woman looked back and forth between the two of them.  "What are you called?"

"I'm Riven." The waifish looking human answered. "I'm Mars." The greyish green wolf spoke.

The woman fixed her long silver hair aside for a moment.  "I see..." Thunder sounded in the distance as the woman turned to walk further into the castle's courtyard.  Horses were heard in the distance to the left.

Mars shrugged. "Well, lets get this over with.." He chuckled, as the two followed the woman.

The woman stepped through a set of doors, leading to a hall of white and grey stone.  Various artifacts lined the walls on pillars.

"So who's coming to the castle by horseback?" Riven asked, as Mars looked at each of the various artifacts.

"What's your name by the way..?" Mars asked:

Most artifacts were some kind of clothing, though items, weapons, and occasionally, gemstones, sat about as well.

"My name?" The woman turned back to Mars.

"Yeah!" Mars smiled. "I mean, we did introduce ourselves so its only fair you do the same."

"... I... would ask that, yes," The woman pondered somewhat vaguely.

Riven just shrugged, staying silent because he had no real contribution to this conversation.

"Soo, what is your name?" Mars asked again.

"I do not know what I should be addressed as," She informed.

"Hmm.. Nashandra..?" Riven suggested.

"Is... that what I'd be called?" She asked.

"Only if you wish to be called Nashandra." Riven answered.

"It sounds pronouncable enough," She nodded.  The area pulsed for a moment, from the clean white to dirty black.

"This castle can change too? Why can't mine turn into a walking fortress when I ask it too.. Stupid Oracles.. qwq"

"Oracles?" The woman inquired.

"Nothing important really." Riven shrugged, he really didnt feel like explaining what they were nor could he really give an accurate explanation.

"Do either of you need food?" Nashandra asked.

Riven and Mars both shook their head no. 

"But I am curious about something Nashandra..? I heard horses earlier, from the western front I believe..? Who's horses might those be?"

"Horses for those that live here," She informed.

"Huh, well that answers that.." Riven shrugged. "Maaan, I have no clue why i'm here and It's driving me.. Well I wouldnt say nuts.. Wonky."

"Do you wish to ride the horses?" She asked.

"... Sure, why not? It could be fun..?" Riven shrugged.

The glowing woman nodded, turning quickly to the doorway in order to lead them to the pastures.  As she did so, suddenly the flickering went off again, the castle changing to the more decayed form once more as the faint neighing of horses became suddenly very loud.

"Seriously!? Why is this castle trying to remind me of castle Grimskull!!" Riven shouted, while Mars shifted around a tad nervously. This was starting to get spooky for him and he was ready to electrocute the crap outta any jumpscare attempts.

"I... this-" The woman shook her head.  "Perhaps we should be outside," She hurried out the doors.

Mars followed after the woman at a brisk pace, while Riven just walked casually.. Like he was used to creepy castles that do creepy stuff. "Hmm.. The decor needs some improvement..~"

"What do you mean?" Nashandra walked toward the stables.

"For one, if this castle is supposed to be grimdark.. Where are the skulls, or the fountains of blood, or the obsidian walls, or the many diabolical traps and hexes meant to sow utter despair into any invading force? Seriously.. I give this a four outta ten for lack of any true grimdark decorations.. Even some creepy ambiance would do.." Riven lectured, despite his supposed distaste for the excessively grimdark castles his predecessors liked Riven seemed to know quite a bit on grimdark decorative fixtures and the like.

"Geeze, what are you; some kind of Final boss wannabe..?" Mars sweatdropped.

"No, I'm the Dark Lord.... And a very unintimidating one at that.. Sigh." Riven grumbled.

"This castle is not meant to be horrific," Nashandra noted.  "You are a Dark Lord?" She opened the gate to the stables.

"Yes.. It's just a job and no i'm not into world domination or any of that crap, that can wait until much later."

"So you still plan to dominate the world later?"

"Probably, probably not.. Who knows, maybe when it doesn't involve a lot of work."

"Do you want to?" She walked into the stables.

"Right now? No, I have other priorities.. Like pizza, and video games."

"... I see.  Are you coming inside?"

"Yeah." The two stepped inside.

A line of healthy horses waited for them.  "Have you ridden before?"

"Yes." Riven replied, while Mars shook his head no. "Can't, horses just don't like me for some reason.." He wasn't going to mention the whole electrokinesis thing yet.

"Are you sure you do not want to try?"

"Positive."

"Hm... very well," She climbed up to a horse's back, reaching out to Riven.

Riven took her hand, trying to climb on the horse.

Soon they were riding slowly out the stables.  Nashandra looked to Mars.  "What will you be doig?"

"I'll be trying to figure out what that weird guy said about making a fortress before a storm occurrs..."

"Oh... well best of luck then," She smiled before riding off out the gates into the forest of glowing trees.  The trees were spaced out, most fairly young and thin, but few had leaves, as if a fire had gone through and these were the scortched remains.

Mars was left still in the stables with the remaining horses.  The animals began to slow and finally stop completely, freezing in place.

Mars scowled, looking at the horses. "What do you want..?" He grumbled, electricity arcing off his arms.

Riven paid attention to the trees.

The horses didn't answer, or move... for a moment, before suddenly jerking back to regular movement, as if nothing had happened.

The forest went on as far as the two could see.  "What kind of materials would you gather for this?" Nashandra asked.

"Many ores.. To make steel.. I'm going off of the old Iron King's castle in Dark Souls 2"

(Do you want to follow both characters or just Riven for now?) "... Dark Souls... Two?" She slowed as they continued in the endless forest.

(Just riven.)

(M'kay)

"Yes, it's fun~"

"What is it?"

"A video game."

"I... will leave that to you then.  You do not wish to stay at the castle?"

"God yes I do, it's the closest thing to home!"

"Do you want to go back?" She slowed more.

"Yes, yes I do.."

She nodded, turning back.  As they went back, a tree seemed to flicker into existence... striaght inside the front of the horse.  The horse crashed dead immediately, sending the two flying.

Riven, despite being chubby, was somehow able to stick a roll and land on his feet. "Yes..!"

The woman fell hard on a foot and knee, grunting a bit before quickly standing up, turning as the horse collapse: taking the tree with it.  "T- what-," She ran back over to the tree-staked horse.

"Who the hell knows, now stay close.." Riven muttered, removing a small leather bound grimoire from his pocket and opening it. "We can make it the rest of the way on foot." 

She nodded.  "It is some miles at this point but we should be there within an hour or so..." She looked over at the three.  "... This isn't-" She shook her head, starting to walk back.

Riven followed her, looking around cautiously.

"I would ask if that happens to you often but considering you are new to this place... I'd imagine you would be asking me," She sighed.

"I'm used to stuff like this." Riven shrugged. "I wouldn't leave my own castle otherwise.."

"The trees don't usually just... appear," She noted, still walking back.  She held up the end of her dress briefly, looking over some dirtied cuts on the garment before dropping it back down with a sigh.  

It was nearing sunset, but it was a faint thing to tell.  The sky was quite cloudy, and soon, thunder was heard.

"Welcome to my world sweetie, now we should probably get back to the castle now.."

"That is why we are walking," She replied.

"Yeah.." Riven sighed, this was not how he pictured his evening going. 'Ah maaaan, this friggin suuucks!' He thought to himself internally.

"Is there a forest in your castle?" She asked.  "The area around it that is."

"Yeah, there is, but trees popping out of nowhere definitely isn't normal."

"... This will take time to walk.  Do you often have faster means of travel?"

"I prefer to walk, but I have a book of spells.. So I could probably summon a mount if needed."

"I was just wondering if you were used to portals."

"I am, yes."

A white wall appeared in front of them.

"What the fu-.. Nooooo... Okay."

She nodded, stepping through.

Riven followed after her.

They appeared just outside of the castle.  The base of the walls were darker it seemed.

"Darker ambiance, I approve." Riven said, giving the base of the walls an appraising glance.

"What do y-," She froze at the sight.  "... That... " she muttered out a "why is this happening..." before rushing inside.

Riven followed her with a shrug.

The inside of the castle courtyard appeared unchanged, though the horses weren't heard anymore.  "Where is... the other one?" She looked about for Mars.

There was a distinct smell of ozone coming from the stables, that and cooked meat.

"... Follow your nose?" Riven attempted humor.

Her jaw dropped before rushing to the stables.

There Mars was, cooking the horses for meat, odd since there were no physical wounds on the horses that would indicate that he killed them.

Nashandra stopped in the doorway, only giving a gasp at the sight.  Strangely though...

Mars Ten points added

Riven smiled. "Sweet, mind if I have some~" He always did like cooked meat for a snack.

"Sure, it'll probably be a tad bloody though because it mixes well with the juices of cooked meat.." Mars shrugged, somehow slicing off three legs and biting into one of them.

(Iirc there is a french meat dish that involves the blood being cooked with the meat.)

"W- Why did you do that?!" She yelled.

(The more you know @_@)

"Because I was hungry, and horse meat is a delicasy.." Mars stated bluntly, under any other circumstance he would be more tactful or apologetic but he was hungry, confused and a tad unnerved by what was going on so his reactions to things were more focused on self preservation.

Riven shrugged, taking a bite out of the leg. "Could be worse.

"Those horses aren-" She covered her mouth.  "We had food..."

"....." Mars finally snapped, his patience at an end as he raised a hand a la darth sideous and fired a stream of electricity at Nashandra from his fingertips.

A white wall appeared in front of her, the electricity vanishing away.

Riven blinked. "What the -censored- is going on now!?" He shouted.

Mars blinked, just taking another bite out of horsemeat.

"Get out," She pointed to the entrance.

"Sure." Mars shrugged, standing up with his horse leg and walking towards the entrance, he had no real problem leaving. He was more comfortable in the woods anyways. Though if there was anything flammable he would use it to start a raging inferno via lightning strike.

Riven sighed. "You wish for me to leave as well, I do not mind if you do."

"Why did you join him in this?" She tensed.

"Old practices from my days as a monk, right now is the eve of Nyim-Lok.. A rather sacred evening that involves the consumption of horse.. The bones are then buried in the ground as we honor the horse in death by fasting for a week."

"This isn't your land!  ... These weren't your horses!"

"Meh." Riven stood up. "This land is boring anyways, and you're the daft idiot who decided to play host to two total strangers.. Life lesson for another day~" With that, he patted her head and started to walk away.

His hand vanished upon touching her head, as if cut off entirely.

Riven shrugs, if it was cut off he could just regrow it using his healing magic; and it was never implied that he felt any pain from it so the normal panic response didnt occur. So with that he walked away.

He found himself vanishing from within the stables, and reappearing outside the castle, along with Mars.

"Well, that's quaint." Riven shrugged, being rather plausé about all of this.

Mars just shrugged. "Might as well start walking in a direction." He said, as Riven nodded his head in agreement and the two just started their trek with no real forethought about it.

A large boom of laughter suddenly bursted out around them, a voice chuckling out once calm enough.  "That was... simply... delicious."

"Who's there..? I have a book of arcane secrets that I probably know how to use, maybe.. Sure as heck aint afraid to use it either.." Riven shouted.

Mars just looked around, trying to find the source of the voice.

No response came, though they were quite alone now, between themselves, the woods, and the castle.

"... Bloody heck that's weird.." Mars spoked, as the two continued onward.

"Sooner or later we might as well kill that princess lass and take her castle for our own, if the creepy bear pedo's warnings about a storm coming are to be trusted." Riven said, as Mars nodded his head in agreement.

The castle was closed.  They could attempt to arrive back inside, or move on through the woods.

"Eh, later." Mars shrugged as the pair kept walking through the woods. 

Riven just yawned. "Sides, what fun is a hostile takeover without actual siege equipment.. Or flying Dragon Mounts."

It would be hours upon hours of walking through the flat basic forest until a different kind of landscape would be seen.  No wildlife was heard or noticed, and until they would make it to the end of the woods: no other plantlife but the trees. 

Riven found that quite odd really. You think there would be wildlife where there are trees that aren't barren.

As the day went on, some of the trees began to shrink, as if reversing in their growth cycle, and with each vanishing tree, a bolt of lightning shot out.

If the bolts of lightning struck within fifty meters of Mars they would've been drawn to him as he tends to passively absorb lightning bolts to refuel during a lightning storm. 

Riven yawned. "Well this is boring.."

It was night now.  A sudden ding sound went off as Urd's voice returned.  "THE FIRST DAY HAS ENDED!  ONE DAY REMAINS UNTIL THE STORM!  SHELTERS BE MADE!"

"... What..?" Mars asked, while Riven sighed.

"GET TO IT, THOU LAZY OF BUMS!"

Lightning struck down, creating a brown tree in front of them.

"Might as well.." Riven and Mars nodded in agreement, as they set about building a shelter out of the sturdiest materials they could find along with adding layers of wardings to the materials and the site they were on to protect against damage.

(How long would you say this would take?)

(Considering they're trying to build a shelter capable of withstanding a storm, probably almost the entire day.)

(Alrighty, so by the next night?)

yep.)

(Alright.  Please describe the shelter.)

The shelter itself was pretty Spartan, that is to say pretty bare. Made with felling trees, using magic to strip off the excess bits of bark and tree branches before setting them all up with grooves that Mars cut into each side of the logs.

To further secure these logs Riven consulted his trusty spell book to create spectral fastenings and fittings to hold everything together, the roof was comprised of large rocks and tree branches held together with magic while Mars went to work on creating a sort of lightning rod using that metal staff he tends to carry around with him.

In essence, the two had created a log cabin held together with magic and what could only be described as life sized lincoln log pieces.

(as i'm not that goid at explaining shit.)

(That works)

"THE NIGHT HAS FALLEN!" Urd called down.  "The next day will bring forth," Thunder clapped.

The two sighed, trying to get some sleep.

They found themselves awoken when the ground was starting to shake slightly.  The sky was covered in a yellow cloud.

"Mother of-WHYYYYYYYY!!!" Riven and Mars groaned, they were content to stay inside their shelter unless something craptastic happened.

The ground was beginning to move.  The area was changing. They were being pushed upward: the ground pushing up like a hill forming.

"Wait.. Did we prepare for this..?" Mars asked Riven, who shook his head as he started thumbing through the pages of his spellbook for a mass levitation spell or anything to keep their shelter from falling apart or landing in some crevasse.

Booming pressure repeatedly slammed against the shelter as they were raised higher and higher.  The air was thinning just slightly.

The two slowed their breathing down, attempting to enter a near catatonic state until the storm passed.

The storm lasted an entire day.  By the time they would awaken, a large tree was lying on the shelter and the air was still breathable but noticeably thinner.

The two left the shelter, cautiously looking around to see what has changed.

They were on a very thin steep hill, miles into the air.

"What the FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-!!!!!" The two shouted in unison as they swore great vengeance upon Urd... Right after staying where they were for three days so they could acclimate to the different level of breathable air on the hilltop, then again Riven's castle is situated near the top of an actual mountain so this isn't exactly new to him.

They couldn't see the surface below them, but the crackling sound below indicated that if they didn't attempt to return to the surface soon enough, they would soon find themselves arriving there at a far faster speed.

".... Well f-" Mars blinked, before Riven piggy backed on Mars. "Lets goooo!" 

Mars atumbked around and lost his footing.

The hill-slide down was incredibly steep, and many spiked sections were seen below: twisting unnatural portrusions pointed about.

"OH FUUUUUUU-" The two comically screamed as Mars jumped and landed on a ridge with the hope of dislodging something to act as a snowboard.

A stone cracked against his impact, though not entirely dislodging just yet, but at least now he could see the surface.  A crowned figure was far below.

"URD!!! I'LL -censored censored censored.. Oh my these two must really hate Urd right now.- AND THEN I'll SHIV YOU SO GOOD EVEN YO MOMMA WONT RECOGNIZE YOU!!!" With that, the two jumped down in an attempt to tackled Urd from above.

They flattened the short man upon impact, as he had been waving to them as they arrived.  "GREETINGS," He greeted.

"BY THE POWER OF ME!! I SMITE THINE GUCCI MANE ASS WITH MY PIMP HAND!!!" Riven shouted, comically raising his right hand with extended pinky finger to pimp slap Urd for he deserved it.

"What ho?" Urd inflated upward, knocking Riven off as he then deflated to normal.

".... I hate you." Riven said plainly.

"Whatever for?" Urd turned his head to the side.  "I have come to inform you of much occurances."

"What occurrences?" Mars asked.

"The next event. Good Sir, I am simply the constructor of this event: hired for purposes of design. The benefactor and host is not myself."

"..... Out with it Urd.." Riven sighed, he was twitching with spellbook in hand. Not a good sign.

The Urd huffed, folding his arms.  "Quite rude indeed..." He cleared his throat.  "An Army will soon be approaching your domain, and the area of the deserted castle nearby.  Your mission is to defend as best as you see fit."

"Is it the same castle we were kicked out of..? Cause if so all we'll be defending is our shack.. Which I will turn into a GLORIOUS new castle at the expense of that other castle." Riven stated simply, however he was slightly worried at the prospect of an invading army without minions of hos own to command.

Mars had to agree with Riven on this, screw that -censored- who's horses acted all creepy. He had already killed them so why not eat them..? Fricken jerk she was.

"Oh yes.  Quite terrible of you, indeed," Urd noted.  "Your actions will determine your placing in the winning events.  Your subjects require defending.  ... Subjects," He began fading away.  "subjeeeeeeeeects... PLURAL!" And then vanished entirely.

"... Subjects eh..?" Riven blinked. ".... Lightning bolt guy, we're going to play hero." Though he would never admit it to anyone but a few people, Riven couldn't in good conscience let his subjects get hurt. It's part of why he's well liked back home despite the fact that he has a dislike for running the state and so forth.

"... Sounds fun, lets go play hero." Mars agreed, grabbing Riven's shoulder and porting himself and Riven back to the gates of the castle in a surge of lightning.

He found that the castle was now also atop a hillside, significantly darker now.

Riven looked at Mars. "If there are villages nearby, you can reach them faster.."

Mars smirked. "Damn right I could.." With that he zipped off, leaving Riven to handle breaking in.

Riven sighed, chanting a few words before summoning an old ringed staff made of corrupted black elderwood, inscribed with various runes all along the shaft as the ringlets were made of silver. Topping it off was the skull of a goat like creature with sharp teeth and three holes. The third hole in its forehead holding the real catalyst, aka a gleaming black piece of Onyx infused with Riven's own magic.

He walked up towards the gate to see if it was open or not.

The gates began to open, a black smoke pouring out briefly before settling.

Riven walked inside. "What happened..?"

A familiar and at the same time different figure approached.  She was as tall as before, the same perfect face and complection, but... black.  The dress was black, the skin a dark ash grey, the eyes now yellow.  "Oh... you again," A jirrating spasming sphere of energy appeared to the left, tugging Mars into the scene with them.

"Listen lass, you realize that an invading army is coming this way right..? The creepy bear thing told us, and before you start b**ching about the horses or why we showed up.. I have a conscience or whatever." Riven sighed, giving as best of a tl;dr as he could while Mars just grumbled.

"Are you done?" She asked, tapping her foot.

"Yes, honestly, why'd I even come back to help..?" Riven asked himself.

"That's a lot of pre-judgment you're making there," She replied bluntly.  "Probably a guilty conscience.  Whatever," She shrugged.  "You want to protect something now?  When did that happen?" This certainly wasn't the original personality.

"Pre-judgement? What..? Guilty Conscience... Eh, probably, that and the fact that while I probably dislike you I can't say the same for your subjects.."

'Soon to be mine but eh..' Riven thought as he shrugged.

"Wow.  You kill my horses and think you get to dislike me.  Huh.  Wait, what subjects?" She rose an eyebrow.

"I can dislike anyone on principle of being an ornery pain in my ass like blaming me for the death of something so trivial as horses, I'm not the one with deep frying powers... Wait? You don't have any...!!" Riven facepalmed. "What kind of shitty lord or lady doesn't have subjects!? You ma'am are an even bigger failure than the lecherous prick who was the previous dark lord..!"

"I did have horses... which you killed," she recalled calmly yet drolly.  "How did you know I was the Dark Lord?"

Riven's eyes had an unholy glint to them. "I'm the Dark Lord.. Who are you really..?"

Mars facepalmed. "Lady, they were acting weirder than any horse should.."

"Right.  I'll take the word of the idiot who killed my main form of transportation and didn't decide to bring that info up till just now," She rolled her eyes, turning back to the inner area of the castle before stopping, and turning back to them again.  "Wait, what subjects again?  Where?"

".... Nahhhh, screw youuu....!" Mars flipped her the bird and walked away with Riven, it would be funnier to help the opposing army.. Bend them to their wills and use them to mount this -censored-'s head on a pike and mulch up the body.

She didn't seem to care enough to respond, or react much, simply waiting till they were out again.  Once out, the two were met by an approaching trail of people.  They looked rather dirty and poor: most slowly trudging forward while pulling another along their side.  They numbered the hundreds.

"Hmm... So who are you guys..?" Mars asked.

"Villagers," The nearest man informed tiredly.  "Our village was set to flames, forcing us to leave.  We intended to repair but some army had been growing closer, and we are in no condition to battle.  We saw the Keep from the distance and seek refuge."

"Hm, can you tell us where this village is..? Maybe we can help with your problem?" Riven asked, trying to be diplomatic.

"We cannot go back," He shook his head.  "We only require a temporary shelter."

"Just trust us, because you're headed to the 'dark lords' castle." Riven shrugged, sighing when he said ther.

"The Keep is not your own?"

"No, otherwise we'd let you in while going to solve your problem with the invading army."

A black wall grew behind Riven.  The people began staggering back.

"The hell is this..?" Riven blinked.

The woman--Nashandra--stepped through the door, giving a small nudge to push Riven aside.  "I am the caretaker of this Castle Keep."

The people looked between her and Riven, confused now.

Riven shoved her back with the same amount of force, he wasnt one to let someone shove him without shoving back.

With a sigh, the woman then shifted Riven some feet back as she addressed the group.  "How many are you?"

"We were four-hundred... we are... less."

"... Injured?"

"Yes."

"Inside," The gates began to open.

"Touch me again and your organs will be on the outside of your skin." Riven muttered as he swung the anciebt staff at the black wall.

Upon hitting the wall, his staff was blown from his hand.  The woman shoved him aside once again as she began leading the people inside.

He grabbed her hand and tossed her facefirst into the wall when she tried to shove him aside a first time. "....."

The woman remained still to the push, unmoved.  Some other force was at work here.  She mostly ignored the attempt, glancing briefly at him before leading the people further inside.

"....." Riven walked around the wall after grabbing the staff.

An Urd appeared to be walking along the other people, waving to Riven briefly.

The woman, Nashandra, was directing the various people to different areas of the Keep.  She glanced about briefly for where Mars went off to.

Mars was obviously following Riven, from the treeeeees.

Nashandra waved for Mars to come over.

Mars blinked, zipping over to Nashandra. "Qué?"

"They mentioned an army following them.  You're fast.  Can you trace their trail to see if it's coming here?"

"... Sure why not." With that Mars zipped off to follow that trail.

Through the forest, he passed by the mountain that had formed in the storm, eventually getting to further away mountains where long bushes were cut away showing the way the people took.  Up these mountains and across was a long dry plain stretching for miles.

They just kept walking, following the footprints that the villagers left, on whichever path they took.

The path was almost untracable with how barren the plain was, but with some trampled grass here and there, it was doable.  Eventually it led to a more hilly section of the land where some bushes grew about.  Horses were heard just behind one of the larger steeps.

".... You know where our shack is..?" Riven asked.

(Thought it was just Mars that went.)

(No, the two of them went, only thing was Riven had a small lead.)

Horses continued to be heard behind the hill.

".... Sigh.. Alright, lets go see who these guys are..." Mars grumbled.

They soon found that there was indeed a large army of green-armored soldiers.

"You go talk to them.." With that Mars zipped back to the castle while Riven shrugged and walked up to the army.

Nashandra stood at the front of the keep as Mars approached.

The army saw Riven, but didn't seem to act or care about his presence at the moment.

"Army of green armored peoole, they're coming here."

Riven blinked. "I am here to speak to your leader.. Wait, what are you people anyways?"

"How far?" She asked.

"About a day's travel."

"How large?"

"Pretty large."

She sighed.  "Numbers."

"A good guestimate... Twenty five thousand."

"... Alright.  We'll set up a barrier so we can prepare," She walked out past the keep.

"We..? I don't exactly know magic.. ^^"

She shrugged.  "You've got electrical powers.  We can use that.  I'll create something and  you can... generate it I suppose."

"Why not create Tesla Rods.. Rods that shoot electricity at metal objects in range.. I can direct the flow and zap the enemy soldiers."

"That's a good plan," She nodded.  "We'll need to get a front wall out first though..." She began spreading a glowing line across the ground.

".... Are you a genderbent Riven?"

"Looks like we have kind of similar abilities here, but I hope it's easy to notice that I'm not chubby," She replied back on her way.

"Surprisingly he's physically fit.."

"... Must be the robes," She noted.  "You're... uh... never mind."

"What do you mean?" Mars asked.

"Nothing," She replied bluntly.  The line had been complete.  "Alright, let's start this," She rose her hands up, a black and purple wall forming.

".... Deus Vult?"

"What?"

"Reference."

"To what?" The wall began forming metal edges.

"A movie, something ablut templars and takig jerusalem."

Two points added by an Urd amused by the typos

"We don't get movies much here... Anyway, are you going to do you lightning thing now?"

"I summon urd through the powers of Strudels and Urdomachines.. Also yes." Mars says as he electrified the sharp metal bits with enough lightning to keep them going for a day or two.

"Urd?" She peered in confusion, the dark glow of her faceless figure looking a bit perplexed.  "Is that an actual summons?"

".... I got it off the interneeeet.." He sulked, sitting in a corner he found. 'q~q'

"You can summon things from the internet?" She walked over.

"Nooooo... Where is that typo munching cock goblin..?"

"Creative language," She groaned sarcastically.  "I'm going to make sure those people aren't wrecking the inside of this place.  Are you coming?"

"I'll stay here and watch for any sign of approaching armies.

"Alright.  Do you eat food or whatever?"

"Not really."

"Alright," She walked back inside.


"Who are you?" One asked.

"Isn't it good manners to introduce yourself first since I asked first?" Riven asked.

"No, it's good manners for you to introduce yourself since you came in here unannounced, because then we don't kill you," The man replied, swinging a broadsword around in his hand.

"Kill me..? Let's see if you can back that up one on one my friend... However we need a wager.."

"You'll have words with the general before that," The man replied, still swinging his sword about.  He didn't seem hostile exactly, but that may have been because he didn't expect anything too difficult to manage if something happened.

"Bring them here.. My wager is simple anyways.."

The man didn't respond... or react... or begin to walk.  He just went back to inspecting his own equipment before finally pausing and looking back to Riven.  "Oh you thought I was gonna do that?  Who are you again?"

"Riven... God damn it.."

"Well you walk that way," He directed his thumb down the line of the camp.

"Thanks." Riven sighed, following the directions of the soldier.

Many soldiers were resistant to Riven getting further: most preparing weapons at their sides, but not acting unless he did.  He could see soon enough that there was a large tent at the back where a highly-armored figure in green and yellow stood.

"....." He walked towards the tent.

A man wearing what seemed to be the head of a green metallic lion was slowly exiting the tent.  He was quite tall and built, with his eyes covered by the helmet, but not his unshaven chin.

"You the guy in charge here..?"

"When last I woke," The man replied.  "What is your business?"

"A simple gamble really, high stakes since a lord needs minions to be a lord."

"... What?"

"On second thought, I have a better idea.. Do you have any wounded?"

"Why would I give such information?" The man asked.

"Healing magic is my trade."

"Anyone here has already felt the kind of magical energy you're putting off," He replied.

"What you're feeling is the staff.. Seriously, I prefer healing magic.."

"Who are you?" The man asked.

"Riven."

"And why would you offer us help?"

"Isn't helping people usually the best way to make allies?"

"... Not when there is suspicion..." The man stepped forward.  "You wish to aid us?  There is a Keep nearby, a guarded castle.  What can you do about that?"

"Depends, do I get some goddamn respect around here? Or do I have to use a cataclysm spell to conjure up a large amount of mana to crash down on the castle a la godzilla?"

"You've recieved more than the acceptable amount of respect from any stranger you would approach," The man replied.  "If you want a further sign of respect, reward, and otherwise, then yes, we would require a physical sign.  Can you 'crash' down the castle?"

"Crash the castle, of course I can.. It'll be like playing Castle Crashers on Xbox 360!"

"Alright.  Show us."

"Sure."

"... Today."

"Yes yes.." He stood up, creating a one use teleportation circle to cut the time back to the castle by half in case the Dark Lord 'pretender' left some traps.

The man stepped back, awaiting Riven's departure.

He departed, landing in foresty area once again as he then continued on foot.

He was soon near the large wall.  "You're back," Nashandra's voice rang out next to him.  "What did you find?"

"An army, about a thousand strong.."

"We knew that already. Is that it?"

"Meh, I never volunteered to help you remember?" Riven yawned. 

"Whatever.  If that's it, then just stay out of the way."

"Yes yes.. Nevermind the fact that I would rather be playing halo.."

"Then go do that," The voice ended there.

"... Unfortunately I can't.." Riven sighed, sitting down to channel the surrounding mana into a single spell. He was using his staff as the focus so he could have an easier time moulding it into the spell that he wished, and he wished for a spell that would most assuredly topple the damned castle.

The day went on.  Nashandra did not seem to suspect and the people weren't coming out  any time soon.  The barrier seemed to be growing however.

The castle grounds started shaking as many larges cracks opened up, with lava rising rapidly through the castle. This was Riven's variant of a cataclysm spell.. The very reason he gathered magic in the first place.

Immediately a white flate energy formed at the base of the entrances, causing the flow to begin diverting back to the origin point and back toward Riven himself.

Normally that would be the case, but defensive spells wouldn't be able to divert the sheer mana output for the cataclysm spell as Riven accounted for such defenses when he chose this, since the spell is essentially destruction magic focused on a wide ranged area like a castle.

As this was not a defensive spell, and simply a redirecting and invasion of the magic being used, the lava was currently pouring down toward Riven as a purple energy barrier was forming around the castle itself.

A certain feminine chuckle both boys could possibly recognize was heard while also munching on something that sounded crunchy.

"..... Fuck you." He created a pathway of floating debris.

(fyi, that's kinda a defensive spell trisell soooo..)

Mars blinked. "Why am I playing along...?" He sighed, flipping off the air because he recognized that the owner of the chuckle could probably see him.

(Nope)

The field then expanded outward, the wall barrier beginning to send electric shocks toward Riven.  Nashandra appeared in front of Mars for the moment as her spell reacted to Riven.  "You've been helping so if you're going to either do nothing or help more, you can stay.  If you're going to do what he's doing, then tell me now because I don't have the patience to wait for another backstab."

"Uhh, guess who's providing the juice..? Sides, why would I backstab you? I have no reason to." 

The shocks sprang against his wards, surprisingly fueling something up.

"That's all I needed to hear," She nodded, giving him a brief pat on the shoulder before walking toward the outside as the magic battle continued on.

Pillars of steel rose uo, having been conjured to act as lightning rods.

The people inside began to panic a bit.  Outside, screaming, roars, were heard. The army was making its move.

Even worse, Riven was pulling up more ores to create a massive Iron golem.

Nashandra was approaching the front, where Riven was standing, small sparking orbs growing around her as she called out.

"Oh cool, glowy shit.."

(Who said that?)

(it was Riven.)

"Hardly," Long streams of some form of material or energy began seeping out from the orbs toward him as she approached.

Riven used pieces of debris as shields while gathering mana for another big spell.

The energy began building around the debris, seeping through it as if intangible.  Thumping was heard.  The army was soon seen in the far distance, charging down at the Keep.

He just flung the debris back at Nashandra as the weather began to darken and the ambient temperature plummeted. All the while he sent his Iron Golem to smash the castle like a boss.

The debris seemed to pass through her, the energy reaching out to Riven's body.  A sort of emotional energy was pushing at him, pushing to force a tired calmness over him.

The barrier reacted to the golem as it neared, a shocking blast hitting its legs to force it back.  Nashandra called out to Mars's mind.  "I am preoccupied. The army is coming."

The golem ended up having its feet pushed out from under it, essentially falling face first into the barrier since the barrier was gravitonic in nature, However the army probably wouldn't fare so well because unlike the golem they are probabky flesh and blood underneath the armor thanks to Mars essentially acting like the world's first living battery to power it all.

Unfortunately, with the energy having coated the debris and being flung back so too would the energy, though how she became intangible with magic coating the debris is a mystery.

(That's my bad.  I shouldn't have used the word "shocking".  The barrier wasn't reacting with electricity, but just a gravitational burst, not magnetic--regardless of how affective that would've been--but gravity.)

(don't worry, I fixed it.)

The barrier was dented immediately, causing it to send a larger pulse, skyrocketting the golem straight upward.  The army had yet to get nearly close enough to the Keep, however, as they were only now some yards from behind Riven.

The energy seeped past the rocks themselves, still moving toward Riven regardless.  The magic and debris passing through Nashandra did not seem to earn her attention as her staff rose upward, now forced to move the energy back to the army, a brief pale barrier turning them limp as they passed it and her.  Many of them simply fell off their rides groggily.

She had to act against Riven at the same time, simply thrusting at the ground beneath him to launch him back if possible.

Riven forced himself through the grogginess with a high willpower, tapping his staff on the ground to create a barrier for himself as he was bounced upwards. However the golem would eventually land... In the same location as before since the gravity launched him directly skywards.

The barrier was serverly dented from the impact: forcing a strain on it and Nashandra's power just to keep the shaking from spreading.  It quickly began to wrap around the golem, however, spikes growing outward to penetrate.  The army began making their way into the holes themselves, some even scaling the golem to get inside.

Compressed air siddenly crashed against the barrier itself, Riven smirking as his staff glowed with a runic sigil for air visible on it, the golem itself started to struggle, probably causing more damage as it flailed about.

(Question: What is the Mars doing in relation?  Reaction to the barrier he's powering being harmed, or just in general?)

(He's just fueling it, generally with living batteries they dont really get harmed until they start to run low on power.)

Mars was sitting still for this, he kinda had to which sucked donkey balls, since powering a barrier without some kinda harness or anything like that requires one to be absolutely still.

With a rising growling, Nashandra called to Mars.  "I will deal with powering the barrier.  The army needs to be dealt with."

With that, the barrier itself began puncturing at the golem, hitting at joints as it heated up with intent to melt the army and monster atop it.

Surprisingly that was all it took to kill the beast, though molten iron would drip all over the barrier in an unintentional second coating.

The barrier began expanding outward as Nashandra began pulling the emotional aura back to herself, a concentrated beam toward Riven.

And what did Riven do..? He sprung himself out of the way usinf magic. He wasn't some japanese antagonist whatsoever.

(Yeah... That... Japanese bit totally isn't... lost on my mind @_@)

The beam followed him as he went as the barrier neared.  The soldiers inside--however--were now breaking down the front doors.

He used magic to turn a large rock into a reflective substance and hid behind it at the last second so the beam would reflect back at Nashandra.

Once more, the beam passed through her, though she did end the beam as it was no longer to her aid.  "Why are you siding with this army anyway?" She questioned.

"Simple, I need an army for world domination.. Bolster it with Demons, Mythical beasts.. All in all i'm just doing my job for once since some ASSHOLES NAMED URD AND THAT BITCH VIRUS, YEAH I KNOW THAT FUCKING LAUGH YA DAFT HO..! Anyways, I'm doing my job for once because i'm trapped here so might as well conquer the fucking world."

"Wait, since when did I laugh in front of this guy?" Her voice came out, followed by Urd going "I do believe they can hear you," and "Oh... uh... click!"

"... Okay but the message was that you were supposed to protect, right?" Nashandra asked.  "That's what I got told before everyone got here.  Don't you... lose points or something?"

"Implying that I give a damn about what those two cunts have for me, though I could rationalize it as protecting this olace from their fucking cancerous bullshit." Riven sighed. "Sides, they mever said who I had to protect."

"Such angry typos," The Urd called down.  "You may continue the fighting now."

"Suck my balls Urd, I don't have to do a goddamn thing!"

"How vulgar!" The reality imp huffed.  "Very well, do you wish to depart from this event henceforth?"

"No shit sherlock! Do you know what sort of bullshit's probably already happened back home because of this little stint?!"

"First- wait, there much better.  Firstly, you will be returned to the point of your departure, no changes occuring.  You are simply here to compete and potentially gain reward, but if you wish,"  a portal formed to his left.  "The Mars one is still a contestant so perhaps he will gain the prize."

"This is getting...really weird..." Nashandra groaned.

".... Fiiine, I'll stay.. But I want to summon that giant fucking robot I have, I never get to use it."

"Nope, byyyyyyye," Virus sounded.  He felt a slight nudging, pushing him a bit toward the portal.

"CAN WE PLEASE GET THIS ON WITH?" Nashandra tensed.

"Nah, I'm leaving .3." Riven said as he walked through the portal. 

The portal soon closed, leaving only Mars and Nashandra to deal with the army who had now broken through the doors of the keep.

Mars occasionally fired chain lightning bolts at groups of soldiers at nearly lethal voltage, taking advantage of their own numbers and proximity when they reached the doors of the keep to incapacitate large groups of enemy attackers.

With the golem taken care of, despite the initial breakthrough by the army, it didn't take long for Nashandra to return to aid Mars, and soon the army was taken down, any survivors held in a large barrier some miles below in an open hole.

"Well that's that, now we just let them go off without their gear." Mars said with a smile, he didn't want to kill anyone so he hoped his solution on what to do with them would be acted upon.

Five points added

"Yeah..." Nashandra looked over the army far below.  "... Well if that's the end of this then we'll be parting."

"Guess so.. Might as well give their gear to the peasants.. Also what happened to the guy leading these people?" He asked his two questions.

"The leader?  I never saw their leader.  For all I know, the idiot's golem crushed him in the fight... You did... well," She noted.  "Thank you."

"Just call it square for the trouble I caused you?" Mars asked.

"It... they were just horses," She sighed.  Anyw- WAY!" With a rush, as if something had grabbed her, she was pulled into the air, far out of sight, far out of the planet it seemed.  Urd's voice sounded once more

"THE FINAL ROUND ARRIVES!!!!"

Then, everything began to shake.

"What?"

To continue with the joint section once the others are ready.

HE-NO

"Nature's love," He-No found himself appearing just in front of a small forest clearing.  It was mid-day, a nice cool day with the sound of a split stream to the west.  Some yards away from him were the decayed remains of a small cabin.

Atop the trees, laying in the branches, was a feminine figure: a blue bat with pale red hair.  She wore a white shirt and pants, seeming half-awake.

He glanced around quietly, his ears perked and listening to the nature around him, was this really happening? he continued to scan over the area, glancing up into the tree's and seeing the female, then looked at the cabin, then back at the bat.

" ...Hello?"

"Hello," she called down.

"... is that your cabin?" He examined her the best he could.

"Not mine at all," She called down.

he then walks over to the remains of the cabin, touching it a bit to see if it really was real.

The cabin was quite physically tangible, and suddenly heard a voice calling "Is this on? GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS! THIS IS YOUR ALMIGHTY URD SPEAKING! You have arrived in your designated area! Hooray! Now! You must know that what you experience will be quite actual in all scenarios.  Also,"

a score sheet appeared over his head, starting at zero.  "You will be scored based on your actions.  BEST OF LUCK!"

He-no jolted slightly at the sudden voice and looked around, then up at the score sheet. " ... all scenarios?"

"Oh yes.  A storm arrives in two days.  You must create a shelter."

"... what happens after the storm?" 

The voice didn't respond.

"..." He looks over at the girl. " did you hear that?"

"What?" She called down, slightly out of earshot now.

He walks back over to her " did you hear that voice?"

She leaned forward, down at him.  "The loud one?  All... um... energetic?"

"yes" he looked at her, adjusting his coat a bit and tensing his wings " the... Urd?"

"I suppose," She shrugged.

" hm... whats your name." He turned and headed to the cabin again.

"I dunno," She stood up, looking for a way down the tree.

He heard her shuffling on the branch, turning and facing her. "... do you need help?"

"I didn't think this through," She informed.

He walked back over to the tree and looked at her wings. " can you glide down?" 

"Yea- uh, right, um..." She walked toward the edge of a branch, wings spreading out.  "Just not a fan of maybe hitting a branch... one sec," She swung upside down before dropping, flapping once or twice to keep balance till she was floating down steadily.

He waited there quietly, watching her to make sure if she did fall he would be there " what is your name?"

She crouched upon landing, flattening her wings down.  "I... dunno.  I dunno."

" you dont know? how dont you know?"

"The more I think about it, the more it's kind of freaking me out," Her ears flattened.

"hmm..." He thinks, then shakes his head " don't let it worry you too much, do you have something you'd like to be called?"

She shrugged.  "Like a nicknam- whoa," she blinked a few times now actually being able to observe this new person a bit.  "Uh..."

He looked down at her quietly ".... yes, a nickname" He tensed a bit when she started to observe him " is there something wrong?" 

"No-, never mind," She turned away a bit, clearing her throat.  "I don't have a nickname thatI remember, no."

" hm..." * he narrowed his eye's slightly at her, then shrugged a bit.* " what about strelliah"

She blinked a bit.  "Sounds... tangy?  Does it mean something?"

" it means bat girl in my language" He glances up at the tree's for a moment, then back at her " if you don't like it you can change it, I am not very good at names." 

"No, it's fine," She smiled.  "... So, what are you here for?  Kinda wasn't paying too much attention to what that... voice... thing said."

" I do not know, I don't remember much, filling out a form, then was here." He examines her for a moment, then gave a slight smile back to her but it disapeared just as quick. " Urd... He said there is a storm coming, to build a shelter strong enough to be kept safe, but this will be difficult... all the tree's surrounding the area, the river could be posed as threat as well." 

"... Well... I guess you could build something with trees?  I think there's a mountain or something that way," She pointed to the left.

"mhm... depending on the storm we might have to worry about landslides as well..." He then looks at her again. "why are you out here?"

"Relaxation... drawing the landscapes..."

"Drawings?" 

She nodded, looking about.  "Oh... back in the tree... I'll get that later."

He nods " alright... I have two days to make a shelter" He looks up at the sky. " I suggest you make it home before it hits... I wouldn't want you to get hurt." 

"M- oh... well, I'm not really- I've nrever really built a house..."

Five points added

" ..." his ear twitches, he glances up at the score sheet, then back at her. " you mean, you don't have a house? somewhere you live?"

"Not near here," She shook her head.  "I don't live anywhere close."

" ..." He sighs softly, then rolls up his sleeves, revealing some scars that wrapped around his arms. " you can stay here if you'd like." 

"... Wait..." Her ears flattened.  "Am I like... on your property or something?  I- I can move if y-" then she noticed the scars.  "Those... don't look like Emo cuts..."

" I was practically dropped here." he looked at his scars for a moment, started walking towards the whithered cabin. " they aren't, from past battles and masters." He slightly mumbles. " you are fine being here, it isn't my property, I think... it seems nature has claimed it." 

"Oh... well I guess I'll help... if I can," She scratched her head.  "Don't we need to dig or something first?"

"why?" He glances back at her as he checks the cabin for water damage.

The cabin seemed more decayed by insects than water, though some links did have signs of bending that could be traced back to soaking.

"Isn't that how it works?  You... make a hole, stick in the posts, build from there?  I'm not an architect, just thinking outloud."

" Mmm... I'm not an architect either, but... that would be wise to do, elevate the cabin to keep the river from hitting it... could you gather up as many large stones as you can from the river?"  he tries summoning his scythe

She began to answer but then promptly fell on her rear when his scythe appeared.

He looked at her " ...sorry." He leaned over a bit and held his hand out to help her up. 

She took his hand.  "That's okay... Where... do you keep that exactly?"

He pulled her up gently. " in the shadows mainly." He points to the ground with the scythe. 

"... So, magic?"

" .... in a way, yes."

"Does it make buildings?"

" it can help make buildings." 

"Well best not waste time right?" She started toward the river.

He nods and watches her a bit, then head over to the cabin and starts tearing it down, saving any wood that can be saved.

Some good long planks were found, with various concrete bricks here and there.

He kept the bricks and moved them aside, once the cabin was cleared out, he tried summoning his crystal claws to form around his hands to create shovels in a way.  

The girl, Strelliah, was walking back with a pile of stones, looking at the crystal claws silently.

He glanced over at her, his ear flicking a bit, then a started digging " thank you strelliah..." 

She nodded.  "I'll try to get used to that.  Doesn't seem too hard," She arched her back, stretching a bit before beginning to walk back.  It was around one-o-clock now.  The bat had carried at least thirty stones varying in size from small 4-inch radiuses to 14-inch.

He-no was now cutting down the tree's that posed a threat to the cabin, leaving quite a but of stump in their place, and was going to use the remaining wood for the cabin and other such furnishings and fire's. 

His ear twitched as he glanced at her " ... would you like something to eat?" 

"I... I mean I guess," she straightened up, wiping her hands a bit.  "What do we have to eat?"

One of the tree's fell to the ground, making a loud creaking sound before it slammed down on the ground. "depends what the forest gives us... there's bound to be fish in the river, wildlife all around, and possible berries somewhere." 

"Fish maybe.  Berries... I mean, we can check.  You want to look for the fish and me the berries?"

He nods " alright... be careful, there could be other predators out here." He starts to head to the river. 

She nodded, walking some ways away.

Some fish were located going through the river, but very few in general.  The water was going rather fast, and a faint shhhhhhh sound was heard far in the distance, a faint mist barely recognizable far out.

He watched the fish and listened quietly to the running water, taking in a deep breath and relaxing a bit, then made his way up the river towards the mist, walking slowly and enjoying the wilderness as much as he could, taking in the sounds and sights.

The sound got louder till he found himself nearing a waterfall.

He watched it for a moment, then sat down beside the river as his crystal claws formed once more, he watched the river calmly and carefully, sitting completely still. 

Time passed.  Fish swam.  Time passed more.

He had caught one fish during that time, and slowly made his way back, the fish was medium sized and would only be for strelliah. 

It had been about thirty minutes, though Strelliah had yet to return to the ruins of the cabin.

He began to get a bit worrysome, his ears perked forward as he listened quietly, he would wait another 5 minutes, then would start his search for her.

Five minutes passed but she didn't seem to reappear.

He cursed under his breath and put the fish under some of the stones, then quickly headed into the forest in search of her. " strelliah?" He called

He could hear movement in the forest, cracking in the leaves.

He grew quiet and moves quietly and quickly towards the sound of the movement, staying low.

It was higher in the trees, getting higher still.

his ear perked, then looked up, trying to see if he could spot it first as he continued moving a bit, his wings stretching out and ready to help him fly "... strelliah?" 

"Yeah?" A voice called back down.

He let out a sigh of relief " what are you doing up there... "

"I couldn't find any berries yet.  I wanted to see if that storm was starting in the distance."

He blinks, then starts making his way up to an opening in the tree's, then flies up the rest of the way to join up with her.

She waved as he arrived: glancing around.  Some hills and mountains were seen through the mostly flat forest land, and some faint clouds in the distance.

He looked at the clouds, then around the area as he flew next to her, looking at the scene around them " beautiful isn't it?" he asked

"It is, yeah," She nodded.  "Weird... you think there will really be a storm?"

" it's best to be prepared... he said in two days, if it doesnt happen, then at least we built something structable for when one does happen." He looks at her. " I got a fish...."

"Oh!  Nice... And I was sight-seeing," She looked aways off, slightly ashamed.

He smiled slightly as he looked at her " .. I was as well... we can try looking for some berries together if that's alright with you, there must be boysenberries or blackberries somewhere."

"... Yeah, okay," She nodded, smiling a bit as she began floating down.

He followed her down, watching her for a moment, then looking a round the trees as they descended.

"... Are we really going to make something against some big storm?" She asked.  "Maybe we should be looking for the weird... voice that talked about this... I don't know," She sighed as they landed.

" he called himself the Urd... where would we look exactly for him?" He lands softly and looks at her.

"I don't know," She sighed, defeated.  "The sky?  Maybe once the... shelter is made he'll appear or something?"

" Mmm.. maybe, and what then?" his ear twitches at the sigh. " ..."

"I don't know," She waved her hand at the score above his head.  "Seems to be focused around you, not me."

He looks up at it " .... mhm... I can only imagine what that's going to be used for..." He looks back at her. " .... if you want we can skip the berries and just make you the fish? the I can make a temporary shelter for you for the night while I start on the cabin."

"F-... For me?" She blinked.  "What about you?  You need to eat, right?"

Five points added

He shakes his head " I do not need to eat, but I can cook decently for you, there isn't much out here so I cannot give you salt nor pepper, buuut I can make smoked salmon... or whatever style you would prefer it."

"... That's- that's very... gentlemenly of you," She blinked.  "Thanks... uh, smoked salmon is fine I suppose."

He nods and steps forward, heading back to the cabin. " alright." He glanced back up at the sky to see how much time they had of daylight

There seemed to be two hours left of daylight.  Strelliah looked about.  "There has to be something I can help with."

" if you want you can get some water" He looks at her. "  or... gather some sticks and make a fire while I prepare the fish." 

"I had a bottle in the tree.  I'll get that and fill it before I get the sticks," She nodded.

He nods as he wals over to the pile of rocks, lifting them up and grabbing the fish he hid, then placing it down on one of the bigger rocks and started preparing it. " alright"

Some twelve minutes later, a fire was going, and the water was boiling up.  "What are you going to do with the cabin?  Rebuild it?"

"yep" He answered and had strips of the salmon hanging over the fire on the handle of his scythe. " planning to make it sturdy and off the ground."

"How long you wager that'll take?"

" ... hopefully I'll be done with it by tomorrow night, it's been a while since i've built a cabin..."

"I can... uh... help... clean it out?"

He looks at her, then smiles softly " that would be nice... thank you, you seem nervous."

"Nah, I just... just tryig to be productive is all," She shrugged.  "That and this is all really... weird."

Five points added

" how does it all seem weird?" He asks, although he could clearly see how alot of this was weird, he was still curious on what parts she found strange, the voice? the storm? himself?

"Do you have... any idea why you'd be here?  It's like... the hunger games except without killing people and... you have no idea what the prize is."

" I honestly do not know why..." He looks at her. " so... you are saying all this is... like a controlled envirnment by... urd?"

"I guess," She shrugged.  "I mean, I don't remember being dropped in here.  You were though so... I don't know," She sighed.

" ... do you remember anything before you were dropped here?"

"That's the thing.  I wasn't... I think," She scratched her head.  "I don't... remember anything else."

" ... do you think you are a program?" He looked at her, turning the fish slightly.

Her ears went up, and her wings sprang out.  "... I..." She wrapped her arms around her chest and sides.  "... No..."

He watched her, then dropped the subject and took a piece of the fish off of the scythe for her. " here."

She looked over at it, then slowly took it.  "... You remember things?"

Five points added

" .... yes, which things are you asking about? before being dropped here?" 

"Yeah..." She began peeling off the scales of the fish.

He-no got up and started getting the wood together for building the house.

Strelliah made her way over to the cabin remains, eating off pieces of the fish as she looked for something to clean off.  She started pulling some of the good bricks away.

He glanced at her, then gathered a bunch of sticks on the ground, going over to a decently thick tree and started setting up a temporary shelter for her, setting the sticks against the tree and securing them with other sticks, making a leaning tipi, it only took him about 20 minutes.

The bat eventually finished eating the fish: still moving some good bricks out of the rubble.  She looked over, cocking her head at the shelter He-No was making.

the shelter was placed in a spot where the tree would allow some cover, He-no turned and looked at her.* "... shelter." he said and pointed to the tipi. " for the night..." He then went over to the fire and pulled the rest of the fish strips off his scythe and placed it in the fire for a moment, reaching in the fire to clean off the handle, then standing up as the scythe formed into an axe as he headed over to the cabin, clearing out what was left of it before starting to lay down the rocks strelliah gathered.

"... Was... that for... me?" She looked it over.

" yes... it isn't much... but it's better then staying in the open..." 

"And you?"

"I will be working on the cabin and guarding."

"Alright.  What can I do to help with the cabin then?"

" ... could you gather mud for me? place it imbetween the rocks to help keep them in place, tonight I will be shaping the logs, tomorrow I will start stacking them and will need your help to set them with the mud." 

"... How do we keep the mud wet?  I mean... uh- we couuuuuuuld fill something up with dirt then wet the dirt?"

He nods " mhm... and the river nearby can help with that... as can I if you'd like." He looks at her as he places another rock down in the dirt.

"... Okay.  I'll get to it," She nodded.  She walked over, getting small piles of dirt from the ground into a larger pile near the cabin.

" thank you for your help Strelliah... and company" He says as he continued stacking the rocks up.

(... That shouldn't have made me laugh like it did...)

"Can't say I want to complain either," She smiled, wiping her hands off after placing some dirt.

( XD I was half asleep I think when I typed it DX ) 

he smiles slightly, then glances once more at the sky.

"... Where did you learn to be so... noble?  Gentlemenly?  Not that I mind."

The sky was darkening at this point.  Night had arrived.

" My mother... and an old love of mine..." he continued to work but glanced at her. "why do you draw landscapes?" 

"Hobby and job," She informed.  "Not my only job of course.  Artists do not get paid well..."

" what else do you work as? if that's okay to ask..."

"I'm an on-call assistant teacher--slash--on-call substitute teacher."

His ears perked and he looked at her " really? have any interesting stories?" 

"Only if you're interested in 'This annoying thing that happened' or 'That brief funny thing that happened' moments.  Educational employment isn't very... eventful."

" which grade do you subsitute for?"

"College level," She sighed.  "Elementary would probably be more interesting, but when all the extra activities are optional extra credit, it tends to have few takers."

He nods " ah... I heard elementary can be rather difficult... screaming children... messes... whatever else.." 

"It doesn't get better with high school, but," She shrugged," what can you do.  You ever work with kids?  Or... went to a high school?"

" no... well..." He blinks and continues stacking the rocks. " I helped pick up and babysit a child of one of my friends... but she is just in elementary... I myself never went to school... "

"How'd you learn?"

" ... I learned by listening to others and friends that offered to teach me.... although... I do not know... certain things such as complex math..." 

"Oh... so... more time being some kind of mystical warrior or something?"

" ... in a way, a protector... I try not to fight... I try" * he blinked.* " when I was growing up we didn't have school, just what our parents taught us."

"Sounds like a lot of... work... W-we've been talking for a while now, huh?"

He nods, looking over at the fire. " yeah... you should get some rest" He looks back at her. 

"... Yeah I guess so," She nodded, making her way over to the smaller shelter.  "Thanks again."

" mhm... sleep well." He smiles slightly, then heads to the mud that she made, checking to see if it was still muddy.

The mud was very much mud but drying.

He mixed the mud a bit, then grabbed some of it and placed it in the crevaces of the rocks. then moving about, grabbing a pile of long sticks and a five thick logs, placing the logs in the rocks, using them as pillars in a way, digging them into the ground. then glanced back at the small shelter where Strelliah was.

She seemed to be lying on the ground in the shelter: feet clinging to the top as she was nearly upside down.

He laughed quietly and continued, heading to the river quickly to grab more water, his scythe turning into what looked to be a giant ladle, grabbing some water and then heading quickly back to the mud and pouring just a bit it, then mixing it again.

(Do you wish to skip to the fully-constructed shelter?)

( if you'd like ^^; I can explain a brief summary of it real fast, he pretty much put it together with mudd and how linkin log house would be built.)

(That's fine.  You don't have to go over the entire process, just the final product.)

( ah alrighty) 

By late next day he had the cabin fully built, touching up anything that needed a touch up and sealing it a bit more with mudd. large logs stacked on eachother, the roof was smoothed down." .... I'm starting to think maybe making something under ground ju- the river... never mind..." He frowns slightly. and examines his work, pressing against the tree trunk sized logs, making sure they were secure.

"You think it'll last a storm?" Strelliah asked.

" they have before... but it was a normal wind storm... the Urd didn't exactly say what type of storm it is... if it is natural, then it will..."

"Have you ever like... made these before?  You seemed to know what you were doing."

" I have... several times." He glances at her

"Sorry, I'm prying," She looked away a bit.

" it is perfectly fine to ask as many questions as you'd like, I do not mind. " He watched her quickly, then stretched out his wings.

"Alright... and now that I say that, I actually don't know what I'd ask next."

"oh, well that's alright " He smiles slightly, then flies up into the sky to look to see if the storm was visible

While there was no storm

"GREETINGS!" The Urd fellow appeared in front of He-No, the text vanishing behind him.  "Do you wish to skip to the moment of the storm?"

He examined the Urd and looked slightly surprised at his appearence... he hadn't seen anything like it... " .... I was going to add a bit more support.... but if you are in a hurry then the cabin will do as it is now.." 

"You may complete your work.  You have hours."

" Understood... may I ask you something?"

"But of course."

" what... are you?"

"I am the Urd," He informed, tipping his crown hat.

" do you not have a species? or you are just a singular being... name The Urd..."

"There is most definitely none like the Almighty Urd."

" ... what... is the point of all this?"

"Choosing a winner," Urd explained.

" for what? or is it a surprise..."

"It is indeed," Urd nodded.  

" how many others are there at the moment?" 

"Seven in total."

"Seven... is this al for fun? or for something bigger?"

"I believe it is for a larger plan," Urd informed.  "Ah!  I see you have finished your shelter.  Five points added!  Oh... now there are only six."

" what happened to the seventh?" He raised an eyebrow slightly.

"They declined the invitation," Urd informed.  "Their owners took too long."

"oh..." He looked back at strelliah for moment. " ...what about her?"

"...In what regard?"

" why is she apart of all this? or is she here by accident?" He had more to ask of her, but he didn't truly know if he wanted thed truth or not, whether if she was fake or real.

"Ah the girl.  Unfortunately that is not for me to say," Urd explained.  "I can promise a grand reward should you end first in placing."

"...alright, then I will not hold you for any longer, thank you for your time."

The Urd tipped his crown before vanishing, then reappearing.  "Are you planning to skip ahead?"

" I didn't plan to, if it's more conveniant for the others then yes, Otherwise I was just going to add a few more supporting collumns... but it would just be for extra strength."

"Very well," He poofed from existence.

He-no stood there for a few moments, then looked to Strelliah.

She seemed to be cleaning or organizing what was left of the items below.

He flew down and picked up one of the remaining longer logs and propped it against the cabin for a moment, thinking. " ... how bad do you think the storm might be..."

"If we need to build something for it, maybe strong winds?" She suggests

He nods and thinks " yes... a smooth dome like structure can help keep the wind from hitting against it so hard... I can smooth out some more logs quickly and install them around the cabin in a cone like shape..." he sighed softly

"And I'm going to help right?"

He looks at her, his ears perking, then he gives a small smile. " if you'd like, it would be greatly appreciated..." He thinks, then moves to the logs and moved his scythe to it, then took a long quick swipe, slicing a somewhat thick and clean slice. " you can prop the boards up, line the up with the roof, and dig it into the ground a few inches, as well as putting a layer of mud imbetween it and the roof." 

"... Okay," She nodded, immediately getting to work.

He continued slicing the logs into long slices. " unless you have another idea in mind" he glances at her.

"Nope, you're much better at this building thing so I'm gonna go with your cues," She replied.

He continued on, soon having a few piles of the boards, then helping her in placing them and tacking them down.

Night had fully arrived.  The next day would bring their challenge.  

Strelliah tended to the fire.

He finished the last boards and sat beside her in front of the fire " thank you for helping..."

"Would've hated myself if I just watched you do the work... not, that'd I'm mind watching," She teased with a smirk.

He blushed ever so slightly, but then smiled it off and chuckled a bit. " iI doubt it would be much fun to watch me, you would be much more better to wa-" he paused and looked at her, then gave a slightly nervous smile.* sorry... you did very well... are you ready to eat?"

She chuckled.  "What do we have left?"

" we still have fish, there is a few rabbits roaming around, I have not found any berries yet..."

"Fish works," She shrugged.  A cold breeze ripped in.

He shivered slightly and looked up, then stood up and quickly headed over towards the river.

(We can skip to the next morning when things happen if you like.)

(alright~)

He-no looked at the sky the next morning to see the state of the storm.

A dark grey sky met  him.  Trees were swaying hard against tearing winds.  Bits of sand was flicking everywhere.

He looked around, watching the tree's, then looked at Strelliah.

She was waking up from the noise at that moment, just in time as a tree went flying from the massive winds.

He looked back quickly at the tree. "...."

The tree thankfully landed far off from their position but a medium-size branch was making its way toward the ground, sliding to the cabin as the support was pressed by the wind.

He watched it and narrowed his eye's, then brought his scythe watching the rest of the tree's, then glanced back at the river.

The water was flicking about... and then it was shooting upward.  Spiked protrusions were shooting out from the floor, growing outward and upward at a rapid pace.

He growled, what type of storm was this?! it wasn't any normal one... like he was expecting, he looked back at strelliah. 

Strelliah was getting up after falling from the shaking, now feeling quite claustrophobic as the room was getting tight from the growing mountain at the center.

He immediatly went over and helped her " so much for a normal storm...." he looked around at his surroundings, staying close to her to protect her.

The building was nearly torn from the bottom as the protrusion grew out, but thankfully it stopped... as they were pushed up.  The whole cabin was now rising up into the sky atop this new mountain.

" ?!!! " he held onto the wall now and onto strelliah as they rose into the sky.

The air slowly began to thin as they rose higher and higher.  Outside was a tornado of sand, trees, rocks, and dirt.  Some fish flopped against the walls, the roof cracking from some pressure above.

He looks at her, he was used to the thinner air... but he wasnt so sure about her, especially with the rapid growth of the mountain, it could harm her. " are you doing alright? we can get out of the cabin and move lower..." He watched the tornado carefully, it was something he wasnt planning to fly into... but he wasnt sure if it was safe for them... how much higher was the mountain going to grow... how much longer would the storm last... what the hell type of storm was this?!

She didn't seem to understand him with the loudness of the storm, but she did seem to be breathing rather rapidly now.  She gave an attempt to mouth "What?" but soon found her hands going to her throat as the limited air was making it quite difficult.

With that, he immediatly grabbed her and headed out, wrapping his coat around her to keep any dangerous flying debri from hitting her and slid down the hill, the scythe disappearing for a moment as he used his crystal claws to keep ahold of the mountain, his wings folded over them both as well.

The mountain was rising still, but as they were lower, the majority of the debris seemed to be passing over them.  Still, it was a constant shaking.

He-no held to the mountain as he slid down, glancing down at Strelliah and checking her.

She was faintly breathing, rapidly but breathing all the same.  Her breaths were short but she was still conscious.

He sighes in relief  and glanced up at where the cabin was on the mountain " just breath..." He says calmly and quietly.

It took hours for the storm to subside.  The mountain kept going up as they climbed down until finally stopping itself.

He-no was still sliding down, though he had grown exausted himself, having to hold onto the mountain that long, his hand was aching and he was shaking a bit, but waited till he reached a safe altitude for strelliah before he stopped

She had fallen asleep some hours back at this point, miraculously.  They could faintly see the surface far below.

He grunts and kicks off the mountain, then glided the rest of the down, turning onto his back and having strelliah ontop of him so that he could rest his arms a bit as well as look up at the new mountain and see if the house even made it.

It was far too high to see at this point, but as they arrived back at the surface, it was quite flooded, massive lakes about with trees poking out, and island-like hill sections scattered around.

He landed on the hill sections and looked around amazed and bewildered at the changes, at the same time he was a bit dissapointed in himself. " hmmm...." He then laid down and sighed, resting and staring up at the sky. " well... it's over." * he still had strelliah in his coat.* 

"SAAAAAAAALUTATIONS!" Came the voice of the Urd man from behind.

He jolted and glanced back quickly. " what type of storm was that? it was a movement of the earth, a natural disaster, a dramatic shift of plates... not just a storm" he mumbled more than shouted. " I'm guessing I'm out of the course." He says audibly.

"Whatever would make you say such things?" Urd inquired, floating in place.

" I... nevermind." He examined the Urd a bit. " then, whats next?"

"An army shall approach soon!  You must defend your subjects!"

".... an army? what type of army, some sort of Alien army that is impossible to prepare for? high tech and ready to kill or capture?"

"I do not know," The Urd man informed bluntly.  "I... don't believe I am to say either way, however."

".... what do you mean? who is sending the army?"

"I do not believe I am to say."

" then who is to say?" He watches Urd

"The Urd feels repetative in his responses now."

He pauses, then sighs " sorry... do you know which side they are coming from?"

"I do not.  It is possible they may come from the same area as the people."

He glanced down at strelliah " then I will protect her... how are the other particiapants doing?"

"You are in second place at this moment.  You have not harmed your companion, that is a bonus."

" as any of the others have?"

"Others have shown violence, yes."

He thought for a moment "... we will all be meeting eachother in long run? the one's that's made it that is..."

"Oh certainly," Urd nodded.

"Hn..." Strelliah was stirring now.

" I see... then I will see you later Urd..." He looks at Strelliah.

Urd gave a tip of his crown before vanishing into the air.

Strelliah eventually opened her eyes, turning about a bit before seeing He-No above.  "Ah... h-hi," She blinked.

He blinks as well, then opens his jacket to let her free. " an army is coming our way... We need to set up traps and barrages before they get here, to delay them and tae as many out as we can." 

"An army?" She stood up.  "Wha- when did-" She stopped, now realizing the circumstances of the area.  "whoa..."

" Mhm..." He looked around again as well. " i don't know what to expect... seeing that storm, makes me realize this is going to be alot harder then I expected.." He looks at her. "I need to make sure you don't get hurt, and make sure to keep them away." He flexes his hand a bit, creating purple crystals, then looking over the area as he opened his wings, no time for resting...

She blinked.  "Where are we going then?"

" I am not sure... I want to make many different safe points.... just in case this time, tunnels, on the mountain." He flies up, the thought of armies threw him off, he hated them and did not want to fight against one.. at least he had time to think... at least he hoped as he peered over the valley to see of any signs of the army or any caves.

The area was vastly covered by the water, but a few taller hills--nearly mountains--were large enough to possibly hold caves or structures.  He could hear footsteps far behind one of them, many many footsteps.

His ears twitched, he would have to set up the traps fast... hopefully take out the frontlines. With that he quickly gestured for strelliah to follow as he glided acrossed the area, waving his hand over the water, purple circles could faintly be seen appearing under the surface, but was hard to spot. "strelliah... can you go out and try to find a cave, or somewhere up high and hidden?"

"Like on the mountains?" She asked.

"yes..." he reaches in his coat and takes out a black stone with a dragon symbol on it, handing it Strelliah as he glided by her " if you need me then say my name to the stone and I will be there."

"That's... pretty cool," She blinked, examining the stone before extending her wings out.  "U- so you're gonna go looking more then huh?"

" I will be setting up traps around the valley, as much as I can before they get here... which will be soon, please... becareful" 

"Right... um... " She then flew up quickly, giving him a quick peck kiss on the face before floating off with a somewhat nervous "Okaygoodluckbye!"

He was dumbfounded, he lightly touched where the kiss was placed, but then flew faster, placing more in the waters till every one had the circles in them, then opened his hand, a crystal appearing in it, it turned to black, then went to an ash like substance, flying throughout and sprinkling the ash around, his scythe turning into a large bow and now resting on his back, his ears perked up and stayed listening to the footsteps.

The footsteps got closer and closer, until finally he could see them... dirty... bruised... lines of... people.  Normal people were approaching.  They were mostly just cat mobians wtih large fuzzy hands, along with various bats and wolves.  Some bodies were being carried and most didn't appear to have weapons on them.

He stared at them, the hell happened to them... He floated there, was this the army? was it a trick? he needed to make sure Strelliah stays safe... With that he raised his bow, a long thin purple spike grew in his hand as he aimed and fired, the spear striking the earth in front of the one in the lead, not hitting them but testing them.

Immediately the leading man jumped, other screaming as they began scattering a bit.

He raised an eyebrow, then flew down and landed several meters away from them " Calm down! what happened here?" He says to the leading man, holding up his hands to show he wasn't going to harm them.

They were backing off now, many running back but one man stepped forward to ask "Do you mean us harm?"

" No! as long as you don't mean harm to me, what happened to your people? were you attacked?" 

"Yes," The man replied frantically.  "We were- we're from a reservation.  W-we host Old-Time sorts of performances from the old west for people, but the community was authen-... n-not important.  W-we were just... attacked by this swarm..."

"A swarm? a swarm of what, and are they following you?"

"Some kind of hive mind.  We don't know where they are now.  They... took... s-so many..."

" ... alright, head through here and go into the forest." he opens his wings to fly up, he had to see what he was dealing with... he had to do a quick scan, then he would check on strelliah... or maybe check on her now.

The group didn't move at first.  Slowly and meekly, most of them began to walk forward in the direction.  The man who spoke up questioned "Who are you?"

" my name is He-no..." He says and takes off, flying high into the sky, then headed where the stone was quickly, a hive... he wished the people gave more description, but by the sounds of it and looks, it didn't mean good, and he couldn't ask for them to help him fight them off, not after what they've went through.

Strelliah was soon located.  She was behind a mountain, gliding low to the ground in searchg of cave entrances still.  It seemed she had found nothing at this time.

He watched for a moment before turning and flying a bit higher, gliding around the mountains in search of the other army, heading mainly in the direction the beaten army had come from.

Nothing but nature was visible at the time, but perhaps this would not last.  Strelliah seemed to notice him at some point, waving as she nearly crashed into the mountain: quickly swerving out of the way.

He looked at her, smiling faintly and waving a bit back, continueing to look around, then started to fly lower to get a better look, after a bit he was going to check on the beaten group, maybe ask them a bit more questions...

There did seem to be one cave, but it was far submerged under the water.  At the same time, this risen water was only about two stories up in total for most of the region.

He stared at it, then frowned, he would keep it in mind as he passed by, zipping by tree's, then turning back to the beaten army.

The tattered group was in the forest by now, most settling as they were organizing themselves.

He landed and walked through the group, looking for the leader. 

The man from before seemed to be leading the organizing, along with some others.

He quickly went over to him " sir, did anyone happen to get a glimpse at the... hive? how big they are? and what weapons they were using?"

"They were mutated... things," He answered with a tired sigh.  "They looked like people enough, but were covered in some kind of... exoskeleton probably.  They weren't natural.  They were towering over us.  Ten feet tall probably... Weapons... uh... axes mostly I think."

He nods " were they able to fly?"

"I don't recall," He shook his head.  "I don't believe so, why?"

" just wondering... thank you for your time" He goes to fly off again, 10 feet tall... an army, this made it alot harder, but axes...

Most of the people looked up at He-No.  Some called out to him.  The waters around were rising a bit, like the tide coming in.

He glanced back at them, noticing the waters and frowning slightly "hm?"

They weren't rising enough to flood the area, but some of the people did look worried.  They were trying to cut down some trees, but the work was slow from their exhaustion.

He watched them for a second, then glanced in the direction where he last saw strelliah. he reach behind him, the bow turning back to his scythe as he grabbed it, then cut down a few tree's for them quickly, taking him seconds and making sure the tree's didn't land on anyone. then was getting ready to head over to check on strelliah.

She wasn't in sight, but then again, the area she flew to wasn't in direct view.

He then flew over the valley once more, heading mainly in her direction.

She could be seen walking up a mountain now: glancing about the area.

He flew down and landed beside her "no luck?"

She jumped.  "Oh... uh no," She looked a way a bit.  ".. Ssssssorry, I did look, really.  But... then I kind of got... distracted.  It's really very pretty."

He nods and smiles " that's fine... I found one that can work, as well as a small beaten up army... apparently what we are facing is an army that acts like a hive, have exoskeletons, axes mainly, and are 10 feet tall..."

"You found a beaten up army?" She asked.  "Are they... not-hostile?"

" i don't think they are... but i am remaining cautious of them, i would advise of you too stay away from them... at least for now, i have been searching the velleys for what they've seen, but have found nothing...it's very concerning....and suspicious."

"... Right... do I- should I still be looking for caves or whatever?"

"if you'd like, I found one myself, under water... I can show you it just in case if you would need it."

"Is there anything we can actually... do with the cave?"

He was quiet at thought " hide in it... maybe use it as a trap if they follow, depending on how big the cave is..." he thinks. " we can check it out now if you'd like." 

"Yeah, I guess," She nodded.  "Where'd you see it again?"

"I'll show you" He opens his wings, glancing at her hand for a moment, then in the direction he was going to head.

She blinked, beginning to raise her hand but as he went, she lowered it, and then followed.

He flew over to the cave, looking into the water it was originally in, hoping it was still there and reachable. 

The cave was visible, but very much submerged, at least the entrance.

"Oh is that it?" She asked, dipping lower.

" yes" He looked down at the water, trying to see how deep the water went. 

It was some yards, about thirteen.  There was a very faint current, but nothing problematic.

He look at her ".... want to check it out?"

"That's why we're here so guess we can't just stop," She dove into the water.

He watched her, then looked at the water, freezing up for a second. "...." He then dove into the water, his wings tensing and folding up against him as he followed her, though it looked like he was having troubles...

She was already nearing the cave, looking about curiosly.  She hadn't seemed to notice him at the moment.

at first, it would seem graceful, but as soon as the first dive stride was finished, he failed around in the water, trying his best to follow, though was failing as he very very slowly made his way to the cave, as well as sinking.

She eventually turned enough to see him, flailing slightly as she eventually swam toward him in an attempt to drag him over but...well he was much larger than she was, relatively.

He looked at her, then got an idea, his wings opened up, he gripped her hand tightly and pushing his wings against the water, making it easier for her to help him up, his weight shifting and becoming lighter for her, he wtached her carefully though, making sure that if she needed too she could get air. 

She tugged at him, using her own wings to push but very slowly as the muscles in her own did not seem to be nearly as strong.  Still, they were in the cave and an unpward dip was seen leading to large air pockets.

He pointed up to the cave and motioned for her to go forward to get some air as he went towards the upward dip, he could easily climb the rest of the way.

She tugged at him the rest of the way regardless, not exactly content with him possibly drowning, even if he probably wouldn't.

He watched her with concern as well amazement, why would she risk her life for him... He continued helping the best he could, eventually making it to the air pockets and into the entrance of the cave.

Once she had taken some breaths above the water, she decided to ask.  "Are you okay?  We're still looking through the cave, right?"

Five points added

He nods and was resting on the ground. " yes, I'm fine... thank you Strelliah for your help." He looked embarassed, but smiled at her none the less, his wings drooped and was spread on the floor.

(They were still in the water, just above the water in an air pocket but I'll pretend they got to a surface in the cave.)

The cave was quite dark, pitch-black in fact.  While resting up, Strelliah decided to speak up a bit.  "Yeah... uh... s-sorry about um... earlier with the..."

(oh, alrighty~)

He looked at her and frowned slighty "about what? you have nothing to be sorry for."

"W-well I mean, I just, I didn't really get permission or anything, I just kind of ... sp...sprung."

the memory of the kiss practically slapped the Simkie as a small blush was seen "o-oh! no, that's alright!" He glanced back at the water for a moment " I... enjoyed the surprise."

",,, Ri-right... that's good, I me-" She cleared her throat immediately.  "Uh, do we have a way to light this place?"

"oh, right." He lifts up his hand, a crystal forming, it was glowing a bright purple, he handed it to her and formed one for himself, they lit up the area around them pretty well.

The bat girl blinked a bit at the gem.  "Does those just grow out from you or is that magic or something?"

"something I inherited... I'm pretty sure they are just a type of magic." He glanced around the area, his eye's glowing faintly red.

The cave went deep ahead, a wide enough path dipping downward.

"Are we going to put the others here?"

"maybe... we have to make sure it's safe.." He then jogs forward down the path, glancing around, his wings drooping slightly.

She chased after.  The floor was very slick, hard, and with brief sharp pokings here and there.  This was made even more problematic by the incline downward.

After he realized all this and most likely almost slipping himself, he slowed a bit and tried sliding down a bit, looking for the bottom of the downward dip.

Strelliah nearly fell herself, but used her wings to balance herself.  She tried to simply fly down, but her wings were far too wet and heavy still.

Thankfully they eventually arrived at the bottom of the cave.  Long pathways like a dug hole, mole holes almost, were scattered everywhere in varying size.

He-no started to get worried as he looked along the pathways, then started placing those purple like circles on the floor of the cave " what do you think of this..." he asked quietly and moved his wings a bit to try to dry them faster. 

"It- ow!" She grunted, hopping her foot up briefly before shuffling over.  "Looks like it's... right under the surface?  There might be a mountain above for all we know, but..."

"but?" He glances at her

"I was just thinking like, if you took away the supports.  This would all cave in, right?"

He nods " It would be a nice trap... if I could lead them in... if I can find them." He looks at the other tunnels." if they aren't in here already."

Strelliah stiffened.  "... The... army?"

" yes... the hive army, the tunnels remind me of how the inside of an anthill... which greatly worries me." He was speaking softly.

"W-we should get out of here shouldn't we," She stepped back.

He perked his ears up and raised a hand up to gesture for her to stay still as he tried listening for any sounds.

Nothing seemed to be heard.  Nothing but... dirt falling... falling down, it was getting louder.  The entrance.

He-no tensed and looked up at the incline. ".... we may have to move forward..."

"Fo-, H-HOLD ON," she stepped back.  "Can't we dig through the back maybe?"

" Yes, if it comes to that then I might be able to just go through the ground.... but if it is them, then this is the chance to take them out, I will not let them harm you- I meant move forward as in proceed through the cave.." He blinked, then looked at her. "I'm not going to try and face them with you stuck here." 

"... So we walk forward," She tensed, looking ahead the many pathways.  She took a slowly shaky step.

Five points added

He continues to leave a trail of those circles, staying close and watching her, as well as listening, he tried to see if he could fade into the shadows for a quick escape if needed.

His ability didn't seem hindered.  Strelliah looked back and forth repeatedly.  They heard nothing of movement at first, but the further they got in, the more they heard noises from... behind them.

He-no stayed close behind her, He relaxed more, knowing he could escape if need be, he watched Strelliah, listening to the noises behind them, then glanced back, one of his wings grazing her a bit, mainly to make sure she stayed close.

She winced just slightly, looking over to him wide-eyed: ears alert.  "Which way do we go?  just forward more?"

" yes, keep going." He searched for any movement as he nudged her forward softly "stay close to me just in case."

She took his hand, still stiff and ears darting about, but walking all the same.

The air got rather thick and dusty as they went further.  At first, it appeared to go up, but soon after, an incline downward was shown before them.  It was going for a long way down.

A cracking sound was heard, followed by clumps of the dirt behind them collapsing.  One of the pillars was broken down.  It didn't seem to affect the others at the moment.

"..." He stared down, his wings tensed more by the sounds." do you want to go down..."

Two points added from the Urd for such hilarious typos

"Not particularly," Strelliah replied but she walked forward anyway.

(.... gosh dang it XD)

He watched her and followed, laying down the purple circles as he went and glancing back,

The air was getting... musky, thinner.  At the same time, they could hear rushing water ahead.

"are you doing alright?" He asks over his shoulder." if you have trouble breathing then we can lea-" He shivered at the sound of the water.

"Where?" She asked.

He steps into the shadows with one foot. "by travelling through the shadows."

She looked back and forth between him and his foot.  "Y- h- does that hurt?"

"no, I just advise to hold your breath once in the shadows."

She winced but did as instructed, fingers clenched.

He reaches out and takes her hand softly, watching behind them as he did so, searching the darkness. "you are ready to leave?"

She nodded rapidly.

WIth that, they both sunk into the shadows, it was like dropping into thick black water, though it didn't weigh them down, He-no quickly moved back up the tunnel looking like a shadow on the walls as he zoomed through, trying to see if he could spot anything.

A mass of some kind of beetle stone...swarm, was going through the entire mountain... and they were noticing that the two weren't in the tunnels anymore.  They looked like tiles, floating drilling tirles, no larger than a few inches but there were... many of them.

One of the purple circles sprung up into a crystal to try and pierce into one of them from the ground, He-no moved on for Strelliahs sake to get her to the surface, moving out the side of the mountain, a bit away from the entrance they took.

As they left back to the air-covered area outside the mountain, the swarm did begin to follow them.  Strelliah gasped for air, looking about as she tried to pant out "Others, hiding?"

" I'm not sure, they are in the forest but it won't help them much... it seems the swarm is following us, I am trying to see if I can possibly trap them... maybe create a box around them" He-no glanced back at the mountain, then raised his hand, everysingle purple circle he laid out in the mountain would turn into sharp crystals that would try piercing the swarm.

The swarm was hit and damaged by the crystals, though rapidly charging regardless.

"they didn't stop..." He mumbled as his fur raised, as he winced a bit. then checked to see if his wings as dried enough to take flight.

(Up to you if they're dry honestly X{D)

"Can't we uh... c-cage them or something?" Strelliah suggested.

He nods and opens his wings, then flies over to the entrance, placing down a thick stripe of purple and moving around the mountain, the stripe ground into a thick wall of purple crystal to try and keep them inside, going into the ground and crawling over the mountain.

The cage did seem to contain the swarm for the moment... though... the sound... the drilling hadn't stopped.  They weren't going to stop drilling.

He-no growled and then tried squishing the swarm, the crystal growing over itself more and more as it closes around the swarm.

Screeching and scratching was heard from under the crystals.  Some could be seen scattered about, still going after them, but the numbers had almost entirely dwindled.

He landed a few feet away from the entrance, wincing at the screeching but continued crushing them. (some were out of the crystal box right?)

(Yes.  Basically how air gusts will blow stuff outward as their being encapsulated.) Soon the drilling inside stopped.

(gotcha)

He quickly stepped over to Strelliah, hoping she was where he had left her, which would have been a few yards away if she hadn't followed him.

She was right behind him... circling actually to keep up.  "What do we do now?"

"I can most likely trap the rest..." He tried to see if he could count the remaining as he flew up besides her.

They were mostly hidden at this point, maybe a dozen in view.  "That wasn't too hard," Strelliah noted.  "... I hope that's it."

He nods and watches the dozen, quickly trying to form a box around them, his eye's were a bit dim. " I hope so too... though there are still some out there, I doubt they aren't too happy about the rest of their hive being killed... though... I am not sure if they might have had a leader or a queen... which worries me..."

"... Maybe if we take these ones," She gestured to the recently captured dozen, "we can get them looked over?  Maybe the people hiding out know if they... duplicate or something."

".... alright..." He looks at the box, then flies over it and creates a handle on the top and attempts to pick up the box.

It wasn't particularly heavy, though the unsettling... buzzing inside was worrisome.

"...." the crystal began to grow a bit thicker, tightening the space a bit." Strelliah, I will keep these a bit away form the others, I will need you to go into the group and ask them for their help. I do not trust bringing them to the middle of the people.

"Wh- okay, uh what do I tell them t hough?  That we captured the army or ask what they know?"

"tell them we killed most of the army and have about a dozen of them trapped, and if they ask, tell them He-no is with you, I'm sure they should remember me" he flew the box closer to the settlement where he last saw the group, but made sure he was a safe distance away from them, then pointed in the direction of the settlement for Strelliah.

She flew off to do as such.  As He-No waited, the captured swarm seemed to push in a specific direction inside the box.

He watched them, moving to the side they were pushing on, then looked in that direction. " .... what are you after..."

It just kept pulling in the specific direction.

He watched them and waited, as well as watched in that direction. "...."

All that was there had been the mountains and such, but perhaps what was behind it held importance.

He waited for the others for a few minutes, his ears perked forward. 

Nothing was heard but eventually Strelliah would be returning.

He glanced over at her, smiling ever so slightly.

She waved before landing  in front of him.  "Okay, so I told them.  They seemed really scared though.  I told them you put that box around the things and squashed 'em but they kept asking about the hive."

"sounds like there's still more then...." He looks back at the crystal. " I'm going to let them lead me to the hive, see if I can end this once and for all." 

"And I'm coming with, right?"

"If you would like, I would enjoy your company, but as well as need you to be on your gaurd just in case." He picks up the box once again.

"You don't need to worry about that," She noted.  The box was still pointing off a ways past the mountains.

He nods, then extends his wings and immediatly starts his flight "thank you again Strelliah for accompanying me" 

"Any time," She smiled, flying up after him.  They went fomr some way past the mountains directed.  Eventually they found a series of strangle-looking bumps in the surface far below.  There didn't seem to be too many--maybe a hundred or so in sight total, and they were only around two feet around each.

He examined the area, lowering the crystal box to the ground by one of the bumps. 

The swarm became more violent in the crystal, denting it as they were destroying themselves trying to get out.

Wincing visibly, he glanced over at Strelliah "...what do you think should happen?"

"Sh- here?" She looked at the ground.  "... I think this is where they're born?  Or... created?  Maybe... I think... Are you talking about me saying what we should do TO it?"

He nods and leans on the crystal a bit.

The crystal busted open finally from the pressure.  Only three of the creatures were alive but they were charging toward one of the bulges.  Strelliah dove to stop them but was about to hit the bulge herself.

He-no cursed under his breath and swiftly and quickly flung forward with the help of his wings, reaching out to grab Strelliah away from the questioning bulge as well as the creature's.

Strelliah's wings flew out to try and slow her fall as He-No caught her.  The little... things seemed to plunge into the bulge, however.  "S-sorry, that was stupid," Strelliah groaned.

" you don't need to apologize, I had almost done the same thing" he raises both hands, a purple line quickly grew around the area, going to form a circle to try and entrap the whole hive. 

Despite the covering... the ground began shaking.

"...." He continued growing the crystal cage, forming in a ball, he flew up, hoping strelliah would follow.

She didn't need to be told once.  The area was sufficiently covered as the two hovered over it, but the ground was sinking.

"?!" He narrowed his eye's, trying to move the crystal growth quicker under ground, trying to catch anything that he could. "what are they-...." 

"Legion?" Strelliah winced.  They could hear buzzing far behind themselves.

"....." He breathed in heavily as his hackles raised, why were there so many? He turned his head to look behind them.

The area was sinking behind them, cracks in the ground now.

growling slightly, he clenched one hand in a fist as the other opened in that direction attempted to create another crystal dome, breathing a bit roughly. " dammit..." 

The tremors were getting spread further, some trying to go through the domes, others simply moving forward.  "Y-you're going to exhaust yourself," Strelliah warned.

"what else am I supposed to do" He continued, making the domes thicker, though was growing process was a bit slower, but he began to have them over lap to crush the creatures inside. " they won't stop coming.."  

"Something... has to be controlling th- what about the people?" She looked back even though the forest was far out of sight.

" they should be f- what do you mean?" He glanced at her.

"The hive, there's normally like a queen bee or something right?"

The swarm was stalled for the moment.

"yes, but what do the people have to do with that?"

"No- What if they're going to attack the people?"

"..." The thought had been stuck in the back of his mind the whole time, though he had hoped the whole swarm would stick the together. with that he started tightening the domes as he glanced in the direction of the forest. " it would be best to stick together..." 

"So, we're not going back to them or-?"

" we are, right now." His wings stretched in the air for a moment, glancing once more at the domes and then flew in the direction of the forest as the domes shrunk down. 

They soon returned.  The people were unharmed, unphased, as the swarm had yet to reach them.  The sound of the swarm wasn't even there anymore... for the moment.

He let out a breath of relief, resting for a moment as he landed by the group of people and leaned against a tree. he knew he couldn't stay long, it would be a terrible idea to led the hive to the people, he still had no idea how big the hive actually was and didn't want to over exhaust himself. he glanced at strelliah for a moment, making sure she was alright.

She was certainly... shaken, but not physically harmed.  "I can... try to lead them further away... maybe," She offered, incredibly unsure of herself.  "You have to find whatever is causing those things to keep coming or they... they won't stop."

He himself looked very nusure about the idea of her leading them away, he wasnt sure what they were fully capable of yet, though they had very little time to waste, though she wanted to ensure her protection."... are you truly sure you are able to lead them away? I can give you a shadow clone to help you, and you have the rock to summon me, I could lead them away as well."

"Won't that make you even more tired?"

" the shadow clone uses alot less anergy then the crystals... and as leading them away... yes it would..." he frowned slightly, he did not like the thought of her leading them away, but as well didn't want to think of what could happen if he wasn't able to fight nor summon a barrier. 

"I'll... I'll have to do my best," She grasped his hand for a moment tightly.  "Don't... die..."

"...I could say the same to you." He glanced at her hand, then back at her as he gently squeezed her hand " if you need help, do not hesitate to ask." He reminded and raised his free hand, casting a clone of himself, though it's eye's were gray rather then red along with it's fur being a darker tone as well." this should sway them away from you if needed.. they cannot hit it nor can it hit back, just a decoy, it will also follow you and listen to what you tell it to do."

"... Okay," She nodded before letting go.

He stared at her for a moment, taking another deep breath before giving her a light hug. his mind was filled again wth thoughts, she was making a risky yet honorable move. he couldn't waste it, he wouldn't. "be careful..." he mumbles before letting her go.

Five points added

He was soon back toward the... eggs, of this swarm, still encased in his barriers.

He landed softly by the crystal dome's, pressing his hand against it to see what was going on inside with the swarm.

They seemed to be coming from far far below the surface, perhaps miles under the crust.

(would that mean that they went through the bottom half of the crystal sphere? sorry if i didn't make it clear the in went in the ground as well)

(They went through the bottom half yes, but it's more that there are just others that are on the other side as well.)

(gotcha~)

He sighs and cursed under his breath, glancing down at the ground and removing his hand from the crystal as it shrunk down and soon shattered and being absorbed into their own shadows, returning to He-no. 

The swarm seemed to be ignoring him for the moment, but it was building up.  This seemed to be the entrance to the origin point.

He moved towards the entrance and peered down, his wings tensing slightly.

The swarm walked along the walls of this massive downward entrance, going further into the planet.  They saw him, and a fraction of them began flying toward him.

He stared at them, his hackles raising as he watched them advance, raising his hand to create a wall between them and him, but waited curiously for a moment to see their movements.

They seemed to near him slower, but the biting was still intentional, as if just feeding on something... unimportant.

watching them for a moment, he then takes shadow form and moves further down and past the creatures.

Some followed, but in his shadow form they were unable to do anything to him.  As he went, things became hotter, more whirring and the sound of these creatures getting louder. 

He continued down, not minding the heat, though examined the creatures as he passed them towards the whirring sound.

They stopped following eventually, and--in realizing the situation--flooded out.  It wasn't long before he heard Strelliah from his other self.  "It's... It's like a tsunami..."

His ear twitched, sharing his vision for a moment with his shadow form, strelliah would see, if she was even looking at him, the eye's of the shadow form turning a slate red color for a moment. though he continued further down, if there was any or much creatures, he would have emerged and became his full form again to not waste too much energy. 

He heard more whirring, but the heat was increasing even more.  He had gone miles into the planet now, and there, far below, was the core.  Something monstrous was latched to it.  It was metallic, like a giant parasite, a spider.

He slowed as he stared at the creature, now focusing fully on it, summoning his scythe into his hand. 

It sensed his presence, a large arm molding out and whipping at him and his weapon.

In a quick movement he tried countering the arm wth the scythe as well as to test the creatures strength or even cut the arm.

The arm clashed with the scythe, a surge of electricity going out toward him. 

He tried pulling the scythe away but was definitely surprised by the elecricity, and probably would have been shocked.

(Shocking)

It only seemed to want to push him further away rather than pull him close, the tendril becoming more of a block, pressing against him.

( Indeed) 

He was pushed away, his wings failed for just a second due to the electricity. His other hand raised up and gripped the tendril, purple crystal grew quickly onto the arm. 

The crystal acted to divert the electricity, blocking some of it as other tendrils shot back out toward him.

He scowled and let go of the tendril, the crystal continued to moved up as he quickly twirled the scythe around him, crystal forming on the handle as he spun it, similar to a way a fan would move.

The tendril covered stiffened as the other chased still after him.

He would try blocking any that would try to touch him, though he was going closer to the spider, leaving one ear open to listen for any other movement besides the two.

Screaming... he could hear the people screaming.  The head of the creature, the center, was exposed, but still surrounded by tendrils.

His ears perked forward as he heard the screaming, then flew up forw a moment before attempting to dive down at the head of the creature, his wings coating with the crystal as he aimed the blad if the scythe for the head, his wings coned around him to act like a shield.

He stabbed directly into it, but seeing that it couldn't get rid of him, the creature began to mold around him,sending charges repeatedly.  He could see its heart, far below.

The crystal continued to grow out on his wings, trying to keep any 'flesh' from the creature from touching He-no, who was focused on the heart, immediatly forming a crystal claw on his hand and up his arm along with a spear, ready to strike the heart and end it.

It poked through, slowly, the creature screaming as it thoomed, pulsing out as the magma began seeping out.  The tendrils flailed about in every direction.

The magma didn't affect He-no, he continued his assault, the crystal growing more up his arm and he added more force and tried prying the heart out.

The heart seemed to shatter, exploding outward with the slicing metal shooting about.  It screamed louder as this massive creature finally perished.

He quickly jumped back as the metal shot out, his wings and crystals protected him for the most part, he protected his head and face mainly with his other hand and grunted at the sudden shards. 

The magma erupted, the pieces of metal and the swarm shooting up against him, around him until he and all of it went flying back to the surface and the sky.

( what a sight, I toatlly didn't forget about his shadow form or anything *cough cough* .-. )

He took up his shadow form and sprung up to the surface with the swarm till he had reached the surface, any metal that had been lodged into him fell off when taking form. He flew back a distance away from the scene to examine the damage as well as see if it needed to be stopped. 

The melted metal flowed throughout the area, but the swarm simply began to explode around him.

He stayed in his shadow form for a while longer, though worry filled him about Strelliah and somewhat of the group of people.

She wasn't responding through the shadow clone.

He tried locating her by the stone he had givin her earlier.

She seemed to be a few miles north of where they first brought the people.

He quickly flew in that direction, reaching the area in no time.

She was unconscious with smoke around the area.  Most of the people were either calm, cheering,or crying, though a select few had fallen... dead.

He frowned and quickly ran over to her, examing her for any wounds."Strelliah?" he tried sounding calm, but there was a twinge of panic in his voice along with in his expression.

She had a few scratches and bruises, but luckily responded with a moan.  She was not exactly awake, but alive thankfully.  The people were immediately swarming to He-No.  Many were asking if it was over.

He gently picked her up and held her close, glancing at the people who swarmed around him, this had caught him a bit off gaurd, and narrowed his eye's at them for a moment, registering what they were saying to him. "...It seems it is over... can you step back" He growled lowly.

Fifteen points added

Her arms slowly went to hug him.  Some of the people nodded to He-No's request, holding their arms out to make a small barrier from the crowds.  Strelliah's eyes flickered open a bit as she weakly glanced about.  "Oh my head..."

Nodding slowly to the people who helped him " can someone get me some water please if that is possible?" He asked one of them before looking back at Strelliah, mainly looking at her eye's to see if there was any sign of a concusion.

Some bruises as before, but she didn't seem greatly injured.  "So you, saved the world, yeah?"

He blinked for a moment, then smiles softly at her. " I couldn't have done it without your help or support." He sighed, then remembered Urd for a second. "hm... lets get you something to drink and eat while it's calm... and patched up. you are a very honorable and brave woman.. thank you."

Her face went red as she blinked a few times.  "I- .th-thanks..."

Then... with a Ding... she was gone.

The Final Event will soon begin! Called the voice of Urd.

He tightened his hands into fist's for a moment as he placed them back at his sides, glancing around for a moment for any sign of Urd, cursing under his breath again.

The ground began to shake.

TO BE CONTINUED

_FINAL STAGE

The world had shifted, changing and transforming into a massive state-wide arena.  Each contestant found themselves equally spaced out at the edges of this circle: the environment of their cities and areas being their starting point.  They could see a massive black and spiked tower with a looming storm above it at the center.

Urd's voice sounded over the entire area.  "CONTESTANTS!  YOUR COMPANION HAS BEEN TAKEN TO THIS TOWER OF DOOM!  YOU MUST FIGHT TO ARRIVE AND SAVE THEM!  THE FIRST TO ARRIVE WILL SAVE THEIR COMPANION AND ANY REMAINING SUBJECTS YOU HAD SAVED!  THOSE THAT DO NOT, THEY WILL DIE!"

"Wait what?" Asonja blinked a few times in confusion

Xan was taking all the new information in. "Well then." He said simply, stretching his limbs.  

"...I'm not dead then. Fun.."

Mars blinked. "Wait, so I have to risk my ass to save people again..? Can I raincheck this and let them die? Or can you show me how they die so I can laugh about it?" Mars asked.

He-no immediately spread out his wings and flew towards the tower as soon as he heard where his partner was, and by the sounds of it, even the village of people.  

He-No found himself being knocked back as Urd called out "WAIT A MOMENT!"

A massive blimp was seen overhead, with Urd’s face animating upon a large screen on its side.  He spoke with a boom to the contestants.  “SALUTATIONS ALL!  Welcome to the final round of this event!  You five Valentines have gone through various events that have led you to the most intriguing of all!”

Each member found that their score sheets now had maps above them, though only certain areas were revealed.  “Each one of you is placed at the starting point of your respective environment.  You have two areas each for your section of this map: the BASE and the ALL OUT.  Your base is where you are at your safest from the environment.  The ALL OUT, however, is where your KEY resides.”

He continued.  “The designated key specifically for each person will be located in another contestant’s section.  After you have your key, you may enter the tower and race to the top.  You may take another contestant’s key, but once you have a key, others will be notified how many you have, and you will be able to see where each contestant is on the map.  You will not, however, be able to see any environment on your map not from your area until you have traveled through it.”

“In terms of violence, you may fight, even to the death, for the keys.  You may partner with one other contestant if you find them as well.”

“You will be provided the area you need to travel to as well as your physical map via skype.  Any time that you wish to see where you are, as well as your opponents, you may request as such and it will be sent to you.  After a certain amount of time, a time limit will be set.  LET US BEGIN!”

They could hear massive crashes as barrier walls were broken down.

He-No (Final Stage)

"..." He-no glared at the blimp as Urd spoke, then glanced around his area for a moment as his wings regained their normal tempo, there just had to be a key...

Your goal is to locate your key.  You may also take other peoples' keys and eliminate the competition if needed.

He-No's forest area was filled with the people he saved.  They seemed to have heard the message.  The leading man spoke up, saying "We will follow you in your search." (Check skype)

You may encounter other contestants, and when you do, your chats will converge into one.

He-no glanced at the remaining people, nodding softly. "Thank you... may I have most of you stay in this area to search for the key here... and some of you come with me, make sure you have more... people in strength here then with me." He then turned to the leader, tossing down a smooth black rock in front of him." If you need help, do not hesitate to call my name in that rock, I will be by your side." 

The leader nodded, turning back into the forest.  "Where are you going to head?"

" I am going to find my key..." he points to the direction he was heading." If the person who owns the key in this area shows up... help them find it if you haven't, do not fight them head on if they attack...I do not know who else is here or what powers they possess, but I doubt they are weak, do you understand?"

"... Yes," They seemed hesitant, but they agreed.

He-No was soon at the edge of the rot's entrance: a scorched ground with smoke in the sky and cracking collapsing crust at the floor.

He slowed, looked around the area, then looked at the one's who had came with him. 

His followers stopped as he did.  "The hive must have done this," One noted.

"hmm...what makes you so sure?" He turned back towards the area, summoning up his scythe and tapping it a bit roughly at the collapsing floor.

The floor cracked upon impact, long lines of flattening ground, though a notable path was seen that remained stable.

"What else could have?"

He-no walked forward, using the scythe to make sure the path wouldn't give away. "The possibilties are endless... follow close to me."

They did as such.  The group went for a while before arriving at a rotting mountain.  It was faintly shaking, with a small doorway forming.

Mars has found a key.  Check skype for map update.

He-no watched the doorway, heading towards it it a bit faster. "damn it..." He mutters softly.

They were soon in the rotting mountain.  Across the way was a rotting tree, and the floor flat... but something gave the indication the floor wasn't safe.

" ... stay here" He-no said to the group as he flew up and tried moving towards the tree.

He was soon across, with a weight slowly pushing on his wings, but he was on the other side.

Once he was on the other side, he lowered close to the rotting tree, his scythe turning into a hook at the end as he tried landing, glancing at his wings for a moment as he tried landing. 

He could feel the floor cracking.  He wouldn't have much time to grab the key. 

Immediatly he moved forward in search of that key, searching the rotting tree.

It didn't take long for He-No to see it, being entangled and being pulled down toward the roots inside.

Rixcit has found a key.  Check skype for Map update. 

His hands formed into claws as he began tearing through to reach the key.

He soon grasped the key in hand just as the floor gave way.  Far below was a pit of acid.

You have found a key.  Everyone knows where you are.

His wings immediatly tried taking flight, as he used his other hand to throw the hooked end of the scythe over towards the land where the rest of the group was.

Asonja has found YOUR key.  Check skype for map update.

His followers reached out to help him as he flew up toward them at the exit.

He accepted the help and thanked them, his ears perked as he glanced up at the map, then back at the key. " ...Asonja..." he immediatly headed in that direction.

"Do we go after this Asonja?"

" yes... I will not attack them unless required too..."

"Where do we go then?"

" If you would like I can send you back with the others,or you can continue with me... it is your decision."

"We will go with you to aid."

"Thank you once again for your help and companionship" He continues his movement, now running forward.

They found that Asonja was to the right of the tower center from their location.

He-no examined them for a moment as they approached.

He-No and his group found a vast ocean with a mist above it.  Asonja must have been there.  Lights were flashing about.  Someone else had found him.

His hackles raised slightly, looking at the ocean. "....always water..." He mumbled to himself, then slammed the hooked end of his scythe into the ground, the handle being a chain and wrapping around his waist, then glanced at the group." are you going to be fine here?"

"We see no enemies," His followers noted.

He nods, then looks at the mist, soon flying towards the lights cautiously. 

(Continue in the Asonja and Mars confrontation spot)

Xan (Final Stage)

Xan looked back and forth from his small slice of the environment to the actual arena. "Five keys were hidden. One of them is here~" He murmured mischievously. Immediately taking action, he jumped down into the ruins to further investigate. 

Your goal is to locate your key.  You may also take other peoples' keys and eliminate the competition if needed.

The people who Xan managed to save followed after to support him. (Check skype)

You may encounter other contestants, and when you do, your chats will converge into one.

"We are looking for a key, civilians. There is one here and I intend to find it." Xan announced, glancing up to the skies. "We will have company shortly. I need to leave."

"You think the key is in the ruins?" They asked.

"There's a desert out there," Another noted.

"Hmm.. I assumed the key was in the ruins, but now that you mention the desert. I am.." He trailed off. Leaving the 'uncertain' part out. "Stay here. Comb the ruins. If you find the key, bring it to me, unless a competitor is nearby. Then hide it somewhere safe. I will check the desert. I have to trek through the sand anyways to get to the other side of the arena."

"Got it," They began moving around the city immediately.

Xan took a moment to appreciate the efficiency of the people, then took off in a speedy dash towards the desert.

Immediately upon arriving, he could see the slick oil, black and shining in the sun, lining the sand.  The sky was open and the sun incredibly bright.

He had to squint in order to see better. "I'm surprised this hasn't been lit on fire..." Xan murmured , taking immediate note of the idea. Without any more delay, he cut through the Oil desert. Careful to keep his balance as he trekked through the sand. 

He found that the sand was quite reactive as he went.  The kicking actually caused the oil to ignite, but strangely enough, the fire did not spread.  Whatever fire started went slightly out before stopping, remaining in flames in one spot.

"Strange.." Xan observed. Taking a fist-full of sand and stirring it in his palm with a finger.

The sand didn't seem to react much while held, though areas that also had oil began sparking.

He decided to get a move on, taking care not to stir up the sand under toe.

He could see a mass of oil floating in the air.  Most-likely this was where the opponent key was, but the tower was also very close by, a mile or so, by now, making the key for Xan closer as well.

Xan knew the moment the grabbed that oily key, everyone would be made aware.. And there's no fun in that. Instead he started to stir up the sand around him with sweeping motions of his tail.

More sparks of flames started up around as he did so.

Mars has found a key.  Check skype for map update.

"..Hm." He grunted. Digging out the brused com link from.. Where ever he kept it. "I've found the key. It's in the desert. Get a group of people over here, stat." He radioed. With that, he turned his attention to the tower in the distance, and began to quickly make his way to the center.

"Understood," His associates answered.  Mars would soon be at the tower itself.

Xan quickly closed the distance to the tower, now standing at its base. "Hm. Interesting choice of.. Er. Theme." He murmured. 

Mars was close, though not in view due to the size of the circular tower.  Xan's key was on the opposite side of the tower.  Going to the left would seem faster, toward a strange icy wood.

"Hm.." He grunted. Moving left and around the tower to the opposing side of the arena. 

He found himself at the start of a strange incredibly hot jungle biome, massive geysers of hot air and the occasional tree.

He wasn't very interested in that particular biome. Instead, he continued around the tower in search of the icy forest. Occasionally glancing at his map. 

He eventually found the icy forest... further away from his key.  He saw a green wolf in the distance.

Check skype for Map update

Wordlessly, Xan picked up the pace and continued around the tower to the other end of the arena.

If he was continuing in the same direction as before, he would be getting further away from the key, as he was closer at the hot biome.  The wolf had taken interest it seemed, nearing him slightly.

(Aaaand I misread the previous responses. -face palm- )

Xan finally checked his map again and realized he was going the wrong way. "Pfffft." He sighed, noticing the wolf again. He squinted to get a better look at him. "Mars..?"

The two were looking at each other at this point.  If they got close enough, their segments would merge upon interaction.

Rixcit has found YOUR key.  Check skype for Map update. 

Xan's head twisted around to look beyond, eyes flashing briefly. "Well then. That's not good." He sighed, leaving Mars to his own devices. He took a right towards the hot looking biome, and picked up the pace. He wanted that key.

He saw the biome ahead, with Mars watching him still.  A blast of magma coming from the biome ahead was visible from a massive geyser.

"Toasty." He obsurved. Once he was close enough, he jumped off the tower. Landing on the ground of this new biome, he took a moment to scan the area.

Some trees were around, but mostly just the geysers.  He saw a black and red male figure at the edge of the largest one.  He had something Xan wanted.  At the same time, Mars was some distance behind him.

He-No has found a key.  Check skype for map update.

"Good gracious, man." Xan muttered. Suddenly shifting his form, and disappearing under the surface of the ground. Using his map to guide himself closer to his new found target. 

Asonja has found a key.  Check skype for map update.

The ground below became incredibly hot as he neared Rixcit.  The opponent appeared to have briefly noticed his dive.

Xan quickly resurfaced and morphed into his original form. Taking care to avoid the magma, he switched between scanning the area and checking his map. "Where are you..." He murmured. 

Continued in Rixcit and Xan section.

(After the Rixcit encounter...)

Xan was running back to the tower. His tail coiled around the key as he wizzed past geysers.  

"WELCOME!" Came Urd's booming voice as a purple door opened to him.

"..Huzzah." Xan said flatly, as cautiously stepped through the door. Uncertain if there was traps or something like that.

It was pitch black, flashing occasionally to show him the area, but only once every ten seconds.  Steps were seen on the wall.

The man glowed in the darkness, somewhat illuminating what was directly infront of him when things wern't flickering. "Oh. How nice." Xan murmured, extending a single blade from his arm as he moved to climb the steps.

Immediately after touching the first step, the rest of the room lit up briefly, showing the spiralling staircase, and the sudden growling appearance of dripping red beasts growing out from the room.

His hackles rose slightly as he noticed the beasts. Without another thought, he bolted up the stairs.

It was completely black once more, but he heard the beasts coming toward him.  A flaming spear was appearing from just his bottom left.

Grabbing the spear, Xan turned to face the approaching creatures. Waving the weapon around slightly.

As he grabbed the spear... since it was on fire, the fire was now... burning at him as the monsters rushed toward him. (Spear was an obstacle not a tool >__<)

(-slaps the Strudel- BAD D8< )

"Ah!" He yelped. Throwing the spear down at the creatures, then turning to run again. Putting out the sparks that was singeing his palm.

A monster pounced at him from above.

The creature caught him on the stairs. Xan stabbed at the creature, and attempted to throw it off his body.

The creature crumbled as another neared.  Xan was halfway up the staircase.

He began to climb the stairs once more. Keeping a eye on the creature's faint silhouette

Fire divided him from the very top of this level.  The doorway was slowly opening, but the monsters were charging up toward him.

"Annoying little things.." He suddenly turned and lunged at the creatures. Stabbing into two separate monsters in the process.

The monsters fell back, knocking others down behind them, but winged ones were flying up the sides.

Continue in Final Tower

Rixcit (Final Stage)

"Annoying long necked...whatever this thing is," Rixcit grumbles as he walks through his area. "One of those keys is hidden either here or that...whatever."

Your goal is to locate your key.  You may also take other peoples' keys and eliminate the competition if needed.

Rixcit was alone in his search. (Check skype)

You may encounter other contestants, and when you do, your chats will converge into one.

"Ok. Alone in a search for some key...Eh, they probably would've waited for proof of the thing. Or does that mean they're dead?...Oops." He rubs the back of his head and begins the search for the key inside the village.

He did find some villagers about as he went, but it appeared the key was not in his starting area, but in the other area.

"So they're not dead...guess I did something right, for once. So if it's not in this village, that means it's in the other area..." He grumbles and walks out of the village towards the forest.

It was quite humid.  Massive blasts of magma repeatedly shot out from holes in the ground in the distance, but thankfully did not fill the entire area.

"...Magma geysers. Wonderful." He grumbles, forming some ice to counter the humid air. He starts exploring, looking for anything that looks like a key.

He passed many of the geysers on his way, though the heat was soon melting at his ice.  The largest was not particularly far off, and appeared dormant.

"Hm.." He approaches the largest geyser, refreezing the ice as it melted.

This was most-likely the entrance to the opponent key, though he could see the tower ahead, some miles away, and his own key would be further down that direction.

"...Let's see what's down here." He checks to see if there's anything in the way, placing his hand on whatever may be acting as the door of the geyser.

There were large cracks along it, large enough to slip through.

Mars has found a key.  Check skype for Map update.

He slips through a crack, looking around the area he's entered.

Pillars were going up and down on hot air, like a moving staircase downward the massive hole.

"...Stepping stones?" He starts jumping from pillar to pillar. "Does everything have to be so damn complicated..?"

He found himself soon arriving near the bottom, though the hot wind from the pillars above began pushing at him as he got lower toward a large ball at the bottom.

"Wonderful." He forces his way down towards the ball.

The ball was burning, but inside there would be something.

He coats his hand in ice, placing it on the ball to look inside.

The ball exploded out, a key floating in the center.

"...Well. That was easier than I thought." He coats his hand in ice again, and reaches to grab the key.

You have someone else's key.  Everyone knows where you are.

"One down, at least...mine and however many participants there are." He pockets the key and sighs, "Wonderful." He starts jumping on the pillars to climb out.

He soon found himself outside of the geyser.  It blasted magma into the air as he stood outside of it.

He-No has found a key.  Check skype for map update.

"...That guy is lucky he can do...whatever." He grumbles. "Whoever this key belongs to probably isn't going to wait.." He looks around.

Asonja has found a key.  Check skype for map update.

He briefly caught glimpse of something purple going into the ground... toward his direction.

"...Avoid the ground. Ok." He jumps, ice spawning under him to give him extra air time.

Continued in Rixcit and Xan

(After the encounter...)

Rixcit is racing to the section of the arena opposite of his, looking feverishly for his own key.

He saw a desert with oil sprayed about it, small fires everywhere.

"Ok..." He lands, moving around. He navigates around the fires to see if he can't find anything leading to a key. "Where is it..."

A massive spiralling sand cyclone in the distance, on fire as well, as remaining in place for view.

"..." He races to the cyclone, forming a dome of ice over himself.

He was soon toward the center, though suddenly he heard a zip past his ear.  Then another.  There were people in the distance, hiding in the sand,guarding the key, and they had guns.

He growls, and continues his charge. "You're in my WAY!!" He begins shooting ice at wherever the bullets come from. Whether he hits or not, he doesn't care with the key so close.

Bullets sprayed about, though pausing as many of the people jumped out the way, more fires starting up as Rixcit passed into the oil and sand cyclone: the key at the center.

He growls and continues. He forms ice platforms for him to use as he jumps towards the key.

He basically collided with the key, immediately after grabbing it, watching as all the oil in the area ignited.

He coats himself with ice to protect himself from the ignited oil.

Cracks and explosions went off as he landed.

You have your key.

"Hah! Eat it!" He then exits the tornado, and begins making his way to the tower.

He arrived just as a red door began opening for him.

He looks at the door. "I suppose that means I can go inside.."

Continue in Final Tower

Mars (Final Stage)

"So I have to find the all out zone...? Man this is just getting dumb.." Mars sighed. "Why couldn't this be something fun.."

Your goal is to locate your key.  You may also take other peoples' keys and eliminate the competition if needed.

The people Mars protected walked to his side.  "We will aid you in your search." (Check Skype)

Mars grinned, converting into lightning and attempting to move very quickly to the opposite end of the arena to search.

Mars was rushing through the woods at first, but the more he went, the more he found that he was slowed a bit by the cold--or perhaps--magic in them.  He was able to retain a relatively fast pace thankfully, but the area was rather thick with white trees.

You may encounter other contestants, and when you do, your chats will converge into one.

Mars grumbled and kept going, he had the stamina and a nearly full charge so he could keep the pace up for a solid few days if need be.

The trees eventually became that of a maze, but strangely enough, Mars had the feeling he knew where to go: as if the trail was subtly directing him to the end.  This was not his challenge, but it was his base area, and in here he was king compared to the others.

Mars followed the trail with a smile, something about this was fun.. exhilerating, and this motivated him even more to win.

He saw a large glass or crystal mount, and in the center was a glowing gold item.  He had arrived at the center of the maze.  Even if this wasn't his key, it was one of them.  He could take it, guard it, have the others guard it possibly, or move on.  After all, if he touched it, the others would know.

He started trying to climb the crystal mount to reach the glowing gold item, if he succeeded he would attempt to grab onto the item and pull it out, unaware of any traps that may activate as a result if he were to succeed in pulling the key out.  "If you find others, just don't get too involved alright guys?" He asked the people following him.

(Kind of gotta actually show him trying to get it out, can't just say "and then he grabbed it")

(Ohhh, Let me fix that, I made that post soon after waking up Lol)

"What happens if they attack?" His followers asked.

(Also it's in the center, as in inside the crystal mount.)

Mars attempted to smash the crystal structure so he could get the object inside, if that failed then he would just attempt to lift it to save time. "Run and hide, I'd prefer it if you guys don't try and fight anyone else so you don't end up corpses."

The crystal cracked a bit before eventually shattering.

"... Okay," They stood back a bit.

Mars then attempted to grab the golden object and keep going, he wanted to get 'his' key since he wasn't sure if he could win by entering the tower with another person's key.

He soon found the exit of the laberinth and the tower ahead, along with the other areas to his left and right.

The others know you have a key and where you are.

He waited a moment to try and 'feel out' which area his key might be in before running off. "Oi, can I win if I use this key that I found..?" Mars asked for clarification as he just... Went with the simple way and ran towards the location of the tower.

An rough blare sound went off in his head as if to answer no, but he was at the tower now.  To his left was a desert, the right, some kind of hot jungle.  His key was still directly across on the other side of this tower.

Mars just ran around the tower, intending to go directly across the tower and attempt to retrieve his key.

(Going left or right to get around?)

Mars actually chose to go left, he knew that with the rainforest he might have a slight advantage because of the humidity and the sheer potential for a forest fire.

He saw a massive biome of heat, geysers shooting hot air.  This did bring him further from his key, but he could see a purple figure in the distance.

And Mars gave zero shits if it took him farther from the key, so he attempted to backtrack and take the rainforest route.

(No rainforest at all.)

Mars saw a sand desert covered in oil as he went.  He saw the purple figure in the distance passing by him as he went.

Mars sighed, trying to get a closer look at the purple figure to see if he knew him.

A reptil- a tad closer and he recognized who this person was... Xan was going back and forth along the area near the tower.  Seemed a tad lost.

Rixcit has found a key.  Check skype for Map update. 

Xan was jogging toward the hot biome now.

Mars sighed, checking his map and following in the direction that the map showed Rixcit

Mars was soon walking toward the hot Biome... and could see Xan ahead of him a bit still, going toward a massive explosion of magma coming from a geyser.

He-No has found a key.  Check skype for map update.

Asonja has found a key.  Check skype for map update.

Mars waited, looking at the map with an attempt to properly guesstimate who has his key if found. Once he came to a deliberation he decided to screw going after Rixcit and attempt to go after Asonja while looking at the map to find the best point to meet with asonja at.

The map distances had yet to change, with Rixcit being ahead of Mars, but Asonja to the right rear, some area behind.

Mars attempted to go after Asonja, at this point he was impatient anyways so it was better for him to just run towards Asonja at the faster rate he could go.

He was soon dashing around the tower... but when he came to the next area where Asonja was set to be... he saw a tall thick mist, and below that, a vast fissing ocean.

"Ohhh.. Fuck.." Mars grumbled, converting his body into electricity to attain a measure of flight. He would use his enhanced senses to help in finding Asonja as he traversed this weird area.

The air was quite moist as he went, but he found himself nearing closer.

Mars pressed on, trying to ignore the moist air as it put him in a weird position with his abilities. He might have to rely more on the abilities of the yellow Core for this if push comes to shove.

He could see a line of scale-lined figures floating just above the water, winged and strong.  One was in fact holding a key.

Continue in Mars and Asonja section

Asonja (Final Stage)

"Wait, I have to fight to get all the keys!?" Asonja stood there for a moment. "I won't last long here, so I better find the key in my area as quickly as possible, and avoid anyone..." He looked at his surroundings before carefully making his way around.

Your goal is to locate your key.  You may also take other peoples' keys and eliminate the competition if needed.

The scaled people walked to Asonja's side, the leading woman stating "We will follow you in your search."

You may encounter other contestants, and when you do, your chats will converge into one.

Asonja didn't want to take any chances with the outside world, but he had people by his side. "Right...let me think for a moment to come up with a plan...perhaps half of you will stay here and find the key for another contestant and bring it to me. The rest of you can come with me to the arena area to find my key. Does that work?"

"It does," The groups began splitting into two.

"Good. The rest, let's go." He motioned forward toward the arena, actually getting quite nervous with the fighting aspect.

They were soon at the edge of the water.  The mist was flat above their heads, the water stagnant, but a faint fizzing sound coming from it, like acid--soda almost--seeping up into the fog.

Asonja stopped for a moment to listen. He seemed confused at the noise as if he's never heard it before. He decided to test out his theory he had in his head by dipping his finger into the water.

He felt a tingling, but it wasn't painful.  He was sporting a new body now though so perhaps he had extra protection.

Doing so slowly, he dipped his feet into the water to see how deep it goes.

It didn't seem to have a bottom.

"Hmm...guess we'll have to swim across. I don't see another alternate route..."

"Aside from flying?" The leading woman inquired.

"Or a boat?" Another offered.

"Though, the key is probably in the ocean," Another spoke up.  "We can split up into search parties."

"Good idea," Asonja says. "Let's split up and meet back here in 10 minutes and report to me. Understood?"

They nodded before about ten of them dove into the water.

Asonja thought for a while of what route he should take. He decided to follow the leading woman, wherever she was.

She seemed to have dived into the water, wings and all.

Mars has found YOUR key.  Check skype for Map update. (Acknowledged)

Asonja dove under shortly behind, unconsciously holding his breath and closing his eyes as he usually does when he goes underwater.

He found that his lungs were working quite well in this strange water, but the current beneath was quite strong, various cyclones under the water turning everywhere.

He noticed he could also open his eyes in the water and still see fine. It also took him a moment to see the hazards around him. He tried to dodge them and continue behind the woman.

"Use your wings!" The woman called as she sped forward.

"O-oh, right...these." He spreads them and blasts forward, this time easily dodges the hazards and caught up.

A massive cyclone was near the bottom, a pile of rocks below it.

"I got a plan," Asonja states. "I'm going to try to go around the opposite side of the cyclone to lessen it's speed. Then, you go in under the rocks to reveal the key if it's under that pile. Got it?"

Five of the beings slammed into the rocks, tearing open a path.

"Good, that should do it, now let's see here..." Asonja moved in closer to the rock path, following along it.

(Tha's my bad, I misread that as you saying you already did make the cyclone, we can assume  he did) (It's fine. I fixed it.)

Rixcit has found a key.  Check skype for Map update. (Got it)

He soon saw a large heavy chest at the bottom.

"Hm?" He flies down to the chest with his wings operating. He attempts to open it.

The chest came open, and inside was, in fact, a key.

He-No has found a key.  Check skype for map update.

"Sweet! Perhaps someone could need this," Asonja says as he takes it out. Let's head on back out."

His group nodded, and soon they were rushing out to the surface.

You have found a key.  Everyone knows where you are.

Once he got out of the water, he seemed to feel a shiver. "I felt something disturbing...like I'm being watched now..."

"We should move quickly then," The leading woman replied. "You found your key?"

"Well, I don't think it's mine but it's someone's key," Asonja replied and keeps a hold of it. "We're gonna have to find the person who has my key and see if it's their key."

"What?"

"Trading in keys for my key." Asonja clarified.

"We have numbers and power.  We could take his key with force."

A small stream of lightning seemed to be nearing from the far distance.

"What in the heck is that..." Asonja questioned.

Continue in Mars and Asonja section

Rixcit and Xan Confrontation

Rixcit had launched himself into the air, creating some ice below him to throw Xan off. Xan had just surfaced a short two yards behind this, staring up at Rixcit.

"You have something that's not yours, thief." Xan called, eyes trained on Rixcit.  

"You have a skewed idea of 'thief'. I found it first. Not my fault it wasn't well hidden." He chimes, landing a way's away from Xan.

Xan was slowly pacing closer to Rixcit. "Aha. Well. Kindly hand me the key, and we can avoid all this unnecessary drama." He reasoned.

The ground shook slightly as another nearby geyser shot off.

"Yeah...I'd rather get there first, since someone's waiting for me to arrive. Can't do that if someone has their own key first." He backs away.

The purple one smiled. "..Eheh. If my hunch is correct. I know where your key is. You won't be finding it anytime soon unless you have.. Assistance." He drew closer. Slowly closing the gap between the two. 

"Assistance. No thanks."

He blinked a few times. "Well then." Xan's hands suddenly stiffened in place. Two twin blades evenly slid out of his arms with a quick "shiiiing." Without another word he darted at Rixcit at impressive speeds.

He grips his sword's hilt, and prepares. "Just my luck..." He shoots jagged ice shards at Xan.

Xan easily cut through the projectiles as they came. Creating little explosions of icey dust and shard fragments. "..Ice magic?" He promptly asked.. Despite the situation.

He doesn't answer. The fragments fly towards Xan. 

"Fine." He chuckled. His form shifting yet again into a liquid, which promptly surged at Rixcit. Totally ignoring the little ice bits.  

He stabs his sword into the ground, a wall of ice erupting out to block Xan's charge.

Maintaining his speed, Xan reformed and vaulted over the wall. Slicing off a good chunk off the top and taking hold of the ice wad before landing on the other side. "Are you quite done yet..?"

A spiky orb of ice flies towards Xan.

"..." Xan caught it out of the air by wedging the spike ball between his blades. He promptly chucked it back at Rixcit, aiming for his head.

It breaks into harmless ice dust, sprinkling his shoulders. He groans and coats the ground in ice.

He slipped around for a few moments but soon regained his balance. Skidding right up to Rixcit to take a jab at the man's sides. 

Xan would find himself launched into the air by a portion of the frozen ground, torn from it's moorings. He throws the chunk, hopefully with Xan still on it.

"?!" The man had managed to jump off the frozen earth before it was tossed away. Xan landed on all fours, tail lashing behind him. "We can do this little dance all day. But both of us will miss the objective." He pointed out to Rixcit.

"Then I'd appreciate it if you back off."

Xan stood back up to his feet. "..Certainly. As soon as you give me my key." Xan shot back. His tail was digging a little rut into the dirt from swaying around so much..

Another geyser went off.  The ground actually started to crack as the massive one set off.  Black ash began filling the air.

He backs away from the vicinity being filled by the ash. He growls.

"Ah, mother nature." Xan mumbled. His blades retracting as he darting to Rixcit's side. "I suppose it's too much to offer a compromise?" He asked, dusting some ash off Rixcit's shoulder.

He backs away. "No touching. I already had dead...living tree guts on me. And what kind of compromise?" He narrows his eyes.

"We get to the tower.. Together." Xan proposed, a set smile on his face. "Then we both get what we want without all the added hassle."

"..." He narrows his eyes. And backs away. "...I don't trust you. Not at all."

"...Don't trust me? For shame." He grinned, holding up the key he had picked from Rixcit's pocket. "I'm simply a man doing business."

He growls and snatches the key back.

Xan had already jumped back. Kicking dirt up at Rixcit's face as he did so. 

​Five replies until skip to tower.  If you do not have your key by then, you are disqualified.

He groans. "God dammit! Fine, take the fucking key!" He departs for the section of the map that may have his own key, increasing his moment by launching himself with ice.

"If you insist." Xan was quick to also turn on his heels and bolt towards the tower.

(Will this continue back in separate sections or just finished here?)

(It'll separate.  You can go back to your previous parts, just put a separater between the new and old.

Mars and Asonja Confrontation (He-No joins)

When Asonja noticed the stream of lightning was dangerous, he moved out of the way to the left, using his armored wings to blast him off those few meters. "Who did that...?"

Given that lightning moves at thirty three percent the speed of light, by the time Asonja would be able to react it might'be already been too late.

He looked down to notice that he wasn't exactly safe as he anticipated. Electricity soared throughout his body which made him dance around and groan before he managed to re-direct the lightning to somewhere else away. He stretched for a moment and cracked his knuckles, smoking from the electricity. "Still...Who did this..."

The lightning actually started to coalesce into a dark green wolf with a coal black muzzle, his eyes had a weird coloration to it as yellow lines on his body that went along his hands and with the four weird growths along his back shared a similar glowy coloration as the eyes.

IMG 1549

Because I'm not good at describing this

Asonja stared at the wolf for a moment, keeping a rather calm posture. "And who're you?"

"Someone who wants the key you have.. I assume it's Asonja." Mars shrugged. "Hand over the key and you go home Scott free."

"And leave my new friend I made to die? No thank you." Asonja crossed his arms. "But, I am willing to trade. You have my key, and I'll give you YOUR key if you give me mine. And we'll both be on our way."

"Hmm.. Why not?" Mars held out the key he had. "First show me my key."

He goes into his pockets and flips the key in his hand. "Now you know I'm not messing around, right?"

Assuming Asonja actually flipped the key in air, Mars would attempt to grab it out of the air at full speed.

"OI!" A thick vine grabbed the key and grabbed it before Mars. "Ah, ah, ah, we're trading them face to face, at the same time. So we know we wont take each others keys. I know what you're up to."

"Or I could just kill you and be done with it." Mars said, most likely given his actual speed there would be a bit of a tug of war session before Mars gave up and let the vine go.

"Now how do I have the assurance that you won't try the same with me? Identity..?" Mars asked, honestly he would only know because of how familiar he is with Identities.

He grimaced a little bit and began tugging back the thick and brown vine. "I'm not a homicidal freak who finds killing an entertaining pasttime, as I have known by SOME PEOPLE!" As he shouted the last bit of words from his sentence, he tugged harder. "And I KNOW, that I won't be turning into THAT kind of monster."

Mars pocketed the other key before attempting to burn off his part of the vine using the immense heat given off by lightning. If this succeeded then Mars would just convert his body into lightning and flee with both keys.

Unfortunately, the vine was too thick to be burned as quickly as he anticipated. The radius of the vine was at least 2 inches thick with smaller vines inside. It was denser than normal vines, as it would have a tight grip. With Mar's focus on the vine holding the key, Asonja stomped the ground with his foot to cause cracks to follow forward under Mars to cause a hole to form around him.

Given Mars' ability to multitask and the enhanced hearing he possessed, he would've heard the cracks and started channeling his yellow Core energy Underneath his feet to create a floating platform underneath himself so he wouldn't fall and eventually burn out the vine so he could flee with both keys as was his original intention.

Asonja grunted and his purple core began to brighten. He quickly yanked the vine back to create a force to drive back the key. He pushed the ground back to propel himself forward and grab the key, as well as to kick Mars right between the eyes with his heel. The wings Asonja had with his armor helped with his fast speed and his corrupted, unstable core also helped with his strength.

Mars saw this, using his enhanced reaction timing and superior speed he let go of the key and maneuvered around the kick in an attempt to grab Asonja's neck and start to burn out his core using his own yellow Core.

"Finally this is where things get fun~" Mars said with a malicious grin, sheer excitement fueling his power.

"W-what the hell are you...?!" Asonja growled and tried getting out of his grip. The more he struggled the more chaotic his core became. His core was starting shiver and stutter around inside, making it hard for it to make an accurate detection. "I didn't want to use violence to begin with...!"

Mars' grip was iron clad, and he was squeezing tightly as if trying to strangle Asonja while drawing out the core energy inside of the hybrid. Mars' grin was absolutely psychotic and he seemed to relish in the violence.

"Violence is the only answer to life~!" Mars cackled as he attempted to jam his free thumb into asonja's left eye in an attempt to gore it.

Asonja shut his eyes before Mars was able to do so, at least stalling for a little bit. He shouted for some assistance, and similar looking soldiers surrounded Mars, having the same armor and wings as Asonja. They then dashed forward with almost identical speed to take down Mars.

Mars released a barrier of electricity mixed with the yellow Core energy to try and delay the soldiers so he could keep things on a one to one basis with Asonja.

They backed off, a few being stunned from touching the barrier. Asonja growled a bit and kicked off of Mars' grip, leaving deep gashes on his neck from the previous grip.

The other scaled people just watched.

"As for what the hell I am.. Hssss, let's just say I'm someone who's living on borrowed time..." Mars said after handspringing to his feet and grinning at Asonja before using his yellow Core to conjure up small claw extenstions to his nails.

Asonja rubbed his neck for a moment before standing up completely, his purple fur anf hair flowing freely with tiny drops of his body falling to the ground. What sounded like plasma around Asonja began to increase in volume and intensity. "Well, I was going for a name...but since you're deciding to go vague, I suppose I'll join in on that..." Without saying much of another word, he dashed forward toward Mars with little to no indication of where he went afterwards. Cracks and footprints were visible where he last was seconds ago.

(Not sure if wait for strudel or no? -Sar) (Wait for Strudel)(Cass is about to join in this situation so we're waiting for her here.)

He-No could be seen rushing through the air toward the two battling opponents.

Mars powered up his static barrier to full charge, if Asonja actually attacked Mars then his body would be subject to enough electricity to power five major industrial cities for an extensive period of time.

Asonja reappeared a few meters ahead, closer than he was before, but he used too much of his core too quickly. This made his fur and hair go back to their original colors as he coughed a little bit, completely exhausted and slightly paralyzed.

The large figure watched them carefully for a moment, immeditaly recognizing Mars, then looking to Asonja, flyiing towards the two quickly. "Mars!" He called out.

Asonja coughed again in the background, looking like his entire body was melting in such a slow speed. Which it literally was.

Mars waddles towards his key and takes it while Asonja is melting. "Don't worry~" Mars waved at He-No. "Hi! O3O"

Asonja growled a bit, trying to stand up. His core was charging up again as he stood. "Are you...ignoring me?" He looked confused but also dazed and angry.

Five replies until skip to tower.  If you do not have your key by then, you are disqualified.

"Meet you at the toooower~!" He waved at He-No, flipping Asonja the bird before attempting to convert into electricity and flee back to the Tower.

Asonja grimaced a bit and quickly went back to his Core Overdrive. He dashed forward toward Mars to take back the keys. His eyes were completely engulfed in the purple glow now.

(Know its turn based but so close and I'm inpaaatient.)

Unfortunately Asonja wasn't quick enough and Mars converted his entire body, keys and all, into electricity before fleeing.

This made Asonja stumble and he fell to the ground, screaming in bloody rage and hitting the ground. His anger clouded his core for a moment which made his overdrive turn off. He kept his head at the ground, gripping the back of it and squeezing tightly.

Turn skipping.  Both Asonja and Mars lose five points.

( well heck XD didn't know you guys replied...) 

He-no growled and tried yelling for Mars to stop, though most likely was too late, thus turned to Asonja and held out his hand to him " If you are able to continue, then I will help you with those keys...only if you are willing to give me my own in return."

(Mars will return to his own slot of the rp, but he needs a separater to show the time-skip)

Asonja looked up at He-No for a moment before sighing and gripping his hand. "As long as you won't hurt me, I won't hurt you. That's a deal as well."

"I have no reason to hurt you... so I will honor the deal." He pulls him up. " We must hurry.. I am surprised he acted as such..."

(Two replies remain for those without their keys.)

He nods and quickly turns back into his Core Overdrive and blasts off toward Mars, attempting to tackle him and take the key that Asonja had gotten previously. "This way!"

He-no immediatly followed, His scythe returning to his hand as the chain inwrapped around his waist ready to use it on Mars as it began covering itself with crystals.

Okay, Mars returns to this spot then, also one reply left after Saren comments

It is highly unlikely that the two would be able to even catch up to Mars, let alone physically touch him when he is lightning because lightning moves at 33% the speed of light and it's pure energy, plasma to be exact and thus not a solid object to attempt to tackle or grab.

Asonja growled and continues after, being a tad slower to catch up. "Come on! I'm running out of time!"

He-no transformed into his shadow form, grabbing Asonja and pulling him with. He is able to move just as fast though with the cost of some energy.

Last comment from Saren.

Mars suddenly made a 90 degree upward turn to break cloud cover before continuing in a random direction, he was banking on the fact that shadows need a solid object's reflected light to exist. So if he broke cloud cover he figured He-No wouldn't have any shadows to maintain and might either be forced to turn back or suffer the temperature changes above cloud cover. Either way he wasn't going to allow them to catch up which meant burning up far more energy than he normally does to keep increasing speed in this game of keepaway.

Contestants suddenly stopped as Urd prompted out "SHOW YOUR KEYS AND THEIR OWNERS!"

Darn it...! Asonja thought in place. This is embarrassing...

(Not sure whether to wait for Cass or just respond. -Sar.)

(Heck guys I responded but it didn't register ;_; I'm sorry) 

He-no scowled at Mars, pulling out the key and holding it up."running from me was not the wisest.." 

Rixcit, Mars and Xan appear to be the only ones to have their keys by the time limit.  All other contestents will be escorted to watch the remaining competitors in the final scene.

A door opened to the left.

Asonja growled, crossing his arms in disappointment and headed to that door with his head slightly down. (Huh, thought Mars had his key and asonja's?)

Mars shrugged. "Well, I have no reason to be here. Or watch really if that's the case." He had twirled up his two collected keys while going to leave.

(Ups, my bad.  Mars will enter the tower now.)

( wait... which key did He-no have? I thought it was Mar's? )

Final Tower

Rixcit and Mars entered the tower's lowest level.  Flashes appeared every ten seconds showing monsters attacking something atopt a massive twisting staircase lining the outer walls of the inside of the tower.  Xan was ahead.

Indeed he was. Xan was currently taking a monster by its wings, and chucking it up at the firewall above. 

Mars saw this and just laughed. "Ahhh, this little journey was fun~"

Rixcit looks around. "...Hm." He starts making his way up the stairs. Only he's launching himself up with ice spikes.

Noticing those below, some of the monsters began falling back to attack Rixcit and Mars.

Xan used this moment to climb the stairs as far as he could without getting burnt to a crisp. Occasionally knocking a monster off the stairway.

Awaiting Dank Lord and Fro

(elevator music intensifies while we wait.)

Mars just zipped past the monsters, trying to catch up to Xan while leaving the monsters for Rixcit

"Weaselly little..." He's continuing his ascent to catch up to Xan, shooting ice shards at any monsters that try to come his way.

The door opened up for Xan by now as Mars neared, though there were a fair amount of these monsters between the two, and as Mars went, along with Rixcit, they seemed to change accordingly: some turning to wide walls of salted water while the fire enemies charged at Rixcit.

"Oh are you kidding me..?!" He groans. He keeps moving. "Of all the abilities I'm the one with ice...!"

Mars noted the salted water monsters, attempting to scale over the monsters through alternative means such as running across the walls and firing bolts of electricity at them to make holes that Mars could propel himself through.

Xan bolted up the final steps into the door, bracing for whatever might be lying in wait. 

The water-laced monsters exploded from the bolts.

The monsters chased Rixcit still as he was forced to get through the remaining monsters.

Xan arrived at the second of three levels.  He saw nothing as soon as he arrived, just white.  He heard nothing, but as his vision adjusted, he found that he could see... three feet in front of himself.  Walls... a maze.

"Hm.." He paced towards the closest wall and jumped on to its surface. Climbing the face to get to its top.

"God..." He forms a swatter out of ice, and takes a swing at the monsters.

Mars attempted to enter the same door Xan did, actually increasing his physical and mental stats far more than normal to try and win this competition.

Xan soon... found himself hitting a ceiling.  He heard footsteps nearing from far ahead.

The monsters swung back.  They clashed, with the fire doing little to the swatting ice slamming them off.  The path was partially cleared.

Mars entered the door just in time to see the whiteness like Xan, though he couldn't see the parasite.  The path appeared different for him.

Xan grunted, hopping down from the wall and beginning to navigate the maze. 

Mars looked around, checking where the walls are before navigating the maze in a jog to burn off some excess hyperactivity running through his system.

He continues moving forward, continuing his assault on the monsters. He jumps, using ice platforms to give himself extra air.

Both Xan and Mars heard each other's footsteps through the maze, but never did they seem to be getting closer to each other.  The further forward they went, the more the maze went on without any seeming end.

Rixcit saw the entrance, the whiteness ahead of him at the top of the stairs.

"..." Xan continued to make turns and navigate through. Checking for clues as to where the exit was.

Mars just continued forward in search of an exit, actually starting to run in his search while electricity increased his spatial awareness to pick up and map things out while running.

Rixcit makes his way towards the entrance, one last push with his ice to go through.

(No one knows who HE is, please everyone name your characters with your replies, thank you)

Rixcit was at the entrance of the maze.

Mars found that no matter how far he pressed his search, the area was stretching.

Xan found the same situation, the maze becoming larger as they went.  The foosteps they both once heard were getting fainter and fainter the further they went.

Then... they started to be walking downhill.

Xan continued forward anyways. Though his steps were less certain as he began walking down the slope.

Mars was full blown running down the slope like some hyperactive kid, just laughing and smiling, he was having a great time with the simplest thing.

".." Rixcit huffs, and walks into the maze. He leaves some ice as a trail. "Watch and find it all be gone..."

The foosteps got fainter and fainter the more that Xan and Mars went down the slope.  Xan heard it a bit louder than Mars.  Rixcit heard it the loudest, clearly, as if right in front of him as he arrived through.

"Wait." Xan paused halfway down the slope. Moving to turn around and go back up the slope. Tipping his head slightly to get a better sense of where the footsteps were coming from.

Mars just kept running, waiting until he was nearly half way down before suddenly leaping and allowing his gathered momentum to carry himself further while laughing.

"..." Rixcit looks around for the footsteps. "Ok, whoever's there; Just come out and show yourself."

Mars could not hear the sound anymore.  As Xan turned back for a moment, he heard it faintly.

The footsteps continued loudly around Rixcit, but no voice responded.

For reasons unknown, Xan back tracked through the maze. Retracing his steps as he went.

Mars just kept going, yes he was having fun but he was mapping things out in his mind as he went.

"Don't tell me you're invisible..." Rixcit grunts. He continues on his way, still making his trail.

Xan found that as he went back, the footsteps gradually became louder.  The hill was steep but he was going up.

Mars... heard nothing now... and the steep slope became a straight endless fall.

As Rixcit went forward, the sound became softer.

His pace quickening, Xan cleared the hill with a bit of effort. Jogging back down through the maze walls, following the sounds.

Mars actually started to discharge electricity form his feet and hands, like the thunder drop thing cole does in Infamous one and two, this should protect him from any fall damage that would occur by forcing his body into a partial conversion to lightning.

"..." Rixcit grunts, continuing. "I don't want to know.."

The footsteps for Xan became louder and louder until he was back at the door.  He heard a song playing... they all heard the song playing.

There is no life I know to compaaaaaaaaaaare...

The sounds got fainter for Rixcit, all except the song.

Mars, while protected, didn't seem to be landing any time soon, but the bright white was quickly becoming dark and black.

"Pfft. Classy." Xan commented as the music played. He reached to open the door a second time, to check if what monsters he left behind still remained.

"This is just a bottomless pit I'm guessing.." Mars sighed, feeling around for a wall.

"..." Rixcit looks around, before turning to follow the footsteps.

There was a wall behind Mars.

Xan found that as he opened the door, he saw a new flight of steps going up, in a large grey room.

The steps kept coming from everywhere for Rixcit, leading to random pathways.

In an effort to speed things up, Mars just zoomed downward.

Waisting no time, Xan entered the room and began to climb the new set of stairs. Glancing back to see if anything would happen as he set foot on the stairs.

"Alright, fuck this.." Mars attempted to stab a glowing construct into the wall and sling shot himself back up while using electricity as propulsion to ascend even faster.

Rixcit grunts, looking around before going down a corridor.

Mars was soon arriving at the incline again.

Five points will be removed from the next player who fails to state their names in the actions with a non-specific "He".

Rixcit went forward and the footsteps began getting fainter.

Xan could see the end of the staircase, a large empty blue room.

"Curious.." Xan murmured. Taking his foot off the first step, he looked around a few moments before he climbed up a few steps once more. Keeping an eye on the room to see if it would shift again.

Mars just kept on going, trying to head back to that door before slowing down slightly.. Or just busting through it, whichever was easier.

"Oh come on..." Rixcit turns around. "At this rate I'm going to be lost..!!" He yells, throwing his hands up. He sighs and goes back, walking into the corridor opposite the one he just entered.

The room remained as such as Xan took his steps.

Rixcit collided with Mars as the wolf smashed into the hybrid, sending them both through the door and on to the next staircase, with Xan just ahead of them.

"PFFFFT." Xan snorted as he noticed the two. Turning to jump up a few steps, and continue climbing the tower. 

Odds are Rixcit might have a few broken bones if they aren't reinforced with some material like Mars' bones were, nevertheless, Mars stood up through sheer determination and started running after Xan.

Rixcit groans and gets up, his bones creaking from the force. "Ow...That, wasn't a very good feeling.." He supports himself with his sword before turning to run after the two. "Little runt..."

Xan arrived at the top to the large blue room.  It wasn't a very long staircase.  There he saw three figures behind three different walls.

Rixcit and Mars saw the same as they arrived behind him.

One was a tall human-like woman, glowing a dark black with a white dress.

One was a coyote girl made of sand and maple sap.

One was a suited mouse woman.

"Oooooh hey boys," A voice all too familiar sounded out.  "Little midget-man was supposed to do this part, but COME ON!!!" The room shook for a moment.  "Everybody knows... part of what's going on here.  We've gooooooot... the castle keeper," a light went to the glowing woman--Nashandra.  "Of course, Mr. Hose-meal doesn't give two hoots, right?  For all he cares she can just-"

A sudden purple surging light began pressing on the woman, forcing her to the ground, screaming.  "Still, he does win if he saves her, or at least beats you two... maybe he cares enough.  Of maybe he just likes watching the life get sucked out... Hold on," The light stopped for a moment.  "Miss height?  Any kind of damsel words for your hero?"

Nashandra looked around shakily from the ground, groaning for a moment... but she said nothing.  She saw Mars, she looked at him... but nothing came out.

"... Oooooookay, Mars, anything to say to the not-genderbent-Riven or whatever you called her?  Y'know, before we move on."

"Nah, I just want to win this.. So I'm going to save the woman.. Quick question though.. Can I win by just killing the other two hostages?" He asked with a cackle.

Xan stood processing what was said, snickering at Mars's remark. "Well you can certainly try, little man." He challenged, flashing a toothy grin.

"I'll freeze you where you stand, runt." Rixcit growls.

"Uh huuuuuuuuuh... What about you, Xan?" The light turned to the mouse now.  "Anything to say there, Minny... Miney... Miiiiinne- Urd which i- Minnie... really?- OH-KAY!  Talk ti-"

"It doesn't matter!" Page shouted up at the voice: ears flattening before she slid back against the ground... slowing to her knees.  "It doesn't... He doesn't... wouldn-... I'm dead anywa-" She was stopped as the blast went down on her now, nearly flattening the petite mouse.  She wasn't screaming as loudly, though the energy blasting down seemed to be a bit too loud to hear her much.

"Tasty, SO, Xan, you got somethin' to say here?"

"..I have to save the damsel or fight the odds..? Hm." He glanced to the other two boys with a blank expresssion. "Nabbing Paige is straightforward." Xan said flatly, nodding his head as he had some to a decision.

"You really think you can freeze me..? Oh well, The most straight forward option it is, I can always be a petty douchebag and wish for the death of one of you idiots anyways." Mars grinned, coating himself in what electricity remained.

Rixcit huffs, his body radiating a cold mist.

"Wow, you guys must've had fun with those two, well anyway," The light went to Maple now.

"Can I please not be blasted down please?" Maple called up immediately.

"Fine, anything to say to.... Rrrrr... Rixcit, that one."

Maple looked over to the hedge-wolf.  She didn't appear particularly bothered though she wasn't exactly pleased with the situation.  "Um, thanks for coming for me.  I hope you win."

"... Okay, you know you die if he loses, right?"

The coyote's eyes beamed open wide as she tensed up, managing out a brief "Wha-" before the light slammed down toward her now.

"Okay, Mr. Snow, you then it's fighty time.  Any words?"

"I would appreciate it if you didn't kill her, thanks. Seeing as how I actually don't hate her." Rixcit grumbles.

"..A mutual relationship based upon equal not-hating-of-one's-insides. Seems to be about right." Xan obsurved. Seeming to refer more to his own helper relationship than Rixcit's.

"So, do we start or is this being settled by a gladiator match?" Mars asked.

"Fighty time!" A red light went over the room as a ding sounded.

Xan tensed, sliding away from the other two opponents. Immediately looking up and around for a way to get Paige out.

Mars definitely wasn't having that, shifting his stance he fired a stream of electricity at Xan using his left palm. Generating a construct in his right hand that looked eerily similar to a curved hilted long sword.

Rixcit also moves away from Mars and Xan, also looking for a way to get Maple.

The walls appeared to be some kind of glass.

Twisting out of the energy's way, Xan extended a single dark blade from his arm to attempt to puncture the glassy wall. Not once acknowledging Mars in the process..He seemed intent to ignore the green wolf.

"Man!! No bloody fun!!" Mars shouted, converting his entire body into electricity and just slamming himself into the glass wall with the intended force to just shatter it after chucking the yellow core construct at Rixcit's back.

Rixcit forms a shield of ice to defend himself from the construct. Depending on the force of the construct, the shield may either crack or shatter.

The guarding glass gave a shocking bounce from the impact from each, the captives inside getting shocked a bit when either Xan or Mars tried to break inside.

The shield shattered upon impact from the Negative Core construct, though the core energy seemed to focus on eating away at the ice, leaving Rixcit unharmed outside of the pressure.

"I guess this means we have to fight then? Woohoo!!" Mars bounced, having flipped in mid air to land on his feet as the electricity surrounding him dissipated and he focused on creating a bladed ring like yellow core construct and tossing it at Nashandra's cage just to see if the yellow core construct would do anything to the glass cage.

Xan sighed. Clearly the glass was a bad idea. He extended another blade and turned to charge at Rixcit.

"Oh that's just wonderful! Give us a choice then take it away!" Rixcit forms a shield of ice to defend against Xan, shooting a few more at Mars.

The cage jolted a bit from the core damage, but once again sent a jolt into the three women

"Well at this rate, you're gonna kill them all," The host chuckled.  "Of course..."

The bodies of a bat woman and a dragon-like butterfly girl appeared for a moment before vanishing.  "You three did lead to some deaths already, beating the others and all."

"..." Mars just burst out in maniacal laughter as he just weaved around the ice projectiles, otherwise not attacking as he just examined the cage further, looking for any weakpoints in the cage material and it's immediate surroundings.

Xan pretty much sliced the top off the the sheild, exposing Rixcit's head. Which he readily took hold of and pulsed painful energy into Rixcit. Causing vague teal markings to show up on the man's skin.

"Get the hell off of me!" Rixcit growls, lifting his sword up and stabbing at Xan's midsection.

The glass gave a humming sound, energy coming from it no-doubt.  Flickers of random energy could be seen surrounding it.

Mars took note of that, before taking aim at Xan's head from behind using an extremely concentrated bolt of lightning. Under normal circumstances he wouldn't fight this way but he wanted to win and if that meant getting rid of one nuisance while he's focused on another than so be it.

Before either of the blows could tag him, Xan melted away into a liquid. Quickly shoving Rixcit's body into the energy bolt's line of fire. 

Rixcit quickly lifts up his shield of ice, defending himself from the energy bolt.

I will comment with "Nothing to add" when there's nothing for me to add here,so continue with the pattern.

The electricity seemed to be more concentrated, that and the fact that Ice is just solidified water take from the air or actually generated by Rixcit himself meant that odds are it would melt straight through the shield given the intense heat lightning produces and probably score a direct hit to the chest area unless Rixcit were able to position his body out of the way in time.

Meanwhile, Mars used his free hand to fire a stream of electricity at Xan's liquid form with the intention of trying to electrocute Xan while keeping his distance away from the two.

Fortunately for Rixcit, he wasn't holding the shield in front of his chest. So when the lightning melts the shield, it goes right past him.

Xan had easily avoided the stream as it was fired at his form. Slipping around Rixcit's leg and yanking him down, sending him crashing to the floor.

Multi-move.  Please avoid multiple move actions.

Rixcit grits his teeth. "Get off!" He grabs a part whatever Xan is currently, trying to freeze it.

They all suddenly froze as a timer ticked down from fifteen seconds.  "Trivai time!  A, B, C, or D?"

"I'll choose B."

"C for me." Rixcit answers.

"Pretty sure there's an entire alphabet following that." Xan quipped. "A." 

Both Xan and Mars suddenly felt a slamming pain bashing them against the floor.  Rixcit remained unharmed.  "Cooooooontinue!" The countdown faded.

Mars just got up and shrugged it off, getting slammed into the ground was nothing compared to having a hole punched through your chest.. And still being conscious through it all, before creating a Javelin like yellow core construct in both hands and taking some time to examine the cages and his surroundings for any gaps that might leveraged for him to get inside the cages.

Xan wasn't so lucky. He ended up getting knocked off Rixcit and layed stunned on the ground for a few moments.

Rixcit takes this opportunity to stab at Xan's chest. "I don't take kindly to being controlled!"

There didn't appear to be any spaces along the cages.  Some empty ones were briefly seen to the left.

Meanwhile Mars looked further at the empty cages to check for spaces.. Or to see if the cages were at all connected to eachother somehow, all the while he put up his static barrier around himself to protect from any attacks that might land his way.

Rixcit had indeed stabbed into Xan, but was met with a lot of resistance as he hit a seriously large chest bone. All he was rewarded with was a very cross look from Xan. Who promptly kicked Rixcit square in the gut so he had time to liquidate again and remove the sword from himself. 

Rixcit's kicked away, but he grips his sword with an iron fist. And the sword itself goes with him.

Suddenly the group was frozen once more.  "D, E, or F?" 

"I guess I'll choose D." Mars shrugged. "But picking random letters and not asking a question isn't really trivia."

"E. I suppose. However the green one makes a valid point." Xan frowned.  

"...F." Rixcit answers. "And as much as I don't like it...They're right."

Mars and Rixcit felt a blast slamming them down while Xan remained okay... Mars got hit an extra time.  "I phrased it like a question didn't I?  Anyway, continue!"

Mars cursed, falling flat on his back yet his static shield remained unhampered. "For fucks sake this 'trivia' bullshit is just pissing me off...!" He shouted in the air before throwing caution to the wind and firing arcs of straight up Lightning at Nashandra's cage, heedless of whatever it would do to her for he just wanted to bloody win.

"Ehehe. Is the child throwing a tantrum?" Xan taunted as he solidified once more. Having no wounds or even marks of Rixcit's previous attack. "You do realize that Marsy will win if we give him free range, right Iceman?" Xan informed the most likly on-the-floor Rixcit.

"...Ugh." Rixcit gets up, staggering a bit before regaining his balance. "I'm not letting him get a free win!" 

Nashandra cringed at the shot caused another jolt to her.

"Oh it won't be forever," The host informed.  "Just about... five left."

"FUCK THE TRIVIA!!!" Mars turned and fired a literal storm of lightning at Rixcit and Xan at his finger tips in a very wide arc, odds are if Xan tried liquefying himself some of the lightning would be drawn to his liquid state. As for Rixcit the odds of the lightning just flash boiling any ice constructs sent Mars' way.

It's confirmed, Mars hates trivia games.

Rixcit then stabs his sword into the ground, hoping the lightning heading towards him would then be attracted to the makeshift lightning rod that his sword is currently posing as.

"Oh dear.." Xan's eyes widened as the lightning was unleashed. The most he could attempt to do is run away from the angry storm. But there's no running from lightning, and as a result, Xan was shocked several times. Sending him convulsing to the ground. 

They froze once more.  "Let's change it up a bit!  H, I, or J?"

"OH COME ON!!!" Mars just yelled, his eyes bloodshot with fury. "But fine.. H"

Xan grimaced with the limited motion he possessed. "I." He rasped out.  

Rixcit is staring at the Lightning not attracted to his sword. "Um...J?"

Xan suddenly saw a blue orb rush toward and into him, giving him a large boost of energy.  Unfortunately neither Mars nor Rixcit recieved the same treatment.

"Now I know you may think I'm playing favorites, but I'm not so keep going now."

"I.. Really.. Don't.. Care.." Mars hissed, just increasing the electricity output far beyond what was safe for him as the storm suddenly tripled in energy output. Both Xan and Rixcit could really see that Mars was pushing every last drop of electricity and even his own life force into the storm.. If he was going to go out, he would do it in a bang.

Jolting upward out of reflex, Xan wheezed as the blue energy hit his system. "Yep. That.. happened." Renewed, He stood up to his feet and immediately attempted to subdue Mars. There was a jarring ringing that went off in Mars's head that was intended to make it difficult to think or do anything. Xan was broadcasting the sound and didn't show signs of stopping. 

Rixcit grits his teeth, feeling the brunt of the lightning not drawn to his sword. He falls to his knees, feeling the extremely painful sensation. 

Nothing to add for the moment ~Trisell

Under normal circumstances Xan'd sound trick might've worked, however lightning was second nature to Mars so he really didn't even think much about it.. It was done on instinct really, add in the fact that he is livid beyond normal and the lightning just increased in intensity.

"No.. I WILL NOT BE DENIED A VICTORY!!! EVEN IF I HAVE TO USE UP MY OWN LIFE I WILL NOT LOSE TO SOME PURPLE GUY AND THAT ICE TOTING LITTLE BITCH!!!" Yeah.. It helps that he was probably going deaf right now. 

Xan backed up, and avoided the lightning as best as he could. His pointy hackles were sticking out as the situation worsened. "Ice boy." He called repeatedly. "He needs to be knocked out."  

Rixcit grits his teeth. "Perfectly aware! Wish someone would stop making him even angrier!" He gets up, staggering.  "She knows who I'm talking to!"

Once more, they froze.  "K, L, or M?"

"M,,," Mars all but frothed out, so very fucking frustrated.

Xan took a moment to think about it before answering "L."

"God...M!" Rixcit grounds out, frustrated as well.

"Somebody's keeping u-... You know what?  This is taking too long.  BOOOOOP!"

Random pillars of energy began appearing throughout the room, slamming down at three second intervals.

Mars actually had to stop shooting lightning, however he started charging two conductive metal coins before suddenly tossing them at both Rixcit and Xan with the same speed and power of a Rail gun. Final gambit really, and if this hit odds are it would either leave what it connected with in messy giblets or force them into the pillars.

Xan was momentarily distracted by the pillars. When he noticed the coin coming at him, he practically dove out of the way. But the edge of his upper left arm got nailed by the coin as he moved out of it's way. The buzzing noises finally stopped but at this point Mars would probably have a hard time hearing anything.  

Rixcit dives out of the way of the coin headed towards him as well, but the coin clips his upper right arm. "G'ah, fuck!"

"Five," The host sounded off.  The pillars sped up.

Seeing as the coins were fired at the two using the exact same principles as a railgun, odds are the area the coins came in contact with would be reduced to bloody chunks in addition to the both of them being ragdolled towards the beams themselves.

A section of Xan's left arm was blown off into goopy chunks. Xan himself was sent back by the force of the coin. Landing not but a handful of inches away from one of the pillars. "Hnn.." He grimaced, clutching what's left of his arm. He drew in a few breaths and glanced upward to see if the pillars lead anywhere. 

(I am no longer going to remind Fro from now on.)

Rixcit collides with the wall, making an arm of ice to look at wherever the pillars lead to. "Five?"

"FOUR!"

Mars just sighed. "Screw it.." He shambles into the pillars, not caring if this ended him or not .. He was worn out and low on power so he couldn't do much other than shamble into the pillars of energy.

The nub of Xan's arm was starting to regenerate, but judging by the looks on his face, It was a painful process. At the moment He was working on getting back up to his feet.

Rixcit groans, and approaches one of the pillars. "Always the need for puzzles.."

The pillars seemed to indeed go somewhere. Mars jumping straight into one found himself being pulled slowly through the ceiling... but at the same time the energy was burning away at his body.

Mars endured the pain, only a grunt of exertion to show any signs of discomfort.

Xan morphed his form and attempted to climb the pillar he was next to. 

Rixcit makes his own pillars, and climbs those in order to make his way up the pillar he's chosen.

Xan was also feeling the burning as he was pulled into a tube at the top of the ceiling.  Mars was slightly ahead of him in a separate one, seeming to go toward the cells.

The pillar near Rixcit moved toward him, the painful pulling energy going after him.

"THREE!"

"Typical." Xan groaned, pushing through the tube despite the pain. For a moment he wondered if there was a way to knock Mars out of his pillar.

After a few labored breaths, Mars started to run through his pillar and reach Nashandra's cell if that was the destination of the pillar. He ignored Xan and Rixcit for he was fucking determined to win.

Rixcit growls, and rushes his way into the pillar. He ignores the burning pain, determined to find out where it leads him.

Mars arrived first: dropping in right in front of... Maple.  She didn't have much room to jump back but she did knock her head on the wall, stunned by the sudden entrance.

Xan was just slightly ahead of Rixcit as the wolf had gone up his own pillars to catch up, but both were a bit behind Mars.  Xan found himself going toward Nashandra's cell, with Rixcit toward Paige's.

"..." Xan noticed where he was heading and attempted to jump out from that pillar to a new one. Preferably one closer to Rixcit. 

Rixcit then tries to jump across pillars to the one Mars had been in.

Mars just attempted to straight up shove a yellow core construct through her chest.

Xan and Rixcit were in the same pillar now, just behind Mars.  Maple attempted to move to the  left, the construct slashing through her side.

Rixcit growls, and attempts to move faster.

Xan moved to extend a blade and slice Rixcit out of the pillar. He had lost his humor and was ready to end it all. 

Mars snarled, now just attempting to grab her by the head in an attempt to restore his electricity by draining Maple's bioelectrical field in its entirety.

Xan was in the tube, thin and with little room, making the slice nearly impossible, with Rixcit just behind him as they almost reached Mars.

Maple tried to push Mars off--tried to use her sand-like body to poke or stab at him, but it was to very little result.  She didn't have much in the ways of bioelectricity, but he was doing something.  He could feel her resistence growing weaker.

He siphoned even faster. "Shhhhh, don't struggle.." He placed a finger to her lips as a means of silencing her before turning to find a way to Nashandra's cage.

Aside from whipping his tail at Rixcit's face, the most Xan could do now was push for the exit of the tube.

Rixcit yells in fury, now clawing desperately to get to Maple. He shoots a few shards of ice, if only to prolong her survival long enough to reach her.

Rixcit being positioned above Mars, even if behind Xan, the shard rushed through the pod, lining it as it slammed down into the chamber.  Small spikes from the shard grew about as it touched the walls and surface, sending a line of the material dicing into and at Mars, with Xan's stomach getting an unfortunate percentage of the attack as well.

A brief snoring was heard before "Oh yeah, countdown... uh... One... we're past that anyway, I don't care.  Last chance and stuff!"

Xan sputtered as there were several large shards lodged through his abdomen. When he landed into the chamber it was less than graceful and smudged Mars with yellowish blood. "Hnn." He grunted, with one heave Xan moved to kill the weakened Maple with his only arm. Avoiding the residue ice shards as best as he could.   

Mars grinned at the lacerations, letting go for Xan to do the killing while creating a bladed yellow core construct and spinning around with the intent of sliding it into his neck at the precise moment Xan succeeded in killing maple.. If he actually succeeded at all.

Rixcit shoots his ice prosthetic at Mars, intent on spearing him.

As Xan was in the path, the ice mostly injured him while Mars was stabbed around the back.  A large DING sounded as the three were suddenly teleported back into the arena section of the room, with Xan's body beginning to deteriorate.

"Alright, let's see..." Rixcit felt his head lift up a bit as Maple collapsed in her container.  "That's one down."

"Xanzy here got some fatal wounds so..." Xan was pressed against the glass of Paige's cell now as a light appeared over her head, preparing to blast down.

Xan winced as he was pushed against the glass. With what energy he could muster, he looked Paige right in the eye. "You.. were not worth the hassle." Xan smiled slowly, his words full of contempt. 

Mars stared at Rixcit with a grin, though he did give Paige and Maple a brief look of honest apology before recreating the yellow core construct in the form of two identical Butterfly swords.

"You.. You..!" Rixcit shifts, growling. "I'll gut you!"

The mouse woman probably couldn't hear what Xan said, but his smile said it all.  Choosing to attempt to at least appear... strong... she closed her eyes, turning her head upward as the light came crashing down on her.  She probably was trying to tell herself that she wasn't crying.

Maple was already still when the light came down on her.

The blast went on for a few seconds before all that was left was... nothing.

"Aaaaaaaaand we have a winner!" The red-striped feline strolled out from a hall, Urd seen just out of the corner behind, blowing on a tissue as he cried over the events.

Nashandra's cage opened up, as she was shoved toward Mars, stiffly looking back.  The platform rose through the roof as the top opened up.  They were below a large red sky with the arena surrounding them.

Xan and Rixcit seemed to be unhanded, no interest in further harm to either of them.  "How a bit a kiss for the victorious couple?" Virus gestured to the cameras watching the green winner.

"For the love of.... Fiiiine." Mars shrugged, attempting to kiss Nashandra quickly so he could just get it over with.

Xan slid down to the floor to pull out a few of the ice shards. Uninterested in the current happenings, with the exception of the kiss. Which he glanced up to watch in half-hearted amusement. 

Rixcit is unresponsive, just staring off into space.

Nashandra was reluctant, starting to note "You know I wasn't brought here based on y-" but then she got shoved into the kiss and mostly just rolled her eyes, humoring the public before quickly breaking it.

Virus strolled past toward Xan, calling out to everyone "Refreshments down the hall!" As a doorway appeared.  "Winner goes first!" She then looked to Xan.  "Hey, loser."

"We never speak of that.. Though what do you mean you weren't brought here because of blank..?" Mars asked, playing the part of not murder wuffl and dying internally because of it. "I just want to get this thing done, I'm no good at doing stuff."

Xan didn't respond as he was still pulling ice from his gut. He seemed understandably cross, but there was also a more subtle..pained expression. And it wasn't the physical kind. Once he was cleared of most of the ice, Xan melted down to let his body properly repair. "That is not my name. So do not call me by it." He edged.

Rixcit's still staring, but now he's staring at Mars.

"I think they brought me in because of the other guy," Nashandra informed.  "... I'm going to go to that food place thing now," She began walking down the hall.

"Aw," Virus dipped her fingers into the liquidy Xan, her fingers growing more of a bony claw look, as if knowing he was miffed and decided she wanted to be insistent regardless.  "If it helps, I DID want you to win," She glanced to Rixcit, observing for a moment.

"Huh.. Neat, oh well.." Mars glanced back at Rixcit for a bit, having a stone cold expression on his face before heading to the food buffet to pig out on food.

The liquid shuddered as Virus touched it. "..Get out of there." Xan growled, though it sounded more like an exausted sigh. He shifted away from  the feline and fell still once more. 

"I hope you choke on that food..." Rixcit mutters bitterly.

Mars found himself vanishing elsewhere as he left to the room, along with Nashandra.

Some staff--other Identities--approached Rixcit to lead him out.

Virus sat next to the liquid Xan.  "So you're just gonna lie there for a while?"

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