Slippery Snakes


  • Trisell Chronos
  • Silverknight01



(On Silverknight's part this is selectively canon. Mostly due to the rebooting that happened after Chapters 1-2. Events that happened are still acknowledged however things mentioned by Xan are different and should be disregarded.)  

Xan being in a city (Elderhelm). A light appeared not too far off and through it stepped some glowing hooded figures. They neared Xan, muttering to themselves "Found the Entity", arms turning to bladed energy cannons. They began walking toward him.

Xan turned to them, with a rather amused grin. "Why hello there. I do love the cute accessory, truly brings out the idiots in you." "To what do I owe the pleasure in your charming visit?"

A red energy blasted from the arm canons as the two rushed forward at Xan, one vanishing as they went.

Surprised, Xan retracted his echo blades and sliced though the ball of energy. "How rude." He said, dusting off his lightly singed tail. Xan made a frontal assault at the charging figure, and unleashed a number of blows.

The figure's front was blown off a bit while beginning to regenerate as the secondary figure jumped at him from behind.  "Just let it happen," they whispered.

Curious. Xan suddenly went limp and stood there with a questioning look.

An energy-charged blade was sent into his backside, the first figure forming some kind of collar in their hands.

With a growl, Xan drooped to his knees. Trying to sustain the injury, as weird yellow-ish blood oozed from his back. He whipped his tail and flicked the first person's face, "I don't do collars." he said stonily as he jumped back up and yanked the blade from his back with a grunt. Then he walked straight to the first person. "I'm trying to be polite, but point that knife at me one more time and I'll Kill you." "I AM interested though, in what and why ever your here. I'd be happy to come along... WITHOUT the unnecessary stabbing. "

"Well that makes capturing far easier," The figure's cannon-arm reformed back to a regular arm as the secondary raised a blade to Xan's throat.

"We hurt prey that makes threats, especially the kind that boasts with a hole in their back," The second figure taunted.

"If he's coming willingly, we're done here," The first argued.

Before either could resign their stance, a third figure appeared walking over: a brown-furred feline with black hair and a black and red dress.  She glanced between the two and then to Xan.  The figures did nothing.  "Step back," She said to both calmly, and they did.  She looked to Xan.  "So, I'm guessing they just did that?"

"Its just a flesh wound." He replied as his markings changed yellow and the hole in his back glossed over. Beginning to heal itself. "You must be the owner of these pups." Xan said, as he snapped a shoulder blade back in place, unfazed.

"We found a target is-" The two evaporated mid-sentence, a blue energy coming from the remains of their sand bodies into the feline's.  She then looked to Xan again, a finger at her chin as if pondering for a moment.  She then lowered her hand and stated plainly "You're pretty."

Xan paused for a moment, "As are you. But in a different way. Your dangerous." He replied, sheathing his echo blades back into his skin."I can only assume you need something from me, considering the effort to took." He sighed

"Those two were searching for a species they could analyze for the Dominion most-likely.  Outside of that, I really haven't a clue," She stepped forward toward him.  "What are you?"

Xan shifted his weight "To be frank, I would be a parasite. "

Space seemed to still into silence for a brief moment as the feline froze mid-step, her expression not changing.  Then came a simple "... Yep" and she pounced at him.

With an annoyed growl Xan jumped mid-air to avoid the impact. Flipping over, he landed behind the girl and retracted his echo blades once more. His markings went green again, and the patchy wound in his back stopped healing.

The swoosh of her large metal-heel boots swung around to his side,  a trail of neon-green light underneath as the feline turned back to him.

"I appreciate the help, I really do. However, I'm not one for dying just yet." He said as he sprang into action. He Streaked over to the girl and sliced at the air in quick draws.

She just chuckled at this, ducking downward before springing forward, arms wrapping around at him.

"Wh-" Xan murmured as he attempted to rip the creature off of him.

She held tight, not really squeezing much, but rising up higher to his shoulders.

"GET OFF ME, YOU INFERNAL CREATURE." Xan yelped. Clearly distressed. He Mechanically removed her from his body by prying her off. Setting her aside, Xan shivered in disgust and kept his distance away.

"C'mon, don't be like that," She walked back toward him.

A strange, almost hiss like sound reverberated from Xan's throat. "I posses every right to be this way. I would prefer to avoid physical contact. Thank you very much." He said, backing away slowly. They were both quite close to Elderhelm now, and many of the populace stood and stared. "My, its been a busy day for weirdos." He murmured.

"Yeah, see the thing is that I really like physical contact," She replied, trying to hug him again.

The gem In Xan's chest glowed and pulsed. His eye twitched "Enough! My Lord, I've been a patient man today. But this nonsense stops now." He growled, on the near verge of stabbing something. People in the city were stirring, and became alarmed in recognition of the two.

At this, she did stop.  Her more playful expression faded a bit.  "Nonsense huh?"

Xan sighed. And avoiding the subject, he glanced off at the populous. "And here I was planning on killing a few hundred today." He glanced back at the girl. "I don't believe I know your name.."

"Does it matter?  I mean, if you don't particularly want to be around me, then..."

"Don't get me wrong, dear. Your an interesting character of sorts, but I'd prefer less of the physical, I simply can't stand it." he said, cooling off his temper.

"That's a pretty strong stance.  Any particular reason?"

He plastered a wide, and crooked grin on his face. "Oh. A pinch of needles, a dash of electrical collars. And mix thoroughly with years of abuse!" Xan said in a sarcastically sugary voice. "In a few decades you might end up just as fabulously insane as me~"

Her arms twitched a bit as she grew a wide smile herself, a small pink tint flashing in her eyes for a moment.  "Making it really hard not to grab you right now."

Xan withered in his act and immediately retracted his hand again. There was a long awkward pause for a moment. "My dear, I'll be frank. I did consider eating you. But it'd would be a shame to put down a 'unique' girl such as yourself." "Consider that a favor... and a compliment."

"Confident..." She observed.  "I don't like being called 'dear' but you didn't know that, so I won't hold that against you.  Oh wait, you wanted my name right?"

"It would be most useful. Unless you wish to be called 'dear' again." Xan replied without missing a beat.

"Well you're going to have to get closer to hear it," She cocked her head to the side, teasingly.

Xan narrowed his eye. His tail flicking its self back and fourth. "This can't be good." He muttered. Then slowly, he decisively edged closer to the girl. Curiosity got the better of him.

Wtih a slight feisty growl, she moved forward to him as well, arching her neck around the side of his, as she whispered where she assumed his ear would be "Virus".

With a smirk, he pulled away. "My, what a lovely yet peculiar name." He said, the corners of his mouth twitching.

"I'd imagine you can imagine my reaction that I just met a parasite that... was going to eat me apparently?" She raised her eyebrows slightly.

"*Was " He said with exasperated emphasis."But you take it better than most."

"Wouldn't be the first I suppose," She shrugged.  "So I take it from how heroic your death threats and eating styles are, you're the star-spangled hero of this 'ere town?" She stopped, stomping her foot a bit.  "I should have said 'I reckon'.  Aw, missed opportunity."

Xan chuckled at Virus's last bit. "Quite the opposite actually. I don't exactly play nice with those creatures. No, I came here to inspect the town's premises. I and my comrades plan to take it down. Though, now that I think about it-" He said, glancing at the startled public plaintively. "-I do believe we've the element of surprise."

"So you're looking to destroy organic's then?  Well... non-parasitic organics?"

Xan grinned "Very much so. I intend to repay a favor." He replied, cocking his head to the side "And what about you, Virus?"

"Well I'm not organic," She flexed out her arm, a metallic sand stretching out from it, "but I'm not the type of mechanical monstrosity to have some vendetta against organics.  I just... do whatever... whenever I want."

"Sounds like a terribly empty life, to be honest. But I'm not one to judge a lifestyle." He said, clearly indicating himself.

"Well, you wanted to kill a bunch of mobians right?"

A darkness seemed to sweep over his face. And Xan's smile turned sour as he looked to the heavens. "No, Killing one would only spawn another, they multiply like weeds. I wish to erase all Mobians from this place. Perhaps then I can die in peace.. knowing I traded my life, for all of theirs." Xan said quietly. His voice thick.

"Well I'm not about to let you commit some kind of theatrical suicide, you're way too attractive for that, but if you want to destroy this zone's population I can help with that."

Xan crooked his head back to Virus and looked her right in the eye. "Well, that sounds like the most awful, terrible, and idiotic thing I've ever heard..." A creepy grin crawled up his face "Lets try it an see what happens."

"First thing's first, are you looking for quick and efficient or brutal and long?"

"Personally, a quick death would be too good for the likes of them." "Are you more of a heavy hitter?"

"I can be," A ripple began spreading on her arm, a large weighted rectangular cube which grew to a hammer.

Xan clasped his hands together. "Excellent. Now then, I suppose we should come up with some kind of plan.."

"I'm more of a chaos person myself," She replied with a slight tick of her eye, "but I'm listening."

"As am I. And I say, we just walk in and kill things." He said with a wave of his hands. "they don't really stand much of a chance." He said pointedly.

"Where to first?"

He cracked his knuckles. "The city square. The mass panic will make it easier to single them out. There's a chemical plant near by, if we light it It'll kill them faster, but it wouldn't be as fun." He replied with a nasty grin.

"Race you there," She rushed past him, a scrape going across his cheek briefly as she rushed through the city.

Xan bolted after her, his feet barely touching the ground as he briskly launched into the city. As buildings rose to the sky, he flipped onto them, and jumped from row to row as a more convenient form of transportation.

Pt. 1 ) The Enemy of my Enemy..

As they arrived, Virus leaped up into the air, a red glow forming around her weapon.

Speeding into the city square, Xan landed with a solid thud. Swaths of people were stopping and starring. Most were backing away. "Ladies and Gentlemen, May I present.... Your beautiful demise~!" Xan sang as he retracted his echo blades.

The red-striped feline landed into, and through the ground, a brief ripple forming as cracks began growing around.

In the blink of an eye, Xan launched him self at a pedestrian and quickly stabbed him though the chest. Shoving him down to the ground, Xan looked around. "Feel free to panic, now~" he said with a sadistic laugh. Mobians abandoned the square, yelling and screaming. Shops were being over turned, and people were sent into an fearful frenzy. His chest pulsed, and his markings lit up. The color from the body of the mobian slowly was sucked away, and shot into Xan. Removing the blade from the body, Xan stood up and glanced at the hole Virus fell into. Strutting up to the hole, he bent over to get a good look. "Virus, love. Are you still down there?

The ground began shaking, buildings crumbling downward.  Red sparks began appearing around the area.

"Oh my, I'll take that as a yes." Without hesitation, Xan jumped straight down the hole to see what she was up to.

The air got thinner and hotter as he found himself going further and further down.  Virus could be seen far below, a long glowing rod going down into the ground further under.

Snagging a nearby rock, Xan lowered himself down as he avoided molten stone. "As they say in the books, 'DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE!'." With one heave, He catapulted himself faster down the hole, and he soon was right behind the blazing rod of fire. "Goodness, I love what you've done with the place." He yelled.

"... It's the core," She informed.  "...I'm going to fill it up, and destroy it... I wonder if we'll survive."

"And you said you didn't want a theatrical death!" Xan yelled over the rushing wind. "Virus, dear. As tempting as it sounds to pop this rock like a balloon.. I can't help but notice that this would be killing more people than just the Mobians. The rest of the creatures are innocent, And deserve a chance that the Mobians wouldn't give. We need to pull up before we hit the core!"

"Nobody's innocent," She replied bluntly.  "And at the same time everyone is..." Her ears fell a bit lower for a moment before she straightened up again.  Something about her seemed... younger for the moment, be it the slightest change in voice, or height, or form, like a child: playful and confused at the same time.  The ground began growing upward, repairing slightly as Virus opened her mouth above, a green mist pouring out to the surface.

"..." Xan studied Virus for a moment. His face a blank, giving nothing away. As they rose to the surface, the city seemed to be abandoned. Except for the occasional wail or two.

The mist continued to spread for a moment.  She swayed a bit, a cough following before collapsing as the mist finished exiting, moving airborne into the world.

He snatched her before she could hit the found. Carefully setting Her on the ground, Xan looked up to get a better look at the mist. He snagged a jar, and collected some of it, before tucking his tail around the jar to carry it. "Well, this didn't go as planned.." He murmured.

The mist didn't seem to corode the jar, but coughs would be heard around him soon after.  The remaining people around him, mobians, feeling its effects.

"Bio-weapon." He said plaintively. Watching the men, woman, and children alike fall to the chemical's whim. A small smile twitched on his face, but then he turned his attention to Virus. He stood twitching for a moment, before he finally moved to retrieve her. Lifting her up in his arms again, Xan squatted down before launching into the air at massive speeds. Reinforcements could arrive at any time, and the party was is no state to continue.

Some time passed as they went, but eventually her eyes fluttered open, and immediately after noticing what was happening, she clung to him with a smile.

Noticing she was awake, Xan sighed "Don't get too comfortable. This was temporary." he said indignantly.

She just chuckled, rubbing a cheek against him slightly.

Flinching at the contact, Xan's balance tipped and they nose dived for the ground. Landing on the surface with a soft 'thud', Xan glanced around the area. Which seemed to be a secluded forest. Setting Virus down, he dusted off whatever remnants of pebbles and dirt from his scales.

Virus stood up, looking about the area.  "You said something about innocents?"

Xan looked at her with a peculiar face. "I beg your pardon?"

"Earlier," She glanced about at the new environment.

His tail swayed back and fourth. And there was a pause as he glanced around. "I was lab grown. Never natural to begin with, really. And since day one I was treated like the scum of the earth Because of who I was." He sighed. As he waved his hand to dismiss the thought. "In my mind, creatures like me are no different from the Mobians, yet they treat us as such. You were wondering what I referred to when I said innocence. I was talking about a chance for my kind. They can feel free to judge me, but as for the other parasites, it just isn't fair. "

"So would humans be under the category of 'mobian' too?"

"I suppose they do. I don't quite remember any humans around during my testings though.." He said, staring off into space.

"And neither did the mobians who got experimented on," She stepped by him, speaking somewhat quieter.  "That's how we got mobians to begin with... Just saying, the mobians who did all the terrible to you aren't all mobians, not that I really mind mass genocide."

"..." He said nothing, however a war was clashing in his mind. "So, where do you think we are?" Xan asked, Quickly changing the sore topic.

"Dunno," She looked around.

Purple flowers dotted the thick, grassy ground, and vines twined around the grey gnarled trees. The hanging overgrowth was thick enough to block out most of the sunlight from above. The oddest thing about the forest, was the lack of sound. Everything was silent. "I jumped much further than I anticipated.. " Xan murmured, Squatting down at the ground to inspect the grass.

"I didn't expect to arrive in the love-child of Dr. Seus and Tim Burton," She noted, reaching for a flower.

"Indeed. Its quite odd. I've never been here before.." Xan said, brushing the grass. "But this forest can't be anything good..."

"How much of this planet have you explored?" Virus walked further in.

"I've seen most of the wilds and cities of New Mobius, but I haven't traveled much further than that. Other than a few regions to the north." responded Xan. Cautiously checking around for anything peculiar.. well, MORE peculiar than the forest. "I almost forgot to ask, Are you alright? You feinted earlier." He asked mildly.

"Did I?" She looked back to him for a moment.  "... Well I feel as well right now."

"If you say so." He said, looking a bit disheveled from previous encounters. Trudging though the silent woods, He occasionally sliced shrubbery out of the way to pass. "I have this uncanny feeling we're being watched..." He whispered.

"We did decide to walk into some random... jungle?" She categorized.

Xan's eyes dilated in-order to take in more light to see. As normal as it was, it made him look like a startled cat. "Hmm. Yes, yes we did. I suppose the first thing we should have done is try to find our way out.. not in."

"Well if we're being watched, we'll no-doubt be ambushed soon enough."

"Too bad we know. The surprise would have been amusing." He said, chopping down another vine.

"Well maybe it'll turn out to be the Lorax," She noted as they went.

Xan chuckled at the thought of a little old orange creature stumbling into them. "You know, I really don't mean to pry, but.. What are you exactly? I've had bits and pieces of clues occasionally, but I don't really have any solid facts." He asked casually as the trudged onward.

"Hm... what do you think I am?" She smirked.

"Personally from what I've seen, I think your an organic bio-weapon of some kind. Comprised out of a type of nanites strong enough to take heavy impacts and the heat of our planet's core. Hence your name.. Virus, if thats even your actual name. I'm still trying to figure out the mix of chemicals you sprayed earlier, though. That was a smashing feat, by the way."

"Well that's suspiciously accurate," She beamed.  "That was mobian-specific.  It'll focus in on the specifc biological traits that make them mobians, corroding until destruction.  I took the 4-Gene, and combined it with a specific acid."

"The sand-like shifting in your body is what gave the nanites away. However I can't help but get the feeling that theres still more to you.." He trailed off. Then snapped back to attention. "Also, interesting combatant for the chemical. The acid must have burned away the DNA of the mobians, from the inside to the out. But you mixed the chemicals inside your body? Do you have a storage system, or can you produce the elements?" He bombarded Inquisitively.

"You wouldn't happen to be asking all this to find all my weaknesses, would you?" She chuckled.  "Not that I particularly mind of course."

"Ah, no. Thats just bonus." He ginned. "I am genuinely curious about the way you function, though." Xan said, clearing his throat. "However I can get a bit carried away with myself, too. Feel free to drop the bombardment at anytime."

"Well in terms of creation, I don't usually store it, no.  I form it... produce it I think was the word you used."

"Fascinating.." Xan said thoughtfully to himself. They soon walked into a huge clearing, a large canyon reviled a waterfall dumping its contents down below.

"Still sure we're being watched?" She asked.

"Mmmhm." He answered absent-mindedly. He seemed more focused on the crystal lodged into his chest. It was pulsing again, but this time it resembled more of a heartbeat. "If there was any doubt before. It can be put to rest now. I can sense heartbeats." Lightly tapping on his chest with a finger. "Usually I can tell who they are, but this time is different." He said, squinting.

"Well at least we know whoever it is has blood," Virus dropped down toward the waterfall.

Xan followed promptly. Getting flecks of water on his body "Good gracious, thats cold." He said, shaking off the droplets. "Ah wait." Recognition sparked in his eye. "I know who it is."

Virus turned back to him.  "Who?"

Without answering, Xan looked around for a moment or two. "JEROBA! YOU OLD CHUM, GET DOWN HERE!" A paused for a moment, as the sound of clanking came from the distance. He lean over to Virus. "An old friend of mind. Emphasis on the old."

Suddenly a head popped over the hill to look strait down at them. "Your a bloody hard parasite to find, Xan." Creaked the voice, with a twinge of an accent. Jumping down, the figure became more prominent. His head seemed to be made of a dog skeleton. And old rusty armor clung to his massive frame. "Who's the lady friend, here?" Jeroba asked, slapping Xan on his back.

"Not dressed for the name I was going to give," She replied.

Xan rubbed his back from the gauntlet's slap, the wound was still patchy. "Oh ho ho. Well, Nothing fancy about mine, Missy. The name's Jeroba.." He said, saluting with a flick of his bony hand. Xan cleared his throat, "So, what are you doing this far out, you bag of bones?" Jeroba's face shifted into an impossible frown "I'm going to be strait and narrow with you. We were off in the western borders, and Ivy got captured. We tracked her down nearby. From what I hear, their going to try using the DNA to synthase a poison for parasites."

"They don't have one already?" Virus questioned.  "How long has your type been around?"

"Ah no. I'm sure they've got plenty of parasites that were an' easier catch. But Ivy has this sorta.." Jeroba paused and waved his hands for emphasis. "..Connection with everyone. She was born half plant, y'know. I bet my femur their gonna use her to inject it into the surrounding countries. Pretty soon you'll just be walking along some grass them.. BAM! Dead as my body can be!"

"Well are these scientists of the animalistic mobian kind?"

"See, thats the thing. I don't know for certain." Jeroba said, wringing his hands. "Well, there seems to be much uncertainty, and not a lot of facts." Xan commented somberly. "If there was a true reason for Ivy's capture. It was to lure in someone else. Not to broaden the scale of poisoning. They could do that one themselves with planes. ..Theres no doubt they would already have a poison." Xan trailed off.

"And where's this?" Virus asked.

Xan glanced at Jeroba, as if to ask the same question. "Its over in the southside of the Glacer mountains. The trip isn't too far away from where we are now."

"And if you were to point in the general direction?"

Jeroba pointed east of their location. "Your a woman of few words, arn't you, lass?"

"Oh definitely," She began wakling in the direction.

Xan and Jeroba glanced at eachother, And without a word they followed close behind Virus. For sometime Xan had been studying Jeroba closely. very, closely. "Y'know, its like old times. Well, except without the lass. Heh he." Jeroba said, elbowing Xan. Xan chuckled a bit, but didn't say much more. the silence was uncomfortable as they walked a steady pace East.

Virus paused.  "You're not... a nature person are you guys?"

"Actually, lass. I was born in a forest. I very much love them." Jeroba commented. In-hailing the forest air. Xan on the other hand looked borderline miserable. "Heh, No. I don't really care much for the wild. However. I do tend to gravitate towards its creatures. Especially ducks." Xan said, looking dreamy with his hands clasped up to the side of his head. Jeroba paused for a moment. "Yep. Never judge a book by its cover, He looks tough but deep down he's a softie. Still don't understand why you like those things.."

Xan stopped immediately. His whole composition changing, "Thats because you aren't Jeroba." He spat, swiftly targeting his chest. And stabbing straight though the rusted armor. Then, in one swift motion, he tore the thing in half to reveal wires and all kinds of gears. The robot went shorting out, yelling different phrases and words before finally dying out "..."

Virus paused, looking over at the robot.  "... That... that's a that right there."

Xan wiped off oil from his blade before retracting it again, staring at the remnants for a good. long while. His face cracked into a smile as he turned to Virus. "Indeed it is. I do believe we're being tracked. Not my friends of any kind though. I would advise it best if we get moving." He said, stretching his limbs. "I can jump again, if need be..."

"You're the one not interested in the environment," She took a step forward, raising an arm before bringing it down, a fizzling blade of energy rushing forward and expanding yards wide and tall, making a direct path forward through the scenery.

He eye twitched for a second. "You mean to tell me you could have done that earlier???" He whispered with exasperation.

"Well I was about to before the whole decoy thing happened," She informed.

He rested his chin on one of his hands."Yes. I'm still trying to figure out how they did that one.." But before he could trail off, Xan snapped back to attention. "We need to get out of this jungle.. forest.. place. It quite likely the decoy was loaded with a satellite feed. Reinforcements are certain, if so."

"How fast can you run?"

"Fast enough to out run you." He replied with a mischievous grin.

"That's the testosterone," She tapped her foot a few times before zipping forward, a red blur with a stream of green glow at the base of her feet.

His eye flashed as Xan bolted after her. Keeping up the pace behind her, tail whipping in the wind. "Why do I get the feeling your cheating?"

"How would that be?"

"My dear, anything is possible if you put your mind to it." Xan puffed. Keeping pace with Virus. "Where are we even heading?"

"East wasn't it?  They pointed."

"I suppose. However, I doubt the information was even true at this point. Nothing adds up the way it shoooulddd..." Xan said, cutting himself off as he slowed down to a halt.

Virus stopped, circling around back to him.

Xan waved one of his hands dismissively at Virus. "Pardon the sudden stop. I'll uh, be fine in a second." He panted

"What's goin' on?" She probed.

"Nothing worth worrying, Virus." He lied. "Anyhoo. If we head south theres bound to be an ambush set up." Xan said, dodging the topic.

She shifted an inch from his face.  "What's, goin' on?"

Xan flinched away. "Fatigue. I suppose." He replied, rubbing the back his neck.

"You're running out of stamina?"

He sighed. "Look, Theres a reason I dislike the wilds. The general lack of creatures can be fatal for me.. I can't produce my own energy. I have to siphon it off of others." He said in a hushed voice. "The sudden exertion just made me a bit tipsy. Nothing more." he answered sheepishly.

"... Well then... delicious," She slowly moved her hand below his chin, and pulled his face forward, kissing him: a bright blue light, an energy moving through the pressing into him, filling him.

Startled, Xan yanked back suddenly. Twitching from the charge absorbed into his system. "That was NOT NECESSARY." He said firmly in a high pitched tone. As he whirled around so Virus couldn't see the weird blue flush on his face. "GNNNN!" He grumbled, burring his face in his hands.

"You don't meet many people who take a liking to you I take it?" She grinned widely.

"Its something like that.." He mumbled through his hands. Xan suddenly snapped back around so he could see her. "Do you even know what could have happened?! You could have killed yourself doing that! It was completely reckless!" He said.

"Oh, really?" She then attempted to kiss him again.

"Yes, Really." Quickly evading the girl, Xan extended his hand to cover Virus's muzzel. To avoid any further intrusions. "Tsk, I'm surprised you haven't been paralyzed or sluggish. " He scolded. His other hand shaking a disappointing pointer finger. "Can't have you dying on me. I wouldn't know what to do with the body." He said. regaining some of his composure.

She bit him.

"Gah!" Jumping, he shook his hand out and retracted it to inspect the mark. "You girls are truly unpredictable." Xan murmured. "So. I suppose we should get a move on. As I was saying earlier.. East will likely land up in a trap." He said, wringing his bitten hand

"A trap with answers, unless there's another area to go."

"Not really. But it would be nice to know why all the trouble was put into making that machine.."

"To protect nature?  STUPID FLOWERS!" A large metal arm grew out from her elbow, pounding down on some plant-life to the side.

"Eh Heh. No, I doubt they truly care for nature's inhabitants." Xan commented, testing his limbs. "Before I couldn't do it, however. Thanks to a terribly uncalled for donation.." He glanced pointedly at Virus. "I think we can make the call." He said sarcastically. "You'll have to hold on to something though.." He sighed

"... Okay," She smiled deviously.

He held out a hand and awkwardly situated Virus on his spiky back. "Sorry. I'm Afraid I can't really do anything about the accommodations back there."

"...I... thought that'd be harder to do- what?  No, this is fine," She wrapped her arms around him.

He heaved a sigh. "Alrighty then." In a flash of blue light, they Light dashed. Warping from space to space slightly above the treeline of the ground. Every few steps they were sucked into another light beam, then thrown out again in greater distances. "So, we're looking for mountains. Keep your eyes peeled! I can't do this for very long."

She glanced about, eyes slowly moving toward anything specific.

In one final lap, mountains showed up in the horizon. Xan light dashed once more to the safety of the ground. The air was colder and thicker, and trees less dense. "Looks as if we've found it." Xan spectated as he lowered himself so Virus could get off.

She did not seem interested in removing herself.

Xan spread out his quills on the back, kinda tickling Virus. Reaching around he plucked her off and set her down on the cold ground. "Huh, I expected more of a welcoming committee..."

"Really?" She walked about.

Xan inspected around the area. There was nothing but the cold whisper of the wind and the view of the mountains though. "Hmmm. Virus. I think you should stay behind me."

"Remember that part where I leveled miles of terrain?" She hinted.

"And it is exactly the same reason I'm asking you to do so. Your an unexpected variable to this equation. That Jeroba.. thing. Was made specifically for me, because of my kinship. You had no such connections or ties. No doubt they'll have something created to target me. But if they do, give them hellfire. I bet they aren't even aware of your existence." He said in a low voice as they trudged along. Xan taking the lead.

"Hm... alright I can run with that," She followed.

Muffled sounds came off from the distance. Foot prints littering the patchy snow coated grass. Over in a small valley, sat a small handful of random people in front of a fire. "Bait." He whispered. "The real attack must just be around the corner.."

"Welp," She walked toward the people.

Xan followed suit. trailing a few feet behind her.

"Hey, over there!" She waved.

The people took notice, and were quickly shambling about trying to save their skins. One of them pulled out a large communicator and yelled something into it. "I think we've been officially noticed." Xan said, quickly changing his pace to long strides.

"At least we'll have company," She reached over at one of the people.

"Not for long though~" He most sang as he lunged at a target an slammed their head into the ground. Unsheathing this blades he stabbed them and quickly absorbed the color right off them. Echoing sound of helicopters sounded in the distance.

"Oh," Virus looked over to the helicopter.  "Okay new target."

"Lovely." Xan commented as he stabbed another victim. "Go ahead and take it down, you've called it. I"ll handle these children." He said, glancing at the rest with a gruesome smirk.

"... 'Kay," She vanished from the ground, reappearing atop a helicopter.  She collided instantly with the blades, sending it tumblnig as she was knocked off toward the next airborne vehicle.

"What a beautiful firework show!" Xan said as he snagged a beaver and extended his hand at the explosion. "Wouldn't you agree?" The dude nodded vigorously. "Do me a favor, and call your people here." Xan said, dropping the guy on the ground. The beaver shambled away quickly to the mountainside. The campside was dead silent now.

Virus walked over to one of the crashed helicopters, looking for the driver.

A shinny object appeared over the horizon of the mountain slope. And mass army of people streamed down the hill like ants. A beem was fired at the parasite, and Xan suddenly tensed up at the unforeseen force. Jamming his hands into his head in attempt to stop the apparent screeching sound echoing around him. "Ssoound gun!" He yelled at virus. "Turn. it. OFF!" As he started to crumple to the ground.

Virus stepped out, wincing slightly as she focused in on the source of the sound.

A group of Men were pacing down the hill, not mobians. To collect Xan. But before they could nab him, Xan suddenly dissipated. And re-materialized from another light path, smacking on of the guys up side the face. Stealing one of the guy's headset. He set it on his head to block out the sound.

The Red-Striped Feline zipped upward, sliding upward in a still position before ramming her arm at the source.

Sighing a breath of relief, Xan sneered menacingly at the rest of the men. Tripping one of them, he stabbed the body and used it as a shield against incoming bullets from the final soldier. "I am SO done with the lot of you." He said, tossing the body into the other soldier. Picking up a dropped gun, he shot the man before launching into the air to catch up with Virus.

Virus was currently approaching one of the survivors.

Xan landed near her, "Thanks." He said, glancing at the twisted pieces that remained of the weapon.

"Can't have you crumbling to pieces," She turned to the survivor.  "And you are?"

The man spat on the ground. "I don't answer to you, Lidl' Lady." Xan's eye brows shot up. And a mischievously knowing smirk grew on his face.

The spit flew back into his mouth and then began repeatedly lubricating down and up his throat, slowly chilling into an ice-shard.

The man doubled over and hacked furiously. Clutching his throat. "I do believe that was the wrong answer." Xan said.

The saliva was brought back out again, a small amount of it trailing around the tooth gums.  "Hey, me again," Virus tapped on the head.  "You've got stuff in your head I'm willing to chew on so spew it out through your vocals please."

"What?" The man seemed more afraid now. He glanced back and forth from the two Psychopaths. Xan shrugged. "If she doesn't do it, I can always just eat you. Never tried human before..." The guy scooted back some. His legs were visibly damaged badly. "Whatever! Just don't.. don't do that again." He whimpered

"Great, so where can we find everything this and you came from with painful ease?"

"The front gate up ahead. Its hidden into a layer of snow in the mountain." He answered quickly.

"Thanks, now was anybody watching what we just did?  A camera perhaps?"

The man nodded at his broken helmet lying over yonder. "Every singe one of us was equipped with one. Llyoid is expecting you." Xan shifted in the snow. "Lovely.. And what pray tell does he want with us?" The man turned to face him. "I don't know. I really don't. We were just told not to kill you."

"Well... then..." She turned to Xan, whispering "Don't follow just yet," And then began dragging the man out of sight.

Xan made a pouty face as the man got dragged off. "WAIT! You said you wouldn't kill me! I gave you info!" He yelled, struggling against Virus. "Actually I made no such promise. And neither did she." Xan replied. Waiving bye bye.

It took a few seconds, but the man walked back.  Virus was nowhere to be seen.

Xan arched a brow for a moment. Noticing the man's legs walked like they were never injured. "Hmm. Virus, its that you?" He said, waving a hand in-front of the human's face.

"It usually takes hours to make an organic body," The body answered.  "skinning and wearing, significantly less.  Helps with those pesky supernatural sensors.  Onward?"

He seemed impressed. "Very much so. No use in tricking about a capture though. I bet they have eyes in they sky." Xan replied as he began to trudge through the snow.

"That's why-" And then the body screamed, shoving Xan down while running wildly toward the location.

Xan was confused. Then he soon realized and played along. He jumped up and trailed after the fellow. "Last on the list, boy! You'll make a fine rug."

The body looked for an entrance.

A hatch popped out of the snow, and a guy opened the hatch. "Get in here, Soldier!"

The body dove in, panting, eyes wide and looking around.  "E-hio, th- g-get me away fr-r-f-fro-"

The door slammed shut. "Your safe now, son. C'mon, we need to move to lower ground"

"Rir-rig...right..." and then the body collapsed, as if passed out, though of course it was never before more awake.

"Dang it!" The old man pulled out a walkie talkie and radioed help. A few other people came to hoist up the body to the medic bay.

As the team arrived in the medic bay, the body began pulling the covers over itself, shivering.

"Multiple abrasions along the leg." One of them commented. "We'll need to check the whole body for anymore injuries..." The man turned to the frigid guy. "We're going to help you, O.K?"

A groaning nod came as he passed out completely, a small trailer of spit dripping to the floor, moving ever so slightly.

As they did an check, they discovered long lines running up and down the body. "What on earth?" they murmured.

The saliva mimicked the texture of the floor, zipping out of the room to explore.

Outside the medical center was a hallway full of random people walking to and fro. "The hostile is off camera! Get eyes on the hostile!" Orders yelled in the distance.

It began rushing around for an empty room, a bathroom or personal quarters.

A line of rooms were set up on the left, and a man had just exited one of the rooms.

It zipped into one of the rooms, looking about.

It was devoid of any life, other than a small bushy plant, resting on a desk. A tingly sensation rushed through Virus's brain. "Testing, testing... " echoed Xan's voice in her head.

"Speaking of testing," The bite-wound in his arm flickered a bit as Xan found his body consumed by a red energy before reappearing in the room closely in front of the now reforming Virus.

He seemed pretty stunned. "Well, thats a bit more convenient" Xan said, glancing around the area.

"Very, "She grinned while cupping his face into a another forceful kiss.

"Mmf!" He mumbled through the kiss. He ducked away from Virus. again. And rubbed his cheek. "You've got to stop doing that." He said, scooting away. "Its neither the time nor place."

"We're alone in a room where no one knows we're here, but sure," She winked before walking to the door.  "What do you plan to do?"

"Parasite reproduction doesn't work the same way mobians and humans do." Xan informed Virus. trying to keep cool. "Where are we, as of now?" He asked, checking compartments and whatnots

"Neither does mine, though who said that's what I had in mind?  We're in a locker room it seems."

Xan's tail twitched. "Then we need to work our way to the headquarters. We came here for answers, did we not?" 

"Among other reasons," She smirked, beginning to walk through.

Irritation showed on his face as he followed suit. Clearly understanding. "My skin is going to be a dead give away. If we intend to move stealthily."

"Well we could just not be stealthy."

"A marvelous suggestion. Lets go then." He said as he busted down the door. "Always wanted to do that." He murmured. Men started yelling and sirens were soon flipped on.

"Hello," Virus greeted while walking through.  "We're looking for who's in charge of this, and/or any potential captured parasites."

"Get the boss to safety!" A Sargent waved at two other men as they bolted off. "FIRE At WILL!" He bellowed and the group of men sprayed a ray of bullets down the hall. Xan yanked Virus up the wall and dangled from the ceiling. "Well. How rude."

"Can you take them?" She asked.

"Of coarse." He said, as his tail coiled around Virus and set her to the ground. He crawled up the ceiling, effectively avoiding the bullets. Xan spat a strange substance into the air, causing the soldiers to drop to the ground alive. Xan hopped down from the ground and examined the men.

"Paralysis?" She asked while poking one of the men.

"Indeed. They won't be getting around for a.. VERY.. Long. time." He replied with a grin. Clearly this was fun.

"And I've just finished archiving the entire base," She replied before rushing off, tracking down the desired location.

Xan glance at the group to men and sighed as he took off after her. Squeezing though the narrow passages. "What are these people.. Ants?! I've seen Mobian houses bigger than these walls!"

Virus stopped at the main door.  "This is the head office I think..." She knocked.

The door creaked open, and an older gentlemen stood at the threshold. "Oh, why hello there."

"Hi," She waved with a friendly smile.  "Can I come in?"

"Of coarse, of coarse." He wave them both in. His room was mainly a lab, cluttered with papers. He closed the door behind them. "Well, This is an exciting moment. I finally get to meet you both." The gentlemen said, a grin lighting his face.

"Pardon me for asking, but whom may you be?" Xan inquired. The old man's eyes widened. "Oh! Just call me Daren. I'm just a' nerdy 'geezer', and I'm very interested in you two. The genetics is quite incredible.. really."

"What kind of genetics?"

"Well. Mainly the uh.." Daren picked up a weird eye piece. He hobbled over to Xan's towering figure and nabbed a hand. "Ah. May I? Thanks." Daren said as he observed Xan's arm. "..Its mainly the Developmental Genetics of.. Xan is it?? I have a hard time remembering names-" He trailed off, Poking at Xan's arm. Obviously making Xan uncomfortable. "Oh! But eh, I didn't really know you'd be here, miss!"

"I'm unpredictable like that," She replied.  "So this is the first you've seen of me then?"

"Not quite. I've seen you here and there.." He was cut off as Xan tried to pull his arm away, but the old man yanked it back. " But never in person. I must say. You can cause a stir out there."

"So is he going to get placed with the others then?" She asked.

"Pardon?" The old man stopped, Looking up at Virus in confusion.

"The other parasites."

"I assumed he was already with the other parasites? Is he not?? Has their habitat been destroyed?" the old man questioned. Turning to and fro. Xan glanced at Virus "I don't think he has a clue of what we're saying."

"Well so much for captured parasites," She sighed.

Daren's face furled into more confusion. "W-hat? I would never!" He randomly patted Xan's back. "I'm a lover, not the fighter. I like to study the creatures." Xan scooted far away. "Then.. Why would the robot send us here..? "

"Misdirection?"  Virus shrugged.  "Betrayal?  Well I feel somewhat more... heroic just leaving that body intact... yeuch."

Xan's eye narrowed. "Theres got to be a bigger reason. You can't go though all that trouble for just nothing.."

"Sometimes the simplest answer is the true one," Virus noted.  "And the simple one is that he's lying."

Xan remained silent, an eye brow arched as he stared at Daren long and hard. The crystal lodged in his chest glowed as it picked up a signal. And it was a rapid heartbeat. "Hmm. See, two things aren't adding up here. YOU said you had NO idea, what we were talking about.. But strangely your heart is literately telling a whole other story."

"So you're a lie detector too?" Virus cocked her head at the crystal.  "Does it make hot drinks?"

He rolled his eye. "No. But Theres a first for everything, I suppose. It only works because I can pick up heart-beats.. remember?" He sighed. "But, blah blah bla. Science, science, science." Xan said, Snapping his hand together repeatedly like an alligator to mimic him talking. "...Lets just get strait to the point.." He growled, retracting his echo blade, and thrusting it right near Daren's neck. The old man jumped in surprise.

"Your hiding something, and I don't like secrets. DO tell me, Doctor, What your hiding before I resort to a less than clean fashion of punishment." Xan said, stony faced. Daren's face quivered. He glanced at Virus for moral support.

"... Oh you're thinking I've got something to help you with?  ... Okay," She stepped next to the doctor's ear, whispering faintly "Do you have them?  Twitch a finger if you do."

No fingers twitched from the old man. And Xan seemed to be getting impatient .

"If you don't, then what do you have?  I can preserve you, but I don't really want to right now.  Make me want to."

The old man nodded repeatedly "I have the knowledge of where they are. If thats what you mean. General Lloyed commissioned use to study parasites he brought in for genetic weaknesses. He has an off sight compound containing what your looking for off In Shamar." He flapped in a speedy slur. "That has to be Thousands of miles away!" Xan murmured.

A chuckle.  "Thousands of miles..," The red-striped feline stepped aside, turning to face the both of them.  "Doctor, what am I?"

Daren seemed nervous. "I-i don't knoow.."

"First impression guess."

The old man shifted from side to side. "I assumed you were a parasite bounded to a host. But in recent turn of events, I'm not sure anymore." Xan heaved a sigh and withdrew the blade.

"That's the spirit," She stomped her foot to the ground, a red light flowing over the area, spreading through and out of the building then out further over the land.

Xan and Daren watched intently. Men were banging on the door outside. But before Daren could say anything Xan shushed him with his hand and a death glare.

"I'm a parasite of a sort," She informed.  "Just not the kind you're aware of... and now I do believe I have located 'Shamar'."

"Lovely. Now, we should get a move on. We've overstayed our welcome." He glanced at Daren in disgust. "What should we do this this old fool?"

"I've got plans, but that's for later," The floor began glowing in a circle, a portal that Virus dropped through.

Xan glanced back and forth before finally just dragging the old man along down into the energy tube, before warping out the other side next to Virus.

Virus looked over the area.  "So where is this again?"

Sand covered EVERYTHING. The sun barred down onto the desert, hot enough to cook an egg. Daren looked around. "Well.. I'll be darned." The old man said, scratching his head. "We're in Shamar. Technically not the city.. but the desert is rest upon."

Virus glanced back at the doctor.  "Oooooooh... kay, didn't mean for all three of us but this can work I guess.  Which way now?"

The doctor looked at her like she was nuts. "Madam, I've been dumped in the middle of a desert. I don't have a bloomn' clue." Xan was shielding his eye from the sun as he took a good look around.

"Fine," She began spreading another energy sensor.

Xan was more tense than usual. "Doctor. How exactly do you help This Lloyd fellow out in his work?" Daren seemed duly aware. "Hmm. He would supply me parasites of different sorts to examine. Sometimes he had me collect tissue." He replied blatantly.

"Well that's a smart life-decision."

Daren seemed to wilt, but he said nothing else. Xan pursed his lips. "Huh. Your Mum would be proud of a son who kills a whole race for the amusement of pay." He said sarcastically.

"Just like the amusement of revenge- Found it!" She teleported the group to the assumed location.

Xan was just about to argue, but he paused to look around the massive city plaza they just landed in.

"So, Lloyld right?" Virus asked.  "Where?"

Daren shrugged. "I've never been transported to the base without being blinded." Xan rolled his eye. "That was the only reason I left you alive, and brought you along."

"Well how do we plan to find it then?"

"Well." Xan rested a hand tentatively under his chin. "We can either draw a lot of attention, or attempt to weed through all these blasted buildings."

"... Alright," She stretched her arm into the air, a large red beacon appearing.

"..." Xan had no clue what she was doing, so he just watched. Daren attempting to scoot off, got nabbed by Xan's tail and remained stationary next the him.

"So how long will this take till somebody approaches?"

Xan noticed a few passerby men that were radioing someone. "Not very long apparently. We stick out like a sore thumb."

"Well then," She sat down on a forming chair.

Xan arched a brow at Virus's apparent relaxed behavior. "Aren't you a lest bit concerned?" He inquired, watching people evacuate.

"Would acting concerned be more attractive?" She asked vainly.

Xan rolled an eye, before pausing. "No, your already pretty as it is. Concern would just batter up your lovely face~" He said in a sickeningly sweet tone. Trying to give her a taste of her own medicine. Sirens went off and men were obviously coming soon.

"So do you want to get captured or take them on?"

"Bleh." Xan said, sticking his tongue out, as if a bad taste was in his mouth. "As much as I hate to say it, we'd have a more likely chance of finding the association if we got captured." He sighed. Daren was somewhat panicking, and clung to Xan.

Virus rolled her eyes.  "Doc, why'd you come if you were gonna panic?  They'll just think you're a hostage anyway."

Daren shook his fist. "Because I AM a hostage. You ruffians! I had no intentions of coming along." He sputtered. Xan yanked the old man up with his tail so Daren was at eye level. "If you want, I could just end this 'awful' suffering for you in a quick snap." He said, grinning wide enough to see his sharp fangs. Daren shrunk back. "Point t-taken." He replied. Xan set the old fool down again. Clearly bored.

Suddenly from one of the sandy buildings a sniper fired a bullet right at Xan. He dodged a bit to late and got hit in the shoulder. "I'd say the uh.. Calvary's here. Finally." Xan said through gritted teeth. Clutching his shoulder. Men armed from head to toe marched into the plaza. Armed with all kinds of trinkets of disaster.

The chair vanished as Virus crouched behind Daren, clinging to his waist with flattened ears.

"W-what are you doing?!" Daren yelped. Squirming in Virus's grasp. Xan grunted and took shelter behind a palm tree to avoid he bullet ambush. "Your gonna have to give me a second, dear. Takes a moment to-" He quickly yanked out a lodged bullet from his arm. "-Gah. Eh. Remove these things." He said, looking kinda befuddled.

"Over here!" Virus called to the approaching individuals.

The men swamped over, surrounding the group. Guns aimed at everyone's heads. The men were equipped with energy shields that shimmered around their body. Xan looked dazed, but Daren's hand shot in the air. "Help me!" The old man cried.

Virus remained silent, looking about at the different men, but when things weren't moving along she finally said "Aren't you going to help here?"

The people were a touch confused at this, but they pulled Daren away from Virus quickly. "Lets get a move on, men! Get those two confined." a general yelled. Xan was twitching as a guy cautiously encased Xan's arms in a metal like substance. "Hehe. Virus look! I've got a fabulous set of gloves" He said, waiving his arms around for emphasis. He was clearly delirious now. Another set of men came and also encased Virus's hands in a hot metal substance.

"... Well... I'm sufficiently embarrassed," She blinked at the confines.  "Guess I'm not as good an actor as I thought... Where we goin'?"

"Doooo! I hope its wonderland!" Xan crowed. The sniper was rubbing his neck. "Looks like its taking longer than I expected for the serum to wear em' down." Daren spat at Xan's feet. "Have a lovely time in hell." The old man sneered as a soldier transported him away in a jeep. Another guy kicked Virus's foot. "Like you need to know."

She let out a squeal, stumbling a bit as she regained her composure.

The general nodded at the two. "Give the purple one a heavier dose, to be safe. The girl needs to be.. heavily.. restrained. When thats done, load em' up." He said as he marched off. More restrains were added to Virus and Xan was finally knocked out with a heavy dose of anesthesia. They both were dragged into a helicopter and took off.

"Why do I have so many restraints exactly?" Virus asked.  "Or am I getting more toe-kicks for asking?  Up- that's two more strikes.  Oh noes."

"For safety purposes. The only reason you aren't out cold like your friend here is because we don't have a drug to work on your type." a man growled. Annoyed as they flew across the sandy city to a plain-looking two story complex.

"What's my type?"

One of the soldiers slapped the guy on the back. He was obviously more layedback. "To be honest. Dunno! Thats why we don't waist anything. Haha!" He said, as he helped assist in dragging Xan's unconscious body out to the helipad.

"Feel free to guess.  I'm fine with twenty-questions."

"Woman, you you wanna get kicked again?!" Yelled the other soldier. "Shut up. Cam, help me transport her." He said as they grabbed Virus's arms and walked her through the building.

"That's one question," She replied.  "Nineteen left."

The soldier growled, as they dragged the two through a series of halls. "Shut this girl up." One of the two men clamped Virus's mouth shut with a brace.

Despite her mouth no longer moving, a more echoing response continued "That one wasn't even a question.  Come on, try harder."

"What the-. "The guys were pretty confused now. But they had arrived to a cell block, and quickly dumped her, along with Xan, into the cell. A bubble like film coated the door way and walls. And sealed them in. "Goodnight. Least we don't have deal with her anymore. " One of the men said, as they left the hall. The cell was simple. But clean.

Virus looked over at Xan, hobbling over before poking him a few times.

Xan did not respond. He was dead to the world. Drugs did a number on his system, and his body was limp on the floor. A beeping sound resounded, and a scanner checked the room before leaving the two alone.

Once determining he was not going to wake up yet, Virus shrank her body to slip out from the restraints then reformed back to normal, promptly cuddling up next to him afterward.

Xan's marking weren't glowing like they usually do. But he was steadily breathing. Almost peacefully. Due to lack of attention, The bullet hole still remained in his shoulder.

After a while of realizing he still wasn't waking up, the red-striped feline sighed and got up.  "Hm..." She manuvered a shrunken finger into the wound, pulling out the bullet as she began syphoning out the chemicals from his system.

Xan snapped awake in a few moments. Hacking for a moment. "Ugh. I've got this. Terrible taste in my mouth.." He said, as he looked around.

"What kind?" She asked, poking him repeatedly at this point.

His face was scrunched up. "I have no clue. Where are we, to be exact?"

"A prison," She informed.  "We're all alone... in a glass room... all alone..."

"Brilliant." He murmured sarcastically, as he stood up to dust off rubble and dirt. "A prison made of glass would be stupid. They probably constructed it to be far more lethal" He said, picking up the loose bullet remains and tossing it into the bubble film. Which quickly melted the bullet case

"Do you want to get out now or see what they might try?  I... hold on," She glanced about for any cameras.

There were two cameras behind the bubble coating. "I'd hate to be rude. But if I get drugged again I will tear heads off. " Xan growled.

She made a popping noise with her mouth.  "So which is it then?"

"Eh. You had me pick the first time, Virus. I leave the decision to you." He replied, studying the field.

"... Okay," A metallic hollow circle began forming vertical in front of them, like a halo.  A second smaller one formed in front of this one, and smaller until the smallest was about two feet in radius.  Then, a red light filled the walls of the halos, and a blast of energy began rushing through the room and out, burning at all materials nearby.

The flimsy bubble popped, and exploded a gross goop into the floor, melting through the floor. They'd Punched a hole into a neighboring cell, a group of creatures were huddled next to the corner wall. "Your full of surprises, aren't you, dear?" Xan commented

"Yep, and I still don't like being called 'dear'," She replied briefly before stepping out.

"Bite me." Xan said, sticking out his tongue briefly before following suit. The creatures in the corner seemed to be made out of wood.

Virus's head turned around at 180 degrees for a moment, making a chomping motion at Xan before looking over to the wood creature.  "You are Groot?"

"Zh kdyh qr lghd zkdw brx duh vdblqj???" One of them responded. The cell's accommodations were different than the last. It was hot, and dry. Xan was perplexed. "I've no clue what their saying. Do you?" He said nudging Virus.

"Something along the lines of not liking intense dry heat probably," She smashed a hand into the wall of the cell,beginning to expand it into an opening.

A siren went off. Lock down was immediately initiated outside the grid of cells. "Zkdw duh brx grlqj?! Brx Lglrw! Wkhb'oo Nloo brx!" Another yelped, calling for help. Xan gave them one long stare, and they all shut up. "The cells must be designed uniquely to counteract the inhabitants." He murmured.

"Well," Virus winced at the siren briefly.  "Do YOU want to get them out or..."

"So full of questions today. " He said as he pulled up the group and sliced off the restraints. The creatures flinched, and Xan rolled his eye, making motions for them to leave. But they made no attempt to escape. "Pfft. Its your choice. Come, Virus. We need to make our exit and find the prison HUD."

"Kay," She turned back to the plant people briefly with a wave.  "By, Groots," and then strolled toward the exit. (Hooba ba'Dooba) (Was watching One Punch Man.. >_>)

Lock down was complete, an electrical current ran through the floors, making them untouchable. "At this point I've come to assume any sort of mechanical defense is useless against you, Virus. So this must be a piece of Cake."

"Pretty much," Her arm began growing a bit as she slammed into the door, the sparks of electricity sending little metal specks about as she continued bursting through it.

Random shots came from above from several turrets, but Xan smacked them right out of the air.

"Hellooooooooo," Virus called about.  "Looking for parasiiiiiites!"

"But wouldn't be more logical to deactivate all of the cells at once?" Xan said with exasperation, as he waltzed up to a panel and smashed it. Causing all the cell doors to open. A bunch of critters and parasites flooded out of the gates.

"Well now that that's done, meet you outside!" Virus called as she zipped forward.

Xan shrugged and chased her out, avoiding the stampede of his fellow inmates.

It wasn't until the entire complex had been emptied of the prisoners that Xan could see the green and red glow of the red-striped feline off in the distance. There appeared to be some figures right next to her.

Perplexed, he light dashed quietly near her location. "What did you get yourself into now.." He said under his breath.

Upon closer inspection, it was more like she was holding the two by the throats... and the wrists... and the ankles, as if her stripes were ribbons tying them up... these two were some of the captured parasites.

Eye widening, Xan immediately sprung up and marched right up. "What on Mobius are you doing, Virus?" He questioned.

"So I've got a question for ya," She began, looking between the two.  "You remember the first thing I did when we met?"

"I do.. But you never quite explained it to me..However it looked terribly familiar. " Xan answered, keeping a cautious eye on the two parasites.

"You were about to be blasted by two of my kind, and what did I do with those?"

His eye narrowed. "You absorbed them, didn't you?"

"Killed them, ate them, absorbed them, assimilated them, that's right."

Xan seemed to know what was coming next. "You mentioned once that you were indeed a type of parasite. Would you care to clarify?" He asked carefully.

"Simple.  You're organic.  I'm technological.  Of course I've changed far past just calling myself something like 'robot' or 'computer'.  I've got a far different identity that this point."

"Hmm. Interesting. Where you always like this?" He inquired.

"If you want to know there's something you gotta do first."

Xan's brows furrowed. "I suppose this must mean trouble. What do you want?"

"I want to watch you kill these two."

Stunned, Xan just stood there for a few moments. Then a short laugh busted the silence.. Xan was cracking up so hard, he had to clutch his sides. Finally the hysteria calmed down to a chuckle, as he whipped a tear from his eye. "Your quiet the joker, Virus." An errie smirk settled on his face. "NO amount of information would lead me to kill my own. I've done it once, and I vowed to never again. Have the blood of my kind upon my hands."

"And if I were to keep them barely alive, slowly destroying them to the point where death would be a mercy, you would still say no?"

Xan remained stone-faced. "I would." He answered quietly, making no eye contact with the two in Virus's grip.

"Heartless," She grinned.  "That's a matter of pride at that point, and that's coming from someone who is unable to break promises.  What single thing would change your mind?  If I were to promise you anything, even though I shouldn't have to, what would it be?"

"..." Bristling, His hands curled into a fist, distaste showing on his face. "Dearie, do you take pleasure in toying with me? Is it amusing to use a mans morals against him?. " He stomped right up to her face. "Do you simply attempt go get under my skin for the satisfaction of a response?" Xan asked quietly.

She shook her head.  "... Well not as the main goal... but I guess I'm expecting too much there.  I kill two of my own, and expect you to do the same.  I did that in a twisted sort of..." She tapped her foot, choosing her words slowly, "proof of dedication, loyalty perhaps.  You threatened to eat me, and you're not even interested in making good on that threat, even with how disappointed, angry, and annoyed you are currently... You're... not... willing..." The ribbons-latches began to loosen.

"No. I'm not." He whispered. "Loyalty shouldn't be an issue. You don't have to ask me to kill of two of my people for that." "You must understand. Your the closest I've had to a friend." He cleared his throat, and backed off. Clearly regretting being so open.

The ribbons released their captives, a low growl telling the parasites to leave.  The Red-Striped feline slowly sunk down to her knees, her attention on the ground.  "You're not going to do it... I'm never going to find someone who will..."

Xan watched they two bolt into the desert, before turning his attention to Virus. Expression softening, He squatted down next to her. "Whatever do you mean..?"

"... Surpass, me..."

Xan's face went sour. "Gee, There's not any arrogance in that at all." He said sarcastically, arching a brow.

"Step... back..."

Taking her word for it, Xan stood up and took a few steps backwards.

The ground began to shake, parts of it rising up, shrinking, condensing as small fissures of red energy began bursting up.  The red-striped woman stood, her markings glowing at this point as she jabbed an arm into the air, a cyclone of bursting energy shooting high upward, spreading and consuming, static of it spreading outward further and further.

Xan stood wide eyed like a deer in headlights.

"I, am Chaos, power, and energy," She stated in an echoing voice.  "I could end the existence of this planet without a second's thought.  My abilities are not to be questioned!" The bursting slowly died down.  "I have no equal, in my psyche nor my body, nor my power, and that is why I want to find one to surpass that."

Xan dusted off ruble from his scales, and just shrugged. "Well. I'm sorry to disappoint. I truly doubt that I can shoot lasers."

"You don't have to..." Her voice cracked at this, a dark blue tint forming around her eyes.  "You just need to be the others..."

Xan frowned. "I'm afraid I don't know what you mean..?"

"You don't have morals... you have a preference... but you look down at what I do wrong."

He cringed and the statement. And sighed. "Why would you have a need of seeking one more powerful than you, if you could pass it down to your offspring?"

"Offspring?" Her brows furrowed a bit.  "Children?  When did that get involved?"

"When I decided to dodge the topic.." He thought.

She just shook her head.  "You fit perfectly.  It was nice.  I just wish you didn't get upset with anything I did is all."

"Hum. Well. I apologize?" He said questioningly. An awkward silence settled upon the two as the sun set over the heat-stricken sand.

"It's just... I killed an entire race for you you know... they're dying: children, parents, siblings, eldery.  They're all going to die... I just asked for one thing back."

His eye twitched. "You prompted me to do something that was apparently against my.. preference." He answered in a monotone. "Again. I'm sorry. Perhaps I can do something else?"

"Such as?"

"I don't know. I'm simply trying to 'staunch the wound.' I don't know alot about this empathy stuff." He said through gritted teeth.

"Fine... then I'll just think of something for later."

With a dismissive snort, Xan turned to check around. Night was falling, and the blazing heat of the day quickly cooled to a chill. "Why shall we do now?"

"... Well, you're about to be in a planet without mobians, so that's something."

"Mm. Thats right, nearly forgot." He sighed with a sense of euphoria. Silence settled for a moment, Xan's tail twitching again. "Virus, why did you do that for me, to begin with?" He asked.

"Why do you think?" Realizing that such a question was generally rhetorical she quickly added "Th-that was an actual question.  I'm genuinely curious."

"See.. I am quite terribly stumped on that one, myself. Considering the power you wield, there is no benefit to my presence. Whatsoever." His spikes fluffed up. "You could have killed me at anytime. So, to be honest. I don't have the answers myself."

"I liked what I saw, and then you said you were a parasite. That helped for sure."

"Hm. Ok then." He said. The chilly desert air setting in. He squatted down in the sand, looking over to the city.

She sat down next to him.  "... Kind of reminds me of a story.  interested?"

"But of coarse." He said, nestling down into the warm sand .

"Well, a guy got told that he had to go warn some people that if they didn't knock it off with some problems they were having, that they'd just lead to getting destroyed.  The guy, he didn't really want to.  See, he spent his whole life being a great person.  He was constantly doing the right thing, going and helping people.  But, in this case, he was being told to offer forgiveness to people that, while they didn't necessarily wrong him, spent their lives being evil.  He couldn't stand it."

"Eventually though, he had to get over there and tell them right from wrong.  The whole time he was thinking," Her voice deepened, a gritty irritated tone coming out "I've spent my life doing right while they were doing wrong.  They knew better, and even if they didn't, why would they change now?  Why should I believe they'd change?  They did so much wrong to so many, they should  just be blasted to bits." Her voice returned to normal, a deep sigh coming "but he did it anyway."

"Of course he didn't expect them to actually repent.  He thought they'd laugh or turn back immediately after.  He thought they'd cause they're destruction anyway.  SO, after leaving, he went up to a high point to overlook the city.  There, he would wait because he assumed they'd destroy themselves.  Days passed, and nothing happened.  He was getting sore and tired so..."

A tickling came from behind Xan as he felt something grow behind him.  "A weed, a tall vine, grew behind him, giving him support for his back, and shade from the heat.  He kept waiting, kept watching, but no one destroyed the people, and the people didn't destroy themselves, because while he refused to believe it, they did repent, and they were forgiven, not by him, but from the person they wronged the most.  He spent the rest of his days waiting, and not once remembering the wrongs he once did that he needed to atone for at some point or another."
Her bitter man

"..." He sat in silence for a moment. "Do you imply that I am the bitter man?" He asked bluntly.

A large wide leaf could be seen above the parasite's head, a thick plant behind him as the Red-Striped Feline

scooted over, resting her head against the side of his chest.

He glances suspiciously at the plant, then at Virus. But he just sighed and left them be. "Why would forgiveness even be shown to the people? They did evil most their lives, and defiled everything. I don't understand why the Man was forced into such a cruel job. What would even keep the people from doing evil again?" He huffed. "The man had the right idea."

"Maybe, but while he's waiting and watching, growing old and bitter while being right, the people he told are living happy knowing they're forgiven.  Guess he forgot that he's made bad choices too, and would in the future, just like them."

"..." He sat in silence for a moment. "Do you imply that I am the bitter man?" He asked bluntly.

"Nope," She rubbed her cheek against him briefly.  "You my bitter man."

"Ah. Well. Thank you for the story, then." He said sheepishly.

She took a deep breath, yawning out a slow "Any time..."

He sucked in a breath. And held it. The poor think had no idea what to do about anything. Shifting his position, he awkwardly supported Virus in the crook of his arm.


(@_@... I'm assuming we're doing an emoji battle?)

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Are we?


Time continued to pass and eventually with a small poof, Virus disappeared and reappeared in a standing position next to Xan.  "Well, we'll definitely have to do this again.  Next time though, I'm taking the reigns of this little adventure line."

Xan stretched and exhaled a short moment. "Indeed. We'll cross paths again eventually. And what says your taking lead?" He said with subtle amusement.

"I'll see you in... let's say a week.  I actually do have some things to get done but I'll be ready by then."

He shrugged as he stood upright and stretched. "Well then, Where can I find you?"

"I'll find you probably, but on the off-chance that you're in the right place at the right time... Do you zone-travel?"

He shuddered. "I have. Once."

"Pleasant experience I see."

He chuckled. "Sure, just a smashing time." He said sarcastically. "But yes, I have. None the less. Assuming you'll be off-zone, I'll just warp around till I find you. Should be to hard to find, you stick out like a sore thumb"

"More like a thorny rose," She replied the separate ribbon thread at her dress beginning to circle and grow around, her body beginning to vanish.

He arched a brow, and watched the light beam her away. "Full of surprises, that one." he murmured to himself. Light dashing away, using the moon as a transit.

(Until the future X{D) (WRITING MAGIC! POOF!)

Pt. 2) A New set of Reigns

Its been about a week since Xan and Virus parted ways. Much activity has been going on since, a plaque of sickness seemed to be taking down mobians. Currently though, Xan was taking a nap on a wide branch of a tree. High and away from unwanted visitors.

"Your designation is Xan?" Came a voice from just behind his head.

He stirred a bit. And stretched out his limbs lazily. Cocking his head around, he searched for the source of the voice.

The woman standing behind him was short, with a rather small torso, longer legs and longer arms.  Her entire body seemed thin, as if blood was drained from her.  Her feet and hands were more like nubs without fingers or toes, covered by a black suit with green markings around the sleeves of the feet and hands.

She wore a hood of sorts, pointed at the top with a green outline at the opening where her black-scaled skin could be seen.  Her eyes were a dark green.

His eye widened a bit. "Well, hello there. Talk, dark, and scary." He said, inspecting them head to toe.

"You are 2 feet taller than I am," She informed in a droll tone.  "Are you Xan?"

"Perhaps I am, what do you want with him?" He questioned, standing to his actual height.

"You are Xan," She confirmed.  "I am to escort you to the current home-city of Virus."

"I see then, Well. Lead the way." He said respectfully.

Within the time of blinking, a brief green light appeared and he found himself in a while void, atop a grey floor with the thin black-suited woman.

"My. Quite simplistic. I'm assuming this is a different zone than the one I've existed in. " He commented.

"It is," She informed.  She placed a hand on the ground.  A black road began to appear, yellow lanterns marking it and lighting as they went. With each new lantern, which became a lamppost, the sky darkened more, until it was night with stars in the sky and grass beside the road.

"Huh. Impressive technology." Xan said, as he petted the grass.

It was completely organic.  "This way," The green-tinted woman directed as she walked down the road.

Xan trailed behind a few feet. Admiring the view along the way. "Is this Zone shielded from unwanted visitors?"

"Normally, yes, unless spontaneous circumstances come into play." With each step past a lamppost, a note would play.  In order it went C, A, C, E, A, F, F, A, G, E, E, G, G.

Saying nothing more, He still trailed behind the cloaked woman. But would occasionally slow a bit to check out something.

The single notes became distinctly that of a violin as Xan noticed a series of lights in the distance.  These became windows, buildings, and the sound of rushing water.  A beach was to the far left, strange constructed shapes all about.  There were floating houses with mounds of land floating around them, spiralling staircases, large telescope-shaped houses, mid-air roads, and a vast aray of colors.  

The theme here remained consistent, however.  Bricks, cement, grass, dirt, water, salt, dim and bright lights, and the music.  The road was now a stone-paved red and black with yellow pieces occasionally.  There were people walking about, some in Victorian attire, though many ranged from blue faces to red reptiles, to white-furred beasts.  Others were more modern, T-shirts and jeans, others with head-bands, and others with no clothes at all with no distinguishing body features either.  Some had markings, some were floating devices of sorts.  

"What kind of city.. IS this?" Xan asked with increasing interest. Taking the New sights, sounds, and places at once. He was especially fascinated with the reptilian people.  

"This is the Isis Dominion," The woman explained.  "It is our 'mainframe' in a sense, though I assure you this is quite physical and actual."

"I've never seen anything quite like it." He marveled.

"We construct it ourselves with our nanites," She explained.  "Everything here is made by our creativity and design," A few of the various people waved as they passed by.  Some rushed over, rapidly observing the new arrival, circling him.

Xan back up a bit, nervously twitching his tail. "Ah. Erm, Hello?" He said, avoiding contact.

"He's organic," One noted to another, who greeted a brief "Hello" as well.

"And reptilian," Another noted.  "You aren't a regular reptile, what are you?"

"I would be a parasite." He answered bluntly. "I do posses reptile traits, but I am not actually part of the species."

"Were you informed of our species title?" The green-tinted woman asked.

"No, I'm afraid not. Virus wasn't one for giving many details." He replied, Yanking his tail away from trying hands.

"We are called 'Identities'," She explained, walking forward further into the city.  "We are organic cybernetic nanite-composed beings."

"Hmm. I knew that much. However, how to you operate? Can you 'eat' or are you powered by a battery of some sort?" He said, pulling away from the strange circlet of staring people.

"We channel our energy from the Chaos Energy Pool," She continued to inform.  "It directly charges each of our nanites, with the programming coming from the core energy stored in each."

"Quite fascinating. That would mean that you would be impervious to a core shut down since each nanite has its own power source. Unless it was EMP.. Or are you immune to that as well?" He bombarded.

"As we are not electronic, the most such an action would do is briefly distort our constructed bodies," The woman informed.  

He seemed to be satisfied, with enough info to chew on. for now. Xan still kept close to the greenish woman, to avoid losing her in the city.    

They continued until arriving at what seemed to be the town square.  A large post with signs to different buildings was positioned, glowing lines moving out from it like circuits toward the destinations.  "As Administator of this area, I was requested to give you a specific amount of time to venture through this area," The woman informed.  "Once you are finished, Virus will be sent for."

Xan perked up. "Well then, I'm off~" He said. Waltzing off to check out the town square.

The woman departed as he did.  The signs at the center pole had sectioned-off areas, the top being closer, the bottom being further away.  From top to bottom is listed

  • Theater
  • Free Construct Plot
  • Free Construct Plot
  • Construct Training
  • Foreign gifts shop
  • Asian-Style Food Archive
  • Asian Culture Archive
  • Celtic Culture and food Archive (attached to this was a small note saying to stop competing for culture popularity)
  • GrosGros House
  • Psyche Archive Environment Designing Community Room
  • Historical Center
  • Civilian Popularity Board
  • Dominion Member Popularity Board
  • Combat Dome
  • Organic Food Department
  • Organic Body Developer
  • Type-Pink Chaos Educational Fascility (A small note below asked "Is this Pix?" with a note below this saying "No")
  • Offspring Adoption Observation Center

This is where the sign ended for the time.  Some more houses were seen but this was the main pattern.

He studied the board long and hard. "Ehh. These all sound nice, but I'm unfortunately on the clock." He murmured to himself. Some of the titles were quite bizarre, so Xan decided to got to the historical center first. Checking around, He walked right up to a nearby civilian for directions. "Hello, pardon the intrusion. But do you know where the historical center is?" He asked politely.

It was a white-faced male with a stripy torso and noodle-like arms.  He had a blank face except for his deep purple eyes, pupilless like most of the population.  In fact, most of the population wore some variation of a hooded jacket, though any shape could be seen.

He answered with a nod, pressing a hand to the ground.  The line connecting to the Historic Center sign lit up, directing to the path he should take.

"Ah. Thank you." Xan nodded back and trailed along the line all they way up the the Historical center.

The city was quite creative in the pathway there.  He went up at least two short bridges, over strange glowing turquoise water with different aquatic life.  Some of the Identities were creating around him, causing each step he took to sound a small tune.  Few more bold individuals began walking alongside him, with one distinctly giggling as he passed before looking away.

He was now at the Historical Center.  It had a simple door for a tall black and white building, striped in fact.  Not too many people were inside.  Most of it included various artifacts with labels of owners, locations, histories, and zones on holographic screens.

He checked out the artifacts first. Fascinated with their composition. Next he headed to one of the holographic screens near by.

He was currently in the Identity-based history section, which mostly composed of various constructs and some items.  A large complicated bladed arm was floating, slowly turning with a description next to it.

"Cemisti's Biceped Blade

Created on the Identity's homezone of Mobius #84193, this construct charges with Core Energy allowing additional speed and retracts and extends based on a self-conscious sight ability.  The owner has been reported as dead or missing for twelve years.  Currently this construct is only to be programmed to level 27 or above with extensive Core-Energy training."

"Core energy...?" He questioned. Checking around for a console or other information on the subject.

Nothing on the topic seemed to be about, but there were plenty of Identities around who could inform him.

Walking up to one of them, he tapped them on the shoulder. "Hello. I was wondering if you knew anything about 'Core energy.' I'm afraid theres a lack of information on the topic here."

"Oh you're organic," She noted, looking him over.  "Well Core Energy is like the brain part of our nanites.  It's an energy that connects our consciousness throughout them, but it can be channeled into a projectyle and things like ki."

"I take it there aren't many organics here.. Anyhoo, thank you for the info. I won't be in your hair again."

"There are some but not many.  Not a worry," She waved briefly, returning to the exibit.

Xan wandered off into another part of the museum. Glancing around at its contents.

He passed by various construct artifcats, notably a large vehicle of some kind, what looked to be a tree of bladed flashlights, and many variations of weapons.  Things became more regular as he saw items like a helmet, some old pends, written documents, the door of a large vault, and a bomb with a timer still ticking down.

He bristled at the sight of the Bomb. But quickly realizing the lack of panic in the room, He tentatively walked over to examine it.

It had only two minutes left.  Apparently it was used in a large battle against what were described as "Slender-Infected" spanning a few miles in the blast.  It held some kind of anti-core energy.  

Xan shuddered, and briskly avoided it to be safe. He walked over the the odd looking tree and checked it out.  

It was titled "Jack's House".  The identity owner evolved far smaller than most others, living on a post-sentient world.  He lived among mice for a long while, gathering various items, and eventually choosing a pattern in lights.  He positioned the lights and blades to reflect and design various shapes in the original environment.  If one were to look closely enough,they would find a series of tunnels in the lights, furniture and even bookshelves inside.

Xan squinted around to see the various rooms and such. "What on odd construct." He said to himself. He wasn't nearly as interested though. He instead checked out the vault door. Looking around for clues to what it sealed.

The entire door floated and roated on its stand, burn marks around it, with a few holes going through.  It was titled as "The Kremno Shield".  This vault door was the only thing protecting a mobian from Identity fire as he had locked himself in the room.  The contents inside of the vault were so radioactive that it made the identity's unable to teleport inside.  The Mobian had spent two days talking down the identities from stealing the contents while being exposed.  The vault was so reinforced like the door that the identities spent days trying to burn through it.  When they finally got through, they found the Mobian unconscious from the overexposure to the radiation inside.  He soon-after died, but in respect to his dedication, the Identities removed him from the vault and brought him back to the public unharmed.  The radioactive contents were left inside, but the vault door was taken.

Xan's face was scrunched up. But he made no comment, as he briefly touched the vault door's holes. He sighed as he turned around and scoped the rest of the room. "I want to check out everything. But since I'm on the clock, I have limited access." He murmured. since nothing else seemed too important, Xan strolled out of the room down to the next corridor.

The next area, the final one for the moment, was mostly empty.  It had some text information but was mostly just historical records.  Some actual books were shelved about, and in fact there was an identity girl with  scales in the form of paper pages floating about, stacking and cleaning.

"Hum. I suppose this is it then. Excuse me, Miss. Is there a Library of sorts in town?" He called.

"Not exactly," She informed, shaking her head.  "You have something in mind?"

"Yes, I was looking for general lore of the Identities. Surrounding their abilities and where they originated from."

"Oh..." She reached out, poking his arm briefly before jerking her hand back.  "You have very curious... I- I'm sorry, you wanted information about our origin?"

He rubbed his arm for a moment. "Ah, yes, I did, if you don't mind." He glanced back at the girl. "...And don't apologize. I probably deserved that, I've been bombarding people all day with my accursed curiosity." Xan said, shrugging.

"It's alright," She shrugged.  "The Identities originated from the Prime Identity, an entity from the Prime Zone.  This entity was composed of the Iron Consciousness and the Isis Consciousness.  They were charged with Chaos Energy, fusing their cores into one.  Over time, however, they became unstable, and a third consciousness formed from the Chaos Energy they were powered by.  These three new beings split up, attempting soon after to rejoin to no avail.  They imploded, sending copied versions of their consciousness and biological structure throughout the multiverse.  These clone entities are what we are now called: Identities."

He seemed almost excited. Eye wide with interest. "So there are descendants. Is there any direct descendant to the Prime Identity? If the different fragments of consciousness was spread throughout the universe, How did the identities come to inhabit this zone?" He questioned.

"The three originals still exist," She explained.  "The Iron, the Isis, and the Chaos.  To this day, no one knows where the Chaos Elder is, the Third of the Elder Identities.  We are the Isis Dominion.  This zone was crafted by the Device, the Administator of our organization.  She built this entire city for us to populate."

"Hum. One more question and I'll be on my way. Are Identities Ageless?"

"In a way," She answered.  "We follow the belief that everything will eventually age to rot somehow to some point, no matter how designed they are to remain, as anything and everything has eventually died out at some point in history.  Our nanites do go through a maturing state for those that are Offspring Identities until their psyche is able to process our abiliites fully, but in basic terms, we have Identities hundreds of years old without any sign of rot yet, so at least for now we are ageless."

He nodded thoughtfully. "Heh. Must be nice." He mused, before returning attention to the girl. "Thank you for the info, miss. Is there anyway I can help...?" Xan asked, gesturing at the piles of books and papers.

"Oh!" A brief lighter-red tint flickered in her eyes.  "um... I guess.  That's very nice of you.  Let's see..." She looked between each of them.  "Well these," She pointed to some groups of torn-up books with scattered pages.  "They need to be rebinded and matched with the proper book covers."

He shrugged. Knowing this would most likely be the remainder of his time. "Consider it my way of saying thank you." Xan said, walking up to the mess of clutter. "Good gracious, what on earth happened to these books?" He asked, sifting though a pile to collect matching pages.

"They were gathered from a ruined library I believe, or maybe just dropped by whoever was stacking them," She informed.

His tail and quills were proving to make the task pretty difficult. Papers were sticking to him while he moved around to collect book covers. Xan was pretty irked. "I'm sorry-" He said. Plucking a page from his back. "-It seems I'm making Swiss cheese out of your books."

"It's alright," She began pulling the pages off of him.  "I can handle it."

"Is there something else I could do...?" He asked. Feeling bad about tearing up the books.

"I don't... think so,"She glanced about.  "but that's alright.  You do have me curious about your own... species?"

Xan sat up, still picking off pages. "Hum. What about it?" He asked distractedly.

"Well, what kind of organic are you exactly?"

Xan paused from his current project to give full attention to the girl. "I'm not quite sure I follow? What do you mean?"

"Well, are you some kind of lizard?" She inquired.

He chuckled at the inquiry. "No. I retain some physical attributes of a reptile, but I don't actually belong to the species." He quoted from earlier. "I would belong to the parasitic species. But I'm not what you would call a natural. I wasn't born. So if my composition is a bit off, that would be the reason why."

"So... pardon my wording, like a... lab creation?"

He twitched, but recovered quickly. "Um. Yes. That would be the the logical description." He answered, poker-faced.

"I'm sorry... that's a touchy subject I take it?"

"Eheh. Perhaps it is. But again, don't apologize." Xan replied. Picking at a piece of paper wedged in-between his tail.

"Are there many of you?"

"Parasites? Oh yes, I'd say there are at least a few million." He anwsered

"Were they all... um, composed?"

"Not like me. No. Parasites evolved from a string of people I believe were the first of us. The founder was originally not from mobius. But another zone." He said, rolling his hand for effect.

"Oh?  What kind of zone?  A non-Mobian zone?" She tensed with interest, a small yellow tint forming in her eyes.

"Yes in fact. Unfortunately I'm not sure which one. But I believe it was indeed a non-Mobian zone. We look nothing like the species." He answered regretfully.

"Well you are in luck!" She clamped her hands together.  "We have a record of thousands of different zones you can search through."

He perked up. "Thats brilliant! Could you show me where?" He asked, smiling.

She nodded.  "First though," She plucked out the remaining pages stuck to Xan, setting them down.

He cleared his throat as he stood up. "Sorry about those..again."

She waved the apology away, walking out of the building.  She rubbed a hand against the wall and soon after a portal grew out in front of them.  "Teleporting is kept regulated here so we don't disrupt anyone's energy or appear in a construct."

He arched a brow. "Moat convenient." He commented. Before walking up next to it and gesturing to the portal. "Ladies first."

(The most moat-iest X{D) She gave him a odd stare, but walked through regardless.

(Honestly he just wanted to avoid dying in the thing. So send someone else through first xD) Xan followed suit and walked through the portal, stepping out right next to the girl.

A large circle of portals stood around them, different hummings coming from them.  It was as if they were walking in space.  A set of computers stood in the very center.  The Identity walked over, gesturing for him to inspect one.

He was very interested in the equipment. And walked up to one to check out the functions. "So. I'm assuming this is a warp deck?"

"You can call it that, yes," She nodded.  "Every zone we are aware of is archived here.  Feel free to browse."

He flipped through the archives on the computer. And ended up applying a filter to narrow his searches down to a few sectors. "Hm. I'm has to be this one." He said, pointedly at the Zone classified under the name.. 'Distant Abyss.'

She looked over the title.  "Is that the zone's name?"

"It appears to be so." He replied. "Theres an regrettably little amount of information on it, though. " Xan's face crinkled.

"Hm..." She typed a few words on to the screen and one of the portals activated.

He glanced up from the console and watched the portal whirl to life. "Random question, if I may. What ever is your name?" He asked, looking back at the girl. "I'm afraid I never really asked to begin with."

"Kringle," She answered with a smile.

"Hum, Like the cookie? How cute~" He commented, as he slid off the computer console and wondered over to pear into the portal.

"Oh," She looked a ways off, a burst of pink forming on her face.  The portal was mostly a stream of energy but the planet on the other side could be seen.

It was mostly an expanse of stars and rubble. The occasional rock passing by could be seen But as the name stated, it was mainly just an Abyss. "How desolate. How on Mobius would the first come from here?"

(How Odd that I've got two characters currently heading/in an space abyss xD)(What a tweeeest)

The paper-like identity followed through into the portal, looking about the area.  "It was destroyed?"

"Looks to be that way. It must have been catastrophic to destroy the whole zone at this level." He said absent-minded. A more serious tone settled upon his face.

"Shall we explore?"

"Not much to explore." He replied. "Lets check out one of those land fragments." Xan said, without a second thought he grabbed her and leaped a massive distance to the floating chunk of land.

She tensed at the sudden grab, but went along regardless, looking about the area.

They landed without a hitch. And Xan set her down before checking out the area. The ground was mainly consisted of a soot like substance. And there was some weird vegetation here and there.

Kringle began observing the vegetation, a light coming from her, going over them like a scanner.

It was a carbon based plant that produced a goop-like substance. It was Similar to an aloe plant in shape, size, and color. Xan bent over and nabbed a sample of the soil. Which was visibly staining his purple skin black. "Perhaps the zone exploded?" he commented.

"The whole zone or the planet?"

"I don't know, but unless we find evidence of a continent of some kind, I would assume the whole zone." He said grimly.

"... Alright.  One moment please," She floated upward, beginning to fly off.

Xan arched a brow, but said nothing as he returned to rip open a leaf of the plant for further investigation.

She began expanding her search, going out toward the atomosphere in search of any other planets.

In the further corner of the zone there was what seemed to be a small earthy moon. Fragments blown off the edges, but the rest of it remained in tact.

She flew back.  "There's a partially-damaged moon.  Maybe whatever happened originated here."

"Hum. It would make sense. I'm still in a tizzy about how..." He paused stretched his arms out.. "Empty. it all is. Perhaps the first left the zone because it was desecrated."

"Have you been here before?"

"No. I've never really been one for Warp travel. I've only heard of this place through small booklets and rumors."

"Hm," She continued searching around the area for something of indication.  Green markings began to appear next to Xan in the air.

"Hmm?" He mumbled as he looked up to see the pattern of Markings. He scooted out of the way, and stood up, dusting off his hands.

The eyes of the green-tinted woman of before appeared in front of the markings.  "How long further do you plan to remain here?" (Hooba dooba) (Bibbibty Boo Bop Dodaa)

"Ah. Hello to you too." He greeted sarcastically. "Miss Kringle and I have been investigating this zone's origins." He said, pointedly. "I truly don't know how long we could be here. But if I'm needed elsewhere I can certainly come."

"A specific time would be preferred for the waiting party."

"Then let's say we'll be here for..." He glanced at Kringle, for help. "An hour."

"... Very well," The markings and eyes vanished.

"Well, we're on the clock, dear." Xan said, "Lets wrap things up."

"Hm?" Kringle looked back.  "It would probably go faster if I knew where things were... some electronics perhaps."

"Electronics?" He echoed. "I do thing that woul-" He was cut off by A distant rumble of a roar echoed off in the northern plains. Xan's face furrowed. "Well. scratch that. Not everything seems to be dead here after all."

Kringle instantly made her way toward the sound.

Hesitating, the parasite followed behind, and ended up trailing close behind her. "Careful, dear. I'd like to bring you back in one piece." He called. The flat and ashy plain becoming more choppy. Crests of canyons formed along the edges of the plateau they were walking on.

"Something unstable, no doubt," She mumbled while looking about.

"Indeed." He concurred. The rumbling grew increasingly close as a large snake-like beast slithered across the skyline.

"Whoa..." She stepped back.  "... That couldn't have caused all this... right?"

"Mm. I'm not sure. Perhaps the fissures in the ground. But I doubt it has the power to destroy the zone. However my assumptions have been wrong before..."

"Should we pursue it?"

Xan blinked. "But of coarse. Unless you wish to take a different coarse of action."

She shot toward the creature, paper-like cuffs growing from her arms around her wrists, expanding outward into a funnel shape as her hands lit up with a purple color.

He seemed surprised. "I'll get it from behind." He said simply, and he launched himself behind the great beast. The snake creature seemed to not be aware of their presence. Because they were so small. As it slithered further over-head.

Kringle began firing a pulse of repeating circular beams of the purple energy toward the stomach area of the creature.

Surprised, the creature roared. And flicked its tail in annoyance. Its huge eyes focusing on the tiny Identity. It dove to the ground in attempt to smash her. Rocketing Xan down like the roller coaster plummet.

She began to coat herself in the purple energy, like an acid to matter as the creature neared impact.

It suddenly reared up, and stopped mid air. It screeched and bucked around, as Xan slid down with his knives in its back. Like a terrible slide.

She flew up higher toward it, the coating fading as her foot grew larger, a slamming kick going upward on its jaw.

It roared, and flicked Xan off with its tail before promptly streaking away. Xan landed on his toes, but was slimy and smelt... gross. "Ugh!" He said, vainly brushing goop off himself.

Kringle planned to go after the creature but noticed Xan and rushed over toward him instead.

"Pfft. Don't worry about me, missy." Xan snorted. "At least its gone now, but it took with it valuable information." He said, heaving a sigh.

"We could chase it down," She replied.  "It's injured and won't be able to go too far."

"Yes, indeed." He said, still cleaning off the goop. Muttering things about hygiene and fungus. "Lets catch it before it sails off." He said distractedly.

She rose up again and continued after the beast.

Sighing, He bolted after her. "Since its so massive, the best way to kill it would be to tear it up from within." He yelled.

"Is it intelligent?" She asked.

"Never thought to ask." He replied sarcastically. Stars quickly passed them by as they came upon a cracked hole. A nest of some sort.

"More creatures?" She observed.

He bent over to observe the crater. "Most likely. It must have been a mother.." He half said to himself. Hopping down a few rocks into the cave.

"What if we find eggs?" Her eyes lit up a yellow shade.  "We must find more!" She rushed onward after the creature.

Landing on the floor, Xan discovered it was mainly a hollowed out chasm. With multiple tunnels leading who knows where. "Hmm, actually, finding the creature shouldn't be hard. " He said, dabbing his finger in a puddle of purple blood. "Just follow the trail."

"How far will this take us?"

"Ugh. Thats true.. I'm uncertain." He sighed. Knowing they were on the clock. Again.

"I could go faster if you want me to carry you."

Xan looked like he seriously was doubting that fact. "If you say so, dear..." He said.

She carefully picked him up by the waist, her paper-like hands stretching over him for support before speeding off after the trail.

He was jerked off by the speed and force of the bolt. Of coarse, he was startled. "WHOA. I must apologize, I though you were bluffing."

"Why's that?" She asked.

Purposefully avoiding the question, He pointed ahead. "Look out, dear. Seems there would be blockage up ahead."

She looked ahead, a construct beginning to form as a shield in case of resistance.

A little lizard-snake creature hobbled out, almost complacently oblivious to the incoming projectile. When suddenly it took notice of the two hurdling at it, squealing, it hopped out of the way.

Kringle stretched an appendage out, snatching the creature quickly and holding it in front of herself.  "Hm... does this seem the same in species?"

It squirmed and emitted a low pitched whine. "Perhaps so. Its quite hard to tell since it isn't at its maturity.. yet." He squinted.

She attempted to pet the head of the creature in hopes that it would calm down.  "Hm... Will this help us find out why this planet was destroyed?"

"Pfft." He snorted. "If we have time for such an ordeal. Time that I fear we do not have." The creature continued to wiggle and squirm. It was pretty defenseless, so it must have been extremely young. The low pitched tone remained. "Seems it would be calling its mother." Xan randomly commented.

"We have yet to locate the parent."

"We won't have to worry about that at all, if this youngling keeps it up." He said factually. As if to answer, a quaking rumble caused a little sprinkle of dust and stone to rain from the ceiling. A head poked out from one of the walls, and it seemed to be another one of the little creatures.

"Well," She glanced up.  "Tracing DNA is not as easy as minerals."

"Its sadly so." He said simply. Finally hopping off Kringle and wandering over to the other creature. Who seemed more curious than frightened. Xan squatted down, the snakey, lizard like creature was no bigger than two feet long. The hole it bore was through a thin layer of dirt. And led to a chasm of some-kind. The critter sniffed Xan. And nuzzled up close to his leg. "Ugh..." He murmured.

Kringle placed her small captive on the ground, letting it go for the moment as she approached the other.

The smaller one she released kept its distance, and eyed them warily. But the second, bigger one insisted staying near Xan. "...This is becoming quite irritable. Why on Mobius won't it leave me be?!" He griped, shaking his leg to scare the creature off. But it didn't budge.

"It finds you similar to its own," She informed. "Cherish the moment. You have a pet now."

They did in fact, look similar. Other than the florissant purple, and a few facial differences... like a nose. "...Ah. Thank you. That makes everything all the more reassuring." Xan replied sarcastically, peeling off the critter and setting is down, away from himself. "We need to speed this up. There is a cave-like formation behind this tunnel the creature dug."

"This creature could very-well be responsible for parts of your biological structure," She theorized while beginning to make her way through the tunnel.

Xan couldn't actually fit his way through with his limber limbs in the way. So he patiently waited for Kringle to cross through before he carved out a chunk of the wall with his blades.

"Do you need help?" She asked once through.

"Yes. Move." He said as he kicked the wall hard, sending the chunks of earth flying. And creating a much larger hole. He then transferred himself into the dark and damp cave. The tattoos on his skin were definitely more prominent in the dark, as they glowed like a nightlight.

"What causes your markings to illuminate?"

"Magic." He replied with sarcasm. Xan was indeed irked. But he sighed and shrugged it off. "Its a chemical reaction under my skin. Its always been there, its just more visible in the dark." He informed, tapping a finger under his eye. " Before I was alpha, I had yellow eyes.. Currently My blood happens to be the same color as my 'markings.' I produce a neurotoxin that I suspect caused the Teal pigmentation during my transition."

"That seems vaguely similar to another species we are aware of."

Xan cocked his head as he checked around in the darkness. "Oh? Whatever could they be?"

"The term they use is 'Banshee Mobian'."

"Ghastly name. Hopefully they don't truly represent the myth counterpart of the name..How much time has passed..?" He asked, randomly. As if it just crossed his mind.

"Forty minutes."

"Tsk tsk, too long. Shall we proceed or simply leave...?" He left the decision for Kringle to decide. As he attempted to see through the darkness.

"I am currently free of time," She informed.  "We can proceed unless you have a prior engagement."

"Onward we go then, Certainly they won't mind me exploring. Its what I was told to do~" He mused to himself. The room was carved stone, that expanded for several miles. It smelt musky, and rhythmic vibrations quaked the cave. Beyond is what appeared to be the creature's nest. The blood pools were definitely more frequent. The little creature Xan purposefully left behind had returned, and deliberately headed in front of the pack.

Kringle made a quick jog through, becoming more and more determined to quickly locate the beast.

There were at least Nine other babies. The Mother had her back to the nest's entrance. And the snakey lizard thing was cleaning up the den. Xan trailed after her, and poked his head into the den.

"This is the nest then," Kringle noted while approaching the group of creatures.

A few of the critters squeaked in alarm. And the mother immediately cocked her head to see the problem. A growl rumbling from her throat vibrated the earth. "Well. A nest indeed. She certainly doesn't look happy."

"Probably because we tried to kill her," Kringle replied.  "Doubtful this is our cause for the planet's destruction."

"Most likely the surviving breed of creatures." He nodded. The mother brushed the babies close to her body. And continued to growl, her wounds obviously making it difficult to move around. She was in no condition to fight again.

"Hm... " She stepped toward the mother.

The creature snarled. A rift of claws piped out of her limbs.. A random series of clicks and buzzes thrummed from her nasal. As her babies scooted further into the cave. Xan arched a brow, fascinated by the natural instincts of the mother. "I wonder if its too late to apologize for stabbing her.." He mused. Knowing the answer. He suddenly hummed A low frequency, and slowly approached the creature. Arms were visible at all times.

"Regardless," Kringle moved up to the creature regardless, a blue energy forming in her hands.

She whipped her tail, heaving it at the intruders. "Oh my, duck!" Xan said calmly, and he easily avoided the tail.

The tail passed through Kringle, her body molding around itas she continue closer.

More of a whimper came from her now. She knocked a hole into another cavern with her leg, big enough for the rest of her kids to crawl through. More crazed, she rammed the cave's ceiling, causing a shower of stone.

Kringle expanded an arm upward, creating a ceiling of her nanites as the energy began going through the mother creature, repairing the wounds.

"You can do that..?" He breathed. rather impressed. The creature lulled, and became more passive. Xan shook off dust from the cave, and walked closer to check the creature. "I'm still not sure what this is. But this certainly couldn't have been the Zone's destruction. Though its powerful." He commented, gently patting one of her feet.

"Bodies are naturally programmed to repair.  Core energy quickens the pace."

"Incredible." He stifled a barrage of questions, and checked the creature. At this point she was thoroughly confused, but relieved they didn't mean harm. again. She lied on her belly and kept an eye on both of them.

"How old are you, Xan?" Kringle asked.

Surprised, He cocked his head around. "My, that was out of nowhere. Why do you ask?"

"If the creature surpasses your age, then it is possible they witnessed this zone's destruction.  I want to know before I attempt to get into their mind.  They could die from the process."

He put on a charming smile. "I'm 37 'years' old. This creature is most definitely older than I. But in my book, age doesn't matter unless your a cheese."

"I se-" She paused and glanced over to him.  "Was... that... flirting?"

He waved his had dismissively. "Whatever could you be talking about.." He smirked. "You wanted my age. Now you know." He turned back to the creature and sighed. "But back to the real issue. How are you going to rift through her mind? She must have ages worth of info in there."

"Well... it is possible we could bring her back to the Dominion City and have someone more capable do it."

He nodded. "Yes. Unfortunately I need to get get back soon. Otherwise I'll be running like the white rabbit himself. Taking her back would be the best option."

"Running?  Why?" She asked while beginning to form a portal.

He shrugged. "Its a metaphor...A reference that I'm afraid you don't quite understand. Not that it matters." Xan arched a skeptical brow. "You will most-likely have to move the portal and make it MUCH larger to fit the beast in."

"It is a reference to Alice in Wonderland for someone that's late," She replied.  "What are you late for?" The portal began expanding.

"I'm simply following up a previous acquaintance. I have never seen your country before, so I was allowed time to explore it." He curtly replied. "To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure why miss Virus wanted me here. I'm clearly of no use to this high-tech society." He pondered, absent mindedly patting the peaceful beast's forearm.

"Virus?" She turned around to him.  "That is what you said?"

"Yes. Should the name bear repeating..?" He asked, perplexed.

"... No," She began moving the portal toward the creature.

Xan's eye narrowed. "Perhaps you can clue me in, here. Does Virus plays an important role in your community..?" He genuinely asked.

"I'm... aware of her," She non-answered while the creature was transported.

"...." He didn't push any further questions. So he just stepped inside the portal back through the Zones.

They arrived in the middle of the city.  Kringle patted the creature on the side, turning to Xan.  "Someone will be here for her soon."

The creature was a tad startled by the sudden transition. And uneasily watched everything closely. "Something might startle her into running." He pointed out. Then suddenly a shadow of realization hit him. "Ah! I pulled you from your work. I apologize.." He said, rubbing the back of his neck.'

"If she starts aggressing, she'll be subdued," she replied.  "There are others at the historics.  It's no bother."

He nods. Briefly looking around. "Well then, thanks for putting up with me. I unfortunately must be going now." Xan said, with a grin.

"It was nice," She smiled back.

He slowly made some paces off. "Oh, I wouldn't doubt it if we meet again. Until then~" Xan called with a wave, before walking off through the city again. Unwilling to admit he had no clue where he was going.

It didn't really matter, because soon after a blur of red, black, brown, and green rushed into him, sending Xan across the floor for a while before he eventually slid to a halt, Virus now wrapped around his body, nuzzling his cheek.

"Guh!" He wheezed. The Wind knocked out of his system for a moment. "Hello there." Xan coughed. "You can get off now."

"True, could," She replied, not seeming to move.

"...But won't." He sighed. Plucking Virus off with his tail and settling her down on the ground.

She stood back up, brushing her dess a bit.  "So, like the city?"

"Quite incredible. How long has the city been here..?" Xan replied. Rising to his actual height, and dusting off his scales.

"Uh... I got here maybe ten years ago?" She shrugged.  "You'd have to ask Device I guess."

He paused to Take in the scenery once more. "It would take me several months..Maybe even years to really study the culture." he breathed. "But I presume that won't be the case. So, What's the big rush?" He asked, referring to the recent press for time.

"I wanted to see you and you went past two hours without that happening," She replied bluntly.

Xan grunted, like a imaginary fist punched him. "I apologize for that. I took some... interesting feats today." He apologized, clearing his throat.

"What kind?" She cocked her head to the side.

"Endless abyss kind." Xan replied. Patting his sides. "What of your adventures, this past week?" He asked, mimicking Virus's head tilt.

"I'm apparently someone's personal trainer now.  Aside from that, some exploration and meeting with acquaintances."

"Hum. That would mean you help guide them into mastering their core energy?" He mused.

"Where'd you learn about core energy?"

A mischievous smirk lit up his face. "A little birdie told me so." Xan remarked.

"Wait, you weren't following me right?"

"I could have been. Perhaps I SHOULD have been. But I unfortunately wasn't." Xan replied, still grinning. "You've got nothing to hide. So why even bother tracing you through the city I barely know. " He said with a simple shrug. Hinting at something else.

"Oh I've got plenty to hide," She winked.  "Maybe you should learn to get snoopy, 'cause that's the only way you'll be finding out anything," She chuckled.  "So you don't eat normal food right?"

"Heheh. I have other ways of getting hold of those kind of facts. Dear." He sang. Using Jazz hands to get his point across. "And yes. The hosts do the digesting. Not me. All this mouth is for is vocalization and breathing."

She raised an eyebrow at the hand movements.  "You... plan on tickling the information out?"

Xan held out one of his hands for inspection. "Not with these nubs of a finger.. I would no sooner manage to bruise someone rather than tickle. " He sighed.

"So... just physical contact?"

He stopped for a moment, looking Virus right in the eyes. His diameter more serious. Leaning over so he could be face to face with her, remaining a handful of inches away. A few moments passed as he studied her features. "On the contrary." Xan said simply. Smirking again as he backed off. "No. I do believe that if there ever was anything to be said. It would be told in time."

"Aw, but snooping's always more fun," She replied.

"Don't encourage me. Now." He halfheartedly scolded. Swiping his tail out of the way of a passer-by. Getting trampled on was the worst.

"I'm all about that, hon," She grinned widely.  "Aaaaaanyway," She leaned over, placing an arm around his shoulder and neck.  "Unless there's something else you'd rather do, I'm gonna show you some of the cool stuff."

"Blow me away. Metaphorically. I don't want to paint the city purple. Or end up as a paint for that matter." He said, shifting around under Virus's grip so she wasn't digging into his limbs.

"Tempting," She may have considered rushing through the city, but instead she just nudged him along as she walked toward the harbor.  "You need to breathe?"

He shook his head. "No. My cells can just absorb the oxygen from the water. If thats where we're going." He stated. Walking with her to the harbor.

"Indeed it is," She walked to the edge of the docks and dove down to the current below.

Surging through the rush of water, Xan held Virus still to his back so she couldn't slip off. It took him a moment to see his surroundings. But everything was still hazy from the current they rode on.

Virus began swimming downward toward the water floor that wasn't in sight.  The water felt warm, with small strips of cold going about here and there, distinct by their lighter shade of color.

Water is wet But theres ground?

"As they both passed through, they found the world was upside down, or that they had moved in the same way...."

Following Virus's nudges, he worked his way down with great speed. Shivering occasionally whenever he hit a cold patch of water.

The pressure of the water got stronger and stronger but a white light at the end was seen.

Pressing on, He kept up pace and swam closer into the light. Until he finally just. Fell through.

As they both passed through, they found the world was upside down, or that they had moved in the same way.  An island of a sort was in the near distance, tall forest trees against a dark grey sand.

"Huh." Xan grunted. A tad confused. Picking a tiny fish off his spikes, and promptly looking around.

Virus began swimming toward the shore, each motion in the water leaving a marked trail outlining their bodies in various colors.

"... I assume ..We're not in Kansas anymore." He commented, bobbing around like a pool floatie as they hit shore.

"This is the third district," Virus informed as they arrived.  The sand was cold against his feet, brisk in fact.

"Just how big is the city's span?" Xan questioned, suppressing the urge to clean the sand that caked into the scales lining his feet.

"Cities are big," She vaguely replied as they went into the woods, a small tune coming out, the instrument some kind of metallic bong of a sort.

Rolling his eye, but asking nothing more, he paced behind her. Checking around the area again. Xan tended to cock his head around to check his blind spots. Looked kinda like a causious bird.

"What's up?" She glanced back at his mannerisms.

He tapped his scarred eye. "Missing quite a chunk of my peripheral, dear. I don't like being snuck up on."

"I'm in front of you," She chuckled as they continued through the melodious woods.  "Or you mean someone else?  'Cause... yeah there's hundreds here."

He nodded. "I figured. So, if this is the third district.. How many other district branches are there?" Xan asked, ducking to avoid a incoming branch.

"Fifteen I think," She tapped him on the shoulder, pointing to the far left distance.

Following her point, he looked out to the distance. "Hmm. Would the third district be what you brought me to see?" He questioned.

"Just showing you the city," A brief glimpse of a figure scuttled by them, cloaked with a vibration-like pattern outlining them.

His spikes bristled, and he squinted off into the forest. "How kind." He murmured.

Another figure could be seen somewhat in the trees, still and staring.

"They're practicing their cloaking," Virus informed.

A thought line creased along his forehead. "...Trainees. Identities seem have quite a large base of abilities to work off of." He said, shuffling along. "Of coarse, everyone has their own niche. The trade which they are better suited for."

"With the right training, we can develop different abilities but most can only focus on a few.  For instance, most of these cloakers are using most of their energy to blend and maybe phase through objects.  They wouldn't be very durable or strong as opposed to an identity who focuses on increasing their nanite density."

"Are there any identities born without the abilities of core energy?" He asked, keeping his eye trained on the shimmery patch of air off in the distance.

Something grew around his waist.

"Everyone's born with core energy," Virus informed.  "You'd call it... ki?  Stamina?  Identity nanites just require a concentrated form of it."

"That would ma- WHa!" He jumped a bit, immediately looked down, and then attempted to tear whatever it was off.

They were small arms, like wood, holding on to him, yanked off easily as the cloaked identity child looked up at him with yellow tinted eyes.  She had sunflower-seed-colored face, striped, with the rest of her body like black bark.  A few other identity children formed around him.

Setting down at the sight of the children. He sighed, and carefully set the kid down onto the ground. "Terribly sorry. You scared me for a moment there."

"Can I touch your scales?" She asked, far too interested to care about the apology.

Xan was struck a little uncomfortable by the question. "Ehm.. I suppose." He replied reluctantly. Promptly squatting down so the little one could reach him. Then he extended out an arm for inspection, the arm was easily taller than the child if it could stand on it own.

The small one immediately wrapped around his arm, brushing her hand across it, giggling to herself as some of the other child identities began toward his feet.

Unease creased Xan's face. He had to force his spikes to lie still. Otherwise they'd be bristling again. He glanced at Virus in a silent plea for help.

The red-striped feline walked closer.  Immediately while doing so the children detached and rushed off into the trees.

Clearing his throat and smoothing down the uneven scales that were all messed up from the recent encounter. He stood back up again, staring after the children. "You certainly make an impression on the younglings." He teased.

"I'm reeeeeeal scary," She smirked before walking further through the forest.  Some stone formations could be seen in the distance, making a clearing.  "You'll probably find this District to be the most familiar.  It's where most of the organic-practicing Identities hang out."

He nodded."Are the districts under the same rule or are each self-governed?"

"Eeeeeeeh, rules meaning?"

He sighed and stretched out his arms for emphasis. "...As in a Monarchy. A President. A 'Boss', so to speak." Xan replied. "Someone that keeps the people in check"

"Well yeah we have that," She nodded.  "The districts have the same rules for the most part, with some differences based on the themes.  Like how here, building constructs that don't fit the theme is usually not allowed but back where we were it'd be fine."

"Huh." He murmured. Trying hard to avoid being nerdy. Xan brushed along the floor of the forest, behind Virus. Catching glimpses for the city through the trees sometimes.

They started up the side of a hill at this point.  Some more visible Identities were walking about at the moment.  A select few dressed in Nordic attire.  As the two passed by, they gave their salute, though the front member paused at Xan.  "A member of the train are you?"

"Larpers," Virus whispered back at Xan.  "They're on a quest... with real dragons."

"Interesting indeed." Xan commented back. Directing his attention to the hearty group. "It would seem so, Captain." He answered.

"Good man," The Nordic Goat... Wolf... looking morpher nodded respectfully, extending a bastard sword ahead of himself as his group marched on.

Amused, Xan Watched them stomp off. "Whom ever assigned the quest to them? Or was it their own mission.."

"There should be a post nearby with different quests for the taking," She noted as they neared the top of the hill.  A gathering of flies could be seen in the distance, nearing something on the floor.

His face wrinkled a bit in apprehension. "What? So your people embark on random missions to complete?" Xan blurted. "I...suppose that could make sense." He murmured.

"They're just having fun," She countered as they got closer.  "There's actual off-world missions, police, and all that."

"I apologize for that. It was rather rash." He said, clearing his throat. "Are there rewards systems to these.. Quests?"

"That's self-regulated so I'd imagine... some... uh..." She stopped, a raised eyebrow at the sight in front of them. It was a body.  large gorilla-sized hands, and bright color stripes about the form implied it was one of theirs, the identities, but it certainly smelled organic.

Xan stopped entirely to examine the.. thing. "What on Mobius is THAT." He said, puzzled by the sight of the creature.

"...  This body's dead," She walked over, moving the body on its back.  It was a male, though the chest was torn out in a scoop-like fashion.  It was a complex replica of a regular organic body, though some organs were more simplified and straightened--those that remained that is.

"Huh. Whatever could have done this to the poor fellow?" He said. Unsympathetically. Checking out the interior of the man without batting an eye.

The wound moved outward as if torn.  Clear liquid and puss could be seen.  It was fresh, recent.

"A lot of identities manufacturer organic bodies that they can transfer their cores into for short periods of time.  Most will wear out and die off leaving the identity back in their regular nanite form, but this doesn't look like that's the case."

"So.. Its like a second version of yourself. That concurs no damage the your original being once dead." He said thoughtfully. Nudging an orange limb with his toe. "He certainly did not have an easy passing. The lad's been shred up like paper."

She placed a hand on the body, a small bit of blue mist forming into her fingers.  "Quezt'n... that's a pun name, yuck," She got up.  "He's a Level 11 Science office- wait... wait... that's not his core," She tossed the core to the side, causing it to grow into a picture of a skinny female identity with yellow eyes, a bee-looking one.  "There's no core left in this body that matches with the artificial DNA.  The body must be someone else, which means this bee one is..."

"..most likely planted into the lad's body." He said, eye widening. "Do identities revert into their core when they die?"

"Uh no, you have to re-transfer the consciousness in.  They usually have their nanites with them so they can go back into them when they want to.  I can't find any on him, so if he was carrying any they were probably taken."

"..Ghastly." He murmured. Quietly standing over the body, thinking for a few moments.

"Sounds like a mystery.  Hm... You wanna go track down those Larpers and see what they know about this?"

"Indeed. I'd hate to leave a story behind when its only begun." Xan said finally. Taking one last good look at the cold body. And with a dismissive tail flick, he turned to check which direction the Larpers went.

They had gone behind them down the hill.  Virus zipped over, shrinking into a small fox-creature form as she sat on Xan's shoulder.  "Let's go."

Xan stared questionably at Virus for a moment. "At this point I shouldn't be surprised. Yet somehow you still manage to shock me." He sighed. Hopping off immediately to catch up with the Gangly men.

She just purred, moving around to his neck with her tail connecting like a necklace.

It took only a few minutes to catch a glimpse of the Nordic Larpers.  They had made a left by the woods, talking amonst themselves on the journey, with one of them breaking character to ask "Can't we just rush off or teleport to-" only to be interrupted by another saying "No!  That's not how this works!"

Landing behind the group, Xan tapped one of their shoulders. Then suddenly popped right in front of the group. "Excuse me fellows. Pardon the intrusion, but we have but a few questions to ask you. If you don't mind."

The Larper turned with a hint of surprise but nodded.  "What queries my Good Man?"

"Do you gents have any information regarding the disemboweled Identity up the hill?" He said, pointing with his thumb back the way they'd came. "We're trying to figure out what happened to the poor fellow."

"A dis- what means do you speak?" The leader of the group turned to him.  "You mean to say 'dead'?"

Xan scratched the back of his head. "Er.. Yes. Pardon my vocabulary.." He confirmed. Usually people understood what he meant. Then again they were highly educated... These men might not be... He thought.

"We understand the w- wa, w, wait a second," One spoke, turning to the leader.  "I don't think he's talking in-character."

The leader suddenly grew more surprised.  "... You mean someone actually..." They all gave a small groan as their hands instinctively shielded their lower torsos.

Xan almost snorted in sheer amusement at their reactions, be he managed to keep it together. "So then, I take it you had no idea the event even occurred?"

"Where did this happen?" One asked.

"As I mentioned earlier. Back south of where you stand. Up the hill. Lies the maimed body. We were hoping you possibly had any information regarding the young lad." Xan repeated.

"... Show us," The leader insisted.

Starting back up the hill again, he flicked his tail to indicate for them to follow. They quickly made progress up the slope, and soon arrived back to the long dead body.

The group crowded it immediately.  "An organic shell?" One assumed.

"Perhaps they already transfered back to their nanites," Another pondered.

Xan carefully re-adjusted the Virus creature so that his neck wasn't tickled by her fluff. "Perhaps so. one thing is for certain though.."He said,pausing for full effect . "The core energy found within the body is not his own." The parasite said dramatically.

(Core is just energy, like stamina.  That was my fault, I should have noted earlier that Virus had tossed core energy to the side that she extracted from the remains but aside from that you got it rightX{D)

(Silver strikes again! XD)

(Dun dun Duuuuuuuuuun!)

"How do you know?" One asked.  "Who does it belong to?  I recognize not this corpse's face.

"We're not in character right now, Jerry," Another pointed out.

"Shud'up, Crank," He snapped back.

"A friend of mine analyzed the data. The best match she could find belonged to a strange, Bee-like identity." He mused. The role-playing personalities the men made for themselves were quite humerus. Good thing Xan wasn't role-playing. He would sound absolutely ridiculous.

Virus opened her mouth slowly, projecting an image of the bee-like identity again.

"Why that's Quezt'n," The leader recognized immediately.  "We know her."

"I... don't actually," The one called Crank raised his hand, cowering his head at the same time.

"She-she's a science member," The leader continued, pulling his attention from his fellow Larper.  "She probably made that body for whoever this is."

"Hum." Xan said simply. "Most helpful. Since you know her, would you possibly know her whereabouts? Or where she lives?" He inquired.

The group promptly began trying to name off which District the identity was most seen but the answers were quite scattered, and some even changed their minds.  It was Jerry that finally said "You can find out from a city-map.  They're all over the Dominion so it shouldn't take long to find."

The parasite shrugged. "Thank you kindly for the information." He said curtly, before nodding a goodbye and started off on a new trail. "Virus, which way the the city? I would prefer to not look like an idiot." he murmured to the little warm fluff chain resting under his neck.

She tugged at his neck to the left a bit, past the body.

Following the pull, he turned left and continued forward. "Thank you, yet again." He murmured.

She tightened slightly against this neck, a small giggle in response, rubbing in a circle around his neck toward his chin.

They eventually found a long stretch of wooden and stone houses with a tall golden post at the center.

He kept involuntarily twitching, but said nothing as he strolled down to the post. Where he assumed- was a map.

As they arrived, Virus bounced off of Xan and on to the pole.  It lit up, a holographic screen with large-scale maps of the districts shown in front of the parasite.  A search engine was on the lower right corner.

He stared at the map for a few brief moments. "Is there a way.. to perhaps cross reference the areas by listing the name of a specific identity?"

"You COULD just type in the person's name to find where they live," Virus  noted with a brief cough.

A mild blue flush tinged -what could only be assumed to be- Xan's amethyst cheeks. He felt oblivious as a child. And he hated that. "Psssh. of coarse." He sputtered...with his Confidence thrown off balance. He entered in 'Quezt'n' into the search box, and did his best to remain stoic.

It took but a moment for the name to appear in the Second District, which coincidentally was the previous Victorian-style area from before at a building called "Organic Body Developer".

"Ironic." He commented. "Appears the woman we're looking for is in the Second district. I'm assuming you know where that is, perhaps you could lead the way?" Xan asked Virus.

She smirked.  Suddenly the perspective flipped, as if they had been upside down the entire time, and began sinking into the ground.

"WH-" Xan managed to yelp in surprise. "What are. You. Doing...??!"

(Allo) (Its me) (I was wandering if after all these years you'd like to FLIPPING ANWSER thE rOlepLAY) (Do a flip @_@) (*Face plants*)

"... Sinking," She replied bluntly as they submerged into the dirt, then stone.

Exhaling, the parasite swallowed his panic and became calm. Watching the oddity continue as he sank further into the terra like a stone in water.

Eventually they arrived at the floor of the previous district, on their heads mind you.  Gravity promptly began to apply.

With a brief THUD. Xan groaned, as he sat up a little and rubbed his horns up on his crest. "Nothing like landing on your ears. Though, theres a first for everything, I suppose." He sighed.

"Yep," Virus replied, now in her regular appearance, still standing on her head.  "So, you remember how to locate places?"

Xan shook his head briefly. "Not really, Virus." He admitted. Starting to wonder if gravity would even affect the girl.

She pointed a finger behind them, back toward the center of town.  "There's a pole like before."

He nodded. And silently hopped back up, and made his way to the pole. again. Not even bothering to call for Virus. one could say he was a Xan miffed.

She followed after as he got to the sign-ridden post.  "Havin' fun?"

the parasite grunted. "Yes. One could say that." He replied. Checking the post for the company brand name. Noticing a random note halfway down the line.. "Is this Pix..?" Xan murmured as he read it to himself.

"Hm?" Virus looked over.  "Pix?"

Xan shrugged. And nodded towards the post-it note style messages on the board. "Random shenanigans." He commented. Returning to the heavily posted board for the 'Organic body' business.

"Tha's the one," Virus pointed.  "Poke it!"

Jabbing the sign with his forefinger, Xan seemed cautious as to what would happen next. For all he knew, alligators could fall from the sky.The preposterous idea actually seemed likely after being around Virus for too long.

A light path grew out through the ground, leading through the city.

Snorting a nose-less snort. Xan glanced once at Virus before taking the lead and heading down the path.

The red-striped feline rushed after him.  "You have a very nice neck," She commented as they made their way through building paths and the like.

"Er. Thank you." Xan replied, hand consciously rubbed the back of his neck. He was A bit puzzled by the randomness of the comment. "Are you trying to flirt with me...?!" The parasite remarked. Face crinkling in further confusion.

"Nope, just being blunt," She shook her head.  "I really like wrapping around your neck.  THAT'S flirting."

Rolling his eye, Xan bit back a retort as they arrived at the 'Organic body builder.' "Well, here we are." He said, pausing a moment to take in the scenery.

It was silver, with a long streak of window.  It stood out as far more clean and futuristic than this Victorian district.  Many stores towered over them.

Swinging the door open, Xan awaited Virus. "After you." The said, his tail sweeped along, motioning her to the door.

She stepped forward inside, brushing her hand along his tail along the way.  It wasn't much like a factory exactly.  A reception hall would be more accurate.  A male identity, short, with a spiraling head almost like a DNA strand, stood in front at them.  Virus had seemed to remove her stripes at the moment, her dress changing to a more simple two-strap black.

Shuttering. He immediately decided to exercise caution with his tail. In later uses. Especially around Virus. Waltzing in, he arched a brow for a split second as he examined the strange receptionist. Xan also noticed the new dress, but decided against inquiring where it came from.

"Do you have an appointment or are you browsing?" The man asked.

"Actually we're here to hopefully speak with the good Doctor, Quezt'n." Xan replied. Glancing about the room.

"She's working at the moment.  What reason do you need to speak with her?"

"I was hoping that we could ask her a few questions regarding the cloning process this facility uses." He answered vaguely. Exasperation somewhat laced in his words.

"Well I can ask her," He tapped on the table.  "Ma'm, two people are here to ask about a cloning process.  Are they able to come see you? ... Alright," He tapped the table again, looking up to Xan.  "You may go," He gestured to an opening hallway to the right.

"Thank you.." The parasite nodded, and headed down the hallway.

Virus followed alongside. The two arrived shortly after at a grey elevator.  Going down some dozen floors, they opened up to a long line of screens and capsules.

"Huh..." He murmured as he set foot out the elevator and checked out the contents of one of the tubes.

A buzzing was heard ahead, a quick voice calling back "At the end, over here, what'cha need?!"

"Ah. Dr. Quezt'n. If thats you, we just had a few questions regarding a clone you made for a customer." Xan called. Cocking his head around to get a better visual of the voice's owner.

"A clone?" A quick Russian accent asked as the bee-like identity zipped over in front of them.  "I do not make clones.  Are you referring to my organic body creations?  They are not clones.  I am not replicating identities or existing people.  They-"

"Yeah, not clones," Virus tensed slightly.  "Got it."

"Yes, which not-clone do you mean?" She looked back and forth between the two quickly.

Xan was taken aback by the copious amounts of energy the creature displayed. More bee-like than he anticipated. "Actually. Which non-clone do we refer to, Virus? Did we ever actually get a name on him?"

"NOPE!" She answered rather suddenly and loudly.  The bee-identity jerked back at the loudness, looking a bit confused.  "Where is the non-clone?"

The parasite sighed and pinched between his eyes.. where a nose should have been.. As if on the verge of a headache. "We left the body back in another district." He sighed with a hint of exasperation.

"Which district would this be?" The bee-form identity asked quickly.

"The third district. Didn't think to bring it back or take a sample. Unfortunately." He answered with almost the same speed the bee asked it.

"Okay, we'll go find it then!" The three instantly teleported back to the district, on the hill side.

Already oriented to the sudden re-location of one's atoms. Xan just stood there unaffected by the transport. "Ah. Good. None of that pole nonsense." He muttered.

"Aw, what's wrong with poles?" Virus asked.

"That way?" Quez'tn asked, toward the higher area of the hill.

Xan threw Virus a glare that didn't last very long. "Yes indeed. That was the last place we found it.." He answered finally. Third time's the charm. He thought. practically sighing. this being the third time looking over some person's dead body. Trying to contain his rising aggravation, he unconsciously picked at the scales lining his knuckles.

Quez'tn circled the body a bit, looking over the details.  "Yeah this was one of mine.  I made it for a guy named Kakova... or Kovak- I can just," She stretched out her arm, looking through some kind of digital list.  "O-okay it's definitely Kakova.  Want a visual of him?"

"It would be most helpful if you could." Xan replied grimly.

"Ok-" And then Virus sent her into orbit.

"You're grumpy," She noted, turning to him.

Sputtering, Xan's gaze flicked between Virus and the now gone Doc....presumably in space. "I am not 'grumpy.'" He denied. "It was, however. Incredibly rude. To hurtle a woman into outer space." He continued. Vaguely pointing to the general area to where the doctor last stood.

"Why are you so grumpy?" She pouted.  "I thought this was going to be fun, figuring out a mystery and stuff."

"Mmm. Yes. A mystery with no lead is positively alliterating." He said. Practically breathing sarcasm. He paused for a moment though. And seemed to force himself down. "I apologize. Things are piling up and it is a bit tedious to deal with." He said through grated teeth. Enunciating each word painfully slow.

"Piling up?" She raised an eyebrow.  "We find a body, we find who made the body, now we're about to find out who died."

"Oh. I was referring to you, dear." He jabbed. Before changing topic entirely. "Kakovu..? Er something like that. Is what we've got to work with." The parasite sighed. Looking over the body. again. "I'm surprised this hasn't been found by wild creatures or started deteriorating yet."

(I'm... a little lost on the first half there @_@) (He's pretty frustrated with how things are turning. Virus is pressing more buttons than he'd like to admit. And also throwing a lot of informational curve balls that he can't dodge. Long drawn out exasperating story short. He feels like an idiot all the time around Virus. Xan hates that. So now he's grumpy. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

(I get that, I'm just trying to make sure if you meant "was" or "wasn't" for that first part.)(It was xD)

"Go back to that part about referring to me," She twirled her finger.

He rested a finger on his puckered his lips. Like he was silencing himself. A annoyingly smug glare was plastered to his face. "...Theres nothing left to say."

"Oooooooh there's plenty.  If you don't spit it out, I might just have to pull it out for you," She grinned.

He arched a brow. "Oh. What, with the usual forms of torture? I don't think so." Xan said, roling his eye. The stubborn side of him refused to confide in.. her.

"Do you want the usual forms of torture?" She cocked her head to the side.

"...Pain isn't exactly fun.." He muttered. Hesitant after her latest threat. "What about your great vastness would you care to inquire about. O' high and Mightiest?" Xan said in a great display of dramatically sarcastic flair.

She grinned wider, rushing around to his back, one hand pulling his right down, another atop his shoulder.  "We could start with how I make people happy," Her neck craned around, a tooth pulling over at his lip, stretching back into a forced grin.

Usual Forms of Torture

Usual forms of torture

"Gee. I'm beginning to see why those children didn't take a liking to you earlier." He commented in a weird muffled way. Probably because his face was stretched. Xan was forced into an akward position with his arm being held down. The rest of his long limbs were trying to accommodate the discomfort that is Virus.

"Because I'm big bad and scary," She whispered before slithering around to his front again, tooth still stretch around.  "But I don't scare you and you're still mad at me."

"Right you are." He replied. "If its any consolation, most fail to get under my skin. You however manage it quite frequently." Xan reassured.

"Hmph," She shoved him back gently, the tooth detaching and reeling back in.  "I like taunting people and gettin' them all rilled, but outside of my regular magnetic personality, I haven't been doing much to you. Guess you'd have more fun getting paper-cuts with pages on your quills?"

Astonished, he chuckled a bit. "I'm surprised. And not at the same time. Perhaps a 'little birdie' told you that.Or maybe you knew along?" Xan referenced.

"Or maybe," She leaned in.  "That was me the whooooooooole time... Nah," She leaned back.  "Device just told me what was happening..." She looked up, her smile fading.  "She'll be back in orbit in a second.  Wanna tell me what I did wrong?"

He stared at her for a moment. Before sighing in resignation. "Just a case of a wounded pride. Theres... theres a lot to learn here." Xan responded. Gesturing to his surroundings. "..This does seem to be a touch rude. But how old are you, anyway?"

"How old do you wager I am?"

"Do you always answer a question with a question?" Xan questioned. "Its terribly difficult to guess your age. Because one moment your childish and the next your a wizened woman."

"Wizened?" She gave a downturned raise of eyebrows.  "Right..." Her expression subsided.  "well either way: you're not hanging with a minor if that's what you thought... NOR an old lady," A small bit of tension slipped out from the end.

He tapped his foot. "Mm. Good to know. Why is age so difficult to tell with identities.." He muttered the last part. "You mentioned something about a.. Device? Do you mean the cloaked woman that brought me here earlier?"

"Yep that's-" And then Quez'tn landed on the ground in front of them.  "her."

"Oh good. Your not dead." Xan commented.

"Nope!" The bee woman stood up quickly.  "I took the time while... airborne, to locate the home area of the person that was killed and I still have his appearance if you want it."

"Again.. it would be most helpful." He replied. Looking over the bee in silent respect. She was just hurtled in space and landed like it was a cup of tea.

She extended her arm forward, a flicker of light forming behind a growing rectanger before becoming a screen.  A balloon-shaped head, dark slate, with glowing white eyes.  The body was partially transparent, a white color as well with a balloon string from the neck swaying back and forth inside.  "That's him," She informed perkily, then frowned a bit at the sight.  "Ew..."

Xan was perplexed at the sight. "That. Is an identity...? He seems a bit.. air-headed." He said. Almost slapping himself in the face. Puns?! Really? What next.. A personal circus ring? How unprofessional. He groaned inwardly.

Virus gave him a few finger points, a very "aye" gesture, getting the pun.

"He didn't look like that when he asked me for the body," Quez'tn noted.  "Guess he thought it looked weird too.  Aaaaaanyway, I can teleport ya to his area."

"..Assuming thats not legal." He chuckled. "Sounds faster than walking. By all means, 'beam us up.'"

"It's not beaming it's actual- ... Oh was that a reference?" She surrounded the two of them in a flat circle which shot up, teleporting in front of a skinnny tree.

Taking a few tentative steps. Xan scoped out the new area. "Hm. Well then. Much thanks to you, doctor." he applauded.

"Thanks!" She smiled, a bright pink aura shooting up briefly.  "Doooooo you need any other help with this?"

His eye narrowed for a brief moment, before the mask of a lighthearted grin replaced it. "Oh no, thank you.. You've assisted quite a bit. Besides, I'm sure you have some extensive work to be getting done."

"I do...," She cowered for a moment, frowning, then sighing.  "Okay bye," She teleported away.

"Your awfully quiet.." Xan spectated. Not even bothering to turn around. He was checking out the rather thin tree now.

"Just planning," the red-striped feline replied.  "You know how to get in there?"

"My first instinct is to burn it." He commented. Looking the tree up and down one more time before turning to Virus.

"That'll help you figure this whole thing out faster," She teased, bending down to the roots of the tree.  "It's nanite-built.  Notice how there's nothing around us for a good dozen yards?"

"Indeed. Quite curious." He noted. Rolling his eye at Virus's earlier quip.

"What'cha think we can do about that?"

"The tree is the only foliage present. I would assume it is either like..ugh. Those poles lining the cites. Or its a focal point to an entry way. Likely underground..."

"Good guess,but nope," She grabbed his tail, poking at a small doorbell just at the very bottom.

Xan promptly yelped and almost jumped out of his own skin. "What on Mobius..?! A warning would have been nice.." He said. Jiggling his tail end a little.

"Look out," The tree immediately began expanding--growing--rapidly in fact.

Yanking his tail out of her grip. He stepped aside to avoid incoming foliage.

As the now twenty-story tree, the trunk larger than that of a redwood, grew to its full height, the front door was more than noticable.  Virus pounced atop Xan's tail.

Grunting, the parasite jolted in surprise. The once flat lying spikes lining his tail stood up, and the spiny ridges along Xan's back also bristled. "Again with the tail thing...!?" he exclaimed. Attempting to shake free his tail before she could do anything else to it.

She simply chuckled, standing up.  "You gonna walk inside?"

He cautiously glanced at the now huge tree. "...Sure." He muttered. Carefully gathering his tail close to his legs, Xan made his way to the woodish doorway.

The doorbell was to the left, the handle on the front.  No window was seen.

Being a bit more collected now, Xan twisted the knob and swung the door open to view the contents of the great tree.

It was the opening to any particular house: a couch in view to the immeidate livingroom, with a television in front of that: a counter for a table to the kitchen behind with a doorway connecting,and a hall leading to stairs up and down to the right.

The house was not lit.  No light switch could be seen, with only the outside light the means of these things being visible.  No trash was seen as far as they could tell.

"Huh." He muttered. Walking in slowly, careful not to displace anything in his wake.

Virus strolled in next to him.  "Weird, not locked. Welp," She walked toward the kitchen.  

On a coffee table was some floating screen.  It was humming but black as if in stasis mode.

Xan tapped the screen. In curiosity of what it was. "..Perhaps he's still here..?"

"If he's alive?  Yeah maybe," Virus noted from the kitchen.

The screen lit up with an ad for Quez'tn's wares, behind it being some kind of Email tab.

After a few tries, Xan successfully tapped the tiny tab button with his large fingers. Jumping over to the next tab over, he took a peak at the man's files. "I hope your not eating the man out of house and home in there.." He said half jokingly.

A thread of Email messages read through between the names "Radzter" and "Kloraform.s.e".

Radzter - Hey you.

Kloraform.s.e. - You hey.

Radzter - So, you know what kind of body you're getting?

Kloraform.s.e. - Probably something crazy with stripes.  You?

Radzter - Oh I'm gonna wait to see what you've got.  Maybe I'll match up afterward ;)

Kloraform.s.e. - She'll probably have a ton of people in line after that.  Kammer wanted to talk in another district first, so if you want to meet up quick before getting yours, we'll probably be at that hill.

Radzter - Alright.  You heading out now?

Kloraform.s.e. - I am indeed.

Radzster - Cool.  I'll be on my way.

"Hmm. How awful." Xan commented, checking over the thread a few more times.

"Hm?" Virus walked over.

He waved away any imaginary concern. "..I mean the usernames. Quite ridiculous." he tutted. "Aside from that.. It would seem the owner isn't present, or hasn't returned."

"So any idea where to go next with this?"

"They met up somewhere together with thins.. Kammer. Best way to track down the 'non-clones' owner is to track the location they went." He said, looking expectantly at Virus.

"Aaaaaand where did they went... go," She winced, correcting herself.

He glanced around a moment. "I don't... know" He mumbled. "Lets see if we can find out." Xan said, checking around the guys computer for anything else. "I would rather us not get the good doctor involved again." He commented.

Nothing appeared elsewhere on the computer.  

"You're logged in on this right?  Could try replying," Virus noted.  "Find out as if we were... uh... is this for the Cloraform or the Radzter person?"

"I'm assuming that this Kloraform person is the one we're after. He's the only one of the two with certainty of getting a new body." He replied.

"Alright, so we're looking for Radzter then... You wanna type it?"

He was already entering in a new message. Awkwardly. "..I get the feeling my vocabulary is going to backfire on me here.." Xan said, trying his best to muster up some average slang. The message looked something like this..

Kloraform.s.e - Yo, bro. Where are you? Lets meet up and talk somewhere.

Virus snorted, covering her mouth at the message.  "That should get a reaction."

It took a few minutes but there was a response.

Radzter - Bro?  wut lol

Radzter - Where are you?  You missed it?

"Well I tried." He sighed. Knowing Virus was no doubt sniggering at his attempted 'cool kid' impression. Non the less he continued to attempt to converse with the kid.

Klorform.s.e - Yea. Got caught up with an old friend. She's been a pain in the rear but I finally got her to leave. I'm still back at my place. >_>

Radzter - Oh wow.  Alright well let's just meet up at your house then.  I'll head over in a sec.

Xan arched a brow. "..Suppose they're coming to us."

"So you wanna hide or dress up in black suits with shades?" Virus asked.

He stood there for a moment. Glanced at his arms and legs. His face drawn up in exasperation.... Almost clearly saying..'Your joking.. right?'. "I'm pretty sure door #2 would backfire upon us both if you were trying to be stealthy. So! We got with the hiding option. I'll be near the door to prevent his exit route."

"Oooooooor," She rushed over, wrapping around his body.

He tensed up. "I assume this has an actual purpose outside of getting reactions out of me.." Xan said through gritted teeth.

"Por qué no podemos tener ambas cosas?" She replied, some mariachi music suddenly playing before Xan found himself covered into a disguise as a larger stuffed taco.  "I've always considered myself a mixture of Japanese and Latino."

(Does that make her Philippine? They're an Asian culture hijacked by Spanish influence xD)

"...No me gusta." He groaned. A faint blue was tinging his cheeks. He wouldn't even dare walk for fear of waddling around in the ridiculous outfit. "HOW is a popular Hispanic dish related to HIDING." he hissed.

(Based on the strange amount of Philipino friends I've had... not sure X{D)

(HURRAY for le Pinoy xD)

"Think of it this way.  You look delicious," She tugged back, forcing them to the ground behind the table.

Connecting to the ground, Xan grunted a bit before tucking his tail in behind the akward taco suit. Indeed. a purple tail would give away their position. But a taco suit would probably sound more alarms. Good thing he wasn-... Oh wait. He was. He thought sarcastically.

About a half-minute passed before a knock came from the door.

"..What can I do?! I cant just invite them in, they'd know somethings afoot!" he whispered.

The knocking continued for a bit before the door opened.  A thin identity girl with massive orange frizzy hair stepped in, large yellow eyes glancing about attached to a black and white hoodie outfit.  Her fur was black.  She immediately noticed the taco, walking over with a raised brow.

Alright then. This comes off now. Xan thought as he ripped the suit off and threw out any chances he had at a decent camouflage. So he just sat up, making his head clearly visible because of his size. "Don't be alarmed. We're only here to talk. Something's happened to your friend."

Her arms extended out instantly to some kind of multi-light-covered cannon, then reverted, then appeared again.  "We?"

He glanced over the stupid taco suit in disgust. " Yes. we." He said, clearing his throat.

Something kicked Xan in the rear as the girl asked "My friend?"

He growled for a moment at the unseen force, and quickly rose to his feet. "Ah. no. I.. recently discovered what seemed to be the remains of your friends clone out in the 3rd district. The clone is definitely dead. The only reason I had intruded into his home was to find his whereabouts. Do you know where he was last? Or where has has been?"

"Whoa whoa-" Her hands reverted, making a time-out motion.  "Go back to the part about a clone?"

"What we assumed to be your friends clone. Was..eviscerated. Gutted, disemboweled. The point is, the body was very. very dead." He replied.

"W- how... wait like an organic body?"

Xan nodded. "Yess.. I apologize. Was that not mentioned? None the less, when what the last time you saw your friend, dear?"

"D-dear?" She froze for a moment.  "W- I saw him yesterday.  Wait so you like...found the Organic body he was getting made?"

"Indeed. Do you know if he was in any sort of trouble? Rough times? The body certainly indicated so." He pressed.

"Don't think so," She shook her head.  "Where IS the body?"

He groaned inwardly. Perhaps I should be carting the corpse around with me. Maybe then We can stop visiting the burial sight. Xan grumbled to himself. "In the 3rd city district. Over upon a short hill on the outskirts of town." He repeated.

The identity vanished and reappeared with the body within seconds.  "This?"

He arched a brow. "Yes. Most definitely is the corpse. "

She looked over it.  "It... looks kind of like he described.  Wait... wait wait wait-" she dropped it, her eyes getting a bit faded to a whiter shade.  "If he was in this when... it got... th-then he might be..."

"Dead? Perhaps so. If we find evidence of it." He said unsympathetically. "You look like you've seen a ghost, dear." Xan surveyed.

"Just freaked out," she tensed a bit, looking at the body.  "I can search for if he's in the city still."

"That is a better coarse of action. Than assuming he's dead before proven live." He commented. Occasionally wondering where Virus was lurking.

The taco had vanished as he glanced, a brief [1] sound playing.  The girl walked over to a wall, pressing a hand on it as a stream of lit lines zipped across the floor.  (Must be going now) (NO. nooooo. TRISELL DON'T LEAVE ME. YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO LIVe FOOOOOR)

In a simple.. "Huh." Xan stood and checked out the lines along the flooring. Cocking his head to the side to get a better look at the layout.

"I'm just looking for if he's in the... he's not in the city," The girl informed.  "Maybe he's... in a different zone.  He's got clearance but-"

"Maybe you should ask if anyone else had seen him," A voice whispered to Xan.

Arching a brow, he glanced back up at the young lady. "Has anyone else seen your friend recently? Family.. Relatives..?" He asked. Echoing what was previously told.

"Well he said he was going to talk with Kammer first," She noted.

Xan nodded thoughtfully. "Do you know the whereabouts of this Kammer?"

"Uh, yeah... first though: who are you exactly?  You're in an organic body."

"I'm simply called Xan. " He answered mildly. flexing his fingers. "Technically you yourself are organic. Just not exactly like myself. But thats what you should expect from a different species."

"So you're not an Identity?"

He shook his head. "No. I would be a parasite." Xan replied. Suddenly rolling his eye. "..And eating anyone is the least of my concerns. Don't worry about that." He sighed indignantly, holding his hands half up as if caught by the police.

"Eating?" Her eyes widened.  "Wh-... Okay whatever," She began creating a spherical portal to her left.

He pretended to busy himself with the scrawlings along the floor. But in reality he was trying to find A. The Taco suit. and B. Virus.

A poorly-impersonated trumpet sound started playing what seemed to be the jaws theme, a shadow slowly nearing the two as the portal finished as the woman stepped through.

Xan actually snickered a bit. The awful trombone sound was actually pretty hilarious. As he stepped into the portal.

Virus rushed in after them, the three popping up in a new district. The sky was black with multi-colored rain made of light hitting the floor, sending small ripples which became notes in an electric tune throughout, contrasting with the snow-white angular buildings and pale blue street.

"Huh." He muttered simply. Taking in the strange but wonderful sight.

The girl knocked on a nearby door, a tune playing in a low-beat electric guitar.  "Yo?" An identity dude opened the door.  Only his face was visible at first, being quite purple with a baseball cap, wide circular silver eyes.

Xan peered over through the door crack. "Hello yourself. Good sir." He said, seeming to become his usual chipper self again.

"Who's them, Zats?" The man asked to the orange-haired identity.

"They're looking for Kakova, and don't call me Zats," She replied.  "Open the door."

"Didn't tell me who they were yet," The man replied.

"I happen to the the monster under your bed." He replied dryly. "Your friend's life is on the line, do you really want to waist precious time sitting and introducing one another over tea?"

To this, he only tensed, his grey eyes darkening red.  "If you touch her, I-"

"I'm not a hostage, Kammer, and this is about Kakova if you didn't forget after three seconds,," the girl informed through gritted teeth.  "Open the door..."

The red glow faded slowly and the man opened the door.  It was black inside, save for the many many lines of aquatic life in wall-lined tanks.  Upon further inspection, this identity was more... angular, but also regular.

He was built well, tall, though almost cartoonish in his proportions of points, complete with a triangular jaw.  His body was clothingless, but showed no indication of specific parts.  He had a few striped markings on his purple chest in red.

"Well someone's ripped." Xan spectated as he randomly let himself in. "Now, I'm just going to skip the part where we say hello and get straight to the point." He said, clasping his hands together. "Your friend, Kakova. Was found dead on the hills of district 3. But it turned out to be a clone of himself. The reason we're here is to track Kakova. Where you with him at all this week?"

A tickle was felt around Xan's ear area as Virus whispered in "Organic body.  Didn't make two of himself.  Also HEY LISTEN WATCH OUT."

"Yeah I was gonna meet up with him," Kammer nodded.  "I was at the hill but then I never saw him.  Some larpers were around the area though."

Xan flinched at the abrupt noise. But never less, kept his composure. "Hm. So the only other witnesses we have is those strange larpers. Do you know anything about what Kakova was doing before you 'met up'?"

"Not really," He shrugged.

"What were gonna talk to him about?" The girl asked, stepping over to look around the room.

"Personal stuff," Kammer replied.  "Not really nice to say without him here."

Rolling his only eye, Xan sighed. "...He might not ever be here again. Any information that you can give is useful, no matter how small."

"He wanted to talk about Zateal," He replied bluntly before stiffining, his eyes vanishing for a brief moment. 

The girl raised an eyebrow, folding her arms.  "What about me?"

"He..." He clenched his fists.  "He wanted to know how to tell you that he... wanted to break things up."

She didn't visibly react, save after a long pause saying "Liar".  Kammer just leaned forward in a sluggish form, as if feeling defeated.

The parasite's brows shot up. Though his face seemed bored. "..I must have missed something. You, dear, are in a relationship with Kakova?" He asked pointedly. "Also, did he have his body organically cloned around that time? Or did he not?"

"He wasn't getting a clone, he was getting an organic body made for him to go inside," Zateal re-corrected.  "No clones."

"I'm not lying," Kammer replied.  "Yeah, he was in his organic body thing when he came to talk to me."

(So is the organic body like a bio armor? Sorta like the aliens in Independence day 1 and 2?) :O

"When we.. er. I, discovered the body however. There was no sign of anyone inhabiting the body. It was just a shell." Xan commented.

(It's a separate body: a mobian body being manufactored by Quez'tn.  The Identity transfers its MIND into the body, leaving their nanites behind.)

"I don't know what to tell you," Kammer shrugged before seeing Zateal walk into another room.  "Hey!"

The parasite sighed. "Very well. What you've said will prove to be quite useful... Do you two always squabble like this..?" He said. A touch amused.

"Uh- no- ye- Hey, Zats what are you doing back there?!" He walked after her.

Xan poked his head around the corner to see what those two were up to.

"His core signature," Zateal walked back out, holding a black rod.  "On a blade construct generator."

"Ah! That is useful. We can use the signature to trace him." Xan said, strolling into the room.

"This generator," Zateal noted, activating the blade, which formed into a yellow glow.  She dropped it, jumping back.

Xan inched away from the generator. Curiously checking out the design and general shape of it. "What, pray tell, does it generate?"

"That's anti-core energy," Zateal tensed.  "That's ille-" Before she could continue further, the purple-skinned identity reverberated the group backward, blasting the wall open as he rushed out to make his escape.

"Blast it!" The parasite growled, rubbing one of his back quills. That had happened to chip a little. "The situation has literately gone south." Xan commented, as he jumped up onto his feet.

"He can't teleport after causing property damage like that.  Let's get him!" Zateal rush doughnut the hole.

Warping outside Xan was immediately on the heels of the 'unidentified' man. "Y'know, the least you could have done is make that landing soft. I think you chipped a quill." He said indigently.

(The person running away is Kammer, and it's his house so...) (xD)

Kammer didn't waste time conversing.  He began rushing through the city, almost in some kind of energy state, with Zateal following after.  Luckily some kind of vest formed around Xan with a giggle as he found himself floating up slightly.

"Wh-. Virus, what are you doing?" He asked, pointlessly flailing around

"Use your imagination," She replied as controls floated over his hands like cold tight gloves.

For a moment all he wanted to do was get the stupid thing off. But taking heed to Virus, He tried to figure out whether or not the vest could hasten his pace to catch the odd anti-Kammer.

Depending on how far he pushed the gloves, the faster he would go.

Nudging the gloves forward, Xan bolted through the sky towards the city. "Virus, dear. This wouldn't be the first time this has happened. Physical constructs?" He said, wiggling a bit in the vest. "You build whole objects with your nanites?"

They followed after Kammer, a rippling rock beat forming on an electric guitar as they scraped against the wind.  The identity started going striaght up into the black sky. "Impressed?  Awe-struck?  Maybe a bit attr-" As she responded, Kammer span around while still flying upward, facing the two as his arm stretched out, modifying into a charging railgun.

Surprised, Xan quickly attempted to steer clear on the blast radius and form a gun of his own. "...Is there anyway to deactivate a said identity?" He half asked, half demanded.

"You wanna know something funny?" She non-answered.  "Identities get real sensative when you say anything that sounds like you're comparing them to robots or computers.  Anyway- let's kill 'im!"

Two spiked cuffs grew out from the gloves on Xan's arms, a blue tint on the end of each as Kammer fired a straight stream of red energy at them.

(By golly. Identity racism ono)

He frowned at the impending doom of the lazer. Zooming under Kammer, Xan dodged the fire for just a moment. "What do these do??!" Xan said incredulously. Shaking his wrists.

(*Insert obvious current event joke here @_@*)

"Use your adorably-accented imagination, mon amour," She replied.

Rolling his eye, he drew one of the gloves back, and swiped down. Like he was cocking a gun.

The cuffs extended a bit.  "Maybe stab," She noted.

Kammer fired again, rushing back at them with Zatael colliding with him immediately after.

"Oh. good. Knife works." Xan mumbled. Light warping behind the rather angry Kammer, the parasite made several jabs at the kid's back. Trying to avoid the girl.

(kid X{D) With each strike, a stream of energy seemed to pull out, as Kammer choked for a moment, swinging around to strike at Xan with Zatael tugging at his arm.

Xan kicked Kammer straight in the gut with his long limbs. Then proceeded to take one huge dice at the identities exposed torso.

Kammer grunted, trying to implode energy out, but found himself... exhausted.  He looked bewildered and furious at Xan as he began plumetting toward the ground below.

Rocketing forward, Xan caught the heavy man and Zateal with a wheeze. "Ugh!" He said, safely landing them on the ground.

Zateal blinked for a moment with Kammer collapsing into a pile of sand.  The female identity stood up.  "I'd imagine if my boyfriend hadn't just died I'd be blushing right now."

Xan was trying to shake the sand/ashes out of.. well. Everywhere. "..Anti core energy. I'm assuming it does horrible things to the unassuming identity?" He said, ignoring her previous statement.

"Nnnnno," She looked over his cuffs.  "That looks like regular core energy.  I think anti is yellow.  Must've been a distorter or s- wait, they're your cuffs, you tell me."

"..." He didn't really know what to say. SO he didn't. Instead, he bent over to check out the wad of Kammer on the ground.

The sand was still.  "He's not dead," Zateal noted.  "should be though..." She spread a small dome over Kammer's nanites.  "The... authorities, will get over here soon... to deal with him," Her eyes kept pulsing back and forth between their regular tint and a dark red.

"..Well then, lets try to not get caught." He said simply. Glancing up at the sun in the sky. "Where would you like to go?"

She looked over at him.  "I wasn't saying we should hide.  We just stopped a murderer.  Unless there's something you wanna tell me about, I don't think they'll be arresting us."

"I keep getting this nagging feeling that you don't entirely trust me.." He said pointedly. "..I am very acquainted to 'hiding.' However, I haven't offended your law enforcement here. So I suppose we will be fine." He said, leaving out the..'for now.' part.

"Ooooh, maybe if she doesn't like you,  you could always use that delicious ability of yours to drain her," Virus whispered in.  "maybe you should drain the killer just to be sure he's dead and cold..."

"I don't get this," Zateal folded her arms, looking with a wince toward the ground.  "They were both idiots but we never had that kind of issue.  It doesn't make sense!"

"Hm." Virus's suggestion was definitely more appealing than dealing with the chick. "..As interesting as that sounds. I can't help but think that the whole reason we're here is to do some.. 'sleuthing.' If you will.. I would literately be killing our lead here.." He whispered under his breath. Not catching a single word Zateal uttered.

"Hey," Zateal waved an arm in front of him.  "What are you gonna do now?  The cops might have some questions for both of us."

"...." The parasite stood there for a moment. And after a few seconds he sighed. "..We. should probably wait. For the authorities." He managed to say.

"Could still do some- Oh... never mind," Virus stopped as two blue and white-striped Identities appeared, their arms blinking red and blue repeatedly as they walked over.

"..Hello there, good sirs." Xan greeted in monotone. Tail swaying back and forth a bit.

They nodded to him before looking over to Kammer's nanites.  "This is the perpitrator?" One asked. (Hooba)(doods)

"Its unfortunately so." Xan replied grimly. Looking over the weird ashy-remains.

A glass-looking container grew from one of their hands as they transferred a group of nanites into it, destroying the rest.  "You know... he doesn't deserve prison, he deserves to die," It was Virus's voice, though more clear this time.

"....Perhaps you could explain why?" He said under his breath. Barely more than what sounded like a sigh.

"Killing his best friend for a girl," She answered.  "Thought that'd be obvious."

"Do you have any form of identification?" The officer asked, turning to Xan.  "That wasn't a pun by the way."

Xan posed like a model. Or at least how he thought models posed. "..I am my identification." He said in a silly manor.

Both officers paused at this, though the one holding the nanites had to cover his mouth.  A snort could be heard from Zateal at the side.

"If you are an unidentified organic in our city," The officer began, "you will need to be scanned for identification.  How did you arrive in our Dominion?"

"..I fell from heaven." He said sarcastically, "And before you ask, it did indeed hurt." Xan said. With that being his final bit of guile. He sighed. "I was invited here. And transported to meet a friend."

"Who transported you?" The more serious officer asked as the other began flashing turquoise with laughter.

He was very tempted to continue the joke.. by answering.. 'The Lord..' But he was getting tired of the officer, so he actually answered the question. "I believe she is called 'Device?' She transported me here." The cheeky fellow replied.

"Alright," The officer jotted this down on his arm, a screen appearing on it.  "We'll follow that up.  If you're telling the truth, then you shouldn't expect any further interviews.  Please explain what happened here in your words."

"I visited this man, with this darling here.." Xan said, jabbing a thumb in Zateal's general direction. "We arrived to inquire about the recent disappearance of their friend.. Kakova. And discovered an odd generator hidden within Kammer's home. Then the man attacked us.." He paused for a moment, gesturing in a sweeping motion the general remains of Kammer. "As you can see, I was not the one to lose. But it was indeed in an act of self defense. Not some vendetta, or personal gain." He sighed, rolling his eye.

"We'll need you to stay in the Dominion until this is sorted out," The officer informed.  "Thank you for your cooperation."

"..Shouldn't be too much trouble. There still is much I haven't seen." He mumbled to himself.

The officers started to leave.  Zateal turned to walk away too, her arms vibrating tensely.

Xan sighed, and pinched between his eyes, as if on the verge of a headache. "Zateal, dear. I'm..sorry. You had to go through this." He said, mildly coughing on the word, 'sorry.'

"... Yeah," She replied slightly hoarsly.  "This is... so stupid..." she vanished.

"Hey," Virus noted, peeling off from Xan and appearing physically in her regular form.  "You might get some kind of reward for this."

The parasite returned his attention to Virus. "Ah. The man had a bounty on his head? I don't really use currency. Ever. Actually. What would be the point in that?"

She reached over to place a hand on her forehead before a third arm grew out and tore her arm down, breaking it off and replacing it while her face vibrated for a moment.  "No, no no no b-boun- no bou-" she slapped herself.  "You caught a murderer.  You get a reward for that."

"..Virus are you well?" Xan asked cautiously. His whole diameter changing. As he glanced from the newly severed appendage, to its owner.

"Nope," She chuckled.  "Aaaaaanyway, since they got away with that little bit of evidence, I'll be taking care of something real' quick.  I'll be back in a minute or two, kay?"

The parasite acknowledged her in a simple, curt, nod. Still keeping an eye on her in case anything else happened.

She vanished from sight in a red light.  For the moment, Xan was alone in the musical district.

Sighing, he decided to look around before she came back. And trailed down little ways from his previous location.

Tunes played with each step, a glowing mohawk walking past him before stopping and sticking on a long mullet glowing blue to his head.

"Of for the love of-" He muttered, as he tried to remove the hideous looking thing from his crest.

It took some tugging but it came off rather painlessly.  Some varying identities stood across the street.  Two of them immediately began forming something as he came into view.  It looked flat and rectangular.

"..?" After discarding the monstrosity of a wig, Xan headed near the small group to see what they were up to.

One held up a picture of a bleeding arm with a question on it, while the other simply asked "Are you organic?"

"..I suppose I am. Yes." Xan replied, glancing between the two. "I just wanted to see what you were constructing."

They put down their rectangular sign constructs, and reshaped the drawings atop them.  This time the first held up a picture of a sun with a plus sign and the letter U.  The second just wrote "You're hot," and the third Identity, upon noticing what they had just done, expanded their eyes to new heights, looking between them and Xan before covering their face in their hands, embarrassed to be next to the two.

Xan snorted at their gestures. "..Ah. Art class is see." He said, amused.

A red flash of light appeared behind Xan where he had walked from.  He was near what looked to be some kind of music shop.

Having nothing better to do, Xan decided to go check out the shop of sorts.

Inside, different sections of the shop had different music playing, each stopping as another played as if contained by invisible walls.

"Huh." He muttered to himself. Admiring the craftsmanship of the sleek instruments. He eventually walked over to one of the displays to get a closer look.

Most were quite familiar, electric guitars, flutes, keyboards, but some were a bit more complicated,such as what looked like a gourd with different plugs, or a long silver rectangular stick with cracks along it.

He continued down the shop to see what else it might hold.

Various drives were seen, seemingly to download music into Identities for personal use, and then came a long line of music-based weapons.  Guitars with blades, CDs that acted like boomerangs, etc.

Out of curiosity, Xan bent over a little to read the list a bit.

(Ups, should've said "line" instead of "list" ,I fixed it, but I'll list off a bit too anyway X{D) There selections such as "Ripple-string" a guitar-looking device with small circular ports around it.  It apparently sent teleporting expanding bursts of energy around an area rapidly.  Another was "Dinthro" or "Dinharp", which looked to be a regular harp, but the description informed that it had specific chords meant to disrupt frequencies and give off high pitches when played.  A third was called "Pattern hammer" which had a large mallet in the center at the end of a poll, with smaller mallets on the sides that would send different pitches in a tune based on where they hit and how hard.  Other similar kinds of devices were seen throughout the line.

"Helloooooooooooo," A familiar voice called from outside the store.

"Mh. I'm in here." He called back. Reluctantly turning heel and sauntering out of the store.

Virus walked over.  "Grazing the wares?"

"Indeed I was. Also, if I may inquire. Much of this district seems more oriented for craftsmanship. Is that actually true?" He questioned.

"All of them are," She replied.  "Just different kinds.  This one's a bit more tech-based I guess you could say.  Most people here focus more on compressed highly advanced kind of stuff rather than big snazzy buildings or weapons."

"Hm. Still impressive none the less.." He trailed off for a moment, an impish look creeping on his face. "Now. Where ever did you go off to, dearie?"

"Was hoping you'd ask," She replied.  "I had to catch up to the police and destroy the nanites before they found out the whole story."

"..Hm. You certainly exercise a lot of caution around others. Why would that be...?" He continued.

"Well currently it's because I can't have anyone finding out they arrested an innocent guy."

"...Otherwise we. Would be the ones in the.. 'slammer?'"

"Nah, I might get in some trouble, but mostly it just wouldn't have been a fun mystery if you knew I killed the guy... and hijacked the other guy to act like he killed him."

"..." Xan stood there for a moment. Trying to get a grip. "Ah, this was all set up so you could get a reaction." He said finally.

"No," Her face scrunched up.  "... Well okay this part was.  The rest was just to give a fun mystery."

After a brief moment of silence Xan replied, "Huh. Well, credit where its due.. That was quite intriquing. However I can't believe you dragged me into a.. taco." He said, trying to hide his embarrassment and indignation.

"Well of course, 'cause you're crunchy and delicious," she smirked.

"Mm. Also chewy, and bloody. And still alive. We aren't actually discussing the texture of eating someone are we..?" He retaliated in a smart alic way.

"I'm flexible," she replied.  "and by that I mean Yyyyyyyyyep!  ... So I've got a little time left.  What else you wanna do?"

"It would seem I've missed a lot of places. Care to show me a few of your favorites?" He replied.

"Hm..." She tapped her lip.  "Favoritesssssssssss..." She spoked him.  'You still do the whole draining thing when touching stuff?"

"..Unless I have miraculously evolved into a higher state of being.. Which I haven't...Yes." He said guardedly. Having a brief flash to when he LAST told Virus he was destabilizing. He shuddered. He certainly did not want that to happen again.

"Delicious," She hugged him before teleporting the both of them to a large desert.

As he glanced around at the sea of rock and nothingness. He coaxed Virus off his body. "Hm. A rather odd place to be a favorite."

"It's got its attractions," A rush of wind zipped past the two of them, some fissuring sound going off as it went.

"..Like Wild E Coyote or the Roadrunner?" He said, a little sarcasm managed to sneak in the sentence.

"More like combat," She replied, gesturing to the distance.  "Try squinting."

He arched a brow. And pointed to his eye. "I'm ALWAYS squinting, Virus." None the less, he still looked off in the direction she gestured.

Small bursts in the air, more movement swaying the sand about could be seen.  Glints of light here and there.  "Any idea what that is?"

"..A teleporter? A Speedster?" He guessed. Trying to track the odd movement.

"An invisible fight," She informed. Another gust went past them, swirling about as a collision appeared above them, two Identities flickering in and out of vision.

"..We can't see them but they can see each other? Interesting. And you said this was training, correct?"

"Combat," She informed.  Here," A small glint went across the ground as the various identities could be seen.  Blasts of eneergy shot about, some flying back and forth, flips and creations of massive constructs to blast and slam down on others.  A few stood, connected psychicly as they tried to control each other.

"See that one?" She pointed at a grey and blue Identity zipping back and forth between targets.

"Indeed. Quite lively. Then again, everyone is." He commented.

She leaned over to him.  "Feed," She whispered as the identity rushed toward them, going near to Xan's side, though not seeming to care about them being there.

He frowned, A nasty feeling was gnawing on him from the insides. But in a split second he tagged the identity briefly with a short, needle like jab from one of his arm blades. Draining, but not killing the identity. They would simply feel tired for awhile. Xan's markings glowed for a moment as his system dealt with the new vitality.

The Identity fell apart mid-dash, collapsing to the ground before sparking up and reforming again.  He looked about wildly before locating Xan.

The parasite snorted and saluted the the identity. "Nothing permanent. I swear." He said briefly.

A sigh came from the red-striped feline.  "How much can you hold?"

".. I don't really know. I'm perfectly fine without 'donations.' If this is going where I think it is.." He said. Trying to silently figure out why he was acting. flippant.

"Well you were supposed to drain him dry," She informed.  "Where's all that killer instinct from before?"

"Hold on," The identity spoke up, a blade forming on his arm.  "Draining what now?"

He didn't like where this was heading. She was starting to sound like Ramsay. This thought caused his spikes to stand out on edge. Xan suddenly warped through the hot sun rays of the desert, and landed right behind the identity. Swiftly ramming a blade through the identity's gut. Carving a nice hole through their body. He didn't actually absorb anything though. "There. Dead. Hooray." He said flatly. Unconsciously trying to refute her previous statement.

The identity simply molded his body around till facing Xan, the parasite's hand still inside of his gut.  "I'll admit that feels uncomfortable..."

"He did break a hand through your nanites," Virus replied to the identity.

"I notice- oh right.  Yes, impressive."

He groaned for a moment. Face palming with his free hand. "Of all the things you could forget.." He mumbled to himself more than anyone else.

"Do you want to fight me?" The identity asked Xan as he slowly removed his hand.

"I suppose I could." He replied, mildly shaking his hand a little.

"... Alright then," The identity stepped back a few paces, a bladed arm-cannon growing out.

The parasite banished any penitence left in his system and dropped down into a combative stance. "Well then, may the best man win.." Xan chimed. Sliding his other blade out.

"Hm," The Identity reached his arm out, disconnecting it as it floated in the air, poised at Xan while charging up.  The Identity vanished some feet to the left as his other arm detached into a floating bladed gun.

Arching a brow, Xan kicked up a cloud of sand in attempt to test a theory. Causing dust and rock debris to fly everywhere.

The Identity grew on a new arm, expanding it as he slammed it to the ground, a gust of wind against the dust.

As the wind cleared the sand, a barrage of small to medium rocks were hurtled from the clearing cloud. The parasite no where in sight.

The identity remained still, relaxing in a standing figure.  The two floating cannons moved out in a radius, then began firing a beam of energy in a circular pattern, expanding while rising and lowering.

Xan warped behind him again, and swiped at him with with a blade before warping out again. He continued this gorilla warfare a few times over, showing up in different places and vanishing. Always in the sunlight.

(How is Xan reacting to the circling energy beams going about?  For context.) (Whoops, sorry. He's using them as conducts of transport. Kinda like Quantum energy teleportation o3o) (I see.) (XP)

"I can feel you doing that," The identity informed.  Spikes shot through the beams as they span.

Xan quickly dumped his particles out of the beams "Ack." He choked as his fragments warped together again. "That was certainly not. The circle of life." His voice said, bliping in and out like an old radio.

The Identity slammed down at Xan as he reappeared.

"GOODNESS ME." Said the parasite as his wits returned, and he quickly rolled out n' away from the incoming doom. His appearance seemed a tad glitchy as everything was still reforming.

"Seems you aren't as different to us," the identity noted. The floating cannons circled the identity for a moment before slamming into his shoulders, large spiked arms forming out as he punched forward at Xan.

Xan managed to duck down under the punch and snag the identity's arm. In which he proceeded to yank off to see what happens.

The arm remained attached as the identity jerked forward at Xan from the tug, his other arm reaching forward to grab him as the first lit up in preperation to blast at him.

The parasite would have loved to warp out of the situation, but he was certain that he'd loose more than just a few particles in the process. Instead he drew out his blades again and attempted to dice off the blasters.

The contact caused a bit of an implosion inside, blowing off the arm as the other tightened around him from the grab.

Xan shook his hand again as a few burns stung his skin under the scales. "These things are never simple, are they.." He grunted, knowing all to well that the arm would return. Soon. Twisting around in the hand of his captor, The parasite swung his long leg around and prepared to kick the identity's legs out from under him.

A crack was heard from the impact.  The identity was increasing his density to meet with the additional strength of Xan's hits.  With that, the identity blasted up to the air while holding on to Xan.

He gasped at the sudden take off. It was enough to make his back ridges stick out in surprise. This was not going well. Xan clung to the arm of the identity. Trying to think of something to counteract him.

(Just making sure here, is Xan always draining people he touches?)(Nope. It takes some effort to siphon from someone. I.e Mosquitoes can't stuck blood by just buzzing around your head.)

Once at a tall enough height, the Identity began spinning rapidly to thrust Xan down to the ground below.

Instead of fighting the speeding velocity. Xan worked with the Identity by swinging his body weight around in attempt to free himself.

He was soon freed as the Identity was throwing him at the ground.

Xan made a risky move by warping himself out again. Landing out on the sand in a quick 'blip!.' Surprisingly he was unaffected, except for the fact that he was literately using up his 'battery.'

The Identity quickly formed a cylinder-like construct, slamming it down after Xan from above.

"WHAT. May I inquire. Is it with youu-" He cut himself off to sidestep the attack, and jump into the air to avoid aftershocks. "-And smashing?" He finished.

The Identity rushed down at him with his entire body now.  "When blasting isn't the option..."

Xan sighed, and purposefully braced for impact instead of dodging.

Seeing that he wasn't moving, the identity vanished, reappearing just below the ground.  The contact and sudden hit caused a boom from the desert ground, shooting it up from underneath Xan.

He was half shoved, half chucked into the air by the splurge of sand. Xan was not pleased. "Well. That does it then." He said, warping to the ground once more.

(He's warping into the ground?)(I 'ment he's returning back to the ground itself. Jeez, I'm sorry, I've not been very clear here xd)

(Is all good.  Fights can get crazy.)

The identity rushed up to meet Xan but a voice called over "Alright time's up," Virus walked over.  "That was fun."

The parasite was trying to clean his blades so they wouldn't infect his skin when they were tucked back within. But there was a lot of sand and grime. "..We were keeping track of time?" Xan echoed.

"No, but I've got to be somewhere and I'd hate to overdrench this whole affair," she informed.  The identity stood straight, reaching out for a handshake to the parasite.

Xan managed to return the hand shake by sheathing his blade halfway. "..Rather interesting tactics, if I do say so myself."

"Likewise," He replied.  "Normally any organics are treated with dainty caution.  It's really refreshing to meet one that isn't fragile."

The parasite chuckled. "I'll take that as a compliment, good sir." He replied. turning to Virus. "Now, whats this 'important business?'

"Hm... Here," She handed him a small card.  "Press on the circle in about... a week."

"..Very well then..?" He half said, half murmured. Holding the card up closer to his face a get a better look at things.

With that, the red-striped feline brushed up toward him with a brief kiss as he was returned back to his world.

(Nope. X{D Now we're going to deploy the power of patience. We've got the Identity Roleplay planned after this part was finished so we have to get that done first X{D)

(SQUEEEEE I ALMOSt FOrGOT THerE. Its like christmas. in November. After Thanksgiving xD)

(I have to make sure some things are finished before we start but the latest it'll get set up is the first of December.)

(Okie then. Till. then. Xan is just gonna sit in a corner x'D)

Pt. 3) Doppelganger

(Update: Thought of a better chapter name :'D )

At the present time, Xan was in the middle of an assignment, and had assumed the role as a guard within the official political building of Ashton. He was gathering intel for specific reasons, but currently he was mostly just wandering around.

He noticed a box, large enough to hold a person, floating down from the sky attached to a balloon.

His face scrunched up in mild confusion. He glanced around to see where it had come from, but he saw no sender. So instead, he raised his gun, and shot the balloon off the box. 

The box then crashed into the ground, the wood cracking off with a large body bag inside.

"Mn.." Xan frowned. Moving to investigate the body bag's contents. He flicked away some wood remnants off the bag before carefully tearing it open from one end.

What appeared to be a female replica of his very self lay still in the bag.

The man was taken aback for a moment. "Eh..? What is this?" He murmured. Cautiously reaching out to touch the creature's face.

She blinked, wincing slightly as he poked her.  "Eh?"

"What are you.." Xan questioned. Giving the woman a puzzled look.

"Guess I'm you," she replied.

"Odd." He said simply. Moving to free the woman from the rest of the bag. "Can you stand?"

"I suppose we will find out," She pulled a bit as she was helped out, tapping her feet lightly on the ground.

Xan helped the woman up with a gentle tug. Analysing the lady and her markings. "We need to move you elsewhere.." He murmured, glancing around.

She looked about as well.  "... Is there something wrong?"

"One might say that." He said, tugging her along to a nearby door. Which he promptly opened and pushed her inside. "Clone?"

"Um... I don't know?  Maybe if I have your memories perhaps?" She stumbled slightly as they went in.

Xan closed the door behind them with his tail. They were in a small hallway. "That would be something." He said, getting in her face to get a closer look. He was having a hard time accepting the idea of this odd lady.

"Well what are your memories?"

"Little difficult to ask for a description." He sighed. Touching her forehead, he took a moment to search her mind.

A small jolt came from her, not electric, just surprise.  Before she jerked back, her thoughts consisted mostly of "What is he- hey!"

"..?!" He too was slightly startled by her movement. "Hold still." He said flatly, Arching a brow.

She rose a brow but remained still.

He settled down and touched her forehead once more. "What is the last thing you remember?"

He saw a slow flash of a large white room, various tubes lining the walls.

Xan felt a brief rush of sympathy for the girl..Which she too, might have felt. If she was paying attention. In a few moments, he showed her a few of his own random memories. A meadow with only white flowers, a warm fireplace surrounded by old leather-bound books, and a few friendly faces which she could not place. "Feel familiar?"

"I... don't... quite know..." Her thoughts replied.  "It, is this your memory?"

"Selectively. Yes. They are fragments." His voice answered. Her mind tingled as he ran through her memories. "Do you remember anything else?" Xan's thoughts breezed through her head.

Most everything was rather blank, except for a pair of half-open eyes.

"..." Xan released her from his hold, everything zapped back to reality. "Do you have a name?" He inquired, his face remained expressionless.

She shrugged.  "N?"

He chuckled. "N is your name?" Xan asked, grinning. Tail twitching behind him.

"I think so, yes," she nodded.

"Oh. I thought you were.. Never mind." He waved away the thought. "They call me Xan."

"That isn't much longer," She noted.

"No. It isn't. One more thing in correlation to you." He agreed, frowning. "You seem normal enough..." Xan murmured, circling around N. "No enhancements from what I can tell.. Ehh.." He said more to himself, than the girl.

"What does this mean then?"

He shrugged. "You are me, in your own aspect. Someone must have cloned my DNA into you." Xan guessed.

"Why would they do that?"

Xan stopped his circling, standing in front of N once more. "See. That's the actual problem. I don't know." He said, practically wincing as he admitted his lack of understanding.

"Well where are we now?" She looked about.

"The Town Hall. You're standing in the city of Ashton." He informed her. Gesturing to the room's decor and such.

"... Are you the mayor?" She asked.

He chuckled lightly. "Ah. No. It would be much simplier to do it that way." Xan sighed. He had taken form as a black cat dressed in uniform. "I await orders from the higher ups." He rolled his eyes.

"Why do you look like them?" She reached out toward his face.

Xan flinched slightly, but made no move to intercept the girl. "We're parasites, N. We steal bodies. It's what we do." He said. Edge creeping into his voice.

"I know," She pulled at his cheek a bit.  "But you look better not as them."

"How flattering." The cat smirked, waving her hand away from his face. "This city isn't very appreciative of our kind. It's easier to walk amongst them as opposed to wiping hundreds of minds." He said, starting down the hallway casually.   

"Why are we among them instead of just us?"

"Expansion. Power. Whatever you want to call it." He shrugged. Noticing that she was asking a lot of questions.. Like he often did. It didn't seem to bother him. Yet.

"... We're going to expand?" She blinked.  "Take over?"

"Mmmhm. It's been happening for some time. Several other cities have already fallen. The funniest part of it all is none of them are even aware of it.." Xan answered plainly.

(Note: This is being said in the same roleplay where in a previous chapter, all non-parasite mobians were being made extinct by an airborne toxin)

(face-palmage. Forgot my own roleplay history. my goodness <_<) (Now I'm not sure what to do with this idiot x'D )

(We can just pretend they found a way to counteract the virus while Virus was gone.)

(I guess so. My apologies =3=" )

"The Queen wishes to preserve whatever might be left of the living races here on Earth." He sighed, tail twitching excessively.

Her eyes became fixated with the tail as she replied "The... Queen... is she one of us?"

"Unfortunatly. Yes. But she's been through so many enhancements it's becoming hard to tell." He chuckled lightly.

"Enhanc- unfortu-..." She scoffed, "Please, explain to me."

Xan was amused with her reactions. "..Nope." He said simply. Knowing that if she was like him.. This would annoy the snot out of her.

She gaped a bit, a vocal scoff.  "Nope? ... Why?" She blinked.

"It's nothing you need to know now, come along." He answered mischievously. She was indeed. Like himself.

"B-... okay..." She looked suspiciously to him but followed.

He led her out to a courtyard. There was a few passerby peoples, but for the most part, things were pretty quiet.

"Should I be hiding my appearance?" She asked.

"My answer would be yes. But I leave the actual decision to you." He shrugged.

She looked around the area for anyone nearby.

There was a lady nearby sitting on a bench. Flipping through the pages of a book.

"... That one..." She took a breath before submerging into the ground, slowly approaching from underneath.

Xan remained rooted to his spot, observing the girl and her works.

The woman remained oblivious, as she was more absorbed in her reading than anything else.

From below, this new female parasite moved up, rippling over the woman's spine before overtaking.

The feline had moved around closer to the body, and patiently waited for the woman to 'reboot', or come alive.

The eyes flickered for a moment, but with a crack of the neck and sudden jolt of the fingers, the woman now looked over to Xan.

"Greetings. Again." He said, moving back to give her some space.

She chuckled.  "Funny... I'm hungry," She stood up, her legs shaking for a moment.

"It's mostly energy drawn from hosts." Xan muttered, seeming to take a few mental notes. "Need assistance?"

"You're going to carry me in your arms?" She overplayed her stumbling, giving a teasing look... though when she did start to straighten, the slight lessening of her smirk seemed to show that she was in fact actually not fully ready to be walking in reality.

"Pffft. You wish." He rolled his eyes. "Since you seem sooo sure. I'll let you adjust on your own."

She groaned slightly, taking a few steps.  "Do I have to eat food in this body?"

"If you want to keep it alive, yes." He smirked. "Oh the joys."

"... You have no idea why I'm here, correct?" She sighed.

"I have a few vague ideas, none of which are set in stone. So in reality. No. I don't." He said, messing with a daisy's leaves. Plucking the leaves off the plant absent-mindedly.

"What are your theories?" She prompted, stepping toward him.

He held up a daisy leaf for example."Number one being.. Assassination. Which is possible but doubtful." Xan said, tossing the leaf aside. "Number two being.. Genetics experimentations and observations. You might have a tracker on you.. More likly but I don't know many to go through the trouble." He sighed.

"I think I prefer the first then," She huffed out a slight chuckle.  "It makes me sound more... capable... and not like a used pawn... How would we know if I'm one of those things?"

"Well. You'll either try to kill me at some point or some biologist will show up to throw pills at us." He joked. "The easiest way for me was to check your psyche. But you're a blank slate in there." Xan said, throwing a teasing look back at N.

She sighed, rolling her eyes.  "So I have to stay away from you then?"

Xan chuckled. "On the contrary. I'm keeping a close eye on you, missy. You're a puzzle that needs solving."

"Well then where do we start?"

The feline shrugged. "..Trigger memories. Check your abilities." He listed a few.

"Eh..." She extended her arm out.  "What can I do in someone else's body?"

"If you're me, You have a type of psionics." He pointed to his head. "..Most of it is done up here. Aside from that, you can still do this.." Xan flexed his hand, forcing a sharp bloodied blade out from his arm.

"... Alright," With that she lunged her arm toward his shoulder, extending out a blade from her own.

He anticipated her and stepped out of the way. "Nice." Xan said, tapping the blunt side of the blade with his index finger.

"... I guess that means you don't think I'm an assassin then," She retracted the blade, standing back up striaght.

"Not necessarily.." His blade also retracted. He then used the underside of her shirt to towel off his arm.

She slapped his hand away immediately.  "I'd shoot the statement back but since I was the one in... where did I come from again?"

He grinned. There was a bit of a stain under the shirt, but it was thankfully dark material. "In a box. Zipped in a bag." Xan answered plainly.

"... I was in a coffin?"

Xan tapped his chin. "..I suppose so?"

"... This bores me," She started walking forward.  "That and I am still hungry."

"Aha.." He arched a brow at her statements, muttering a few indistinct words. "You might actually need to 'eat' something. There is a dining hall here.. However the shops in town are far more appealing." Xan suggested. 

"In what way?" she leaned her head back toward him.

"Less of a child's cafeteria. Better food options. Outdoor tables." He listed. "..Aaand salads." Xan noted. It seems this was an important factor.

"... We have to watch our weight?"

He shot N a look. "No. It's just a preference," Xan informed her, starting to head back inside.

"For this body or for our actual bod- Are we herbivors?" She blinked, she followed. 

Xan rolled his eyes. "Again. No." He sighed. Leading N through a set of halls to the main lobby. "We physically can't consume things. Our hosts do. The health of the host determines the performace of the body. I myself do not enjoy the repercussions of junk food. Therfore I stay away from such things."  

"We eat by draining people..." She gathered.

"Yeees.." He confirmed. Holding the main door open for N. "After you." He gestured.

She walked through, smiling at the gesture with a slight humored huff.

"So then. Any particular food you want?" He inquired, seeing if she would remember anything.

She glanced about before locating some sort of pocket stuffed bread pepper meal wrapped in plastic.  "... That?"

He tilted his head slightly. "..Huh. Well then. If you want." He shrugged. Leaving her for a few moments to purchase the stuffed pepper. After a bit, he returned with the warmed meal. "Here." Xan handed her the food.

"How kind," She soon unwrapped the meal, chomping it down.

"Mmhm." He nodded. "..Not. Entirely sure what that even is.." Xan puzzled.

She shrugged.  "It does taste nice.  Do you not enjoy eating food while in someone's body?"

Xan frowned. "I don't enjoy food. Period." He said, glancing around for a place to sit.

"Why do you not enjoy it?"

"..The textures are disgusting. That plus bad experiences. Equals my dislike of food consumption." He said, starting towards a bench a few yards over.

"... And if I am your clone, I would not enjoy food as well?" She followed.

"Well.. wait." He paused, thie facts begining to dawn upon him. "That's a good point. You are eating." Xan noted, turning slightly so he could see her.

"Yes," she nodded before swallowing.  "... Y- you said we need to in these bodies."

"That's not the point. Your not picky like I am. You seem fine eating.. That." Xan stopped short. Still not entirely sure what that food was. "Er. Whatever."

"I was hungry," She shrugged.  "The crunch taste is a nice sensation."

The spines along Xan's back rippled in displeasure. "Mm."

She sighed.  "Well you don't like crunches?"

"No. I don't." He admitted. "Mooooving on. This might be a sign. You could just look like me."

"Well I want to know more about you," She protested.  "You are the only one like me that I have met," She took another bite.

"Eeeeeeh... Fine" He agreed grudgingly. "Sit down and eat first." Xan instructed, waving her over to the bench.

She did as such, finishing the meal soon after.

Xan had situated himself on the otherside of the bench. Leaving a bit of space between the two. "So." He cleared his throat. "..I will answer a few questions."

"Where are the others?"

"Sh'rell mostly." Xan answered evenly. "I suppose the rest are scattered around the planet."

"Has this city fallen to our people?"

He shook his head. "No. That's why I'm here."

"So I was sent here to help you?  Another experiment?"

Xan tipped his head slightly. "..Perhaps..? But again. That is uncertain."

"Well then let's find out how certain."

He drummed his fingers on the armrest of the bench. "Weeeell. Theres a few ways to check. Do you have a cyruun? The gem." Xan said, tapping his chest.

She looked to her body.  There didn't appear to be one... but then again she was in a different body so she wasn't sure.

"Right." He sighed. "C'mere." Xan waved for her to follow, as he headed to a old looking building.

She quickly followed.

Once they were inside Xan left the mobian body and shifted into his old self. "Please step out a moment. I'd like to check you."

It took her a moment to understand but upon realizing,she gave a small chuckle before shaking off the body: allowing the host to fall back behind her.

He took a step closer, trying to look for signs of unnatural traites. He also checked her for a stone. "Much apologies."

There was a slight bulge in her chest, but the stone didn't seem at least above the surface.

"..Hm." He shrugged. "It appears that you might. I have no intentions of cutting you open."

"I thank you for that then," She chuckled.  "What does the stone do?"

"Eh. You don't want to know. It's a mark of the queen-born. Most of us have them." He shrugged.

"So I probably don't have one?"

He shook his head. "It appears that you do." Xan said, taking a few steps away from N.

"Wait, so you were born from the queen too?"

"Pfft. No. At least. Not directly. Not everyone is a spawn of the ruler. Think of the stone as a mark of allegiance." He was poking the black cat's body with a toe. Seeming reluctant to resume his disguise.

"What were you born from?"

His tail twitched in annoyance. "Parents. A mother and father like most. We aren't RAISED by them. But we are made aware of our bloodlines after graduation."

"Graduation?" She rose an eyebrow.

"A celebration to integrate young adults to society. " He said briefly. "You ask quite a few questions."

"Yes, because I want to know more about more about my own species as well as the person I was apparently cloned from if you've forgotten," She replied bluntly.

Xan chuckled. "No. I haven't forgotten. It's hard to forget." He ended up dusting off the floor with his tail, then moved to take a sit on the ground.

She followed him in his sitting.  "... What do you do for... entertainment?"

"Good question. I enjoy reading most literature. Glass sculpting is also a hobby of mine.." He tapped his chin thoughtfully. "Tormenting others has its perks. But sometimes I just want to be alone." 

"Sculpting... May we visit the library?"

Xan nodded. Getting off the floor and picking up his host. In a few moments he was back in the black cat. "It's not but a few blocks away."

"... I cannot walk as I am now, I assume?" She sighed, almost wincing at the change.

"....Hm." He contemplated. "Do as you want." Xan shrugged. 

"Lovely," She remained as herself.

Xan wordlessly left the building and began walking down the street.. Assuming that the girl would follow.

She did as such, keeping close to his side.

After awhile, they arrived at the library. Though it was open, there wasn't very many people inside.

"It's not the best library I have seen. But some of the volumes are intresting."

"What do you read often?"

He made a small smile. "Mostly nonfiction. Especially historical."

"That would be a good place to start," She nodded, walking forward in search of these history books.

Xan ended up guiding her to the section towards the back.. Seeming to already know the way well.

"Where would you suggest I begin?"

"Mythology. Or the history of mobian rulers. I find the monarchy amusing." He suggested. Running his fingers along the rows of books.

"Mythology is considered history?"

"Sometimes it is, but in this case no. It falls into nonfiction." He shrugged, pulling a few novels out to hand off to N.

She looked over the titles.

One seemed to be the records of established mobian colonies. Another was simply titled 'The Great War.'

She started through the Great War.

A bit of the summary contained the more important snippets of the war between Overlanders and Mobians.. Such as the Paladin incident, several notable battles, and a slight mention of 'Julian Kintobor.'

Xan had his head tipped slightly to the side, so he could have an easier time reading the book covers along the shelf. He seemed to be browsing, but nothing he had seen was of interest. Yet. "There's others to read if you find that one dull."

"This is the actual history?" She closed the book.

"Not ours. But yeeees." He responded without looking up from his browsings.

"Not... oh of our species... Are there books on our species?"

"Perhaps a bit on our biology? But I seriously doubt that there is any historical material. "

"History is written by the oppressors?"

He finally looked to N. "What do you mean?" Xan asked for clarification.

"Aren't we the oppressed?" She blinked.  "That's why we're taking over, right?"

"Eh. Not quite." He said, putting a book back where he had found it. "At one point it was survival means. But over the years things have changed."

"... We are vikings then?"

Xan fell silent for a moment, before suddenly bursting into laughter. "Pirates! Haha.. Perhaps so."

"So we are the villains too."

"Depends on which perspective you view it." He answered, wiping an imaginary tear from his eye.

"Give me the perspectives then," She sighed.

Xan mimicked her sigh. "That is unnecessary.. Are you done with that?" He pointed to her books.

"We have been here... five minutes?"

He poked at a few books on a shelf infront of him. "Usually I know within the first few minutes of reading whether or not I am wasting time. It's the only reason I ask."

Thundering sounded for a moment gloriously

('T_T' intensifies )

"... I guess I'll keep the ones dealing with our species then."

"Whatever fits your fancy." He shrugged. "Would you rather read them here or check them out?"

"I have no library card... or a home."

"Again, I am aware. Besides, what makes you think I'd let you have those? For now you will reside in my abode." He said, handing her a card under someone else's name.

She blinked, looking it over.  "Awfully kind for someone who may be my.. 'assasination target' or whatever."

Xan flashed a sardonic smile. "I know. That's what makes me so niceeee." He said, batting his eyes. "Now go check out. Unless there's something else you need."

She nodded, walking over and doing so.

He was waiting near the exit whenever she finished. "Ready to go?"

She nodded while approaching: her books in a toatbag.

"Greeeat." He started out the library's door. The sky had darkend while they were inside. It was begining to rain in the city. "This seems like a good time to head home." Xan obsurved.

She gasped a bit, tightly sealing her bag as she ran toward the rain.

Xan didn't seem to be bothered by the rain, but he quickened his pace to get N to his apartment. It took them awhile to get there, and by the time they did, they both were equally soaked.

"Do we experience hypothermia?" She asked as they arrived.

"No. Our bodies are quite adept at regulating its heat." He said. Walking off into another room and returning with a few towels in hand. "..But you still need to dry off."

"If you insist," She smirked,taking the towel as she dried off.  "Will I be meeting the queen?" She suddenly stopped.  "Will she kill me if she finds out I wasn't... birthed?" She scrunched up a bit at the word.

He began to pat himself down with the towel."Firstly no, because the second is yes. She is very.. Particular about outsiders.."

"B-... What am I to do then?  Hide from her like you all do these non-parasites?"

Xan had removed himself from the body, and set the man elsewhere on some couch. "Relax. It's not the end of the world. There are plenty of advantages to being natural born. Not quite sure why you would want to tie yourself into this mess. "

"I don't know quite what I would do yet," She replied, "but I would enjoy knowing that my... 'leader' doesn't wish to kill me if I want to have a cup of coffee with her."

He simply shruged. "It's the way things are." Xan bent over to briefly strech his limbs.

"You are content with that?"

"..No. No I'm not." He said rather darkly. "Her ways are only hindering our people."

"Then we should change that."

Xan stared at her for a few moments. His expresion giving nothing away. "Indeed."

"Where should I put the towel?" She held it up.

He gestured to a coat rack mounted on the wall near her. "That will do." Xan moved to turn on a few lights in the darkened house.

She placed it atop the rack.  "Do you usually go nude?"

"There is no shame in choosing to remain bare." He responded without skipping a beat. "Besides. Clothes are difficult to keep track off when you are constantly attaching to other beings."

"I never said there was shame," She noted.  

"Hm. Quite right... Wasn't even a direct answer. No. Attire is only worn during certain events or meetings. At least for me."  

"Hm, well if I am definitively... bunking here for lack of a better word, I'll take the couch then?"

Xan tipped his head slightly. "Wait...To sleep?"

"We don't sleep?" She blinked, eyes widening.

"Not really. Unless theres some sickness or serious injury that our bodies need to heal." He informed, picking up a few random items off the floor and putting them away.

"So we don't ever dream either... How do we recharge?  Our bodies don't sore?"

"We have periods of inactivity through out the day. But most of the 'recharging' occurs within our Yeues state.. When we are in the more liquidated form." Xan explained. "..And no. We do not dream."

"So I can liquidate?  How is this done?"

"It really doesn't take much thought. You did it earlier in the courtyard."

She blinked.  "Oh when I went into the floor.  I thought... hm..." She began sinking along the floor.

"We really don't need much time to rebound. Yeues gives the body a chance to process and rest to an extent. Even when in motion.." Xan took note of a few things quietly as N moved around.

She found great entertainment circling about half liquidated.  "What would we do now?"

He tapped his chin. "As in.. Activities during the night or uses for that form?"

"I am to be helping in the takeover aren't I?"

Xan grinned, inching close enough to pat N on the head. "Sure you are, Sweetie." He cooed in a sissy voice, like a mother would to a child.

She gave him a stab at the gut with her blade.

Xan already knew the blow had been coming, and twisted unnaturally out of the way. Once out of the way, he winced slightly, touching his left side.. Which N had apparently nicked. "Touché."

"Where are the others?"

"..Followed by déjà vu." He chuckled half-heartedly. His side was already patching itself up before he had a chance to bleed. "You have to be more specific, N."

"Any others," She replied.  "Any other parasites."

Wanting to be away from the cranky female, Xan moved to sit in a chair. "Here? Aside from us, no. However, someone is scheduled to arrive tomorrow to 'wrap things up' and escort me back."

"So you're leaving... and I imagine I'm to be left here?"

His tail lashed around behind the chair as he sighed. "It would be a more logical decision to leave you here.. But there's no fun in that." Xan made a small smile. "So you will most likely be coming along."

"Oh I'm so grateful," She solidified.

Xan rested his chin over his folded hands "Mmhm. I'm sure you are." He mused, staring off into space for a few moments.

"We're just going to stand here waiting for a day, aren't we?" She sighed.

He tutted at this remark. "I would no sooner impale myself than sulk around in this room mindlessly." Xan stood up suddenly as he spoke.

"Then what?"

"There is still the question of who and what you are to be answered." Xan glanced out the window to see how the weather faired.. It was still raining.

"... We can go in water right?"

"Yeeees. As a whole we remain perfectly fine." He cracked the window open to allow some of the fresh, rainy air in. "Why you you ask?"

"You're fixated on the rain."

"I find comfort in the rain." He said simply. "We should go out. It's better than remaining here."

"Whatever you say," She approached the doorway.

Once they were out, Xan seemed a touch bit uncertain. The rain had slowed to a drizzle.

"Tranquil," N walked past him.

"Mmhm. I like it." He said, beginning to walk along the sidewalk.

"Well unless you want to follow, I'm going to explore at a brisk pace," she sped up.

At first she seemd to have lost him, but in a few moments Xan appeared at her side. Matching her speeds. "Keeping an eye on you. Remember?"

"Keep up then," She replied before speeding up further into a jog.

Xan seemed annoyed at first, but this was quickly replaced by amusement as he continued to match her speed. Not once faltering from her side. "Do you even know where you're going?"

"Not particularly," She noted, turning occasionally.

"Doesn't that annoy you..?" He pressed, missing the turn a few times. But he did eventuallycatch up again.

"Not particularly," She repeated, seeming to follow the damper sections of rain.

Xan grunted, and fell silent. The storm was moving on, and the rain blew along with it. They still occasinally hit some light sprinklings, but the rain was mostly over.

N looked about the city, perhaps something of importance or unimportance.  Either way, she had the day and chose to take it in in exploration.

There were several people walking around mindlessly, As if in a tired stupor. Aside from that things seemed normal.

"Why are they so meloncholy?" She asked.

Xan looked to the side to see what she was refering to. "That may or may not have been my doing." He replied with hinting amusement. "Either that or citizens are not getting enough rest."

"You drained them?"

He didn't verbally answer, but his mischievous face spoke volumes.

"How many of them?"

"Only a couple. The rest were mentally subdued. In total that would make.. 20 people I believe." He replied.

"They were all... today?"

"Mostly yesterday or very early this morning." He answered evenly.

"How much do you have to feed for a day?"

"Eh. On avarage one could get away with a single feed for several days. But since I burn things off quicker due to my excess energy usage.. I have to compensate. So for me things tend to be around 3-4 times a day. Especially when I'm out on 'the feild.' "

"Battle?  How often is that?"

He frowned. "More frequent than I'd like it." Xan had slowed to a cruising speed at this point.

"By order?"

"Mmmhm." He nodded. "Though we haven't lost. I can see things getting worse in the future if things continue."

"Why would that be?"

"Because.. Reasons." He grinned.

"... Tsk... Do people remember things when we posses them?"

"Not when your a mindbender. Unless you intend for them to remember something, the answer is no." Xan answered, dipping his tail in most every puddle they came accross.

"You really do enjoy the water," She noted.  "Is there an ocean nearby?"

"There is a few miles away from the city. Why? Feel like going for a swim?" Xan mused.

"Are you?"

He considered this for a couple of seconds. "Sure. Why not." He shrugged. "No one will be around since it's just rained. The walk wouldn't be too long. However I suppose we could catch a ride if needed."

"Are there any trolley's 'round this area?" She looked about.

"Mmmmm... No. However there is a few public bus. I believe one of them stops by the beach.." Xan said thoughtfully.

"We can't just run there?"

"Sure we could. If you can keep up." He challenged with his signature smirk.. It was rather annoying.

"How quickly we forget who is trying to run after who," She gave a bounce of her eyebrows.

Without another word, Xan took off to the left. Kicking a bit of water in N's face as he started off.

He felt her arm grapple his chest, hanging on as he inadvertently was carrying her forward now.

Xan snorted. Ending up taking her by the arms and throwing her off ahead of himself.

She kicked off soon after, and started dashing forward.

Behind her, Xan had disappeared. It wasn't until a purply liquid darted out infront of her did she understand where he had been.

She liquified after him.

They were much quicker in this form, and easily made it to the moist beachside. N arriving just before Xan. As suspected, the beach was mostly empty. With the exception of a few straglers walking about.

N rushed up behind the nearest one, tackling into their body.

The woman next to the man jumped in surprise. But she didn't have time to shriek because Xan had also taken her body. The beach was now empty aside from the two. Having experience, Xan had already ajusted to the new form before N, and was scrunching his toes in the wet sand.

"... Okay no, switch," N demanded.

Xan flipped his girly hair at N. "What? Can't handle these good looks?" He chuckled.

"Well if you insist on the reactions this body has, then by all means."

The woman arched a brow, then Xan promptly left the body.

N snatched it instantly.

Xan returned to the man and gave time for N to show up. "Are we peachy now?"

"Plum happy," She replied before dashing toward the water.

"Insert fruit here and emotion." He said before following after N. The water was cold and murky.

"I take it we will remain unharmed after leaving any harmed bodies?" She slowed.

"Physically. Sure." He shrugged, wading into the water.

She charged forward before diving headfirst.

Xan was good with sauntering into the water until it was up to his chest. There was a few fishies underneath, along with the occasional seashell.

Thunder strikes.  The typo lord senses.

Lightning then strikes the typo stinge in the butt.

N swam about for a while before surfacing.  "Well it's not too murky I suppose."

"Mm. Better than the rivers they have around here." He sighed. Briefly dipping his head under the water.

"Why did this happen?"

Xan wiped some moisture from his eyes. "Why does anything happen? Is the universe more than a jumbled chaos of absurd happenings?" He said dramatically.

"... Did the populous cause this or not?  It doesn't look clean."

"They did. Fairly certain they dump things in the river and it washes out here to the ocean. Not quite the best place for a bath." He chuckled to himself.

"Not our bodies so we may as well.  And you leave tomorrow- we leave tomorrow."

Xan nodded. "Indeed. I suppose it will be good to return home."

"Far healthier?"

"Yes. It's a tidy city." He said thoughtfully.

"... Well," She started out of the water.  "This is now boring.  There has to be something else to do."

Xan sighed. He knew the feeling all too well. "There is a fair not too far from this point. It's simplistic but the games are entertaining." He suggested.

"Oh, really.  Hm... Yes... Yes I suppose we can.  Which way?"

"Oh. Y'know. It's around." Xan grinned mischeviously. His tail wrapped around the girl and yanked her under the water.

"E-ch" She span about, her own tail whipping out toward his.

She had caught hold of his tail, but Xan wouldn't budge from where he stood. Seems his feet were clinging to a rock beneath him.

She tugged herself forward at him, aiming her hands to tackle.

"Eh hehe." Xan went under the water, pulling N up to his back as he swam further out from shore.

The female parasite recoiled at first, but noticing a lesser amount of playful sparring, she began coiling her tail around his, hand grasping around him to remain.

He and his tail collectively flinched at the gesture. They swam in deeper waters but never strayed too far away from the beach. Xan eventually surfaced for air but wouldn't look N in the eye. 

She held on regardless as they arrived at the surface.  "Are we supposed to still be tussling?"

"Nah. It gave me an excuse to remain. On the positive side of things that fair is just beyond that hill." He pointed up ahead.

A faint thundering was heard


"Let us onward then," She replied.

Xan swam some ways until the fairgrounds were insight. Then he made his way to shore, pulling himself free of N.

She allowed him to remove her, though her tail remained coiled around his for the moment as she stood, looking over the grounds.

"Release me." He ordered, wiggling his tail out of the coil then turning to briefly dry himself off.

"Tense," she noted, shrugging before walking forward.

After collecting himself, he turned to lead the way to the fairgrounds that could be seen quite clearly now.

N looked immediately for any kind of ride.

Seems there was a carousel, a bumper car track, and some sort of ride that involved a lot of high speed spinning. There were a few other rides littered around the fair, including a ferris wheel. There were quite a few people wandering around. Mostly couples or small families.

"Are you fond of spinning?" She asked, approaching the spin ride.

Xan shot her a cross look that answered one big 'no.' "Go ahead. I will remain here." He had taken on a more serious air and seemed rather detached.

"No stomach?" She inquired.

"Indeed. Unless this man counts." He poked his tummy.

"Will we be hunted if we shed our forms?"

"No." He rolled his eyes. "But you might get an earful from your mento-Ah. If you had one.." Xan trailed off. "You're fine walking around as it is."

"Well as long as I have your permission, Sensei," She replied before passing behind a stand and then returning in her regular appearance.

Xan opened his mouth to reject the sensei bit. But then he shrugged and decided to roll with it. "Wax on. Wax off."

She went to enter the ride, checking for any kind of admission fee... while also making sure to check how those around her would react to her presence.

It seems there was some sort of arm band required to enter any of the rides. She was certainly getting some looks, but it was more to admire her pretty scales than anything else. The people did not care.

She turned back to Xan.

He had disappeared from his spot. However there was a tap on N's shoulder, and truth be told it was Xan. Who promptly handed N a plastic band. "This will get you into the rides."

"... Charming," She nodded, attaching the band before walking to the ride again.

There were quite a few teenagers waiting in line for the next ride. After the ride had been stopped and the people were let off, the new line of people was admitted. "Pick a slot and I will come around shortly to check your harness.." The operator announced. The ride was one huge wheel with a bunch of slots along it's sides for people.

N shrugged, walking over to one at about the 3-o-clock mid-point.  She looked back toward Xan, as if offering a last-chance opportunity.

Xan sighed. Waving another band at the operator as he passed through the gate to pick a slot next to N.

N gave a small approving smile before settling in.

He had already buckled himself down. Looking less-than-eager as the operator came by to check his harnes, then N's. In a few moments the man exited the wheel, and turned the ride on. It started out slow, but built up speed until everything seemed like one huge blur.

One of N's arms was clutching at Xan's shoulder as they went.  Her expression seemed to slowly transition between a frozen dull stare ahead to a wide-eyed expression, then back: repeatedly.

Xan looked vaguely skickened and tense as the ride continued on. It wasn't until the ride began to stop did he notice N's hold on his arm.

"Remain in the harness and I will come around to unbuckle you." The operator called over the slowing machine.

"Remaining will not be an issue," N stated as if the man could hear her.

"Indeed." Xan strained, pinching the space between his eyes. "Why did I do that."

'Thundering of periods.' 

"I don't know, but the gesture is appreciated, 'Sensei'," She stepped out once released.

They eventually left the ride and had the option to check out the others or to look at some of the games. 

N checked the sky for the current time.

The sun had almost completely set in the horizon. A few of the brighter stars were begining to show up. Seems like the begining of a new night.

"So. Now what?" Xan looked to N.

"There were bumper cars, yes?"

Xan pointed his fuzzy tail in the direction of said ride. "Indeed. You want to try?"

"Definitely," She rushed over.

He followed behind her at a calmer pace. The line for this ride was smaller than the rest, and they were already being admitted since the previous group had cleared out. The cars were all decorated in crazy patterns and colors. Some were sparkly pink others had flame marks on them.

"You know. I can count the number of times I've driven a vehicle with my hands." Xan revealed as they passed into the kart track.

"Do you have a license?"

He grinned. "None whatsoever." Xan paused to pick out a simple blueish-purple bumper car.

She took a green one, seeming not to care much what the color was.  "It would probably do better than having to run everywhere."

"The exercise is good for the ol' legs." 

This ride's operator began running through the safety rules and instructions over a megaphone. Once that was done with, she walked around the track to check buckles. 

"Not sure what constitutes as a win buuuut.. Either way, you're getting hammered, Sunshine." Xan proclaimed with a wiggle of his brows as the woman went to turn on the cars. In a few moments the little vehicles whirred to life and people began to move about. 

"I can't remember the last time I was called 'Sunshine'," N replied as she started forward, giving a slight turn so she could eventually turn facing Xan.

He had already revved up and zoomed forward to ram N into a wall. "Last I checked you couldn't remember anything. Unless there's something your hiding." Xan grinned.

"That was the joke, sweetness," She replied, the response laced a bit with spite at the notion.  She was running out of field and had to slow slightly in order to divide the two of them between a crossing kart whose front was poking out just enough to warn collision.

Xan jerked to a hault and backed up slightly to avoid another kart.

Now turned enough, N began a wide swerve around toward Xan's side.  There was plenty of distance between them.

He was paying more attention to a couple of other teens that giddily rammed into his kart. If it wern't for the seatbelt he would have been jerked out of the ride.

N groaned as the teens were partially in her way, having to slow slightly at her approach.

Bumping away one of the teens, Xan managed to swerve out of the other kid's way and inch closer to N.

N was still going after him, aiming for his mid-side.

He once again got nailed, but this time it was by N. "I feel like someone's drawn a target on this thing.." Out of suspicion, Xan twisted around to check the vehicle's rear.

"You have a minute left." The operator called on speaker.

"Must be a figment of your imagination," N replied, backing up now.

Xan took the opportunity to pull his kart's front to face N. Then went flying forward towards her kart as it backed up.

N attempted to manuver away but forgot backward driving led to inverse controls, and ended up backing into another kart.

The kart happened to contain a rather perturbed child. Who was not happy with hir current predicament. "Hey!" The boy squeaked.

Xan nailed N's kart, and shove the kart behind her back a bit as well. "Having driving difficulties are we now?" He teased. 

"Only a temporary setback," She replied with a grunt while looking about for a way to free herself.  She was pinned, and there was little mobility in the current position.

"Sure it is." He chuckled, flashing that annoyingly smug smirk.

Sure enough, the karts were turned off. The woman over the speaker instructed everyone to unbuckle and exit stage right.

"How long was that?" N huffed while stepping out.

"Around three-ish minutes. Which isn't suprising considering the overall functionality of the place." He sighed, stopping for a second to peel a gum wrapper of his shoe.

"Festive," she noted, raising a brow.  "I take it the $5.00 fee was standard for this entertainment?"

"Mmhm." He flicked the wrapper away from himself. "The games are generally better since they're somewhat new." Xan pointed to a row of little buildings up ahead.

"And the buildings are...?"

"Gift shops and an arcade." Xan stated. Taking the chance to wipe his hand clean on his shirt. Mumbling a string of unintelligible words. "..Disgusting."

N began to inspect the underside of her own feet.  "Please tell me that was a result of the person you are controlling."

Xan grinned again at this. "While it is possible for a person's personality to rub off on you.. This would not be the case. That was a hundred percent me."

"I'm talking about the dirt," She replied plainly, as if for the moment finding lesser amusment in the banter of philosophy and personality traits.

He was taken aback by this. "..Dirt?" Xan instinctivly looked down to check and see if it was true.

"Yes, the dirt, the gum, the filth around," She gave a scoff.  "Never mind.  This place is messy."

"Uh. What did you expect? This is a fair.." He gave his leg a good dust off. "The cleanest thing in the city is the hospital."

"These events should be held in grass areas.  it would do far better to hide the mess," She noted with a grumble at the slowly decaying opinion of this whimsical fun-land.

Xan noticed the grumpy air around N and couldn't help but smirk. "I take it that dirt isn't exactally your thing, Girly girl."

"Judging by your reaction to the mention of it, I'd say you could have fooled me," She rertorted, the bit of banter acting as a minor distraction for the moment.

"Fooling is what I do best." Xan gushed, reaching out to lightly grasp her hand and give it a pat. "Perhaps you should wrestle with the pigs. I hear it's quite the show." He quietly reached out to see if he could sense N's feelings as he teased her.

Mostly it seemed to lie on confusion at the comment, demonstrated by her rising of an eyebrow.  She didn't really react much to her hand being held, the muscles limp at the moment.  There was some kind of underlaying tension it seemed, but it wasn't anger.  "A past time of yours is it?"

He dropped her hand. "Not really. You wish to leave, yes? The exit is that way." Xan pointed. Starting off towards said exit.

"Do you wish to leave?"

He stopped in his tracks and shugged. "I've been here countless times before. It's not really entertaining for me nowadays. However if you wish to stay we'll stay."

"When we take over then, we can change how it all is," She strolled toward the exit.

"..But of course." He smiled warmly, though it was anything but affectionate. Xan led her to the exit and dropped his band into the trash on the way out.

She sighed as they arrived outside of the festivities.  "How much longer?"

"I feel like I've already answered this question.. I wonder why." Xan wondered for a moment. Crossing his arms as he made a face.

"Well I'd say it's because you're boring but you did pay for the rides so I'll just recall that it was so sweet of you," she taunted.

"D'aw. How kind of you, but who said I payed?" Xan countered playfully, though he seemed to become more serious as time went on. "Truth be told 'fun' is not a strong suit of mine."

"When what constitutes for 'fun' with you?"

"The dictionary tends to define fun as something amusing, entertaining-" Xan started to drone, but then cut himself off as he realized the question. "Oh. You asked for my opinion.. Errr.. I suppose what we did earlier was 'fun'." He answered with uncertainty. "I'm.. Not sure."

"Well try as we might, I doubt we could keep the banterous quazi-insults going for long.  I take it a day of taking various hosts on a spree of chaos through the city markets is too extreme for your tastes?"

The corners of his mouth twitched into a small smile. "Pffft. Is that a challenge? I could do that without ever having to be near the action."


He chuckled, leaving the body of the man, but also leaving behind a mark that ran up the mobian's arm. Xan then lunged forward at a nearby woman, and took hold of her arm as well. Branding her with the same mark as she shrieked, then fell quiet. "Kill the citizens within the park. Quickly." Xan's markings flashed as he instructed the two, who then began to unnaturally swing into action.

The two took off into the fair and assulted the first people they saw. Xan and N were still standing outside the park a good distance away from the confusion. "Ta-daa." He jazz handed.

"... Do tell me that is not a trait only the queen-born have," she inquired.  Her expression did not show that she was impressed, but that was probably because she was sent into a deep thought on the matter.

He stopped the jazz hands and crossed his arms over his chest. It almost looked like he was pouting due to lack of reaction. "Pretty sure anyone could have the abilities. Though it's rather rare in the species nowadays.

She gave a slow blink.  Then she grinned widely and rushed at the nearest person.

"Wh.. Ok then." He shrugged as she ran off. A man was currently dialing 911 on his cell near the fair exit. When he noticed N it was far too late and the most he could do was let out a startled yelp.

She dove into the man, causing him to tumble back, but soon he rose up again.  Seeing the phone in hand, she held it up, and paused... then she finished the dialing and pressed call.

She was soon connected and a kindly sounding woman answered the phone. "This is 911, what is the nature of your emergency?"

Slipping her head out a bit, she informed with her own voice "A man at the amusement park just started attacking people!  He's- w-wait, there's more of the-" Then she hung up before throwing the phone down.

Detaching from the man, she gave the order "Now you start attacking people in the park.  When they ask what your motives were... hm... say it was something in the cotton candy."

The man's face scrunched in confusion for a moment but then relaxed as the orders settled in. He turned to pick up his phone and chuck it at the head of a nearby bystander. Running off to jump the person he had tagged.

"Well this will get interesting.." Xan arched a brow.

"I just realized that this probably wouldn't give us the best public viewpoint unless we changed where the direction was of interest," She replied.

There was some sort of emotion Xan was displaying but it was so mixed it was difficult to decipher. "Heh. Well they will most likely be detained. Unless we were to manually puppet them."

"Oh well.  I wonder if the ferris wheel will fall."

"Wouldn't take much." Xan mused. "The supports could easilly be removed."

"I'll stick around a while to see if that happens."

"Heh." He turned to jump atop the arcade building to get a better view of what was happening. Looks like a couple of people were dead now, some bruised. The two that Xan had sent out had haulted suddenly and swirved towards the ferris wheel in a few moments.

N casually climbed upward to join him, looking on in wait.

Xan had the woman take out the wheel's operator and mess with the controls, while the man dug a few depressions under one of the wheel's suports. The ground was soft from rain and quite easy to shift around. A few people had caught on to this on the ride and were crying out in outrage. "..Need a few more people.." Xan murmured, seemingly staring off into space.

"Is this an admitance to needing help?" She inquired.

"Never asked." He grinned. Slipping down from the building's roof to tag four other people. Sending them off to also work on the rickety ferris wheel, which was looking pretty shakey as the man digging finished his work on one side.

"So a yes," She noted, remaining in place as she looked down to them all.

Some guy was trying to stop whatever the others were doing to the wheel, but was trampled as Xan grouped everyone together on the other side of the ride. Having the people push the remaining supports to get the wheel to tip towards the uneven ground. At first progress was slow, but something could be heard snapping in the ride. Then with a loud creak and much shrieking, the wheel began to fall.

"...Some of these people are unbelievably stupid.." Xan commented as he appeard back at N's side. The wheel's thud resounded through out the fair. Most of its passengers were dead. The group of now six people split up to chase after the running groups of people. From above it looked like scattering ants running for cover. It was rather amusing.

"... There needs to be music."

He shook his head and glanced to N. "What. Like in the movies?"

"I suppose.  Something dramatic."

Xan gestured to a carousel in the distance that gave off a music box chime as it twirled. "That is the most you will get. Unless we commandeer some kid's ipod."

She shrugged.  "Wonder when the police will arrive."

The sirens were a bit difficult to hear over the collective racket going on, but eventually grew more pronounced amongst the noises. "That would be them. Would be a good time to slink away." Xan commented, already indentifying several escape routes in is head.

N liquified immediately, slinking down the building.

Shifting his form, he too jumped off the building and darted past the fallen ferris wheel to a clearing in the distance.

N made sure to follow, hoping he knew where to go.

They grew further from the fair whitch each passing moment. The noise eventually dying down as they left. Xan then took a sharp right and they both ended up crossing into the woods nearby. It was there that Xan took shape again, and started back towards the city.

N remained in the woods for a moment, looking over nature.

It was quite dark outside now as the night turned to early morning. A bit of the moonlight streamed through the trees as she looked about. Xan had a glow to him mostly due to his markings. It was safe to assume she did too.

Xan ended up leaning against a tree to wait for the girl. "Stopping to smell the roses?"

"Nature's scenery is refreshing," she noted.  "Why spend so much time in the city?"

He nodded in agreement. Having nothing more to say, Xan moved from his tree rest to peer at the stars through a clearing.

The female parasite kept quiet as they went for a while, but what she did say next prompted confusion.  "I think this will suit the plan quite nicely."

This struck Xan as a terribly odd statement. Which in turn elicited a response from the fellow. "..I beg your pardon?" He half asked, half demanded. Turning away from what he had been doing to face the woman.    

She smirked, muffling a chuckle.  "Just riding on the coat-tails of your assasin suspicions to see your reaction."

Xan shot the girl a withering glare as he put two and two together. "Gee. I'm almost proud."

"I wonder what kind of plan you thought I had."

He rolled his eyes, his tail flicking dismissively. "Keep on wondering, sweet cheeks."

"Oh I think you're thinking on it more than me," She smirked.  "... Well, do we return to the house or..."

"We have a few more hours to pick on each other. Perhaps we can remain here and I can feed you to a bear." Xan considered in a dead-pan voice.

"... A... non-mobian bear?"

He grinned. "Maybe so. Maybe not. Either way I'm sure they would eat you up. Literally or in that disgusting sissy expression."  

"Are you too gamey for them?"

"No. I'd be too fast." Xan chuckled, leaning against another tree. "..Mm. This is still so strange.." He said quitely, eyeing N.

She gave a roll of her head, posing slightly.

"Hm." He mused.

The two shared a bit of small talk and eventually returned to the city just at the crack of dawn. By the time they had arrived at the apartment, there was another parasite waiting patiently within the abode.. Flipping through the pages of one of N's books. "Sneaking around. As per usual." Xan remarked as he entered the room.

"Aha. So there you are." The man said, closing the book to greet them, though he seemed perplexed at the sight of N. "...A blood kindred..? Are you siblings?"

"Could be," N pondered, rubbing her chin.  "Certainly a potential answer.  And you are a distant cousin then?"

He smiled as he set to book back in its pile. "You never know. I would certainly prefer you over the others. You seem far more pleasant than my quell-mate here." He gestured to Xan and mimicked his grumpy frown.

"Oh please." Xan rolled his eyes. "N, Veris. Veris, N." He pointed to the two as he introduced them briefly.

"Candidly pleasant," N added to the greeting.  "A scholar?" She gestured to the books.

"Ah yes. Guilty as charged." Veris beamed, thrilled to have been asked. "Books have a way of capturing my attention.. Though as of now I'm more interested in you, Miss N. I wasn't aware that Xan had a partner with him. "

"Mhm. She was a last minute decision. I take it you were ill informed, considering your.. -cough- lackofimportance." Xan smirked as Veris flinched. "She will be given my crystal temporarilly to return." He said defensively. Shooting an appologetic look at the girl.

"You'll have to forgive me if I'm less than familiar.  I seem to have been born less than yester-morning," N noted.

"Ooooh not you to. Stop it." Veris sighed, handing N a round yellow gem that was smooth to the touch. It wasn't any bigger than a quarter.

"Good to see you haven't lost it." The purple one commented. "Are we quite done here?"

The dejected Veris shrugged. "Go home."

"This is not where we live?" N rose an eyebrow.

Xan chuckled. "Oh rest assured. We live on this rock." He ushered N outside where the sun had just peeked over the buildings of the town. "You hold it to the sun and focus. It's that simple." Xan instructed vaguely.

"But I w-... ugh, fine," She groaned, following out as she then held the stone up.

The stone caught the rays, shimmering for a few seconds before it flashed a blinding light. When N's senses recovered, she was standing on an elevated platform next to a larger crystal orb. Which was absorbing another incoming energy beam, and materialized Xan next to the girl. "Hurra hurra."

"... What is this?" she looked about.

They were standing under an arching stone pavilion. Outside of that was an array of buildings covered in colorful fabrics. The place buzzing with activity as assortments of species went about their business.

"Refraction sphere pad. Just an easier way to get around." Xan answered as he stepped out of the structure to the streets.

"... Veris is not with us then?" She observed a few of the various people.

"Nope." He pleasantly smiled at the thought. There were groups of parasites mixed with the occasional mobian or human. The amount of colorful hues between the people and their surroundings could be considered overwhelming. Xan had left N's side to briefly speak with a man that stood guard near the pavilion. 

"...Hm," N followed herself to the nearest parasite she could approach.

The closest one was a pinkish woman that was casually strolling along the streets. She didn't take immediate notice of N.

"Good day," N firmly greeted.

She looked over at N and stopped. "Um. Greetings? My apologies, do I know you?" The woman giving N a quizzical look.

"Not yet.  Are you in a hurry?"

"Not at all." The woman shook her head. "Do you need assistance?" She inquired. 

"You could consider me some sort of wandering toddler of sorts.  I am very unfamiliar with all of... this."

There was a brief moment of confusion. "Toddler.. But you.. Oh!" The woman got a little closer to N, acting rather hush-hush. "Are you an outsider of sorts?"

"I suppose," She sighed.  "I am... new."

Not quite knowing what to do, the woman patted N's back akwardly. "Don't worry about it. I'd be happy to help. Are you trying to move in?"

N just sighed.  "I don't know.  My... companion knows better," she gestured to where Xan at least was.

Neither the guard nor Xan were where they used to be. Xan had infact snuck up behind N and was now looming over the girls general conversation. The pink lady had noticed before N, and pointed to the man behind her. "You mean him?" To which Xan batted his eyes. "What? Little ol' me?"

"... Hm..." N then hopped up toward Xan and began trying to push his head down.

Xan firmly placed a hand on N's head, trying to force her down. "What do you think you're doing, missy~?" He smiled. The pink reptilian grew increasingly uncomfortable, shifting around in her spot. "Um.."

"Li'l old," She replied.

Totally ignoring the other lady's presence, Xan steered N down the building-lined street. Leaving the pink woman more confused than earlier.

He continued to push her down the line. Eventually letting her go to walk on her own. The city currently seemed to be a fusion of the old and the new by the looks of the intricate stone structures. Plenty of citizens walked up and down the streets. Some wearing odd flowy outfits, others simply walked about bare. "Ah the immersion."

"Why do you keep moving me away from interesting parasites I meet?" N huffed.

He glanced back at her, flashing that annoying smirk. "Because I can." Xan replied simply with two shakes of his tail.

"And if I decide to simply turn back around and enjoy my time speaking with that nice woman?"

"Well I won't stop you, but I'm not coming either.. Should you choose to do so." Xan shrugged, continuing to his destination regardless of the girl's decision.

"What are we doing here precisely?"

"Mostly just me returning to give a few things to the higher ups. Aside from that I've considered dragging you to a embedder to check your DNA. Other than those two things, there is no real urgency to our little visit."

"Then let's get to the DNA... thing.  Swiftly please."

He nodded, swiftly taking a turn down a smaller road that cut through rows of buildings to another main street.

N made sure to chase after him.

The man was quick, weaving around groups of people to come to stand infront of a well sized clinic. "Come along, missy." Xan gestured to the entrance.. Which strangly had no doors. He really wasn't giving her much time to look at anything.

N followed silently, keeping on the straight path ahead.

He went right past the front desk and down a hall to the left. Leading N right up to a closed door with no handle. Xan touched the door then did some sort of flicking movement with said hand. Causing the door to hum for a few moments and slide open. With a satisfied nod, the man strolled right into what appeared to be an office.

"Ugh. Y'know if the door was ment to keep people out of a room." A woman sighed as she noticed her little visitors. "..And when I say 'people' I'm mostly referring to you, Xan.. And.. Whoever you are?" She gestured to N.

"What can I say? It's so much fun getting on your nerves." Xan grinned devilishly.

"Ah, his winning personality has rubbed off on me," N noted.  "A pleasure to meet you two, Miss..."

"..Ivy. It's just Ivy." The grey-ish woman was surprisingly bland-looking considering the previously colorful parasites N had seen before. The woman had immediately taken interest in in N upon further inspection. "I don't remember you having a sister." Ivy looked to Xan questioningly.

"She would actually be the reason I came. I found her like that. Would like some testing to be done on her to see what she is."

Ivy scooted closer to look over N briefly. "What's your name, hun? How old are you?"

"I am N," The parasite girl replied.  "I suppose I am newborn in a sense."

“Really now? Curious indeed.” Ivy murmured, pulling N out of the room into an a lab adjacent to her office. “I’m going to need you to shift forms for a moment. Do you know how to do this?” She asked in a calm and orderly fashion.

"To a liquid form?" She narrowed in.

"Right." Ivy nodded, gesturing to a table for N to sit over while the grey woman picked up a few tools.

N sat atop it, liquifying as she slid off it.

Without much warning, Ivy stuck two fingers into the mess of N. It was a rather unpleasant sensation as the lady did seemingly nothing but stare at a little device in her other hand.

"Jrrrr-" N stiffened, nearly solidifying again but keeping in liquid form.

"Yep. Normal response. One sec.." In one quick motion Ivy had taken a bit of her essence and dropped it into her handheld device for a reading of the girl's genes. "You're free to change back now, I got what I need."

"You just took a part of me?" She began solidifying back to normal.

"Something like that. It won't be missed." Ivy's abormally long tail swished around as the device chimed that it was done. "Anything out of the ordinary that you can recall in the past few days?" Asked the grey woman as she went looking over the results.

"I can only recall yesterday, when I met Xan," she answered.

She looked up from her reading for a moment. "...Only yesterday? And beyond that you remember nothing else?" Ivy probed.

"I think... he found some things in my memory but beyond that I'm not sure.  Tubes?"

"Mm. Typical." She sighed, taking a moment to stick her head out the door. "Perhaps you can stop snooping around my office and join us here, Xan." The irked Ivy called.

Not but a few seconds later the purple one strolled into the room. "Eeeh. And so.. What's the report?"

Her body was artificially aged, but fresh, as if designed at the specific age she started at.  Areas in the scales, stomach, and heart, were more recent, as if they developed afterward, like an adaptation.

Ivy gestured to a screen next to herself, then to the girl. "It appears she was grown directly into adulthood. She retains your bloodline though this is technically an entirely different perso-.."

"Well I could have told you that." Xan cut the woman off. His growing frustration was becoming more apparent as he buried his face in his hands "..But why in Damuuras name would anyone be crazy enough to make.." He stopped suddenly as a thought came to mind. Xan looked up to silently stare at N for who-knows-how-long.

Ivy just sighed. "If you're gonna have a meltdown do it outside please."

N recoiled a bit as Xan's staring went on before finally waving her hand in front of him.  "... Well... please share with the rest of us..."

Xan was slowly nodding and making small gestures with his head. Like he was having a silent conversation with himself. "Perhaps... Mmn.." He murmured, making no attempt to communicate to the likely confused girls. 

"Eh. Give him a second." The grey one whispered to N. Apparently he did this often.

"I need to contact someone," Xan announced out of the blue. 

"Then go on," N prompted.

"I suspect the Isis Identities will have more information regarding.. Well. You. However the only possible form of communication link I have to them is though a card." He frowned.

"... That sounds... like some sort of government agency," N noted.  "You have the card, right?"

He cleared his throat and reached to his side to pull out the card from under some sort of skin pocket. "I do.. "

"Have you had that in there this entire time?" Ivy questioned. "Y'know what. I don't want to know."

"Do you just push your finger on it or something?" N asked.

"Yes." He answered simply, pushing the button on the end of the card.

Device's voice responded immediately.  "Xan," She addressed.  "Purpose?"

"Device. I have several inquiries regarding your cloning processes and organic bodies. Due to a recent development."


"Where is Virus?" " He asked bluntly and systematically

"She is currently establishing an embassy on a separate zone.  Do you wish to speak with her?"

"No need to. At least not yet." He noted. Knowing she was elsewhere narrowed down his theories. "Is there a way to trace a clone's creator or origin point? Typically this is easy with synthetic life.. But in biological I am not so sure."

"I am assuming you have one of Melcro's creations.  You would need to speak to him.  What is this clone made from?"

Xan paused, giving Ivy a quick glance. "Aside from knowing she is organic, there hasn't been much study given to analyze the composition.. And I'm sorry. Melcro?" He arched a brow.

"Our biologist contract... among other things.  I will arrive to analyze."

"Very well then. I suppose we will await your appearance." He finished briefly.

Device then walked past Ivy, a strange black chord attached to her wrist immediately jabbing at the back of her head to both immobilize and analyze.  At first it appeared that this gesture would be out of misunderstanding, but she immediately noted N with "You did not specify it would be your clone.  I understand your concern."

"Ah ha. Little eensie weensie details." He sighed. Ivy remained still and quiet. Eyeing Device suspiciously.

Device began going through Ivy's biology and attempting to scan through her mental history while simultaneously looking over N, who was a bit tense now.

"I'm not getting stabbed too, right?" N asked.

"You are," Device informed, another tendril moving toward the purple woman,who jumped back from it.

Xan chuckled, grabbing N's tail and yanking her into his grip. "Hold still."

Ivy's memory was neat and orderly. You could pretty much access anything if you knew where to look. With the exception of a few modifications that seemed to have been made to her body.. Her biology was fairly standard.

Device injected into N, who winced a bit, gripping Xan's arm tightly, though she wasn't trying to escape at the moment it seemed.

"There we go." He crooned as he patted the clone's arm. Taking a moment to watch Device work, tail swishing as he observed.

A small wimper escaped the parasite girl as Device quickly immobilized her: stiffening the body into a stance unmoving.  A moment later, Device retracted, swatting off some residue from her appendage as it retracted into herself.

With that Xan released N, allowing her to adjust. Ivy was begining to look sickened in the face. "Mn."

Device looked over to Ivy.  "... Yes," She turned back to N and Xan.  "What information do you want now?" The tendril attached to Ivy slowly retracted.

He pinched the space between his eyes. "..Why was she spawned?" The cross Ivy was rubbing the back of her head. "A warning would have been nice." She grumbled.

"The purpose is not known.  She was developed on an off-radar pocket dimension.  Her genetics are definitely modeled after yours, but there is no direct DNA.  In other words, she is based on you,but she is not a genetic clone."

"How comforting." Xan grunted. His tail would not stop with the swishing. "Is the said dimension's whereabouts known at this time?"

"I am tracking it currently.  Her memory is v-"

"I am right here," N stated crossly.

"... Her memory is limited.  She was made recently."

Xan nodded as though confirmed something. "..Experienced that first hand.."


"I attempted to access her memory in an earlier time. It was something of an interrogation except.. There really wasn't much in there..." He tapped his noggin, shooting N a teasing smirk. "Aside from some lab tubes and a pair of questionable eyes. I didn't get much."

"He's forgotten that the questionable eyes aren't past-tense," N added.

"I have located the zone," Device informed.  "it is deceased."

Xan rolled his own eyes. "Of course it is." He sighed.

"Can I.. Just go now?" Ivy inquired as she edged towards the door.

"What other information do you require?" Device asked.

Tapping his foot, Xan thought about this for a moment. "What was his name.. The biologist. Melcro? You suspected this was his handywork? Is that still the case?" He then glanced to the grey one. "You have work to do begone with you." Xan shooed the woman away.

"It is possible.  I am currently contacting him for a discussion."

"I thought we were here for me to get... registered?" N huffed.

Xan pretended to be offended, taking in a short gasp of air. "What do you think Ivy took that sample for? You should be integrated into the system shortly."

"Is that actually what's happening or am I just getting researched?"

"A mixture of both." He stated shamelessly. "..You are after all a bit of a puzzle."

"As long as I get through the process and can be done with this-"

"Communication established," Device informed, before another... deeper voice came out.

"Why Hello, Parasite."

Xan shook his head, lightly 'Tsk tsking' a few times. It wasn't certain what he was tsking at. "Mmhm. Greetings. Melcro, I presume?"

"You have questions about something I apparently created."

"INDEED! I have a feminine version of myself standing here before me. Would love to know if she was your handwork."

"Well..." his voice ended with a slight growling amused rasp before returning to the low bellow.  "I find that an unimportant question.  After all, I could easily by lying if I deny it.  So.  Why not wonder instead why I, or even someone else, would clone you?  Clearly you want a direct answer."

There was a short-fused growl on the other end of the communications. Then a pause. When Xan spoke again he sounded far more composed. "Couldn't have possibly been my good looks." He chuckled half-heartedly. "..So I'm going to assume it was done for my skill set. Or rather the abilities of an Arabond in general."

"Good.  Now why would someone need your abilities?"

"Haaah. An infiltration perhaps.. I doubt it would be for augmenting." Xan rumbled. He had a couple other ideas, but he kept them to himself.

"Are you the superior race, parasite?  Among your planet?"

"We are not." He stated simply. "Your point being?"

"Can you think of any reason for why this clone would be sent for your misfortune?"

Xan's tail stopped with the swishing as he glanced to N for the millionth time, before shaking his head. "None worth mentioning." He sighed. 

"Then if you cannot think of a reason to harm you, what other kind of reason could there be?"

"She couldn't have possibly been made with the simple intent to 'help.' There's always strings attached."

"Then your mission will be to find out what those strings are.  I will say that if I were to have been the creator of your clone, then it would have been done by request, not personal decision."

"Riiiight." He frowned, arms crossing over his chest. Silently reviewing what he already knew.

"I think our time is up now.  Good day."

"Gratitude." Xan nodded. Shifting his position to lean against a nearby wall.

Device went silent, but she didn't leave either.

"... Okay, well if we're done here, I'm just going to find out from someone else how I'm meant to be registered," N noted, starting toward the exit.

N met little resistance, and was now standing back in the hall. "Ivy should be taking care of that. But if you feel that you need to oversee it, be my guest." Xan's voice carried out of the room.

"At least it's something," she sighed, heading in the direction Ivy left to.

She would end up wandering down to the right of the hall. There were a couple of passerby workers as she continued.

N looked for where Ivy was now, stopping a passerby to ask.

The blueish man gestured further down the hall. "I believe she's in the lab. It's a few rooms down to the right. Door should be open." He grinned.

"Appreciated," She jogged in that direction.

Sure enough the lab could be found open to the public. Ivy was inside messing around with something.

"Is this really for my registration?" N asked while approaching.

Bewildered, Ivy glanced up from her work. "Hm? Ah, N." She sighed. Tapping a tool against the table rhythmically. "It seems so. Biometrics was simple enough."

"I just wanted to make certain because I doubt I'd get an honest direct answer from Xan unless I prefaced the matter with some kind of dire ultimatum."

The woman chuckled lightly at this. "It's the day-to-day usual." Ivy gave N a sympathetic smile, then shifted from her desk to retrieve a stone sitting on another counter. "You get used to it after awhile."

"Get used to him?" N prodded.  "He bothers you often?"

"Yeeeep. Typically to give me something to do. 'Check this' or 'Fix that." She rolled her eyes. "Though I must admit it's better than getting distracted by his annoying blood kin.. Anyway. Here." Ivy promptly handed N a round gem.. Similar to the ones she had seen most every parasite wear.

"... I just jab this into my chest then?" N looked a bit unnerved at the stone.  "This helps me stay monitored by the queen and such?"

Ivy casually shrugged. "Partially? It'll be enough to ward off suspicion." She absently stared at the stone for a few moments.. "Now. This is kinda illegal so don't go singing your story. Got it?" Ivy warned in a quiet, and surprisingly caring tone.

"How special and dangerous she would feel having rejected the prescious stone," N sighed before placing the gem around her chest, just slightly below the collar-bone section.

"Heh. Narrations." Ivy smiled slightly. "That should be it for now. Unless you have another query."

"That should be it," N sighed.  "... Actually, is this where I'd find you then?"

"Pretty much. My office is closed for security reasons, but if you need anything. Just knock." Ivy jotted something down on paper, nodding a few times to herself.

"... Alright then.  Good day," she started out to find Xan again.

Considering his bright scales, the man wasn't hard to find wandering down the halls. Presumably looking for N.

N waved as she got into view.  "I could mantain a fantasy if you looked desperate for a moment."

Xan stiffly approached. "Aha. You have a better chance of learning to fly." He attempted a smile, but his irritation was apparent between the raised hackles and thrashing tail. "I take it you've seen Ivy." He gestured to her chest.

"No," She answered plainly.

"Ok then." He responded flatly. Turning heel to walk off back down the hall.

"So this is it then for setting up?"

"Most everything else will be covered by the resident embedder. Aside from missing assignments. Er. Jobs." Xan shrugged.

"And this entire city is for Parasites?"

"A colony of sorts." He corrected.

"The queen doesn't live here, does she?"

Xan chuckled as he led her out to the main lobby. "No she does not. That would be a terrible idea."

"So I get a house now?"

"I suppose so." The less-than-thrilled Xan sighed as they left the building.

"... I think this is going to turn out nicely," She slowed a bit as they went.

"Good to know one of us thinks so." He muttered under his breath. Forcing himself to match N's slower pace.

"Everything's set up?"

"..Will need to make a quick trip to a residential mod. It won't be long."

"... What's that?"

His face scrunched up in some form of disgust. " Building manager. Have to submit to acquire a 'home'. " Xan made air quotations around his statement.

"This isn't going to be a hole in the ground, is it?"

Xan smirked. "Well now that you mention it.. That's not a half bad idea." He cackled.

"As long as you won't be missing your own house, I'm sure it won't be too unfomortable."

He only shrugged. Suddenly falling silent as he led N around the city streets.

She rose a brow at this, but went silent herself for the most part.  "Do you like to hunt?"

"..As a matter of fact I do." Xan nodded. "An entertaining passtime."

"What kind of game?"

"Oh you know. Rabbits. deer.. Human. Aliens." The wry smile on his face made it difficult to take him seriously.

"How many aliens?"

He tapped his chin thoughtfully. "Hm.. At least a half a dozen's worth of different species."

She stopped.  "How many kinds of species live on this world exactly?"

"Mmmmmm the most notable being the humans, mobians, and some smaller sub-species." Xan continued to stroll past N. "Stopping to smell the roses?"

She started after him again.  "... What kind of aliens are the most prominent?"

Giving off of a thoughtful chuckle, Xan took a turn down another street. "For us it would be the Yvirnn, Ganthi and the Nul Vecters." He listed off.

"What are they like?"

"The Yvirnn are passive people for the most part. The Ganthi despise our existence.. Aaaand the Vecters can be safely labeled as 'subdued.' " Xan explained briefly. 

"So the Ganthi hate parasites in particular?"

"Indeed." He confirmed. "..It's not a surprise that they would choose to rival the Queen. I suspect that their people would have attacked by now if it wern't for the fact that we are in greater condition."

"Are they like parasites?"

Xan shook his head. "..I don't know many like us to begin with."

"We're just that unique," She smirked, whipping her tail past him as she strolled forward.

Chuckling, he let her continue to walk the wrong way. Quietly slipping behind her to head down another worn-down road to the right.

"We'll have things all nice and set up soon," She called over before melding down against the ground in a rush forward.

She had zipped straight into a market of sorts.. There came no response from Xan. Who had presumably left the scene.

She started going faster, a light appearing behind... chasing.  It got closer and she went faster, but no matter her speed, she was soon overtaken: forming her hand out at someone as if trying to take hold of this world before in a ding and the female Xan was gone.

..Xan had eventually come back around to find where N had wandered off to. Occasionally pinging her stone with a frequency to see if he could find her within the city. 

The signal kept appearing as if near the same spot she vanished from... but... she wasn't there.

He stood over the spot, arching a brow as he pinged her stone one last time. Seeing as this wasn't working, Xan pulled several nearby vendors from their shops to probe around their memory.

They indeed did see what happened, but where she went next was not known.

"Ooooooooof course." He edged. Inflicting a major migraine on the last vendor before he stalked off to summon Device.

Device appeared, arms folded.  "Purpose, state."

"N is gone. Can you locate her?" Xan said briskly.

"Yes-" A pulse went over the area... and then Device replied "Correction: No."

Xan did a double take. "..No?" He echoed. "Could her location be blocked from your sensor range? Oooor is she deceased?"

"She is not on your planet," Device replied bluntly.  "That is all i am able to conclude."

"Hm.." The tip of the man's tail curled and uncurled periodically. "Well then. That would make her the needle in an infinite hay-stack." Xan let out a long sigh. "..There is no other way to track her?"

"I will investigate further but at this time, that is accurate."

"Very well then.. Where did you say Virus was?"

"At the time of your original-" she stopped, then proceeded to show a progression of Virus carving her symbol into Isaac's chest at his homeworld.

There was a light chuckle that followed. "..Fun."

"Do you wish to speak with her?" Device asked.

Xan nodded. "Indeed."

Virus had just left the room from Isaac's room when she suddenly stopped in a hall.  Xan could see her  holding up her fingers to her ears like a pretend phone.  "Helloooooooooooo?"

"Er.. Virus. Greetings. I am in need of your assistance."

"... Oh this better not be a clone talking to me right now- what'cha need?"

"Actually the query was about a clone.. But is seems you've already encountered one. Hmm?"

"... I totally didn't just log that away in my memory to do later, also not entirely sure of the context here but you're bein' hinty so somethin' happened, right?"

"Right. I've lost track of a version of myself. Device seems to be unable to locate it." He said briefly. "Can you?"

"... Heh, right N, your clone.  She got any chaos in her?  That'd help... Oh I just assimilated Device's footage, that's how I know."

"How reassuring." Xan tsked a few times. "If she does posses any it would be very faint."

"I'll get it all in the processing state.  You'll know when something's found."

"Thaaaaank you dear." He said absent mindedly. Taking a few mental notes.

"I'm gonna definitely start making myself look like a female you now so just a heads up."

"Please don't. I would prefer you to remain as you are."

"But I like how you look."

"And I like how you look. Let's stick to our good-looking selves, shall we?"

"Pfffffffft, fiiiiiiiiiine.  Anything else I should know?  You're home alone and stuff?"

"Noooot exactally but I will be heading in that direction." He chuckled.

"...mmmmmmmmmmmmmm... Okay, lover boy."

"Until then, my dear." Xan purred lightly.

To be continued... After Mortality.

Pt. 4) While Mortal

=This chapter directly bridges from another roleplay series, which can be found here and here.=

Xan and Virus had just returned to Xan's world via Warp Ring, which Virus promptly stuck in her pocket.

..They appeared to be standing right on the outskirts of a vastly silvery city. "Home sweet home." Xan murmured. 

"Oh I am ALL ready for this!" Virus grinned.  "... though there IS another stop to head to... lllllater," She started toward inner parts of the city.

"Interesting.." He observed quietly. Remaining at her side as they began to stroll through the rows of tall and spiraling buildings. The city itself seemed to be a fusion of several different cultural styles, creating this unique hybrid of architecture that took on a glassy, prismatic feel. The streets were mostly populated with four-legged anthropods. Scampering about, busying themselves with all sorts of tasks and activities.

Oddly enough Xan appeared to be the only parasite present in the current streets. The purple reptile eventually speaking up again. "How much of this are you actually aware of? From what I remember, Identities catalog all the species they find. Right?"

"Yeah, but doesn't mean we all aread it," she replied.  "If it's a place we're thinking of conquering or whatever, yeah I've gotta store the knowledge, but I wanted to find out more about this place by myself... plus I learned a BIT more from Device when she got all that info from the clone-girl of yours."

Xan half-smiled at this. "Mm. Fair point. Though I doubt you got much on Alyva from that clone." The city's natives took the time to skitter out of the two's way. Aside from that, the creatures didn't seem to heed their presence.

Warning: Transition to skype format to avoid public spoilers in near future to be archived back in this roleplay when it's finished.

"You've got a house, right?"

"Of course, but not in the outer ring. My abode resides closer to the city's heart." His tail making a brief gesture towards more buildings off in the distance.

"That's my kind of analogy," She grinned before jogging forward.

The feline was promptly swept off the ground and into a familiar set of arms. "..You haven't a clue where you're going, dear." Xan chuckled briefly, launching himself past the throng of crustaceans to enter another part of the city.

"That's the plan," She replied, not bothering to resist the scooping.

Xan wove his way through the various bustling streets. Though the man seemed a touch bit distracted as he was multitasking. Ever so casually reaching out to read the feline's thoughts as they continued along. "..So. You just.. Felt like learning more of my ol' stomping grounds." He lightly quizzed. "Somehow the simplicity of that is hard for me to believe."

She suddenly bit him as they went.  "Have I ever told you about cores and transformation?"

The man got the hint, and silently ceased his intrusions. "Bits and pieces. But nothing substantial." Xan responded.

"Exactly!  Because you're not a project," She replied.  "You're my favorite."

"Mm. Quite the honor~" He hummed fondly. The two eventually passed into another part of town, where more of Xan's own kind could be spotted. The colorful reptiles where definitely more nosy than those nervous anthropods. Several took the time to edge closer to peer at Virus, murmuring amongst themselves as the pair passed by.

Virus practically crawled all over Xan as she squirmed with interest at all the parasites about: looking back at them as she would climb to Xan's back, his head, his legs, to his arms again.

"I can set you down.." Xan offered, voice trailing off as a particularly bold stranger sauntered up to the two like he owned the place. "What a fine specimen." The noticeably white-scaled man crooned. Totally ignoring Xan in the process of checking out the new visitor. "Greetings."

"Hellooooooooo," Virus smiled back, now on Xan's back as she clung to Xan's front and neck: chin resting on his shoulder.

The pale-ish reptile did a little greeting gesture. "Pleased to see some variety for once. What do they call you by~?" He asked musically.. His tail gracefully reaching out to touch Virus, only to be smacked down by Xan's own spiky tail. "Don't push your luck." Xan warned calmly.

"Myyyyyyyy friends call me Ira," she replied before scrunching her face a bit.  "... Or at least they're supposed to."

"A curious name. One to remember indeed." The pale one smiled mischievously, backing off and away when he caught sight of Xan's withering glare. "Aw, tough crowd. Be seeing you around, little kitty." He waved as he sauntered off down the street.

"Ira." Xan echoed as he started off in a new direction.. Possibly avoiding further contact with others.

"... He wants to eat or puppet me doesn't he?" The currently black-striped feline caught on.

"Ha. He would have certainly tried." Xan grunted. Stepping off the main streets to go through a far quieter area. Where the sun was reflecting off the glassy buildings to create a colorful spew of light everywhere. "..But yes. You have my apologies. Not the best first encounter." He sighed.

"Pffffft, would've been disappointed otherwise.  He knows you, doesn't he?" She looked about the view.

"More or less." Xan shrugged, smirking lightly. "Not much of a man to waste my breath on." The warm stone path was pretty deserted, save for the occasional crustacean tapping by. A faint tune played off in the distance, the breeze carrying the sound through the long alley. "I believe..It isn't much further from here." The man half murmured.

"Well this is rather... spooky." 

"Not quite how I would label it." He chuckled, tail flicking her back playfully. Exiting the alley to a ring of particularly unique buildings. Xan gestured towards a construct to the far left of the pair. A silvery geometric house lined with spiraling pillars. "Thaaaaaaaaaat would be my.. home."     

"All yours?  Nobody else?" She specified.

"No.Truth be told, I live in a brothel." Xan remarked sarcastically, making his way to the simple doorway.

"Funny but seeeeeriously, just you?"

Xan touched the door's center, and within a few moments the place unlocked. The man promptly entered the house. "Just me. Unless the occasional 'pet' counts."

"Pets?" She squirmed free, immediately rushing through in search.

"Mm. Pet." Xan just watched her go. At first, there were no signs of another being within the home. But then, out of the corner in the current room, sat the figure of some lithe reptile. Over on an arching beam that swept above the room. Several sets of pupiless, white eyes watched the feline cautiously.    

"... Hi," she made a B-line to the reptile.

A series of low clicking noises emanated from the creature. Taking to crawling down on the wall, to the floor, to better view its new visitor. The thing had a long, almost snake like body on two sets of legs. Its shadowy self had the ocassional wisp of smoke curl off its body as it sat down in front of Virus. Observing her quietly.

"What's it called?" she asked.

"His name is Erebus." Xan answered from a distance, picking up a few fallen objects and returning them to some shelf. The creature continued to stare at Virus, his head tilting to one side. "..."

"You've got a pet," she smirked, following after Xan.

"Believe me," He chuckled lightly, "The bond was entirely fortuitious." Xan came to stop in a sunny room to set down the objects. "So. Welcome to my abode." He dramatically gestured around the room.

Her smile seemed to widen a bit more as she had decided to believe after sufficient evidence " You genuinely care about me as your sweetheart," She then started chuckling a bit loudly.  It seemed to be a cross between a mocking laugh and a genuinely joyous moment.

Xan did a simple shrug, crossing his arms over his chest. "I suppose denying such a preposterous claim would be a bit far fetched at this point in the game."

"And here I thought I would've had to look like a library mousey."

The purple scales along Xan's arms rippled collectively. Almost like a shudder. "..Yeah. Don't." He stated firmly.

She shook her head, chuckling.  "Alright, but I've got a bigger bombshell coming up so you sure you're ready for the alternative?"

"Alterna-.." He trailed off, letting out a quick sigh. "Very well then. What do you propose?"

To the skypes