Once Lost, Now Found (OPEN)

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Ryoko
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Re: Once Lost, Now Found (OPEN)

Post by Ryoko » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:57 am


It took a moment for the artifact to come to life.

It wasn't until the illusion stood a mere arm's length away from the intricate runes that they began to glow. As Kore watched and waited to figure out what exactly that glow meant, someone far more brave or... thoughtless walked right up to the anomalous cross without a moment of hesitation. And as he started tracing the heiroglyphs tracing the heiroglyphs with his eyes and fingers in equal measure, it got brighter.

And she felt something that could only be described as a pull.

The body of the girl standing near the warlock seemed to destabilize for a moment; her form almost liquifying and dissolving into the atmosphere before the devil could adjust and pull it back together a moment later. And Kore could feel something, someone, siphoning away her control. And in that same moment, he wizard seemed to be having some trouble of his own.

A grunt slipped through his lips as he winced and took a step away from the cross. Apparently he felt a little bit of that himself, if more up close and personal. And Kore, ironically, found a bit of solace in that. Sure, that thing was likely to drain the life out of anyone who spent too much time near it...

...but at least it didn't discriminate.

She could tell without a shadow of a doubt that Bran was as human as they come, just as clearly as she... could sense something sinister approaching rapidly from behind. The illusion faded as she turned her attention to... whatever was racing through the woods. She turned, a knife formed in her hand, she lowered her stance, and she waited for whatever was coming right for her.

A light breeze marked his arrival.

It came to a stop with an almost supernatural grace before; little more than leaves displaced in his wake. Cold, dead flesh wrapped in black with a putrid soul that reeked of spilt blood. The man... monster who'd been hunting her not so long ago. Despite everything that had been going on around them, she had her doubts regarding why exactly he showed up. Especially in that initial moment before he started speaking.

"I'm fairly certain that something like that is never going to come out of me," said the little devil, pointing back towards something that seemed to be an almost perfect antithesis to her existence.

Kore finally turned her attention towards the dried up husk after a few things came to light.

In most circumstances; Kore would've thought that someone calling that mummy over there a demon was mistaken. But Septimus had a good nose, and he wasn't lying. Yet, despite the demon in his blood, Kore sure as shit couldn't tell that mixed breed apart from, well, anyone there that afternoon. Not by his sins, alone. Not like she could with Carmen or any of the other fiends who'd been running around.

"This guy looks human and, somehow, carries a scent like yours and mine, but not enough of the latter to set my alarms off," a brief pause. She turned her sights back over to the life-draining cross, her eyes slowly tracing it until they found they found the door from which he emerged... and the door lying on the ground not too far away from ithe base of the structure. "But, here's something that's a little... concerning..."

Her words began to trail away and her body soon followed after. The devil appeared at the abomination's side and lashed out at her to stop what might've been a disaster; violently slapping the apple out of Tyche's hand before she could even bring it close to the mixed breed's mouth.

"Alright hold on a second. Hear me out here. You see that thing?" she pointed towards the giant coffin that had held this stranger in place for... who knows how long, "That thing literally sucks the fucking life out of people. And I'm pretty sure that it wasn't built within the past decade. And somehow, despite coming out of the life-sucking prison that's been in the ground for a long fucking time... this guy isn't dead. Follow me?"

She paused for a moment, scanning the reactions on everyone's faces before continuing.

"He came out of THAT. And HE. DIDN'T. DIE FROM IT. You can go over there and mess around with that thing if you want, it's gnarly," she turned her attention to the 'dying' man, half expecting him to lash out at her in some attempt to shut her up, "Now, we can all look at this guy right now and tell that he's suffering, sure. But you know what we don't know? We have no idea what he's like when he's healthy and nourished. But I'm pretty sure that the people who built that giant cross did. Perhaps we shouldn't be in a rush to help him get 'better', you know?"

Not before having a good idea of who... not even that. What the fuck this thing was and what kind of threat would drive someone to build a giant, magical coffin just to lock it away.

"Look, if he's made it this long while stuck inside of that thing, he can last a few more minutes... or hours. I'm well aware that he's probably suffering horribly right now. I just kinda don't really care."
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Re: Once Lost, Now Found (OPEN)

Post by Tyche » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:22 am

Conflict


The Tyke tilted Her head at what She found to be an act of senseless violence, and Her eyes narrowed at the little devil's line of reasoning. She kept Her temper, however, Her Voice even as She put her own intuition into words, Her inflection still reminiscent of his, even after all this time.

"He'd be more powerful than either of us. Though, our potential still exceeds his. He's just had more time to develop."

She picked up- no, that wasn't right. She didn't move, and the apple wasn't lifted, but it was back in Her hand before anyone could stop her. She polished it off on Her blouse as She spoke, Her young face serious.

"Tell me... I'm not going to Know your name, but please, humor me. Would they need to build something like that to hold you?" She looked up at the monument, feeling its relentless pull, and shook Her head. "They'd need something worse for me, that's for sure. But if I came out of it half-starved and broken down...any help would be appreciated. Besides, he might be willing to talk once he has his strength up. And on top of that, it might not be in your Nature to care, but it's in Mine, so even if he doesn't I'm willing to help."

Her Eyes turned back to meet Kore's, and for a moment they were void and crimson before fading back to Hal's natural hues.

"So either get out of my way or find a way to stop me."

She crouched back down, and once again proffered the apple. Now, though, there was a sense of power around her - preparatory, wary. A warning, rather than a threat, but one She was totally prepared to act upon.
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Re: Once Lost, Now Found (OPEN)

Post by Ryoko » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:26 am


With choices like those, Kore had no option but to choose the latter.

The instant that Tyke decided to turn away from Kore and offer up power to an ancient being whose intentions were still completely unknown, another blur would strike from the edge of her vision. Perhaps it would come loose freely or perhaps the aberration's claws would dig into the apple, but she'd knock it from Tyche's hands one more. This time, however, a small void orb opened in the path of its trajectory and shunted it into another dimension entirely.

One over which Kore had absolute control.

And then she met Tyche's eyes once more. There was a bit of anxiety in her heart that came from facing down something that made the air ripple with little more than its presence, but there was no hesitation to accompany it. She's gotten used to staring down things more powerful or complex than her and she'd have to stare down something beyond this aberration one day, when the time came. So there was no room cowardice, even when faced with fear.

"Do you hear yourself!? If you're right, and he is stronger than any of us here, then our future potential doesn't fucking matter today, now does it? Stop trying to empathize and think about the situation for a second, damnit!"

Despite her words, she would bare no arms nor strike out at the girl directly. Her only enemy at that moment was their collective lack of knowledge. As far as Kore knew, they were on the same side, even if the little devil couldn't agree with the girl's... unfounded optimism, recklessness and unhelpful empathizing.

"I'm not standing here telling you to kill this guy, alright? Let's just make sure he's worth saving before we save him. Before shit gets out of our control. If he has enough strength to speak at all then I'm sure he can clarify a whole lot of shit if he makes an honest effort."

Her eyes darted down to scan the rest of the girl's body before returning to meet her eyes.

"If I'm wrong, I'll write him a letter and give him a fucking formal apology later. But now's not the time for this shit."
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Re: Once Lost, Now Found (OPEN)

Post by Lord of Nothing » Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:54 am

In the face of unknown and enigmatic, obtaining as much information as possible was key. In concern to the cross and in concern to the her -- he received little from Kore.

At least at first.

Soon the sigils began to glow. And Septimus attempted to glean what was happening. There was little in the realm of visible phenomena that he could pick up directly. He could only feel something odd. But for what his eyes lacked in directly observing such non-blood related phenomena, he knew in observing humans. Namely the mage who'd staggered back. And Kore, who grunted as her illusion dispersed. It would seem then that the cross was something antithetical to such supernatural forces. Though he recalled how it disrupted radio and other electromagnetic waves as well. Perhaps it has to do with energy.

The inside of the tomb was open. But still there was no information as to what could possibly rest inside. For all he knew, it could lead to another dimension. Or at a less extreme conclusion -- it could have any number of traps. Or other noteworthy things being contained inside of it. Such as seemingly the man who was nailed to his coffin not too long ago.

As Kore went over to the man -- Septimus' eyes wandered over to a metal stake sitting on the ground along with a trail of blood. The vampire crouches down and picks it up -- before moving to follow.

In his approach he could hear bickering. The two children of the apocalypse argued. His eyes fell upon the woman first -- her muscles flexed and body seemingly ready to attack at a moment's notice. But the vampire had no such stance. He assessed her and ascertained a rough and intuitive sense of physical strength by listening the way beating of her heart and flowing blood sounded -- before his eyes fell upon one of his own kind.

But Septimus' eyes remained locked on the man. And soon as he reached where all had gathered around the man -- he could see who he was. Pale, starved and damn near dead. Though the Pale man liked to think he had some measure of an idea of what that meant. Even if this man did not hale from the same family of bloodsucker as he did.

His fist was clenching. Knuckles cracking as air between them pops in the air. And then his hands are relaxed in the next couple of moments. Loose. The two girls are still talking.

Those who were of quicker eyes might have seen it. The bullet flying through the air. After it passed -- the sound accompanied.

BANG

The human eye could not capture the moment at which the vampire drew his pistol. To someone it would look like it had simply teleported into his now outstretched arm. A CZ75 Handgun -- Chambered in 9mm. The bullet would sore by the Godling the very instant she turned around. And then cause a small explosion of splinters right by the hybrid's pretty head. The sound would echo for miles. Made all the more easy to hear with the absence of birds and wildlife.

Septimus' eyes held a dim glow. Like two red beam, shining a spotlight. Swiveling in their sockets at first to Kore. "Yes. He may need some measure of sustenance. He bleeds heavily. If I were him -- I would be on the brink of torpor. The Death Sleep." Then moving to Tyche. "Your nature means little to the matter at hand, Godling. The road to hell is paved with good intentions." To not be able to control one's nature as a monster was one thing. But it disturbed him to hear such a thing from a budding god.

Finally his eyes moved to fall back onto the man.
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Image
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"Do not forget that our friend here. Seems a prisoner. With a great many stakes driven into him. I cannot help but wonder why this is so." The gun was held level with the man's face now. The next shot would be on target. If the man was anything like Septimus -- then he could speculatively stand to have brain matter replaced with bullets. But having a head full of lead was at the very least conducive to stunning. It would likely be rather difficult for the man to open his jaw and consume the fruit if his entire frontal lobe was scattered all over the grass.

"So much talk of power. And yet so little of danger. Too little talk of the danger he can pose to others. For all I care we could all be able to take him. But he was imprisoned. For one reason or another. He was hunted."

In his other hand was the previously mentioned bloody stake and casually tossed it onto the floor. The gun -- once raised was lowered and instead slid back into the shadows of his trench coat.

A part of him wondered. If such a being had met any of the same hunters he himself had trained. There would be no active effort on Septimus' part to stop the man from feeding. Though he wished there was something else for him to be offered beyond the Tyche's blood of all of the individuals here. Something had to be done. But at the very least he hoped the random responders would have some modicum of caution when it came to the could be convict.

"Answer truthfully, beautiful one."
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Re: Once Lost, Now Found (OPEN)

Post by illirica » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:59 pm

It didn’t take long for others to start arriving. That made sense, at least, once the unburial had happened. Given the communications breakdown, it wasn’t like there wouldn’t have been a number of metas watching the area carefully, just in case - just like Capacitor had been.

With the passing of the electromagnetic interference, she was starting to feel more like her usual self, although her charge levels were still markedly low compared to what she usually carried around. She’d been keeping herself near zero while the resonance had been up, just in case it got bad enough that it wrecked her control. Near the end...

Near the end, it had been closer than she would have liked - but that was why she was here. The experience was good for learning, even if it wasn’t pleasant. As tempting as it was to grab a power line and bring herself back up again, she didn’t think that was a good idea right now - if the interference came back up or got worse, that could make her another problem people had to deal with.

Unfortunately, her role in this one probably wasn’t going to be much fighting. She took stock of the assembly, her expression studiously neutral. A grouping of misfits, most certainly: The young woman she’d already noticed - only a few steps removed from being a metacriminal herself. The young woman from New York, Kore - she’d done well in the Diva arrest, but she was still young... and ironically, she was probably the most reliable of those assembled here. The teenage girl who should have been an unknown, except she was all too remarkably alike to ACF’s Dr. Note, the one who’d gone berserk a bit over a year ago and used some anomaly to bring down half a research facility out there; whoever she was, she was certainly linked to ACF, and that made her, at best, questionable. More than that, she looked like an older version of the little girl that Hector had run into during that event. Septimus Nier, who reports said had dissociated from Assurance now; Capacitor wasn’t sure if that was a problem or an improvement - either way, it was best to be cautious around him.

And Bran Sunderson. Charming.

This wasn’t going well, and the potential threat hadn’t even done anything yet. Well - Capacitor would just have to be professional about all of this. She had experience working with all types, and she could deal with it. She kept an eye on the escapee, not interfering directly, but prepared in case he should take a more threatening action. His request for food and water seemed simple enough, but she was still concerned there might be more to it. She was very carefully compartmentalizing the containment system away from any belief system. As tempting as it was to invoke religious imagery, she was determined to remain secular.

She’d had about enough of borrowed divinity, lately.

If the others were taking care of the initial response, she had time to seek out more information, especially now that tech was back up. Capacitor wasn’t sure how long that was going to last, so it would be best to make the most of it while she could. She slipped an earpiece in, connecting it to the AEGIS device at her wrist by a pseudo-cable, a carefully compartmentalized line of electrical impulses traveling down through her arm. She’d been working with isolating different current conduits within her body for over a year now, mostly for combat purposes, but she’d had time to contemplate other uses while she was trying to figure out her armor system.

Hopefully, she wouldn’t have to bring that into play here. That was more for potentially world-ending scenarios, like Surgath or that thing in Jerusalem or herself. Eventually.

Not today. She smiled a little at the thought, and connected to the government line. She’d already checked the SOS database, but it didn’t have anything on the new arrival. Her relationship with the government was... tenuous, right now, but there had been a few slight overtures on their end, enough so that she felt like she could ask them for information now and again. She wasn’t quite sure how they would feel about it, but she could certainly ask, and see how serious they were about working with her again.

The answer seemed to be very tenatively, judging by the reaction on the other end - but they did put her through. It was something. She didn’t waste time with small talk.

“I know you’re watching this thing. It seems stable for now, but I’m not convinced it’ll stay that way. Whoever this is, he was under US soil. Someone has to know something about him. What can you give me?”

There was, of course, the usual buzz about classified information and her not technically being a government agent right now. Capacitor waited it out in silence, watching as the ACF-inductee offered an apple to the man stepping away from the cross. Someone could have had an absolute field day with the biblical implications of that little scenario, if they wanted to get metaphorical with things.

That person was not going to be her. Eventually, someone in the governmentspace relented, or at least decided whatever information they were holding wasn’t going to do anyone else any good. She transferred a couple of visuals at their request, aware that if they were asking her for information, they’d already decided to tell her what they knew and were just trying to sort things out on their end - probably using the time to sort out paperwork. There was always paperwork.

“We... might have an identity.” Finally. “It’s not 100% certain.” Ah, they were covering their... bases. Also standard practice.

“Just give me what you have. Anything is better than nothing. I appreciate it.”

“...Understood. The giant cross isn’t bringing up any references-” Capacitor wasn’t sure whether or not she believed that, but she could recognize an if we do have more information about that, it’s not at the level we’re comfortable giving you right now when she heard one. “-But we have a tentative on the individual. Known as Alucard Van Helsing, no certainty as to whether that’s a name or an alias. Definitely a meta. He’s been active in a few wars in the past - bloody stuff, black ops / loose cannon type, it’s a little hard to tell how much of this activity was licensed or encouraged. Disappeared after the cold war, we’re not sure who was responsible.”

“Mm.” It was more than nothing, but less than she’d hoped - but Kore and the blonde girl were arguing, and it was likely she’d have to step in on that. “All right. Thank you.”

A gunshot echoed, arresting her attention - with her charges as low as they were, she didn’t have a magnetic field set up that far out. The impact harmed nothing more than a tree, though - a warning shot.

It seemed like Nier was also going to be on the side of skepticism here, and was being a little more forward about it than some of the others. She gave him a fractional nod, somewhere between I’m on board with your decision here and I’m watching you. She wasn’t willing to trust him entirely just yet, but it seemed like for now he was being reasonable.

She walked up, a little apart from Nier, though whether that was to give him room to fight or to stay out of reach was anyone’s guess. Likely, no one would guess that it was so she was close enough that his gun side was in her personal magnetic field to give her the opportunity to adjust bullet trajectories... but perhaps someone would. People could be surprisingly intelligent at the worst of times. “Mr. Helsing.” Van Helsing, would likely be more proper, but she wanted to be slightly wrong, to see if he’d correct her - or to see if he even noticed.

“How much do you remember?”
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Re: Once Lost, Now Found (OPEN)

Post by Orange » Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:30 am

Interesting... if it wasn't so plain the cross provided no real answers an experienced magus could have done this any day of the week. Still didn't change the energy given off by the cross though something that would need to be remadied soon no doubt. I would need to observe it for awhile longer to make sure there was no threat in attempting to disable this magic without setting off some kind of trap.

Suddenly the form of the girl beside me shuddered my first thought was not why it had done so. Instead, it was if she had been an illusion where was the real one? I didn't get my answer as I started to feel the drain myself, "sacre bleu!" I flinched at first trying to pull my staff away hoping it wouldn't drain the power from the gems connected to the elementals before pulling myself hopefully out of range of the cross or at least lessening its effects. Further observation was interrupted by a gunshot and I didn't need to turn around to know who fired it.

When I turned around I saw the plague rat and everyone else that had decided to come to the clearing huddled around a disheveled man. Who was apparently from what I could hear on the cross. Great if the imagery wasn't enough here... As I stared at the group I noticed someone that deserved my attention. She looked just like the Avenger but that didn't matter it had been far too long since I last saw her I walked past Teja, the plague rat, and then the girl who may or who may not be an illusion to reach my niece. When I reached her I attempted to hug her, "its been too long. When we're done here how about we get that meal I promised you so long ago?"

I knew this wasn't the best time but it had been a year since I had seen the closest thing I had to family. Unfortunately, when she finally answered it inevitably turned back to business, "the cross at the moment is sucking in nearby energy which would explain why signals are being disrupted in the area and it just attempted to drain off some magical energy from me and." I looked towards the other girl who observed the cross with him he didn't know her name."Sorry, what's your name?"

He would wait for an answer before continuing, "clearly this man here... this Helsing you called him was imprisoned on this cross for quite some time. Regardless of the answers, we receive from him we need to explore the tomb to determine nothing else comes from it either searching for him or to cause some other issue. All we need to do is learn one thing if we destroy the cross will it be safe to travel inside and investigate." I believed it was if I was being honest. Might be some blowback from the energy released from the cross but we still knew where the tomb was and thus we could enter afterward.

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Re: Once Lost, Now Found (OPEN)

Post by LunaHawk » Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:31 pm

Qin Liangyu happened to be in the area when everything went haywire. The initial electromagnetic disturbance set off an unexpected series of issues from the onset. The woman stumbled, staggered and collapsed, barely catching herself before her face could smash into the side walk. It was as if her head was in a vice, compression pain spiked at her temples and rippled down the sides of her skull, piercing deep into her brain. Electrical signals sparked and arced across her face and head and blood ran from her nose.

She wanted to scream with the pain but there was no voice with which to scream. Suddenly the pain was gone and she stood up, stumbling again as the world spun around her. She blinked rapidly, trying to clear the fog floating in her mind. Where was she? Why was she here? Where was--where was her family? The last she remembered the police burst through their door in the middle of the night. They'd found out about her little investigative blog and she'd been dragged from her frightened children and husband kicking and screaming until she was tossed into a van.

She'd been injected with--something. Images of a sterile environment assaulted her senses and she sat down on a nearby bench, cradling her head in her hands as a series of rapid fire memory images burst through her mind's eye like a movie on fast forward.

Yue Fei blinked in his tank. The sudden disconnection from his avatar made his stomach turn but it soon passed. He watched as the people around him went into over drive, frantically pulling files and running through tests of equipment. This wasn't supposed to happen. He shrugged. It was probably just an issue with highly sensitive, still experimental equipment. The Avatars were in many ways more technological marvels than the machines. Recreating the human body to such an incredible level and then implanting the devices needed to occupy a blank neural pathway were impressive technologies on the absolute edge of human achievement.

A few bugs were to be expected. He thought back to his encounter with Mana and her belief that the avatar was a person, someone who'd given their mind freely or against their will to his telepathic presence. It was an understandable misconception, the avatars were so profoundly well made after all. They were puppets though, empty and highly advanced suits. There was no person there. He would know after all. Wouldn't he?

Lady Mu Guiying watched the chaos unfolding in disbelief. There were a number of scenarios under which contact with an Avatar might be lost, but so suddenly and without warning? Satelite information from over the US confirmed a huge spike in electro-magnetic signals and she had her answer. "We need to reinforce the Avatars against electro-magnetic disruption," she told her subordinates confidently. It was code phrasing to keep Yue Fei in the dark about the true nature of the Avatars. In reality the implants that suppressed the prisoner's mental energy and shunted it into tiny micro-computers had been disrupted, and likely deactivated.

They would need to figure out how to delete human personality, in the mean time, these devices were the best solution. She glanced at the tank and the silent Yue Fei behind her. He, she, it, floated in its gel, almost serene. Its complex eyes were open and had their usual soft white glow. Part of her knew without needing to find out that Yue Fei would not respond well to the truth.

Fortunately there were safeguards.

"Fall back plan Alpha." Hopefully the prisoner wasn't damaged from the experience and everything would be fine. Either way they'd recall her and have him switch to his male avatar for a few weeks while they ran tests and upgraded the devices against electromagnetic interference. It was an unfortunate oversight they would need to correct.

Yue Fei opened her eyes and felt something wet under her nose. She stood and made her way to the commotion where a familiar face, the Teja, was working to try and figure out what was going on. Yue Fei blinked and removed a handkerchief from her pocket, dabbing the blood away from her face beneath her nose.

"Correct me if I am wrong, but giant crosses don't typically appear in the middle of American cities?" she asked Teja, especially since she didn't know anyone else here. "Any idea what's going on?"

Lady Mu Guiying smiled as the system came back online. They ran background tests while Yue Fei resumed control of the avatar. So far there was no biological damage though the suppression implants would need repair. "Yue Fei, don't stress this one too much until we know how well the Avatar is holding up. If you need to call in a machine, shut the avatar down just in case."

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