“What’s the difference between good and evil? Who decides what is just? We all have our own ways of saying it and our own ways of going about it, but in the end it all boils down to one thing. There is only right and wrong. There may be multiple rights and multiple wrongs, but that doesn’t mean there is a mixing of the two. It’s either one or the other.
When someone who is evil does wrong they believe it to be just in their own minds. Some of the greatest tragedies in the world come to pass because of an evil man’s justice... yet does that make it right? If they see justice in it does it make it right to simply do as they please? Could someone take everything you hold dear away from you but be justified in it because they believe themself to be right? Of course not. If a man gives you a gun and say that you must shoot one of two people placed before you are you justified to take a life then? Or are you simply in the wrong for killing someone? There is no median when it comes to action.
So I say this. To do wrong is an injustice against all those who love you, who hold you dear, and who care for you. To lie, to cheat, to steal, to take what isn’t yours, to manipulate, to craft excuses for your wrongdoings and to take others for granted. Those are the very sources of injustice. They tear apart the hearts of others and leave them empty and wanting. An excuse crafted from a lie is nothing more than garbage and it’s an injustice to form them into words.
There is always a right or wrong, although it may not always be obvious and there may be more than one right or wrong it is always present to those who are willing to see it. It may be based on character, but that character is solely based on justice. Whether you are a just person or plagued with injustice, that will craft your rights and wrongs.”
[i I will start by saying this. I’ve been rather tired lately. Things haven’t been going well for me and my mind and body are taking quite the toll for it. I’ve just been distant, but I need something to keep my mind running so I came up with this. If you’re interested then please continue on. If not that’s completely understandable.]
Power is drawn from within us, of course. Our experiences, our pain, our suffering, our love, our hope, it tempers us and refines us. In this world we unlock our potential through our experience. In that sense our power will be unlocked the moment we decide whether we will be good or evil. For instance a man who lost his family to a murderer might unlock their potential through that pain and suffering, becoming an officer the the legion to fight for peace and justice. Or a man who was raised by an abisive parent and treated like dirt their entire life might become a recluse monster hungry for blood and filled with anger, their potential driving them to destroy all those who never helped them escape their trauma. In that sense there is really no way to temper or prepare someone before their potential is unlocked to decide their path afterwards. They must come to it on their own.
In this world potential can manifest in many ways. One person’s potential might cause them to gain the ability to float or heal or simply gain more physical power, while others might breath and control elements or call upon monsters or sprout wings and fly. It is not uncommon to have the same potential as another, although it is very rare for specific things. It also Varys depending on the experience. A man who almost tripped and was hit by a car might gain the potential to lift said car a person who fell and was hit by a car might gain the same ability but be able to lift an entire building. The level of stimuli can greatly effect the potential which is why it always varies between the type of person.
In this world you will all be taking the roles of students who are preparing for graduation. Some of you may have already unlocked your potential and others may not have. Either way you’ve been working hard all year and it’s paying off. While some will proceed to look for normal careers others may seek to join the Legion and fight to assure that others don’t use their potential to do wrong. Your lives are just truly beginning and now is the time to celebrate.
You’ve worked hard to get where you are now so remember it and mold it into your hearts. All experiences are a catalyst to unlock your true potential. In only a few days you’ll all be attending your graduation so classes will be rather relaxed with no real work to be done other than preparations. Take your time and talk with your friends and classmates, share memories and talk about your futures. This is a time to be happy.
When making a character pm me just a few simple details, I won’t be asking for much because I’d rather we learn about you in the actual story itself. Just stuck to the guidelines and let’s have some fun.
Age: 17-20, this is technically high school. But I’ll stop at 20 for any repeat students.
Potential: If you don’t want one yet then just put LOCKED. If you do have one then give an explaination of how it works and try not to be too overpowered.
Short Description: Let us know a small bit about your character so we know the basics. Nothing too deep is needed here.
I won’t have many rules, but we will have an easy 350 characters minimum. Don’t try to kill off any other people unless I give permission. Romance is allowed, it’s no big deal to me but try to keep things somewhat relaxed here or go offsite to settles things. Fights are expected, but don’t expect them to end in single turns. This is life and death afterall. Cursing and stuff like that are fine, I’m well aware that some character personalities are heavily dependent on that so I won’t be very strict. That being said I will intervene if anytime gets out of hand. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Pictures aren’t needed for characters, but if you don’t use one your first post MUST be descriptive of them so others can identify your character.
That’s it. I’ll place character info below. Aside from that have fun and I’ll probably make another thread for group chat later on.
Potential: Jherrichho’s emotions and feelings form entirely different personas that if too strong can take control or manifest outside of him in the form of himself but with heads replaced by shadows. These are Pain, Hate, Love, Sadness, and Fear. Although he is completely capable of feeling these things it is always possible to be overwhelmed by his feelings and potentially become one of these personas or lose control of it. They can’t move too far away from him and if it ejects from him he can no longer feel it and loses a fifth of his strength. All of these personas have their own effects when in control and as such will put a strain on his body.
Pain-Completely ignore pain threshold to power through hardships but doesn’t negate the damage.
Hate-Breaks the strength barrier that keeps the average human from exerting too much power to protect your own body.
Love-Causes injuries to heal at an increased rate. Impact will improve healing rate substantially.
Fear-Wildcard, effect varies based on level of fearfulness and the fear itself.
Short Description: Jherrichho, a distant yet caring person. He’s taller than average but not too tall, always wearing a hat over his short hair and has almost black brown eyes that contrast with his caramel skin. He tends to keep his distance and prefers to not get attached yet can’t seem to ever turn away new faces. His heart is always in the right place, but that trust in others tends to get him hurt. Not everyone is kind after all. He’ll always smile when talking with others but frowns when left alone or deep in thought. It’s never a good idea to upset him though, he really dislikes his potential.
Potential: name: Tea House. Chrys can produce teas from her skin, but these teas each have special properties derived from her first experiences tasting a normal version of that tea. She can only produce teas that she has ingested before, so nothing poisonous. Teas that produce an enhancing or weakening effects for physical attributes only last five minutes, teas that produce plain negative or positive effects last ten minutes . No individual can be affected by more than three of her teas every six hours, additional teas will have no effect. Each individual tea can only produce one effect. Chrys can be effected by her own teas. She can manipulate the tea itself like water manipulation, using it as a weapon in and of itself— but this only applies to the tea she creates with her Potential, not any other liquid. Creating too much can severely dehydrate her.
Short Description: Intellectual and a bit standoffish at first, but her Potential indicates that she is probably more complex than she seems. She doesn’t use her ability in public very often, and despite the fact that her ability is almost an ultimate Support-type ability, she prefers to work alone and has trust issues. Likes to read a lot, and is always seen carrying a large thermos of hot water and a big bag of various types of teas.
Potential: Maurica can share her mind with small animals. When she is doing this she can "speak" with them in simple images/memories. If the animal is willing, Maurica can take full control over the animal. The longer she stays in control of an animal, the more she starts to think like one. While sharing minds with an animal, Maurica loses all control of her human body and it goes limp if she starts to control the animal.
Short Description: Maurica is a blunt girl who doesn't scare easily and is a fierce advocate of animal rights. She has a pet rat which she saved from being run over by a car shortly after her own father was killed in a car crash. The rat is called Jason and goes everywhere Maurica does.
Maurica is a stout, fair skinned brunette with curly hair and deep brown eyes.
Short Description: Captain of the basketball team, cross-country team, tennis club, class president, newspaper editor, and valedictorian. A diligent student who has done the most that she can with the time she has available to her, and who still tries to make time for others. Known to do volunteer work over summer.
Short Description: A quiet individual who looks to investigate and research potential. He has done work with the school newspaper investigating incidents involving potential and also works with various clubs to do the same. The motivation behind his thirst for knowledge is unknown, but none of his teachers complain.
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He was caught off guard by the action Chrys had taken. This side of her was unexpected, but it was much easier to get things done with her taking the lead. Jherrichho smiled slightly seeing her acting so different and made sure to not let it distract him from his current objective. Of course he wouldn’t be getting what he came for so easily after making a deal. It was his turn to fulfill his side of the bargain.
Jherrichho moved at a steady pace, making sure to not seem as if her were in a rush as to not draw suspicion. He’d leave this situation in the hands of the girls and take care of his business as quickly as possible, moving into the dark room with Nathan. It wasn’t until the doors had been closed that he sighed and removed his jacket, placing it on the nearest chair. [+maroon “I’ll start by saying thank you for all of this. A lot more damage would have been caused if I had to take care of it, but it was much easier this way. That being said, I’ll take up my part of the deal now to get this over with as soon as possible. Due to us being in the school I’ll have to exert a lot of control and I can’t use anything that could be potentially dangerous so bear with me. You won’t be in any danger as far as I know. This should be the least I can do.”]
[+purple [i Are you sure about this? I had a feeling that idiotic trust of yours would keep you from going along with my plan, but are you completely sure your secrets can be so easily revealed?] ]
[+maroon [i I’m no liar, but I’m also not so reckless. Although I’d like to trust that nothing happened I’m going to assume that they’ve seen the tapes. How else would they know if they got what we needed?] ]
[+purple [i That is pure speculation! You don’t know that at all! Your power isn’t something to just play around with! You’re just looking for an excuse to be trusting for no reason!] ]
[+maroon [i Just give me a bit of silence.] ]
He focused on his fears. The fears of being discovered by anyone listening in, of the woman outside the door discovering their purpose here, of what would happen to those he would call their friends. He shrunk it down with reassurance but let the thought itself run wild, conjuring up a small bit of fear within himself and releasing it throughout his body. He looked down at his hands which were now shaking and removed the bandages from his arm. [+maroon “Okay, pay close attention. I can’t do this for long”], he said as the black marks etched themselves into his skin, a thin plume of black mist rising from the marks as his eyes flashed from purple to white. [+maroon [i Not too much, just a little bit and-] ] his thoughts stopped along with all of his movements. He sat completely still for a moment, the marks stopping halfway up his arm. It was as if he had turned into a full statue before a memory pierced his mind.
[+purple [i What is this memory?] ]
[i So long as you have a purpose, a reason to keep on going, what is it that you should fear? So long as at least on person you love lives what reason do you have to fear? Do you fear life? Death? The inevitable? Or simply yourself? Throw those fears aside. We will always be with you...]
He closed his fist as a tear rolled down his cheek, his arm quickly reverting back to normal as his eyes went back to their original dark brown. He took a deep breath and sighed before laughing off the foreign memory. [+maroon “Alright... that’s over... now tell me something. Did you watch he tapes?”] The look on his face had suddenly become more serious than before. His eyes locked onto Nathan’s to spot any traces of distrust in his answer. [+maroon “Don’t take it the wrong way, I trust you guys one hundred percent, but it will make things easier to explain if you’ve seen them already. I think I might need your help again in the future. Not for a something like this again, but just in case things take a turn for the worse if my suspicions turn out to be truth.”]
[+purple [i What are you planning? What are trying to do by letting these people in?] ]
[+maroon [i We may very well need their help in the future. Just let me do what I’m doing and stop interrupting.] ]
[+purple [i Don’t forget where you stand! I am not yours to order around, that much you’d do best to remember. I worry not for your safety but for mine and mine alone. You are my catalyst and all of your recklessness can cost me my life as well as yours, so don’t think I’m here for your amusement. I rest because you keep both of interests in mind, but these actions put our safety on the line, [b my] safety on the line. [b Control yourself... Jherrichho] .] ]
He winced at the voice in his head, remembering back when all of their conversations would be like that. He wiped the tear from his cheek with a bit of confusion. That memory wasn’t one he could remember, but it seemed so vividly familiar. Almost as if he could recognize it from somewhere. He pushed the thought aside for the time being. He could think on it more later. For now he had to settle things with Nathan and the others.
As soon as he spoke, Vel recognized the boy's voice as the one belonging to the boy who had called earlier. It helped that she already knew his name, as she made sure to get everyone's name. It made it easier to catch people in the act, without having to give away anything that make people suspicious. Because a potential is a bit like a fingerprint; once you know what a person's is, it isn't that hard to track them down.
Though she rarely had the opportunity to catch someone in the act of anything, she still made sure to gather their names. People are pleasantly surprised when you remember their name a few days after your first chat. However, Vellum learned the hard way that people don't react so well when your last and first conversation was over a month ago and you yell [+orange "Hi Avery!"] or whatever their name happens to be across a public grocery store.
Vel opened her mouth to respond to Nathan when two more students walked through the door, which surprised her quite a bit, but she quickly regained her composure. That was when one of the students recognized her--and Vel recognized the student.
Chrysanth. Vel hadn't seen the girl in quite a while. Something seemed a bit off about the way she reacted to Vellum, but Vel shrugged it off. People change. For that matter, so do memories. It's possible she remembered the girl differently than she actually had been. It didn't matter, really.
Chrysanth paused to look over at the others after asking a question Vel had initially assumed rhetorical.
[+orange "Of course,"] Vel responded. Her voice sounded stiff and a bit nervous, but she hoped that Chrys would just assume that she didn't really know what she was talking about, and was agreeing out of politeness. Meek little Vellum? With [i secrets?] Poppycock!
Then Chrysanth realized who Maurica was, and asked a question that Vellum wasn't sure if she should answer. Or if it even needed an answer. Maurica didn't seem to think it needed an answer, either that or she was staring off into space ignoring everything, so Vellum stayed quiet too.
And then Vellum had to sit through, well actually [i stand] through, as no one had offered her a seat, a series of lies, so well executed that Vel herself would be inclined to believe them had she not known otherwise.
It took all her self restraint to not run away as Chrys was digging about in her bag, and even more to take the tea. She even managed a curt thank you and a smile. Because it had finally dawned on her why Chrysanth seemed so odd. She was seething with confidence and power, even charm. These traits combined could take down even the strongest of potentials--and it made Vel very nervous.
Maurica was flabbergasted. Flower was actually Chrysanth from the tea shop, which meant Nathan, who she finally had a name for, though it didn't seem to suit him somehow; she'd have to review her understanding of the tall boy, had either lied to her or been lied to. On top of all that she was still quite spooked by the notion that someone could make themselves entirely invisible to her, as not even her mom could do that.
[+orange "Artistic talent? Well, I'll be,"] said her mom in a way that suggested that they would be having a chat about this later. Maurica shrank into herself.
She had never lied to her mom and gotten away with it. For a while she thought that that was just a superpower all moms had, but as she grew older it became quite obvious that this was not the case. So, she had resigned herself to believing she was just a terrible liar. It was much easier for Maurica to swallow than the other options: her mom was either a genius who had decided to be an artist despite the low pay, or had been lying about not having a potential.
This was the perfect scenario in which to test her hypothesis. If Vellum walked away, Maurica was just a bad liar. But if she didn't...
[+orange "Well then, I suppose I'll leave you to your plans. Not much sense in me hanging around here. It was lovely meeting you all."]
She was leaving. Just like that; Maurica [i was] just a bad liar and her mom was still a good person.
Maurica's stomach dropped to her heels.
[+orange "The person who called Maurica this morning introduced himself as Nathan, not Jherrichho."] She put up a hand to stop anyone from butting in and continued talking. [+orange "The obvious solution here would be to say that Jherrichho didn't have Maurica's number, so he called Nathan to tell him to call Maurica and tell her your plans. I picked up when Nathan called because Maurica is a sound sleeper and she doesn't own a cell phone,"] Vel said by way of explanation. [+orange "However, given my knowledge of the situation, that is still obviously a lie. I brought Maurica here because she said she thought Nathan was in trouble. While she does have a tendency to exaggerate, Maurica rarely flat out lies to me, so I assumed the situation was urgent and dropped her off here, saying if she wasn't back in fifteen minutes, I would come in and get her. And over thirty minutes later you two finally show up! So, unless there is some amazingly complicated explanation to all this, you just lied to me, Chrysanth.
"Now, you all obviously want me out, so how about we make a deal? Either you tell me the truth, and I'll leave you alone for good, or I'll remove Maurica from...whatever this is, and you'll never see her again."]
[+olive "Mom, stop,"] Maurica protested, finally gaining the courage to do something more than cower and wish her potential could make her invisible.
Vellum visibly deflated. She looked at Maurica, then the others [+orange ], and turned to leave, whispering sorry under her breath.
[h3 [center Molly]]Molly kept quiet throughout the entire demonstration of what had happened. The sight of the creepy man that somehow made them unaware of the bell, Jherrichho's display of his powerful potential, and even the more terrifying man that was able to stop it. She did not so much as let out a squeak, although her hands did begin to visibly shake after they were shown operating from the office.
[b “You're probably right. We should wait for the others.”]
The words were shakier than she would have liked, but she at least managed to get them out. Chrysanth and Jherrichho may not exactly be friends, but they had to have a better idea of what to do now than she did. That was the hope that kept her upright at least. Her unsteadiness was demonstrated when Maurica's curse got her to jump into a partial fighting pose in response.
The sight of her shaking hands in front of her elicited a strong glare until they steadied. She kept the harsh look on her face until she heard Maurica greet someone after opening the door. These two would surely understand what she was going through, but she had to keep a better poker face for the public. It was enough that they had to know the truth.
Molly stood at attention as the adult entered, but relaxed with a friendly smile when Maurica introduced her mother Vellum. She even managed to give an appropriate wave to greet the older woman as Maurica stumbled her way through an explanation. The poor dear even trailed off before she could introduce Nathan, however her fellow conspirator just took it as an opportunity to introduce himself. He was used to these situations from Molly's knowledge and so she left him to it.
Nathan's introduction was followed by the timely appearance of Chrysanth though. Who apparently had prior knowledge of Maurica's mother Vellum thanks to growing up in the local apothecary. Whether it was due to this or the circumstance Molly could not help but stare at Chrysanth in her friendly state. It was not something she had ever had the pleasure to partake in before.
Chrysanth's appearance was followed by Jherrichho who seemed to make a beeline to Nathan for understandable reasons. He did make sure to greet everyone though before they excused themselves. That put the onus on Molly to help if Chrysanth needed any support with the story that she was feeding to Maurica's mother.
Support that she was happy to provide when the opportunity arose. [b “Sorry about all of this. We've even done our best to keep it a surprise from the rest of the student council. Maurica's been a huge help though with her artistic skills.”]
[h3 [center Nathan]]Molly's agreement with his assessment was no surprise given their work history. He was sure the fact that the faculty were in on it came as a surprise to her given their respective views on authority. Although he kept his mouth shut about it for her sake. If she needed to talk about it she was never shy about asking him for help in the past.
Nathan took in a deep breath during the momentary silence that was interrupted by Maurica sharply swearing as she stood up. It caused a small coughing fit for the young man as she ran over and swiftly swung the door open. She even called out a greeting to someone just as quickly as she had gotten to the door. Thankfully the fit was over before Maurica's mother made it into the room, and left him enough time to change windows on the computer to keep her unaware. There were enough people to recap without roping in another.
He did his best to a neutral expression as Vellum was introduced to the group. Although a hint of a smile could be noticed at Maurica mentioning the leather worker in their family. It quickly disappeared though as she stumbled through the rest of her spiel. One that he was quick to pick up once she dropped it off as he stood up and offered Vel his hand to shake in introduction.
[b “Nathan, Nathan Sterling,”] Nathan said with an awkward smile. Before he could say anything else though he was interrupted by the angelically timed arrival of Chrysanth. Her interruption relaxed his smile, although he made sure to keep an eye on her as she spoke. This level of friendliness was not the norm with Chrysanth and he made sure to record as much of it as he could to get a proper perspective on her.
Chrysanth was unsurprisingly followed close behind by Jherrichho who greeted everyone before he did his best to get an aside with Nathan. [b “What we discussed earlier, yes that should be fine. If you all will just excuse us for a moment. We can talk in the dark room.”]
After what he had seen on the tapes he wasn't exactly keen on being in close quarters alone with Jherrichho, but with the dark room as the only private option available to them that was where he went. Nathan at least had the benefit of terrain there since he knew where everything was inside. There wasn't a weapon that would match a guy who could cause earthquakes, but maybe it could buy enough time for him to unlock a stronger potential. It was the best card he had at the moment. Of course there was also the possibility Chrysanth could get Vel out of there before they make it across the room.
Chrys leaving the house extremely early was not that much of an oddity, and her mothers didn’t question it. She often left the Apothecary as often and early as she could to escape Mom. Her breath puffed slightly in front of her in the early morning air, a testament to the heat fo the tea she was somehow drinking without burning her mouth. It wasn’t long before she met up with Jherrichho, her trusty thermos in hand and her backpack filled with even more tea than usual in lieu of the school supplies she didn’t need anymore .
Chrys’s mouth twitched when Jherrichho told her to keep her guard up. [+teal “I should be the one saying that. My guard is always up,”] she whispered back in amusement. She let her eyes roam the woman, allowing Jherrichho to keep the attention off of her. She didn’t mind that her friend was protective, though she decided she might have to show him that she could take care of herself soon.
[+teal [i Perhaps the news about the Other that I also have is making him more nervous about keeping my safe,]] she thought idly. [+teal [i After all, we both know that there are people who would want to take advantage of something like that for less-than-honest means. Oh well, I’ll let him be protective for now, and just watch his back.]]
That is, until she recognized the familiar woman in front of her, and her eyebrows rose. Entire plan derailed, she put a hand on Jherrichho’s shoulder. [+teal “Hold on, I know her. Keep your guard up anyway, but let me take the lead on this one,”] she murmured only loud enough for him to hear before she stepped up and regarded the woman with wide eyes.
The woman was a regular at the Apothecary, especially back when Chrysanth was a child. In fact, now that she had both females in front of her, Chrys could suddenly connect the dots as to why the younger girl felt familiar. They knew each other already— or rather, kind of did back when they were kids.
[+teal “Miss Vellum,”] Chrys greeted kindly, one corner of her mouth quirking up into a tiny smile. [+teal “It’s been a while. I’m sorry I haven’t been at the Apothecary to help you lately. My Mom and I haven’t been on the best terms, so I try to stay out of her way. You know how she is,”] the black haired teen spoke easily. In public, her Mom made a show of being snarky and sarcastic when she was mad, even though the truth was much worse. She hoped that downplaying what was actually going on would fool the kind woman. She didn’t want to drag another person, especially an innocent one like Vellum, into their mess if it wasn’t necessary.
That was when Chrys decided to glance over at the other three who had already gathered. The way that Nathan and the others looked spooked did nothing to ease Chrys’s nerves. She needed to lure Vellum away so that they could discuss their findings. She looked back at Vel.
[+teal “Oh!”] Chrys’s eye’s widened a little more as if she had just remembered something, even though the fact she was about to bring up was something she had realized a few moments earlier. [+teal “That’s why you looked familiar, Maurica. I totally forgot, back when we were little Miss Vellum brought you over all the time for us to play together, isn’t that right?”] she asked for unnecessary confirmation from Maurica’s mother. Even if those play dates hadn’t really gone super well, what with Chrys having been really shy and bookish back then compared to Maurica’s more outgoing self. They had mostly just hung out awkwardly in Chrys’s room or around the Apothecary for an hour or two until Vel picked Maurica up.
Chrys smiled at Vel again, although it was a small and shy tilt of her lips. [+teal “I’m sorry you had to get up early to deal with all of us, Miss Vellum. We had some plans for graduation that we wanted to work on, but Jherrichho got sick yesterday,”] she nodded to her friend briefly. [+teal “We’re almost done though, so he called us this morning so we could finish up before school now that he’s feeling better. I was pretty worried, but I gave him a couple teas from back at the Apothecary. Don’t worry though, I’ll send him right back home if he starts looking bad again. Oh! That reminds me,”] she swung her backpack in front of her, opening it up and rooting around for a moment before pulling out a few identical, sealed tea bags. She held them out towards the older woman. [+teal “This is your favorite flavor, right? I’m glad I happened to have a few on me. School is going to start in about twenty minutes though, Ma’am, and I’d really like to finish up what we’re doing. It’s supposed to be a surprise, and after being roped into helping out with it I might as well work on making it perfect, you know?” ]
[+purple [i Honestly. Able to act like a completely different person on a dime,] ] the voice in her head chided with amusement. [+purple [i You’re a slippery one.]]
[+teal [i Well, Tea [b is] is my Potential,]] Chrys replied silently.
Jherrichho’s eyes sharpened as he opened the door to the school. It was still quite early so not many students were there and those who were would be working on last minute projects or preparing for graduation. The quiet was almost deafening, all except for the footsteps you’d hear every few minutes. The teachers and other faculty would all be in their offices or classrooms preparing for the day so disturbances should be kept at a minimum. Well, all disturbances except for a woman standing in the door with...
[i [+maroon Is that Maurica with her?] ] He stopped for a moment to let out a quick, [+maroon “keep your guard up, Chrys. I don’t know who that is”], before continuing on to the door. He walked slowly, almost instinctively keeping his steps as silent as he could muster. He could feel his muscles tense up as they got closer and that’s when he noticed Maurica speaking to the in a very casual manner yet also something else. Nervousness maybe?
[i [+purple Don’t be too hasty. She’s not an enemy, yet. There’s no need to put yourself on edge without cause.] ]
[i [+maroon You’re one to talk. You’d normally be asleep until the evening and yet here you are, wide awake and paying close attention to what’s going on. I’m fine, just let me work.] ]
[i [+purple I am a part of you, don’t feign ignorance with me. I can feel your malicious intent. This isn’t normal for you and I could rest more easily if you weren’t so agitated.] ]
Jherrichho stopped just short of the two who stood in the doorway, making sure to soften his eyes and adjust his scarf over his mouth before making his presence known. [+maroon “Good morning Ma’am, Maurica”], he said with his normal smile. [+maroon “And hello Molly, Nathan. Is this a bad time?”] He made sure to be as casual as he normally was. A person he didn’t know sneaking their way into what might possibly be a dangerous situation wasn’t something he could let slip by so easily. For now he’d just view view this lady as a teacher, perhaps one he had yet to meet. Until proven otherwise, at least.
He made sure not to speak for or make Chrys’s presence a part of the conversation. If anything, so long as she wasn’t the center of attention in any form then she’d be able to move more freely without anyone’s focus. He, on the other hand, would be strait forward and make his presence known for the time being. At least until it was just the students present. If there were anything he was good at it would be hiding his true feelings so it wouldn’t be a difficult task to get through this unforeseen situation.
[i [+purple You’re a rather frightening person as always.] ]
[i [+maroon What makes you say that?] ]
[i [+purple You never seem to notice, but you’ve made sure that no one really understands you unless you want them to. You’re an enigma, your character has no shape and as such no one knows who you really are. You could ask anyone and they could tell you your name, but I highly doubt they could say they understand you at all.] ]
[i [+maroon Perhaps you’re right. Even so, I have my own things to fight for. I’ll be this way until I get my answers and solve my problems. When things are at peace then I’ll be able to be myself more often.] ]
[+gray “There are some things in this world that go beyond understanding. It takes a guiding hand to lead a person to the conclusions they seek. A world full of demons, monsters, leviathans, elder beasts, scourge beasts, plague entities, fallen, things that can lead our mind astray from reality when in fact we are all living in this living and breathing world. Things that would once seem like myths rise up from the muck and grime to cause catastrophe, chaos, destruction. What do you all make of that?”]
“It’s simply the way of the world. Things that were once out of sight rise from the shadows. Creatures evolve to combat us just as we now do to combat them. Or so I’m led to believe”, voice rose from the crowd in response. It belonged to a woman clad in black robes with a pair of black wings gracefully resting on her back. Her eyes met with the man who stood at the front of the room and the room went silent for a moment. There were adventurers ranging from knights to rouges and even druids filling the entire hall as 4 people stood on a balcony overhead viewing the lesson from above.
The man stood at an unnatural height, almost seven feet tall with a large sword held tightly in one hand. His hair was a solid gray and stopped just short of his shoulders. His mouth was covered in bandages that would reach down his entire neck and he wore no armor, choosing to instead wear a pair of black boots along with a pair of blue jeans and a dark brown jacket that was buttoned up to right before his neck. At closer inspection you’d also see bandages just between a leather gloves and his sleeve on his right wrist, however he showed no signs of injury even with the bandages present. He kept a stern look in his eyes that anyone could mistake for anger and the deep purple color that almost seemed to flow through them glowed dimly at all times.
He let out a sigh before leaning back and resting his sword on the walk behind him. [+gray “You’re somewhat right. But it’s more than just logic. People opened doors that they couldn’t close, reached too far and caused too much. While some things did grow to have more power others were forced. Things that were once outside of our view began to step into our line of sight. We can call forth demons and and beasts from different planes of existence, speak languages that once never existed, take control of powers that were once so far from our reach that we still have those who just can’t harness simple magic or abilities. We tore open doors that were once closed and in doing so unleashed disasters we once would have never dreamed of. That’s what I believe.”]
[b “THEN HOW ABOUT AN EXAMPLE!”]
A voice echoed across he entire hall as one of the people who stood on the balcony jumped down to join the speaker. He was clad in an odd armor that focused on covering mainly vital areas and was a deep crimson. Under the armor he wore a black padded vest that would extend to reach just below his knees. Two large sheaths could be seen hanging from his sides each holding 5 blades. A mask covered his entire face with a design just as odd as the armor and his long blonde hair went strait down his back.
[b “It would be easier to just show them the difference in power rather than trying to explain it. If we let them see the comparison between your power and mine then they will be able to see clearly that evolution just isn’t how it used to be. So what do you say, Inma?”] They exchanged glances before another sigh escaped his lips. [+gray “Alright, alright... I get it. Let’s get this over with so we can talk about our deal. Let’s go outside and get this over with.”]
Maurica was dreaming. It wasn't a very good dream, but it wasn't really a bad one either. It was one of those dreams that you wouldn't rememeber after you woke up, but you'd remember you were dreaming, and that it wasn't very good.
Maurica woke up, not to the sound of her alarm, but to her mother, Vellum, roughly shaking her awake. The dream flew from her mind. The look on her mom's face was stern and tired, but also almost happy. When Maurica noticed she was holding the cordless phone her stomach dropped. Raven must have called her; she had given him her number in case anything happened. Either that or something had happened with her grandpa, who had been rather sickly for a while now. She really hoped it didn't have something to do with her grandpa.
[+orange "It's for you."]
She took the phone out of Vel's hands and put it up to her ear.
It wasn't about her grandpa. Raven's voice sounded serious and calm, almost unnaturally so, which worried her a bit. He wanted them to meet up earlier than planned. Almost without thought, Maurica agreed and hung up.
Vel had grabbed the chair from Mauricia's desk and slid it up next to the bed so she could sit down. She was watching Maurica a bit like a cat would, further cementing the idea that her mom was a cat into Mauricia's mind.
[+orange "Who was that?"]
Maurica paused. She couldn't tell Vel Raven's name, because she didn't know it, but she also couldn't not answer.
[+olive "Just--just a kid. From school. We had ice cream the other day. After lunch."]
[+orange "Why's he calling now?"]
[+olive "I don't know. Something weird is going on...I think--I think he might be in trouble?"]
Vel was silent. Thinking, or perhaps waiting for Maurica to continue.
[+olive "Would it be okay if I could go check on him?"]
Now it was clear to Maurica that Vel was thinking. She yawned a large, gaping yawn that would have seemed more suitable on a cat or a dog and said, [+orange "Okay. I trust your judgement. Where are we going?"]
Maurica's heart leapt in her chest, both at her mom saying she trusted her, and at the prospect of adventure. She remebered what she had said a while back about making things interesting rather than waiting for them to become that way. She realized she had done this, and was not disapointed with the results.
[+olive "The school."]
After a short pause, Vel responded.
[+orange "You want a ride in the car?"]
[+orange "Kay. I'll be in the car when you're ready,"] Vel said, her words tinted with surprise.
Almost instantly Maurica regretted agreeing to ride in the car. It was still dark out, so there wouldn't be that many people on the road, and Vel was a good driver, but she couldn't help feeling absolutley terrified. She got dressed, grabbed Jason from his cage, which she hated having to leave him in, but it was only during nighttime so she pretended it was fine to appease her mom, and walked out to the car with an immense sense of dread.
They arrived at the school shortly. Vel turned around in her seat to face Maurica, who had sat in the back, thinking it safer.
[+orange "I'm going to wait out here for you. If you aren't back in fifteen minutes, I'm coming in. Okay?"]
Maurica thought that was fair, so she said okay and slipped out into the chilly air. Her hand reached up to her shoulder so she could make sure Jason was still awake. He was, and not the least bit groggy either, so she found his channel and entered. She focused on a image-concept of the school, then one of herself and Jason going into the school. An affirmative true-concept was sent to her from Jason. She sent back a thank you true-concept, left his channel, and walked into the building.
Flower and Raven were already there, but it didn't look like they had been waiting for long. Maurica waved at Molly in that small sort of way you wave at people when you only want one of them to know you're waving. She hadn't thought that anyone else would be here besides her and Raven, and was pleased to see Molly there as well.
Molly led them all to the journalism room, where Raven got quickly to work on...something. Maurica wasn't sure what exactly, but it had something to do with computers and possibly the stolen camera footage.
Molly offered to get everyone something to drink. Maurica wasn't sure if she wanted anything, but after a huge yawn racked her body, she changed her mind.
[b "...though we should probably wait for Chrysanth and Jherrichho since we're all in this mess now.”]
Maurica was thoroughly spooked. Jason had finally settled down and was dozing off, oblivious to what had just been revealed.
She should have noticed that man. Maurica had a tendency to ignore things that most people wouldn't notice, but she would definitely notice a new channel arriving within her mind's reach. This man must have defenses Maurica could hardly imagine. Humans had better defenses than animals, especially the smaller ones, which is why she'd never been able to enter a human's mind before. If if she could, she doubted she'd ever want to.
Her mom had the strongest defenses of anyone she knew, and even when she was still learning how to use her potential Maurica could feel her mother's channel, albeit quite faintly. But for this man to be completly undetectable...
[+olive "It's not natural..."] Maurica whispered. Her eyes, looking dead and hollow in the soft glow of the computer, darted about the screen. It was if she expected an answer to jump out of the screen at her. That was when she noticed the time.
[+olive "Oh, crap!"] she whisper-shouted, standing straight up. [+olive "I'll--be right back!"]
Maurica slammed the door to the journalism room open. Vel was standing in the hallway, looking lost.
[+olive "Hey! Hey Mom!"] The words echoed through the quiet halls.
Vel turned around and paused for a moment, confused, then sprinted over to her daughter.
[+orange "You okay?"]
[+olive "I--I'm fine. Uh..."]
[+orange "I got lost,"] Vel confessed. [+orange "Your school is really big."]
Maurica grabbed her mother's arm and dragged her back a few steps into the light of the open doorway.
[+olive "So, um...this is my mom, Vellum"]
[+orange "I go by Vel."]
[+olive "Her father was a leatherworker.
"And, uh...I guess like, explain to her that we aren't doing anything bad here so she can leave satisfied. Or she can stay if you want. If she wants.
"Oh! Mom, this is Molly and..."] Maurica trailed off, not knowing what to say next
It was still dark out as Nathan made his way into the school the day after he stole the security footage. His plan had worked out well enough other then the slight hitch the password caused. Luckily he was computer savvy enough to be able to take out the hard drives and get into them without having to reformat the drives. He had intended to look over the footage and just have it queued up for when everyone could get together. What he saw in the journalism room though made him message Maurica and Molly to meet up earlier than planned.
The combination of the late night and early morning gave him even worse bedhead than usual. He was at least able to get his scarf and coat through the wash so he had them to keep him warm in the chilly night air.
They did nothing to help with the unsettling feeling that crept over him though. After everything that he had seen when he went through the security footage he was constantly looking over his shoulder despite the only sound being those of his footsteps.
Even when he got to the school and met up with his coconspirators he continued to throw glances around. Although then it was easily written off as being careful about being detected at the school. They were able to make it to the journalism room without issue though thanks to Molly's experience navigating the school during early hours. An impressive feat given their collective lack of sleep.
Inside the journalism room he had them gather around Molly's desk which had the largest monitors. He then quickly hooked up the copied drives and queued up what he wanted to show them that was so important it could not wait. Molly offered to get everyone something to drink while he worked as she was sure they could all use a pick-me-up.
[b “I called you to meet up early because I thought you would want to see this before we show it to Jherrichho and Chrysanth. Be warned it's a bit unsettling.”]
The footage that displayed was of the journalism room that they were in and started just after Maurica had joined Molly during lunch. Just a few minutes later the room door opened and a man walked into the scene undetected. He was under six feet tall, average build, and had the least memorable face that Molly or Nathan had ever seen. A witness statement about this man would just read generic. Even his outfit was a simple brown coat and slightly worn jeans. It was still a disturbing sight though as he made his way to the speaker of the room without drawing a single glance.
Nathan fast-forwarded at that point, but kept it watchable enough to show that the man stood still the entire time. He was there until just after the bell rang and then made his exit just as simply as he made his entrance. The screen then switched to show the hallway cameras where the man was able to walk past the crowds of students without drawing even an ounce of attention.
[b “Whoever he is he wanted to prevent you from getting involved in the other situation. I'll show you that before the others get here.”]
He tapped a few times at the keyboard and the display changed to one that followed Jherrichho's steps starting from when he had lunch with Chrysanth. It followed him through to the scene where he used his potential. Nathan made sure that it even included some of the office footage before Jherrichho got there just to confirm things. The video finished at the point when Nathan stumbled upon him and Chrysanth by the stairwell to show the entirety of their story.
[b “It looks like they were telling the truth as far as I can see. Unfortunately it also looks like the faculty are in on this whole thing which means this won't be a safe place to meet for long. We only have until they discover the missing hard drives. Far as what comes next though we should probably wait for Chrysanth and Jherrichho since we're all in this mess now.”]
[b Chapter 2: A Child’s Vision of Peace]
As the sun begins to rise and the day creeps closer the students prepare for their meeting. Freely roaming through the school should be no problem as most students will be working on preparations for the graduation.
[+indigo “What do you do when your closest things are taken away from you? When those who you trust to stand by your side betray you? Do you cower? Slink into the shadows and hide away with a false sense of peace? Or do you fight? My power is the very example of destruction and with it I’ve destroyed anyone who has stood in my path. So what is it that you seek? Peace? Revenge? Or maybe just destruction? No matter, I’ll be watching you all to see what you decide. Everyone has the potential to grow more powerful and yet no one can ever match my power. Well, no one except for my brother. Grow stronger, fight, hate, feel pain, fear, experience more sorrow, love and be loved. The more you feel the more you’ll grow and my darkness will guide your path. Remember my name well, the name of your king, I am-“]
[i [+purple You know you shouldn’t be thinking about that. Neither of us knows where that memory came from so there’s no use dwelling on it. Focus on the here and now, we have answers to discover] ], the voice echoed in his head. Jherrichho nodded to himself before looking towards Chrys. They had been walking for some time now and the sun was already peeking over the horizon. Around this time cars could been seen buzzing by either on their way to work, or simply returning home after night shifts. The early morning light was soft and left shadows around every corner, something he wouldn’t normally be concerned of but now couldn’t get out of his mind.
He looked strait ahead and kept moving, one foot in front of the other before the school came into sight. [+maroon “Hey, Chrys. They called and said they were ready to meet, but let’s still be cautious. I trust them, but if I have to make a choice then your safety will come first.”] The seriousness in his voice was far from normal, but it wasn’t his style to not be honest. [i [+purple That’s rather... different of you. Is your trust in them waning? Or do you finally realize that you can’t just trust any and everyone? Or maybe you’re more observant to who or what might be listening in on you. No matter, you make your choices and I act when I must. That’s our deal after all.] ]
Jherrichho stopped her just before they rounded the corner onto school grounds and peeked around it to see if anyone specific or strange had been out there. [+maroon “Everything seems normal”], he said before turning his attention back to Chrys. [+maroon “We’ll just head strait to the meeting area before classes start. If they aren’t there then we’ll just have to wait. Everything might change from this moment onward, but for now we simply need to figure out if everything went well. If there’s anything else you need to tell me before we meet them we have time. Let’s just keep moving.”]
Upon receiving her answer a wave of relief swept over him. His eyes relaxed in a way they had previously not managed, peaceful yet carrying hints of sadness. [i [+purple You are one lucky boy, but now it falls on you. No more hiding and waiting for what’s to come. I woke up to test your resolve, but now that I’m certain I’ll be resting again. Don’t falter...] ] He voice echoed in his head before fading away.
His thoughts calmed and his heart carried on at a steady pace allowing Jherrichho to focus completely on Chrys’s words. There was truth lingering in all of her words, and he felt as if more than just the two of them had the same feelings towards this place. Something about it never seemed to be very safe. How can we feel safe if we don’t even see what we’re kept from facing? The focus of everyone here is always kept away from the outside and yet the Legion spends most of the day and night patrolling outside. No disaster is ever spoken of and you would never hear the Legion speak of any hardships they had to face... so if that’s the case what’s keeping them inside? It’s as if they’re trapped animals.
As she said fighting wasn’t a terrible decision, but they would need to put in the time to make themselves combat ready. He could fight and his father did train him in a few ways for combat, but practical training only takes you so far and they would never really be prepared for the situations until they face them. He couldn’t really remember much of the training his father had done with him anyway so what good could it do? Maybe it would be best to just leave for the time being and observe from a distance. Or maybe taking care of it all as fast as possible would be their only option.
To leave or fight. Those were the two choices they would have in his eyes. If something serious were to be taking place then he would have to make a choice and stand by it with everything he had. Not just for him, but for the both of them. He wasn’t a fan of combat although he could clearly remember his father pressuring him into it. If they could just escape and leave this place behind them then the problem would disappear as well. Maybe it truly is for the best to simply leave and make a life for themselves with their own freedom. He’d do whatever he could to help her and so long as things went smoothly then it wouldn’t matter what choices she would decide to make on the future. This could all work.
It wasn’t until Chrys’s eyes met with his and she began to speak of danger that a strong sense of dread built up in his chest. What would challenge her safety? And her mom consulting all those people. The Legion wouldn’t be too suspicious, but the scientists and engineers almost never are seen. To directly contact or meet them is odd enough as is, but the training. The look on her face made it clear that it wasn’t the type of traditional training he could think of that he had done with his father. If her safety was in danger then he would have to get her away from this trouble as quickly as possible. It wasn’t in him to see suffering and not act, although deep down this was deeper than he was willing to acknowledge.
He prepared himself to suggest escaping the city, but didn’t get the words out before the purple in her eyes caught him off guard. The look on her face was almost as if she were a different person, yet only for a moment. He could feel the hair on his neck standing, no doubt a reaction from his own darkness, but it was simply instinct as Jherrichho could still feel him resting. He, on the other hand, was relaxed and feeling no urge to feel unsafe or worried. This information would change everything though.
No doubt his plans would have to take a turn. [i [+maroon So it isn’t just me? Damnit!] ] His mind raced as he thought up the situation, but his calmness slipped its way back to him for a moment when Chrys’s normal self returned. The look in her eyes and her posture were more vulnerable than he had managed to ever see her, or anyone for than matter to his knowledge. He couldn’t simply not act when something troubles her so much. She had done so much for him up to this point, now he would find a way to pay her back. Even if his request to the others turned out to bear no fruit, he had answers to find.
Her final words resonated with him well. [i [+maroon If this were just me then it would be easier, but now there’s more to it than just being my potential. There’s only one thing I can do...] ] Jherrichho stood up slowly and closed his eyes for a moment, taking a deep breathe before responding. [+maroon “I don’t know what all of this means. There are a lot of unanswered questions and we seem to be at the very center of it. That being said I’ve decided on what I’ll do”], he said before looking back at Chrys with clear worry in his eyes but a wide sincere smile accompanying it. [+maroon “I will fight. Even if this security footage turns out to be nothing I will fight for answers. And when we’ve gotten all of the information we need then we’ll find a way out of here. We don’t know if anyone will come after us since we both share this trait, but I won’t just sit idly by and let them do what they want with you.”] He paused for a moment and looked down at his arm again, blushing slightly at the realization of what he had just said. [+maroon “I’ve spent a lot of time in fear of what I might cause, but not anymore. I’ve lost enough of the people I care for and I’m not willing to face that situation again. Even if I have to fight to my very last breath.”]
He sighed and ran his hand through his hair, relaxing back to the way he once was. His eyes had gotten much softer and his tone had relaxed much further. [+maroon “I have to admit though... I feel at ease knowing I’m not the only one. After everything that has happened so far that I can remember within these past few years it didn’t make being the guy who hears voices in his head that could take him over any easier. I’m glad you shared that with me. It makes me feel, lighter”,] he said with a soft smile. Although he had trouble showing it, Jherrichho couldn’t remember a time when he was this happy. It all struck pretty fast, but it wasn’t unwelcome.
Maurica thought that coming up with names for some of the groups, like the Them--as to Maurica their group already had a name--was a great idea. Almost instantly a name for her and Raven popped into her head: The Birds. Although The Birds sounded kinda stupid when she said it in her head, so maybe just something bird related. When she really thought about it though, she realized they probably didn't need a name, as they both knew who they were and the whole point of the--
Maurica cut that train of thought off short, not sure how to end it. She had also been given something else to think about: Lamprey's real name, which she would probably forget after a few minutes. Jherrichho was such a boring name, but the way Raven said it somehow made it sound foreign and unapproachable. Fitting, for such a strange kid, she thought, yet also somehow not in the slightest.
Raven mentioned that earlier Jherrichho had handed Flower his phone number and Maurica cursed herself for forgetting that. It had seemed like such an unimportant detail at the time. She would have to start paying better attention.
[b "so maybe she was just desperate for a friend like him.”] This statement set Maurica on edge to an extent that she was barely able to pay attention to the rest of what Raven was saying. She wasn't sure why, but she was mad and scared and was sure it had something to do with her ex-friend. Specifically the word "desperate." After a moment of wordlessly thinking it over it dawned on her that maybe she had been desperate for a friend like her friend used to be. Maybe she was unfairly judging popular people because she was mad that her friend changed. And when her dad died shortly after she had locked herself in a thought pattern. Change is bad. Change is always bad, it can't be good. This is why she never made friends, why she seemed to simultaneously love and hate her mother, why she hadn't done anything exciting since she got her potential. Until this morning that was. Something must have snapped in her. Maybe the rat had something to do with this. Jason had been acting weird lately, a fact she had all but forgotten in all the hubbub of this absolutely crazy day. Maybe it had triggered something in her. Or maybe it was her fault Jason had been acting so strange. Maybe she had triggered something in him.
At this point Maurica was entirely tuning out the poor raven. She was also very sure she did not want to go home. Not now, maybe not ever. This, however would be an extremely foolish course of action, and she realized that, but that didn't stop her from not wanting to have to deal with her mom or her house ever again. Compared to what was happening now such things seemed trivial, and to go back to a life as small as that seemed an enormous folly.
Maurica was jolted back into reality when she almost tripped over a bump in the sidewalk. She looked up and realized that the ice cream place was just a few paces away and she had left Raven blathering on while she had been thinking. He finished his thought with [b "and that's why I'm going through with the job either way,"] and she realized she had missed a whole load of his explaining. It didn't really matter though, he was a good kid and whatever reasoning he had for doing this Maurica figured she could get behind. Raven turned to her and smiled, which thoroughly surprised her, but she tried not to let it show, giving a smile that was visibly trying--and failing--to not be awkward.
She walked through the door that Raven held open for her, completely forgetting that Jason was still on her shoulder and the management would most likely not be too happy to see a rat in their shop. Raven leaned over and whispered something to her, which said so breathy and fast that by the end of it she wasn't sure which question he was wanting an answer to. She was halfway convinced he hadn't asked a question at all.
Before she could formulate an answer to that, or even figure out whether he wanted an answer right then or if they were just going to get ice cream first, the clerk finally noticed Jason.
[+grey "Excuse me Miss, but we don't allow pets in the shop."]
It only took a moment for Maurica to realize the cashier was talking to her.
[+olive "Oh, sorry!]
She turned to Raven, her curls bobbing in the soft breeze her sudden movement created.
[+olive "I'll be right back."]
Maurica darted out the door, not worrying about her speed drawing attention as the shop clerk had already brought enough of that to herself. She sat down on a concrete step in front of the shop door and tore Jason from her shoulder, who was quite startled as he had been sleeping peacefully until now. She set him on the ground. He just stood there, cocking his head. Maurica, overwhelmed, threw herself into the frequencies of Jason's mind. She knew the rat so well she could do this even in such a state. She felt tiredness in the rat's mind, and also a bit of concern directed at her, but she ignored it.
[+olive [i Okay, so there's this thing and the ice cream place won't let you in, so basically just hang out here for a while until we're done]]
The rat sent her a single concept that roughly translates to [i you know I didn't understand a word of that you ass ]
[+olive [i Oh, fuck]]
While the rat still didn't understand the words, the intent behind them was strong enough to make him recoil. Maurica picked this up and sighed vocally. She knew this because she felt Jason hear her sigh.
She focused on the image-concept for the ice cream shop, then one of Raven and her, then made it so they were laughing and talking to each other while eating ice cream. Then she sent one of Jason hanging out around the outside of the shop.
Jason responded back with a image-concept of the sun, overlaid with the fainter true-concept of time.
Maurica responded by saying [+olive [i I don't know]] in a way so pointed it was sure to get the concept across. It was also tinged with enough annoyance that Jason would figure that she was as unhappy about not knowing a specific time as he was.
Jason was quiet for a long time. His brain was whirring, sure, but nothing was being sent her way and she didn't want to intrude. Finally Jason sent her a quick succession of concepts, mostly pure, of him going back to the house and waiting for Maurica there.
Maurica sent him an affirmative tinged with defeat; a halfhearted "sure."
Jason simply responded with the pure-concept of the act of asking a question. Whether this translated to [i are you actually really sure?] or [i are you okay?] or something else entirely Maurica did not know, so she sent him an almost exact copy of her previous response and left.
[b “It's not too late as long as I'm the one scheming this thing up. Neither of us knew what we were getting into when you followed me into the alley, and it wouldn't be fair to hold you to that agreement. If you want to bow out I'll make sure none of this blows back on you. I may not be able to promise you much, but I can promise you that much if you feel like you want to walk away.”]
Her attitude towards this whole thing was more understandable than his own. He would be happy to do what he could to accommodate her after all that she had helped him with so far. They had only just met and committing felonies together was more of a longtime friendship event in his eyes. If she was happy joining him though; he was not about to turn away the help.
The next part proved they were on the same page as far as their perception of the other two at least. Although it also raised the question in his mind of whether Flower was actually named Flower and he had just not remembered that it was her name. He was sure that it was flower related at least. Would it be awkward to text Molly and ask? It feels wrong to be committing a felony for two people when you only know one of their names after all, but at the same time it fits the mystery. That mystery is lessened though by the fact that they are classmates.
He shook off that train of thought in time to hear Maurica theorize that they might have something against him or Molly. A perfectly reasonable theory to have as it was one that had crossed his mind as well. Though he kept his mouth shut until she was finished with her statements. She had extended that courtesy to him and it was only fair that he not interrupt her as she shared her piece. That would also give him time to think about his response as he had reason to trust those two for now.
Despite the potentially touchy subject matter; Nathan couldn't help but smile as Maurica got flustered with all the groups that they were dealing with at the moment. It was a lot to keep straight after all. [b “Don't worry, I understand. Honestly if you said you didn't trust me I wouldn't exactly blame you. I got you into one Hell of a situation considering we just met over a misunderstanding about a dropped coin.”]
He didn't let that thought linger though as he was quick to change the subject. [b “Maybe we should come up with a nickname for some of the groups involved though to help us keep everything straight. Since we don't know the names of the odd couple. I'm also not sure of the name of the woman with Jherrichho the injured kid. We can come back to that.”]
[b “When it comes to flower and Jherrichho dating though I got the same vibe that you did from them; up until he gave her his number. Either they move at a weird pace, or one of them is just clingy enough to mislead. Then again I thought flower was a loner from what I know of her, and so maybe she was just desperate for a friend like him.”]
He shrugged at that as he remembered Molly's talk about trying to befriend her fellow giantess. While he did not know Jherrichho that well there was nothing that he saw that would warrant befriending him over her. Of course he knew so little about the two that there could be any number of reasons. Maybe Molly had unintentionally offended her at some point in the past. Actually maybe he had as well and that was why she had given him that mean look when he offered his help to Jherrichho.
His brow furrowed as his case in their defense began to crumble on the shaky ground that it was built, but he carried on nonetheless. [b “Whether they are dating or not; I think it is safe to say they are close. So they might have done this as a ploy to get to Molly or I, but I don't think it is for a few reasons. This is a whole lot of hoops to jump through just to get us in trouble and they made no pressure to actually guarantee that we would go through with the job. When I said Molly and I would handle it they took it at face value and walked away. If they were keen on getting us into something then they should have made a push to be involved so that they could get us caught.”]
[b “This could all be a ruse to get the security footage, but I'll watch it before I hand it over to them. So if their story doesn't match what I see when I watch it then we'll figure out what we have to do about them. They should be smart enough to know that I would do that. If they're not then I'm really not concerned about them trying to get at any of us because they won't have any chance of success.”]
[b “There was also flower's mention of the odd couple. Without a clairvoyant potential she wouldn't have known that I saw them. Even with one she couldn't have known that I had paid that close of attention to them when I saw them. That is what makes me trust the flower power couple at least for now. Of course the footage will decide whether we can trust them in the long run and that's why I'm going through with the job either way.”]
Nathan gave another smile at that as they made it to their destination. Here they would have to be a bit more cautious about what they say, but it was worth it for a frozen treat that can't be beat. He made sure to hold the door open for her as they approached just as a courtesy. Since she had to wrangle a rodent it was the least he could do for her.
[b “There's also the fact that you and Molly are the only two we can confirm didn't hear the announcement or the bell. That rubs me the wrong way,”] Nathan whispered. [b “If you two are the only ones then it means that if there was someone who memory wiped Jherrichho that they had done their due diligence to prevent you or Molly from getting involved. My money would be on Molly there, but I don't know about your potential. Either way I want to know the answer to that question too.”]
Chrys opened pots that she hadn’t used with him, putting the kettle back on the heat as she crushed up a new concoction. She got up, gathering ingredients at random as he spoke and sitting down to put them together. She didn’t even seem to look at what she was doing, keeping her gaze on Jherrichho as she tossed haphazard spoonfuls of things into the mortar and crushed them together with her pestle. It was a very different tactic to how she had carefully prepared his tea.
Once he water was heated up, she took a bag of tea form her backpack and dropped it in a new cup, pouring tea in over it. She seemed to completely ignore the concoction she had just made in the mortar, even going so far as to set the mystery blend aside. She hummed over Jherrichho’s words, not speaking at first since she knew he needed time to think. When he seemed to wrap up all his thoughts, she looked down at her cup and idly stirred the steeping tea.
[+purple [i That’s an interesting question. You were always planning to leave, this city is too small for us. Too cramped, like a pig pen.]]
Acknowledging the truth that the voice in her head had spoke, Chrys finally looked up. Her bright teal eyes shone. [+teal “I’ve never felt this sort of instant connection to anybody before. If you want me to follow you, wherever you go, I will. I might decide to break away somewhere in the future if we come across something that makes me want to walk my own path, but for now I would be okay following you,”] she paused, lifting her cup up and taking a sip of tea.
[+teal “I’ve never felt safe in this city. It’s... cramped. It doesn’t always feel real,”] she looked towards her window, taking in the light that filtered through the wooden blinds with a frown. [+teal “The glass that covers us, it... it feels like we’re in a fish bowl. I never planned on staying very long after graduation. Even if I had to temporarily join the Legion, the plan had always been for me to leave. I rather not join the Legion though, I don’t trust them much at all. There are good members to be sure, but...”] Chrysanth shook her head sadly, sighing. [+teal “But fighting back is not a bad idea either, if this whole convoluted situation is as bad as it feels. But we would need to be smart about it. My Potential is decent for fighting, but not the best. Yours comes with it’s own complications obviously. We would need time to get better. To train and find others in our situation...”]
Chrysanth looked down into her steaming up on tea, and worried her bottom lip between her teeth for a moment. She trusted Jherrichho, but she had only met him a day ago. How far could she trust a stranger? She had already gone farther than she had ever thought she would.
[+purple [i Tell him]] the voice in her head urged. [+purple [i Tell him. He is like you. Together is stronger than apart, and in a crisis we know how to combat him. Some sleepy tea and we could escape in a heartbeat. Do not choose now to be a coward.]]
Chrysanth took a slow, deep breath before rising her eyes and meeting Jherrichho’s firmly. [+teal “I am not safe here much longer,”] she whispered, her tone as serious as it could get. [+teal “If your issue is something deeply rooted in the City, if those people we saw are more important than we know, then I am in just as much danger. I have always been in danger. My mom consults with the scientists and engineers, occasionally with the Legion. She... she has always been putting me under...”] Chrys’s face twisted as she tried to find he proper phrasing. [+teal “[i extreme] stress in order to ‘train’ me for something. I don’t know what, but it isn’t something I want a part of. Especially since she doesn’t know about... well, about [i her],”] taking a leap of faith, Chrys put her tea down and stared at Jherrichho.
And let the Other take over.
Chrysanth’s eyes shone purple, slightly more dull than Jherrichho’s had been but purple all the same. It didn’t last long, the Other only being in control long enough to send Jherrichho a very sly, un-Chrys-like smile. Then, the Other closed her eyes, and Chrys returned. Her teal eyes held a new shine of vulnerability to them, her back stiff as she waited nervously for Jherrichho’s reaction.
[+teal “I don’t think this is a coincidence, and [i that] is what scares me. If one person had it, then fine. It could be a product of your potential, but two of us in the same moving city? That makes my skin crawl.”]
Jherrichho received the cup from Chrys, giving a slight bow in return as he continued to listen in amazement. Her smile was reassuring and yet he could see her discomfort. She obviously wasn’t too used to sharing much about herself with others like this. Still, it was nice to experience her being so open about herself like this.
He made a mental note of what she had said. To make the deal that he had made, it would only be natural to assume that he knew all of this. Even still, how could he know when Jherrichho himself did not? Was he retaining memories that Jherrichho could not? Or maybe it’s something deeper. Either way this all manages to work out in their favor for the time being. He’d experiment with it later and see what more he could discover, but for now there were more important things.
When Chrys began to speak more about her potential Jherrichho’s eyes lit up. It was so much more complex than he had at first thought and it correlated with her nicely. The way she spoke about it revealed her passion for what she could do. A potential that could truly be enjoyed and used to help others, put into the hands of someone who could use it to its utmost power. It fit her perfectly. [i If she planned on making a type of tea that could restore memories then I wonder what type of emotions she would have to feel. What combination of feeling would make something like that happen?]
He looked down at the cup of tea after hearing all of the ingredients that were put into it, but it wasn’t until she asked a question that he lifted it to his lips. The usual warm feeling that spread through his body when he drank tea, but the taste of the tea Chrys made was obviously professional quality. He lowered the cup and smiled as he leaned in a little. [+maroon “Our potentials are pretty similar in a way like you said. I’ve always had a problem controlling my anger in specific scenarios and it feeds into my hatred, yet that’s the most dangerous form of my potential. Meanwhile I have a pretty high tolerance to pain so unless I purposely inflight high pain on myself or someone does so to me then it just goes unused even though it’s the easiest to control and has no real side effects on my mental standing. You’re the same. Your potential is great and with the vast variety of teas in the world you could have a massive collection of effects you could use, but you don’t just decide the effects on your own and they could end up being no where near what you’d like them to be.”] Jherrichho sat up strait again and placed his hand over his heart, a solemn look in his eyes. [+maroon “At their center we don’t fully have control and that’s what’s truly frightening to me.”]
He lifted the cup back to his lips and sipped the rest as he thought for a moment. With everything that had been going on he never managed to think about a question he had managed to avoid. He let a sigh escape his lips before looking directly into Chrys’s eyes. [+maroon “What do you think I should do if things go south? We’ve already gone this far, but what if things are as bad as it seems? What should we do? If I have to leave the city somehow then so be it, but I can’t see it being so simple.”] Jherrichho looked down at his arm for a moment, and although he didn’t show it he was pleased to see that it wasn’t the broken and beaten mess that it has been for so long. [+maroon “Maybe I should fight... protect everyone I care for from whoever is out there doing wrong. I might not be the only person in this situation.”]
[i [+purple You’re not wrong. We could flee and start over somewhere else, refine your abilities and try to live in peace for better or worse. But then what of her?] ] Jherrichho looked back up at Chrys again, his heart pounding in a manner he wasn’t used to. Was this worry? [i [+purple You can’t rightfully drag her around with you, so what if she doesn’t want to just get up and leave? She may be in just as bad of a situation as you, so what would you do? Would it be right to walk away? Would it be just?] ] Jherrichho scoffed at himself as he turned away. Of course he wouldn’t allow anyone else to even have the possibility of facing the same fate as his parents. [i [+maroon You should know better than to think I’d be so haphazard to the truth. But this isn’t just me, it’s not my choice to make alone.] ]
He sat up strait and blinked a few times at an attempt to clear his head. He turned his attention back to Chrys before handing her the cup back. It hadn’t been until now that he had noticed a surge in his recently depleted energy and the pain in his stomach subsiding. [+maroon “Thank you, that was perfect. Although now I have to ask... what do you want to do if things turn out to be as bad as they seem? I’ll have to act in some way if it comes to that, so I would like to know what you think.”]
“The Kingdom of Esperis, known by many as the Dark Kingdom, rose from the ashes of a fallen empire. A ruined land filled with the remnants of cataclysm trying their hardest to survive on what little they had left. When their savior arrived they happily followed behind him and pledged themselves to him and his cause wholeheartedly, regardless of whether it was just. The Esperites, dark warriors led by their lord and the very example of destruction, Oda Esperis.”
“As if out of no where he rose from the shadows and with him brought a new era of catastrophe with a purposed steeped in destruction, and so that was what they called him. Their Emperor, the Dark Son, Lord Destruction. With his power he toppled nation’s and raided kingdoms for the sake of his own ideals and ambitions. Only his brother ever opposed him and no one knew where he was, but chaos was a staple of their encounters and it was counted as a blessing that his brother has not been seen for years. And why is that?”
The young boy sighed with a begrudging look on his face. [+orange “I’ve told you time and time again that I need to get stronger. How will any of this help me grow more powerful? How am I supposed to fulfill my father’s dreams when I don’t gain more strength teacher?”] The man let out a small chuckle before closing the book he held in his hand and responding. “I can show you everything I know, but what good will it do you when you don’t have the proper knowledge of what’s around you? You must learn before you put your power into practice. Without knowledge you have nothing but your name, the legacy of your father without the proper remembrance to keep it intact”, the man said as he sat down in his chair. “You know that just as well as I, young master.”
The room was brightly lit, a wall of windows shining light upon the interior. An average sized room with a large desk placed opposite the door and a smaller desk in the middle of the room where the boy sat in agitation. The walls were made from dark stone and the floor was covered from corner to corner with a black rug made from what looked like a large animal hide. Looking out the windows would reveal a kingdom surrounded by a large wall, homes and buildings built from chiseled stone and wood. A river ran strait through the middle of the large nation with multiple bridges arching over it and many people could be seen going about their lives almost everywhere.
The boy stood and walked over to the window, looking down on the wondrous sight. The light seeming to try to shine off of his jet black hair that was placed into a messy bun, but almost never seeming to reach it. His purple eyes glowed as he watched over the people, his arms crossed over his chest. He wore what seemed like a white tunic yet the material was more so that of a robe or kimono. He was pale and walked around barefoot as if trying to be as comfortable as possible, yet at closer inspection he was no more than 6 years old. [+orange “These people, this place, I must protect it with everything that I have. I must gain as much power as I can or nothing will be accomplished when I’m needed most. You’ve been teaching me so much information, but nothing about how to actually fight. How long do you plan to have me wait Hallion?”]
Hallion stood up and tucked his book into his jacket before walking to the door. “Your lessons are over for today. If you aren’t willing to put in the effort then I won’t waste the time, I have my own duties to take care of”, he said before pushing the heavy wooden door open. “Your father faced the world on his own, learned all that he could learn and through that gained the knowledge to put his power to practical use. He has all the strength in the world but even he must understand and have the knowledge to face every enemy and scenario that he faces.”
[+violet “He speaks truth, my son.”] At the sound of her voice Hallion stepped aside and bowed slightly. “My lady. I’ll be heading back to the moving city, give Destruction my regards”, Hallion requested before exiting the room. Eva walked towards her son, stopping to stand directly next to him and looking out to the horizon. [+violet “We are lucky, Cydel. Your father did all of this not only for his own ambition but also for the sake of those who follow him. He gifted us power and with it the ability to decide our own fate, so we chose to follow him... tell me, do you know the answer to Hallion’s question? Why it is that we desire for his brother to not show himself?”]
The boy looked down at his feet before looking to his mother with a confused expression. [+orange “I had always believed that he feared father’s strength and hid himself away.”] His mother shook her head before turning to face him directly. [+violet “I wish that were the case, but no one knows the reason he has disappeared for so long. His power was equal to that of your father the last time they fought and the encounter was all by chance.”] She kneeled down and removed her mask, revealing soft green eyes and a worried frown before continuing. [+violet “Your father was moving to conquer an aggressive nation and I accompanied him as his guard. No one knew that he had been recruited into the enemies ranks, but as soon as he saw your father all anyone could hear was his voice echo over everything. The anger, the pure rage, it stopped everyone in their tracks and I’ll never forget his words...”]
“Oda! You would show yourself before me after all you’ve done?! I will erase every shred of your existence and cast it into the dust, just as you did to all of those who we would call family!”
She closed her eyes and turned away slightly. [+violet “I had never feared for my life more than I did at that very moment. His words shook us all to our very core except for your father, who drew his sword and charged strait forward to face him. The battle between just the two of them shook the very earth itself, and their abilities and powers turned the entire battlefield into a place akin to armageddon. A hell-scape that nothing could survive in and the only reason I made it out was because your father protected me. After that day he disappeared and was never seen again, but fear still lingers in everyone’s hearts that one day he might just return.”]
Cydel closed his eyes, just looking you could tell that he was deep in thought up until he broke his silence. [+orange “So what is the plan for next time? How would we defeat him if my father can’t do so alone?”] he questioned his mother, but before she could answer him the door opened up once again. [+indigo “We grow as a whole. So long as me and my brother are continuing to strengthen ourselves then I must help my people grow in power to tip the scale.”] The boy turned around quickly as a smile broke his calm expression. He ran to his father quickly to stop right in front of him. [+orange “Father, tell me... how do you plan to increase the power of the kingdom’s people? I don’t understand, we can’t just all grow to be so strong”], he questioned his father. The room fell silent for a moment before he began to speak again.
[+indigo “My power, it’s directly inherited from demons. My people in the past had a blood pact hat corrupted our bloodlines generation after generation. Without the proper ritual our corrupted blood would take our lives, and that ritual included making a contract deal with a demon. In that sense it went both ways, the demons would be free of their corrupted realm and we would be freed from the price of corrupted blood. These contracts could be forced if need be and you don’t need corrupted blood to make a contract, but our people used that corruption to become one with the demons. If someone were to do so without that corruption then the host and demon would be together, yet separate inside. For all of you I simply gave you a portion of my power, allowing you to tap into my destruction. But for others...”]
He walked across the room to Eva as his son followed behind him and stood looking outward upon he landscape. He scanned the horizon before pointing out into the distance at a small dome that seemed to slowly creep across the land. [+indigo “It’s pretty far out, but your eyes should be strong enough to spot it. That’s the moving city, one of our faction’s nations. What started as an experimental place for people to be at peace, but is now a place for me to run tests on its citizens. The people inside have not grown within the same harsh environment that we have, but they’re still all normal humans that have the genes to attain power greater than themselves. No Demi-humans, no members of the demon or angel clans, no giant-kin, dwarves, or elves. They don’t even have monsters within that place. They made a home that represents a world before our time. So I decided that people so untouched by catastrophe could be wonderful subjects to give demons.”]
Cydel looked out to the city with a look of amazement. This is the first time his father had told him so much information about his plans. What was causing this? [+orange “Father, why are you telling me all of this? You normally just have me focus on my studies and training”], he said as he looked up to his father’s eyes, the glowing purple hue much softer than it normally would be. [+indigo “Because I’ll be giving you a job in due time. I believe you need to experience with the world and this might be the optimal chance to temper your destruction.”] Eva turned to him with a concerned expression, [+violet “Oda, you don’t mean to-“], she was cut off by Oda’s gaze darting in her direction. His look was unwavering and you could see the concern in his eyes, but he left it with a simple, [+indigo “I’ll explain it all in more detail later, but for now just trust me. There are people in there who have the capability to awaken a power they call potential. Some can be weak while others can gain power that outshines their very selves. Some of those people have been given demons and those are the ones that will tip the scale. From what we’ve learned the side effects can cause the hosts to hear their demon’s voice in their head, while others will just lose control of themselves to their demons entirely for periods of time. The more compatible you become with your demon the better a chance for your marks to appear, a sign of growing power but also a curse of corruption. These people will be the test subjects that grow into my allies.”]
Oda turned and began making his way out of the room, calling his son along the way. [+indigo “Come Cydel, I have new techniques to show you. We’ll continue this discussion later, Eva, but for now accompany us. I’m sure the boy would enjoy showing you how much he’s progressed.”] She stood for a moment before placing her mask back over her face and turning to follow them. [+violet “Yes, my love.”]
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