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No title.
(2013-07-13 - 2013-07-30)
No description.
Akari Seran Two weeks. Over a dozen torturous days of sitting and staring and wandering and trying against every instinct not to tear down the walls around her in a fit of boredom. Even on the best of days the young woman known as Akari Seran is unpredictable, a powder keg of uncontrollable rage, martial fury, and an utter disregard for the value of life. She lives for the thrill of battle, to pit her god-like strength against all that the world has to offer and crush it beneath the might of her fist.

Not unexpectedly, after being cooped up for so long, Akari set out to make up for lost time. As an geomancer, her mastery over the elements allows her to thrive and overcome in any terrain, be it driving blizzards atop the highest peaks or beneath the ocean striding the sandy surfaces unseen by man for thousands of years or even the cold unfeeling metal of airships and towering bridges.

Her Ifriti heritage, however, constantly pulls her towards the warmer climates. Despite being unable to appreciate the beauty of the golden sunsets on the dunes any longer, the warmth of the sun blazing down through a cloudless sky and the subtle crunch of the sand beneath her bare feet are small comforts that remind her of the life she once had.

A massive explosion rips through the silence of the desert sending a gesyer of sand hundreds of feet into the air. The spectacle, like the dozens of others that have been coming from the western stretch of desert for the last few hours, is visible for miles thanks to the flat even terrain.

Akari growls as she pulls her fist from a pitch black stain on the sand, the heartless evaporating from between her fingers even as she moves to turn away. Countless similar craters liter the landscape all around them, each pockmark acting as a gravestone for some manner of beast or monster.

"Damned shadow beasts. Don't even leave a proper corpse. Almost takes the fun out of smashing them into vapor." She gives a feral grin at nothing in particular.

Aeschere Childs They rise from nothing, and they return to nothing, and it earns Aeschere nothing because they aren't the ones that she and her enthusiastic companion were hired to eliminate. But, she supposes, if it keeps Akari from painting the walls with people back in Bevelle, it's not a huge price to pay.

If you follow their trail back, a bit, it's obvious enough that the little lancer has just been mopping up behind the brawler; she dresses as though the desert doesn't agree with her, and fights with a much saner degree of caution.

"Such power! If we only had some way to harness it." Toward the job for which they were being paid, maybe. This latest wave vanquished, Chera parks herself at the crest of the dune, leaning on her spear, and sights southward for the next landmark.
Akari Seran "Hmph. We're in no rush. Don't be so melodramatic."

Akari senses the approach of their annoyed guest even before he shouts his clearly heartfelt appreciation for their efforts in cleaning up the foul creatures and preventing them from preying on wandering adventurers or traveling merchants or the like. It's not until he chooses to approach that she bothers to acknowledge the man, however.

As she turns her gaze upon Gerad it becomes immediately obvious to him that the girl is completely blind. Her eyes are nothing more than milky fields of white and she seems to be looking only in his general direction rather than actually focusing on anything in particular.

She greets him with a dismissive snort and spits at the ground. "Your problem, not mine."
Aeschere Childs "We tail these shadow things," the tiny knight adds, in a somewhat less confrontational tone, "for days, do you know. I think that maybe we have it narrowed down to, ah," her gesture encompasses perhaps a third of the horizon, and her grin helps to ensure that her point is taken.

She steps up to Gerad, between him and Akari, perhaps as a precautionary measure. "This exact chaos, you were hunting? We come straight out from the city, more or less. We perhaps could track them back, but..." Aeschere certainly doesn't remember meeting him on the way out.

" any, ah, anyways. What do you want with them?"


Gerad's shriek cannot be heard beneath the tulmult of the distant (but getting closer!) explosions. It's an exclamation borne out of misery - for hours now, the wanderer has been following a troupe (a murder?) of the shadowy fiends Akari now toys with. For hours, now, Gerad has been *painstakingly stalking* the things, creeping over dunes and through the Western wastes of the desert. He's run out of water in his canteen. He's hungry. He's grumpy. Despite this, he's persisted, because he's almost certain that these idiot creatures have to be going *somewhere*. Right?

Well, now he'll never know. Thanks.

"WELL THEN!" Gerad's voice might be heard before he's seen, especially with all the sand blasting around. When it clears, he's easily seen, a distant silhouette waving its arms around, spear peeking over a shoulder. "NOW I'LL NEVER KNOW! THANKS!"

Anticlimactically, Gerad keeps on moseying for a little while. He's not going to shout any more. His throat hurts. Eventually he's in earshot.

"I've been tailing these shadow... things... for the entire day! They've got to have a base of operations!"
Gerad Iron Fogair O-oh my God. Gerad's eyes widen just a smidgen at the sight of Akari's freaky eyes and most everything else. The fabric covering the rest of his face does admirably well in hiding his horrified gape. But then she's adopting the Grumpy Gus act, and Gerad's able to push past his concerns. Well. Most of them.

"Ah, my dear, you rea-" Hm, no, that's not what a hardened criminal element-type would do! He tries again. Clears his throat. The man's bright blue eyes harden beneath the mask over his face.

"Sounds like it's about to be your problem. But I got an idea, right?" The wanderer settles hands onto his hips, leans back, and looks up to the sky above. He's almost insultingly defenseless. "You tell me what you kids know about any caves around here, and I pretend you two didn't completely muck up my work. Fair? Fair."

The entire act is in very real danger of melting down once Aeschere kicks in, and Gerad's bringing his gaze downwards, suddenly dropping to a knee to make eye-contact with the tiny spear-wielder. "Hold on. So they're comin' from over there?" Gerad jerks a thumb towards the place Aeschere indicates. He turns to follow where he's indicated - a thoughtful noise leaves him.

"Well, shit. I'm lookin' for buried treasure around here. There's a cave system I keep hearin' about, buried castles under the sand... and I gotta find a way in, right? So maybe these Shadow... things... maybe they got somethin' to do with it."
Akari Seran "Really now."

Akari's eyes narrow dangerously at the implied threat, her fist clenching tightly. If Aeschere weren't in the way, she might have simply thrown herself at him right then and there. She's still considering it. Fortunately, her battle rage isn't in full swing at the moment. Heartless make for poor sport in general, it's like stomping on an endless colony of ants.

"Tch, just some greedy punk chasing legends."

Taking a step forward, the brawler leans over her diminuative companion to glare down at Gerad. "Listen here, cupcake. I'm mean, I'm cranky, I've been forced to play nice for weeks and the only thing I'm interested in doing right now is beating the living hell out of everything that gets in my way."
Aeschere Childs Aeschere does clear 4' (barely), and she isn't entirely sure she appreciates Gerad's gesture. And she's been stomping around this desert after Akari for more hours than fit on two hands, which has done no good for her mood at all.

She doesn't look like she appreciate's her companion's tone any more than Gerad must, but she guesses she's playing Good Cop here again. "Yeah, so. We don't know from cave systems, I'm sorry. Just sand and shadows. If you want more shadows, just wait a bit."

She extracts herself from between the rock and the hard case, shooting Akari a sour look that she can't possibly appreciate. "If you meant to take that tone and then beg for assistance you've had maybe too much sun, I think."
Gerad Iron Fogair Cupcake? Seriously? Gerad looks from Akari to Aeschere, eyes narrowed in confusion. He doesn't quite respond to Akari just yet - he doesn't feel like a fight, even though the feel of the lady standing before him is *quite* the aggressive one.

"Let me... get this straight. Your name's seriously Cupcake? With how tall you are, I couldn't imagine..." Gerad shakes his head, evidently commiserating with Aeschere. "Well, Cupcake, tell me this - is everything your friend here's saying, i- mm? Oh. Well. Guess I'm done here."

Gerad stands. He's still not sure where he stands with these two. "She's lucky I'm smart like I am. A friend of mine woulda ripped her lungs out for the attitude so far." The wanderer raises a hand towards the blind ascetic, waggles a finger. He's not mocking - she's obviously got some capacity for vision.

"Anyways. Head east. Sure you can find a bunch of fatassed, angry people to bury your fists in. Your smarter friend here might bail you outta jail afterwards, but you gotta stop calling her names. S'not proper."
Akari Seran For a few moments Akari's twisted snarl fades to disbelieving shock at the audacity of what was just said, staring at Gerad in ominous silence. And then she starts to laugh.

The process of displaying actual laughter for the rage-filled berserker takes place in steps. First, her lips begin to tilt upwards in the hint of a grin, slowly expanding into a broad toothy smile in tiny increments. Then she begins to shake, shoulders twitching, entire body rumbling as if trying to contain something within. The first hints of amusement force their way past her clenched teeth, tiny bursts of air that almost sound like coughing. But eventually the flood gates burst open and she throws her head back, unleashing a horrible cackle.

"Ahahahaha! I was wrong, Chera!" Akari takes a step back, slapping her hand against her face in mock incredulity. "This isn't a punk! It's a clown! Hahahaha!"

For some reason, the girl seems to find this situation incredibly amusing. Her laughter in genuine, the sort of heartfelt amusement one might expect to find coming from a person who just heard the greatest joke of their life. Gerad's sarcasm wasn't /that/ funny, right?
Aeschere Childs 'Cupcake'? 'With how tall you are'? Gerad was lucky that Aeschere is smart like she is, but it's run out. A smile spreads on her face; oh, he'll be done, yes.

She lets him finish his exit speech without comment, patiently, and stretches. In stretching, she illustrates to the wanderer where he stands with her; well within her reach. The smile widens just slightly too far; gives you the urge to protect your throat, like.

Whatever the /real/ joke is, it seems like Chera gets it, too, although she contents herself with a quiet giggle. "He's hilarious, isn't he?"

"Let's bury him."
Gerad Iron Fogair Gerad has, by dint of self-defense, removed his spear from its place over his shoulder. He leans on the thing now, regarding both the monk and the spearswoman with equal parts confusion and amusement. Of course, the look in his eyes slides - slowly - from amusement to concern, then to slight irritation.

"--Wait. What? You're attacking strangers now? Hardly the neighborly thing to do, here." Gerad's forgotten to act streetsy now that his very life's in danger. "A- oh. Oh, my God." He looks to the ground.

"I think *I'm* supposed to be Cupcake. Now you're insulting people *and* attacking them. Are you serial killers or something?" Gerad throws his canteen to the ground between both Akari and Aeschere's feet, despondent.

"Fine. Have it your wa-" The punctuation of the sentence is hardly verbal - it's louder than that. It's almost subterranean. It is, in few words, an exploding canteen. Sand - and perhaps Akari and Aeschere - are flung high into the air, and from beneath the torrent of sand, Gerad flings one arm towards the burlier, the angrier of the two.

If he's *awesome*, he'll manage to tag Akari with a shot from a concealed gun. If he's *not*, he's definitely put his weapon into a lazy, defensive posture.
Akari Seran "Now you're starting to understand," Akari says with a devilish grin.

She stops laughing on a moment's notice, shifting from half-crazed mirth to intense focus without missing a beat. A menacing step forward is taken, slowly and deliberately. She wants to savor the building tension as Gerad realises the error he's made. Who knows? Maybe he'll even put up a good fi-

And suddenly she's in the air. It takes a moment for her to register the change as the hidden explosive charge ruptures the ground between her and Aeschere, tossing them both skywards. She doesn't register the mild sensation of pain that comes with the fire and horrendous sound. It singes her skin and sets her hair aflame in a few places but otherwise the unexpected nature of the attack does the most harm.

But it's on now.

Twisting about in midair like a cat, Akari summons up a gust of wind, forming a solid platform upon which she can plant her feet. Her powerful legs thrust outwards and she propels herself down at the rogue like a human cannonball, her fist leading the way down.

Waves of sand and pressure vomit upwards from a newly formed depression in the dunes as Akari's god fist impacts, either hammering Gerad like a thunderbolt from on high or showing him why he should be damn glad he managed to get out of the way. The sheer force of the blow rocks the ground all around them, causing a minor localized quake that persists for a few seconds and might knock him off balance - if he's even still standing.
Aeschere Childs They're /contract/ killers, they're not serial killers. If you recognize a difference. Or perhaps they're just madwomen.

Primed for this fight, Chera nevertheless failed to recognize the thrown canteen as the opening salvo nearly until too late. Too late, certainly, to attempt an evasion on this poor footing; something shadowy seems to seep up around the canteen at her feet, fractions of seconds before detonation.

She's tossed like a doll, almost straight up, but she is a lancer, do you know. Air control is a specialty. Her grace does not quite match Akari's, but she manages to set her spear, and line up on Gerad's insultingly lax guard.

The little knight falls like an arrow toward the wanderer, the tip of her lance flaring night-black.
Gerad Iron Fogair There's a moment where Gerad's watching Akari do her thing, confused, but then his confusion's turning to concern when the girl starts rocketing towards him. His attention shifts to Aeschere even as he's moving *backwards* to keep the burlier (let's be real, manlier) girl's fist off of him. It's a shift of attention that might just prove to be fatal...

and IS, when a clever twist from Akari has her catching Gerad despite his attempts to move back. Her fist introduces new geography to his stomach, and the ascetic will be able to feel scaled mail crumple beneath her hammering blows. Gerad stumbles backwards but *does* not fall - where other men might be DEAD, he's maintaining iron focus on the battle, and what's to come.

On Aeschere. The stagger backwards is really a perfect setup for the little lancer's aerial corkscrew followup - but at the last second, the bandit suddenly rights himself, plants his left foot into the sands beneath it, and anchors his own spear against shoulder and thigh, point rather dreadfully intended for his own incoming assailant.

It's a really, really gross collision of weaponry and of body. Aeschere *SLAMS* into Gerad, but gathers an unfortunate amount of spear into her shoulder as a result - the two are rather pinned together. Gerad winces, but manages - barely - a whistle. After all, he and Aeschere are slammed *right* up against each other. She can feel his heartbeat! He can feel--

"Cupcake's definitely the wrong name for you. I've got some better ones in mind..." Gerad pulls his sleeve back, lifts his bared arm high, threateningly above himself and Aeschere! Powder falls all over them, cakes thick like confectioner's sugar!

"THIS IS FLAMMABLE!" His eyes widen, get all crazy-big while he looks over at Akari. "I'VE GOT A STRIKER HERE! It could get REAL bad for your friend, you know!" So there you have it. Aeschere is stuck to Gerad and bleeding profusely. Gerad is... the same. They are both imminently flammable.

Genius move, Figaro.

Akari Seran Akari rises from the small depression in the sand that her hammering assault created, casually rolling her shoulders as if still in the process of warming up. She's mildly impressed that the fool didn't just break in half, though wether that is the result of some really nice armor, his own martial prowess, or just plain old fashioned luck, she can't say.

The berserker takes a step forward out of the thick cloud of falling sand but she freezes dead in her tracks upon taking in the scene that unfolds as Aeschere's dragoon leap backfires in the worst way possible. A flash of surprise quickly melts into boiling rage and Akari's teeth grind audibly like boulders scraping against each other.

While she can't see the strange substance that has coated both Gerad and her friend, she can sense the residue floating on the wind. She inhales deeply, relying on the enhanced sensitivity of her olfactory senses to pick out the subtle hint of phosphorus. Again, she'd be impressed if she weren't so incredibly pissed off that he's cowardly enough to hold a hostage.

Growling deeply, Akari lowers her body into a strange position. Anyone familiar with martial arts will recognize that she's performing a kata of some sort, a practiced set of moves meant to hone focus and form. But as she flows from stance to stance the air begins to shift.

At first it grows completely still, almost tomb-like in its abscence. Akari moves into a final position, her fist drawing back ominously. When she strikes it feels as if a tornado erupts from the palm of her hand. Sheering gusts assault both Gerad and Aeschere, attempting to blast the powder clean off their bodies with brute force.

While the deadly zephyr rips and tears at the thief, Chera has a much less unpleasant experience. The gusts push her back and forth, likely making that spear in her shoulder a fair deal more painful, but it's not the sand paper treatment that Gerad gets.
Aeschere Childs Combat is always a matter of give and take, at least as Aeschere addresses it. She's taken a spear through her shoulder, and she's given...

Well, she isn't totally sure what part of Gerad her weapon is stuck in, but it's in there somewhere. She'd need to surrender it if she meant to break free, and then still to contend with her own impalement. No, instead she clings to her enemy, as closely as she can.

She certainly heard that cupcake remark, but has no breath to spare to reply before this lunatic upends a sack of sugar on her. It's not /really/ much preferable to sand, in your eyes, you know. Tellingly, she makes no plea for her life, or even attempt to see what Akari's doing in response. She knows how it's going to go. Probably.

The windstorm is an elegant solution, just the sort you'd never expect from Akari Seran; nobody ever believes Chera when she tells them she does things besides punch. In its confusion, Chera lets her spear drop, and draws the long knife from her belt. While the buffeting gusts mask her movements, she lines up carefully at Gerad's raised arm, and makes her thrust, there where the gap in the armor should be.

From her spear, which has struck, and from the knife, should it, a grave chill begins to spread, while an answering warmth grows in her.
Gerad Iron Fogair Perhaps maddeningly, just before all this happens, Gerad -winks- at Aeschere. "Thanks," he states. "Owe you one." Of course, at this point he's going on like he's actually going to get away from the duo - he's not. Already, the sand beneath his feet is beginning to build into an uncomfortable zephyr.

The dust is, by the way, actual confectioner's sugar. If fire was involved, it'd just make both Aeschere and Gerad uncomfortably sweet.

Gerad is familiar, in passing, with elemental manipulations from god-damned monks. It's why he completely abandons his spear and *vaults* into the other direction. The motion saves him from the bulk of that skirling mess, but Aeschere's close enough - by far - to graze the treated edge of her dagger along his torso.

So it comes to pass that Gerad rolls to a kneeling position between either woman, pain blazing along his side - from a flesh wound! - and it earns Aeschere a glare. Well, not for very long.

"Alright, fine, poison's fair, I guess. Goddamn. Why are we doing this again??!" Gerad stands, eyes settling on Akari and her glares and her presumptuousness. He tries - vainly - to diminish the situation. After all, he doesn't know what 'casual' means to this torn-up mess of a woman.

"Listen. You two take me down, I'll buy you drinks back at Agrabah. I know the best bartenders around. You'll be amazed." He turns to the side, withdraws one complicated-as-fuck crossbow from his hip, and attaches a strange, metal box to its underside. "But first..."

A click. Something angry and blunt rumbles out from the crossbow's underside to *SLUG* against Akari's chest before falling to the sands beneath her. Following the blunt round?

A million, perhaps a bajillion *sharp* rounds. It never stops. It's the worst thing in the world.

I'm sorry, Akari.
Akari Seran As the winds whip up into a frenzy, Akari is forced to relinquish her control. Manipulating the wind in small ways to create invisible platforms or harsh projectiles is one thing. Controlling it so finely that it two people in such close proximity are affected totally differently requires the utmost of her concentration. In the end she succeeds at not sand-blasting Chera's skin into bloody tatters but Gerad's quick thinking saves him from that fate as well.

Clucking her tongue in annoyance, the girl moves to intercept the pair before her friend's wounds can be made any worse by her captor's desperate acrobatics. The slug explodes from the crossbow before she notices it, her geo-sense not quite able to keep up with his sleight of hand. It strikes her dead in the chest with a solid thud, bouncing off as if it had just impacts a brick wall. Akari quirks an eyebrow and stares down at the object. She's been shot plenty of times but bullets usually aren't that big and sort of actually sting a bit.

The first of the sharp crossbow bolts that erupts from the mechanical weapon draws her attention back upwards. Akari doesn't even flinch as the projectile zips through the air, propelled by the powerful strings of the automatic weapon, and impacts directly against her empty eye. The metal tip crumples like paper and the force of its momentum causes the wooden shaft to drive itself into splinters on her seemingly invincible body.

Hundreds more rounds follow the first and Akari can't help but grin at the assault. She opens her mouth and bites down, catching a handful of the slender darts in her teeth and chomps them clean in half, spitting the remnants on the ground.

"That all you got, pretty boy?"

The hail of bolt-fire continues to rain down unchecked on the geomantic demi-god as she plods over to where the two lancers are intertangled. Reaching out to grab hold of Chera casually, she puts a foot on Gerad's chest and tries to pull the tiny girl free in a single motion.

"I'll be taking her back now. Get your own woman."
Aeschere Childs The tiny girl is freed, although Akari should not expect much thanks from her for now. This is the price that Aeschere pays, she supposes, for trying to keep pace with Akari Seran; while Chera recognizes, in abstract, that 'assaulting a stranger over name-calling' played a role of some kind, she refuses to consider it wrong. The cose was expected, and she paid it.

She clings to Akari with her functioning arm, and favors Gerad with a stony glare. "Just... just /go away/." Her order carries such force that even the sand obeys, rippling away from her and her protector, and washing towards Gerad in a wave of weaponized gtfo. It's not damaging, except maybe to the ego.

To Akari, literally the last person who could help her, the little knight sighs, "Don't let me do that again."
Gerad Iron Fogair Gerad is kicked! And windblown! He eventually winds up huddled in upon himself, crouched in the desert like a sad hurting guy. Just look at him squatting! He doesn't even have his spear. That's still in Aeschere's shoulder.

In any case, the spearwoman's attempt at hurting his feelings with her wholly-intended Warp spell is countered by Akari calling him a pretty boy. He'll take both. Gerad watches the two collect one another, and offers them a wan look - while his smile is unseen, his eyes crinkle in a fashion suggesting the same.

"I'll be in Agrabah if you get there. Drinks are on me - you two won this round. Try to figure something out about caves in the desert. I don't really care if you want to help or not -- but if you're curious, meet me at The Puzzled Monkey."

With that, Gerad stops his vain attempt to resist the windstorm - at Aeschere's behest, he is blown back, away and out of sight from the murderous psychotics battling him.

He counts it as a personal victory. He could've died! Perversion and cleverness win again!
Gerad Iron Fogair AGRABAH

is currently Gerad's home - this is why all of these scenes have been taking place here. Don't worry, the focus will (hopefully) move soon! In any case, the last few days have seen the wanderer stuck in a library, bored out of his mind and attempting to spike his water with the miserable liquor they serve out here. It's tasted bad, it's given him a hangover, and now he's working out his stress on a straw man strung up in the Agrabah Inn's backyard.

Spearwork and the desert heat have caused Gerad to work up a decent sweat over the past few hours; he'd have stripped his desert rags off most anywhere else, but in the *desert* going without clothes is *stupid*. Either way, a flock of ladies have shown up to fawn over him from just behind the Inn's fence. Oh, those harem pants!

Anyway, yes. Spearwork and fawning ladies and occasional grunts. Your turn, *everybody else in the scene*.

This scene contained 22 poses. The players who were present were: Akari Seran, Aeschere Childs, Gerad Iron Fogair