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No title.
(2013-08-26 - 2013-08-27)
No description.
Queegmaa It's dark out in Traverse Town; this is not unusual, but Queegmaa still can't get over how the Sun's rays something don't penetrate whatever ozone-like field that hovers high above this particular metropolis; a meteorologist he is not, so he doesn't chide himself too heavily for not knowing the answer to this question, but if it becomes necessary to find out answers, and the information is readily available, he might investigate. The kappa had heard all sorts of tales about this place, from horrible to fantastic, describing that it was at one time a terrible nexus where the Heartless all gathered, and now functions as a much more civilized society with the inky phantoms only appearing more prominently on isolated roads and alleyways.

Traverse was known for more than just Heartless, and occasionally some other monster would wander inside, however, most of the time, the place was kept moderately secure, although it was no police-state like Mullonde. Fortunately.... those in the theocratic realm could be bribed or persuaded with a little sweet-talking. The only real fiends to worry about in Traverse were dark elves and vampires, really-- some were cultured and disciplined enough to walk amongst society as questionably-accepted members of the townsfolk, but most drow were a lot easier to spot, because they had long ears, or else blue skin, if they were from The Blue Planet, from which Golbez himself hailed.... though Que had never met the man, he'd at least /heard/ of the mighty kingdom of Baron.

Vampires were a different story; they could blend in pretty easily, and sometimes they even had 'Jedi Mind Tricks' to disorient the senses of their prey, so that they might be less easily perceptible. Now, Traverse had a new kind of scoundrel to tolerate-- Queegmaa the kappa! Not impressive in stature, at a measly five and a half feet, at least he had some nifty looking bionic limbs that drew attention to him, so that he could outshine those other glamorous demons of legends past!.... Well, maybe if there was more sunlight, for metal refracts dim moonlight only so well....
Ophelia Police-state is becoming a more appropriate term for Traverse in the recent weeks since the MCP's election as mayor of the small twilight hamlet. While once a sleepy town disturbed only by the occasional outbreak of Heartless or a particularly rowdy new arrival from the shores of some impossibly distant and, often now consumed, world, the sleek armored forms of the Black Guard now dominate every corner of the settlement.

Silent and statuesque in their vigil over the residents of the interdimension crossroads, the heavily armored guards are supported by the benefits of the Grid's powerful technology. Shimmering lines of power flow across the ground and up buildings in a seemingly meaningless geometric pattern, but each carries its precious energy to hidden cameras or turrets nestled within small nearly invisible circles.

The citizens, whether fearful of speaking out against their new protectors or at-ease with the beefed up security, go about their dailies lives as they always have. The arrival of this new element of control has not been beneficial for everyone, however, particularly those who rely on the quiet unwatched corners of the twisting alleys to perform dark deeds.

A young woman wanders out from just one such place, slipping from the recess of a shadowed alley to meander back towards the main thouroughfare. She staggers almost drunkenly as she goes, muttering quietly to herself and pressing a hand to her forehead. It is only until the confused subject of her most recent meal slips out of sight that Ophelia herself strides out of the darkness, casually wiping the last traces of dark fluid from her lips with the edge of her thumb.

The vampire purses her lips and frowns slightly. The quality of that particular meal was less than spectacular. Unfortunately, with her identity revealed, she can't risk feeding near Mullonde any more. While it is unlikely that anyone would believe it should the heretic Ramza try to oust her secret, she knows from experience that humans are suspicious and superstitious creatures. Best not to give them any reason to doubt.
Queegmaa What a coincidence that the vampiress had just come from Mullonde under less than ideal circumstances, for Queegmaa could lay claim to similar ordeals, save for the fact that he was already /known/ to be a crook- this was made plain as day(in a place other than Traverse Town) before the minister, Emerald. Now, being one who kept track of reports on plausibly-supernatural unfoldings, the bishop Emerald, who'd been conspiring with bishop Jaren had been trying to keep an eye on Ophelia for some time, to little avail.... however, they did receive one report from a Faruja Senra that she'd shown disturbing signs of recoil and anguish during one particular battle when a healing spell had been used on her, long before the hushed-up incident with Barnabus, about which Jaren and Emerald were nescient, regarding its true developments.

They may not have known she was a vampire, or undead-- nevertheless, /something/ about Ophelia was amiss, and rumors were circulating. It could be that Ophelia could become a powerful ally to the demons-in-humans' clothing, if she'd but talk to them. Maybe she would.... maybe she wouldn't, but as a non-member of Glabados, Queegmaa was the perfect opportunity to -try- and make contact with the Lady of Lovett and talk 'off the record', to see if she was interested in receiving some sort of immunity or indulgence status within the church, so that allowances might be made for her, if she'd but help aid the plight of the darkness-aligned executives of Glabados.

Que had been given a description of Ophelia, and with her slipping into view from some crevice of an alley, he casually strode towards her, trying to look disinterested in anyone in particular.... Though, would Ophelia be able to tell what his agenda was? She did, after all, have that peculiar power of foresight, which may have informed the woman that Queegmaa would soon be upon her person to try and engage her, even if he was feigning indifference towards the general population! But yes, in another minute, whether or not she addressed him, he would definitely find a way to engage her.
Ophelia Ophelia meanders away from the dark corrider of the alleyway at a casual pace, paying little attention the handfuls of citizens who fill the side streets even at this late hour. Traverse's unusual lack of a day-night transition has lead to the phenomenon that people can be found awake at all times, some adhering to the hourly toll of the massive clock that juts above the rest of the town, while others merely do as they please without the sun to impose a rigid schedule.

Regardless, the goings-on of the peasants of this town are of no consequence to someone of her stature. Beyond a quick look around to ensure that none of the organizations who might cause her problems have set tails on her again, the vampire makes her way towards the far end of the street without giving those she passes so much as a glance.

Something seems to give the woman pause, her foot hesitating mid-stride suddenly but she recovers in an instant and continues on her way. The length of the street quickly vanishes behind her swift strides and Ophelia eventually ducks into another of the many alleys that weave between the tightly clustered buildings, vanishing from sight as she rounds the corner.
Queegmaa As Ophelia disappears into an alleyway, Que becomes a little disheartened at the situation; following a lion into what might be construeble as its own den, was hardly optimal. He didn't know much about her, save for the fact that countless minions who'd been 'sent' after the woman before, at the dispatching of Jaren and Emerald, had yielded scant success. Queegmaa was one of the World of Ruin's best trackers, but he was -not- one of its best combatants, even if he liked to present himself as a deadly adversary. It could be that he could tail her better than many others, but that didn't mean that this Gollum-wannabe was entirely comfortable pursuing someone who might've been of supernatural origins, especially since she was now negotiating tight spaces. With those bionic arms, Queegmaa was incredibly strong, not to mention that myth had pegged kappa as a demon-race who were endowed with strength.... provided they had mystic fluid inside their skull-plates.

Getting stuck was still a problem for the shelled beast, and a few seconds of immobility was all it took for someone to remove another's head-- as abnormal as kappa were, Queegmaa was not invulnerable to decapitation, and judging from the fact that he had prosthesis, it should've been apparent to most that he couldn't regenerate like some of his amphibious brethren; this isn't even to mention that Ophelia was a renowned swordswoman, which meant that a flick of a wrist at an opportune moment could spell disaster for Queegmaa. Deciding to throw caution to the wind, given that he has little alternative, lest he decide to tarnish his reputation by returning empty-handed, the green fellow starts to creep down the same path where he saw Ophelia give chase.... either deliberately or incidentally, in the hopes of finding her. As he negotiated the narrow alley, his metallic arms scraped against the brick, creating an irritating sound, and chafed the walls of the buildings whose toothy textures were being smoothed as the bricks were being ground down; his approach was a dead giveaway, but he had little choice.

Automatically, his fists loaded themselves up with a slew of bullets in case he needed to launch them in self-defense; their composition was simple.... very tiny microns of debris vacuumed from the air around him, and also absorbed from recent surfaces, which were compressed and formed into bullets. There was no particular demand for certain particles in favor of others, so some of the bullets probably even had specs of argent, but the likelihood was, the majority of his bullets' comprising was /not/ silver, in most cases. Right now, Ophelia probably had the upper hand, but Queegmaa was not helpless, if she were to ambush him in a violent manner!
Ophelia Strangely enough, despite whatever keen senses that his demonic heritage or cybernetic endowments may grant him, the kappa found little waiting for him as he rounded the bend into the narrow passageway beyond an oppressive wall of shadows and the dank smell of stagnant water dripping from the eaves above. Of the woman's passing there is no trace. No footprints, no disturbed debris indicating a hasty egress, nor signs of movement within. It likely does little to ease any doubts the creature may have about the wisdom of wandering into such a place.

Whatever his reservations might have been, the squat water demon moved further in, making his presence known as he scraped through the alley with some difficulty. Several tense moments passed, only the steady plink of water dropplets falling breaking the silence, before the first indication that something was amiss presented itself.

A faint bouquet of rosehips and scented oils wafted into Queegmaa's nostrils, giving him a few moments of warning before a narrow length of steel came to rest on his shoulder. The blade kisses the outer edge of his shell, scraping the surface with a gentle grinding sound until the tip of the strange foreign sword passes far enough beyond his head to be within sight.

A faint crimson glow lims the keen weapon and tendrils the color of murky blood extrude from the hellish aura like tiny fingers of lightning, dancing across the kappa's exposed skin, leaving it tingling and numb. Ophelia held her cursed weapon out at arm's length, keeping a cautious gap between herself and her stalker. A faint smirk played upon her face in the darkness as she tilted her head to the side in a coy fashion as she mused out loud.

"Well, now. What have we here? Have my enemies grown so bold as to send mechanical monstrosities to strike at me openly? Or was that poor display what you considered being subtle?"
Queegmaa As the blade came towards him, and laid itself on his shoulder, he quickly turned his head and bit down on the thing with his fangs, which normally interlocked rather tightly, so that the blade was perpendicular to the upright angle of his head. Que had nowhere near enough time to actually grab the thing with his robotic hand, which was durable enough to hold it in sort of fashion seen by some samurai, because had he tried to reach up, Ophelia could have taken that window to open up his neck. Scales were not easy to get through, but Ophelia, unbeknownst to Queegmaa, was a vampire, who had sufficient power to glean his cranium without the force of momentum from a full swing- but the kappa knew she was /something/ unusual, which meant he wasn't about to chance fate and see if she could sweep his brainpan without a wind-up. On the other hand, even though he had her blade clenched between his iron-clad teeth, Ophelia could've still yanked the blade out /sideways/, if not forward or backward, thus ripping open part of Que's maw, and scoring her a free shot without any cost, since it would've still taken time for Queegmaa to either grab his tanto, or raise his arms to fire at her with a spray of pellets.

He was not in mortal danger, at the present moment, because he had her weapon firmly in his considerably-potent jaws, but the fact that the kappa was at a disadvantage had not changed in the least-- she could still administer damage with no cost to herself, and they would not start at even ground; additionally, if she fled, she would have wounded him and Que would've gotten absolutely nothing for his efforts. Not being a trusting sort, he didn't like the idea of releasing her weapon to answer her question, but the fact that she'd inquired before he'd chomped down on her blade indicated that she didn't plan on killing him, so maybe it was safe to let the thing go so that he could speak, whereas.... if he started to raise his hand to hold the blade in place, Ophelia would've undoubtedly retracted the demon sword and sliced open his mouth some; following that, discussion would've been difficult, since opening and closing a slit set of cheeks would impair speech, as well as his mere -desire- to speak.

Not being especially brave, he spat the thing back out, expecting she wouldn't take the opportunity to shear off the top-half of his skull, and he remarked, "So quick ta think that the peeps who're tryin' ta get ahold of ya are yer enemies, that tells me you're not etzactily the type who's real prim and proper like ya been pertrayed so far as da poster-child of the Inquisition!" Que grins, "Dun' matter ta me.... though. I'm jus' here ta tell ya stuff.... Not here to do any scuvvling." He's hoping she'll back off so that they can talk under less precarious conditions, but he isn't expecting that she'll remove the weapon from atop his collarbone anytime in the near future.
Ophelia Ophelia's smirk spread into a mischievous grin at the accusation, though her lips remained firmly pressed together to keep from revealing her own fangs out of habit. The corruscating energies surrounding the katana seemed to take offense at the creature holding its polished blade in his mouth, the tendrils of leeching power lancing into his gums and cheeks to sap the power from his jaws.

Fortunately for Queegmaa, he spat it out after only a few moments, clearly not suffering enough to hinder his crude speech. Ophelia quirks an eyebrow at the display of fortitude, though she was not particularly surprised to see that the monster was a fair bit more resilient to the cursed power than most humans. Demons tended to enjoy atleast a few benefits.

Surprisingly, the woman slid her weapon back into its sheathe at her hip with a quick flourish, showing no signs of worry at leaving herself exposed. Ophelia crossed her arms and let out a soft annoyed sigh.

"If your masters wanted to speak to me, they could try more conventional means. A letter would have sufficed. I do not think it terribly improper to assume that a creature such as yourself skulking about in the dark is after more than a casual chat."
Queegmaa Not totally alien to the effects of weapons like the 'Drainer' sword, from his own world, the kappa was pretty well guarded against being siphoned to a degree-- the defensive capability of the water-imp was on the plus side, whereas their offensive power was often on the minus, which was accentuated even more when an aquatic demon had the full set of Imp-Armor, including the strange 'Tortoise Shell' shield, turning a kappa into a walking, impregnable fortress; alas, Queegmaa had /none/ of these pieces of equipment on his person, so he was only a few leaps ahead of humans in solidarity, which meant that there was a mild sapping of strength..... again, though, fairly remote. The fact that her sword caused a light drain would have to be filed away for later use, though, because at hand was something more important, and beyond that, having not actually been 'cut' with the thing meant that he was still ignorant to the full potential of Ophelia's alien saber. To her credit, she is full of surprises, and mayhap more astonishing than the equipment she possessed was her willingness to show a little courtesy, when factoring in that she actually withdrew her sword.... something Que would /not/ have expected. Even so, she was considerate enough to give him a few minutes before taking flight, it seemed, so Queegmaa was not about to waste her time, because that would've encouraged aggression on the woman's part, for, she clearly was someone of importance within the hierarchy of the church, besides whatever other.... rank she held in whatever institution she was part of?

Certainly, this individual was not from the normal pedigree of humankind, but what precisely she was, the kappa knew not, and anyway, vampires were practically unheard of in his own world, even if they were just slightly more common in other dimensions that amalgamated to flower in the shape of the World of Ruin. The earnest reality is that Ophelia would have no need to be especially worried about Que, since his knack at fighting was probably a bit less than her own, even if he had a few interesting racial perks that didn't pertain to combative ventures, so he's not surprised that the famous samurai is confident in herself. "Not here ta discuss whatever it is thatcher tryin' ta hide. When I smell a rat, there's usually a rat, and Imma leave it at that...." Although what he actually smells is blood emanating from Ophelia's facial area- it is true that during a recent battle, she might've ended up facedown in an enemy's entrails during a grappling match, but molecules of blood still stain part of her general head area in some places, which, to him, is suspicious..... albeit, this is only when combined with the fact that some nefarious types want to speak to the vampiress. Nevertheless, this tells Que nothing of what she is, since he knows almost nothing of the different breeds of nightcrawlers in the mass of worlds that have fused together- with such a diverse collective of worlds, she could be just about anything besides a human.....

That wacky sword of Ophelia's doesn't help her plea of innocence, when claiming that her excuse for reacting so paranoid was only because she was being followed by a cybernetic-kappa.... but then, Queegmaa always gave folks the detriment of the doubt. "Ya wanna go blamin' them fer their way o' doing things, then you ken bite deir heads off when you see 'em, and tell 'em dat you prefer letters 'n sh*t." He nods his head, and then flicks his wrists randomly, putting the safety-device on, so that he doesn't misfire during their discourse, "From what I'm gettin', they dun like physical efidenz lyin' around..... so they sent me instead. Dere's a buncha hoity-toities in the upper part ov Glabados who think yer all that and a fleet of ships, cuz you been exbitihing signs o' not healing when you should, and not dyin' like normal people do from the kinda wounds you been gittin', when you should be keeling over.... or whatever." He shrugs, disinterestedly, waiting to see what Ophelia has to say about the first part of his commentary.
Ophelia For all the social grace she has displayed, Ophelia clearly appeared to be growing disinterested in their conversation by the second, her face shifting from away from the momentary amused smile towards a languid and distracted frown. Her nose wrinkled up at the crude butchery of language the creature used, though it could easily have been misconstrued as annoyance towards the revelation that her usual quirks had been found out.

The vampire took a moment to think, her intense gaze shifting sideways at nothing in particular. Her master would not be pleased to learn that the subject of their investigation was onto them, though eventualities like this had been planned for. They would simply have to move their schedule forward. And she will have to move her own agenda up as well.

"Perhaps I shall," she says, turning her attention back to Queegmaa. The smile returned to her thin lips though all traces of mirth were absent, replaced by a predatory glint. "Did they, by chance, provide a means by which I may contact them?"
Queegmaa Que wasn't entirely sure why Ophelia was becoming agitated as the conversation went on, but he didn't particularly care if she was happy about what he had to say- the fact was, he was sent to deliver a message, and he was going to follow his orders to the letter..... even if it was not by letter, but word of mouth that the delivery entailed! Evidently, the kappa didn't want to go into details about his own opinions about her nature, but then, his initial retort was simply a riposte to some of Ophelia's sentiments, which were only partially pertinent, and yet, also partially personal, whereas a truly emotionless professional might've simply demanded Queegmaa state his business without any other ceremony attached, rather than taking the opportunity to issue some kind of condescending, self-elevating diatribe on his apparently-lacking methodology in trying to bushwhack her, since she /obviously/ could've done a better job.... or at least, that might've been inferred, from her brash critique.

This isn't to say that the water-devil had been any less intimate, or done any better, since he responded by giving her his own feelings on the kind of person that he believed she was-- fortunately, and perhaps in to a life-saving extent, he managed to hold his tongue, instead of lambasting her while she had a weapon that was, and -is- easily retrievable. Tapping the side of his cheek, Queegmaa looks upwards, as though mocking genuine consideration over the upcoming idea, "Well.... I 'spose ya could try 'n follow me after I ditch this gutter-of-a-town...." He smirks at her snobbishly, after, "But then, if I found out ya were stalkin' me, I might hafta wonder if you were doin' it cuz you wanted the scoop on my employers, or if ya just thought I was sexeh.... hahaha!"

He winked, then folded his arms over his chest once more, reclaiming his serious demeanor, "They said they'd be wantin' ya to go back to Mullonde, where it'd be less risky for 'em to send out couriers who work for the church, on an official baziz. See.... I'm expentiable, so that's why they din' mind puttin' my @$$ on da line to get all the prelims set up." He holds out his arms with his palms and fingers turned up, as if surrendering something, "If you took what I said 'n started to blab, then how wud anybody be held accountable? What wouldja have?" The hydrant beast snorted, "Da testimony of some random, unstubantiated punk who approached ya in the middle of some giant, humdrum, mainstream city which coughs up every kinda chump under the sun....." He cranes his neck to look upward, "....or moon."
Ophelia A rather nasty sneer twisted the exotic woman's features at Quuegmaa's attempt at humor, a mixture of digust and condescension that only someone who's grown practiced at looking down on others could attempt with such fluid ease. Her arms moved and for a moment it appeared as if she might reach for her blade to answer his boldness. Instead, the vampire's hand went to rest lightly on her hip and she listened quietly as he laid out the reasoning behind his circumspect attempt to approach her stealthily.

"Fair enough," she conceded. She didn't bother correcting the flawed assumption that sending a lowly minion would render his masters untracable. One of the more interesting talents that she possessed as a child of the night was that of blood memory. Every thought, memory, and secret that a person had ever known would become hers the moment she tasted of their blood.

Fortunately for him, she had no intention of feasting on something so foul as monster blood unless there was no other choice. She was content to let these shadowy conspirators believe they held all the cards for the time being. Playing along and earning the trust of whomever had been talented enough to discover her secret could prove useful.

"I suppose I shall endeavour to make my presence known within Mullonde's halls once more in the near future. Run along, then, like a good pet. Tell your masters that I shall play their game of shadows - for now."
Queegmaa The water-demon was not one hundred percent immune to any particular kind of magic, or skill that others had, save for those corresponding to water, and liquid, in which case he did have some measure of control over what his bodily contents could do; in essence, whether Ophelia's powers would work to their maximum on a kappa from an entirely different world was yet to be discovered, considering that blood was in fact, mostly comprised of hydrogen, which was the one element Queegmaa could control, especially within his own body. On the other hand, plasma was not completely water, as the expression went 'blood was thicker than water', thus, there would undoubtedly be traces of information residing in whatever the vampiress could extract, provided she didn't get sick from the toxicity of Que's fluids. All in all, both of them are spared the tribulation of having to find out if the woman could both sink her fangs into his skin and then pull out some of his substance before he could punch a hole in her chest and remove her heart-- the latter of which could take a good bit longer, even if Que had appendages of solid steel, that were mechanized....

Bionic or not, bone didn't buckle as easily as peanut brittle, and who knew if Ophelia's bones were tougher than others'. One thing was definitely true, and disturbing to the ears of Queegmaa that were spoken by the lord of the dead; he was indeed a pet, and he couldn't refute this. Now.... whose pet he actually was, could've been an entirely different subject, since Que was relatively ignorant to most of Glabados' initiatives, for he served a different power, one just as dark, on the other hand. Narrowing his eyes and grumbling, being that he can't really argue, and that it'd be too much of a risk to joust verbally with Ophelia for a plethora or reasons, he decides he'll do just as she suggested, and slink back into the depths from which he arose.... For one thing, if he befouled the negotiations by inserting a few more of his own quips, then he'd have to answer to some dangerous folk, and secondly.... he didn't have many quips to unleash, really, for even though Ophelia had a master of her own due to being a lesser(?) vampire, as stated previously by the quasi-omniscient narrator-- Que knows almost nothing about vampiric lore, so he can't denounce her as some kind of pot calling yet another kettle dark.

Then, last, and /guaranteedly/ not least, as a chicken-hearted stooge, he didn't want to draw out any of Ophelia's ire, for then she might be inclined to use her own 'Draw Out' skill from her repertoire of the ronin warrior, and show him just how to administer a crushing blow. No.... Queegmaa would abide her insistence to crawl back under his rock, which happened to be hewn in the shape of a rather large church inside of Mullonde! Today was not a good day to die, and if he tangled with the vampiress, he had a sneaking suspicion that the veteran samurai would mop the floor with him.... and that would simply be bad for everybody, because as his very body is poisonous, it would only sully the ground further, instead of serving any sterilization purposes!

This scene contained 13 poses. The players who were present were: Ophelia, Queegmaa