by Max Barry

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Wabacha wrote:Yolg finally turns his head back to Celecia as the last droplets of his fusing liquid roll down his aesthetically muscled body, the glow of his eye cracking like an eggshell and fall away in pieces, revealing that the last remnant of the Imp was gone. Red pupils and irises burn on seas of silver that dig deep into her soul, the Imp's high pitched sneers transformed into a smooth, dark purr, the voice of a tempter of sin. "I will buy you some time to escape, my little witch. I cannot promise success, as we are already within his anchoring spells. Ah," The demon lord turns, "Here he is now."

Never before has a human held this kind of intensity. Rouq literally burns with golden fire, his entire being and the air around him sizzles with righteous fury as he plants his staff into the dirt. "Celecia Sterling, you have been found guilty for the acts of murder, assault, and illegal use of life extension. And," His green eyes burn. "With the creation of a human-Enochian hybrid. Your life is for-"

Light erupts from between Rouq and Yolg, a blinding storm that forces Celecia to shield her eyes until it fades a few seconds later. Smoke emanates from in between the two combatants, the Inquisitor's attention now on the newly aloof demon lord. "My business is not with you, Demon King."

"The Demon King is but a part of the whole." Yolg's head slightly tilts, the end of his tail twitching. "And you made it my business when you got involved in it. Now you will pay the price of my displeasure."

"I do not have the time or patience for a newly risen Chthonian." Light now bursts between Rouq and Celecia and between the Inquisitor and Yolg. Even if she had her full breadth of magical power, she may not have been able to count how many spells, counter spells, and counter counters chained together in that instant, the instant battle of two monsters of magic from a world that Hell Knight Maria opened the door to. What was worse, was the fact that she would have to escape on foot, at least until she found a car or atmos that still worked after the botched ritual and the battle that is about to begin between a man of the light and creature of the dark.

Synnadine wrote:Celecia slowly rises to her feet in silent awe, taken completely aback by Yolg's transformation...and then the physical sight of Rouq. She knew someone dangerous had been on her tail for a long time by now, or rather she had assumed...but she did not expect this.

Not by a long shot.

For possibly the first time in Celecia's life she has faced utter defeat and, now, absolute fear. She isn't sure how to handle herself as the first flash of light fills the air, Yolg's words not quite settling in her mind yet as she wraps her head around everything. But by the time Yolg mentions his displeasure Celecia is on her feet and running as fast as she can, leaving the second flurry of magical bursts behind her. She needs space, she needs time. No, she needs somewhere to hide. Even if she were at her peak, she can feel there would still be a gross disparity between herself and this man. Something that makes her feel a whole mix of emotions at her very core.

She has always been afraid of death, afraid of being weak. Not being the strongest. And now she has to face all these fears in the worst situation imaginable. Running from an enemy who could kill her in a snap, just like she's done to so many others. Too afraid to really think or do anything else she just runs...as fast as she can.

After running for who knows how long and who knows how far, Celecia hasn't felt the presence of neither Rouq nor Yolg for quite some time, and she is now out of breath. Unable to continue running she slinks into a dark alleyway, still soundly in the depths of the Senate Metropoli and its ever sprawling streets, but plenty far away from where she began running. So she hopes.

"Dammit all!" Screams Celecia, crying out in anguish while punching a nearby cement wall and busting open her knuckles. "Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!" With every word she strikes the wall again, each time leaving more of her own blood on the walls yet not even registering the pain. She turns her back to the wall and begins to cry, sliding slowly down until she's sitting.

For all that she's done and all that she has lived simply by cheating the passage of time, this witch has never experienced something like this. A puppet she created has cut its own strings and gained power dwarfing her own, a man with magical power beyond what she can even fully fathom is after her head, and not one but TWO tools she was using for little more than boosting her own power have now saved her life. First a foolish imp that's been hiding its true self from her for months, then a teenagers fashion accessory.

"Is this karma...?" Celecia quietly moans between her tears. "The consequences for just wanting to live?!" This declaration makes Celecia's tears intensify, crying even harder as she shakes. After a few moments she begins to choke out more words. "R-Rynos, p-p-please t-talk to m-me..." After a few moments of silence she calms some, wiping her tears away on her forearms as she reaches into her side bag to grab the Bands of Rynos out of them. She puts them onto her wrist then stares, mustering up a forced sternness. "Rynos, talk to me." Several more moments of silence pass as the forced expression she tried to display in an effort to get responses from Rynos wipe away, and tears begin to well up. Only this time she stops herself from crying by wrapping her arms around her legs and burying her face into her knees, so that her eyes are pressed against her kneecaps. She can't cry anymore if there's something covering her eyes like that, right?

As the old witch sits there akin to a fetal position with a back against the wall, holding back more tears from flowing, a single strike of lightning erupts from the sky above as a rainstorm begins. A light which shows a small shining line going down Celecia's leg, before being accompanied by many more as the heavy rain begins to fall. But she does not move, nor does she flinch. She continues to sit there in silence, the ambiance of a gloomy big city storm taking over her surroundings.

A couple walks briskly by the alleyway, shielding themselves with a large umbrella, seeing Celecia through the rain out of the corner of their eyes. The man stops and starts to move, but the woman grabs his shoulder to pull him back. "Look at this storm, we gotta get home, we don't have time to help some homeless lady!"

"But she's not homeless, look at how she's dressed, that's way too nice to be homeless. And you said it yourself look at this storm, she'll get sick, we should help her!"

The man turns to move again at Celecia put his wife pulls even harder on his shoulder now. "She's homeless. Only someone with nothing would sit in a storm like this. Now lets, goooo" She tugs harder and forces the man to turn as they both walk away, Celecia pulling herself tighter into her self made ball.

OOC: Finally had the time to roll out a post! Just a little update to Celecia's story as it is unfolding, to display her emotional state after everything kinda...well, blew up in her face.

Synnadine wrote:OOC: Finally had the time to roll out a post! Just a little update to Celecia's story as it is unfolding, to display her emotional state after everything kinda...well, blew up in her face.

Imp: I have something else that can blow up in her face.

<[Here I was thinking you weren't coming. Parents hold you up again?]>

"Yeah."

<[Same old?]>

"Same old."

Casey had received a call as soon as he put his helmet on, one of his long time friends that shared his love of the outdoors, and more respect for nature than most of them. Manka Woodchester is a rare member of a species to see outside of Neko towns, his family traveling from place to place before they settled in little Fort Pallo.

A sharp twist of the waist and handlebars drifts Casey around a tight turn and passed the old walls of the original fort, the houses a lot less packed now as the speed limits begin to climb.

<[I heard there's supposed to be a meteor shower tonight, hasn't been one in, what, two years?]>

"Something like that. Where're you at? Already at the Basin?"

<[Naw, I called you when I left home. Should be at X-Junction in a few minutes.]>

"Cool, same." The last of the twin fades around and recedes into the horizon behind Casey, his ponytail and jacket whipping about in the wind as he hits the throttle, accelerating to a clean 200mph. As most of the traffic moved to skylanes centuries ago, ground roads are more used for military vehicles and local traffic. Only one road goes to the basin, and Casey sees the dust cloud of another Solar Bike approaching the high speed junction from the east. Both bikes reach the junction at the same time, playing a game of chicken as they both wrench their bikes into a hard turn at the last second. Coming so close together that they can easily see each other's faces through their visors, both young fools grin at each other and race down the southern road towards the Basin.

<[No Linah? You guys break up or something?]> Even though they were side by side, the roar of both bikes engines made communication outside of their mics impossible.

"Yeah, we didn't see eye to eye."

<[Was it clean?]>

"No hard feelings, yeah. She's cool and all, but she just doesnt get it, you know?"

<[Yeah I get it.]> Manka doesn't sound surprised by his best friend's break up, since this wasn't the first time. Casey has a hard time connecting with people that didn't understand his need for freedom, or his love of nature and the outdoors. Casey isn't broken up about it, so he wouldn't be either. His ears flick under his helmet as he starts swerving around the road. A dangerous game as they're creeping up to 300mph, but the two of them have plenty of experience handling at these speeds.

"Before I left my mom said that old Taney saw a Hapsid out in the Basin last week."

<[What's a Hapsid doing out that far south? That's way out of their range.]>

"Could be climate change, I dunno. Or Taney was high off something again and made it up."

<[Now I'm wondering what he was even doing out there.]>

"Beats me."

The two rose in silence for awhile, the miles flying by.

"... Greater Bearded Hapsids are known to travel pretty far south."

<[You say another word about them and I'm turning right around.]>

Casey laughs at that. "Don't worry about it, Dare probably brought one of his dad's guns again, we'll be able to scare off anything."

<[Haha, us poor defenseless boys protected by the dashing Sir Darrence, if he takes the time to stop fondling the dainty princess Ita. Dude we'll all be dead before he even notices anything.]>

The two laugh hard as they race each other to the Basin, the sun nearing the horizon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ6SjwWB9BQ

Now I know this will likely be a good while off, and not knowing if he'll die to some dumb decision of mine down the line, but I think when Dunan grows old I think he'll have a fight to the death with either Sam or Heimrich [If Heimrich even lives to be as old as Dunan since I made Zoconian's long lived]. Growing old and dying in bed doesn't seem like his way to go, his entire life has been combat from the day he was born, to the day his life was interfered with by a deity, so I think it'll only be right that when he grows old and his power starts to decline, he'll want to go out like a warrior.

Though depending on his future, be it with Scotti and if possible their kids, that may be subject to change since she might just slap him for even bringing such a thing up.

What If: In a Distant Future
In a land far off from their home Sector of The Great Chili, a lone old man sits upon a stump near a vast, beautiful lake. He is a man who has clearly lived a life of battle, one eye blinded white by an old gash across it, burn scars on their neck barely visible under the collar of their cuirass, and who knows how many scars under his knight inspired armor. A grey beard befitting of a mountain man has grown, no doubt having stopped caring about shaving and opting to just stay clean decades ago, and his head bald. There he sat, alone, with a mug full of alcohol in his hands and an empty stump with an equally full mug right next to him. As he feels a strong gust of wind he simply closes his eyes and looks down, letting out two simple words.

"Hey Sam."

"Hi." His old friend now stands in front of him as Duncan gestures to the empty stump next to him. Sam moves aside and picks up the mug, taking a deep swig before sitting down. Several moments of silence between the two is broken when Sam finally speaks up. "I got your message...are you sure about this? You should still have a couple good decades left in you."

"Yeah...yeah, I'm sure." Duncan says, straightening his back to take a deep swig from his drink. As he does so his back can be heard loud and clear cracking. "I want to die how I lived. Fighting, as a Warrior. I don't want to wake up one day unable to get out of bed, or just not wake up at all. It's a Warriors destiny to die in battle...and I'm a Warrior."

Sam nods calmly twice as Duncan speaks, only looking forward at the lake in front of them, taking a drink as Duncan calls himself a Warrior. "And your family...what do they have to say about this?"

"They didn't like it, but they accepted that my mind was made up and they couldn't stop me."

Sam nods twice again, more slowly this time, accepting the situation as it is. This is something that can't be fought. Sam smiles solemnly at the corner of his mouth. "Ya know, this lake reminds me of when we first met. You do that on purpose?"

Duncan, through the sober intensity of his self imposed fate, manages a forced snicker as scratches his head. "You bet I did. Though it would be poetic to do it somewhere that could remind us of home, since it's not like we could do this back in Purira....whaddya think?"

Sam looks back out to the lake, the rays of the sun glistening beautifully off the surface. "It's a stunning sight...truly......... Hey Duncan?"

"Hm?"

"Any regrets?"

The old soldiers eyes widen. That's something he hasn't put much thought in to. He sets his mug down and ponders for a moment, before coming to a conclusion. "The life I led was not an easy one, but it was my life. To regret any of the choices I made or experiences I shared would be a disservice to those who fought and died alongside me. So no, I have no regrets."

Sam sits for a moment letting these words sink in before setting down his drink and shooting up to his feet. "Well, Warrior...it's time for your final battle."

Sam starts walking a short distance away for their bout to start when Duncan calls back, standing up himself.

"Wait, Sam..." Sam keeps walking, not looking back. "Do you have any regrets?"

Sam's foot stops midair, in the middle of taking a step, in a moment of hesitation. Shortly after he simply puts his foot down. "Too many to count." After a few silent moments Sam abruptly turns around, lifting his head to look at Duncan, confident in both his old friends resolve to die in battle...and his personal resolve to make sure it's at the hand of a friend, while he's still an able-bodied human. "Out of respect for you, I won't be holding back...I'm giving you everything I've got so be ready."

Duncan stands surprised for a moment at Sam's first response, too many regrets to count, but then smiles lightly at the corner of his mouth. Thinking back it's hard not to have regrets after losing as many people as he has. With a slow, deep breath in, then exhale--- "Thank you, Sam...."

Aftermath
Powerful winds ravage the surrounding area, a fight between two titans having levelled the landscape entirely. Fires rage land wide, shores are bombarded by powerful waves, entire mountain ranges were both created and destroyed all across the Sector. It is less than a shell of its former self, virtually unrecognizable from what it was before. All signs of life in the carefully chosen unsettled Sector, belonging only to nature, is gone. All but one man, kneeling next to the corpse of his old friend. His clothes are effectively shredded to ruin and blood stains cover his body but all wounds that had caused them are of course healed. Sam closes Duncan's now lifeless good eye and folds Duncan's hands over themselves across the templars now armor less chest, closing his eyes and tilting his head down. A smile, plain as day, is stretched across Duncan's face having formed as his last breath left his body. "You're welcome...old friend." With that the body catches flame from Sam's outstretched hand as he steps back a few feet, remaining quietly to watch the body burn to ash.

A death, and funeral, befitting a warrior. One who lived a hard life...but it was his life.

ZOCOM wrote:Now I know this will likely be a good while off, and not knowing if he'll die to some dumb decision of mine down the line, but I think when Dunan grows old I think he'll have a fight to the death with either Sam or Heimrich [If Heimrich even lives to be as old as Dunan since I made Zoconian's long lived]. Growing old and dying in bed doesn't seem like his way to go, his entire life has been combat from the day he was born, to the day his life was interfered with by a deity, so I think it'll only be right that when he grows old and his power starts to decline, he'll want to go out like a warrior.

Though depending on his future, be it with Scotti and if possible their kids, that may be subject to change since she might just slap him for even bringing such a thing up.

Consider that post a super like.

Synnadine wrote:Consider that post a super like.

You have no idea how much I loved reading that, god I actually f*ckin teared up at how fitting that end was.

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