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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:08 am 
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Through a mist of blood, Serpico watches the events. There is a hint of a smile on his face, but thats about it.

When Athena asks them to talk, he lets out a bubbling cough, and starts to talk. "Well, I'd really like to know a bit more about how Shin-" and like the strings cut on a puppet, he suddenly goes limp, the momentum causing him to spin lazily in the void.

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:21 am 
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Once they escape, Asch goes silent, her face almost motionless, like a statue. She has nothing to say to Shin or Athena; her mind seems elsewhere.

Then, her head snaps up, and her jaw drops slightly. "What...? What did... how..." Her teeth chatter as though panicked, and she stares at the hilt strapped to her side. She begins muttering three things; "One Truth... System0... Goldenslaughterer..." She eventually brings up her database and starts scrounging. "Why... why why why?!" Her breathing gets heavy, at least as heavy as it can be while in space, and tears start falling down her face.

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 3:10 am 
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Chandi lets out a small shriek at the feeling of something moving around in her clothing, blushing furiously when the little dragon reveals itself from her collar. "Don't do that again." She says to the lizard, tugging it out of her shirt in a quick, but gentle manner. She pauses for a few brief seconds, then pats the dragon on the head, running a finger along the length of its spine. "You're not quite what you used to be," a pained look crosses Chandi's face for a moment, but the she begins to grin, ever so slightly, "But we'll get you back to your full strength, someday. Maybe even better, little Aja." She takes a moment to catch her breath, and then Chandi lets out a long sigh, her body feeling the weight of exhaustion from the near failure of an escape. Chandi shifts around uncomfortably, as if trying to find the courage to say something, but then stop, noticing Serpico's passing out. She frowns, then swings the noose on her arm around a few times before lashing it out, and wrapping it around Serpico's body, before he drifts off too far. "Whatever we do, let's see if we can get it done quickly. Sna-" she pauses, "Serpico needs medical attention." At Asch's outburst, Chandi turns her head towards her fellow Arbiter. A puzzled look crosses her face. "Asch, what's wrong?"

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 3:40 am 
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Alexis reaches to his Dark rune. He catches hold of Serpico as Chandi pulls him in, and heals him, watching his wounds close as the healing power of Dark gives him the equivalent of a good night's rest.

...and if that's not enough, he gives Serpico another dose.

Then darkness folds around Alexis. There's a series of little pops as his crushed and broken wing-bones heal themselves. "Serpico," he says, "we need to have a bit of a talk in a minute. Before we leave."

Next up is Harmony, the girl with a dagger in her heart. "Harmony," he says, "if I take that dagger out, will you still be you? ...and can I ask for that trigger back? There's no real use to it anymore."

"By the way," he adds, addressing everyone, "it seems I can't echolocate here. Is this environmental again, or should we be looking out for danger? Athena - did you see anyone else in the area, outside the shield? There was someone, over *there* - Harmony spoke to him, then he killed her - I'll recognise his voice if I ever hear it again. Is there any way to follow him?"

Alexis' word for "*there*" is a rough three-dimensional echolocation sketch of the vicinity, with a given spot marked. The result of this is that he doesn't need to point; people can just tell which point in space he's talking about.

"Oh, and does anyone else need to be healed?"

Dark Rune: Heal Serpico
Dark Rune: Heal Serpico again (if necessary)
Dark Rune: Heal Alexis

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:41 am 
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"I... think it is safe." Harmony looks at the dagger somewhat dubiously, as if only just remembering that it is there. Her eyes are a little bit glassy from shock. "Athena... is there any way that you can tell if the Crystal's influence has completely left me? I don't think I can sense anything from it any more."

MUSE, hovering protectively around Harmony, is playing something calming as they float in space.

"And I need to talk to you about the Crystal. Privately."

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 8:05 pm 
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Asch briefly turns to Chandi, but turns back to her database without responding. Her panic hasn't subsided.

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:42 pm 
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Chandi bites her lip, a look of mild frustration gracing her face. She ties her Shift to her arm, and moves towards the detective, drifting slowly in the vacuum of space. As she approaches Asch's side, Chandi places her hand on Asch's shoulder. "Come on." Chandi says softly. "I just want to know what's wrong. We can't help if you don't talk to us."

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:53 pm 
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Asch knocks Chandi's arm away and glares, teeth clenched. "What's wrong?! You saw what's wrong! What I- what SHE did! That was inexcusable! I-" She suddenly stops, her mouth quivering, and then her usual stoic expression returns to her face. "It's... nothing."

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:57 pm 
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Serpico lets out another cough as he regains consciousness. His eyes are still shot through with darkened red cracks, and his nose is steadily bleeding but, floating in space, he seems at least able to hold himself steady. He looks at Alexis, and his voice comes out a harsh croak, despite the forced smile "Bit of a bad time to talk, isnt it, Flappy?"

He looks over at Asch. "You know, you showed me that one, before. Don't recall her being quite so....passionate about things. Not good with getting her money's worth , though, I'd say."

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:59 pm 
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Chandi shakes her hand, then gives the detective another confused look. "I must have missed it." She murmurs, before attempting to recall everything that happened in the fight. She racks her mind for any possibility, but her weariness following the battle, leaves her doubting what thinks. "This about the other other you? What did she do? I'm not exactly great at remembering everything that goes on in a fight. Or in general really. But to react like that..." Chandi's lips purse, and she begins to frown.

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 11:22 pm 
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((OOC: Working on an RP with Mike, here's a quick response to Serpico and Chandi in the meantime))

"IT'S NOTHING."

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 11:24 pm 
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Athena touches a page in her book, and suddenly Athena is inside her head, "I assume this is important as we've yet to return to class?"

Harmony nods slowly.

"I want to make There was a man controlling the Crystal. I think he was the one preventing you from entering the barrier..." She relays the image of the scarred man she saw at the barrier, as well as what he said. "Asch was able to trace things back to an image... some sort of broken world. Do you recognize anything about him?"

There is a pause. "Odd. My book didn't record anything about another person. Are you going to show him to me?"

"MUSE?"

Before Athena appears a hologram of the man, as recorded by MUSE.

"He said that this world was only an experiment - a trial run. He also seemed to... recognize something. I'm not sure if it was me, or MUSE, or something about the rest of us. He said 'No. You cannot be here...'"


"Harmony... you're scaring me." She puts her palm on Harmony's forehead, "Is MUSE malfunctioning? You're showing me nothing but empty space you realise right?" She looks at MUSE's display - the form seems clear enough to them.

"..."

"I AM PROJECTING THE IMAGE OF HIM. A MAN. IN A TATTERED BROWN CLOAK. A MAN WITH YELLOW EYES, HIS LEFT EYE CROSSED BY A LONG SCAR."

"CAN YOU NOT SEE THE IMAGE?"

Athena's brow furrows, "I am going to repeat back to you exactly what I heard; I am projecting the image of the person in a tattered brown cloak. Can you not see the image?" She looks hard at the projection, "I see nothing but empty space. And that reminds me..." She looks at Alexis, "Alexis had said you were stabbed by somebody... but my book records the shield launching a black spear at you, nothing more. You flew up, stared at it for a moment, and it attacked."

"That is... incorrect. You did not hear MUSE's entire description just then. And it was not the shield that launched the spear. It was him."

Harmony's brow furrows as well. "Somehow, he has cloaked himself from your sight. From your mind. You cannot see him. You cannot even hear me describe him. What... how could he do that?"

Athena bites her bottom lip, "Memory Manipulation. On a massive scale... to erase oneself so well that I can't even hear a gender when you speak of them... this is far beyond anything Ryuseii ever did." She flips through her book, "Okay. Let's try this. Is the person Male?"

"Yes."

Athena writes quickly in her book, "The culprit is... ...is... damn." She flips her book around, "I had written the gender here... the words slipped off the page like water and I cannot recall what you said." She shows Harmony a blank page. "For some reason... this person is allowing you all to remember them, but nobody else. I cannot fathom how powerful a Runic Program has caused this..."

"The... person is the one who created the Crystal. It was his experiment. He was the one who created its' AI."

Harmony pauses momentarily. "There's something else. Something odd. When I was linked to the Crystal... I could feel what it was thinking. What it was feeling. It was something of a rudimentary AI. Something Asch did angered it greatly. She.. destroyed part of her Weave to create a powerful blade. Something about that - something about her damaging her Weave greatly angered the Crystal."

"...yes. That I recorded just fine. Her and I are going to have a talk," she glances at Asch, "And I think it need be soon, I dont think she wanted that." She places two fingers on Harmony's forehead, "You appear to be clear of the blight." Her brow furrows again, "...MUSE, where is the persona that is a clone of mine?"

"SHE IS..."

###########

Athena program thingy?

[...]

Hello?

Hellooooooo?

[...]

She is...

###########

"...GONE? SHE DOES NOT SEEM TO BE RESPONDING."

Athena opens her Shift and scans MUSE fully... a few moments later she shakes her head, "I'm sorry... it seems she took the full brunt of that spear... she's been deleted. I cannot help but wonder what would have happened to you both if she didn't step in the way... I'm so sorry."

"SO. I HAD WONDERED WHY SHE WAS NOT RESPONDING."

"... Perhaps that was the... point." Harmony winces at the unintentional pun. "The... culprit deliberately targetted MUSE with the spear. Perhaps that was his true aim - to prevent her from reporting to you?"

"I will admit it would be a lot harder to hide memory from me if I had a direct connection... I must report this to the Counsel. ...oh dear, I caught so caught up... my applogies!!" She touches Serpico's blade and it melts into green dust, sealing the wound in Harmony's chest. "Are you alright?'

"Ah." Harmony's eyes get a distinctly glassy look. "I think I would like to rest now..."

"Then Asch requires my attentions, then we shall get you home. Excuse me."

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 11:33 pm 
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Chandi backs away from Asch, expression now stern and cold. "Fine then." She turns away, facing towards Serpico. "Hey, you feelin' alright? If you're up to it, mind removing this needle from my skull? I'd like to become a full fledged Arbiter without a piece of my brain being prodded."

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 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 11:41 pm 
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The Awakener says nothing, simply looking at the burning void where a world once was - a world whose time was eons hence. While everyone else recovers or doesn't, as the case may be, the Awakener simply takes the annihilation of the world in, without speaking, without moving.

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 Post Posted: Tue May 14, 2013 12:04 am 
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Athena finishes her conversation with Harmony and flies over, "Like hell it's nothing!" She grabs Asch gentle by the sides of her face, forcing her eyes up and staring directly into them. "I don't know if you are cursed or under any constraints or restrictions... but I am going to ask you questions you can either reply to with a yes, no, or I cannot answer. Do you swear to tell me the truth as best as you can?"

Asch's eyes look dead; they drift down as she avoids eye contact. "I can try... but I must obey orders..."

"That is why I am doing this. I have a lot of respect for the Mystery Breakers and I knew Doyle personally. I don't if he has caused your condition or not... but if he did do it, I know he did it for a reason." She brushes Asch's hair away, "Can you consciously summon all of your 'personas' as it were?"

At the mention of Doyle's name, she shakes her head. "No... Doyle had nothing to do... with it..." Continuing to answer questions, she says, "I cannot disobey orders. I must always ask for permission to let Ashley act. Ashley is my backup. If I cannot act, she is the default."

"He did not then? First - Can you tell me who is responsible for this? And then, what is Sheppard in this mix if Ashley is the backup? If you can answer my dear."

Her teeth clench as she asks who is responsible. "I blame Wargrave." She then raises her eyes and tries to speak as athena asks what Sheppard is... when a gold binding around her neck begins to glow and tighten. With a wavering mechanical voice, she manages to say, "ThE onE wHo giVEs Me OrDers..."

Athena nods, "As I promised you when you joined, I have been watching for signs of Wargrave. I've seen nothing yet, but I will stay vigilant. The way you word that statement... makes me think that Wargrave is not the direct cause." She tries to touch the golden binding and is thrown back from it, "Whomever did this... did this in such a way that not even my book can glean information from you." She lets the binding wear off, "I suppose that means you cannot summon Sheppard at will?"

"I cannot. She... doesn't like to do things on her own."

Athena nods, "Her and I need to speak. If not here, then somewhere. I know you can hear me Shepard and I do not approve of even self-sacrificing weave for power... that is the path of a Demon. You stand against everything the Mystery Breakers stood FOR with actions like that. I will not condemn Asch for what she could not control... but you and I will meet some day, and we will speak." The finality in her voice makes that a promise.

Asch is silent for a moment, and then says, "I have... been asking her why my shift has that ability." Looking down again, she continues, "Ashley... she is furious right now..."

"I bet she is. I assume you cannot tell me how this... split came to be?"

The golden band around her neck glows again.

"I did not think so."

"Athena... I know what the shift can do. I don't know why I know it. It's not like a memory has been replaced. It has been completely erased... just as she said it does. I cannot find any data on why Ashley or I agreed to it having this power. If I may conjecture, however..."

"Please."

"There's not a lot to go on, and She is fine with me guessing... she based the idea on that of a leyline cutter. I think... I think Goldenslaughterer is also my leyline cutter."

"Making it incredibly dangerous for you to use... Harmony pointed something out... Whomever did this, their Golem seemed to take great offense in what Sheppard did. Do you have any recolection about how it reacted?"

"I wasn't concious... but She is gloating that the Golem thought the blade was 'weak' and that it 'unmakes.'"

"Hmm... well it certainly unmakes your memories. That needs to stop." She peers into Asch's eyes again, as if she's staring into her head at Sheppard. "I don't know if you overheard, being distraught, but we've come to the realization that only your group can remember anything about the culprit. Harmony tried to tell me about them, show me images and details, and I cannot recall a thing. Memory magic is in use here."

Asch is again silent for a moment, and this time a little golden sheen crosses over her eyes, but it immediately disappears. She sighs. "She... doesn't care. She knows that the blade cannot be used lightly, though, which is why she doesn't like to fight for herself." She's silent again, and continues, "She wasn't interested in learning about the culprit. She only wanted to destroy the golem... I cannot understand why, though. Ashley felt that her illusion could reveal something important... I wonder if my database gathered any data on what she saw..."

Athena smiles, "Im afraid with my memory of the culprit blocked, that may be a mystery just for you to solve."

A rare smile crosses her lips. "I am the Detective. My role is to solve mysteries. Perhaps it is."

"Please. I implore you, if there are any other concerns on your mind, speak to me."

Asch thinks for a moment, and she says, "I cannot think of any at the moment. Actually..."

"Yes?"

"I'm pretty sure before I lost my recollection of why I had Goldenslaughterer as a trump card, you had asked me if I had any outs for an opponent that had no mystery that needed to be solved. At the time, I felt it was Goldenslaughterer... but now, all of us, even Her, agree that's not the best option. When can we create a new rune? I have an idea I would like to try."

Athena smiles, "You'll be upgrading your Shifts shortly. Afterwards I'll be sending you on your first mission as a full team. After that mission, you'll get to pick what you work on from then on out. So quite soon."

"I see..."

"Until that time, I recomend keeping a cap on that Goldenslaughterer... knowing that Sheppard doesn't wish to use it puts me at ease. Her attitude on the other hand, does not."

"Only She may use Goldenslaughterer. It is forbidden to myself and Ashley. And so long as Ashley and I are available, I do not expect Sheppard to take control. The circumstances on Utopia were extreme."

"Indeed they were." Suddenly she turns, "Asch... may I interest you in a cup of tea and a few good stories about Doyle? I've worked with him before, and I'm going to give you all a few days to rest. I'd like to reminisce about good memories... it will help me shake off the creepy crawlies that Memory Manipulation always gives me."

Asch smiles again. "Of course. I'll take a Black Tea, myself."

"I prefer Earl Grey! Lets say tomorrow, after a good nights sleep? If there is nothing else my dear, I need to go put Serpico's blood back in his body."

"Go ahead."

Athena smiles and floats off.

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