#1 Edited by Oluf_Von_Host_Museum (84681 posts) - - Show Bio

Prologue:

For a select few the esoteric signs of the occult are easily perceived throughout the modern World. Societal complexities cloaking their clandestine enigmatic fraternities from the common man's narrowing vision. Allowing romanticized versions of Illuminati styled organizations to be openly portrayed in movies and literary fairy-tales. Minimizing the unmitigated influence these dogmatic zealots hold over those in power. Manipulating wars, famine, diseases, capital, and the dark arts, free from a suspecting population who have lost their sense of the darker archaic history that predated their existence. Sometime between 1939 and 1945 during the height of World War II, the now infamous Nazi leader known as Adolf Hitler became obsessed with the occult. Believing its untold mysteries were the keys to unlocking his ultimate control of the World, his fanatic views consuming his life. Driven by forces beyond his control the mad dictator procured several fabled items in his search for unparallelled power. Most were recovered, some destroyed, but one item in-particular caused wide spread paralyzing panic when it was discovered amongst the dead fascists paraphernalia. The Codex Gigas, or, the Devil's Bible. The Vatican spared no expense in their exhausting research of the recovered medieval manuscript, tirelessly combing its extensive volumes in search of any missing pages. Of which they concluded there were four. Four missing pages from the darkest literary work of mystical Satanic devotion.

- The Legend -

The fabled narrative tells of a scribe, a monk from the middle ages who, for reasons unknown, turned his back on the Orthodox Church. Fracturing his ascetic vows the former Fryer was condemned to isolation, walled up alive never again to set foot outside his solitary prison. However in an effort to escape his fate the Monk pleaded for clemency. Vowing to author a composition celebrating the greatness of the Monastery that would endure throughout the centuries. Immortalizing the wealth of ALL human knowledge in but a single night. Yet as the doomed and disgraced man of God realized the magnitude of the task he had promised, fear ate away any left over faith in the lord he may have held onto. And so in an act of complete defiance he besieged the fallen angel, Lucifer, for help. In exchange for his tainted soul the Devil agreed to ink the book himself adding the venomous indoctrinations of his own poisonous believes and secret incantations of the forbidden arts of mysticism and despair. (Most of this is the actual legend but in my own words. Fragmented sections have been added for the purpose of the story)

Modern Day:

Every conceivable effort and resource had been called into favor by the Vatican as they tirelessly searched out the missing pages. With little hope, all seemed lost until the Fallen Angel fell for good. Stricken down by the heroes and villains of the World through a series of misguided adventures, it had seemed as though the lord had answered humanities prayers. But Lucifer was not alone in his betrayal of the heavenly faith, his vaunted black army, "the L'esercito Nero" still remained. Walking the Earth in human form, they infuriated the most powerful positions throughout the globe procuring authoritarian positions in easily manipulated third World countries. Known as the Grigori in the Second Book of Enoch, these rejected Archangels now move to utilize the pages of the Codex in order to resurrect the most notorious fallen angel of all, the Morning Star, as planetary alignments are posed to usher in the rebirth of the dark lord through his ultimate vessel, a young Italian girl, Ladonna. Birthed with a sacred marking on her neck this young 8 year old girl has been plagued with prophylactic nightmares since the time of her conception. Never fully understanding who, or what she was. And so the Catholic Church has set their ultimate weapon, The Vatican Assassin, on the girls path. His mission, to destroy the vessel before Lucifer's army can carry out the resurrection ritual.

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Rules

  • The is a canon open rpg
  • The outlined plot is fairly simple. In the Vine Universe Lucifer was killed sometime ago. But now he stands ready to return.
  • Devoted Archangels throughout the World are slowly converging on Italy as they search for a little girl named Ladonna. Through her ritual sacrifice the Morning Star can rise again.
  • Gambler is tasked with killing her. Now as a hero or moral stronger individual feel free to seek out other means of stopping the resurrection.
  • Its a basic evil Angels poised to raise the Devil and what you as a participant plan to do.
  • Like I said its open, so play up any twists, history, plot, etc, you want. I'm kinda going for a hierarchy with the fallen angels. Like they are the top badasses with easier to defeat minions/demons/possessed individuals working for them (maybe your character fits that role better which is fine also).
  • Any questions feel free to pm me.
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#2 Edited by Ethan Starks (2815 posts) - - Show Bio

The harmonic melody of Lenny Williams Cause I Love You was all that could be heard as the superb stereo system built into the Sentinel's Shield's dune buggies blared. The eccentric hero, Ethan Starks, wheeled the all terrain vehicle around the the Moon's surface whilst singing along with the legend. "I love you. I need you. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhhhh!" He yelled at the top his lungs as his car shot out of a deep crater. The suspension system provided a smooth landing as the wheels crashed against the soft ground and sped forward at a speed of 155 mph. Ethan was thoroughly enjoying this short time of peace. For once since he'd returned he lived his days without strife and anguish. He smiled without fear. His life was returning to what it was before Cassidy, before the Champions of Peace. But the realist inside him would not allow him to completely relish in the moment. He knew, like all who fought for justice knew, that evil would rise up again, in a greater form than before. Yet Ethan did not expect that it would come so soon as light engulfed him and he was taken from the moon base to a realm he was quite familiar with.

The Realm of Magic always appeared differently depending on the perspective of those who entered the realm. While may be presented a magnificent forest full of life others would see a once tropic location now devoid of life. Ethan saw a mixture of the two in a castle with aged walls and portraits of passed rulers. Before he could take a step an apparition of his mother manifested before him, her face caused him great concern. "What's happening? Why?" Ethan knew that the storm was coming, his mother would not call upon him if it were not. "The spirits have told me that a great evil seeks to return to your world. An evil that threatens all realms, even my own." Ethan face, filled with a look of confusion. "What evil?" His mother's head dropped as she uttered the name. "Lucifer. His angels seek to restore him to his former glory and through the restoration they will plunged your world into darkness turning the greatest among you into worshipers of the satanic entity."

Ethan shook his head, refusing to accept this. "There must be a way to stop this! I can fight them and I will, just give me the tools to succeed." She smiled faintly. Ethan's willingness to do right always came as an inspiration to follow the same path, but this time the path was fogged with no end to it in sight. "I can, but first you must intercept the motion of the events already in place. There is a child, Ladonna. She has been chosen as the vessel that Lucifer will claim as his own. The church has dispatched a force, shrouded by the shadows to rid them of her, believing that this will prevent the return of the Devil. But all it will do is make the portal that much more accessible. Ethan you must find this girl and protect her from both the archangels that descend upon her home, as well as the mysterious force of the Church. Once she is out of of the equation, you must find the Zither of Discord. It will allow you to capture the soul of Lucifer and his followers. But be wary, the carries many souls, some of which may try to corrupt your thoughts to gain freedom, your will must be strong Ethan." He did not doubt himself in the least bit and with a nod turned to make his exit.

His form was returned to its original position, the seat of the buggie was now cold to the touch. He immediately hopped out and made his way to the War Room so that he could contact his teammates, informing them of his knowledge on the situation. Upon arrival he took up the seat at the head of a long table. A microphone protruded from the table through a hatch that opened on Ethan's command. "Team, we've got what may be our first real threat since our joining. A group has been dispatched to eliminate a little girl who may be the pathway to the resurrection of the Devil. And when I say the devil I don't mean Darkchild, or Final Arrow, we're talking the one from the bible, Lucifer. Now unless you want to see hell on earth I suggest you meet me in Rome, Italy, further details will be given there." Without hesitation Ethan rose from his seat and dialed coordinates into his omni tool. With the omni tool he could access the teleportation software built into the base's systems and effectively teleport without the use of a station. There were limits to this method, pertaining to the number of individuals as well as power usage but nothing that would hamper him in the moment. His body vanished and reappeared in the Italian Records Administration, where he would try and pick up the trail of Ladonna before it was too late.

#3 Edited by Ishin (6830 posts) - - Show Bio

Deep in the mysterious confinements of the prestigious yet elusive Yuansu Clan monastery concealed by the denser forests in the undisclosed areas of China. Living in seclusion from the majority of the world, the legendary clan of ancient elemental martial artists, along with their undisputed grandmaster, cunning Impero, have seized the temporary peace of the world to indulge in deep sessions of uninterrupted meditation. Meditating in minor seclusion from the rest of the fabled clan, the enigmatic Yuansu Grandmaster meditates silently in a dimly lit room, an outward stretching ring of carefully lit mystical candles prominently surrounding his meditating figure. Clad in a ceremonial dark blue hooded cloak, the only recognizable piece of his uncharacteristic attire being his iconic alabaster mask devoid of any expression, further augmenting its undeniably eerie appearance. With the commencement of the prominently intense meditative sessions having occurred several weeks before, a colossal period of time had been offered for the harmonization of the clan with nature itself.

Having temporarily forsaken allegiance to his abnormally enormous chi reserves for the establishment of a powerful link with the environment's rampant chi, the elegant Emperor waits with unquestionable patience for the following evolution of his meditative state to occur. Abandoning the little emotional attachments that he has generated, acknowledging the expendable nature of all things physical, including those dearest to him, cryptic Impero's connection to the Earth's metaphysical energy that is referred to by his clan as 'external chi', for but a brief moment, The Genius' intricate mind and soul transcend beyond the physical. With the intention of encountering unbreakable harmony with the metaphysical realms that insist on playfully eluding him, the masked enigma had a sole agenda in mind. It was not for the fruitless purpose of absolutely enlightening himself as the Elders of the Yuansu Clan assumed and currently attempted, no. Impero's sole goal was the establishment of an even more powerful connection to the world's metaphysical energy, for this would award him with the invaluable key to further develop and evolve his unarguably exotic repertoire of masterclass, almost supernatural martial arts.

However, what the grandmaster martial artist encountered on his brief metaphysical journey was an unanticipated and admittedly concerning phenomenon. An ominous evil of biblical proportions was set to manifest and descend upon the unsuspecting world that the morally ambiguous strategist has seemingly promised to observe and protect from whatever dares to interfere with his cryptic plans. The potential rebirth of Lucifer, more popularly known and feared as Satan. Almost instantaneously, the masked figure's meditative session came to an abrupt conclusion. And almost in simultaneous occurrence to its end, the Yuansu Clan's theocratic Elders loomed into the extravagantly decorated room, quickly blowing out the candles with a gentle gust of wind. A worried, almost frightened expression overwhelmed their aged facial features as Impero's magnetic yet instinctively foreboding golden eyes stared at their halted figures, his uniquely colored sharp eyes mysteriously conveying his feelings over what he and what they had undoubtedly discovered during their ceremonial meditation.

Calmly rising from the black marble floor, cryptic Impero began, his deep voice, calm and certain yet somehow still conveying his concern over the matter. "Gentlemen, it seems that we have both learned of this... unanticipated event", he pointed out, their presence in the Yuansu Grandmaster's ceremonial meditation room would have been deemed irredeemably disrespectful had it not been for a plausible reason. "Indeed we have, Grandmaster. How do you propose we proceed? While we are well-versed in most things mystical and supernatural, this is not our area of expertise. But this cannot go unopposed", one of the Elders replied, his raspy elderly voice echoing in the room as Impero sighed with a calm nod, a testament to his acceptance of the Elders' lack of knowledge in this department. "I will contact who I believe are fit for this kind of situation. Worry not gentlemen, Impero will not to fail, I've never been good at it anyway", he shrugged, somewhat arrogantly before departing, he had an unexpected priority now.

While certainly compelled to contact one if not all of his close allies, Lara Kelly, Fowler, Sayomi Nakamura, Remus, or Kratesis, there was hardly any time for it. This was a matter that required utter and precise reactions. Now clad in his trademark dark hooded militaristic quasi-armored attire, the masked Emperor headed for the home of the infamous Vatican Assassins, La Chiesa di Nightswatch. While hardly knowledgeable on them, he was fortunately made aware of their questionable existence and location through debatable rumors. Should they truly exist, then they were the only ones with the legitimate knowledge and expertise required for such a biblical matter. While failure to stop Lucifer's rebirth was not an option, the possibility was not ignorantly abandoned. Hopefully, cunning Impero was not the only puppeteer who had grown aware of the current situation.

#4 Edited by Oluf_Von_Host_Museum (84681 posts) - - Show Bio

The musical compositions of the Cathedral's Byzantine themed choir had continuously blessed the small island church with its harmonic melodies of artistic unison. Their unwavering faith delivering the Vatican's strength through their performances, endowing the devoted with a reassuring sense of authority over the presence of evil as dark myths and legends had quickly come to fruition in an attempt to resurrect the Little Horn. His thrown long since abdicated. Fought over by those wishing to mold hell in their image as to one day become as ingrained in the minds of the masses as the fallen Archangel himself. But Jean Luc did not care about the religious mechanics or about the history and legacy of it all. His task had already been set before him for although he had willingly accepted the anointed position of a Vatican Assassin, the machinations were of his own accord.

Secretly contacted by the European Union's underground Illuminati, the former League of Assassins dignitary was informed of his ex-wife's experimental augmentations. As the last Cotillard her connections to the Vatican pre-dated that of the LeBeaus making her the perfect candidate for the abrasive permutation. Evolutionary warfare had been the Churches weapon of choice and Esther their instrument. Alongside her treacherous former love they would serve as the Vatican's wrathful manifestation of judgment in the coming days. Only the Cotillard Countessa had inexplicably escaped captivity completely absent her memories, adopting the streets of Spain while surgically dispatching any the European Union had foolish sent to recapture her. The potential locked within her DNA however was simply to valuable to set adrift leaving the task up to the Living Legend.

Slowly the stiff white cardboard collar was removed from the black neckline of the Cajun's Gothic attire. Meticulously set alongside the other religious trappings he had become accustomed to wearing before reaching down underneath his bed to remove the beautifully hand carved wooden box. Its slender design and artistic markings a visual testament to its creator. Along its width the silk textured red strip of fabric remained unbroken, a sign that the self-proclaimed King of Kings had kept his vow. Until now. Breaking the seal the contents of the crate were removed and briefly admired. Gambler's Nth metal blade reverberating the distinctive metal twang as if taking a long awaited breath as he carefully unsheathed it with his thumb. Letting its glossed black hue taste the fresh air for the first time since having sworn to a higher code.

"Sir?" the sudden disturbance breaking the Cajun's moment of contemplation. "What is it" his response absent of emotion. "I believe there is a gentlemen here to see you." Sheathing the blade Jean Luc made his way through the Cathedral until coming upon the unmistakable posture of the cunning Impero. Expressionless, the mask concealed his face, but it was the Grandmaster's complete and perfect control of his body, his temple, that truly shadowed his intentions. "I know why you are here old friend, and I apology ahead but we have little time for commemoration. I must depart for Madrid immediately, and if dee impending danger has shepherd you dis far, it shall continue to do so, no?" Extending his hand signalling the start of a proposed alliance, no matter how brief of ill fated.

The voyage allowed the aristocrats time to articulate the situation to the best of their knowledge. Jean granting Impero unrepresented access into the Vatican's plan and ultimate goals as they pertained to quelling the chaotic uprising. As well as their slight deviation in order to recover the European Union's genetically mutated weapon of mass destruction, though purposely omitting that the weapon was in fact Esther Cotillard. "When we arrive we must hurry and track dis weapon down. She'll be extremely dangerous and elusive, but I'm sure we're more dhen up to dee task mon ami."

Around the World others were gathering. Their senses, magical incantations, bloodlines, or resources alarming them to the developing situation. Soon a line would be drawn and morally complicated situations would see friend turn against friend and teammate against teammate. And somewhere, all alone, a little girl felt the evil hand of the Devil touch her soul.

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#5 Posted by _Sojourn_ (19243 posts) - - Show Bio

"The door is still locked." The cold looking, young Asian-American woman, spoke. Her face was unshaken from what she'd just said, or at least, she was just set in that visage, something that felt homely to her when all else failed. Those that sat in the foyer of the home, leaned forward in their chairs, visibly worried about the one they had all gathered for. Another spoke up, "He's been in there for six entire days now. He hasn't come out to eat, or even piss." He was a white man, wearing a pair of slacks, button up, and blazer. There were about seven other guests present, most of whom were fiddling with their phones, or checked out, lost in work or some form of time exhausting activity. The woman spoke out again. "I don't know what it is he could possibly be doing in there. He hasn't even made any noises, none that any of us can understand anyway." She said this, baffled. Everyone knew that he was not dead, for there were bountiful murmurs, in low register keys that most of them had to press their ears against the door to hear. Atticus Blaire, secluded himself in the rented house in Washington D.C. he'd been using as his office, and place of rest.They group wondered, spontaneously shouting out possibilities for the causation of Nominee Blaire's sudden reclusive nature.

And on the seventh day he rose...

Atticus unlocked the door. The clicking of the lock signaled his army of campaign advisers and assistants downstairs to hurriedly compose themselves. But it was for not, for Mr. Blaire himself had downgraded from dapper to near homeless appeal. His robe was loosely done, barely holding in the taught and soiled stench of week old under garments. There was a visible amount of sweat and smut that covered him, a rather disgusting and disheartening appearance for someone running for president. As he came down the wrapping stairs, his hand slid down the golden banister, propping him up, for he was week. Atrophy had almost set in. When eyes met his body, gasps let out. "Sir...Are you" The woman was cut off. His hand flailed up, pausing her mid sentence. "I am quite fine." She backed up slowly, allowing the presidential hopeful to pass. He stood amongst them, and oddly enough, they stood around him, encircling his presence. Silence had hushed them all, each and every one of them could feel themselves becoming engulfed by something stranger than any feeling they'd ever had. One by one, their bowed heads lifted to gaze upon, the man they had worked for...He spoke to them..."And on the seventh day, I rise among you once more, bearing news." Each one, kneeling around him, swayed glances to each side, wondering why it was all of this was so. Why, the man running for president looked like he was homeless, wondering why he had been locked in a room for seven days, and why all of a sudden they felt a sense of dedication unparalleled to anything they'd experienced before. "I bring with me from my journey a clarity unknown. I have seen the stars being born, and I have seen the first raindrops. All that was shown to me have brought me to a conclusion. I offer not only peace. I offer salvation. Heed my words for they are salvation. The greatest evil ever known is poised to rise again to reclaim the world in his fiery clutch. But fear not, for I am salvation." His repetitiveness, seemed unbearably insane to them all, and yet, opposed to their own sense of judgement, they believed every word he said. In the short time of his arrival from the dark room, he had become more than a leader, he had indeed become salvation.

"I will speak to the world within two days time. They shall know of my offer. When I speak, they shall heed my words as they do water to drink and food to eat. I am their salvation from what is coming. Will you follow me?" They all nodded, sealing their undying love for this...man?

The Book of Loyalty

It is something that almost not be explained completely, because to every owner it means something different. Each owner however has become known as a leader, great and powerful. When Atticus received its gifts, offering an abundance of knowledge and other things yet uncovered, he was shown Moses leading his people to freedom. Within the six days, he was guided through the birth of existence, filling him up with information that could only be described as ageless. All they way up to present day, the world unfolded, opened up, deciphered itself. Everything was clear, and everything was made known. Upon the ending, he was shown that he was the light, and that the darkness within him was more than just power, it was just and righteous. He, was chosen to be something greater than flesh could aspire to be.

#6 Posted by Alexander Kassabian (100 posts) - - Show Bio

"Conductors of this play slowly gathering throughout the World signal my masters imminent return." A gargled rasp tainted voice hissed softly while somewhere off in the distance a harmonic melody from an opened music box filtered through the small suburban home just south of the River Isar in Munich Germany. But inside resided the ghastly scene of an unforgivable degradation of a once vibrant father, mother, and daughter. Their blood stained screams painted a horrific picture of their tortuous ordeal covering the walls, banisters, floors, and ceiling. A Masochistic masterpiece of the macabre was all that was left of a once bright and loving family unit. "Forces are moving with accelerated purpose as they aim to position themselves in calculated machinations. The Dragon of Death is near, Hell's stench resonates from the absences of his violated soul. A valuable weapon in waiting perhaps." Again the Archangel's words floated through the air absorbed by a nothingness as if consumed by the shadows themselves. His exaggerated frame perched atop the back of a wooden chair with perfect balance crouched down like an over sized bird.

Twirling round and round the crimson speckled ballerina spun as its once beautifully cared for container laid partially destroyed on the floor. Just inches away from the lifeless hand of the young girl the Fallen Angel Baal had mistakenly targeted as Lucifers would be vessel, thus tragically sealing her fate. "Vatican chaos will have seen them unleash their assassins and others are sure to follow. Impressive is the one they call Impero, though his choice will usher in a damnation of his own creation. No, even if they are successful in recovering the Cotillard bloodline it will only serve to betray their mission in the end. But there is another who must be accounted for." Pausing as if listening to an unheard voice before continuing, "He has a compendium though its power prevents me from understanding its potential. And the wildcard, Ethan Starks...........his soul is conflicted, if.....if we are able to turn him then humanities last hope will be ultimately be its undoing."

Suddenly the music stopped causing Baal to violently whip his head exposing his heart stopping horror of a face. Its white bone like exterior highlighting his illuminated red eyes as they reflected the full moon beaming through the bay window. Focusing on the snaking trail of blood carrying through the living room towards the back and the strenuous grunts of the brave little girl desperately clinging to life as she fought with everything she had to pull herself towards the rear door. "Such spirit!" The angel mocked with a theatrical tone. With little effort he stepped down from his perch and followed the child, even stopping to open the door for her. But like a massive bird of prey his over-sized talons unmercifully impaled her back gripping her tiny frame with bone crushing force before taking flight. His search for the propheciezed child continuing

#7 Posted by Zenith_Of_Zero_Gravity (6 posts) - - Show Bio

As night set and the moon hovered gracefully over the city of foundations. The illuminating lights complimented perfectly one of the worlds most romantic cities. On top of one of the cities many artistic buildings the messiah of acrobatics was running with the grace of a jaguar and gliding from building to building with the swiftness of a falcon. Enzo wore a pair of cargo pants and a red and black hoodie which hid his handsome features from anyone who might be lucky enough to catch the young parkour expert in his element. He had a backpack strapped and a pair of earphones plugged into his sockets, booming Task Force's Walk With Me. As he moved throughout the city, no one move was the same. The prodigy was like the nature he so carefully studied, always evolving and never stepping back into the dark ages.

Enzo quickly stopped as he finished yet another perfect leap. Looking up he heard the booming sound of thunder followed by multiple quick strikes of lightning then a downpour of rain hit the city. Enzo removed his earphones and couldn't help but wonder that the sudden arrival of the thunderstorm was rather strange considering there were no such reports of a storm in the local news. It was if the heavens had opened as a number of lightning bolts struck the city almost simultaneously. As they did people down below quickly began to rush for whatever shelter they could find, and the young maestro knew he needed to do the exact same thing. Running across the edge of the building Enzo leaped and with cat like agility grabbed a pole that was sticking out of the wall. With one fluid motion he leapt across the air and landed on a lamp post before using it to find a safe passage back to the ground.

Utilizing back lanes as a shortcut Enzo soon found himself at his destination. A small day care for homeless children and orphans which he run. As he got their he immediately heard a young girl scream followed by several more, each with their own distinct pitch. Peering from the confides of the shadows. Enzo noticed a group of three men attempting to knock down the reinforced door. Every ounce of his instincts told the young man that this was not good. Grabbing a nearby bottle he tossed it into the street and kept himself hidden. The 3 men turned as their blood red eyes showed something that was not at all human. "Demoni" Enzo quickly thought to himself though he had never met the supernatural before. He did not know why they were targeting the children and he did not care. All he knew was that he needed to protect the youngsters. Walking from the shadows he stepped into the light as the storm was ever growing.

"Excuse me gentleman can I be of assistance" Enzo bowed as he spoke with the tone of aristocracy and walked forward with the grace reserved only for kings and queens. Though such acts hid the fact that he was quite terrified in more ways than he himself could explain. The 3 men stopped and glared at Enzo who simply smiled back charmingly. Enzo stopped moving as he kept his eyes fixated on the small group, not knowing what to expect but his mind and body was ready for anything. "Open this door or suffer human" One of them spoke, his voice booming like thunder. Enzo smiled but quickly returned his look to one of seriousness. "I cannot do that, for you see I swore to protect what's inside from strangers, and you sir are very very strange" Quickly the 3 converged upon Enzo in a triangle formation. "You do not understand, soon the dark prince will walk amongst us and you and all these maggots will be burned into ashes" Enzo's eyes remained focused as he laughed at the only one who spoke. "I have no idea what your blabbering about but I will not allow you to bring harm to those ive sworn to protect, so if you ugly fuckers wanna see something beautiful before I send you packing........Portala"

Enzo using his centre of gravity changed his body positioning and made haste as the 3 demons gave chase. He knew getting them away from the children was his top priority, he just didn't know how he was going to deal with them. The 3 were incredibly fast, but Enzo utilized his skills as a free runner to manoeuvre across the city as he made his way to the rooftops. As he ran he took a flair and an oil can from his backpack and noticed one of the demons had followed him up high. Keeping his eye on the demon, Enzo leapt in the air in order to reach another building. As he did the demon followed. Lighting the flair he tossed it back at the demon and used the oil can to create an explosion which shredded his pursuers face, causing him to plummet to ground as his body impaled itself upon a pole. Enzo stopped, his heart had been racing from the excitement. As he tried to contain himself another of the demons stood in his path. "Oh really now, I mean I know im handsome and all but this is just ridiculous" The demon charged Enzo and threw a punch at him. Using the strap on his backpack Enzo trapped his opponents arm and sidestepped before rolling his body into the demon, breaking his arm. The demon just snarled and used his other arm, Enzo used his reflexes to duck away and once again used his backpack to uppercut the demon in the jaw sending him reeling back. Throwing the pack at the demon who caught it used it as a stepping stone as he kicked the man's temple, makling him groggy for a few brief moments. Enzo once more jumped but this time wrapped his his legs around the demon's neck and flung him towards the edge of the building. As he landed the sound of his back breaking was clear. His body clumped to the ground below. Enzo looked down and noticed him still moving.

Jumping down he made use of his self gravitational control to increase his own weight. As he landed the impact upon the demon's body shattered every bone before killing him. Looking around Enzo could not see the final demon anywhere as he suspected the worst. Doubling back the messiah of acrobatics made his way back to the orphanage. Only this time the door had been removed and the screams had grown louder. Rushing inside he noticed the final demon had the kids cornered. "Enzo....... Hey look guy's Enzo's come to save us" A young boy spoke through a tone of fear. "Thee girl Ladonna where is she" Enzo moved slowly towards a nearby cabinet. "We have no one by that name here" With all his demonic fury the spawn of satan twisted his body and growled "Sile......" And without hesitation Enzo drew a handgun and placed a bullet within the demon's skull. "Is everyone OK?" The youngsters was his first concern as they all nodded. Removing the body Enzo could deduct that their might be more demons and that they where targeting children, for what reason he did not know. All he knew was a young girl by the name of Ladonna was in trouble. Taking the children to an underground bunker beneath the daycare. Enzo spent a period of time calming them down with a combination of shadow puppetry and stories of his adventures across the world. Their favourite was always the time he found himself naked in the middle of an opera show. "Michael your in charge" Enzo proclaimed as he made his way back to the surface, His search for a girl who was in the centre of something he did not truly understood had begun.

#8 Posted by Kurrent (14067 posts) - - Show Bio

6 months ago

A bright light woke him. As his eyes began to open he realized he was in a dreary room hooked into a heart rate monitor. He quickly perched himself up and noticed a man dressed in a hooded cloak walk towards him. Instinctively he stretched his arm out towards the man with the intent of sending a blast of electricity his way, but to his surprise it was not electricity that manifested from his arm it was ice.

The shock consumed him and he almost didn't notice that the hooded figure smack the ice shard away with a brush of his hand like he was simply waving it off. "Where am I?" Jayden asked with a confused look on his face. The man in the cloak looked at him deep in the eye and suddenly Jayden heard in his head "have no doubt you are amongst allies". Jayden turned his body keeping an eye on the man and began to remove the needles that were dug inside of his skin. "You are speaking to me telepathically" he asked rhetorically then said "who the hell are you? what am I doing here"

The man took a few steps towards Jayden and said in a low soothing tone that projected in his head. "You are in the Temple of X. I was once known as the Silent Master, but now my title is Grand Master X. I have been keeping an eye on you for quiet some time. Days ago my clansmen and I rescued you after you let that man get beaten in front of you. A light flashed and your electric essence left your body. We knew we had to step in and brought you here. Consider your new skill a gift from the Temple of X, you can stay here and master your skill or you may leave the choice is yours."

Today

He began to circle the man in front of him that was armed with tonfas. As began coming towards him a blue aura circled around both of Jaydens hands. The man lunged forward sending an attack towards Jayden's head but was met with hard ice constructed sticks that had manifested by his will. Jayden quickly pushed forward taking the man off balance and began an attack of his own ending the dance seconds later.

"Leave us" whispered in the heads of everyone in the room. Quickly the eight men picked themselves up from the floor dusting ice off of their clothes and left the room in a rush. Jayden quickly took a knee and looked up at the Silent Master that was sitting on a throne overseeing the days training.

"The Temple needs you Kurrent" he said and just hearing himself be called that brought chills up his spine. "An evil, thee evil, is rising and the temple is required to assist, you will serve as champion for this. The only information I have to give you is a child called Ladonna from Italy is in danger. She must be found and brought here for safe keeping. This is of the utmost importance. Follow the paper trail and use the gift we have given you wisely."

This was it Kurrent thought to himself. He is going back into the world again, but this time with a new power set that he still had not completely mastered. As he got up and began to walk out of the room to depart for his mission the Silent Master got his attention. "Another thing" rang in Kurrent's head "The world has changed in these 6 months that you have been a guest here. Former allies are now enemies and enemies may very well be your allies now trust your instincts, but never trust anyone who is in league or a part of the Yuansu Clan."

#9 Posted by Ishin (6830 posts) - - Show Bio

The Yuansu Grandmaster's unmitigated, legendary focus was for a brief, very subtle moment, broken by the unanticipated encounter with both his invaluable ally and unquestionable rival, Jean Luc LeBeau. Quickly however, the temporary period of genuine surprise was powerfully overwhelmed by cunning Impero's unmistakable poise and seemingly unbreakable composure. With arms elegantly folded behind his back, body radiating with a non-physical aura of classic regalia, the masked enigma's foreboding yet mysteriously magnetic golden eyes met with those of his former League of Shadows associate. Jean's words were undoubtedly true, there was very little time for a chat between the two, indeed the world's unwanted biblical predicament would have an irreversible impact on humanity should it remain unopposed.

With a calm nod representing his agreement, the enigmatic Emperor's response was appropriately brief and to the point, "Indeed. Let us go then my good man", while his characteristically deep voice was perpetually laced by instinctive composure and confidence, the concern he had for the current situation seemed to strangely overshadow his dominantly powerful, charismatic tone. Firmly shaking Jean's extended hand, in apparent acceptance of his wordless proposal, the Yuansu Grandmaster willingly joined the skilled blood-bender on an ill-prepared misadventure to confront the ominous threat that would soon descend upon an unsuspecting world. Paying careful attention to every single worded detail that escaped Jean's lips, cryptic Impero's intricate mind instantly absorbed even the subtle bits of information revealed as the aristocratic assassins discussed what knowledge they had. However, a portion of the discussion had caught the full blunt of his attention, for but a moment. Jean spoke of an unorthodox weapon of incomparable destruction, there was very little he revealed about it, and while his natural scientific curiosity did indeed render Impero interested in Jean's cryptic statements, he did not allow his mind to waver from the true task at hand.

However, as the informative discussion continued, it was soon revealed that this weapon was in fact a person as it seemed. Calmly clasping his hands together in interest, the undisputed Yuansu Grandmaster paid careful attention as this mysterious woman was described as lethal and elusive. This was quite interesting. "Hmm I see. Then you are correct Mr. LeBeau, this seems like a task that I would gladly aid in the commencement of", he admitted, before shifting to a different topic of conversation. "Recent events however, are not to be forgotten, as I am certain you know of. The revelation of the... biblical phenomenon came to me in deep meditation. I came to the Vatican because, well, this task is right up their alley, wouldn't you say my good man? Tis a refreshing surprise if you will, that I encountered you today". indeed it was. While Jean had effectively masked himself from the relentless claws of the public, even the meticulously manipulative monarch himself could not predict where his unpredictable rival would find solace in.

"Tis no surprise that we are taking action though. The world's heroes are arrogantly self-righteous, they're black and white thinking would doom them in such... a morally complex situation, wouldn't you agree Mr. LeBeau? After all, only a select few possess our backbone. The world, she would die without those like us. Very few are willing to drive a blade through a young girl's heart if it means the prosperity of the planet", he concluded, apparently showcasing no remorse for his words, there was no room for such a petty emotion, especially in a demanding situation such as this. Soon he requested more details about this weapon of mass destruction, "Tell me more about this woman who's value as it seems is not unlike that of a destructive weapon".

#10 Edited by MasterofChaos (1153 posts) - - Show Bio

The Son of Chaos, Remus Pax stood alone in a room at the top floor of his Iberia home, overlooking the beach from an open window, but also watching. The sounds of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and Chopin's Raindrops played softly, simultaneously in a loop throughout the tower. Remus stood for hours since waking, waiting for his guest, a vacant stare plastered on his face. The reason, a recurring dream, of a child. Exactly what was the purpose, he didn't know, but something inside told him of Destruction. Six nights, he slept horribly because of it. Strange, for one who usually revels in Destruction, who feeds on the malicious thoughts of others; he should not fear something so grand. Then, on the morning after the seventh, it hit him. Beyond the manifest content of the dream, he saw an opportunity that could not be missed. And so as soon as he awoke, he made the call to Asgard.

"Sir, she arrives," a serving man spoke through the door. "I know. Thank you, Chives," Remus spoke back quietly before finally moving. A snap of his fingers and he was fully clothed in a suit for a formal occasion, black with a white dress shirt and a black trench coat. Now fully dressed, he descended the stairs.

Through the front gate Lorelei walked the last steps of the long path to the front door, holding carefully in her hands a black box. Remus greeted her at the entrance. They both smiled, but underneath, she still looked as if finding some fault with him, and again he spoke and acted as if hurriedly trying to cover up some fault in himself. But soon, that familiar feeling would be no more. "Mother! You look as beautiful as ever. I trust you have complied with my request and have accomplished the goal. I hope it was not too much trouble. And no one knows of it?" They embraced and walked inside, heading back up to the top. "Any trouble is worth it for you, my son, the future ruler of Asgard. Yes. I have it." She opened the box to reveal the head of Mímir, the wisest of all, who may see the future and whose head is that which gives council to Odin.

The head was placed in the centre of Remus' private meditation room, and he sat in front of it, Indian style. "Tell me, Mímir, what is the meaning behind these dreams? Am I mistaken to believe this girl, this...Ladonna, is supposed to be the forthcoming of the Angel of the Bottomless Pit? And there are going to be a bunch of people, looking for her?" A simple question required a simple answer. "You are correct, on both counts. As we speak, the search has already started." At that the future god smiled. Funny, how the one whose words are the cause of Remus' banishment will be the one who starts him on the path back to the homeland. "That is all I require of him. Thank you, mother. He can go back in the box now." Now Lorelei stood behind him, seemingly shocked by how brief was the use for so much trouble she went through to obtain the head. If she was caught, it could mean death. But she put on a smile. "Tell me, son. Why have him brought here for such a simple task? What is your purpose?"

Again, Remus smiled, even wider than before. An almost cartoonish grin, accompanied by a subtle chuckle. "Okay, I'll tell you mum. This girl, this Italian, is supposed to be a vessel for the Fallen Angel Lucifer. A vessel, like a ship, only a person." His voice picked up with excitement and he began pacing sporadically around the room "But when you think about a ship, it goes different places, it moves around. A ship can be made to transport tea, from England to the Americas. But what happens if there's say, a Nubian, and he's stuck in England, but he misses his home? He'll do anything to get back there. So he gets together with a group and they become pirates. They stow away, then steal the ship and sail away to Nubia, or whatever part of Africa he's from. That's right! I want to repurpose this vessel so that she can take me to Asgard! I'll find her, save her, nurture her, and then I'll use her to get back home. Once I find out how. If not, there's always the option of holding her for ransom until whomever else wants her can meet my demands. I wonder what I'd ask...."

Upon hearing, Lorelei likewise smiled and embraced her son from behind. "Very well, Remus. I wish you all the best in your endeavours, and I hope to see you soon in the Golden Halls. Come now, and escort your mother to the door. I hate to be so brief, but I need to return this before someone catches wind of its missing." They got up and she packed the head back into the black box, and once again ventured downstairs.

Just before she left, Lorelei removed from her breast a small vial containing a sparkling blue liquid. "This vial contains water of the sacred well Mímisbrunnr. Drink of it, and you, too, may possess the wisdom of Mímir. But of course, there is a price. Odin gave his eye; to receive the benefits would cost you something as well beforehand. Otherwise, you drink nothing but water from a well."

"Yes, of course, mother." Exchanging these words she turned to go, but turned back once more as if she had forgotten something. "Remember, my boy. This realm, and everything in it, is insignificant. No one and nothing matters here. Just make sure you get back home alright." And with that, she did leave through the gate, disappearing from his view behind the large trees that surrounded the home. A moment later, a rainbow showed in the sky, shooting somewhere far off into the distance.

"No time to lose! Time to go!" Back inside the house, Remus gathered up his satchel containing his belongings, mystical artifacts, weapons, magical tomes. A green glow shone from his eyes, then all around his body as he prepared to depart. "Perhaps the Impero would like to tag along to aid me in my quest....Well, he's probably far too busy doing emperor stuff to be worried about getting tangled in my adventures. No, not just yet. That can wait until we've actually gotten into Asgard. For now, to Italy!" And he vanished from the home, reappearing, hovering over the city of Rome. It was as good a place as any to start. Perhaps there was someplace where he could find birth records, dates, names, addresses.

#11 Edited by FatherRobertJamestown (48 posts) - - Show Bio

"Robert.." A booming voice spoke, cutting through the hold sleep held on the tired priest's mind. His fogged consciousness recognized the voice by the distinct overabundance of.. purity it had to it. A pure, rumbling thunder. Blinking, he sat up in his bed. "Robert.. it is time. You must wake, and we must hurry forth." Visions flashed through Robert's mind. A vivid image of a small girl standing before a great fire that burned with all the intensity of hell. Hell. The word hung in his mind for moments, serving as a reminder. "The Morningstar will rise if we do not move to act." Robert let out a heavy breath through his nostrils, then swung his legs over the side of the bed, pushing himself to his feet with his hands. "The girl, who is she?" Muttered the priest, grabbing a pair of pants and slipping them on. "The girl is to be his means of rising. Through her sacrifice, he will return." Robert was silent for a few more moments as he worked into a white shirt, buttoning it up shortly afterwards.

"What are our goals? Who are we up against?" As he exited the room, he grabbed the trenchcoat hanging off of the coat-hook on his door. "Several of my brethren. Archangels that chose to abandon our Father to pursue the ways of the Dark Prince. If we are to prevent them from resurrecting Lucifer, we must protect the girl at all costs." As Robert stood in his living room, he was stopped by a sight that he had only seen once before. A figure stood before him, its uniform, genderless body comprised of innocent, divine light. Lightning crackled across the surface of its body. "What is it?" Robert asked. The being set its hand on Robert's shoulder. "There is something you must understand, Robert. In the event that we have no other choice, if my brothers grow close to sacrificing the girl, we will have to kill her before the sacrifice can be completed." The priest froze. Killing a child. How could the holy, divine creature ask such a thing of him? "No. I cannot, the blood of a child on my h-" He was interrupted with a wave of the being's hand.

"You would allow the return of Lucifer just to spare the life of a child? Robert, if he returns, there will be untold chaos. Hundreds of thousands will die because one man refused to act." After a few moments of silence, Robert simply stepped past the being. "Robert-" This time, it was Robert who did the interrupting, one of his hands holding up to silence the being. "We're wasting enough time here as it is." With that, the golden being disappeared. The sound of lightning boomed throughout the household, and not even a millisecond later.. the priest was gone.

The archangel of lightning had begun his quest.

#12 Posted by Ladonna (38 posts) - - Show Bio

Three years ago on the night of May 15th, a child was born in a tiny mountain town in Italy. It was a tumultuous night, soaked with torrential rain and consequential mudslides. The stars were brighter than they'd been in years, somehow fighting to shine through the cloud cover. The planets had literally aligned in the sky above a small cathedral tucked into the shelter at the base of the mountain.

A young woman, nameless, homeless, penniless, had shown up on the step to the cathedral, begging sanctuary. The Father and nuns stationed there gave her the solace that was needed and were present for the delivery of her child. Upon arrival, the golden-haired girl let loose a shrieking cry before being toweled off and handed to her mother.

Cradled protectively in a mother's arms, as all children should be, the young babe new contentment and safety for brief moments before, from some freak occurrence of nature, her mother passed away.

The babe, christened Ladonna, grew at an exponential rate. With their deep-rooted faith and surprisingly vast connections, Father Gino Esposito and Sister Mary Donna managed to track down buried religious texts that the Vatican had attempted to hide. They spoke of a child, born among extraordinary circumstances. Gold of hair and pure of heart, without parents past her first hour of birth. A gift hidden in the body of a child.

Simultaneously a gift and a curse, this twice-blessed child would either be the beginning, or the beginning of the end. Everything else remained unclear, hidden from their knowledge, hidden from any divine sight that any had once mustered. The marking on the nape of her neck did not reveal anything. No records of it were found anywhere, all it did was add to the mystery of who and what this child was. What did the nightmares that plagued her every night reveal? Were they sights, portents of the future, or something else entirely? Only time would tell. The question was...how much time was there?

---------

"Get out, child. You must run, flee for your life, flee for everybody's life." Ladonna had been hidden in a run of the mill orphanage just three weeks ago after the portents of impending doom had grown stronger day by day. The young girl, now the size of an eight year old with the cunning mind and intellect of somebody years older simply looked up from the table where she was drawing pictures.

The nun who was speaking to her looked down at the paper, immediately taken aback. Most children drew pictures of their families, their pets, their toys. This...child, this creature, she drew extravagantly detailed pictures of what looked to be a Heavenly war. Angels clashing against demons and man against fellow man. In the center stood a small figure engulfed with golden light, tinted black at the edges; Ladonna.

"They're coming, girl." The soft voice of the nun was not comforting to the child who knew that the world was on her shoulders, yet did not know a single reason as to why. All she new was that she was different. She learned fast, the grew fast and in the short amount of time that she had been alive, an insurmountable weight had been put on her shoulders. Ladonna did not know what the exact reason was, she was not privy to the prophecy nor to the fact that if those who were after were successful in killing her, it would only make Lucifer's return that much easier. All she knew was that destiny had allotted her this job and she supposed it was up to her to do her best to adequately fulfill it.

Wearing a pair of jeans and a dumpy bright pink sweatshirt, her hair in pigtails and a backpack strapped securely to her back, Ladonna took to the streets that she knew like the back of her hand. Equipped with all of her worldly possessions stored in that backpack and the incredible intuitiveness that she had been bestowed with, her journey truly began. Trust nobody had just become her life motto and her only goal to make it through this ordeal alive.

#13 Edited by Esther_Cotillard (489 posts) - - Show Bio

Before

Operating table, scalpel, blood. Gallons and gallons of AB positive blood neatly packaged in small IV bags lined the perimeter of the room. The blood coursed through the narrow, plastic tubes, through the end of the razor sharp needle and deep into the woman's vein. At this moment it was the only thing keeping her alive. And they very much needed her alive...at least for now.

"...While she is still not conscious," the voice whispered. The room was white; eerily so, and reeked of disenfectant. Encircling the table the group of men in medical grade smocks, their faces covered by protective masks and their arms guarded from the bodily fluids by long latex gloves the length of their forearms began to step closer to the defenseless form resting on the operating table. Their leader lifted her head searching for the recent addition made to the figure, embedded deeply in the back of the woman's neck.

"It's worked, then?"

A deep voice resonated within the enclosed area from behind a white mask. The man in a perfectly tailored black Ferragamo suit entered the room. The clear, white light reflected off the surface of his black patent leather shoes as he stepped closer to the woman. Beady eyes drifted along the outline of her form as he ran a manicured hand against her lifeless arm. A plethora of perverse thoughts crept his mind, and he wondered for a moment what her body would taste like. After all, when was the next time he would have an opportunity like this one? It's not everyday that he'd find Esther -- the last Cotillard -- in in such a...vulnerable position. Pulling himself out of his thoughts, his gaze moved up and met with the lead surgeon.

"Yes, Sir. She's been fully implanted. We've managed to erase most of her memory -- At least the memories that could get in our way."

The masked man smirked and ran a slender index finger along the scar tissue on the back of her neck where the skin was slightly raised, still sensitive from the operation. "Then all is according to plan. Do we have the location of the young girl?"

A woman dressed in a red jacket and pencil skirt stepped forward. "Yes. We have managed to locate the girl's last known whereabouts. Our intel within the Vatican has revealed the girl is an orphan and lives on the outskirts of Assissi, Italy. In a small Italian village."

A sinister smile crept across the masked mans lips as he raised the woman's hand, drawing her closer. "This may prove easier than we anticipated. The Illuminati council masters will be pleased."

--------

Weeks Later

She'd spent so much time losing her identity, moving from one motel to the next so that she didn't have time to stop and ask herself questions about who the hell she was. She just knew she had to lose them. It was strange, firing a gun was second nature to her. Losing her identity and picking up a fake passport to take her from one European country to the next was a piece of cake. She knew where to get what she needed, knew who to talk to. But she still had no idea who the f_ she was. She leaned against the window more closely as she twisted the silencer onto the gun barrel and looked out the window through the scope. She pulled the trigger.

"Two for one...scoped and dropped"

She whispered as she watched the bullet blaze through the air, perforate the skull of a scout in a nearby apartment building, travel through his head and out the back, and pierce the head of the man behind him. She watched as they each fell lifeless to the ground. Not only did she remember how to fire a gun, but she recalled how to conserve her ammo. This would come in handy, particularly since she was running out of cash.

It had been two weeks since she had made her escape from the lab. She could remember tearing the intravenous units from both her arms and making her way through the vents of the building. Two weeks since she had first gone on the run from her unknown attackers. Why? Why the hell was she being kept in that lab facility in Brussels underground? What the hell could they be after? More importantly, who the hell was she?

The breeze picked up for a moment and grazed her bare upper thighs like cool breath, forcing the hair on her neck to stand on end. At that moment she realized she was barely clothed. She eyed her surroundings through the scope again and confirming for herself that she'd bought some time. The woman dismantled her sniper and slipped on her black leather suit and knee high boots. She had eliminated the chances of a direct confrontation, at least for now; but it wouldn't be long until her adversaries were once again hot on her trail. She slipped her rifle into her backpack and strapped it on her back. Picking up the slip of paper on the bed, she slipped it into the pocket of her backpack. She had received the adress to the nightclub earlier that day when she met her contact in Milan and obtained her passport. Folding it into her pocket, Esther slipped through the door of the cheap motel room discretely, closing it behind her.

----

She gripped the slip of paper as though she were holding on for dear life. Inside she could hear the pounding of heavy music, reverberating through the bodies of scantily clad women and lascivious men. This was her only chance, and she hoped that the man who owned La Luna could tell her who she was. Esther stepped into the dark club, illuminated only by the strobe lights that reflected off the mirrored ceiling. The rays of light glistened across the skin of the caged dancers above. She eyed her surroundings before making her way to the bar.

"What can I get you?"

"I need some information...I need to speak to Christiano...Is he here?"

The bartender cocked a brow and smirked. "Who wants to know?"

Esther's eyes narrowed at the question. She wasn't in any mood to play hard to get, but she knew she had to play nice if she was going to get answers. "I don't know," she said, doing her best to talk above the pounding music, "that's why I'm here." She was so eager to obtain information pertaining to her identity that she didn't realize she'd caught the attention of two men across the room.

"I think we're in luck, Mon Ami..." Jean smiled his signature cheshire grin at Impero and nodded in Esther's direction.

#14 Posted by _Sojourn_ (19243 posts) - - Show Bio

Today was the day, a monumental day. A day that would set his path to concrete, every step being toward a goal that could not change lest he be done. This hour, a brisk dawn morning, the sun had barely kissed the sky with its orange glow, and Atticus stood prepared. This confidence he felt was no burden, not even arrogance, for he arrogance would imply that he could do all things without failure. Atticus knew full well of his task, he knew how he would accomplish it, and how he wanted to. His confidence came from an ageless scripture, an unwritten text that only he and so few else were able to read. The Book of Loyalty had shown him Moses, it had shown him the stars and fire. This bound set of pages was powerful, more so than anything he had ever encountered. It had the ability to give its owner sway among the masses, give them a foundation upon which to grow an idea. Last night however, he was shown something sinister. It was often that those swayed by their leader, were lead down a treacherous path, one that was painted in red from bloodshed rather than glorious darkness.

WORLD WAR II

It was known that Adolf Hitler had written a book, translated from its German origins, to "My Struggle". In it he detailed his life, and beliefs, and why he believed them. It was a manifesto of sorts, a scripture if you will. Many took the book as religion, strictly following its words as law. The followers amassed in the genocidal attempt to rule the world was known throughout, but what was not known was a more gruesome and deadly tale of Stalin. Nowadays, people can reference the two War heads and decide for themselves which were more brutal in their attempt to win a war based off of hate, and blame. But never the less, the most unknown thing was that they both, held a darkness in their hearts so impure that when the Book of Loyalty fell into Hitlers hands, he could read it with ease. It was a test of humanity, the books way of scrutinizing the beliefs of those that read it. Maybe even, the book had a conscience of sorts, for it allowed once and only once for another reader to see. And that was Stalin. Now you say, you think this is crazy, and unjust. But think for one second, about how we view those countries now. Even a century after the war, when we think of Russia or Germany, we think Hitler and Stalin. That was the books set punishment for such atrocious use of its gifts. The misguided leadership of two men have set a legacy, bore by future generations who had nothing to do. An unseen scar that mutilates the face its countrymen.

...........

Was he being tested, Atticus thought. Of course he was, life itself was a test. As his growing mass of personal volunteers set up on the steps of the Washington Monument, Atticus couldn't help but to revel in the knowledge of who stood on these steps before him. The man that lead a nation from segregation to integration, and yet still never got to see his own children graduate from Seminary. As it just so happens, Mr. King had the book in his possession as well.

Word had spread about the speech he was going to give today, and quickly as the sun rose, and the day warmed to late summer early fall temperatures, a simple podium was set up on the fourteenth step of the ascending slope. Behind him Abe Lincoln watched in his stony capture, and in front of him, eyes watched, intently, carefully. He began.

"I come before you today, not as a nominee for President of these great United States, but as a citizen of the world. I come before you as a man that has, within a few short days, as been shown the light. I have been shown that I am the light." Audible gasps leaped from mouths of listeners. The audacious comment was despicable, how could someone claim to be the light, or in turn claim to be some sort of prophet. Believers in the Judeo/Christian/Muslim God were appalled at such gall.But he spoke on, unphased by the obvious dejection. "You see me as flesh and blood, clothed as a man, but I assure you that I am more than that. I speak to you now, I come before you now, my people, as salvation." More gasps. "My people, there is a great schism coming, and I will not stop it. I will not try to stop it. I truthfully do not know that I can stop it alone. But where the singular fails, the plural shall prevail. My people, WE ARE ALMIGHTY!" People were so confused. They had no idea of what he was talking about, and yet, they felt an odd belief in his words. Upon them had been pressed a feeling of dread for the days to come, and an even odder feeling of belief that Atticus was savior from it. And so they listened on, and as he went on, they drowned deeper and deeper into him."I offer you solvency. I offer you clarity, I offer you a place of peace and tranquility that turmoil can not touch. I offer you SALVATION!" He slammed right fist against the hard wooden surface of the podium, it turned red as he lifted it into the air, professing, proclaiming his power. "I cast my hand out to you" And so he did, and darkness, a revalation of sorts to some who were unaware that he even had powers, began to pour from it. "Give truth to your sin. SPEAK IT NOW AND GIVE IT LIFE!" It was unheard of, one man asking the world before him to speak aloud their transgressions. A conversations usually held between God, and holy liaison was now to be broadcast between strangers. And yet... "When I was 17, I stole from my grandmother." "I have touched my daughter repeatedly" "I burned him with the iron when he would not stop crying" "I Killed him"

People were revealing the things that held them down, they were giving life to the very things that had captured their souls in deadly vine. "Speak. Speak...SPEAK" He repeatedly shouted over the now thousands of voices that had gathered on the yard of the monument, and as he did so he crashed his fist against the podium. Beaten raw, he began to bleed. Lifting the bloodied hand in the air once more, Atticus spoke once again. "DO YOU SEE! I BLEED FOR YOU." A rousing and raucous applause lept from the hands of the numerous crowd. As each person confessed their sin, they fell to their knees, weakened, and yet strengthened from his powers. As one darkness exited, a more powerful, more righteous darkness entered...They were truly filled up with him. "Now all I ask of you is one question. WHAT AM I?" Tearful eyes, glad eyes, lifted towards the man they once knew as Atticus Blaire, Presidential hopeful. In one voice they returned with an answer. "You are Salvation"

#15 Posted by Oluf_Von_Host_Museum (84681 posts) - - Show Bio

An opposing display of visually aesthetic regal bearing artistically ingrained within the muscle memory of Count Impero and the LeBeau Legacy, had been manifested through the circulation of calculated faints, parries, and elusive maneuvers. As the components of the charismatic martial artistes were put to the test against the renegade Cotillard as she desperately fought to escape capture, perceiving the masked Iberian emperor and the black Canali suited cleric to be her enemies. With augmented capabilities infused within the fabric of her biological makeup, Esther proficiently executed a combat performance greater then most teams could achieve with consolidated unity. Transitioning her styles mid-strike allowing for the ability to escape counter attacks, deceitfully absent of where conventional wisdom dictated her body be positioned. Proliferated aggression on her part making the task of subduing her absent harm an almost impossible task. Impero, instinctively reserved, remained poised while displaying his identifiable attributes keeping his arms confidently folded behind his back amid the maelstrom of viper like strikes, disregarding the use of his arms to deflect or block. Shifting with visually effortless elegance with subtle turns and tilts never showing any amount of agitated avoidance or concern.

Back and forth the Last Cotillard lashed out targeting the pressure points of her would be opponents, but the mission was not to put Esther down, but to make her realize her overall importance. Understanding this Jean sacrificed himself in a last ditch attempt to break through to her. Swiftly swooping in low closing the gap just enough before dropping his hands, the LeBeau Legacy entered the deadly Contessa's kill box. Suffering an open handed finger tip strike to his third and fourth rib instantly bending him over allowing his ex-wife to deliver a, "Structured Religion" knee to his face. Instantaneously she reached out taking hold of the stunned Cajun's unprotected arm, looping her left leg over top before spinning around it like a coiling Cobra. Relegating her prey to the ground as she elevated her hips initiating the, "Whisper of God" armbar. "Esther ! Votre nom est Esther, et tu es l'héritière de la dynastie déchue de Cotillard" (Esther! Your name is Esther, and you are the heiress of the fallen Cotillard Dynasty) The distressed assassin thundered out before being relieved of his arm. Impero, having advanced into a favorable position, stood overtop of Esther with his arm pulled back and fingers curled to the top of his palm ready to blow her brains out of the back of her cranium should Gambler's plea fall on deaf ears.

With her grip loosened and the apparent shock of the moment painted on her face Jean Luc continued through monitored breaths, "Chere, tis me, tis Jean......your .....husband." His proclamation causing the modified deliverer of death to scramble to her feat unable to find the words. "You have....you had....a family, a daughter" pausing to remove Angelique's picture from the inside of his dusted jacket he presented it. Dismayed by the sudden and unexpected turn of events Esther was forced to take a seat in the now empty club. Their cinematic match having cleared the once vibrant atmosphere of club La Luna. "Chere, I can give you back your memories, your life, but first.....you have to listen to me. We need your help, dee Worlds salvation depends on it......"

______________________________________________

Throughout the five hour journey between Milan and Rome Jean explained, as best he could, the situation. And although Esther was far from convinced, the alluring prospect of recovering memories lost was simply to appealing to ignore. So she would placate the Cajun, for now anyway. The tale of Lucifer's vessel manifested in the form of a little girl would hold no moral apprehension if in the end it meant the retrieval of a life lost, memories regained. But as their transportation slowly rolled to a stop outside the small mountain sheltered Cathedral clandestinely secluded somewhere outside of Rome, the instant smell of death washed over the trinity causing them to sheltered their noses with various means of protection. "Are we to late?" Esther's question filled with worry. Not for the child or the World, but in fear of losing the promise offered in exchange for her help. A dead child would mean her usefulness and one advantage as it pertained to regaining her life would be forfeited. Glancing over at Impero and then back to Esther, Jean replied, "Let us..." venom dripping teeth coupled with demonic breath and tails winding down into the heads of snakes, violently interrupted the Aristocratic Assassin as he was ambushed by a lurking Hellhound. One of thousands, the Hellhounds had been dispatched throughout Rome in search of the missing orphan. A pack of six having tracked the girl to the Cathedral only to find her absent. Their wraith not spared amongst the unlucky souls inside, nor the unsuspecting triad of assassins outside it.

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#16 Posted by Ethan Starks (2815 posts) - - Show Bio

"I am sorry Mr. Starks, but there is nothing that we can do.To locate someone we need a full name and a I.D." Ethan suspected as much. He had so little information to go on that even the advanced tracking systems could not pinpoint something so insignificant as a small child out of billions of people. With a easy smile Ethan thanked the woman for her help and exited the Records administration. The city, vibrant and bustling like any other served as a small distraction to Ethan, who decided to walk the streets as he searched for the answer to the question: Where? As he sauntered through the cobblestone walkways, passing St. Peter's Square, stage of the Pope it seemed that his fame had not escaped him in his three year recluse. Three women flocked to him, grasping the raglan sleeves of his Thom Browne duck sweater tightly. "Oh my, your Ethan Starks? Your supposed to be dead!" Starks smiled as the first lady, a petite brunette with wide green eyes and thin lips giggled happily. Her two friends, both strikingly similar giggled in unison and made their place at Ethan's opposite side. "When your a Starks, anything is possible. But if you ladies don't mind, I have somewhere very important to be." With a bit of a struggle Ethan unlatched himself from their grip and took a step forward, only to be intercepted by them once again.

"Come on, live a little!" Their accents were attractive to say the least, giving the English language a bit of elegant flair each time they spoke. Ethan shook his head in protest but before he knew it they were dragging him along and he was helpless to resist. You could say that for most of Ethan's life he remained a bit of a loner, sticking to himself and his inventions for the most part. Outside of his parents and his sister he had very few interactions in his adult life. Upon meeting Cassidy O'Rourke he began to open up, exposing his inner working as well as his personality to a great many of people. This ultimately ended in his demise, making him regret such a choice. Yet he was still his father's son. So when three provocative vixens insisted that they show him a good time it was damn near impossible to refuse.

The group entered Residenza Paolo VI Rome, a hotel directly in the Square, quite famous for both its luxurious rooms and its impressive location. The moment they stepped into the elevator the women became ravenously raunchy, tearing at Ethan's clothing whilst showering him with kisses. The attention was too much, he couldn't think. All that he had to rely on was feeling and senses told him something was awry. Instead of acting on this he decided to let things play out, fondling the women at random as they continued. The doors slid open and the brunette wrenched on his collar whilst the other two opened the door. The large interior was untouched, two beds, a fine dining table and a bathroom were all that Ethan made out before he was tossed onto the bed. His sweater was casually strewn aside and his button up baby blue, pinstriped, Stefano Ricci dress shirt followed in suit. His back lie against the soft satin sheets as the women still fawned over him, beginning to strip down.

Being inside, and away from the all the distractions Ethan's senses sharpened. He was picking up on an aura of darkness which he'd never felt. The fact that he could feel it now made him wonder why he could not before. It was too powerful to simply miss, screaming in his head like siren. Just then he diverted attention to his visual senses and the first thing he caught was a raised hand with long, razor sharp nails cast high. As it was brought down for a swooping strike Ethan screamed. Blood splattered against the headboard and the scarlet fluid dripped onto the pillows from the trio of gashes on Ethan's left cheek. The once amorous beauties had now become demons, their soft features became dark and disfigured . Ethan's face was horrified as he adrenaline began pumping through his body. He was completely unarmed and felt helpless without the tools he usually carried.

"Whats the matter? Afraid of little blood?" The blonde hissed, cocking back for another strike as the other two demons held down his arms. Ethan's face changed from the mystified horror to cocky grin. The woman sent her next strike, yet was interrupted as a blinding white light engulfed the entire area. The three bodies were sent flying, creating an orifice where the bodies collided with the wall. Ethan hopped off the bed and to his feet, his magical aura now present, sifting off of him in wisps of energy. His eyes were glowing, and his smile was ever present as he stood, awaiting the challengers. The demons leaped out of the wall with a bloodcurdling scream, surging towards Starks in a formation. Ethan raised a fist, glowing with white energy and slammed it into the ground. A symbol made of light appeared on the ground. It was circular shaped with marking along the inside. Three separate circles surfaced in the design and from each of the circles energy erupted in a cyclonic vortex. The demons dove forward, caught in the blasts. The vessels of all except the brunette were destroyed and Ethan stood up, ending the attack as he studied the only survivor. She writhed with pain, snarling and contorting her body along the ground. "You.. Will not succeed. By killing my sisters, you have stirred Lilith. She will hunt you, and use you to find the girl. The will of our Lord Lucifer shall not be denied!" White light with red hues burst from the demon's body, her physical form breaking away before utterly exploding. Ethan executed four hand signals, activating a spell that would removed him from this area. He resurfaced in the sky, high above the city of Rome, wings made of dazzling alabaster light beating against the wind to keep his body aloft. "Look mommy, an angel!" A young boy said, staring up from the balcony of his hotel room. The mother's eyes widened as she gazed upon a shirtless Ethan, his black slacks ruffled a bit from the skirmish.

He'd been going about this completely the wrong way. This was not something that could be dealt with in the realm of science. The nature of all of this was supernatural and if he had any chance of finding this little girl and stopping the prophesied resurrection he need to embrace the powers his mother had bestowed upon him. With the magic flowing through him his sixth sense was on her high alert. His complex mind made this sense inconceivably acute. He was picking up on both demons and angels, thousands of which were in this city alone, disguised. Humans gave off neutral energy for the most part, whilst angels and demons gave off light and dark respectively. But there was a single anomaly. An individual that was giving off all three energy at random. "That's it! But this means, Lucifer isn't the only one after that body..." He thought to himself before taking off, leaving a sonic boom that startled the citizens below in his wake. Ethan was hot on the trail, but he knew that using these powers would only make him a beacon for the more powerful satanic minions. If he was going to keep this girl safe once he found her, his magic would have to be forsaken. He was getting close now, but the demons had sought him out quicker than expected. A duo of archangels were on his tail fast, their dark wings beating in unison.

#17 Edited by Enchantix (23 posts) - - Show Bio

The fluid surreal moments of life within her mind begins to be plague by dark concave figures and images, shifting upon every few seconds or so. Children ripped to shreds by their parents to suffice their hunger and one another pitted against each other, the inflammation of distrust and violence attaches to their soul, sucking away the pure innocence and morality of a person, was this just a simple dream that the empress was having? No this was something yet to come, something about to come, this was the future. "My empress, the seers have all gone blind, the Fukin division is done!" a female priestess shouted as she awoken the sleeping beauty, her comment was quite ironic in a sense yet disturbing. Moments later Empress Nozomi witness their muttering rattles of the coming end, "It's just as I said my empress, the seers have gone blind and worse insane. Their talking about some sort of end to this world." an unmoved facial expression took upon itself on the Nozomi's visage. "Bring in the Amaterasu, have a psychic lock down, report all psychics to this area at once." she demanded to the priestess. "Of course my lovely empress but why?" she questioned only due to the confusion, "Where going to delve into their mind, to try and help cease this problem.".

Hours passed and their mystical treatments failed, the Fujins were locked in a cycle of pain bearing visions, only Nozomi's mind and soul was able to withstand such pressure and sight of the premonitions. "My empress, princess Yumiko has detected that every other psychic in the world is affected and in a state exactly or almost similar to the Fujins.... Also relating to the ambiguous rise, being it Christianity related." her voice paused as a telepathic message was broadcasted to her "Princess Yumiko has detected large amount of divine magic that bears a slight resemblance to your signature but in large traces amount... Both the magic and psychic sphere is hit by a static like feed! Aside from that there is a massive celestial event, planetary alignment....", there was no time to panic, it seemed the visions were coming true, the future itself was of many wonders, Nozomi couldn't help but wonder why fate chose this one, "In all religion and it's center, there is a bridge in the universe that links us all as one, thin it is but it still exists. In every story that comes with it there is the horror that exists, this is one of them. We can't let this pass by us due to our differences, we must act or this empire pays the price. Bring in the sacred foreign texts and... Meet in the underground chambers, at once.".

The collection of mystical empowered individual all met up at the chambers underneath the palace forming a large circle in front of the rune sphere. The place itself was a magic reservoir that the empress used to lock and connect the energies, making it only hers in all other areas. "There's still no word from Sayomi..." Yumiko said as her voice was held in a way that might prove to try and sway others that Sayomi was treacherous. "We can proceed without her, Yumiko I'll take charge, I'll channel our energies. From there you'll bridge us as one.". Nozomi reason for this gathering was for one purpose only: to divide the divine energies she possessed to combat the forthcoming threat. Chants and movements was made in unison, their body filled up with natural energy as everyone of them grounded, Nozomi body then began to flash at high intensity, the light so strong and unbarring it would turn all viewing eyes away. "NOW YUMIKO!" the empress shouted the command, at that moment Yumiko stretched her hands paralleling them at both sides, creating a mystical fiber that shot to the others around and intertwined them together. The sudden immense up flow of energy ran through there body, a feeling of sudden adrenalin rushed to them, they felt renew, empowered, and strong. They all now received the blessing of Amaterasu, channeling smaller portions of the Sun Goddess.

"This divine blessing has given us insight.... It seems this whole event is in place for the revival of Lucifer Morningstar of the Judeo-Christianity. He's coming for someone.... His followers are in need a special host, his or her blood will be bathed in his unholyness, and thus bring forth the end of this era, and the rise of the once kingdom he has made. His revival is only mere distances away..." Yumiko expressed much thrill in the new abundant energy resource she acquired, was this the feeling that Empress Nozomi always felt inside her, she questioned. It felt so good, it felt so right, she felt superior. "Itsumi head towards Cerebral stay there and inform us of any global disturbances." this was a time similar to war and the empress had to stay alert at all times, "What do we do if we actually find this host my empress?" a maiden spoke "Do we kill her or secure her?" followed by a question. To take a life to save the many others or risk saving a life at the cost of many, "We are not monsters or killers, we'll secure her within our chambers, until this celestial event is over due- do you feel that?!" she shouted to all the others, "Incoming beams, it seems the angel are here... Their converging on the country and many others, I think they know of our intentions. Their is a prime location fix on the countries between Madrid and Rome!" Itsumi spoke from cerebral, her telepathic cries were a means to cause them to act in a quick pace.

Acting upon instinct, time was of an essence, "Two groups, one stays here, alert the other Shinto divisions, prepare to protect this country, another with me! Stationed group, go to the relic library room, unlock the seals and used the grimoires in our possession it being: Greater and Lesser Key of Solomon, Arbatel, Grand/Red Dragon grimoire, Munich handbook, Picatrix, Book of Raziel The Angel, Book of Abra-Melin and Haptameron. Absorb it's knowledge and use it to protect this empire! Yumiko your with me, everyone is set, now go." with the tactic in set the two group part ways and so, "The hunt now begins, this is the beginning for the messiah complex." Nozomi commented.

Somewhere far

While else where, the bio terrorist organization has once again contacted their private agent, "Ah Excella how good to see you again." they said, speaking through to her in the use of her hand-held video feed device "I can say the same. To what do I owe the pleasure of this little chat." she asked. "Quite simple, there seems to be a specific sample of DNA we wish to acquire, of course your talents are very most welcoming.". "Another one?" she teasingly asked, "I'm sure you'll like this one, we'll send you the detail in a bit. The reward is quite high.", "Now now, don't spoil it, I always do like surprises." with that said, a smile stretch across her face, her next answer was going to be obvious, as the poisonous princess was now set to enter this fray, wonder what side she'll choose this time.

#18 Posted by Ladonna (38 posts) - - Show Bio

The sad broken cobblestone streets of the sad, broken and set-upon town she now inhabited passed beneath her sneaker-clad feet. Every sense was on wide alert and everybody was now a possible enemy combatant. She was a kid, she'd never asked for this, but already she was adapting and learning to thrive, a testament to the rare creature she was.

Her ash blonde hair glistened beneath the rising sun as it began to peak in the sky, streaming down to the streets between the old architecture of the buildings. The small village was like a snapshot out of a history book. It had modern commodities plastered into the ancient architecture, but one look at the place and you knew that it was as if time had been forgotten.

It was as she was cutting through the village market square that something amiss set off the danger sense that she seemed to have been blessed with. Her eyes darted around, and set upon a curvy female diagonal across the corner. Her first look revealed nothing amiss, but a second look revealed the silhouette of a tattered pair of wings in shadow on the ground.

Bile rose in her throat as she pulled the hood over her hair and attempted to keep her pace down, so as not to give her terror away. It was to no avail. The black-haired woman began making a languidly paced beeline directly for her, so Ladonna took off at a run and began navigating through the alleyways between buildings, making a beeline for the cliffs.

Ladonna had made it to the edge of the grassy area that covered the cliffs before talon-like fingernails dug into her shoulder and her hood was pulled down. Roughly turned around to face the creature that had been following her, she came face to face with a member of the Holy Host, fallen to disgrace and embracing dark oblivion and Lucifer's cause.

"I'm innocent." Her voice was pleading as she was shoved onto her stomach on the ground, the woman's heels digging into the soft grass as she pulled down the neckline of her shirt and pushed her hair out of the way.

"There is no such thing as innocence." The creature known simply as Hannah slit her own wrist using a fingernail and held the wound over the back of Ladonna's neck. The moment that blood of a divine or demonic nature touched her skin, the mark was revealed. An intricate mass of runes and dead languages, it signified her as the Key.

"I've never hurt anybody. I didn't want any of this, I didn't ask for it. I just want to be left alone and live my life. I'm a baby, a child." Her eyes were wide and frenzied like a trapped animal's.

Hannah rolled her eyes as her luscious blood red lips curved on her unblemished pale alabaster face, the rich raven locks accentuating her ice blue eyes. "You are a tool, child. A Key to allow my master his free reign again. Tributes will be paid to your demise and all manner of terrible creature will worship your name. Ladonna, the one who freed us. Ladonna, the one who allowed the Dark to walk amongst us again." Her voice slithered over Ladonna's skin like a snake through the grass of Eden itself. "And my name will be lauded as the one who ushered in the Age of Death."

Closing her eyes, Ladonna focused all of her willpower into not screaming as Hannah turned her over onto her back and transformed her forearm into what appeared to be the hooked talons of a bird of prey. Flexing the clawed appendage before bringing it down in a swoop aimed straight for Ladonna's heart, she truly believed this to be the end.

Holding her hands out in front of her, she didn't whimper or scream...but she did feel a heat, a warm, soft power building inside of her. At the moment where Hannah would have eviscerated her and ripped out her heart, ending everything there and now, a powerful light exploded from her hands. In it's wake, nothing was left of Hannah but ash that covered the grass and coated Ladonna. Coming up to her knees, hands shaking in front of her, the young girl let loose a barrage of tears, her shoulders and small body shaking from the force of them.

After five minutes allotted to allow herself a deluge of tears, Ladonna pulled herself together and brushed the ash off of herself. Taking a moment to ensure that everything in her backpack was undamaged she once again pulled the hood over herself, obscuring identifiable traits and traversed her way back to town.

Managing to hitch a ride with a merchant on his donkey cart, Ladonna stayed quiet and withdrawn. All she had to do was make it to the next town over and from there she would be able to access some form of more pleasurable and efficient transportation.

#19 Posted by Alexander Kassabian (100 posts) - - Show Bio

The Sixty Six legions of Ba'al knelt before him with enthusiastic devotion. Crimson hued eyes, ears rising to a point, teeth stained with the devoured flesh of the innocent, all peering back at the golden armored archangel as he manifested himself before them in the forbidden form of a man. But only in appearance did Lucifer's top general reassemble God's favored creation, one of many impending abominations ushering in the age of the fallen. His hawk faced helmet wedged between the crease of his massively exaggerated bicep while clutching the supernatural mace crafted by the Devils Blacksmith, he whispered but a single word, "Fetch." The command emancipating the wraith of a thousand forsaken demons and angels alike. Systematically searching out the few who had dared ingratiate themselves in the impeding conflict. One in particular impassioned individual posed a detrimental threat as Ba'al's dream like premonitions captured futuristic images of a modern day messiah, a sure hearted shepherd, instinctively influenced to protect the runaway vessel at any cost. His powers, all be them formidable, lacked in comparison when measured against his faith driven resolve. Aided by the fabled "Book of Loyalty" the presidential hopeful, Atticus Blaire, had already become to instill the general public with a sense of confident convection in not only his ability to lead but the ability to ward off the darkness. In a game of hearts and minds the young would be savor had captivated both. Thus becoming a priority target for Alexander's minions.

Additional forces were sent to confront the growing magic presence building in Japan, more precisely, the Nakamura Empire. Who's ecliptic congregation of magical authoritative beings had begun implementing their own mystical maneuvers. If left unchecked, they would prove to be an unstoppable force. But Ba'al himself had designated himself another matter entirely. Having failed in the execution of the lone hero Ethan Starks, his Lilith edict Leviathans having meet their unexpected demise, Ba'al had taken it upon himself to deal with the redemption seeking former assassin himself. Blasting through the roof of the dilapidated remains of the Church of Arrow, the archangel set himself upon the unsuspecting avenger. His massive wings and unparallelled speed delivering him almost instantaneously above his prey before attack. His outstretched hand magically producing a golden rod as his body was leveled out perfectly in a single gust inflated flap of his extensions, the metallic battle coated sheath across his wings directing the suns blinding light towards Ethan's face. Leaving nothing but a shadowed silhouette poised to strike in the eclipsed beam of interrupted sun light.

"You fall here, hero. Your story has already been authored and the fates are my inkwell"

#20 Edited by Ishin (6830 posts) - - Show Bio

The inevitable arrival of the feared aristocratic assassins seemed powerful enough to compel their target to commence her flawless execution of merciless martial arts techniques. Surprisingly enough, the unanticipated identity of the apparent 'weapon' had taken the elegant Emperor by surprise. While it was to a certain extent, plausible that their target was indeed the infamous assassin, Esther Cotillard, in the brief moment of time awarded, it had never occurred to the Nefarious Neutral that an encounter with Esther would take place. While he had a very brief encounter with her in Redemption Park, at the time he was unable to learn of her identity. His information about her has come only through questionable rumors and whispered legends. Opting instead for theatrical brilliance rather than appropriate efficiency, Impero sacrificed unveiling his own skill in order to observe Esther's lethal capabilities while exerting minimum effort. This coupled with the majority of her attention on Jean made this unapparent objective possible.

Fortunately, Jean's words seemed powerful enough to at the very least, temporarily convince the deadly Cotillard of his claims. Quite the interesting turn of events in the masked enigma's prominent golden eyes. Esther's inclusion in the relentless search for the young girl targeted by so many presented an undeniable advantage should the lethal trio find themselves confronted by any hostile figures in their morally questionable path. Outside the Cathedral, appropriately isolated from the architecturally brilliant city of Rome, cunning Impero calmly turns to his most prominent of rivals, Jean, "We must find the child soon, Mr. LeBeau. Lucifer's return cannot be allowed. I have had past encounters with the malevolent entity, tis not something I wish to repeat", indeed, Lucifer's potential return presented an irreversible dilemma in regards to the progression of his cryptic endgame, one that undoubtedly involves humanity as a whole. There are very few who mysterious Impero inherently fears, however, it is not fear in the conventional sense. Fear for the decimation of his goals and objectives, and while Jean is indeed an unmistakable candidate for this, Lucifer would undeniably be the greatest problem ever presented before The Genius.

To him, this was no mere misadventure to preserve the world that he has sworn to change, it was primarily, the elimination of the one thing that would render his plans impossible should this event remain openly unopposed. Killing the unfortunate child would be the logical and simplest course of action to take, however, in enigmatic Impero's intricate mind, possible alternatives were being actively generated should this child showcase some sort of usefulness to him. Briefly breaking his attention away from both Jean and Esther, Impero made a telepathic effort to contact the Elders of his fabled Yuansu Clan, "Gentlemen, leave the monastery in the hands of the rest. As of now, your main priority is aiding me in the search for a young girl that is said to be Lucifer's vessels. Do not question me, just do as I say. You will know it is her when you find her, if what I have learned about her is true, then her chi should be abnormal. Begin your search in Rome", with no intention of learning whether or not the Yuansu Clan Elders would agree to his demands, he returned his unquestionable attention to the situation at hand.

Unexpectedly, Jean was viciously attacked by an ominous Hellhound, its presence perhaps indicating the girl's nearby location. Readying himself for combat, the masked strategist unsheathed one of his perfectly crafted ebony Jian swords. Presenting himself as a threat, Impero drew the Hellhound's attention away from the Living Legend. Fearlessly charging towards him, the Hellhound made a violent attempt at Yuansu Grandmaster's life. Athletically jumping over the unholy beast, cryptic Impero artistically tilted his body away from the ruthless Hellhound in an aesthetic display of aerial agility. However, upon gracefully landing on his feet in an impeccably stylish manner, Impero was violently attacked by a second Hellhound that had seemingly appeared with the intention aiding its fellow beast in the brutal slaughter of the deadly trinity. With snake fangs digging into his bicep, the regal Emperor's expression of pain was cleverly concealed by the expressionless nature of his iconic alabaster mask. Quickly cutting off the Hellhound's tail with a speedy slash that boasted unparalleled precision, Impero leaped a foot away from the Hellhound.

Instantly, he could feel the effects of the supernatural venom in his arm, its sheer ferocity and unearthly nature, capable of dealing recognizable damage even to his inhuman physiology. Allowing the effects of his powerful superhuman immune system coupled with the futuristic capabilities of his sophisticated Trion-based nanobots in his internal system to combat the Hellhound's supernatural venom, Impero maintained his focus on the battle. Had it not been for his immune system's powers and his technological advantage, Impero's initial underestimation of the Hellhounds' capabilities would have resulted in a far worse situation. With two of the abysmal creatures lunging towards him, Impero thrust his excessively sharp sword forward, mercilessly driving his personalized sword's nigh-unbreakable blade through the Hellhound's skull. While effectively combating the effects of the supernatural snake venom, Impero's speed and sense of perception were temporarily impaired. With a second Hellhound lunging towards him, the elegant Emperor instinctively countered with a graceful butterfly kick that projected scorching hot orange Huo Yuansu chi-based flames that reduced the attacking beast to ashes.

With two Hellhounds unquestionably defeated, the remaining four that lurked ominously in the Cathedral emerged, one of them blindly charging towards a prepared Impero, while the other three focused their attention on the deadly Cotillard. Artistically twirling his stylish ebony sword in a graceful circular motion, the charming puppeteer alerted his unlikely ally, "I trust that you will make short work of these creatures, Ms. Cotillard". With his speed and perception momentarily decreased by the supernatural venom in his body, mysterious Impero had no alternative but to briefly enhance his physical attributes with his colossal inner chi. With a series of flawless unorthodox yet perfectly executed sword-slashes, characteristic of the distinct flair and elegant nature of his personalized sword-fighting style, cunning Impero made short work of the attacking Hellhound. "Deadly. But I will not be bested by oafish beasts that serve a bastard child of Heaven", the Grandmaster mocked, prior to shifting his attention to Esther, her exptoc abilities would undoubtedly be on display as she is confronted by a trio of vicious Hellhounds.

#21 Edited by Cajun_Roux (29 posts) - - Show Bio

The wind blew softly over the mold crusted swamp as the surrounding trees and lush greenery shifted from the light breeze that danced gently over it. The grassy still water remained quiet and undisturbed in the bayou with the exception of a small wooden fishing boat hazing over the waterlily and the fallen twigs and branches that had fallen from the high trees above. The sun was setting and with it the sunlight, but the various lanterns that hung from the treeline lit the waterway and provided the environment with a lucid and unsettling glow that reflected itself upon the water. Sitting idly by in the boat, Roux remained patient. He hadn't returned to the Louisiana Bayous in a long time and had hoped it would have been longer. He sighed as he watched the old woman gently paddle the twin wooden oars against the gentle stream. What little hair she had left remained draped directly over her yellow cat-like eyes and ghastly pale face. It's long grey strands revealed living insects and various wildflowers borrowed beneath and between the layered strands and coiled knots.

Roux raised his eyebrow in curiosity with a small hint of revolution. While he watched the swamp witch, he couldn't help but reminisce and remember the older days when he was just a young boy living and thriving off the land without a second thought. He had forgotten what the bayous could do to a person. What they could bring out. He was raised in one not too far from here and even though most of his memories were plagued with the evil that came after his time as a boy, Roux couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of security and warmth. For even though this was the land of the forgotten, it too is also the land of his upbringing. He smiled gently as he lowered his head.

"Come..." The witch motioned her hand towards Roux. She had tied the small fishing boat on the wooden deck post of the small candle lit cabin. Roux hesitated, but continued forward. The inside of the cabin quickly made Roux uncomfortable. Small imploded heads tied by their hair littered the wooden planks that hung sternly under the ceiling while what seemed like a hundred lit candles bordered the entirety of the home. Various cages surrounded the home, all of which housed a colorful array of creatures, some recognizable some.. not so much. A skinned opossum hissed as Roux accidentally brushed his coat against it's frail tail. A shiver shot up his spine as he caught it's horrific view. "Lovely home you got yourself here", Roux mocked as he continued forward up the small steps and into what seemed like a kitchen. Some timely item or relic had occupied every inch of the kitchen, the same as the rest of the cabin with the exception of the small table. "Sit..." The old woman pulled out one of the two wooden chairs and patted the seat with her bony, wrinkled fingers.

"What is Roux doing here, Miss Cheval?" Roux's eyes glistened in the candlelight full of both annoyance and anger. The hag's eyes grew large while an uneasy smirk flashed upon her face. All of her teeth were wooden and her tongue had a faint green color to it. "You have been summoned Mr. Lenier." Roux looked at the woman curiously. She lowered her face to reach his and continued on in a whisper."Everything you hold dear in this life and in the next is in grave danger. Evil incarnate is almost fully awakened and I have reason to believe that your assistance is required." Roux remained unnerved by the news. He sat smoothly with his eyes perched low and his lips sprung to the side. He crossed his arms and sighed. "You brought me all the way out here just to tell me that? You are lucky as hell I don' hit old ladies anymore." Roux stood impatiently from his seat and continued down the steps and out of the dusty old kitchen. The growl from the old woman stopped Roux dead in his tracks before he reached for the door. "There is a girl... and with her hell will follow close after! Demons, angels, warriors, beasts and even men like yourself have been summoned to purge or heal the world from this being. It is your duty to not only get to her before it's too late, but to do it with force and reckoning. Your path to enlightenment and redemption starts now, Mr. Lenier. You have hurt and mutilated the earth with your own hand... now that it needs you, it is your duty to pay pack your debt by healing it of it's demons." The woman's chest pumped back and forth filled with desperation and fear. Her yellow eyes burned through the back of Roux's skull. "Does this mean Lafayette is in trouble too?" Roux turned his head to face the woman. A puzzled expression greeted him as his eyes met hers. "If you are not successful... then your precious city will burn with every other city in this world. If you are not successful... Lafayette will fall." The woman sat back down in her chair and lowered her head. Tears streamed from her eyes as she choked her whimpers back. It was no easy task to bring the infamous vigilante to her home. He was hard to find and even harder to convince. He was stubborn, naive, arrogant and weak in more than one way, but she was convinced that Roux would play a big part in the following events that could possibly save or destroy the earth.

"Where?" Roux asked as he eagerly awaited an answer. His fists clenched and his arms buckled. "Your journey begins in Italy, boy." The witch boasted with glee. Roux slammed the weak wooden door shut behind him and unhinged the boat as the swamp witch watched him from her window. As he paddled down and away from her home she wiped her tears from her cheeks and let out a malevolent smile.

"Oh you stupid, stupid boy."

#22 Posted by Kurrent (14067 posts) - - Show Bio

"Well I'm in Italy, now I gotta find some kid out of the millions there is running around this place" he said a loud sarcastically after arriving in an Italian field via ice slide. It was dark out and the air was cool., but something felt strange. He began his march knowing he would be in for a long day when suddenly a flash of light hit is face and before he knew it he was surrounded.

Seven men all clad in black covered from head to toe in riot gear surrounded him. They were all wielding assault rifles and pointing them directly on him. The men were in a circle formation and all began to descend upon him. Slowly he began to raise his hands in the air when he noticed something strange about these soldiers. They wearing swords and the scabbards were adorned with a strange silver writing in a language that he had never seen before.

"Easy boys" he said as they were about 6 feet away from him. "Io non sono qui per iniziare alcun problema" he said recalling his lessons in Italian. "I'm not here to start any trouble" He reiterated in English hoping to cover all bases but the men did not lose focus.

"Trouble always seems to find you, doesn't it Mr. Kurrent" said a voice that came into view after the circle parted and let the man in. He was tall and had a large frame yet he was not dressed like the others. He was in a black pinned stripped suit and wore a sword and scabbard like the rest, but his look more elegant as they had golden accents rather than silver.

"Do I know pal?" asked Kurrent with a tone that suggested he was in no mood to jest. The man gave a nod and quickly the men withdrew but not before each of them grew angelic wings. In an instant they the shot up in the air and began to circle around them. They were moving so quickly that the naked eye would not be able to see them, but the spine chilling truth was that they were there.

"I am called Uriel, said the man and I am an Archangel of"...."Wait" Kurrent stopped him before he could finish as he quickly began to realize what was going on. The child that he was tasked to retrieve and now angles things were starting to come together. Since training at the Temple of X he knew that they had religious ties, but didn't know of the extent. He had obviously just learned and with this knowledge Kurrent began to speak again, "I must ask, The Father or The Fallen".

In an flash the archangel unsheathed his sword and a light glow came around it. The Hero could feel heat radiate from the sword and saw that a smile grew on the angels face as he said "The Fallen" and lunged ferociously towards him.

#23 Posted by Esther_Cotillard (489 posts) - - Show Bio

"Chere, tis me, tis Jean......your .....husband."

Her expression was blank, her body frozen in place. She watched as he closed the distance between them slowly, slithering across the club's floor as the lights reflected off the hilt of a poorly hidden blade at his side. Esther's mind raced; she mentally retraced her steps, trying her best to focus on the events that led her to where she was at that moment, standing in the center of a dingy club that had quickly cleared out upon the duo's arrival.

"I got them…all of them," she thought to herself, recounting the various men she'd sniped from the top of her building. That was all of them, or so she thought. Then again, these two could have ties to her captors. She couldn't trust them.

She watched him move closer, and a masked figure stood in close proximity to the well dressed stranger. It was clear to her that both men had one thing in common -- ego -- something she pinpointed with ease as she read their body language.

"Chere, I can give you back your memories, your life, but first.....you have to listen to me. We need your help, dee Worlds salvation depends on it......"

He teased, dangling her life, livelihood and identity before her eyes, waiting to see if she'd bite at the chance to take him up on his offer, the nerve. Esther restrained her anger, realizing at that moment that it didn't matter what happened next or whether this man was telling the truth; he had recognized her. Regardless of whether these two had ties to her captors or not, she had to risk trusting them, at least for now. After all, if things went sour she always had her gun; and there's no shame in shooting a man in his sleep. Or two.

-------------

In the time it took the trio to travel from Milan to Rome (approximately five hours) Jean had done most of the talking, presenting argument after argument, teasing her with evidence and a chance to regain her identity. And while Jean spoke, the words slithering surreptitiously through lis lips, Esther couldn't help but draw her focus to the serene regality of the individual seated next to her. He sat and watched, hands clasped together in his lap, his posture dignified, his face shielded by a pristine white mask. Clearly, this man was defensive. His focus unwavering and his expression safeguarded. He proved far more difficult to read than Jean. To trust. Then at last, his silence broke just as soon as they pulled up in front of a seemingly ancient cathedral, hidden between the Italian mountains and buried deep inside the small village.

"We must find the child soon, Mr. LeBeau. Lucifer's return cannot be allowed. I have had past encounters with the malevolent entity, tis not something I wish to repeat"

Esther wondered at the thought. "Lucifer." She said before laughing curtly, tossing her head back as she did so. "You must be joking, you really believe in Angels and Demons? Fictional omnipotent beings that can throw off the balance of the universe? You are both fools."

The two men looked at one another knowingly. The corner of Jean's lips curled up in a clever, mischievous smirk before his gaze drifted off into the distance as he watched what appeared to be an army draw nearer to the three. The multi-headed beings sprinted closer and closer on all fours, venom dripping from their carnivorous fangs. The three fought viciously, back to back facing their demonic opponents; striking them down one by own quickly and with little effort until there were only four left, all the while each of them utilizing their weapon of choice. She gripped the dual semi-automatic pistols tightly, her forearms tensing at each blowback. She felt the inertia shake her to her core and her adrenaline course through her veins. Rushing forward, Esther planted a right foot on the central head of one of the four beasts as she flipped mid-air, piercing the monster with six consecutive bullets before landing behind his defeated corpse. The act caught the attention of two beasts at either side of her, and before she knew it they were racing toward her. Holding out her arms at either side, she aimed each pistol between their respective eyes and fired, causing both monsters to fall at either side of her simultaneously. All the while, Impero and Gambler worked together to take down the final Hellhound. Following the incredible battle the three stood in silence, surveying the damage they had caused.

"So, Chere…you believe in Devils now?" Jean said with a laugh as he glanced at Impero. Esther was quiet for a moment. "Fair…enough," she said turning her back to them and toward the entrance of the church. It was strange, as quickly as the Hellhounds appeared to attack them, they seemed to dissolve in the ground they stood on, becoming one with the earth. The only trace they left behind was a putrid scent of their rot. Wincing in disgust, her eyes focused on the front door to the church which crept open. Slowly stepping out of the darkness and into the light was a woman dressed in a black cloak; a nuns garb.

"I have prayed for many days that someone would come…and here it seems God sends his Angels," the woman said as she stepped cautiously out of the darkness and into the light. Esther stopped and watched as the woman drew closer.

"Have dees demons been tormenting you, Mother?" Jean asked chivalrously.

"Yes…" The elderly woman took a breath, her right hand gripping a wooden rosary. "…But thanks to you…you saved us…." She slid the round, wooden beads across her fingers nervously, tightly. Esther noticed her knuckles were white from the pressure she applied to the object.

"We are looking for a girl," Impero said cooly behind his white mask, "She is blessed. Perhaps you know her…"

The elderly nun ran her fingers across her chin as she stared at the three figures before Esther interrupted her thoughts. "We…need to help her…" Esther said slyly.

"Yes," Jean said convincingly, picking up where Esther had left off. He approached the woman and warmly placed a hand on her shoulder, squeezing it affectionately. "We must find her before these demons do…We are her saviors…" The woman looked into his eyes adoringly, but little did she know she was staring into the face of the devil himself.

#24 Posted by Oluf_Von_Host_Museum (84681 posts) - - Show Bio

The three headed silver tongued charisma of the alluring trinity had failed in their initial endeavor. However through further captivating harmonization the weary battle tested crusaders were eventually invited in for a meager home cooked meal. And with the days end drawing near, it was a welcome bit of hospitality. Social etiquette was graciously observed by all through the course of the meal, purposeful detraction allowing for a cordial exchange of light weighted conversation in spite of the gut wrenching tension clouding the atmosphere. Until finally there was simply no way to ignore the flaming spark, edged in the corner of everyone's eye as they eagerly anticipated the mother superiors revelation.

"She had come to us at an early age, quite younger then most of our other girls but I could tell right away what she was." Her voice trailing off amidst the wood splintering crackles of the nearby cobble stone fire place. "Which was?" Esther seizing the opportunity to satisfy her educational proclivities. Cultivating a wealth of knowledge that she had earlier dismissed as fairy tales, had now become an obsession driven desire to gain instructional insight pertaining to all facets of their expedition. The Nuns shadow framed smile replying, "Special dear, the child was special. But I knew, we all did, that eventually the day would come when we could no longer be able to offer her sanctuary."

"So you simply kissed her cheek, patted her back, and kindly ushered her out dee front door? How noble of you" sneered the Cajun as he exhaled a satisfying clove blended puff of smoke from his cancer stick. "And what would you have us do....assassin?" her comment drawing an arched brow from the surprised Living Legend. "Do not look so startled Amico mio, (my friend) surely you did not believe the grandeur of the Vatican Assassin would escape my slightly diminished comprehension?" Rhetorically questioning Jean Luc. "If my companions underestimation has offended you then please, allow me to apology. We mean no disrespect." Impero's even tempered diplomacy serving as an instant bridge of mediation allowing their hopes of obtaining the girls location to continue. Regally folding his arms behind his back concentrating on the miniscule muscle machinations resonating from the Nuns skillfully camouflaged maneuvering. Allowing him to delve deeper between the lines of her story as she continued. But the girls location had yet to be forfeited. "It is getting late, and I must pray soon. Please, make yourselves at home. In the morning I shall see you out. Unfortunately I can not surrender the girls coordinates, for I myself do not posses that knowledge. Masking their disappointment through fake smiles and a calculatingly deceptive mask, they bid their host a good evening, though as she would find out, it would be anything but.

Deep into the night the quit peace was subtly disturbed as the Vatican Assassin swept away the annoyance of his wool covers, creeping through the peacefully calm monastery removed of his clothing. Pushing open the slumbering Nuns door with the espionage stealth proficiency of his Arashikage clansmen, he was quickly upon her muffling her attempted cries for help. Silencing her with a more effective technique, an unforgiving elbow to the side of her fragile face, Jean clutched a handful of hair before dragging her out of her resting place and across the room. Pulling down the unlit candle pod positioned on the wall instantly activating a hidden passageway descending down into the darkness, years of perpetual blindness allowing the Cajun to navigate his surroundings with nocturnal aptitude. Unceremoniously, the Nun was swung to the ground while Gambler attending to another matter concealed within the darkness until the sound of a match being struck brought with it a glimmer of visualization and the horrifying revelation of the Cajun's self-inflected desecration of the flesh. Marked from head to chest with symbolic satanic representations in a display of dogmatic devotion, the assassin slowly drew his hand across his bloody body before illustrating an enlarged five pointed star across the cold floor. A wave of his hand effortlessly summoning the unconscious faith wielding keeper of the child into the center, his telekinetic aptitude seemingly elevated. "At dee edge of dee Abyss, a Dark Sun abides. As time approaches ready to bring forth unmitigated loyalty, those who will not bend dee knee. Instead dhey stand united, crocked wing to crocked wing waiting for dee father......Lucifer."

Instantly the Nuns body was levitated within a control maelstrom of supernatural energy. Now wide awake her eyes darted from side to side in frantic confusion. Jean Luc, arms slowly progressing through an unorthodox series of enumerate theatrical gestures, began to show signs of strain. As if fighting against an unseen force his facial expressions and trembling hands became increasingly more evident. And as they began to flood outwards away from his body, back again, and then back out again, the Nun screamed out in horrific agony as her blood was pulled from her body. Her shell like husk dismissed to the ground while Jean Luc continued to levitate her claret (red bodily fluid) working it into a confined sphere in only his second display of bloodbending. Quickly whipping his wrist propelling the substance against the nearby wall, he stood in fascination as it began to congeal in the shape of an animated map. Taking the form of the nearby roads, forests, and little girl walking aimlessly towards the next proposed safe haven. "Soon lil one, soon."

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#25 Posted by _Sojourn_ (19243 posts) - - Show Bio

The world had lain at his feet. Within mere days of the Salvation Speech, his support at home and abroad had swelled. Atticus felt it. There was a distinct presence wrapping itself around him, hugging him tighter every day. It felt good, it was right. Songs of praise had been written about him, doctrines had been drawn and began to be lived by. It was a wave of righteousness that swept the world, all thanks to one book. Yes, there was admission; Atticus knew that without the book he'd be no more than his former self.

It was like a dream come true. As poll numbers came in day by day, his stats grew with them. Reports of charitable giving had quadrupled within that time as well. The number of known homeless had dropped dramatically as well. All things were according to plan. The adoption of his mantra "I am my brothers' keeper" was present, and prevalent. Overall, people had just begun to care for their own, they had begun to love their neighbors and their enemy. Righteousness had become the thought process of those who chose to take Atticus' offer.

But as always, there were those that refused salvation. To perfectly script it, it was his opponent that lead the charge. Appearing to the people, bewildered, and even somewhat distraught. Pleading no case, he spoke providing the antithesis of what Atticus proclaimed. Issuing a warning, not to accept the invitation of purity, and holiness. It had crossed his mind, to make another public appearance, to plead his case once again to the world that he indeed could provide what he said he offered. But as the old saying goes, "if you are explaining, you are not doing the job" He decided to allow things to play out, besides there would be plenty of time for public apperances and speeches, from here on out until the election.

One day later...

It was a Friday afternoon, and a respectful quiet had set upon the home of Atticus Blair. Overcast told of rain soon to come, and there was the chill of Autumn in the air. Alexandria VA was a quiet place, at least the west end was. And being home alone was a newly aquired standard that Atticus had requested of those closest to him. It gave him time to think. But, someone had not heard, as the doorbell rang breaking the somber stillness. "Who is it?" He questioned, wondering who it could have been. Without any scheduled events, there should have been no reason for visitors to intrude upon his peace. But the answer was shaking...

"Atticus...It's me." The words came out, they were clear. Atticus heard them as they were, and yet, they didn't register as anything he could process. Again the male voice spoke out, repeating the same words. As he went to twist the knob, everything fell into place. It was his father. How it was that he had come to know of where he stayed now, was beyond him, and yet, the compulsion to see him was stronger than he expected. Months ago, he had divulged the tumultuous relationship he and his father had, and even now, as he ran for office, there was no desire to fix it; and even less to see him. "Hello James" It was unnatural for Atticus to be so sterile in his speech, even his whispered usually carried some gravity with them. Seeing his "father" for the first time in almost a year, was a harsh dose of reality, that his old life still existed, there were people that could recall a time when the confidence lacked, and there was no passion for anything to speak of.

Letting out a sigh, his father asked to be let in, and Atticus allowed it, hoping that his appeasement would end this quicker."I know you're still mad at me. I know you still hate me, but I have come to ask you something." "The absolute audacity!" Atticus thought. "If he's come to ask for penance from me, then he will leave with the guilt that he came with" But it was not so, as James continued, Atticus realized this was more than a meeting. "You have claimed to be the newest incarnation to salvation. But salvation from what. What is coming. What is it that you know. Do you know where she is?" His back had been turned up until that last bit of inquiry. "Do I know where who is" James didn't flinch, he did not break his concentration upon his task, even after being caught. Atticus had kept his knowledge of what the book had given him secret, he was sure that if the world knew of its impending crisis that there would be chaos beyond reckoning. "I am only what I am. I can not be anything less or anything more. I offer salvation to those that repent." Before he could finish his father burst out in maniacal laughter, uncontrolled and breathtaking. "My son is the savior. Oh THANK YOU JESUS. THANK YOU GOD. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!" His outburst was frightening, for even with the relationship between them so thin, he couldn't help but to feel the flame of love and admiration he used to feel for him, engorge and then fade away into smoke and ash.

"It is time for you to leave...All of you." During this time, the beasts had descended upon his quiet home. Their skin as dark as the clouds, claws like birds, feet as goat, and horns like rams. Six of them, circled the house, walking past windows, clawing at the doors. It was then that his father spoke again, inciting the rain to begin, and thunder to roll. "What is salvation my son. What can you offer the people of this world but example." Dancing with glee, the demons encroached on his person, vomiting blood and hair, chunks of flesh spewing from their mouths. His breathing intensified, and he knew that he was powerless to stop what was to come, and truthfully, he was prepared. One after another, jumped on him, biting into him, lapping up the blood like they'd been deprived of libation for an eternity.

His body nearly lifeless, they drug him through the streets, his own father leading the charge, screaming and laughing, bringing his followers out of their homes, while the demons danced in the streets trampling cars and the like. For an entire day, he was dragged, tortured by those creatures that wanted nothing more than to see him suffer. Bringing him right back to where he was just days before. On the steps of the Washington Monument, James Blaire spoke to the world. TV stations had converged, along with believers. "You see. He offered you salvation. He offered you peace. But look at him now, bloody and bruised...Almost nothing at all. Your allegiance is deserved by one and one only." As the demons took Atticus from his careless position of unconsciousness and lofted him into the air, his father preached on. "THIS IS WHAT IS LEFT OF MY SON! HE IS NO MORE SALVATION THAN THOSE THAT CAME BEFORE HIM. HE CAN NOT SAVE YOU. NOTHING CAN SAVE YOU."

From fifty feet into the air, Atticus Blaire was dropped to his fated death. His body crashing, broken, upon the steps. The crowd, yelped, screamed, cried out for the short lived deity of holiness. The sense of dread was deepened by the visible demons, circling his body, gnawing at his flesh as if he was killed for purposes of feasting. Whispers..."I am salvation" Murmurs... "I am salvation" The silence was sickening, all those present, could hear it, the voices...Was it the end...Were they collectively going mad at the sight of death, and fabled denizens of the devil. No, he moved. Pushing up, weakly, his eyes, and mouth bloody and tainted with near death haze. He began to crawl towards the crowd, gathering his strength not to move, but to speak, for therefore was his power. "Pray for me my children, for I am not done yet." Those nearest him, bowed their heads, knelt, and clasped their hands together, in a seemed final act of devotion. With words, came a darkness so glorious, emanating from within Atticus. Stronger now, he spoke, beging hoisted up to his feet by members of the crowd. "Pray WITH me...For I am salvation. PRAY WITH ME FOR I AM SALVATION.!" Collectively, they bowed, and knelt, Atticus included. And they spoke, guided by their leader, who's voice carried over the din of damnation. "Forgive us our sings and transgressions. Our debt be paid with my blood. Bring us darkness so pure that every star should fear is cast. Sing praise for salvation, and a lacrymosa for those that stand in our way!" He turned to face his flock, embracing one woman, whose tears had reddened her face. "Fear not these creatures of hell... You have me, and I am..." She spoke softly, but affirmatively..."Salvation"

Turning again to face his father and the six demons. He began to walk toward them, restored. "In my dreams...I saw this world set to fire. Six by six, you all marched. Your cloven feet beating an evil drum. I will not allow this to fruit. And father, I care not so much for your fate, because you have been taken in by legion. For where you are many, I have also. Where you destroy, We build...Where you kill...WE...BREATH...LIFE!!" The crowd erupted into applause and proclamations of faith. Fear had left, and was replaced by loyalty to the one they believed their savior. From his wounds poured darkness, and ass if flowed from him, the demons backed away, pulling his father with them. But they had no where to run. Guided by Atticus, it pierced through each of them, burning them like holy water. Sizzling away into nothingness, the crowd once again applauded. "My opponent has contradicted my claims. If any one of you deny my word, turn from me for I never knew you. If you believe what I speak. Follow my ways, and you shall be forever in grace"

#26 Posted by Ishin (6830 posts) - - Show Bio

The sheer charm and cunning manipulations generated by the silver tongues of the lethal trio would be impossibly overwhelming to a vast selection of individuals, however, the aged, seemingly benevolent nun, perhaps tapping into her own colossal reserves of unbreakable willpower, managed to resist the combined effects of their silver tongues. Quite an impressive feat. And while this would present an unanticipated complication in their relentless search for the young vessel, it was not quite an irritable turn of events for the masked enigma as it may have been for his equally deadly companions. Having telepathically instructed the wisdom-infested Elders of the fabled Yuansu Clan to forsake their priorities to the clan in order to aid their unquestionable Grandmaster in searching for the unlikely key to the world's undecided fate.

Altruistically offered momentary residence in the secluded Cathedral by the benevolent nun, the trinity of cunning assassins did not hesitate in their acceptance of the generous offer, each one perhaps harboring their own mysterious intentions in regards to accepting the nun's kind offer. As night elusively loomed over the vast sky of the rural area, the effective trio had temporarily separated, finding comfort in their respective quarters in the Cathedral. And while the others were perhaps overcome by the inherent desire to rest after a day of feverish searching and intense combat, the Yuansu Grandmaster was not. Sleep did not elude him, he simply had no basic requirement for it, his enormous chi reserves strongly demand that he meditate for their needed replenishing. Enigmatically levitating several feet above the wooden floor, the room dimly lit by a radiating outward flailing aura of yellow chi around the masked mystery, ambitious Impero reestablished his telepathic connection to the dedicated Elders of his clan, his obvious intention of learning of their success in the search growing ever so prominent.

Elsewhere in the dark streets of Rome, the undeniably loyal Elders moved across the architecturally brilliant city, the ominous silence plaguing their night travels instinctively raising their reflexive defenses and suspicions of abrupt assaults. While elite masters of their respective Yuansu Branches, their confidence could not be allowed to transcend into the plane of arrogance, for it would exponentially diminish the wisdom and humility that has elevated them to the position as the undisputed Elders of the legendary elemental martial arts clan. Instantly, the bushes in a nearby park rustled lamely, followed by a menacing growl. Quickly adopting their respective Yuansu fighting stances in preparation for possible combat, the Elders simultaneously anticipated an ambush and fortunately, their assumptions had been proven factual as a manic trio of ruthless Hellhounds leaped from the bushes, viciously charging towards the elderly martial artists. "We must not face defeat tonight", one of the Elders uttered, implicitly pointing out that their defeat would bring temporary but certain disorder and mayhem to the Yuansu Clan's hierarchy.

With a rapid succession of three uppercuts, the first Elder, an elite master of Tu Yuansu (Element of Earth), abruptly flung the three Hellhounds into the air through the erection of three large rocky pillars beneath the unholy beasts. Following this initial attack, the second Elder generated a non-lethal but powerfully radiant orange flame that induced temporary blindness in the airborne Hellhounds. Concluding the strategically constructed combined assault with a merciless approach, the third Elder utilizing the vapor in the air, formed a mass of water with a harmonious sequence of theatrically artistic hand movements, instantly freezing the chi-enhanced water and altering it into a lethal trio of excessively sharp icy spikes that were violently driven through the midsection of each Hellhound. Having claimed the lives of the attacking beasts, the Elders resumed their perceptive search, utilizing their chi-enhanced speed to effectively cover more ground.

Unexpectedly, the elderly group of elite Yuansu masters stumbled upon a curious collection of fading metaphysical energy in an area. Upon closer inspection with their intricate mystical senses, they were fortunately able to identify the energy-based remnants as the fading demonic essence of an unholy being that had earlier plagued the particular area with its presence. Further detecting a second less prominent energy-based remnant of what they could only identify as a purer energy, incapable of access even through years of harmonizing meditation, this was beyond their area of expertise. Aware of their lack of knowledge in biblical matters, the Elders telepathically reached their Grandmaster for aid, informing him of what they had abruptly located. Whilst in deep meditation in the secluded Cathedral, enigmatic Impero was unable to ignore the potential opportunity at hand. There was no other alternative.

And should his assumptions be proven correct, then he will inevitably accelerate the progress of his plan regarding the world's current biblical situation. "Very well", his acceptance was without hesitation, however, the risk of his following course of action was evident. Utilizing the more exotic portion of his chi-based abilities, the Yuansu Grandmaster quickly conjured up a chi-based duplicate himself, entirely composed of the metaphysical energy, incapable of physically interacting with his environment. Sending this metaphysical copy of himself to the Elders' location, the elegant Emperor must now for a hopefully brief period, operate with only half of his chi reserves accessible to him, the other half being consumed by his metaphysical duplicate, hopefully, this gamble would not be unfruitful.

#27 Edited by MasterofChaos (1153 posts) - - Show Bio
"I am sorry Mr...Wartooth, but there is nothing that we can do. To locate someone we need a full name and a I.D. Someone else just came in not too long ago with the same inquiry. Is this related at all?" Admittedly, it was not unforeseen, but it was worth a shot. "It's no trouble. Thank you," Remus said with a nod and his most amicable smile, and turned to head outside again. The bustling city with its many inhabitants, it all gave him a new idea, now that the record thought was down the drain. "Now that that's over, I suppose I should go with th —" Suddenly he found his legs cut from underneath him and fell forward, just catching himself before his face hit the street. An attack? It didn't really hurt, so much as catch him off guard. Standing to his feet he looked around just in time to see two small very small boys running down an alley with —"My satchel! Damned fools." Remus let out a deep sigh and sauntered casually down the sidewalk behind them, counting the seconds in his head as they disappeared around the corner. Three...two...one.



Around the corner, a bright light flashed, accompanied by a feeling in the air, akin to that of a tornado and briefly the air in the immediate surrounding area became thin and hard to breathe. It lasted for a few short seconds, then it was gone. Remus turned the corner and saw his satchel lying on the ground, and a gleeful smile spread across his face. Reaching into the bag, he grabbed one of the boys by the head and brought him close to his face so that he was staring straight into his eyes. The other came floating out after. Once removed from the bag, the facade faded and the true forms of the imps were revealed. A look of disappointment soon cam over his face. "Imps...Possible foil of the master plan to bring the dark one back, and I'm met with imps? How underwhelming," he muttered under his breath. "Well, let's get to it. What can you tell me about the location of the child?" They snickered amongst each other and the one held by the future god responded, his face contorted in a twisted grin. "How about, she ain't here? Really, though, you think if we knew where she was, we'd be wastin' our time with the likes of some...poser that thinks he's God? Get real, you ain't that important."


Though he was annoyed, Asgard's future king smiled and laughed along with them, before abruptly slamming the lesser demon against the brick wall. A subtle reality bending trick made the figure into a piece of graffiti on the wall, its already unbecoming features distorted further like a work of Picasso.

The other continued his laughing and only stopped when Pax's gaze fixed on him. He shit up for a moment, then burst into laughter again. Things got quiet and Remus' senses picked up the movement. At the last second he avoided a horizontal axe swing that would have taken his head clean off of his shoulders. Now turning to face his attacker, he saw a seven-foot tall battle axe-wielding creature with a black face and glowing red eyes, shaded by a horned helmet, otherwise naked, towering over him, trying futilely to remove its stuck battle axe from the wall, which had now been made into a viscous, sticky clay-like substance. Remus looked him up and down once and gave a scowl. "That's disgusting, you know. Don't they have laws about public indecency here?" The demon reached out with an attempt at a backhanded fist, which Pax casually ducked, then prepared his own offense. A quick series of repeated punches in the abdomen, then he went up top with a cross, only the demon saw it coming and grabbed his fist. Releasing his battle axe from his other hand, he used both arms to hoist the godling over his head, and angrily tossed him to the ground. Remus winced at the impact, but before long he was laughing, just as the imps had, at the figure standing over him. He may not be the physical equal to many other beings of the supernatural nature, but he always has a few tricks up his sleeve. From both sides, at a speed so the demon had no time to react, two large rows broke out from the walls on both sides and smashed him to a mess of pulp, spattered on the walls, the ground, and Remus himself.

Now he stood and faced the remaining imp, the pathetic creature shivered like a freshly bathed chihuahua, placed in Antarctica. A devious smile spread over his face as he took the creature in hand again, lifting him also by the head. "Sh-sh-sh-sh-ssshhhh. Relax, I'm not going to kill you. I need you to do something for me. Well, first, hold the phone." Keeping the vermin suspended in midair, he turned around and reached into his satchel and pulled out five stone dolls, plain as if freshly made from clay. Each was a blank slate, with a distinct shape carved into their backs. A star, a heart, a horseshoe, a clover, and a crescent, like the moon. Next, he removed five small stones, in each of the same shapes, placed them in the backs of the dolls, and tossed the dolls a few feet in front of him. First they took on design features, basic face shapes and colors, then clothes appeared over top of them. Finally, they all grew to normal human size, each about 5'9" tall. Each designed to be as strong and durable as a typical stone guardian, but with the more subtle appearance, policemen, churchgoers, and generally pleasant-faced people, so they wouldn't set anything off and, if they saw the girl, to try to possibly gain her trust (fat chance, but again, worth a try). Turning once more, he pressed his finger to the imp's head and muttered a few inaudible words. Its face became vacant and he let it fall to the ground, after which it took its place among the others. "You all are my own personal mini-scouts," he said to them. "Go out, look for the girl. If you see her, let me know." He motioned with a tap on his temple. "I'll get there as soon as I can. In the event that I am occupied and can not transport to you, do what you can to protect her. You will do your best to bring her back to me, no matter what. And make sure she is not harmed when you do! Now get."

Without a word, they all simply bowed absentmindedly and departed, scattering in different directions. It would take a few moments for cognitive functions to progress to where they could form sentences, being blank slates from simple stone pieces. Remus himself departed soon after, taking to the sky in an upright position, his arms down, fingers locked behind his back.
#28 Posted by Ariadne (6 posts) - - Show Bio

A bare-skinned angel stood in the center of a fountain, the water pouring down around her. The sun beamed upon her golden brown hair as she obtained clarity in the private garden behind one of the temples. There was a war between Heaven and Hell and in the center of it stood a little girl of supernatural birth. Ladonna. A child born a mere three years ago Earth time and already aged to the age of eight, with a cunning mind beyond that. This single golden-haired child had launched a war between the realms of Heaven and Hell.

In past years, they had come to a sort of unspoken understanding with one another. Don't piss in my pool and I won't piss in yours, so to speak. It was a tenuous understanding at best, as most were; an understanding that went straight out the window as soon as rumblings of Lucifer rising abounded. God had gone walkabout, the angels and rest of the divine creatures had been left to their own understanding. Demons and the like had been divided amongst themselves for time unknown. With the disappearance of Final Arrow, the last reigning King of Hell and the only one who had provided a true amount of order, things had gone to...well, Hell.

They were grasping at straws, just awaiting their Dark Savior, their Fallen Angel, their Morning Star. This girl was the key, not the vessel. Closing her eyes as the falls of the fountain fell gently around her, Ariadne focused her vast skill and attention on the enigmatic emperor known as Impero. His current state of meditation allowed her entrance into his mind all that easier. Appearing before him as if she were there in the flesh, Ariadne spoke quietly and succinctly.

"The conquering, cunning Impero himself." Appearing dressed in a flowing white dress, her hair falling around her shoulders, Ari circled him as he maintained a seated position, remaining in a meditative trance. "You ally yourself with a dangerous duo, perhaps the most dangerous the world has known. A LeBeau or a Cotillard alone is perilous enough, you pair them together and bloodshed will undoubtedly follow. The girl you are searching for, as you know by now, is not just a girl. It is believed that she is a vessel, to be used by Lucifer to allow him to freely roam the Earth once again. It goes without saying how this is not a good thing."

Sitting down across from him, mimicking his position, Ariadne looked around. "This isn't as comfortable as it looks.... Anyways. Ladonna is not a vessel, she's a key. There has to be a balance between Heaven and Hell. No war is complete without checks and balances. She is that balance. In recent months, things have turned and Ladonna is the pivot point. Her death does not prevent Lucifer from rising, the exact opposite is true. Her death is the last seal in a set of seals that are in the process of being broken by dutiful servants bound to the nether realms. Ladonna dies, the entire world is doomed." Standing she cast a ball of light in her hands and in it was reflected the possible outcome, a slaughter and fate hard enough to shake even a man who had lived many lives. "Save the girl, save the world. You've been entrusted with this information and tasked as an agent of Heaven. The choice is in your hands now."

With a shudder and a gasp she found herself back in her own body. Stepping out of the fountain, a handmaiden appeared next to her as if out of thin air and draped a white silk robe around her body. Ariadne belted it as another ran a soft-bristled brush through her hair, gently smoothing out any tangles that had resulted from the water.

Gently dismissing the two of them with a wave of her hand she re-secured the silk belt and traversed the pathway from the fountain to the temple. Standing before a divine mirror, she took a moment to savor her own reflection. Placing the flat of her palm against the mirror, three words were uttered in a long dead language and the looking glass lived up to its name, shimmering to life.

Through its glass she was able to observe goings on, but only for a limited amount of time and only those of creatures somehow connected to her. The current target was Ba'al, the fallen archangel. Once upon a time he had been a friend of hers and showed more promise than perhaps any of the garrison., Now, he had turned to his darker urges and the bloodlust that had sunk deep into his veins.

"You don't know what's coming for you."

#29 Posted by _Sojourn_ (19243 posts) - - Show Bio

His state was fragility. After being nearly killed by his father and the sextet of demons, Atticus was weakened. Severely so. It took all of his strength to do what he did. He imagined that it was the some unearthly, otherworldly possession that allowed him to even lift his eyelids every once in a while. And so, on the seventh day, Sunday, he took to rest. He lay in bed, devoid of any thought or emotion, silent and at peace. The entirety of two days was used to heal himself, allow the mending process to take place. His spirit however was bruised. And no amount of proclamation could massage away the pain. He was almost defenseless against the forces that he dared to offend, those vile beasts took him like an infant.

When he awoke, the room spun, it seemed as if the lights were two different colors for each eye, and the brightness made his head throb. He rolled out of bed onto the floor, finding the strength to brace himself on the nightstand to pull himself up. He was an empty vessel, ready to be filled with all forms of secular treats....And of course his kitchen was without food. Cursing his current predicament, Atticus flashed his hand before him, waving it gently, creating a portal of dark energy to carry him to the nearest market. He would have to be quick and inconspicuous, for he did not want to draw attention to himself in his weakened state. This would be the perfect opportunity for those wishing his end to reach their goals.

Appearing within the center of a farmers market of all places in a park west of the school district, Candidate Blaire walked to the stand with baked goods, freshly prepared...They called out to him, carbs and sugar had always been his downfall, and the only thing he required now was chocolate cake. And then he heard it. "JOIN THE MOVEMENT. We are our brothers' keepers. We care for those who can not care for themselves. We take provide aid for those in need. We are the helping hand that increases the opportunity of all, and not some. We are the Sojourners. Our leader Atticus Blaire is running for President of the United States of America, but his victory can only be assured by your vote. Believe in his message. Believe in his salvation, because he is so much more than a man. He is..." The voice stopped. Her microphone, sounded off, screeching from reverberations. And their eyes met. His clothes visibly should have been relegated to his bedroom, a mistake Atticus now regretted. It was then that she spoke again. "He is among us. Our leader. The Truth. Will you speak, allow your flock to grow. Allow those who have not yet received your gift to flourish in you." She was a young white woman, about twenty five in age, a mixture of blond and brunette hair, and a modest dress on. Literally she stood on a soap box and professing her own testimony. Like the Red Sea, people parted, stepping to the left or right making a clearing for Atticus to walk. Barefoot, improperly clothed, and unbathed, he never missed an opportunity to increase his numbers.

"I have no doubt that most of you saw what happened to me three days ago. I have no doubt that you have faltered in your faith, if you are one of many who believe in what I preach. But, I stand before you today, without shoes, without proper attire, and with three day old breath to tell you that, it was real. I have been chosen, to be what I am. This life befell me at birth, it was my destiny to lead the masses to freedom. I do not claim to be GOD, I do not claim to be anything but salvation. For reason that are beyond my own comprehension, Lucifer, the first fallen angel, the greatest and most powerful of them all is set to once again rule his domain. Do you doubt that in his time of rest he has not grown an insatiable lust for more power than he ever held before. Do you doubt that he will not try everything in his power to take the every life he can. You saw that I can defeat these creatures sent out by his emissaries, but I admit, I was weak in my own judgement. I had allowed myself to believe that they could not touch me...But they nearly killed me. It was you, it was your prayers, it was your belief in my and in my vision of this world that gave me strength."

His affinity for speeches was well known, but any good politician would never give up the opportunity to make a case for himself. Afterall, this was still an active election, and the strength of your numbers was only driven by your words and actions, and so far he had held a lead in almost every poll. "The time for defending myself is over. I call all of you, all that believe to action. If you wish to live then you will follow me. Live by your old ways, and you shall perish with the plague of fire that is sure to burn brighter than the stars. Monuments shall be erected in honor of me, acts of devotion shall be paid to them once a day at noon. Bless your homes with my seal, arm yourselves with the armor of darkness."

The young woman stepped up to him, and knelt to bended knee. "I accept" "Then you are blessed and you can bless as well" He placed his hand on the bop of her head, pouring measures of dark energy into her, infused with the power of the book. His following would now become her following, for she was his deciple now. From her shoulders down to the small of her back, scalene triangle shaped emblems marked her. "All those that wish to receive this blessing come forth now, and claim your life, claim your salvation." Men and woman stepped forth, leaving thier market stands, to be marked.

The following week...

The Wings of Salvation had spread across the country, and sightings of them had been seen in every continent and country around the world. The Book of Loyalty had proved its worth. It had allowed Atticus Blaire a following more massive than any modern movement, and whats more it had given him strength in return. Enough, to be the lightning rod he was born to become. The truth behind it all was that he knew what was coming, and if the girl was used according to prophecy, then he would be what Lucifer faced. Well, he and his followers. If the time came to pass, he was ready for war, for his army was ever growing.

#30 Posted by Oluf_Von_Host_Museum (84681 posts) - - Show Bio

Having cleansed himself of his sacrilegious actions absent remorse or distress, once again adorned in the veneration of the Vatican Assassin, Jean silently gathered his belongings. Abandoning the unorthodox congregation of assassins having fallen under the influence of a darker entity, the Hellhounds attack having a far greater consequence then the Living Legend had previously conceived. Its near fatal attack having poisoned the Cajun's corruptible soul manufacturing a far deadlier agent of doom then Ba'al had previously unleashed. Embracing the path of the Devil's resurrection with unmitigated resolve, the assassin would carry forward on his own.

Feather weighted foot steps streaked across the dirt covered road with superhuman speed and perfected form as Gambler raced towards the vessel of the unholy. Wooden wheeled wagon tracks serving up a clear path to the girls location as its driver remained ignorantly unaware of the rapidly approaching danger. His vision began to tunnel with supernatural perception allowing for sight beyond sight with attuned magnification mirroring the rhythm of his heartbeat. The scene breaking down into a slow motion display of theatricality as the possessed Vatican Assassin took to the air while unsheathing his blade. Dexterously displaying his swordsmanship as the decorative hilt was twirled between fingers creating a helicopter effect right up until it was stylishly driven into the top of the unsuspecting drivers head, causing him to unconsciously drop the leather reins controlling his mules.

"You couldnt hope to run forever chere." An emotionless coldness filtering through the Cajun's rhythmic tone. His gaze opposite of the girl as he jerked his crimson stained sword from the mans head causing his lifeless body to topple off the seat to the ground. With his back still turned to the little sacrifice, he extended his hand, "Shall we?"

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#31 Posted by Ladonna (38 posts) - - Show Bio

A weight came over the world. A sense of foreboding darkness that clouded every sense, both physical and metaphysical as the clouds moved over the sun, mimicking that feel in a very tangible sense. The dirt of the road flew up around the face of the young child as the lauded King of Kings himself effortlessly took out the old farmer, his hackneyed legs hitting the dirt as he fell to the ground, blood seeping from the gaping wound at the opening where his neck used to be.

A line of arterial spray had splattered through the air and droplets of it now stained the face and hair of a young girl who stood in the face of great adversity. Bringing a slightly shaking hand up to her face, she wiped the blood off and looked up at this man full of otherworldly presence from beneath her eyelashes.

A casual look would make it appear as if she were afraid of him and avoiding direct eye contact. That was only marginally true. Her instincts had kicked into overdrive, her hands still warm from the power displayed only an hour or two previous with the demonic creature that had come for her.

Taking a step back, she moved slightly off to the side, the edge of the forest only several yards away. Keeping him in her sight, she circled in much the same manner that a boxer would, with the inclusion of her fists held up in front of her, as if that would do anything to save her now. As the clouds continued to dim the warming sun a furious wind kicked up, bringing the temperature down several notches and adding to the foreboding mood.

With her blonde hair pulled from the tenuous hair tie and whirling around her face, her unnaturally colored eyes shone. "Surely you didn't think that it would be so easy as simply tracking me?" It was a bravado and only partially false. Clenching her hands together, she cracked her knuckles as the warmth began spreading throughout her body. "I'm not going with anybody."

Continuing to back away after having completed a circuit around the Cajun, Ladonna quickly looked over her shoulder to the woods and made a mad dash for them.

#32 Posted by _Sojourn_ (19243 posts) - - Show Bio

His influence had grown to stretches he'd never imagined before. Casting a shadow of night, a wondrous purity, a dark woven net had slung over the world itself. With the Wings of Salvation, the movement, taking shape, Atticus felt almost infallible. But lest he be destroyed by the power of the book, for all, he knew to well the consequences of failure on his part. Prior owners of the Book of Loyalty, who had fallen from grace were destroyed by the very following they had created. Though tiring, exhausting even, Atticus was more determined than ever to make his thread in the robe of Atropos count. Destiny had already been written, and no matter what path he took, it was fated that he end up at the same destination. All over, clamorous whispers sprung, those who welcomed it were thrown into chaotic action, helping aid the ones that would bring it forth. No one spoke too loudly or they would have been besieged by the Sojourners that were present, and yes they were everywhere.

Like a beautiful plague upon death, and dismay, the Sojourners, the Keepers as some others liked to call themselves, actively watched, and listened for chances to do good. Opportunities arose everyday, but the main goal was this: Protect the child. All of them knew it, as was the word of Atticus Blaire himself. He could not dare speak of her name, mainly because he was not privy to that knowledge, but also because if he were to utter it, demons would surely be in hot pursuit. Every back marked with the emblem of Atticus, had become a surrogate. Feeding, housing, loving the weakest among the flock. The intention was obvious, and it angered the evil that awaited, the force that influenced others to harm.

In a little village somewhere...A little girl was about to receive help in a moment of desperation. Atticus could feel the want for safety in her breath, a link had been established, for purposes of something he could not understand at the moment. All he knew was this was the child, the girl, the key. He activated his power over those that marched in his name, all those living withing a twenty mile radius would be on the look out. It was like he was watching her, and hearing her, the panting from shortness of breath as she darted over dead leaves mud and fallen twigs. She would come upon a house, empty, but for a flickering candle flame in a murky window. She would not go inside, but ignore it, for she knew that the ones giving chase had no respect for erected sanctums. Atticus watched, and wondered, if this was her destiny, to die or run. That sacrifice was to much for his own heart, as it ached for her, and he cried. He wept for her, singing a song of solace and rescue all the while.

In that very same woodland, the owner of that house was steadied herself upon a splintering cane. It was the evening twilight, setting sun, and stars so bright that prompted her stroll in the woods she called home. Shuffling leaves, breaking twigs, splashing puddles, something or someone was running. And she knew it. Her life had been spent as a farm hand, cooking and cleaning for one of the more afluent families that own land. Her humble abode was all that she had, and she was grateful for the warmth it provided, and the protection from the rain and snow. She cared for it and in turn it cared for her. And as she walked upon the beaten path, the face of a child so steady, but frightened by causes she did not know, appeared from the distance. Small voiced she spoke words of comfort, her tongue guided to form by unseen benevolent masters. "Here child. Safety awaits you. In true darkness nothing can be seen. In true darkness, your light will shine brighter than the star" A wind blew, shaking the limbs and dried leaves still hanging on, creating an eerie chant among the lifeless beings. Then and there she disrobed revealing her weathered skin, spotted with age, and hardship. Upon her back were two black triangles stretching from the top of her shoulders to the small of her back. The began to disappear into her, wisping deeper and deeper into her flesh until they had gone from sight. Mouth agape, the darkness poured from her mouth, like a stream fed by the ocean itself. Filling the air like smoke, the darkness latched onto every molecule, swallowing the only available light seen. On bended knee, she prayed for the safety of the child, and that her new messiah would watch over her, ensure her safety. This trance, would be broken in the morning with the new suns coming, but as of now, the darkness would provide enough cover for the child to gain some effort of distance between what she ran from and herself. Maybe she would meet other Sojourners, or maybe Atticus' efforts were all in vain. His part, his task was complete, and he felt and ease fall over him. His action may have just provided the world another breath of life, or only delayed it.

#33 Posted by Ishin (6830 posts) - - Show Bio

So his questionable suspicions have proven to be correct, at least according to the unanticipated divine visitor. The knowledge shared was indeed of limitless value to one who truly seeks to preserve the world. And while widely unethical and morally ambiguous, the enigmatic Emperor strongly maintains that his cause is ultimately just, and if saving this unknown child will indeed bring forth the desired defeat of nefarious Lucifer, then save the girl he shall. His suspicions were plausible by nature, he had temporarily allied himself with the egotistic Cajun, who throughout Impero's meticulous observations, has never showcased a major concern regarding the preservation of the world or the saving of humanity, there was always an unseen twist powering his operations. A greedy objective, and no doubt, The Genius suspected his aristocratic rival of yearning to capitalize on the current situation for his own purposes, perhaps to monopolize his political influence by deceptively portraying himself as the world's savior?

While this could not be fully answered by the masked icon's sole opinion, cunning Impero had his preparations ready for such a dramatic shift in events. Mysterious and governed by a shrouded, unique history, the deadly Grandmaster arrogantly believes himself to be mankind's remaining savior, or at least he claims this before certain individuals, his truest motives, always cryptic and shifty. Setting his mesmerizing magnetic golden eyes on the knowledgeable agent of heaven's own, Impero responds with uncharacteristic surprise yet somehow retains the majority of his composure, his unique eyes briefly widening in disbelief. "Hmm... I should have anticipated this", he admits, "While I did suspect that it was a possibility, I did not consider its plausibility as strong as it truly is. Never have I known the Cajun to be one who concerns himself with somewhat altruistic purposes", he points out, "The girl, I will find her". Maintaining his meditative position, he nods calmly in respect to the lovely angel, "Although... I've always wanted to cut off Lucifer's wings myself", he joked smugly, inappropriate? Yes, but it was consistent with his overconfidence. Soon, the angel disappeared, having accomplished her task.

Breaking free from his meditative state, the vaunted puppeteer scanned the area, the eerie silence of the night rendering Jean's elusive disappearance all the more impressive. The only way Impero himself could have known was during the early stages of his meditation, having detected the abrupt vanishing of the Cajun's chi-based signature, Impero's suspicion had risen substantially prior to the recent angelic visit. Re-absorbing his distant chi-duplicate into himself following his telepathic dismissing of the Yuansu Elders, ordering them to return to the monastery, as he no longer required their use at the moment. Halting for a moment as he stood at the door of Esther's quarters, he opted not to open it, instead sending her a telepathic message, "Ms. Cotillard, it seems that Mr. LeBeau has left us. And coincidentally, I must take my leave as well. Until next we meet my dear". Utilizing the sophisticated teleportation-based technology in his suit, he made his way towards the closest concentration of holy energy and to his fortune, a girl seemed to be making a mad dash away from a distant figure. "Child, come with me. I can tell you everything. Trust me". There was a sincerity to his voice, one that he hoped would appeal to her.