#1 Posted by Ravek (2937 posts) - - Show Bio

The ship exited a wormhole into the blackness of space, in the distance was a world not marked on any star charts, it's position a closely guarded secret. It has no name, just a number, LP-564, but the men who've trained here over the centuries refer to it endearingly as Hell. A small drop ship exits the massive warship. The smaller vessel heads towards the planet, entering the atmosphere and increasing it's speed, skimming across the treetops. After a few moments a sprawling compound became visible, a large wall separating the facility from the hostile jungle beyond. The ship slowed down and landed on one of several landing pads near the wall. A small group of men wearing Vanguard Commando armor waited nearby. The troop bay door opened and two figures opened and two figures walked down the ramp. One was Ravek Val'Chan, the infamous Keresh Fleet Commander and a Vanguard Commando himself, the other was a young girl he'd met on Earth, above it to be exact, aboard Nexus Station, she'd been able to avoid Keresh Security Systems for extended amounts of time, which to Ravek showed great potential. That's why she was here, with the proper training she could become one of the greatest assassins in existence.  
The two approached the gathering of Commandos, the men and women saluting Ravek, they were deep in Keresh Territory so there was no restriction on saluting here. 
"Afternoon Major" Ravek said, greeting the leader of the group, nodding to the others, who returned the nod respectfully.
"Been a long time Sir" the other man responded, "Kor'rev II is the last time I saw your ugly mug I believe" 
Ravek smirked behind his visor at the statement. "Seems about right" he said, chuckling softly, gesturing to Arturia "This is the girl I told you about" nodding reassuringly to her.  
"Welcome" the man in charge said, removing his helmet and extending a hand to the young girl. "I'm Major Rolans, Commander of the Installation" 
"Lets get you settled in, we've got a lot of training to do"
He takes her to a nearby barracks, opening the door and handing the key card he used to open it. The two walk inside, there's a bed against a wall, a few cabinets and drawers built into the opposite wall along with a small bathroom, a window across from the door letting in a small amount of light, near the bed is a small desk with a data terminal. Several sets of combat fatigues are laid out on the bed, along with various other articles of clothing and two sets of combat boots, one pair black and the other a dark tanish brown, a medium sized pack filled with various gear hung from a mount on the wall.
"I'll give some time to adjust, I recommend you get some sleep, you'll need it" 
With that they left her alone in the room to her own devices. 


They'd waited till she'd most likely be asleep, three Vanguard Instructors entered the room yelling for her to 'Get the Frak up!' and 'Move Faster!', telling her she should've been ready five minutes ago and to get on the grinder outside the barracks.
#2 Posted by Zauberin (4373 posts) - - Show Bio
Arturia stood pacing frantically in the cabin. Almost the whole way on the ship, she couldn't sleep. It was normal that she'd had trouble sleeping, but now it was even worse than usual. Add that to the fact that whenever she did sleep, she always had nightmares and never slept well anyway. She rubbed her weary eyes in amazement once the planet was in sight.   Amazement turned to worry as they descended through the atmosphere and instead of actually slowing, sped up. rocked by the turbulence, she staggered about for a while, crashed into a wall and fell over a chair to the floor. She decided to just lay there until they stopped, eyes wide and breath heavy. I knew it. This was a mistake.

Arturia stood again slowly, grabbing hold of a chair for support, just in case she wasn't completely stable yet. "I hate flying on ships."  Once she was over the horrible experience, she finally followed Ravek to thecomplex. Being a mostly simple girl, the half-demon child was quickly overwhelmed by the grandiosity of everything. The huge walls, the imposing compound and its inhabitants, and the forest that surrounded it. Wonder what's out there? Surprised they didn't tear it all down. they're not afraid of anything out there, are they?

It wasn't until that moment that she realized she was being acknowledged. "Oh! Hi. Arturia Emina Esaith-Auttenberg," she spoke politely, doing a curtsy, then taking his hand lightly and following him to her quarters. She glanced around and was instantly slightly dismayed at what she saw. It was dank and dark. A small light let in through the window, and the one in the ceiling flickered in and out. From what she'd seen at the Nexus Station, she expected something a bit more. . .grand. An orphan who showed such potential as her deserved only the best. She didn't mind the clothes she'd been provided. At least she wouldn't mess her own up.

Once she was alone, Arturia tossed her two bags into the corner. One was filled with clothes, the other contained a small pistol, books for reading, a pad and pencil for writing, and a knife, made of diamond, for defense. 

Once she'd gotten acquainted with everything, still weary from the long trip, Arturia undressed and lay down to sleep. It took a while, but she finally managed to nod off. In that time, she dreamt of fire. A vivid dream; they always were. Flames all around, temperatures as hot as Hell. She was standing in a dark forest, no light reaching in through the tall trees and the smoke, and she was choking. Dead bodies littered the ground, some charred, others were missing arms, legs, or heads. One in particular stood out. Though her vision was blurred and her senses out of control, something told her who it was. It was the one who brought her here, Ravek Val'Chan. Arturia crawled to where he lay and turned him over, met with a fierce vice-grip on the neck, though he must've come to his senses, as he stopped strangling her. Calmly, Arturia reached down to remove his helmet, but too late did she notice the device rigged on his armor, set to explode. And just as everything erupted, she awoke in sweats.

Three times, she awoke after having the exact same dream. Her fourth attempt at sleep was cut short by yelling. "Get the frak up!" Startled, Arturia fell off of the bed and onto the floor, covering with her sheets. "Okay, okay! Gimme some time, please!" She was met only with more yelling.  "Move Faster! You should've been ready five minutes ago! Get on the grinder outside the barracks."  

"Get on the what!? Time, please! I need to get dressed!"  She didn't even realize she was yelling back, through surprise and frustration. Quickly she scurried to the bathroom to get dressed and was outside within three minutes, standing at attention. Only once she was outside did she notice she'd mixed one black boot with a brown boot.  Goddammit! Damned soldier guy, making me rush. "Can I get back inside and change," she asked, raising a hand timidly.
#3 Posted by Ravek (2937 posts) - - Show Bio

The instructor sighed, shaking his head... 
"Go ahead..." 

Commander Val'Chan had told them not to be to hard on her at first, give her time to adjust to the militaristic environment.
"... You've got five minutes... Move!" 
Pointing towards the barracks. As she runs off to change he pulls a cigar from a cargo pocket on his utilities and lights, savoring it while he waits, looking up at the sun as sweat began to appear on his brow, checking his watch he shook his head, the sun only been up for half an hour and the temperature was rapidly approaching 100 degrees...
She was back with thirty seconds to spare. Smart girl...
"Now that that's taken care of... we're going to see what you can do."

Gesturing for her to follow him he starts to run along the compound wall. He continues to speak to her as the run, but sounds exactly the same as it had when they were standing still moments before.  

"First you'll run the stage one obstacle course, after that we'll see which weapons your most comfortable with. We'll break for lunch and after that you'll be fitted for a suit of armor, all though it won't be the same as ours, the Commander has something special in the works for you." 
As the two ran a column of Vanguard Trainees ran past, an instructor running alongside, calling out cadence.
Unlike when she'd arrived the compound was a buzz of activity, the sound of gunfire resonated through out from the various firing ranges and tactics training areas. Drop ships roared overhead and instructors could be heard yelling commands at their recruits. 
After about a mile and a half later they reached the obstacle course, the Instructor turned to Arturia, looking down at the Succubus. 
"First off you'll sprint 100 yards to that series of walls, climbing over each of them until you reach the first turn, then you'll low cross underneath the razor wire through the mud to the other end, keep your head down, auto turrets will be firing right above your head, once you reach the other side someone will hand you what humans refer to as a 'Pugil Stick' basically a three foot pole with the ends covered in padding, you'll make your way across a narrow walkway surrounded by water, instructors will attempt to knock you off, fall in the water and you start over, then there's another sprint through an open field, just so you know explosive charges will be going off around you but they won't hurt you, just scare the hell out of you when they go off. Once you cross the field you'll have climb a medium sized rock wall and then repel down the other side before you sprint the final 200 yards... where several instructors will be trying to stop you with the most basic hand to hand combat."

Nodding to another instructor in a tower. 
"You won't be timed since it's your first run through, but try and finish as fast as possible. This will be your practice run." 
Looking back to the tower, getting a thumbs up from the man in the tower. 

#4 Posted by Zauberin (4373 posts) - - Show Bio
"Go ahead. . .You've got five minutes. . .Move!" Arturia was already headed back inside before he even finished speaking. "On it! Thanks," blowing a kiss as she disappeared inside.

Arturia frantically fumbled with the laces on the boots, hopping on one foot trying to undo them, and ungracefuly tripping over another on the floor. A few moments and she actually managed to get the boot off, but continued having trouble with putting on the next one. In her hurry, she accidentally tied up her fingers in the laces. Dammit! To Hell with this! "Binden mein schuhe." At that instant, the laces quickly tied themselves. Arturia flashed a satisfied smile at herself in the mirror.

Once outside, her sensitive ears were quickly overtaken by the sounds of the many guns and shouting, and she almost ran back inside for cover, covering her ears to lessen the effect.

Arturia followed closely, ducking and peeking her head around nervously, somewhat paranoid of stray bulletfire, struggling to hear the drill instructor over the other sounds of the compound. "First you'll run the stage one obstacle course, after that we'll see which weapons your most comfortable with. We'll break for lunch and after that you'll be fitted for a suit of armor, all though it won't be the same as ours, the Commander has something special in the works for you." 

After hearing the layout of the obstacle course, Arturia smirked, hiding her actual worry. "Okay, easy. Heh, it's just like. . .hh. . .gymnastics. . .only a thousand degrees," she remarked only half-sarcastically, just then noticing the temperature and never being able to withstand extreme temperatures. She hadn't even started and she was already sweating and out of breath. Taking up a stance like an olympic sprinter, she took off as fast as she could in the heat toward the wall, clearing 50 yards in 25 seconds, though she was rapidly slowing due to the extreme temperature. In the end, it took her a whole 90 seconds to reach the first wall, which at that point seemed such a daunting task. So to help herself, she spoke a few quiet words that would subtly give her a boost so she could get over the walls in about 45 seconds. Careful, don't want to deplete your reserves. At that point she was sorely disappointed at how she'd been performing and having to resort to her magic, and very upset at Ravek for not warning her of the heat.

Arturia quickly dove into the mud, making haste on her stomach to reach the next area, still struggling with her breath. About midway through, when she peeked up to see how long she had to go, her hair became caught in the wire. She pulled hard a few times but was unable to free herself. With a grunt and a sigh of frustration, she spoke again, "Entwirren mich," freeing her hair, at a cost. After that she scurried to the end and rolled left out of the line of fire. Damn. 

Then came the pugil stick. Arturia immediately decided in her mind that she'd get knocked over once on purpose so she could refresh herself with the water, maybe wash off some of the mud. So she did. She approached the first man and swung weakly at his head, and as expected, he ducked under and whacked her off of the platform. To her slight dismay, the water wasn't cool and refreshing, but tepid and actually kind of nasty. She scurried back to dry land and got back to the platform, feeling a little better. Though not as well as usual, the boots throwing her off a little, she balanced nicely on the walkway. She'd already formulated a plane. Arturia gave a short jab with the stick, and when the man dodged to the left, she simply swept the stick that way, knocking him into the water. The next, she tried the same, but instead of sidestepping, he stepped backwards, again and again under constant pressure of her jabs, until he almost backed into the next instructor, who backed up to avoid him until he almost backed into the one behind him, who likewise continued backwards. Eventually the man in front must have got tired of humoring the girl, or whatever he was doing, because he very forcefully brought his pugil stick up to intercept Arturia's. she adjusted fast and used the momentum, adding her own force and hitting him in the face with it, following up with a sweep, tripping him over the side. She continued forward, ducking under a swing and thrusting the stick horizonally at the man's abdomen then bringing it over to push him to the pit as well. Almost done. Don't get careless now. Wiping the sweat from her brow, she advanced toward the next instructor, who opened the same way she did before, jabbing her in the chest, then the face, but as he brought the pugil stick around to smack her off the side, Arturia swung hers from the opposite direction ,and both were sent over the edge of the walkway. Arturia just managed to catch herself by wrapping her legs around the platform, hanging there for a moment to rest before pulling herself up and proceeding, hoping all that was legal.

Arturia started the next test at a jogging pace, not wanting to tire herself out. That is, until the first explosion went off. The fact that it was an explosion didn't really scare her; she'd been told they were just there to scare her and had been expecting it. But the boom from the explosion in her sensitive ears was almost debilitating. Immediately she fell to her knees and covered her ears, waiting for them to stop ringing before she continued, still covering. It didn't do much for dulling the sound, and the temperature wasn't helpng either. The sooner I get done with this, the better. She cleared the field as fast as she could with the ruckus and the heat.

The next challenge, Arturia expecialy looked forward to. It would be less stress on her lungs, plus when you have claws that can cut through most metals, climbing a rock wall isn't much of a challenge. Her nails extended a centimenter and she dug them into the wall. Calm pace. Don't overexert yourself any more than you have to. This isn't timed anyway. She cleared the wall in twenty seconds.

Arturia stared down the field wearily, thinking how it was two times as long as the first, and that one was worse than she could have ever imagined. Let's just get this over with. Again she took off in a sprint, dashing past the first instructor with little trouble, sliding the length of her body along the ground right through his legs, hopping up and continuing. She blocked, twirled, dodged, and flipped until she was almost home free. Except the last man managed to get the jump on her when she tried to push past him, locking her arm in a painful hammerlock. Arturia hates pain, and in her panic, with all the stress, her tail struck out from the back of her pants and pierced the man's abdomen, surprising him enough to make him let go. Arturia dashed for the end, heart pounding, chest heaving. "Heh. That—hh—That was. . ." All the pressure, of the hot sun beating down on her, of her lungs on the verge of collapse, of her heart about to beat a hole in her chest, it all came crashing down at that moment and Arturia collapsed, her mind fading into a world of black.
#5 Posted by Ravek (2937 posts) - - Show Bio

He stood in tower observing her from above as the agile succubus performed even better than expected, easily navigating the obstacles placed before her with grace and ease, a series of cameras recording her every move. He couldn't help grin as she managed to fight her way past the various instructors. "At a girl..." he said quietly to himself.

The nimble acrobat reached the final stretch of the course, a large field filled with instructors attempting to stop her. He grinned as she ducked, dodged and flipped her way past the much larger men.

A few more seconds and she'd reached the end, finishing a good 20 seconds below what was required to pass on a graded run through, incredible for a first timer with no prior Keresh military training.

Hurrying down the stairs to congratulate her Ravek looked down to where she had stood, she'd collapsed...

Without a second thought he vaulted over the railing, falling the remaining two stories and landing a crouch, run to her just as to medic arrived and were placing her on a stretcher.

"What the hell happened!?"

"She'll live sir" One said as they loaded her into an ambulance, heading towards the base medical facility.

--- --- ---

Several hours later she awoke, he was sitting next to the bed she'd been placed in, waiting for her to wake up.

She seemed dazed at first, the IV in her arm, the cool air of the medical facility compared to the heat outside.

He quickly moved to the door, summoning a nurse to come and check on her. After a quick examination she nodded that her vitals were normal.

Stepping to her bedside he looks down at the petite succubus, smiling down at her.

"I'm proud of you Arturia, you completed the course with time to spare...I was a right about you. You don't have to apologize for what happened, take your time and rest up, we'll start training again when your ready..."

--- --- ---

Several Months Later...

The two stood inside a large gym, filled with various equipment, training was going even better than expected, Arturia excelled at ever challenge he placed before her. Choosing to move the majority of her training to after the sun set to compensate for her weakness to the jungle worlds extreme heat.

She'd scored remarkably well during the weapons portion of her training, just above average with firearms, but with a blade was where she truly stood out, turning prior experience into a fighting style all her own.

Her hand to hand stills were notable as well, doing as she had with bladed weaponry and creating her own nearly unreadable style.

The end of her training was nearing, she'd gone from the thief who enjoyed sneaking throughout the restricted areas of Nexus Station to a hardened warrior.

He walks over to her, placing a gloved hand on her shoulder.

"You've impressed me Arturia, there was no doubt in my mind that you would do well here, but surpassed even my expectations"

Smiling warmly down at her, his voice carried an almost fatherly tone to it. She had to be exhausted, even though she only trained while the sun was down she was still only permitted a minimum of four hours of sleep to teach her not to rely on it.

"You only have one more test left before you, and it will be the most difficult... I'm not going to lie to you, it won't be easy."

Giving her a moment to let all sink in...

"Are you ready dear?"

#6 Posted by Zauberin (4373 posts) - - Show Bio
Arturia awoke in a daze, stuck halfway in between the waking world and a dream that she had already begun to forget. The first thing she noticed was the cold. Quite the refreshing change from what she'd been through since arriving. Then there was the smell. It smelled so. . .sterile, like the walls were coated with some aseptic paint mixed with plastic. It was actually a bit offensive to her sensitive nose.

She looked absently at the needle in her arm, then the nurse, then at her clothes, which had been changed to a gown. Under normal circumstances, if she had her bearings completely, she might've panicked at the sight of a needle, but her mind wasn't all there.

"I'm proud of you Arturia, you completed the course with time to spare...I was a right about you. You don't have to apologize for what happened, take your time and rest up, we'll start training again when your ready..."

"Sure, we can get back at it," she began playing with her tail, which still had some blood on it. "But first, what have you got to eat around here?" She smiled innocently, her true meaning to be revealed.

--- --- ---

Her time there had been challenging, but she managed. Arturia stood nervous, excited, alongside the commander, looking up at him adoringly. He was a lot less grisly than most on Earth made it seem, and she'd even developed something of a crush on him; this was the whole reason she decided to stay and stick through the hard stuff. It was the only thing that kept her from dropping out She had a desire to make him happy, or at the very least be something he could be proud of, since as it stood he had feelings for another.

She'd surprised even herself with how well she progressed. She'd done it all with little to no use of magic or enhancements, a fact she was proud of. Certainly a different girl than that of a few months back. The one who buckled under the slightest bit of pressure and quit. She still didn't much like pain at all, but she started learning to deal with it a bit more. She actually picked up a few pounds, her petite frame gained slightly with the buildup of a bit of lean muscle. The lack of sleep wasn't a big problem; she never got much of that before anyway. What was more surprising was how well things went once she was revealed to be a succubus. He took it well. She fed. Then again, it's not like the Keresh have a shortage of people who don't like them.

"You only have one more test left before you, and it will be the most difficult... I'm not going to lie to you, it won't be easy."

Arturia shrugged, staring down at the jeweled sword in her hand, balancing it perfectly on her middle finger. "Sure, why not? I mean, I did everything else better than expected. I'm ready as I'll ever be." Really, though, she was nervous as ever. She had already been through what she thought was the worst they had to offer without actually giving a field assignment outside of the (somewhat) controlled environments, and she had no idea how she'd fare in the real world once practice was all over. If it's meant to be tough for Keresh who'd trained probably their whole lives, a girl a few months in could only hope to do so well on the final. But through her smile, she never let it show, save for a slight indication in the color of her eyes. "I've just got one question. What happens when I graduate?"
#7 Edited by Ravek (2937 posts) - - Show Bio

He had to admit the petite succubus had impressed him, a few months ago she was meek and easily buckled in the face of a challenge. Now, she was strong, confident and agile, a trained killer that he suspected would rival even some of the senior instructors here on the Vanguard's private training world once she was actually put to the test in the field.

"We'll talk about that AFTER you complete your mission. Now take a seat."

Leading her over to a screen built into the wall, a few chairs lined up in front of it. Waiting for her to sit down before switching it on.

A planet appeared on screen, dark green colored continents showed massive jungles, with mountains dotting the landscape as the jungle world rotated on screen, azure colored oceans filling the space between the land masses.

"Ralton IV, a backwater world on the edge of Keresh territory. For the past few months a group of pirates and slavers have been harassing our nearby colonies and shipping in the system from a base here."

Pointing to a location on the map covered by a small red dot. The image automatically zooming in on the location to show a feed from a Keresh Scouts helmet mounted camera showing a hangar built into the side of a mountain, multiple guards visible below at a secondary entrance with automated turrets placed around the walled perimeter surrounding the blast doors.

"It's an old Symaarian base their operating out of so getting in won't be easy, especially for an entire team of commandos with full gear. So we're sending you."

Smiling reassuringly at her, he knew it was asking a lot of her but it was the best way to truly test her abilities and gauge how much of her training had sunk in.

"We'll insert you when the majority of them are away, I'll have ships standing by to take them out on their way back to keep them off your back. That should leave around sixty men in the facility, your primary target is their leader."

A picture of a man in full body armor, obviously constructed from various other sets to maximize the effectiveness.

"We don't know his name, but it won't matter in a few days. Kill him, but make sure you do it up close and personal. Everyone else kill in whatever manner you please. Over there are various weapons you might find useful." gesturing to a table covered in various weapons "Take your pick and I'll meet you on the landing pad in an hour."

Heading towards the door, stopping next to her. "Oh and there's a present for you in your room..." winking before continuing on. "Oh and don't forget to grab a bite to eat." Wanting her at the top of her game for the upcoming test.

8 Hours Later, The Jungle World of Ralton IV

The modified drop ship soared over the seemingly endless jungle. It had been modified to appear as a civilian craft and had a small stealth field protecting it from detection just in case. Ravek stood in the back with Arturia, holding onto one of the safety bars built into the ceiling to avoid being tossed out of the fast moving transport.

"Remember your training and you'll be fine." He said to her over the comm device built into his helmet to the small comm device in her ear.

The nimble craft came to a stop over a clearing on the opposite side of the mountain, a short walk to the main entrance and a small maintenance shaft that as far as Keresh Intelligence knew, was unguarded.

"Stealth is your best bet. Try to avoid setting off any alarms or leaving bodies laying out in the open."

As the craft lowered to the jungle floor. This world wasn't nearly as humid as the one she'd been training on so she shouldn't have a problem with the temperature. A cool breeze coming through the open troop bay door as it descended.

"No survivors, take care of yourself Arturia"

Removing his helmet and kissing her on the cheek.

"You'll do fine. Now get the hell out of my ship."

The ship just a few inches off the ground as he pushed her out the back, the transport rising into the air. The troop bay door closing as it did so.

Turning to key the intercom so he could speak to the pilot.

"You know what to do."

In the blink of an eye it was gone, flying off without a sound over the canopy, leaving Arturia alone on a world she was unfamiliar with, less than a mile from a base crawling with pirates and slavers.

#8 Posted by Zauberin (4373 posts) - - Show Bio
Arturia followed the commander, eagerly awaiting her final test. Not only a chance to prove herself and try to impress him, but also the last obstacle standing between her home back on earth. She'd been gone so long and was curious to know of any changes that took place in her absence.

Eagerness turned to anxiety as she listened to the mission specs. Great. Another jungle planet. Although, at the very least, I could use the cover when I'm going in. Pirates and slavers didn't seem like much at a glance, but if they've been "harassing" Keresh and haven't been dealt with yet, they could be pretty troublesome. The final specification, she found particularly bothersome. "Do it up close and personal." Why is he so special? What about him makes it so I can't do whatever I want? Hand to hand, there's a good chance this guy could totally outclass and kill me . But orders are orders, and she wouldn't want to have him upset at her, so she simply nodded.

Arturia remained silent the rest of the day, awaiting the time when she would be called to action, and the entire ride was spent in silence, staring down at the floor at the commander's feet. She opted not to wear the armor he gave her for the mission. That would wait until she was fully graduated. Instead, she wore one of her usual gothic style outfits with a black skirt and top, spiked boots and torn stockings. Her nervousness seemed to permeate the air, and he sensed it, despite her trying to push it down from the surface of her mind. His reassuring words were met with a weak smile. "That obvious, huh?" She stood in anticipation as they got closer to the compound. "I'm not gonna leave anybody al—Aah!" She let out a shriek, but caught herself, her wings jutting out through the back of her shirt, flapping lightly, holding her just above the ground.

Upon seeing the video feed, Arturia had already made up her mind about how she would gain access to the compound. She'd never tried it before, but she had read about it, and it seemed her best bet getting inside without being shot. She stopped momentarily to focus, concentrate, and after a short time, her petite body dropped to the ground as her spirit exited. Making her way about undetected, she drifted through the air to the guarded entrance, found a man, and jumped inside, quickly drawing his sidearm and firing upon his allies, just before turning his own blade on himself, jabbing it into his stomach and bringing it up through his chest. Of course she felt the pain too, but got out before he could bleed out and returned to her own body. Now to deal with the turrets. Focusing her power, she raised her arms and channeled her dark energies, flooding them into the automated guns, enough to make them implode. Having never properly prepared or conditioned herself for such, these weighed on both body and spirit.

No matter. I can feed once I get inside, she thought as she approached the blast doors cautiously.

Of course outright blasting away at the doors would be stupid. They were supposed to be durable and she's only succeed in giving away her presence, and be nowhere because of it. 

Among the jewels of the world, there are those that spent years under the ground having contact with the spirits of nature. These special jewels became "stained" with power of said spirits and can be used as a simplified type of Thaumaturgical Crest. Once prana is embedded into a jewel, it will be tinted by the mystical properties of the stone, and the magus can then use that power whenever and in whatever way she finds necessary. Arturia had collected a total of twenty, which she stashed in a pouch, strung around her waist. From the pouch, she removed a small blue jewel and pressed it up against the door, imbuing it with even more prana and it started to glow. After a moment, ice started to encase the door, spreading outward from where she had placed the jewel. After it had spread adequately, she cut off the flow and pulled the jewel away. Each was worth over a hundred thousand dollars, so she was conservative with their use, as releasing all of the energy at once would destroy them. She let the ice sit for a time before thrusting her diamond blade into it, crumbling the ice and making a small hole in the door as well. Peeking through, Arturia slipped carefully and quietly inside.

Of course, quiet doesn't mean much when there are three guards just on the other side of the door you break into. Immediately they opened fire, and just as soon, the girl vanished. In another instant, she reappeared behind a stack of crates and rushed them from behind, firing upon two of them but leaving one standing. Before he could react a quick slice with her claws divided his rifle into six sections which dropped to the ground. She floored him with a quick front kick and pinned him down with help from dark energy binding constructs, thereby planting herself on top of him. She ran her hand down the side of the helpless man's face and, much to his surprise, leaned in and kissed him deeply, absorbing his life essence and leaving his body a hollow husk.

The shots, heard around the corner, brought another small cluster of men around to find the bodies lying on the floor. Further inspection of the scene set off a proximity bomb planted on one of the bodies, sending a shockwave and shrapnel out in all directions. The smoke clearing slightly, the young Cambion stepped back inside through the hole made previously in the door, brushing herself off, stepping over bodies and stamping hard on the chest of one who had narrowly avoided death. Wiping her boot on the floor in disgust, she continued on.

Down a series of corridors, a lone pirate searched a small, dimly lit room where he thought he'd heard a noise. Seeing nothing, he turned to leave. Just then a pair of hands reached from behind and snatched him back inside. The intruder, a mere girl, possessed surprising strength for someone so small. She grabbed the man and pinned him against the wall, looking into his face and spoke sternly while working her charm, mentally linking them so what she said to him would be translated to his understanding, and vice versa. "You. You're going to go ahead and scout for me. If you see anyone, I want you to give me a signal. Just a little whistle. Got it?" the man nodded his head, though seeming confused about his own agreement at first.

They left the room, the man leading Arturia through the facility. Things were going well, and now she was feeling a lot more confident in her ability. She paused at a corner and let the man continue on to scout. Once he gave the signal that there was no one, she followed behind, until he stopped midway. Turning around, he flashed a sinister grin and grabbed her up by he throat, gripping hard and thrust her against the wall while a number of his allies came out from hiding in various places all around.

"Mind tricks don't work on me, pretty lady. Just money," he snarled, pressing a knife against her cheek.

Arturia didn't struggle or kick. She knew she was outnumbered and breaking free would result in her quickly being shot. Still, sitting around could mean being made a part of some slave operation off on some strange world, or death anyway. She took him and transported them both back to the entrance, the first place that came to her mind, away from the others. Once there, she extended her claws and sliced off his hand in anger, taking his other arm and spinning him around, stabbing the knife through his hand and then through his back. Spinning him back around, she inserted her claws through his head through the bottom of his jaw, then tore away, shredding his head.

"Disgusting. Never touch me."

Reappearing just around the corner where she'd previously been ambushed, she caught one man unaware and slashed his throat before he could yell. Peeking around the corner, they had already begun searching again. She made her hand into a makeshift gun shape, the kind a child would when pretending to use a gun, her index finger extended and her thumb raised. Poking around the corner, she aimed and fired off a spell. Gandr, a blackish-purple energy shot, actually a curse originating from Scandinavia. Not really lethal, it is used simply to decrease the physical health of the target. Once she struck her mark, Arturia grabbed him and vanished around the corner once more. Last time she made the mistake of trying a perfectly healthy and relatively strong-willed man. This time, she weakened her target a bit and tried again. She placed a grenade in his hand. "I need you to get all of those men in close. Get them to head to that room over there," motioning toward the small room in which she'd attacked her last victim. "Hide this so they don't see it. And when they're all in, you pull the pin and get out. Get back to me." He nodded.

The thrall, still weakened, stumbled to where the others were and called out in his native tongue, motioning back. It wasn't long before the others came running and a few of them filed into the room. Once they were in close, he pulled the pin, concealing the grenade behind his back. Five seconds later, Arturia heard the explosion from around the corner and soon saw her thrall return to her. She patted him on the head and kept moving.

The many corridors seemed to culminate in a large room, filled with crates, a few fuel tanks off to the side, a bunch of scrap, ship parts and weapons, and an old elevator on the other side. It was filled with men, all armed and ready. Of course they knew the intruder was coming. This was where she would stop. No farther. to dangerous to be kept alive, she would be shot and killed as soon as anybody had the chance to do it. They all stood at the ready, but were surprised to see one of their own staggering around the corner. One man at the front motioned to hold their fire and another went forward to meet him. After a moment of talking, he turned back and raised his weapon and fired at the fuel tank, the resulting explosion sending nearby men and shrapnel flying throughout the room. Some pierced by flying parts. The shooter was immediately fired upon, and just as he died, another man raised his gun and shot down two more of his compatriots before being taken out himself. Then a third made an attack on the other fuel tank, resulting in another explosion and more flying scrap metal and flying bodies. They erupted into chaos. Everyone looking around, unsure of what was going on. Over in one corner of the room, two men wrestled and one was thrust to the ground. Panicking, he pointed and shouted, "Get him! He's a traitor!"

The others looked at the man on the floor and spoke in confusion.

"Oh. Crap," he said, just before they shot him dead and started murmuring again, still looking around, eying one another suspiciously.

Arturia returned to her own body, feeling the effects of being outside of her own and in so many others for so long. They were still confused and untrusting, now unsure of the true nature of the enemy. One man off in a corner screamed, but was abruptly cut off. They all looked to see the small girl, the intruder, standing over him, her foot pressed on his back, smiling tauntingly at them. All fell quiet.

After a moment of silent confusion, they opened fire on her position. Arturia danced in between the bullets and lasers like a ballerina and rolled around like a gymnast doing her floor routine. Stray shots hit allies, missing the girl completely. Such a small target, so nimble and agile, they were finding it impossible to hit her. Meanwhile, she moved flawlessly, the blades extending from her fingers dicing through the crowd. It was pure pandemonium, and she was loving the feeling she got from them. So much negativity, so much anger and fear, it was invigorating. It fed her, energized her, at least until the number of living had almost completely dwindled. Only three remained alive in the room. Arturia and two others. One stood, eying her intensely. All were out of breath. Thanks to all the fire from the explosions, the temperature had risen considerably. She felt she should conserve a bit for the nameless leader, whom she had yet to meet. She sized up her target, eying him up and down, looking for any sign of intent. Dashing in, she feinted left then threw a high kick from the right. He wasn't falling for it and caught her foot, sweeping the other leg so she fell to the ground. Before she could manage to get to her feet, he had drawn his pistol and aimed it down at her face.

A shot rang out and the man standing above her fell down on top of her. Disgusted, she shoved him off in anger. She looked up, scared at first, then relieved to see her thrall, still alive. She calmly stepped over the bodies and onto the elevator, set to go down, her servant close behind. He'd been so loyal, she almost hated to relieve him. "Thanks so much for your service. Such dedication deserves a reward." Bringing her arms up around his neck, she pulled him in close.

The elevator finally reached the bottom, deep below in the base of the mountain. She let the thrall's body slump to the ground and turned. The man with the strange armor in plain view. He was poised, confident, but so was she, for the most part. Arturia gave him the same taunting smile she gave the others. There was something not right about him, his aura. It was way different than the rest. What it was about him, she couldn't place immediately, but she set it aside and kept her confident stride, stepping forward over the body, her hips swaying as she went.

"Hello, sunshine," she said with a wink. "Huh, you probably can't even understand me. Too bad. I'd have liked you to know, it's nothing personal, but alas. . ." Cutting herself off right there, she reached her hand into her pouch and removed a red jewel, tossing it at the floor directly at his feet, charged with prana that when it hit, it would explode. That being meant mostly as a distraction, she dashed in, wielding her special jeweled dagger. The first time she ever used it in combat, saved for such a special occasion.
#9 Posted by Ravek (2937 posts) - - Show Bio

Silently he watched he progress throughout the former pirate stronghold. The men that inhabited it now where mercenaries from across the galaxy, paid for out of his own pocket. Keresh Special Forces had cleared the enclave months before, Ravek taking not of it's potential for training uses. He'd had thousands of microscopic cameras placed throughout the many rooms and corridors to monitor her progress.

She was performing even better than expected, although she seemed to have a habit of doing that...

"Good... good... excellent..."

The helmet he wore muffling and altering her voice enough so that no one would recognize it. It added a few inches to his form as well, making him appear much larger than he actually was, towering over the mercenaries, whom where none the wiser as to who their mysterious employer was.

The structure shook as two muffled explosions resonated throughout the base. Moments later the elevator began to make it's way down to his office. Watching on the monitor as the succubus turned assassin drained the life from the final mercenary.

Rising from his seat, hands placed behind his back he watched the lifts doors slid open, the body of the last hired gun visible behind the seemingly innocent young girl.

"On the contrary my dear, I understand you quiet well..."

Standing in front of the large metal desk, watching as she pulled a gem from her bag, tossing it towards him. In a display of his incredibly fast reflexes he the dueling pistol from the holster on the small of his back, shooting the gem mid flight, causing it to detonate mid air between them.

Then she came, just as she'd been taught, out of the smoke before her opponent could react.

Before she could attack he unleashed a series of jabs and upper cuts, following up by attempting to bring a heavy booted foot to her chest in a powerful kick.

#10 Posted by Zauberin (4373 posts) - - Show Bio
"Huh?" Arturia was completely taken aback by the man's words. How is it poss. . .What are the odds. . .Way out here? What is with this guy? This mission had become way too confusing. She couldn't read him; his mind and feelings seemed to be pulling in two completely different directions, and now he spoke English? And so smug, the way he talked and moved, how he wasted a jewel worth thousands of dollars like it was nothing. It was all so annoying. She was so distraught at this that she completely botched her attack and was left wide open. A series of whiplash inducing punches battered her head, though she tried to block them. The combinations dazed her enough that the kick connected cleanly, sending her sprawling back across the floor.

After taking a short moment to regain her breath, she was once again ready, focused on the task at hand, the shots serving as a bit of a wake up call. Ignoring the pain still felt in her head, once again she dashed forward, leading with her right elbow, going in for a low jab aimed at his abdomen, following up by then bringing that elbow up to meet with his face and, jumping slightly, sending a stiff kick toward his shin to keep him off balance. Not yet finished, she followed up extending her claws and making a jab with them at the man's heart, topping it off leaping backwards while simultaneously firing off a slew of gandr shots from both index fingers. Of course he was physically superior, so the obvious strategy would be stick and move, wear him down from afar, then go in for the kill.