Greetings! Now that Prime has mostly come to an end I've decided to go through some of the most critical parts of Kratesis's time in Prime and write the history of Kratesis. Its time to tell her saga. I won't be posting every interaction, or every RPG. Just the ones I feel were critical for one reason or another. Those reasons might be IC or OOC.
I'll also offer a few of my thoughts from time to time.
Here for example we have what I call 'Proto-Kratesis'. She isn't fully formed. Her personality was intended to start off blank [because her memory was erased] and grow as she experienced more of life. As a result the very beginning of Kratesis is really the most basic and elemental form of her.
You can see this in my writing. I had yet to develop the poetic styling I would later adopt. Its more of a basic, workhorse writing style. Third person, cool viewpoint, scene/sequel. Later you'll see how the rhythm and rhymes of my writing becomes more akin to free verse, and at one point my experimentation with very stick MRU.
For now though, the basics. Kratesis arrives at the League of Shadows and meets her father Impero. Its a long read, around 3,800 words.
Let the saga begin.
Her feet crunch in the snow, and ice has formed on her armored fingers. She ignored it with a single minded focus, the same as she ignored the biting cold of air and the buffeting of the winds. There was a purpose in her mind a sharp and singular objective. No pain or discomfort could interfere with that. No distraction could sway her.
The League of Shadows. Den of assassins, home of murderers. A place for all those who killed. Some for money, some for ideology, some for conscience some for ego. She killed for biology. To kill was written into her genes.
Although they did not yet know it they had been awaiting her from the very day of their creation. They belonged together, the League and her.
They had a purpose. She had a purpose. And that was to kill.
So she ignored the cold, the ice, and the wind until the gates of the monastery rose up before her. Some would have leaped over it, some would have shouted a challenge. Most would have collapsed from the cold.
At the elusive entrance of the League's fabled monastery, an unknown female figure stood, awaiting any member, she was a stranger, none knew of her, not even cunning Impero with all his information. Eerily, the entrance to the monastery opened before the deadly yet lovely woman, her figure being relentlessly pelted by the incoming snow. Before her stood mysterious Impero, clad in his trademark dark-hooded attire and expressionless mask. His arms regally folded behind his back as his instinctive posture of confidence and poise remained his most prominent aspect. His naturally intimidating yet composed eyes scanning her figure from top to bottom, then he saw it. Her strangely armored fingers, but armored with what? It appeared to be Trion or something strikingly similar. "... Impossible", Impero thought, his eyes briefly widening at the sight of her unique armored fingers. Instantly retaining his composure, he spoke to her, she seemed... familiar somehow. "How may the League of Shadows help you?".
Completely composed Kratesis lays one hand within the other behind her back. A complete calm about her, she was one who was without fear, having accepted the inevitability of all things.
Thick snow and ice caked her sleekly armored figure, thereby concealing a suit of trion construction. She inspected the mysterious figure before her, observing him from head to toe in a million spectrums of light.
He had no smell, thereby preventing her from memorizing the distinct taste/smell of his DNA from tiny sweat and skin particles in the air. She found that worth noting, his careful actions adding yet another bit of data to the vast horde of calculations her subconsciousness Q-mind preformed every second.
The impeccably armored man's calm and composure told Kratesis a thousand things about him, more then most would know in a lifetime of study. Yet the knowledge led her to only one conclusion. This man was deadly.
She met his eyes. 'It is more what I can do for the League.'
Her composure and poise, it was strikingly similar to his own, almost eerily so. She sported mannerisms of confidence and self-certainty, her calming observing eyes implied that she may be an intellectual, one who seeks to learn about potential opponents in order to obtain a prior advantage. Meeting her eyes with his perpetually sharp yet charming eyes, he listened to her reply, she was certainly confident in her skill, still though, the Trion that she sported.. it could not be ignored. "I see", his naturally soothing yet powerful voice ringing in her eyes. "You wish to join the League then. Is there anything in particular you desire in return?", he asked, before calmly pointing out, "That is a.. peculiar metal armoring your fingers".
'A chance to exercise my skills.' Simple words spoken with her customary calm. The arraignment would be beneficial to both of them. Her skill set would be valuable to the League, perhaps invaluable. And they would provide her with her purpose. Both would benefit.
In reply to his final comment she brushes away the ice and snow that covers her slim figure, relieving the layered and segmented suit of incredible technology and construction. Perfectly form fitting, she wears the Trion as if it were a second skin.
Conducts the conversation while still meeting Impero's eyes with a relaxed, and casual ease. Conversing with the deadliest killers caused her no stress or worry, it was simply a thing to be done. It did not interfere with her awareness, she was just as alert for danger as ever.
er composure, it was as exact as his. She began to appear.. familiar in a way. Strangely enough, having detected DNA belonging to both he and Liberty, his interest was elevated even further upon noticing her facial attributes, she was strikingly beautiful, very similar to Liberty, yet her personality and eyes seemed largely similar to Impero's. "Very well then. Follow me", he said, intent on testing the stranger's skill himself. "I will personally test your skill in the training grounds", he stated, and while eternally confident in his own skill, he could not underestimate an opponent of her caliber. Upon reaching the infamous monastery's training grounds, he waited patiently for her to attack, his habit of anticipating attacks in order to counter had never wavered.
Kratesis followed in silence, as it was not her custom to speak unnecessarily. Violet eyes alert as they absorb every aspect of their surroundings. This may soon be her home, and to the goddess of assassination a home was simply a place to be ambushed within.
It was also not her custom to delay without reason. There was no knowledge to be gained by waiting, therefore she attacked the instant they arrived on the grounds.
Clearly the masked man was deadly, and she saw no reason to hold back against such a foe. To do so would be simple arrigance, and she was confident, not arrogant.
Teleporting directly behind him with a series of prefect nerve strikes toward his lower back and leg, each blow with enough force to upend a car, and enough speed to render it a single blur to normal eyes. Flowing flawlessly into a spinning kick toward his head she-
-teleports in the middle of the kick, so the thunderous blow finishes on the opposite side, precisely targeted at his neck. Regardless of its success or failure she continues the motion. Sliding seamlessly into a simple punch, the entirety of her motions up to this point having built momentum until her speed and strength are amplified by the inertia of her flowing offence she-
-activates her trion invisibility matrix, absorbing every photon of light and redirecting it perfectly out the other side, in addition to each sound wave. It would appear to almost any observer that she had teleported again, yet she was simply invisible and the simple, yet powerful punch continued onward.
The awaited moment arrives, the assessing of the mysterious woman's skills is now at hand. Very quickly she attacks the enigmatic Emperor. In a moment of shock she teleports behind him, reminiscent of his own technology-based teleportation, who was this woman? And how did she have access to his technology? First she executes a series of flawless nerve strikes, almost in an identical fashion to his own execution of such techniques, did she have knowledge of some of his skills as well? Fortunately, cunning Impero's excellent mastery of pressure points and nerve strikes served him well as he evaded the strikes and the upcoming kick, nimbly rolling away from the strikes, opting not to block them. Again she teleports, targeting his neck with a spinning kick. "Fast and precise", he observes, calmly blocking the kick with his forearm. Utilizing his lightning-fast reflexes, he counters with a brutal knee aiming for her a vital point in her abdominal area, should success be found, her abdominal muscles would contract in excruciating pain. Soon she turns invisible and no sound emits from her body before punching him across the jaw, the force of the punch readily absorbed by his Trion mask. "Hmmm", he waits for her to attack as the punch caused him to slide back a few feet, yet he maintained his balance.
The powerful and accurate knee strike drives directly for a critical nerve cluster in her abdomen. Her Q-brain had already predicted such an attack, based on the thousands of points of data gathered about the man in their short physical exchange. To defend, however, would interrupt the flawless fluidity of her attack.
She elects to ignore the attack, and it strikes home with all the perfect precision she had learned to expect from the mysterious martial master. The knee collides with her Trion armor first, and although it absorbs the majority of the force such is the accuracy that the crucial nerves are still crushed.
Pain that would leave a normal person sprawled out on the floor flares though her, yet she had been engineered to feel less pain, and had excellent mental techniques to ignore the most terrible of agonies. Yet despite her impressive resilience and preparation such was the perfection of the attack that she still experienced a horrible flare of pain.
Her precognitive abilities had already anticipated this occurrence, and were prepared. Hundreds of thousands of nano-trion parties altered their quantum super-position instantaneously within her body, latching onto the affected nerve system and severing those nerves cleanly. There was a single instant of perfect numbness, before those same trion-nanites organize to replace the removed nerves while her body regenerates the damage. It takes less than a hundredth of a second and as the man slides backwards from her punch she-
-teleports. Up, three hundred feet into the air. Gravity draws her down and she knifes toward the ground head first in free fall. As she accelerates toward terminal velocity the hyper-advanced nanites that form her weaponry morphs into a longbow. Seizing the string and materializing a trion-nanite arrow as she draws. At 10 tons of draw weight a normal mortal could never budge the bow but she pulls the arrow back with a smooth mastery though in free-fall toward the dojo.
Targeting Impero from above, she releases the string. The arrow explodes from the bow, a deafening sonic boom washing over her. Outracing the sound of its own thunder the meter long trion arrow rips though the roof of the dojo and divides into hundreds of Trion flechettes, each as long as a finger and sharp enough to cut a god. Containing the velocity of the hypersonic arrow each one could slice through the door of a bank vault, and they spread out in a pre-programmed cone to optimize their impact area. Kratesis-
-teleports. Back to the floor of the dojo, morphing the bow into a keenly sharp two handed sword. In the wake of the flechettes, perhaps a hundredth of a second after their impact she stands behind the masked mystery, godslaying blade slicing through the air toward his Achilles tendon with the hyper-skilled lethality found only in the peerless.
In what appears to be an instant, the mysterious woman seemingly resisted his pressure point knee strike, however, to a master in the art of perception, the truth would be seen. His perpetually alluring snake-like gaze noticing even the subtlest expression of pain shown by her body. How then did she manage to resist? Then his mask informed him, having tasked it with detecting anything of interest from this woman. Sensing the activity of a highly-advanced form of trion-based nanotechnology within her biological system, Impero's eyes briefly widened, the information his mask had given him was unbelievable. How could she, a stranger possess trion-based technology that rivaled even his own? And to her advantage, she seemed to possess a greater amount of Trion at her disposal than even he. Where did she come from? Who was she? Instantly regaining his composure after yet another brief moment of shock, he notices her, countless feet in the air, rapidly shooting a series of Trion arrows at him.
Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, the numerous Trion arrows broke into an immeasurable number of flechettes. Smirking arrogantly beneath his mask, the cunning puppeteer begins to enjoy the intensity, it has been a while since he had been forced into such a position. While he could opt to use his chi-related abilities and render himself intangible, the Trion flechettes would readily negate his chi-energy, nullifying their effects, indirectly clever but still deadly. Instead he opts for a risky maneuver, having not yet tested his Trion-based zeptotechnology against a Trion-based assault. Abusing his expressionless mask's computerized control over his trion-zeptotechnology, he briefly coats himself in a thin layer of Trion. The effects of the metal instantly absorbing the energy from the flechettes while effectively protecting him from the deadly assault. Dematerializing the protective of layer of Trion as the zepto-bots revert back to an internal microweave in his suit, the enigmatic Emperor senses nearby movement in the air. Quickly manifesting his personalized Trion Chinese straight sword, in a lightning fast maneuver, he blocks Kratesis' attack with his blade. "Ah tis marvelous how efficiently you use Trion my dear", he commended in his characteristically charismatic relaxed fashion. Opting not to attack and instead to allow Kratesis to continue so that he may continue his observation, slowly but steadily he was piecing the puzzle together surrounding her identity, it was only a matter of time.
There was something familiar about the enigmatic master's martial arts. Something elemental about them. The slightest motion of a shoulder, the exact angling of a hip. The way his wrist altered the arch of the blade with such effortless grace. Kratesis remembered those moves. They were among her first memories, motions that constituted a style of impeccable efficacy. She was born knowing this style.
How could this be? For a brief moment the question existed in her mind, but she possessed a simple soul. Kratesis knew there were only three times in all the world Before. Now. After. Things that came Before only mattered in how they effected the After. Now was the time to use that information to her benefit.
Capitalizing on her instantaneous understanding of his style she embarks on a new mode of attack. Making use of her immense strength and speed she whirls forward in a flurry of cuts. Each slice toward a artery, each thrust toward an organ. Each a portion of a tactical maze. For there were only certain defenses to each skillful attack, and she knew them. Each attack would render the defender farther and farther out of place, as the difficulty of defense approached infinity.
Each stroke of her sword was quicker, as her flawless fluidity built her momentum past supernatural speeds into the realm that mortal vision simply could not perceive. Only her perfect skill could accommodate such a technique, as even the tiniest mistake would ruin her rapidly building velocity. Beyond even that only a being of her physical strength could even withstand the stresses of the attack, a mortal would have their arms ripped from their sockets by one of her spinning slashes. But Kratesis never made mistakes, and she was no mortal.
Kratesis built a maze of incredible precision with pure skill. A martial trap that even the greatest sword-masters in history would struggle to even comprehend with a century of study, much less escape. Those would could grasp it would weep at the perfect beauty of it. Entire styles could be built from grasping even a handful of moves. Scholars of the sword could devote their lives to the fundamental truths contained in a single perfect motion. But despite all her perfection the (n)goddess had more then only skill.
Kratesis knew the future. The mass of quantum trion nanites throughout her brain and body calculated at speeds no current computer could comprehend Immeasurably fast, and possessed of formula and algorithms of such complexity as to be beyond even the most brilliant of current minds. She did not fight three moves ahead, she fought thousands of moves ahead. Seeing entire trees of possibilities, analyzing septillions of outcomes every exasecond. A mass of mathematics was applied, logical processes amazing in their accuracy, enabling her select paths that lead the fight closer and closer to her goals.
The attack beggared everything that had came before it. Even Kratesis could not remember a time when she faced a foe worthy of its perfection. But this masked man was clearly a peerless warrior, perfect in his form, and flawless in his function. He was worthy to witness it.
Kratesis knew it as one of the seven words of the sword.
The sheer grace and elegance with which she attacked astounded him. How could this be? This was his signature sword-fighting form, the undeniable precision and skill that only the very few grand-masters can contend with was at display. "Hmm", with every passing second, the masked enigma's intricate mind continued to absorb the subtle bits of information about this woman's combat-oriented maneuvers. Maintaining a characteristically moderate grip on his sword, reminiscent of the elusive style used by the woman, the regal Emperor maintaining the fast-paced nature of the artistic spar, dodged, bobbed and evaded before being forced into a rather difficult position. "... Now I see", very quickly, he began to read, and anticipate her movements, he was now certain that she was using his sword-fighting form. The sound of clashing Trion blades remained prominent in the still air, almost as if nature herself had halted to witness the display of peerless skill. This woman, as far as seen so far, was virtually as skilled as he was. Another thrust split the air, aiming to puncture his lung, narrowly dodging the thrust, his opponent's blade tearing through some of the fabric of his clothing as he dodged. Utilizing his own teleportation-based technology, Impero vanished, instantly reappearing behind the woman, his trademark ebony blade protruding from his gauntlet as he thrust forward, aiming for a precise exotic section (pressure point) in her spinal cord that would briefly disrupt her body's connection to it's central nervous system. Recalling his conversation with Liberty, his lover had speculated on perhaps a dimensional or even temporal origin for this woman. Utilizing his mask's energy-detecting capabilities, he scanned for whatever he could find, and to his shock, remnants of temporal energy remained in the Trion she was carrying. He had come up with an answer for her identity. Temporal energy, his fighting styles, his technology, Liberty's innovation, their looks, their DNA, and his personality to a certain extent? The clues were far too clear for his perceptive mind. "What is your name my dear?", he asked, his instinctively charming magnet voice, radiating power and authority in a characteristic monotone and soothing manner.
Each motion closed the trap, each action brought the After closer to the Now. With every motion they moved deeper and deeper into her maze, and the exit grew more and more distant. Each successful parry, every evasion, all reactions she had predicted and accounted for. Just as the flawless trap was about to close the impervious Impero-
-teleported. A astounding occurrence, something she had not accounted for in her considerable quantum calculations. An single unknown factor which threw the entire algorithm into disarray. His accomplished style was augmented by his considerable technological mastery, and he used it with the perfect timing she had come to expect from the peerless master.
Her superior senses functioned as a sonar system, each vibration of air feeding pure data to her quantum brain. The trillions of calculations occurred, locating his precise position almost instantly. The adamantium blade slicing toward her neck was cause for immediate concern, clearly it was something that would be a lethal blow to most. In the nanoseconds before its rapid arrival she calculated a trillion new possibilities, before selecting the simplest and most elegant outcome.
Rather then avoiding or attempting to mitigate the damage of his rapid and lethal assault, she rolls her staggering momentum into driving back directly into the blade. A suicidal motion, adding force to his already swift stab.
Letting the momentum of her thrust roll into a perfect return, drawing the hilt directly toward her body. The meter long length of nano-trion flows into a complete reversal, the blade pointed at herself. Continuing the smooth motion with all her superior speed and strength she slams the yard long blade though her body as she steps into Impero's perfect attack.
Exiting her back with every bit of her unbelievable speed, driving right under Impero's raised arm. Aimed with the incredible accuracy of her every motion, Kratesis targets Impero's left lung.
As the adamantium blade drives into her spinal cord, severing the many nerves within, she experiences a moment of pure agony. It is a brief flicker of the greatest pain her body can register, yet it is short lived. Her trion nanite secondary nervous system takes over without even an instant of delay, only requiring the smallest time to negate the pain of the attack. A agonizing sacrifice, but one Kratesis finds necessary in the her impeccable logic of battle.
His voice reaches her ears just as her attack finishes. It sounds.. familiar. As if she knows it on a deep level, but cannot locate the memories. It is a calm and soothing sound to her, a comfortable voice. The sound inspires in Kratesis a brief flicker of perfect trust. Just the barest and tiniest of emotions, a normal being would never register such a small and fleeting feeling. Kratesis is no normal being, and any feeling within the calm sea of logic and tactical choices was like a tsunami. In addition Kratesis never questioned herself. She felt she could trust this man, and therefore she did so without question.
Foolishly as it appeared, she turned round, intently allowing his unbreakable blade to drive into her body and very quickly she re-positioned herself, forcing Impero to stab himself with the blade as well. As he bled, the built-in computerized healing system in his suit coupled with his accelerated healing factor slowly regenerated his wound. He remained poised before grunting in slight pain, "Clever". The uncharacteristically gentle and trusting manner with which she gave her name solidified his theory. The masked enigma's assumptions were proven correct, but it appears as though she did not know him, or to be more accurate, her natural instinct to trust him and only him implied that she did not remember. Perhaps a trigger was necessary. Gently pulling the blade from her body and out his own, he extended his hand towards her, "The spar is over", he stated, his calming yet powerful voice designed to maintain her comfort in her painful moment. "My name is Impero", perhaps his name would trigger her lost memories.
This was actually my first serious battle. I'd had fights with Lady Liberty, but in a way her powers kept her from ever really FIGHTING. The strongest characters tend to be around street level because they have access to the most battles. Its only be continual experience that you forge a great battler and street level characters have the most possible rivals. As time has gone on I've continually lowered Kratesis's strength, and removed some of her physical capabilities for that very reason.
Here I tried to avoid repeating attacks, and to use the most imaginative attacks I could think of. All in all, its not my greatest work, but I remain proud of this battle to this day. It was my first serious fight and I acquitted myself well.
That said, I failed to explain my last attack correctly. What I meant to convey was this. But I wasn't quite successful. This is something I've focused on a great deal. Complex or nuanced attacks have to be described very plainly. That's the true key to imaginative attacks. You have to keep them understandable, because nothing is worse than reading through an attack three or four times and still not knowing what's going on.
All in all this was one of my most enjoyable RP experiences and one of my favorite battles. A good RP partner can make or break an RP, and Impero made this one awesome.
That's something else that was critical to Kratesis's success. Impero put some real work into RPing with her, making her very first appearance something that stood out. In a way this paved the road for all her future successes.
Something I've kept in mind ever after. Help out a newbie, and you never know what wonders you could spawn!