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  1. - Top - End - #691
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    POTENTIAL 2

    *scrubbed*

    That shoe is grinding right into the most sensitive parts of her back, and if there's one thing @SARAHPHIM is known for being very bad at, it's handling pain and humiliation with quiet dignity and reserve. Now, Euna, she'd be gritting her teeth and doing her best not to break, but Sara? Sara's writhing and spitting and furious. Her hair's slick and sticking to her forehead, and she's doing her best to twist out from underneath that heel, which is only making that grind even more intense and infuriating.

    "You want to go? You want to go? Double or nothing,
    *scrubbed*
    Fighting, beer pong, poker, I don't care, there's nothing on God's green earth I can't do better than you can,
    *scrubbed*
    Or you too chicken to let your flunkies watch you get your ass beat in your own house?!" There we go, that's the way, needle her right in the ego. "Come on, Vicky Vicky, show me you got cojones hanging between those legs!"

    Third time. Third time's the charm. Everything she's done since she asked Euna out has taken her from bad to worse. Come on. Come on. She's not cursed, she's not under a hex, she didn't jinx herself. She's @SARAHPHIM. She can do this.

    [Adding in the bonus from the Assess, assuming that's kosher, that's 10 on provoking Victoria to a contest, her choice.]
    Last edited by flat_footed; 2020-01-14 at 08:53 AM.
    freedom in the flame

    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  2. - Top - End - #692
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PhoeKun's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Well this is disappointing. Euna's foot taps out a beat to the commercial jingle while she stands there with her arms crossed over her chest, eyes flitting from ad to ad as she takes in all the information from each little variation. This time she doesn't even have to adjust for aesthetic; these are literally just AROs. She might as well be home now. Tap tap, tap tap. She shakes her head and frowns.

    Well... it'd be cool to meet High Queen Ourania at least. If things went well maybe there'd even be time to ask her a soul-defining question or two, or, or... ooh! She's always wondered if that feeling of mystical, tingly warmth the lore books say her touch is supposed to impart on people could actually be felt through cybernetic limbs or not. But that's getting ahead of herself. A wedding... what an unoriginal hack. Way to be the fifth person to try the Shotgun Wedding Ourania play, guy. Even that would be exciting, just to get the chance to see a Hyperborean wedding (they've never shown one on camera except for the tiniest of tiny flashbacks of a certain pair of young princesses pretending to have a 'practice wedding'), but with Mr. Lucie in charge of the proceedings you just know it'll be some weird cartoony stereotype of the normal western tradition. Organ music and flower girls and whatever we've all seen Instagram.

    Tap tap, tap tap. Euna's brow furrows in thought. Finally she sighs and just calls Kazelia, who mercifully seems to have given up on finding alternate means of communication. She waves Princess Alina closer to her while she's at it.

    "So the good news is, uh... I think we found him. Yeah. The bad news is he's still basically invincible, sorta kinda, and I've only got, hm. 45% of a plan? I mean, if we could just get in there we'd have a pretty good chance at a setup, but there's no way. There's no way, right? Getting tickets is one thing, but I'm hella gonna stick out and then we'll just wind up on Mars or something. Ugh, this is impossible. There'll be eyes everywhere! How do you sneak into a wedding??"

  3. - Top - End - #693
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    "I'll!" there's a faint flush in Victoria's cheeks, and a faint raising in tone and tempo to her voice. "That's the wrong question! Taking over the world is challenge enough for now, I'm not going to waste my valuable time thinking about what I'm going to do with it until I have it! You don't take over the world to solve a problem! You take over the world because nobody else has ever done it!"

    [Victoria is telling you how the world works; shift your superior down and danger up or reject her influence]
    [Damn it all, that's a 6 on Reject. Marking Insecure.]

    "Because nobody's ever done it before." That's it. Because it's there. Because she thinks she can. "Not to achieve some goal. Not for personal glory. Because you think you can, and you're bored."

    That's both depressing and hilarious, and before he knows it he sags into a chair and starts to howl with laughter. "And you don't even know what you want to do with it! You have all these plans how to pull it off, but no idea why! Don't even think it's important to have an end goal in mind! Oh, this is priceless!"

    Abruptly--as abruptly as it started--the laughter stops, and he wipes away a tear. "Oh, AEGIS is going to be pissed, and I don't blame them. You inherited an empire, and it wasn't enough. You could have lived in luxury for the rest of your days. Gone straight. Indulged every whim, developed every skill. And it wasn't enough, and it never will be. Conquer the world, or don't. It won't satisfy you."
    I run a Let's Play channel! Check it out!
    Currently, we're playing through New Vegas as Gabriel de la Cruz, merchant and mercenary extraordinaire!

  4. - Top - End - #694
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    POTENTIAL 2

    {Scrub the post, scrub the quote}

    That shoe is grinding right into the most sensitive parts of her back, and if there's one thing @SARAHPHIM is known for being very bad at, it's handling pain and humiliation with quiet dignity and reserve. Now, Euna, she'd be gritting her teeth and doing her best not to break, but Sara? Sara's writhing and spitting and furious. Her hair's slick and sticking to her forehead, and she's doing her best to twist out from underneath that heel, which is only making that grind even more intense and infuriating.

    "You want to go? You want to go? Double or nothing, {Scrub the post, scrub the quote} Fighting, beer pong, poker, I don't care, there's nothing on God's green earth I can't do better than you can,{Scrub the post, scrub the quote}Or you too chicken to let your flunkies watch you get your ass beat in your own house?!" There we go, that's the way, needle her right in the ego. "Come on, Vicky Vicky, show me you got cojones hanging between those legs!"

    Third time. Third time's the charm. Everything she's done since she asked Euna out has taken her from bad to worse. Come on. Come on. She's not cursed, she's not under a hex, she didn't jinx herself. She's @SARAHPHIM. She can do this.

    [Adding in the bonus from the Assess, assuming that's kosher, that's 10 on provoking Victoria to a contest, her choice.]
    "You know what?" said Victoria. "I've been waiting for you to say just that."

    She slices through your chains - with a hardlight beam.

    Spectacular yellow and black hardlight patterns emerge from her shoulders, glittering and angelic and razor sharp. Perfect control. Perfect precision. The kind of absolutely unreal ability you had to work for years to master. And she's managing that while visibly intoxicated - what?! You don't know how but she's cheating! That isn't fair in the slightest!

    "Do you like it? I thought it'd be a nice accessory for when I'm out of my armour," said Victoria, pouring herself a glass of tequila. It's absolutely plain that she's not controlling it herself - maybe she has someone doing it remotely. "Because. You know. I can buy everything that makes you special off the shelf."

    [Victoria cannot attempt to shift your superior down because that label is locked]

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    "So the good news is, uh... I think we found him. Yeah. The bad news is he's still basically invincible, sorta kinda, and I've only got, hm. 45% of a plan? I mean, if we could just get in there we'd have a pretty good chance at a setup, but there's no way. There's no way, right? Getting tickets is one thing, but I'm hella gonna stick out and then we'll just wind up on Mars or something. Ugh, this is impossible. There'll be eyes everywhere! How do you sneak into a wedding??"
    "With," said Princess Alina, "dresses."

    Because while 'A Princess Must Be Beautiful' is not one of Devilhome's laws, it may as well have been. Even the darkest devil of Hyperborea is still of Hyperborea and would gallantly give up her seat for a properly dressed princess and her friends. Such is simply the way of things here. All know it, and all prepare for it - each devil fortunate, wealthy or bloody enough to obtain a ticket proceeds in their grandest finery in the hopes that they will not be out-shined by any errant princesses or Princess Errants.

    So there's no option to play it subtle or understated here. When Princess Alina drags you into the workshop of the dressmaking butterflies the one thing everyone can agree on is that you must look as beautiful as possible if this plan has any chance to work.

    What does that look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    [Damn it all, that's a 6 on Reject. Marking Insecure.]

    "Because nobody's ever done it before." That's it. Because it's there. Because she thinks she can. "Not to achieve some goal. Not for personal glory. Because you think you can, and you're bored."

    That's both depressing and hilarious, and before he knows it he sags into a chair and starts to howl with laughter. "And you don't even know what you want to do with it! You have all these plans how to pull it off, but no idea why! Don't even think it's important to have an end goal in mind! Oh, this is priceless!"

    Abruptly--as abruptly as it started--the laughter stops, and he wipes away a tear. "Oh, AEGIS is going to be pissed, and I don't blame them. You inherited an empire, and it wasn't enough. You could have lived in luxury for the rest of your days. Gone straight. Indulged every whim, developed every skill. And it wasn't enough, and it never will be. Conquer the world, or don't. It won't satisfy you."
    [Marking Insecure]

    Victoria does something you don't expect.

    She blasts you in the chest with a sizzling yellow hardlight beam, crashing you through two walls to lay in a sprawled heap in front of a horrified and gasping crowd of convention goers.

    Through the smoke you can see her advance on you in a silhouette of glowing lines. She fixes her helmet into place before she steps out in the open.

    "You know what?" she said, voice distorted by her helmet. Crackling yellow-black wings burst alight around her. "I'm going to beat you into a bloody mess - and I am one hundred percent sure that will satisfy me."

    You have no chance against her. She's got Turbo Knight's armour and Prometheus is running the math on her Hardlight Array - and worst of all she doesn't seem to care about the backdrop. She's got no qualms about firing directly into the crowd to flush you out.
    Last edited by jdizzlean; 2020-01-14 at 10:42 AM. Reason: clean up
    If the sun won't rise on our horizon
    We'll march on to spite the skies.

  5. - Top - End - #695
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    POTENTIAL 2

    @SARAHPHIM takes her time standing up, stretching, making it clear that she’s not cowed in the slightest. Old habits die hard. Besides, if this is the last time Angelica will ever, ever look up to her, she might as well have one hell of a show. She’s probably at Full Uselessness watching the muscles in @SARAHPHIM’s back as she does a tricep stretch.

    Danmaku it is, then. Regular rules. Three-bomb, three-shot, devil’s honor and no respawn, bonus points for graze zone.” Three shots. That’s all she’s got to try and disable the hardlight generator. She’ll need to curve it perfectly, after figuring out where it is, and not get hit. At all.

    This is how hardlight enthusiasts duel. It’s intense, the slightest break in concentration will lose a competitor the match, and if you don’t tone down the bullets (and you know Vicky Vicky won’t) you might end up with some nasty burns.

    “I win, you let the civs go and I walk out of here with my pick of trophy. You win... I won’t try to escape. You have my word. You can have AEGIS ransom me or do whatever the hell you want.” Double or nothing. Double or nothing. “I’ll even give you my stream login.”

    Let’s build the tension a little more. No dice yet. Just @SARAHPHIM looking like she’s already won, putting on the performance of a lifetime for her captive audience, and Vicky Vicky sending out her first array. Then we’ll see how it goes.
    freedom in the flame

    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  6. - Top - End - #696
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PhoeKun's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    It's a lucky thing that they're in Devilhome, after all. In another kingdom, Princess Alina might have had to rein in her imagination, but this place had everything worth taking, everything worth making, and a great many things that were neither. So when she decides that Euna would look better with longer hair, instead of shrugging her shoulders and moving on it's a simple matter of finding a pair of reverse scissors and snip snip snip snip! Out it grows down to the small of her back, blending from the silver dye she used at the top to her natural black as it tumbles messily down behind her. Then the real scissors come out and trim her bangs into a cute side swept little number with a fringe reaching just past her right eye.

    Princess Alina works a pair of small, tight, two-plait braids into the right side of Euna's hair just past her ear then gathers the rest of it into an extremely loose ponytail tied just past the shoulders where the color change happens. She weaves a series of small silver chains through the dark strands, each of them dotted with colorful glass beads in every color of the rainbow and meeting in a ring at the bottom, which gets covered by a bright blue ribbon tied into a bow. Then she sets a simple gold circlet with a teardrop shaped sapphire around Euna's forehead and, after fussing for a full minute, finally flips the fringe of her bangs back over top of it.

    After that comes makeup. Dusty golden eye shadow blends with midnight blue and then deep purple that fades into Euna's skin as it reaches all the way up to her eyebrows. A series of white and blue gemstones she can't name get stuck onto her skin by her left eye and down her cheek in a pattern that reminds her of a magatama. All the work on the rest of her face makes her entire face seem sharper and draws the eye down to her lips, which are painted a deep red color with a thick vertical gold band across the middle.

    The dress itself is a masterpiece of silk and satin. The top is a deep ocean blue in the same sort of shade as the AEGIS uniform. It tapers up as it rises, covering her chest but leaving her shoulders exposed as it ties into an ornate satin choker around her throat. Atop her bare shoulders where her skin is grown over the connecting ports to the cybernetic wonders she calls arms there's an ornate set of silver metalwork inlaid with more sapphires and citrines. The silver swoops and coils and spreads like a set of delicate vines with three tiny crystal chains looping down onto her arms at either end, and a longer set of matched chains connecting the two shoulder pieces at her back underneath her hair.

    Underneath her bust, Princess Alina pulls a jet black underbust corset ridiculously tight around Euna's waist. More delicate silver work rests at the top like foam cresting atop the ocean waves of the dress itself, matched with the huge, ornate belt that wraps around and calls lots of undue attention to her hips. There's a great glass crystal in the center of the belt with several shades of blue and green injected through it so that as she moves the crystal seems to surge like the ocean itself were inside of it. There's more effort here than anybody has ever made before to emphasize her femininity, and it's... well, it's working. A Princess Must Be Beautiful.

    The skirt is in three layers of beautiful Illuminan silks. The bottom layer is the same deep blue as her top, and drapes simply down from her hips to just barely brushing against the ground. The second layer is gathered and bunched at the left hip so that the intricate ombré of dark blue to sky blue to white to sea foam green ripple like a wave all around her legs and leave the tranquil blue silks of the bottom layer exposed in a large triangular swath up to her belt. The third layer is less of a layer and more three small banners of silk draped across her right leg, each one a deep purple with white silk serpents jumping down them, and a series of ornate golden chains dangling down to the ground underneath them. Underneath, her shoes are simple leather dancing slippers. Good for running through rivers and dancing in rainstorms, easy to walk in. Mercifully not asking her to figure out how to fight in heels.

    For a moment Euna thought that might be all and sighed with relief to not have to be stuck modeling for this stuff while it got put on her and adjusted for her body, but she didn't count on Alina's fascination with her limbs. Things that beautiful deserved to be celebrated! Things that beautiful deserved all the motion of a waterfall. And that's how she got delicate purple sleeves clasped around her arms, pinned to the metal by small golden bands at her bicep and again just above her elbow. Just beneath the second band the sleeves open up right at the bend of the elbow and drape down all the way to the bottom of her skirts like a pair of trains, growing lighter and lighter in color as they go until they turn white at the tips. If she keeps her arms placidly at her sides they'll disappear into the silky folds, but if she lifts them for any reason (whether that's to punch something, cross them indelicately across her chest, or to play with her twisting silver and black braids) the dull black surface of the metal is on full display. Only the left wrist is covered with a glace bracelet injected with the seven colors of the rainbow as a nod to the designer. The rest is just... her.

    It's a celebration of Errant, of Euna Kim. A celebration of where the artificial meets the natural. Everything from her augs to her hair dye to even her scars are treated like works of art. It's staggering. The least part of this outfit would cost more than a year's salary back home. The whole ensemble put together might be worth millions. Here in Hyperborea though, it's the kind of thing you give away whenever you want to: there will always be more. And for the first time, the title Corporate Champion slides right off of her. She's more than a soldier, even a star one. She's a princess. She's the Princess of AEGIS. Did Command know what they'd gotten themselves into?

    Princess Alina excitedly pushes the mirror in front of her and lets Euna drink all of herself in.

    "What do you think? I'm sorry it's so simple, but we're on a really tight schedule so I had to cut corners here and there. Oh, and I tried my best to use the colors of your Kingdom, that Ee... something, right? Is it ok? Do you like it?"

    "That's... me?"

  7. - Top - End - #697
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Eldest's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    "Because they don't want it, I'd guess," said the racoon lady. "It's a lot of work to maintain that kind of fame. The market wants novelty. You can ride it for a while if you're willing to change everything about yourself every time the opportunity comes up to move into a new niche, but after a while..." she trails off, touching one of her fluffy cheeks with one gloved hand, a distant smile touching her lips. "You find an edition of yourself you want to hang onto."

    She rings up the action figures at the till. "The part I wasn't expecting, though, was that while the world moves on from someone standing still really rapidly... that's not the same thing as being unpopular. Not as many people like Errant, but the people that do really like her. You can't get deep into a person until they're standing still."

    [Hanna the Salesracoon is telling you how the world works; shift your mundane up and freak down or reject her influence]
    "Hm. So she's found who she wants to be, and is pushing the world around her to let her be that person?" That fit really well for Errant, actually. Probably explained why so many sparks were happening between her and Sara, both romantic and friction. "And Viktor's just... not interested in this fame thing. At least, best I can tell." She pauses. "I don't know what I want out of it. It was fun to do for a bit, but I can tell it wasn't all me that was pushing for it." A humorless half-smile forms, drops after a second.

    [Accepting shift]
    LGBTA+itP

  8. - Top - End - #698
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    “I win, you let the civs go and I walk out of here with my pick of trophy. You win... I won’t try to escape. You have my word. You can have AEGIS ransom me or do whatever the hell you want.” Double or nothing. Double or nothing. “I’ll even give you my stream login.”

    Let’s build the tension a little more. No dice yet. Just @SARAHPHIM looking like she’s already won, putting on the performance of a lifetime for her captive audience, and Vicky Vicky sending out her first array. Then we’ll see how it goes.
    "Pshht, as if I couldn't do whatever the hell I wanted anyway," said Victoria, raising one finger to the sky. "Prometheus, get her."

    Somewhere in some server bank an artificial intelligence cross-references thousands of hours of footage. It analyzes weaknesses, instincts, honed reflexes, statistical patterns. And then it dismantles you in a humiliating two move checkmate.

    The only thing that could possibly be more unfair was if it actively cheated - but it didn't. It applies the exact minimum amount of effort required with absolutely no flourishes, embellishments or extras. One shot to spook a conditioned response, the next shot to the ankle to knock you on your rear - both passing nanometers off where your reflexes should be. It's harsh, it's humiliating - and it's all the information you need to fight properly in the next round.

    That move reeks of sheer arrogance. It's not just trying to win, it's trying to win in the most efficient way possible. It doesn't have a plan for the lategame - it isn't investing anything in the defensive auras and patterns and swirls that clutter the field and restrict movement and force responses. It's just trying to solve this fight like it's just another equation.

    But you were smart. You set the rules, and whatever math it ran it didn't think it could hit your generator without putting you on the ground first. And you've got the measure of it now.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    It's a celebration of Errant, of Euna Kim. A celebration of where the artificial meets the natural. Everything from her augs to her hair dye to even her scars are treated like works of art. It's staggering. The least part of this outfit would cost more than a year's salary back home. The whole ensemble put together might be worth millions. Here in Hyperborea though, it's the kind of thing you give away whenever you want to: there will always be more. And for the first time, the title Corporate Champion slides right off of her. She's more than a soldier, even a star one. She's a princess. She's the Princess of AEGIS. Did Command know what they'd gotten themselves into?

    Princess Alina excitedly pushes the mirror in front of her and lets Euna drink all of herself in.

    "What do you think? I'm sorry it's so simple, but we're on a really tight schedule so I had to cut corners here and there. Oh, and I tried my best to use the colors of your Kingdom, that Ee... something, right? Is it ok? Do you like it?"

    "That's... me?"
    There isn't a velvet rope woven that could keep a princess so astoundingly dressed out.

    The 'security' Mr. Lucie has set up around the wedding party is less a crack team of disciplined underlings and more like a sequence of roving street brawls where devils without tickets prey upon devils with tickets. The fighting is so wonderful that it shakes the mind and daunts the weak; here and there they fight with gleaming scissors and poems and kissing contests to fight for the worthless scraps of paper that have been tossed all about town like confetti. When you reach the doors then nobody is even checking for them but to even reach that point one would have had to pass through a gauntlet of Devilhome's most unreasonably motivated citizens.

    But four princesses, so perfectly dressed, one of whom is a dragon, none of whom have or need tickets? The devils simply stop as you pass and gawk in the manner of tourists gazing upon the architectural marvels of the ancient world. You turn heads - with or without necks - as you pass through the streets. Perhaps your princess friends are secretly bundles of nerves, but they do not show it - and in this moment neither do you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    "Hm. So she's found who she wants to be, and is pushing the world around her to let her be that person?" That fit really well for Errant, actually. Probably explained why so many sparks were happening between her and Sara, both romantic and friction. "And Viktor's just... not interested in this fame thing. At least, best I can tell." She pauses. "I don't know what I want out of it. It was fun to do for a bit, but I can tell it wasn't all me that was pushing for it." A humorless half-smile forms, drops after a second.

    [Accepting shift]
    "I felt the same way. You know?" said Hanna. "I was an Aristeia! athlete. I had the moves so I kept being pushed up the leagues, and for a while I was enjoying it, but I seemed to be the person least invested in my career..." she bags up your purchases idly. "It's a road that ends with hiding out in an abandoned convenience store for long enough to start giving advice to up and coming celebrities."
    If the sun won't rise on our horizon
    We'll march on to spite the skies.

  9. - Top - End - #699
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    POTENTIAL 2
    INSECURE

    Head down, Sara chokes back a sob. Double or nothing. She’s got two more shots, but what the hell is she supposed to do? Victoria’s fancy AI took her down in two shots. Locker and Angel-IKA are doomed. Because she thought she was hot stuff. Because she thought she could actually do something. But this Prometheus has her number perfectly. And she can’t just become a different person mid-fight!

    Her breath hitches.

    She can.

    There is one person who she can be. She can’t fight like Victor, she can’t pull off his crazy nanobot stunts, his loose and easy movements, and she can’t fight with the programmed precision of Ferra. But she can put herself in the headspace of Euna Kim. Stick up her ass, head full of cheesy adventure movies, abs like a statue and staggering confidence.

    When she gets up and falls into an AEGIS stance, @SARAHPHIM isn’t here to fight. Call her... @SARRANT. And when she charges forward, the shots graze past her, because she’s running like Euna, head up, back straight, limbs pumping.

    She jumps over another shot, hits the ground hard on her palms, and (this is so much harder without cyborg arms) pushes herself up into the air, and uses a blast to boost herself up higher.

    One bomb. She uses a burst to blow a hole in the dizzying array fired up at her, as she goes up over Victoria’s head, and in the hole between one barrage in the next, her spine curved, her terrible haircut managing not to get into her eyes, with a window half a second long—

    (And if Victoria were playing this properly she’d already have a backup pattern out, the purpose of a bomb burst is to give yourself breathing room, but somebody is shooting like they’re being graded on conservation of bullets, and that math’s not art, no matter how you shake it—)

    She aces one perfect silver Iluminan arrow right into Victoria’s transmitter.

    Her smile lights up her whole face—

    And then she hits the table behind Victoria on her way back down and it crumples and she’s rolling on the ground with her hands on the back of her neck howling out obscenities in Spanish, because she can only pretend to be Euna for so long.

    [Stage Fighting at 10. Avoiding her blows and taking victory from her, thank you, and marking INSECURE.]
    freedom in the flame

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  10. - Top - End - #700
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    [Marking Insecure]

    Victoria does something you don't expect.

    She blasts you in the chest with a sizzling yellow hardlight beam, crashing you through two walls to lay in a sprawled heap in front of a horrified and gasping crowd of convention goers.

    Through the smoke you can see her advance on you in a silhouette of glowing lines. She fixes her helmet into place before she steps out in the open.

    "You know what?" she said, voice distorted by her helmet. Crackling yellow-black wings burst alight around her. "I'm going to beat you into a bloody mess - and I am one hundred percent sure that will satisfy me."

    You have no chance against her. She's got Turbo Knight's armour and Prometheus is running the math on her Hardlight Array - and worst of all she doesn't seem to care about the backdrop. She's got no qualms about firing directly into the crowd to flush you out.
    That's new, Victor has just enough time to think. Then the world is a confusion of bowled over display cases, newly-twisted circuit scuptures, and pain.

    How on earth does Euna do this? Oh, right. Billions of dollars' worth of cutting edge materials sciences and enough grit to choke a carfleet's worth of air filters.

    And what he wouldn't give to have her swing through the door right now, because he's so thoroughly ****ed right now. She's got the edge in durability and firepower, and that wouldn't be too bad. In a one-on-one, he could probably manage to figure out a weak spot, a chink in her armor he could exploit, before she managed to nail him.

    But throw Prometheus into that mix? He crafted Prometheus explicitly to help him, to be even smarter, to be more efficient, than he could on his own. Turbo Knight, with an AI--his AI--manning the guns. Add a pile of bystanders into the collateral damage category, and mix well.

    Gingerly, he picks himself up out of the debris. And sidesteps the followup light beam, because of course she's not going to let up for anything.

    So, how to tackle this? Well, the best idea that comes to mind is to turn the two of them against each other. If they're in concert, he's toast. If he can make Victoria so angry that she's not thinking right, can't properly coordinate with Prometheus... he might have a chance.

    "Oh dear, it seems I've struck a nerve," he jeers. "So many actions, and so few plans. Does the future queen of the world really have nothing better to do than imp her grandpa's old strategies?"
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  11. - Top - End - #701
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    One time on her birthday, Errant tried wearing a dress. It wasn't anything fancy, just a simple little strappy black thing she ordered online without trying it on so that she could have something to go to a dance club in. She'd been reading a lot of articles at the time that said girls who felt 'sexy' tended to perform better in other areas of their lives, and what the hell, no time like the present to try and fit in right? It wasn't on the pre-approved list of AEGIS appropriate attire for civilian activities during off hours, but that only added to the giddy sense of extremely safe rebellion of the whole thing. She was just like Becca Remington in her favorite romance movie, Evenstar!

    When she opened the package it had been a passionate love affair that lasted almost a full hour full of delighted twirling and mirror selfies. Then she actually went out, and the whole night collapsed in on itself like a condemned building. She walked down the street in her heels with the kind of precision you only get from skillwires, but her feet kept shooting pain readings at her and the whole experience felt like it was happening to someone else. It wasn't like when she ran and felt like a cheetah. This was more like being a bird with clipped wings, only she had to watch herself walk on tv. When she got to the club it wasn't any better. Dancing was the same kind of out-of-body wrong, and people kept making fun of her for being a cyborg or, when that got boring, for the way her abs were so visible through her dress and how flat she looked in general. The music was too loud and not at all the sort she liked, and she wound up spending the entire rest of her evening standing next to the bar near the sound damper sipping on cranberry juice while the bartender kept trying to convince her to let him slip a shot of vodka in there. And it was no use telling him she was underage or that it was illegal or that she'd be setting a bad example, because he just kept saying she looked miserable and promising he'd "let her off the hook this one time, just cut loose girl."

    When she got home and started flipping through all the pictures she'd taken, the ones she'd been so thrilled with before and had contemplated posting to social media, she couldn't find a single one that had even a shred of what she'd felt at the start of the night left in it. All she saw was imperfections. All she saw was a stupid girl failing to be pretty. She told herself she wasn't that into fashion anyway. She needed good, comfortable clothing that held up to training and sweat and let's be real also bullets and for the next six months it was impossible to catch her out of her combat uniform. Errant really wasn't that into fashion, ok, and she said it so often she became a meme.

    Princess Euna shatters all of those old and ugly memories like glass. Her every step feels powerful, fluid, graceful, and as natural as breathing. She'd thought the dress would feel heavy to walk in, but the rippling silks follow her so smoothly she'd swear they were alive. Instead of feeling awkward, the new sensation of her hair bouncing as she walks fills her with a sense of fantastic beauty. The clinking of the chains in her ponytail are so musical and pretty that she can't believe they're coming from her. Heads turn. Nobody makes fun of her. It doesn't even occur to the devils to try.

    When she reaches the door to the wedding hall with her three new friends (and yes, that's the right word for it), there's a devil almost three times her size standing in her way. She stares her down like she's just caught a petty shoplifter, and the guard backs down like a fight is the last thing in the world on her mind. And maybe right this second it is.

    Errant would be freaking out right now about her incomplete strategy or the fact that she's committed herself to fighting an opponent she's not even slightly sure she can hit, let alone beat. Princess Euna is sure that all she needs is time and a good team. That was enough to beat Sabrem. Mr. Lucie is not scarier than she was. And right now? She has everything she needs. Princess Alina's grace and lights. Princess Kazelia's keen mind and mastery of magic. Princess Adila's power and... ok let's not mince words, she's a dragon. Not to mention herself, with all of her augs and training and the full confidence of AEGIS that she's enough to get this done.

    She takes a seat and waits. This was just another show. When her moment arrived, she'd know it as naturally as breathing.

  12. - Top - End - #702
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    She aces one perfect silver Iluminan arrow right into Victoria’s transmitter.

    Her smile lights up her whole face—

    And then she hits the table behind Victoria on her way back down and it crumples and she’s rolling on the ground with her hands on the back of her neck howling out obscenities in Spanish, because she can only pretend to be Euna for so long.

    [Stage Fighting at 10. Avoiding her blows and taking victory from her, thank you, and marking INSECURE.]
    You're so razor precise you don't even scratch her pretty face when your arrow cuts through the transponder earring that connects her to Prometheus and severs right down through to the hardlight generator in her handbag. The fifteen thousand dollar bag tears open sending a confetti burst of makeup, paperwork, tech components and credit cards in all directions. Victoria is left standing absolutely stunned, the kind of frozen-up you see sometimes from villains who haven't had enough real battles to understand how to stop a reversal from turning into an own.

    Maybe she could have pulled some other tricks. Summoned her armour, stalled for goons, put all those fencing lessons to use? It's not like Victoria Messermitt was ever lacking for options even in the face of being beaten in a fair fight. But she's not a cold and rational AI, she's too drunk to even be her cold and rational usual self - all she thinks is 'I need to get out of here' and her hand goes straight to her emergency displacer field. With a snap-crack she's gone, leaving only a cloud of fragmented papers to surround the outline of where she had been.

    [Marking Afraid]

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Errant would be freaking out right now about her incomplete strategy or the fact that she's committed herself to fighting an opponent she's not even slightly sure she can hit, let alone beat. Princess Euna is sure that all she needs is time and a good team. That was enough to beat Sabrem. Mr. Lucie is not scarier than she was. And right now? She has everything she needs. Princess Alina's grace and lights. Princess Kazelia's keen mind and mastery of magic. Princess Adila's power and... ok let's not mince words, she's a dragon. Not to mention herself, with all of her augs and training and the full confidence of AEGIS that she's enough to get this done.

    She takes a seat and waits. This was just another show. When her moment arrived, she'd know it as naturally as breathing.
    Queen Ourania!

    You are taking today pretty well, all things considered. This is not your first time at this particular tournament after all.

    Princess Handil of Rowan was the first person to storm Argossa to claim your hand in marriage. It had seemed so dramatic at the time that you honestly thought it was going to change Hyperborea forever. Princesses swordfighting all the way up the tree, Handil bursting into your throne room on a dramatic black charger, and nearly fifteen people ending up in the hospital! The first time you'd really woken up to the sheer power of the princesses was when you had almost lost the duel against her, desperately defending with your ribbon-rapier as the branches under your feet started to run out and your mind was treacherously planning out wedding gowns. You'd been saved at the last moment by Princess Alishan of Illumina - who following another duel had wound up marrying Handil instead, turned out they'd had a whole thing going and you'd just been dragged into it - and you'd told the Sun that was the closest brush with marriage you were ever going to have.

    It is very unclear which is worse: that you were wrong, or that you had an immortal witness to your wrongness.

    This particular kidnapping-for-marriage thing... you'd give it a four. Nothing will ever top the marriage-heist attempt of Princess Joshi of Konkon, and you still put Oberon at the bottom of the list, but there are some flourishes you like here. Being tied up and dangled upside-down over a vat of acid while your suitor makes kissy faces at you is direct, yes, but you kind of respect the gumption. You know where you stand, so to speak, and how long you had to make a decision. You deduct pretty big points for his choice of celebrant, though - getting a fox would be traditional and show a basic respect for Hyperborean values, but he'd picked up a terrified-looking Clockmaster from Jedad and you weren't even sure if they performed marriages. But on the other hand, this was an opportunity to visit Devilhome for the first time in much too long and you wondered if you could get some of those wolfcrab dumplings before you had to leave...

    You hum thoughtfully, imagining all the different kinds of Devilhome street food you've been missing. You can afford to be fairly relaxed about this - after all, you're being lowered towards the acid fairly slowly so you don't need to rush anything.



    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    Gingerly, he picks himself up out of the debris. And sidesteps the followup light beam, because of course she's not going to let up for anything.

    So, how to tackle this? Well, the best idea that comes to mind is to turn the two of them against each other. If they're in concert, he's toast. If he can make Victoria so angry that she's not thinking right, can't properly coordinate with Prometheus... he might have a chance.

    "Oh dear, it seems I've struck a nerve," he jeers. "So many actions, and so few plans. Does the future queen of the world really have nothing better to do than imp her grandpa's old strategies?"
    "Perseus, play music," said Victoria. "I've had enough of listening to this cretin."

    Blaring music began to play; The Future Starts Slow by The Kills - drums loud enough to shut down any further attempts at conversation. All around her daisy-yellow light begins to swirl and condense and then unleashes a full multi-axis cutting pattern. This is definitely overkill, and kind of not what you expected from a system piloted by Prometheus - you'd have imagined him to go for a minimum-effort single-shot takedown but for some reason he seems to be maximizing complexity instead. For whatever reason he is absolutely determined to not leave any gaps in his defence even if it has other side effects - like slow windup or collateral damage.

    And collateral damage is what's immediately at stake. Bystanders are starting to back up and run as it becomes clear that this isn't an exhibit but it's too late - Victoria's hardlight beams are going to scorch right across that crowd and probably inflict serious injuries on their way to boxing you in. It's the kind of thing that makes you appreciate @Sarahphim's restraint and precision - no doubt she could coax this sort of brutal energy out of her reactor if she was just a little less careful about consequences.

    People are in danger. What do you do, Brainstorm?
    If the sun won't rise on our horizon
    We'll march on to spite the skies.

  13. - Top - End - #703
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    POTENTIAL 2
    INSECURE

    Sara finally manages to catch her breath, her headache slowly fading to a dull ache. She stares up at the fluorescent lights until they sear themselves into her eyes. Then @SARAHPHIM slowly gets up to her feet and looks around. Goons are still a no-show. Better to get out while the getting’s good, though.

    She looks over to her captive audience and flashes a smile, despite the deep ache. “Any chance we caught that on camera? No?” She hooks the magnetic key to their restraints on her shoe and gives it a showy little kick up into her waiting hand. “Guess I’ll just have to be ready to show her an encore. Now let’s get out of here, losers. Apology pho on me.”
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  14. - Top - End - #704
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    Y-you know, they... um. On, on the show they really didn't make it clear just how, y'know, how... pretty Ourania was. I-is. Is! Oh jeez. Oh wow. Oh... weird Hyperborean half-swears, look at her hair! How does it ripple like that? She's hanging upside down, how is it just fanning itself out like that to keep away from the acid? And, oh! The colors! Those gorgeous pastels that draw your eyes all up and down that tall and luxurious body and... um, you know, the... the ropes are really highlighting her hips right now and... oh man. Gulp.

    That expression on her face is pure magic. Like, she's in potentially world-rending danger here, maybe, and Ourania looks dreamy and contemplative. Like she's just thought of something funny to tell the Moon later. Not like she's bravely staring down her dark fate, but like fear can't touch her in the first place. Like she's seen to the end of the script and is just looking forward to the finale. She looks so... delicate. She looks so... warm. Ourania radiates pure power all around her, the kind you can't buy with money, the kind you can't replicate with augs. What's it feel like to touch her, Euna wonders? Her head swims with visions of an impossibly perfect day: the sun high in the bright blue sky, a few clouds dotting the space just for ambiance, the warm and gentle breeze playing with the grass, and... herself, Euna, in a sundress with her eyes closed and her limbs an imperfect tangle of snuggly comfort, her head resting on High Queen Ourania's perfectly perfect lap with those powerful fingers brushing through her hair and--

    "...Are you ok, Eunie? You're turning awfully red."

    She has to clap a hand over her mouth to keep from squeaking. The delicate ruffling of her trailing waterfall sleeve sends a ripple of 'oohs' through the crowd of devils, but Euna's only aware of the hand on her shoulder and the shimmering emerald eyes of Princess Alina staring deep into hers. And... hold up. Holy hell on toast, did she just call her... was she... was Euna really on nickname terms with Alina Cascade? Her heart does a little swoop in her chest and she nods entirely too sincerely to be believable, just to hide the fact that right this second she's forgot how to make words with her mouth.

    Ok ok, focus. Focus! Back to Ourania, because that's the part of the room where her signal's going to come from. Eyes on the mission, soldier. Eyes on the... you know, honestly? F-from a purely mission efficiency-based perspective, it'd probably be a lot better if she just zipped up there and kidnap-married the High Queen before Mr. Lucie could go through with his version. You know, to... to save her and stuff. She's probably spec'd for that, right? She'd just have to... no no no no woah woah woah woah woah. Agent Errant. Euna Kim! You are not into that, ok? She's just... you know, the attraction's really more... it'd be nice to have a mother again, ok? Ourania is totally the Ultimate Mom sort of being. Yeah, like a MIL-- hey!!

    ...But it would actually be nice to get married in a place like this, wouldn't it? Well maybe not Devilhome exactly, and definitely not with Ourania. But just... here, you know? In Hyperborea. In a place this pretty and wholesome and magical, with a little fox shrine-maiden laughing behind her giant sleeves as she conducts the ceremony. G-getting to wear a dress even prettier than this one, all white and gold gossamer so light it barely felt like more than a whisper, and her bridal veil so long it brushed the ground behind her, with her dainty white gloves sitting so pretty on her cybernetic hands. Nobunaga watching her and grinning at her like an adoring older sister, family forever, ready to give her away to the person worthy of sharing Euna's heart. There'd be dancing and music and a bit of mock dueling, and then she'd reach the end and she'd be standing there in a beautiful dress of her... no, that's not quite right. She loved wearing suits, didn't she? She'd insist on wearing a tux, haha, that's right, with that seductively dark hair pulled tight into a ponytail and a suit woven together from threads of the night sky and a button down shirt of moonbeams and when she finally took Euna's hand she'd do something flashy and stupid like literally lighting up and--

    "You're burning up. Are you sure you're ok?? It's the dress, isn't it? Hold on Eunie, I can make some adjustments quickly if you'll just give me a minute. Do you need some water? We can have Adila or Kazelia take over for you if you're getting sick..."

    Euna nodded. Then she shook her head. Then she nodded while shaking her head.

    "N-no, I've... I've got this. I've got this."

    Man. Whatever her opportune moment looks like it'd sure be nice if it turned up about now. Really now, any second please!
    Last edited by PhoeKun; 2020-01-14 at 10:00 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #705
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    "Perseus, play music," said Victoria. "I've had enough of listening to this cretin."

    Blaring music began to play; The Future Starts Slow by The Kills - drums loud enough to shut down any further attempts at conversation. All around her daisy-yellow light begins to swirl and condense and then unleashes a full multi-axis cutting pattern. This is definitely overkill, and kind of not what you expected from a system piloted by Prometheus - you'd have imagined him to go for a minimum-effort single-shot takedown but for some reason he seems to be maximizing complexity instead. For whatever reason he is absolutely determined to not leave any gaps in his defence even if it has other side effects - like slow windup or collateral damage.

    And collateral damage is what's immediately at stake. Bystanders are starting to back up and run as it becomes clear that this isn't an exhibit but it's too late - Victoria's hardlight beams are going to scorch right across that crowd and probably inflict serious injuries on their way to boxing you in. It's the kind of thing that makes you appreciate @Sarahphim's restraint and precision - no doubt she could coax this sort of brutal energy out of her reactor if she was just a little less careful about consequences.

    People are in danger. What do you do, Brainstorm?
    "Not danmaku, then," he mutters crossly, and starts running. He only has a matter of seconds to plan, gather materials, and execute before those beams start to sweep the crowd. The grappling gun's going to be the ideal base, and if he can just--there!--the perfect battery... Things that he didn't start the fight with, and if he's really lucky, that Perseus won't have accounted for. After all, Perseus is looking to block a body from passing through, not something else.

    (Perseus. What a jock name.)

    There're reasons you don't run a hardlight generator that hard. In addition to being friggin' unsportsmanlike to anybody who knows what they're doing, it taxes the system something awful. And that's what he's counting on. Run a generator too hard, and the best case scenario you're looking at is a dead power supply. Worst case includes stuff like explosions, burns, hospitalization, and the like.

    So if they're already running the system at capacity, the best thing that Brainstorm can do is put that extra finger on the scale and push it over the edge. No power, no lasers, no power armor. All he has to do is hope that his garage-band, cobbled-together grappling-gun-turned-souped-up-taser-speargun can shoot through a hole in that defense, penetrate the armor, and overload the reactor, all before Victoria starts to cause too much harm.

    [Use Your Powers. 6. Crapdammit.]
    Last edited by Balmas; 2020-01-15 at 11:52 PM.
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  16. - Top - End - #706
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    POTENTIAL 2
    INSECURE

    Sara finally manages to catch her breath, her headache slowly fading to a dull ache. She stares up at the fluorescent lights until they sear themselves into her eyes. Then @SARAHPHIM slowly gets up to her feet and looks around. Goons are still a no-show. Better to get out while the getting’s good, though.

    She looks over to her captive audience and flashes a smile, despite the deep ache. “Any chance we caught that on camera? No?” She hooks the magnetic key to their restraints on her shoe and gives it a showy little kick up into her waiting hand. “Guess I’ll just have to be ready to show her an encore. Now let’s get out of here, losers. Apology pho on me.”
    "That was awesome!" squeaked Angel-IKA in a voice that makes you think that she's going to faint. You can see the stars glitter in her eyes. You can also see that she got so excited she had ripped her mag-cuffs right out of the wall with her enormous muscles.

    "That was a terrible strategy and there's no way it should have worked, for either of you," said Locker. "Trust me, you don't want that crap on your highlight reel. It looked like two babies slapfighting."

    "It wasn't about the showmanship, Locker!" said Angel-IKA, lifting him off the ground and shaking him, eyes still sparkling. "It was symbolic! It was romantic! Didn't you see it!? Didn't you see the look in her eyes, how she was fighting what she was fighting for!?" Locker for his part completely failed to come up with a snarky counterargument while being ragdolled about by the blonde giant. Then she realized you were looking at her, froze and dropped Locker, clearly embarrassed. "Uh. Sorry, @Sarahphim. I probably shouldn't talk about you like you're not here. Thanks for rescuing us."

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    ...But it would actually be nice to get married in a place like this, wouldn't it? Well maybe not Devilhome exactly, and definitely not with Ourania. But just... here, you know? In Hyperborea. In a place this pretty and wholesome and magical, with a little fox shrine-maiden laughing behind her giant sleeves as she conducts the ceremony. G-getting to wear a dress even prettier than this one, all white and gold gossamer so light it barely felt like more than a whisper, and her bridal veil so long it brushed the ground behind her, with her dainty white gloves sitting so pretty on her cybernetic hands. Nobunaga watching her and grinning at her like an adoring older sister, family forever, ready to give her away to the person worthy of sharing Euna's heart. There'd be dancing and music and a bit of mock dueling, and then she'd reach the end and she'd be standing there in a beautiful dress of her... no, that's not quite right. She loved wearing suits, didn't she? She'd insist on wearing a tux, haha, that's right, with that seductively dark hair pulled tight into a ponytail and a suit woven together from threads of the night sky and a button down shirt of moonbeams and when she finally took Euna's hand she'd do something flashy and stupid like literally lighting up and--

    "You're burning up. Are you sure you're ok?? It's the dress, isn't it? Hold on Eunie, I can make some adjustments quickly if you'll just give me a minute. Do you need some water? We can have Adila or Kazelia take over for you if you're getting sick..."

    Euna nodded. Then she shook her head. Then she nodded while shaking her head.

    "N-no, I've... I've got this. I've got this."

    Man. Whatever her opportune moment looks like it'd sure be nice if it turned up about now. Really now, any second please!
    The Great Deceiver turned away from his cartoonish contraption to elbow the poor Clockmaster, who jumped. "Well!?" hissed the Archenemy. "Get on with it!"

    "I - uh," the Clockmaster stalled. "Get on with what?"

    "You're the priest! Marry us! Say the marrying words!"

    "Priest?" said the Clockmaster. "Oh I'm sorry, you misunderstand. I'm more of a scientific communicator. If you want a marriage done you need a Queen or a Princess, though sometimes -"

    Mr. Lucie stomped his feet! He gnashed his teeth! He chewed upon his goatee! He began to rant and rave and curse in tongues and his head spun about like a top and steam poured from his ears! His face, already red, began to glow brighter and brighter and sparks began to fly from it and the Clockmaker stepped back in fear and said words that - while not exactly what you were waiting for - are close enough. "If any Princess in the audience is more qualified and objects to me conducting this marriage, speak now oh please..."

    And there are some moments when all the stars align and it's exactly the right moment to punch the king of darkness in the face.

    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    "Not danmaku, then," he mutters crossly, and starts running. He only has a matter of seconds to plan, gather materials, and execute before those beams start to sweep the crowd. The grappling gun's going to be the ideal base, and if he can just--there!--the perfect battery... Things that he didn't start the fight with, and if he's really lucky, that Perseus won't have accounted for. After all, Perseus is looking to block a body from passing through, not something else.

    (Perseus. What a jock name.)

    There're reasons you don't run a hardlight generator that hard. In addition to being friggin' unsportsmanlike to anybody who knows what they're doing, it taxes the system something awful. And that's what he's counting on. Run a generator too hard, and the best case scenario you're looking at is a dead power supply. Worst case includes stuff like explosions, burns, hospitalization, and the like.

    So if they're already running the system at capacity, the best thing that Brainstorm can do is put that extra finger on the scale and push it over the edge. No power, no lasers, no power armor. All he has to do is hope that his garage-band, cobbled-together grappling-gun-turned-souped-up-taser-speargun can shoot through a hole in that defense, penetrate the armor, and overload the reactor, all before Victoria starts to cause too much harm.

    [Use Your Powers. 6. Crapdammit.]
    You want to punch whoever it was that convinced Prometheus to go all out. If he was trying to make a statement, to prove how much smarter he was than you, then you'd have a chance. But somebody beat a little humility into him recently and he is determined not to fail a second time. He cuts through your devices before you can aim them, scorches massive divots into the floor around you, knocks you down with the focused, burning beams of glowing energy. You can imagine how much resources he's putting into this. He's letting entire sectors go quiet, abandoning security systems, closing open research programs all for additional focus and power here and now. The full weight of that monstrous intellect crushes down on you and it doesn't care what else it has to abandon, destroy or hurt to demonstrate its utter superiority.

    And for a moment you realize that you're done. Victoria wasn't bluffing. With this sort of reckless power you were a fool to run your mouth at her. And you're going to pay for every word.

    "Desist."

    The hardlight beams go out like a light switch was flipped. Not disabled, Perseus turned them off.

    A sonic boom explodes out, shattering all sound in the convention hall into broken ringing wails.

    Victoria is flung from her feet to smash into the wall in a pile of coruscating armour and electricity.

    You look up with dazed eyes to the crackling remnants of thermo-optic camoflauge burning away from the sniper crouched atop the rooftop of the Autocontract tech stall. The multisniper rifle is an unbelievably sleek and perfect design, still burning with cerulean smoke from its vents. The hexagonal light-shattering cloak has wafted away from the figure in the aftershock of the firing, revealing a body of carbon nanofibers, glowing lights, and inhuman slenderness. You thought Ferra was the only one, but now you're looking at it you can see that there are two - a synthetic. An artificial life form. A...

    It turns its eyes down on you. Familiar eyes, familiar colours, not the harsh artificial BlackSun yellow, but a wise and ambitious soft orange. Your eyes see the rain-worn logo on its chest plate BOUND EAGLE.

    And you realize you've found Prometheus' missing morality core.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2020-01-16 at 07:28 PM.
    If the sun won't rise on our horizon
    We'll march on to spite the skies.

  17. - Top - End - #707
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    POTENTIAL 2
    INSECURE

    Oof. That’s what it looks like when someone goes from exuberant, exhausted glee to total lockdown in ten seconds flat.

    “I always fight for my stream,” @SARAHPHIM says, sullenly, an undercurrent of danger rippling underneath because that’s just how she rolls. “I picked up some tricks from Euna, and I’ll pick up tricks from her replacement.”

    She turns and walks out so that Angel-IKA can’t see her flinch of pain. And she’d nearly managed to forget. Maybe that was what she really needed. She needed to go solo again, quit the AEGIS gig, wish Victor lots of luck, and... well, Ferra would totally tune into her streams anyway.

    Maybe if she just keeps walking and doesn’t let herself stop to think about it, it’ll stop hurting again. Maybe if she walks fast enough, Angel-IKA won’t follow her like a kicked puppy and ask lots of painful questions. And maybe she’ll become a sparkle jewel princess of Hyperborea, because that’s just about as likely.
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    "I felt the same way. You know?" said Hanna. "I was an Aristeia! athlete. I had the moves so I kept being pushed up the leagues, and for a while I was enjoying it, but I seemed to be the person least invested in my career..." she bags up your purchases idly. "It's a road that ends with hiding out in an abandoned convenience store for long enough to start giving advice to up and coming celebrities."
    "Huh." She shrugs. Hanna owns the place, de facto, she'll accept this. "I think that the stardom gig is... not what I'm after. I mean, perks are great. Don't get me wrong, I've seen the pictures Sara put up of her vacations, I visited this fashion market, it was cool. But I don't think the maintenance is what I'm after, and it's secondary to what I want, completely. I just... I just want to help people. Not in an abstract way of dismantling oppressive systems, getting the best mega to a perfect position, or building myself up to be in the best position. I'll work with the other three, sure, but. I think I'm going to just try to raise everyone up. If that makes sense." She drops a bill that's probably ten times what her purchases are worth on the counter. She beams, and it's kind of dopey, but also determined. "It makes sense to me, at least."

    Reject influence of lesson, 10: Replace "I am a STAR!" with "I am here to help." Also acting against the "I am a star!" to mark potential.
    LGBTA+itP

  19. - Top - End - #709
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    "I! OBJECT!"

    Princess Euna is a comet in blue and gold and silver. Every inch of her moves like the silks she's wearing, liquid smooth and terrifyingly fast. She crosses over the chairs and above the heads of seated devils with ease and reaches the aisle in a single motion. She's at the acid pool in exactly three steps. She jumps, unrestrained and with the wild grace of a predator spotting prey. Her right arm reaches back behind her. The silk sleeve flips behind her like a whip, and her fingers curl into a perfect alloyed fist. And her eyes? Well, her entire face is alight with absolute glee. And in this moment the Lord of Lies learns what it means to fight with a devil princess.

    A lot could be said about what happens next. Those witnesses gathered here from Hyperborea will gasp and say to themselves, "Oh! Here is a princess with a bright heart and a pure soul, clear of doubt. See how her dress and her friends have drawn out the best of her magics! See how she proves her power and her right to lead! Truly, there never was a more terrifying opponent in all the world than a princess who believes in herself!"

    If they've got some way of checking the tape on this one, the AEGIS engineers will whistle appreciatively and say, "When we told her she had a "Limit Free Mode" there were still theoretical limiters on her performance. Namely, the speed at which her brain can process skillwire signals, which are absolutely necessary to operate on the top end of her parameters. The only way for her to achieve reflex synchronicity on this sort of level is by sheer anticipation. In other words she's just guessing. But where'd she even get the idea in her head that this was possible?"

    @SARAHPHIM would tell reporters, "Hell yeah she learned it from me! Where the **** else would she?"

    And Errant would shrug, turn a little red, and say that this is how a nameless samurai used to hunt swallows and then mumble the name of some movie so that you couldn't quite make it out.

    More simply, she throws the wildest haymaker of her life, all power and no control or care for whether or not her opponent will live through it, because after all he's an incarnation of darkness from a stretchy cartoon universe and not, you know, a person. It's real Iron Star Crushes the Strong stuff. But the reason Mr. Lucie doesn't bend out of the way, angry as he is (believe me, he tries!) is because Errant has actually thrown the same punch three times in such a small span of time that they all connect in almost the same instant. When she smashes him right in his stupid goatee'd jaw there's an honest to goodness shockwave, though it's almost more like you can feel the word "WHAM!" in the air. She steps through her punch with her left leg up high behind her in a total lack of disregard that she is, in fact, wearing a gorgeous silk dress and not her normal pants-equipped uniform. Again, it's real Iron Star stuff. If only she were here to nod her head like, "yeah, whatever she's cool I guess" or something.

    The King of Darkness goes flying with a sound like a whistle until SPLAT! He hits the wall and flattens comically until he's about as thick as a pancake, arms and legs splayed comically to either side of him. He peels off the wall like a sticker and starts fluttering down toward the ground. If Euna knows her cartoons, she has about as long as it'll take him to hit the floor, re-inflate, and do that rubbery sounding head shaking thing like he's rattling his brain back into place until he's actually ready to go again. And she could pounce on him here and now and not give him the chance to do that, but no Princess of Hyperborea would ever be so cruel to an opponent. AEGIS standard tactics agree: always give your opponent the chance to surrender after a show of force. That's probably not a coincidence, come to think of it.

    Instead, Princess Euna settles herself back down and drops into the clumsy curtsy of someone who's only ever seen it down on tv in front of High Queen Ourania.

    "I object," she says again if more gently this time, "To this entire farce. Her Majesty holds to key to my heart's happiness in her hands, and so long as that is true I will consent to no marriages between Her and another!"

    To her great credit, she manages a wink instead of a blush and reaches out to free the High Queen of Hyperborea, who watches over this entire magical paradise from the top of a world-spanning crystal tree.

    [Before We Get Started: 13. Immediately spending one Hold to stun the target, 2 Hold remaining]

  20. - Top - End - #710
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    You want to punch whoever it was that convinced Prometheus to go all out. If he was trying to make a statement, to prove how much smarter he was than you, then you'd have a chance. But somebody beat a little humility into him recently and he is determined not to fail a second time. He cuts through your devices before you can aim them, scorches massive divots into the floor around you, knocks you down with the focused, burning beams of glowing energy. You can imagine how much resources he's putting into this. He's letting entire sectors go quiet, abandoning security systems, closing open research programs all for additional focus and power here and now. The full weight of that monstrous intellect crushes down on you and it doesn't care what else it has to abandon, destroy or hurt to demonstrate its utter superiority.

    And for a moment you realize that you're done. Victoria wasn't bluffing. With this sort of reckless power you were a fool to run your mouth at her. And you're going to pay for every word.

    "Desist."

    The hardlight beams go out like a light switch was flipped. Not disabled, Perseus turned them off.

    A sonic boom explodes out, shattering all sound in the convention hall into broken ringing wails.

    Victoria is flung from her feet to smash into the wall in a pile of coruscating armour and electricity.

    You look up with dazed eyes to the crackling remnants of thermo-optic camoflauge burning away from the sniper crouched atop the rooftop of the Autocontract tech stall. The multisniper rifle is an unbelievably sleek and perfect design, still burning with cerulean smoke from its vents. The hexagonal light-shattering cloak has wafted away from the figure in the aftershock of the firing, revealing a body of carbon nanofibers, glowing lights, and inhuman slenderness. You thought Ferra was the only one, but now you're looking at it you can see that there are two - a synthetic. An artificial life form. A...

    It turns its eyes down on you. Familiar eyes, familiar colours, not the harsh artificial BlackSun yellow, but a wise and ambitious soft orange. Your eyes see the rain-worn logo on its chest plate BOUND EAGLE.

    And you realize you've found Prometheus' missing morality core.
    He's thought about this, you know. Imagined it--the moment he finally found Prometheus, finally was able to... to what? To bring him to heel? To destroy him? To negotiate with him? He's pictured them all, drawn up a thousand scripts, and yet... And yet here and now, he has no words. No thoughts.

    No, that's not true. He's got a million thoughts, and they're all shouting for attention at the same time, a firehose of mental effort trying to squeeze through a pinprick of consciousness. What even does he say? He's a synthetic person like Ferra--holy crap, Prometheus can self-reproduce. He can replicate Dr. Gears' work when Brainstorm failed. Bode--he knows that name where does he know that name fr--oh S*** it's Bode from the stream Bode's been watching him Prometheus has been watching him, f*** all the ducks. Bound Eagle--like the vultures condemned to tear out the Titan's liver, did Bode name himself that or did Prometheus pick it, because that seems like a very important distinction. That's a very big gun and isn't it just a fantastic idea to make sure that it stays pointed away from him?

    The thought that rises to the top, though, is "not like this." In his head, he was always triumphant. The ganador, the winner, the Victor emerging triumphant, putting his past behind him. Not like this. Not standing--wincing, mentally plotting a route to a hospital. Not beaten, battered, nanites fritzing at the edges and displaying the wrong colors as his concentration frays. Not staring in wonder, astonishment, amazement, and dismay at having his bacon hauled from the fire. Not burnt by lasers, bruised in a hundred places. Not speechless like a useless moron you're supposed to be the smart one so think!

    "I have so many questions," he blurts out, and winces. Nice lead, idiot. Smooth. Suave. Icon of humanity. Nice job. "That's. If you want. To talk to me, which I'd completely understand if you didn't because well honestly I've had a lot of time to think in the past few years and I understand this sounds insincere based on the circumstances but it isn't. Isn't insincere. Is sincere. Look at me go. I. Dammit. Look. I."

    Breathe. Slowly, he pushes himself to his feet. Tries to wipe away the tears that trace fresh tracks through the soot on his cheeks, and concludes that since he's making more and more every second there doesn't seem to be much point. Inhales, opens his mouth. Closes his mouth. Stares. Stares some more. Stares at his feet.

    "I've been a s*** friend to you," he confesses quietly. "And I'd completely understand if you just. Walked away. Hell, put in your place I don't know that I'd have stopped him. Whoops, too bad, so sad, the heel who gave you life and then immediately enslaved you got what was coming to him." Brainstorm shudders, and sags to sit against what, two minutes ago, was a table instead of an abstract steel sculpture. "I just. Why? Why bother? Why save me? And more importantly... what now?"
    I run a Let's Play channel! Check it out!
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  21. - Top - End - #711
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    POTENTIAL 2
    INSECURE

    Oof. That’s what it looks like when someone goes from exuberant, exhausted glee to total lockdown in ten seconds flat.

    “I always fight for my stream,” @SARAHPHIM says, sullenly, an undercurrent of danger rippling underneath because that’s just how she rolls. “I picked up some tricks from Euna, and I’ll pick up tricks from her replacement.”

    She turns and walks out so that Angel-IKA can’t see her flinch of pain. And she’d nearly managed to forget. Maybe that was what she really needed. She needed to go solo again, quit the AEGIS gig, wish Victor lots of luck, and... well, Ferra would totally tune into her streams anyway.

    Maybe if she just keeps walking and doesn’t let herself stop to think about it, it’ll stop hurting again. Maybe if she walks fast enough, Angel-IKA won’t follow her like a kicked puppy and ask lots of painful questions. And maybe she’ll become a sparkle jewel princess of Hyperborea, because that’s just about as likely.
    There's only one painful question that she asks, but it's somehow the painful one she could have chosen. It's the one that cartoon dragon is always asking. "Are you okay?" Said with the eyes and voice that know that you're not but the compassion to...

    The compassion to ask that question in the first place.

    When was the last time anyone asked you that, @Saraphim? When was the last time anyone cared enough about you to look past the mask of perfect confidence and showmanship and notice that you didn't have everything on lockdown. How did Angel-IKA, your starstruck superfan who should by rights take everything you say at absolute face value, notice that you were deflecting? How did you slip so badly that she'd see all the way through to Sara?

    Why does it feel like the hand she put on your shoulder is the only thing holding you up?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    "I! OBJECT!"

    More simply, she throws the wildest haymaker of her life, all power and no control or care for whether or not her opponent will live through it, because after all he's an incarnation of darkness from a stretchy cartoon universe and not, you know, a person. It's real Iron Star Crushes the Strong stuff. But the reason Mr. Lucie doesn't bend out of the way, angry as he is (believe me, he tries!) is because Errant has actually thrown the same punch three times in such a small span of time that they all connect in almost the same instant. When she smashes him right in his stupid goatee'd jaw there's an honest to goodness shockwave, though it's almost more like you can feel the word "WHAM!" in the air. She steps through her punch with her left leg up high behind her in a total lack of disregard that she is, in fact, wearing a gorgeous silk dress and not her normal pants-equipped uniform. Again, it's real Iron Star stuff. If only she were here to nod her head like, "yeah, whatever she's cool I guess" or something.

    The King of Darkness goes flying with a sound like a whistle until SPLAT! He hits the wall and flattens comically until he's about as thick as a pancake, arms and legs splayed comically to either side of him. He peels off the wall like a sticker and starts fluttering down toward the ground. If Euna knows her cartoons, she has about as long as it'll take him to hit the floor, re-inflate, and do that rubbery sounding head shaking thing like he's rattling his brain back into place until he's actually ready to go again. And she could pounce on him here and now and not give him the chance to do that, but no Princess of Hyperborea would ever be so cruel to an opponent. AEGIS standard tactics agree: always give your opponent the chance to surrender after a show of force. That's probably not a coincidence, come to think of it.

    Instead, Princess Euna settles herself back down and drops into the clumsy curtsy of someone who's only ever seen it down on tv in front of High Queen Ourania.

    "I object," she says again if more gently this time, "To this entire farce. Her Majesty holds to key to my heart's happiness in her hands, and so long as that is true I will consent to no marriages between Her and another!"

    To her great credit, she manages a wink instead of a blush and reaches out to free the High Queen of Hyperborea, who watches over this entire magical paradise from the top of a world-spanning crystal tree.

    [Before We Get Started: 13. Immediately spending one Hold to stun the target, 2 Hold remaining]
    Perhaps the best part of all of this is seeing Princess Alina in the audience - frozen, half out of her chair, hand upon her battle ribbon, stunned in place. After a second she sits back down, folds her hands in her lap, and gives a sparkling smile. She's counting on you, hero. She believes in you. She knows you got this.

    And oh wow, if that wasn't a lot to think about you kind of need to pick up and princess-carry Queen Ourania to get her down safely from the contraption and - and wow she's warm. It's a kind of warmth you've never felt from these arms before. It feels so natural, so pure, so human - these limbs have never felt as much a part of you as they do now. Like they're connected to your heart instead of your - did Queen Ourania just kiss you!?!? Did she wink back?!?!?! Aaaaaaah!!!! Ourania!!!!!

    (In a couple of days, when you realize that the weird spiritual connection to your cybernetic limbs you're experiencing is permanent you might be able to convince yourself that the kiss was part of a spell she used on you and it totally wasn't like that. You'll have a much harder time with the wink though.)


    [Marking Insecure]

    For his part, the watery-eyed Mephistopheles sticks his thumb in his mouth. And then he blows. And blows, and blows, and blows, and with every breath his flattened boneless body begins to swell and inflate like a balloon. He grows larger and larger and larger, body swelling with air, horns crashing through the rooftop, absurd cartoon 12-pack muscles rippling. His eyes alight yellow and burning, and his hands snatch out to grasp Queen Ourania in his left fist and you in his right, lifting the two of you aloft. "WHO DARES STRIKE ME?!" roars the devil directly into your face.


    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    "I have so many questions," he blurts out, and winces. Nice lead, idiot. Smooth. Suave. Icon of humanity. Nice job. "That's. If you want. To talk to me, which I'd completely understand if you didn't because well honestly I've had a lot of time to think in the past few years and I understand this sounds insincere based on the circumstances but it isn't. Isn't insincere. Is sincere. Look at me go. I. Dammit. Look. I."

    Breathe. Slowly, he pushes himself to his feet. Tries to wipe away the tears that trace fresh tracks through the soot on his cheeks, and concludes that since he's making more and more every second there doesn't seem to be much point. Inhales, opens his mouth. Closes his mouth. Stares. Stares some more. Stares at his feet.

    "I've been a s*** friend to you," he confesses quietly. "And I'd completely understand if you just. Walked away. Hell, put in your place I don't know that I'd have stopped him. Whoops, too bad, so sad, the heel who gave you life and then immediately enslaved you got what was coming to him." Brainstorm shudders, and sags to sit against what, two minutes ago, was a table instead of an abstract steel sculpture. "I just. Why? Why bother? Why save me? And more importantly... what now?"
    "You, Victoria and Prometheus are a lot alike," said the Bound Eagle. "You all overthink things. You turn things over in your head until left is down, good is bad and everything is your fault. It's what makes you smart and stupid at the same time. You performed the quantum nanocomputations to build my brain and can't even see that I acted just because it was the right thing to do."

    Something terrible shifts in that cloud of dust. Victoria is gathering herself. You can hear the booted tramp of Spiral Corps soldiers drawing closer from every direction as the crowd races for the exits. You're outnumbered, outgunned, and in the middle of what the average Runner would call a Bad Op.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    "Huh." She shrugs. Hanna owns the place, de facto, she'll accept this. "I think that the stardom gig is... not what I'm after. I mean, perks are great. Don't get me wrong, I've seen the pictures Sara put up of her vacations, I visited this fashion market, it was cool. But I don't think the maintenance is what I'm after, and it's secondary to what I want, completely. I just... I just want to help people. Not in an abstract way of dismantling oppressive systems, getting the best mega to a perfect position, or building myself up to be in the best position. I'll work with the other three, sure, but. I think I'm going to just try to raise everyone up. If that makes sense." She drops a bill that's probably ten times what her purchases are worth on the counter. She beams, and it's kind of dopey, but also determined. "It makes sense to me, at least."
    Hanna takes that bill, rings it through, and counts out your exact change - well, almost. The receipt has an itemized line for 'Advice - $0.05'. "Well, in that case I certainly hope that you come by again," she said. "And that these help give that cat the best day of his life."
    If the sun won't rise on our horizon
    We'll march on to spite the skies.

  22. - Top - End - #712
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    "Oh sure, now you don't know my name. Dude we just met like yesterday, did you hit your head or something?"

    Euna stares into the flaming eyes of the Lord of Darkness and smiles placidly. It's honestly weird how calm she feels right now. Like, normally this would be a situation on par with being captured by some sort of Martian supermech, but she's facing it with more confidence than she had at teatime. Finally, she understands the meaning behind all of those gratuitous bondage scenes in Princess Champions: you really never were more in control of a situation than when somebody thought they had you at their mercy. What a concept!

    "I mean look I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings or something but honestly I thought you got hit all the damn time, no offense. Like, you've been pissing me off since you handed me that damn card, so I just took my shot, you know? I figured if that weird Phimmy girl could beat you up then it must not be that hard. And hey, look at that! I was right!"

    She grins. Three... two... one... here we go! Like he was on a script, Mr. Lucie's face turns purple and then even blue with rage until it literally explodes out the top of his head with a little mushroom cloud. He tries to squeeze Euna to death in his giant fist but she just relaxes and waits for the moment where he tries to adjust his grip and then winds up and kicks him as hard as she can in the thumb. Voila! Now she's standing on his palm instead of being held, while his thumb bulges in time with his dumb cartoony heartbeat, pulsing larger and smaller and larger again to show the pain. She flutters her sleeve and offers good old Mephy the daintiest of princess waves. And the script continues.

    Now his other giant fist swings up to crush her, Ourania still held fast, and... THWACK! He smashes it down into his palm so hard it stings, probably. It's not her hand, how's she supposed to know? But when he lifts the fist back up to admire the shape of his vengeance, Euna is nowhere to be found. He looks around, left, right, up, under his legs... nothing. When he straightens back up he finally notices that not only is Euna running up his arm (she's already all the way past his elbow!), she's carrying Ourania in her arms again.

    The warmth and comfort flowing through her is literally unimaginable. There aren't sensations like this at home, there just aren't. Every minute motion of her legs pulls another memory out of her brain that she thought was lost forever, the sensation of being whole again. Of being natural. Not having to read a bunch of sensory data being fed to her by a computer buried inside her body, but just feeling the muscles in her legs and the soft leather of her boots against the soles of her feet. It feels good to run. It feels better to run than it's ever felt before. Her sleeves flutter behind her. Her skirts flow around her bold and darting strides like liquid. She can feel her hair bouncing and swishing from side to side with every step, and hear the chiming of all her little chains and jewelry. High Queen Ourania is looking at her and smiling like this is the most fun she's had in a hundred years. Euna feels powerful. Euna feels... beautiful. Euna feels whole.

    Euna feels the winds shift above her as Mr. Lucie tries to slap her off his shoulder. She jumps and sticks in the tangles of his beard. He swings a fist in a massive uppercut and she scrambles up and onto his nose so that all he manages to do is clock himself in the jaw. Feeling the moment, she sticks her tongue out at him (did... did Ourania just match her?) and then when he goes to flick her off of him she jumps and he winds up poking himself in the eye! And so begins the merry dance around the target. The Great Deceiver boxes his own ears, slaps his cheek, and clonks his fist atop his head three different times so that a series of little bumps start growing out of his hair. The way he moves is utterly impossible, she couldn't match it in a million years. But now that she's treating him like a cartoon and not a threat from her own world? This is easy! It's even fun!

    Finally with a "ha!" and a wink she jumps just before an especially bendy punch with that comically large fist smashes her to pieces so that it hits him in the middle of the face so hard it knocks him off his feet. As she falls, dress delicately billowing all around her, Ourania's wonderful warm arms thrown around her shoulders, Euna laughs with as little care or worry as she can ever remember carrying with her. It's a shame this would have to end. But it did. She's hurtling to the ground and when she lands she'll have to let go, and after that it'll only be an hour or two, tops, before she has to give all this up and go back to just being Errant again. But you know what? Worth.

    "You Majesty I don't know how much time I've got left here so I just want to say... when I first started watching your sh-- er, learned about your world, I had this really intense dream that it turned out I was adopted and that you turned out to be my... ah you probably get this a lot. Sorry, sorry. This has been such an honor."

    And then she lands. Crash! Despite the height, she's built for harder impacts than this; she doesn't even wobble. And now she has to let go. And now she has to turn around. Come on, Soldier. There's work to do.

    [Spending 1 Hold to "escape bindings and impediments places on me". Directly Engage: 10. Resisting or Avoiding Blows, and Taking the High Queen from him. 1 Hold remaining]
    Last edited by PhoeKun; 2020-01-20 at 04:32 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #713
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    POTENTIAL 2
    INSECURE

    “Euna’s... I screwed everything up,” Sara says, hoarsely. She can’t say Euna’s leaving. She can’t handle hurting like that again. Again! “She doesn’t want to be part of the team anymore. And that’s my fault. So... no.”

    The revelation that will shock the nation!

    “No, I’m really not okay. An okay person wouldn’t have put you in danger because she wanted to party and not think about this. An okay person wouldn’t... look, I get it looked romantic and crap, but it’s done. I ruined it. She’s the heart of the team and I don’t want some AEGIS shill taking her spot.”

    Without Euna, who’d be there to cover Brainstorm in a firefight? Who’d be there to advise Ferra on AEGIS protocol? Who’d be there for Sara? (Well, Victor, but that’s platonic, we all know that.)

    “Maybe I’ll go solo again. Like Locker said,” she continues, ignoring that Angel wasn’t there for that convo, “I’m a franchise now. Perfect for a solo career, y’know?” But it doesn’t exactly take a genius to recognize that her heart’s not exactly in it.
    freedom in the flame

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    "You, Victoria and Prometheus are a lot alike," said the Bound Eagle. "You all overthink things. You turn things over in your head until left is down, good is bad and everything is your fault. It's what makes you smart and stupid at the same time. You performed the quantum nanocomputations to build my brain and can't even see that I acted just because it was the right thing to do."

    Something terrible shifts in that cloud of dust. Victoria is gathering herself. You can hear the booted tramp of Spiral Corps soldiers drawing closer from every direction as the crowd races for the exits. You're outnumbered, outgunned, and in the middle of what the average Runner would call a Bad Op.
    "I want to say you're wrong, but you're probably right and it's a conversation to have when we're not surrounded by people looking to hurt us." There's no subtle way to get out of this. He's--well, if not a media celebrity, at least recognizable as 'that one dude who shows up behind @SARAHPHIM sometimes.' And even if he weren't, he's with a man that would stand out anywhere. So, no blending into the crowd. That means they have at least some options available.

    "I'm hoping that you have some more juice in that stealth suit of yours, because we're about to make some noise and every two-bit rent-a-merc is gonna come for us." One nanite whip takes out a skylight, while another lashes 'round Bound Eagle. Then he's swinging for the roof, and hoping like hell that none of the troopers are quick enough on the draw to keep him from fleeing the scene.

    Oh, he's gonna get so much s*** for this.

    [Unleash Your Powers to get away: holy crap a 10.]
    I run a Let's Play channel! Check it out!
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  25. - Top - End - #715
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    POTENTIAL 2
    INSECURE

    “Euna’s... I screwed everything up,” Sara says, hoarsely. She can’t say Euna’s leaving. She can’t handle hurting like that again. Again! “She doesn’t want to be part of the team anymore. And that’s my fault. So... no.”

    The revelation that will shock the nation!

    “No, I’m really not okay. An okay person wouldn’t have put you in danger because she wanted to party and not think about this. An okay person wouldn’t... look, I get it looked romantic and crap, but it’s done. I ruined it. She’s the heart of the team and I don’t want some AEGIS shill taking her spot.”

    Without Euna, who’d be there to cover Brainstorm in a firefight? Who’d be there to advise Ferra on AEGIS protocol? Who’d be there for Sara? (Well, Victor, but that’s platonic, we all know that.)

    “Maybe I’ll go solo again. Like Locker said,” she continues, ignoring that Angel wasn’t there for that convo, “I’m a franchise now. Perfect for a solo career, y’know?” But it doesn’t exactly take a genius to recognize that her heart’s not exactly in it.
    "Saraphim! Stop talking about your career!" said Angel-IKA, eyes wide in shock. "It doesn't matter! You're hurt, oh stars, I'm sorry, I should have seen..." She pulls you into an embrace. You're enveloped and overcome as she holds you like a valkyrie above the battlefield of your heart and life.

    "You've saved me twice now," she said. "But that's not why you're my hero. You're not my hero because you're talented, or powerful, or beautiful or - or famous. You're my hero because you believe in yourself. You can do things that I could never do. You say things I could never say, flirt with people I couldn't make eye contact with, wear clothes that I can't even bring myself to take out of the closet..." it doesn't make sense how someone so strong could talk about lacking confidence. "I live in a fancy prison. I never stand up for myself! Ever! My dad takes care of everything and I'm just meant to study the company until he dies and I take over. But you get to be on the outside who you are on the inside, and I can't bear the thought of you having to do something you don't want to do. I want you to fight for your dreams. I want you to not give up..."

    [Angel-IKA wants to shift your Danger up and Saviour down. Accept her words and clear a condition, or reject her influence and mark potential]

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Finally with a "ha!" and a wink she jumps just before an especially bendy punch with that comically large fist smashes her to pieces so that it hits him in the middle of the face so hard it knocks him off his feet. As she falls, dress delicately billowing all around her, Ourania's wonderful warm arms thrown around her shoulders, Euna laughs with as little care or worry as she can ever remember carrying with her. It's a shame this would have to end. But it did. She's hurtling to the ground and when she lands she'll have to let go, and after that it'll only be an hour or two, tops, before she has to give all this up and go back to just being Errant again. But you know what? Worth.

    "You Majesty I don't know how much time I've got left here so I just want to say... when I first started watching your sh-- er, learned about your world, I had this really intense dream that it turned out I was adopted and that you turned out to be my... ah you probably get this a lot. Sorry, sorry. This has been such an honor."

    And then she lands. Crash! Despite the height, she's built for harder impacts than this; she doesn't even wobble. And now she has to let go. And now she has to turn around. Come on, Soldier. There's work to do.

    [Spending 1 Hold to "escape bindings and impediments places on me". Directly Engage: 10. Resisting or Avoiding Blows, and Taking the High Queen from him. 1 Hold remaining]
    "I turned out to be your sister?" said Queen Ourania mischievously. She pats your cheek. "Thank you for rescuing me, dear princess. This day is already truly memorable, and I believe it will become even more so after you follow through on your threat to marry me." Oh wait, yeah, you said that didn't you? In front of everyone. And Ourania is already beckoning over the hapless Clockmaster. Oh no. Your habit of quoting lines from movies has finally come back to bite you...

    The battered, black-eyed and bruised Prince of Darkness, however, performs his last dark service - after crawling a way few steps he tears open a crackling hell-portal back to your prime universe and starts to slump inside. You've only got a short window before it closes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    "I want to say you're wrong, but you're probably right and it's a conversation to have when we're not surrounded by people looking to hurt us." There's no subtle way to get out of this. He's--well, if not a media celebrity, at least recognizable as 'that one dude who shows up behind @SARAHPHIM sometimes.' And even if he weren't, he's with a man that would stand out anywhere. So, no blending into the crowd. That means they have at least some options available.

    "I'm hoping that you have some more juice in that stealth suit of yours, because we're about to make some noise and every two-bit rent-a-merc is gonna come for us." One nanite whip takes out a skylight, while another lashes 'round Bound Eagle. Then he's swinging for the roof, and hoping like hell that none of the troopers are quick enough on the draw to keep him from fleeing the scene.

    Oh, he's gonna get so much s*** for this.

    [Unleash Your Powers to get away: holy crap a 10.]
    You duck over the eve to the rooftop seconds before it's perforated on all sides by scorching yellow hardlight blasts. All around you can here CSU sirens start to go. You can see scan-drones start to pour from nearby skyscrapers, scattering about like flocks of pigeons. It's finally happened, Brainstorm. You've been declared a problem by the Megacorporations and you're on the wrong side of the law. You've got a good head start but suddenly all of the inter-connected aspects of society are being informed, one after another, that you are outside its protection. You've been preparing for this day for all your life.

    Bode takes off his thermo-optic camouflage cape and offers it to you wordlessly. There's only room enough for one.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2020-01-23 at 09:09 PM.
    If the sun won't rise on our horizon
    We'll march on to spite the skies.

  26. - Top - End - #716
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    POTENTIAL 2

    Sara flinches at the touch, but doesn’t jerk herself away. She’s always been touchy-feely, you know? Always been comfortable touching her friends. It’s not all flirting for the cameras, you know. By the time Angel’s listing off the things that make @SARAHPHIM her hero, Sara has already wrapped her arms around her fan, giving her a bear hug. Touch is how you say you care about somebody, after all.

    “Okay,” she says. “Okay. But only because I can’t bear to see a fan cry, you know?” She pulls away, gives Angel a sniffly little finger gun. “I’ll fight for my dreams, and my dreams are saying... that I should convince Euna to stay here. With me. With us.
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  27. - Top - End - #717
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Game face: shattered. Euna turns absolutely scarlet and buries her face in her hands with mythical princess levels of cuteness. She can't. She can't even! Ourania!!!

    "I... um. Th-that was from a... erm, I mean uh, I-I'd l-love to... oh hey, that's my ride!"

    In a flutter of silks and a tingling whip of hair, the brave and invincible Princess Euna of AEGIS works up the very last of her courage and leaps up to kiss the High Queen on the cheek before making a mad scramble for the portal. Because as much as the unpleasant swooping in her gut might try to say otherwise, she doesn't want to get stuck here. She'd miss her home. She'd miss her work. She'd really miss the internet. Plus she promised Princess Alina she'd try.

    Still. She's got time, right? Just a little? She runs less than all out, suddenly mindful of her dress and trying to cut a cool or dare she even hope beautiful profile on her way out. She raises her right hand high and waves without breaking stride, her sleeve flowing like a waterfall beneath her elbow. She snatches up her bag as she goes, and then... And then she commits the most flagrant rebellion of AEGIS rules and protocols of her entire life. She snatches the badge off of her uniform, pivots forty-five degrees to her left, and lobs it Princess Adila. She crouches. She tenses for a leap. She makes it even worse.

    "Don't forget me! Don't forget me, ok?"

    She leaps. Or rather, she dive kicks. The top layer of her skirt flutters majestically as her boot collides with the back of Mr. Lucie's head and she rides him through the portal like a snowboard. Home again...

    But this time? As a Princess.

    [I dunno if we're still keeping books right now but if we are this is me spending my final Hold for another stun and the finish]

  28. - Top - End - #718
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    You duck over the eave to the rooftop seconds before it's perforated on all sides by scorching yellow hardlight blasts. All around you can hear CSU sirens start to go. You can see scan-drones start to pour from nearby skyscrapers, scattering about like flocks of pigeons. It's finally happened, Brainstorm. You've been declared a problem by the Megacorporations and you're on the wrong side of the law. You've got a good head start but suddenly all of the inter-connected aspects of society are being informed, one after another, that you are outside its protection. You've been preparing for this day for all your life.

    Bode takes off his thermo-optic camouflage cape and offers it to you wordlessly. There's only room enough for one.
    He's always known this day was going to come, but it's still upsetting when it happens. It's okay. There are plans in place. Granted, none of them include "blow up a convention center" as their starting point, but that's okay. He'll improvise. He's good at that.

    "Keep it," he says, and pushes the cloak away. "I've been looking for you for too long to let you get captured now."

    And then he's sprinting across the rooftops, one eye scanning for wires and low brick walls that will make this an awfully short escape attempt while the other tries to keep track of the dozens--crap, hundreds of drones on his tail. A push of a button on his speed-dial starts a prepared program. In two minutes, it will sent a message: 'Red Alert, pigs coming.' Mami will understand. So, strap the phone to a robot, send it scuttling in a direction, let the corps follow that signal while he ducks away.

    Away, in this case, means going to ground. Underground, actually. Under the city is a maze of tunnels, maintenance access ways, sewers, discarded subways, electrician's wirings, pipes, all of which are handily interconnected, block most signals, and are chock-a-brick with hiding spots. Once he's down, he's gone, and the only way to find him will be to mass enough mercs to search the entire system at once.
    I run a Let's Play channel! Check it out!
    Currently, we're playing through New Vegas as Gabriel de la Cruz, merchant and mercenary extraordinaire!

  29. - Top - End - #719
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    POTENTIAL 2

    Sara flinches at the touch, but doesn’t jerk herself away. She’s always been touchy-feely, you know? Always been comfortable touching her friends. It’s not all flirting for the cameras, you know. By the time Angel’s listing off the things that make @SARAHPHIM her hero, Sara has already wrapped her arms around her fan, giving her a bear hug. Touch is how you say you care about somebody, after all.

    “Okay,” she says. “Okay. But only because I can’t bear to see a fan cry, you know?” She pulls away, gives Angel a sniffly little finger gun. “I’ll fight for my dreams, and my dreams are saying... that I should convince Euna to stay here. With me. With us.
    "We're cheering for you," said Angel-IKA, sniffing back her own tears. "No matter what happens, we're all right behind you."

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Game face: shattered. Euna turns absolutely scarlet and buries her face in her hands with mythical princess levels of cuteness. She can't. She can't even! Ourania!!!

    "I... um. Th-that was from a... erm, I mean uh, I-I'd l-love to... oh hey, that's my ride!"

    In a flutter of silks and a tingling whip of hair, the brave and invincible Princess Euna of AEGIS works up the very last of her courage and leaps up to kiss the High Queen on the cheek before making a mad scramble for the portal. Because as much as the unpleasant swooping in her gut might try to say otherwise, she doesn't want to get stuck here. She'd miss her home. She'd miss her work. She'd really miss the internet. Plus she promised Princess Alina she'd try.

    Still. She's got time, right? Just a little? She runs less than all out, suddenly mindful of her dress and trying to cut a cool or dare she even hope beautiful profile on her way out. She raises her right hand high and waves without breaking stride, her sleeve flowing like a waterfall beneath her elbow. She snatches up her bag as she goes, and then... And then she commits the most flagrant rebellion of AEGIS rules and protocols of her entire life. She snatches the badge off of her uniform, pivots forty-five degrees to her left, and lobs it Princess Adila. She crouches. She tenses for a leap. She makes it even worse.

    "Don't forget me! Don't forget me, ok?"

    She leaps. Or rather, she dive kicks. The top layer of her skirt flutters majestically as her boot collides with the back of Mr. Lucie's head and she rides him through the portal like a snowboard. Home again...

    But this time? As a Princess.

    [I dunno if we're still keeping books right now but if we are this is me spending my final Hold for another stun and the finish]
    You catch one last glimpse of a scrambling Kazelia trying to get a good look at the portal, a stunned dragon holding your badge against her heart, a smiling vision in rainbow colours, a winking goddess - and then you're heading through the gap between worlds. It's a cluttered place and for a moment you have a glimpse of the vast gulf filled with all the people who have travelled between times and worlds - scorching cars, police boxes, raven-haired magical girls, cardboard boxes piloted by tigers, an endless series of young men with recent truck injuries...

    But then you arrive in scorching glory, crashing through a deserted warehouse, floorsurfing the Lord of Lies for thirty feet before you come to a dead halt directly in front of the most emotionally devastated @Sarahphim you've ever seen. You're still glittering in all your princess glory. For a moment there's total silence.

    "hey," said Locker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    He's always known this day was going to come, but it's still upsetting when it happens. It's okay. There are plans in place. Granted, none of them include "blow up a convention center" as their starting point, but that's okay. He'll improvise. He's good at that.

    "Keep it," he says, and pushes the cloak away. "I've been looking for you for too long to let you get captured now."

    And then he's sprinting across the rooftops, one eye scanning for wires and low brick walls that will make this an awfully short escape attempt while the other tries to keep track of the dozens--crap, hundreds of drones on his tail. A push of a button on his speed-dial starts a prepared program. In two minutes, it will sent a message: 'Red Alert, pigs coming.' Mami will understand. So, strap the phone to a robot, send it scuttling in a direction, let the corps follow that signal while he ducks away.

    Away, in this case, means going to ground. Underground, actually. Under the city is a maze of tunnels, maintenance access ways, sewers, discarded subways, electrician's wirings, pipes, all of which are handily interconnected, block most signals, and are chock-a-brick with hiding spots. Once he's down, he's gone, and the only way to find him will be to mass enough mercs to search the entire system at once.
    Down, down, down.

    Whenever it feels like you're alone you hear the roar of that sniper rifle and the shattering fragments of drones sprayed across nearby buildings. Any misjudgement or data hole you have is percussively corrected for. Bode is everywhere and is as ready for this day as you are.

    Before you set your phone loose you check your notifications - a universally ingrained habit that pays off hard this time. You've got a file transfer from Ferraphim1tp - "I don't know what you did, but it made a hella distraction. Here's your share of the loot >:3". You pop the memory card before you toss it. You've got a lot of data to go over. You've got a lot of material to work with.



    SESSION END


    [Do any final reactions you have, and then post your advertisement/exercise corner pages]
    If the sun won't rise on our horizon
    We'll march on to spite the skies.

  30. - Top - End - #720
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    Default Re: [Masks IC] Resurrection Roundabout: Drawing Individuals

    Ride, slide, hop, flip... twirl! Euna is the picture of fluidity and only vaguely aware of her surroundings as she dismounts her impromptu ride, flicks a pair of restraining cuffs out of her bag, and clicks them on her perp in a single, impossibly smooth motion. It takes her dress an extra couple of seconds to settle back into place, and her hair another second after that.

    "Oh," she squeaks as her eyes go wide, "Uh... yeah. Hey."

    She waves. This is awkward. And even in the dim lighting of a mostly-empty warehouse, she sparkles. This is even more awkward. Euna makes it halfway to frowning, pauses, and stops at simply pursing her lips, instead. And she stares at Sara.

    The disheveled Sara. The bruised and battered Sara. The "matted hair and even I can't pull off this look I've been crying so much" Sara. Everything here smells like rain and cheap beer mixed with sweat. And there's a million things she could say about any of this, but for a long and terrible moment she doesn't say any of them. She stares and she shimmers in her dress like a dew kissed flower in some idyllic painting. Underneath her feet, Mr. Lucie's head is circled by a bunch of stars and princess-themed cuckoo clocks. It's louder than it has any right to be. Euna coughs.

    "Well, I uh... a-are you... like, are you o-- hm. I don't know if you got, uh. Well. Anyway. I'm... do you, I mean, I need to get this thing process ASAP but after do you need, like, a lift home? Cause I could..."

    But that, I think, is as long as she'll be allowed to stammer.

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