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Topic Summary

Posted by: Cloak
« on: Yesterday at 08:37:46 AM »

Still on the hiatus, but stuck in the laundromat without my handheld, and I had this queued up, so . . .

New chapter.

CHAPTER TWO:
The Gathering

A old woman, who could have possibly been Malice -- though there was something wrong with her if she was -- shuffling about a dimly lit hovel situated within some sort of nondescript cavern.

She sang:

"They were such legends
Though they're long gone, their story lives on.
If I bring back that legend,
Their big Walker smarts gives me a new start
Yeah, the Twelve will help us win with all their great advice.
No more playing nice!
No more playing nice!!
Let's bring back a legend!
A legend to help my fight!
Let's bring back a legend!
A legend of darkness tonight!
No one in the RAF could possibly dream
Of our big scheme.
They'll all be astounded,
When the RAFians are done and my victory is won!
We just need the right alignment for my little surprise.
And I'll make the Twelve rise.
I'll make Twelve rise!!
Let's bring back a legend!
A legend to help my fight!
Let's bring back a legend!
A legend of darkness tonight!
Oh, let's bring back a legend!
A legend to help my fight!
Let's bring back a legend!
A legend of darkness tonight!
Let's bring back a legend!
A legend of darkness tonight!
"

With a gasp, Cloak awoke. He was left puzzled as to whether this was just a figment of his imagination, and not real, but a fabrication of his mind. Or if it was a Truth Dream -- and if it was happening now or if it was a prophetic dream. . . .

***

In a boardroom-like setting, with a crackling fire lit behind him, sat Odie, in a highbacked, winged chair. Totally a Montgomery Burns motif. He sat the head of the table with his fellows cloaked in darkness or dimness of light.

He smiled -- despite getting kicked out the Knights for his uselessness. He sang:

"They thought I was defeated.
But very soon we'll see
The shock as I rise from the flames,
So triumphantly.
I never thought I'd have this chance.
Oh, how long it's been.
A new opportunity,
And this time I'll win.
For I have a plan.
"

One of the gathered sang:

"Enlighten us now."

But Odie just sang, smug and egotistical:

"Yes, I have a plan!"

Another of the gathered sang:

"We wanna know how."

But Odie, still smug and arrogant, sang:

"Follow my lead,
That's all you need.
Yes, I have a plan!
We will be victorious!
It will be glorious!
All the forum's lush terrain
Will again be my domain!
For I have a plan!
Follow my lead,
That's all you need!
I have a plan!
Yes, I have a plan!
I have a plan!
Follow my lead,
That's all you need.
Yes, I have a plan!
"

The fire actually bloomed upward illuminating some of the gathered -- an Uxorite, an Aerophibian, a Prypiatosian-B in a containment suit that does not hinder his abilities and was shaped like a fit human male, an Appoplexian, and a yellow Cerebrocrustacean. There were more, of course, but these were just the ones that could be seen.



SOURCE SONGS: https://youtube.com/watch?v=CIAi5yYecHI and https://youtube.com/watch?v=-BRfeCx8TGU
Posted by: Cloak
« on: November 20, 2017, 06:16:14 AM »

Still on USUM hiatus. It'll probably end this Monday, the 27th, but, until then here's a chapter to tide you over.

New chapter.

BOOK CLVII:
DARK RAFIANS

CHAPTER ONE:
Shift into Turbo

GH was dispatched to a race track. It was evacuated due to fiend action. Apparently, it felt a "need for speed". GH found that rather lame, and groan-worthy. But he had his trusty guitar, and he knew Dino was watching Leatherhead -- she had become his primary babysitter, which she fully embraced.

Fortunately, it wasn't that difficult to find the fiend. The creature formed from a nearby red race car, like a Cybertronian, only its colar shifted. Its head was dark orange with a green band around its cerebellum and a vertical, monochromatic checkered flag band from is brow up. It had its mouth hidden behind a black mouthguard, and it had human-like eyes with green sclera and brown irises, which could be hidden by a retractable visor, not unlike that of Kineceleran. It had deep orange antennae-like ears. It had deep orange exhaust ports on its back. It had huge rubber tires its shoulders with green hubcap-like shoulders. Its upper arms and thighs were bone white. Its lower arms were deep red with a single purple growth on each one, and its human-like hands were black with a green triangle on the back that connects to the wrists. Its chest had a deep orange covering, but some of the engine block within showed through. Its hips were deep orange with a black, vertical stripe. Its knees contained headlights, surrounded in deep purple, with its shins being deep orange with a black vertical stripe. Its pontoon-like feet were black with a red interior and deep orange soles.

When the fiend first saw GH, it revved the wheels on its shoulders until they ignited. Then it jumped moderately high, and fired two spinning wheels of flame at GH from midair. He had to sidestep first to the right, then to the left, and then used his guitar in its axe mode to block a third flame wheel. Then he slashed at a fourth causing it to split into four fireballs which made fire pillars when they made contact with the ground. They, fortunately, fizzled out quickly enough.

Then it revved up its internal engine, and GH was surprised that this somehow generated some sort of powerful suction. He dug his feet into the asphalt as much as he could to resist this suction. Fortunately, it only lasted for but a brief moment.

Then it transformed back into a car -- GH easily saw were this was going. He threw his guitar, rather like Terra, Ventus, or Aqua throwing their Keyblades to form their vehicles, and it transformed into a hoverbike. He immediately jumped onto it, as the fiend finished it's transformation. It made a screeching noise as GH darted around the track with the fiend chasing him.

After what seemed to be an eternity, it transformed back, and GH reverted his guitar back to its normal musical instrument mode. GH narrowed his eyes. It was time to go on the offensive. He pulled out his favorite guitar pick, and played. He played so concentric circles of musical energy was emitted from his guitar, lashing the fiend. He played a heavy metal song that he knew Cloak was not fond of, and played with all the passion of a musician in the throes and thrall of their own music.

It actually took GH a moment to notice that the fiend was already destroyed. He was too into his must before then, though he still managed to control his symphokinetic attack to limit any collateral damage. When he did notice, despite himself, he felt disappointed.

He really liked that song.

***

Demos called it a "turbosapien". Demos gave no reason for the purpose of this fiend.

***

Malice was starting to find this as entertaining as track racing. But she was too busy snoring to really watch this, or even scheme. She was in her eighties, remember.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: November 17, 2017, 05:12:04 AM »

Probably the last chapter before the USUM hiatus.

New chapter.

CHAPTER TWENTY:
Throwing Shade

Parker headed to a large castle, purported to be haunted. It was much too early for Halloween, so Parker felt a tad disgruntled at being dispatched for this mission. He entered the castle, and immediately felt a distinct "Ghosts 'n Goblins" motif with this castle. And, strangely enough, the castle's interior seemed paradoxically larger than the castle's exterior.

"Great. Now I'm in a Halloween-themed video game." Parker grumbled, a little irritated his alone time with Helen was interrupted. "Wonderful."

The SPARTAN really didn't care for the "ooga booga" atmosphere. It just reeked of an amateurish haunted house whose makers had a bottomless wallet. All these things were either gaudy and hackneyed or kitsch and overdone. Just plain not scary. Not in the least.

Then again, he was a RAFian. He's seen far more frightening things before dinnertime than most people see in their lifetimes. But, then again, this was less scary than a fanged apple or an annoying orange -- so, there was that.

He just hoped to find the fiend and get this over with. Then Tyr told him something that Parker had to as him to repeat. That would be so cliche -- but it was true. The fiend was hanging from the ceiling, like a vampire. The creature had the svelte body plan akin to that of a Vladat. It had black, bat-like ears, a long, pointed nose, a pointed chin, vampire fangs, and large, human-like eyes with pale yellow sclera and pale orange irises. Its domed head was pale yellow with purple markings. Its neck was dark brown with a black high collar. It was hard to tell if it was wearing clothing, or if it was actually part of his body. It had pale yellow chiropteran wings with black membranes. It had an orange chest with pointed shoulders, a black back, a purple abdomen, and a green waist. Its upper arms, pelvis, and thighs were paper white. Its lower arms were yellow with purple blades shaped like the dorsal fin of a shark, while its wrists, hands, and clawed fingers were onyx black. Its tail was yellow with a black tip. Its lower legs were yellow with black and orange markings. Its feet were like that of an eagle, but purple with black talons. Its claws could extend into a spare pair of wings.

When it awoke and saw Parker, it gave an earsplitting shriek, and righted itself, staying in that corner of the dark ceiling. Parker was less than enthused. "Gee, Tyr, this looks fun. Wouldn't you agree?"

He paused.

"It was a joke, Tyr," Parker said, now even more irritated.

It flew across the top of this grand dining hall from side to side, and tried to dive at Parker to drain his blood, but his armor would not allow that. hen it tried to swoop down again after crossing the room once more, hidden in the darkness around the ceiling, Parker avoided this by standing under him and rolling to the side that he had more space when it dived down.

After finally landing, it attacks with two petrifying stare beams, and then attacks with audiokinetic shrieks twice, one upward and one downward. When the concentric circles hit a wall, it returned to it and charge its next soundwave attack.

"This is so ludicrous," Parker muttered, pausing for only a moment to listen to Tyr's brief commentary. Then he replied, "Shut up, Tyr."

The petrifying beams were able to be avoided by jumping over them -- somehow. The first soundwave, downward one, could be avoided by jumping over it, and the second soundwave, the upward one, by rolling under it. It'll then fly upwards and repeat this attack sequence. That's one thing you can trust about these fiends -- their limited tactical ability to change up their attack patterns.

Parker tried a little something . . . new that he had been working on with his armor. He worked on his armor whenever he had a spare moment and wasn't with Helen. It was akin to Kevin Levin's car to the former.

Parker held out his arm at the creature, and took aim. He only hesitated for a moment as he tried to silence Tyr, claiming he knew what he was doing. His gauntlet fired of his hand (revealing a fireproof glove beneath -- Parker wasn't Kryptonian, after all) which rocketed toward the fiend, and he did so with his other arm. Both shots hit and the fiend fell to the ground.

Once it regained its senses, as Parker's gauntlets returned to him, sliding back onto his arms, it flew up again. Clearly preparing to dive again. Only this time, Parker was really ready for it, and dodged it easily. He fired each gauntlet thrice more, and each strike hit. The fiend was slain.

Parker turned to leave, actually finding the performance of these rocket gauntlet a bit more lacking than he cared for.

***

Demos called it a "shedosapien". He intended it as a mascot attraction for a haunted house amusement park. It ran into a snag when it displayed vampiric tendencies.

***

Malice found the battle about as entertaining as a "Twilight" reading. She was snoring in a threadbare armchair.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: November 16, 2017, 06:10:28 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER NINETEEN:
Shinobi

Blue was sitting outside the forum, a fair distance away, meditating on the League stronghold massacre. He was trying to calm his mind, still his spirit, and fortify his body, as he tried to conceive of an assailant who could have possibly committed such violence. Seeing the carnage, it was clear that it was from someone who enjoyed every last instance of of it. Someone who actually revelled in the gruesome, grotesque ways they were murdered. Someone who was clearly a sadist.

Could he have gotten there sooner? Could have done something? Something to save them from this heinous fate? Something to . . . save murderers in their own right. He had to remember, not all that were slain were innocent. Not all had clean hands. Assassins may have been people, but so were the people they killed as a vocation. This was clearly one of those morally gray areas that he heard people talk about. Rarely is anything simple as black and white, very rarely.

Blue didn't say anything to the others, but he did look at that place with fear, but he did have an attachment to it. It was the first home he had ever known to be as such. It was a horrible place, true. The Tribunal robbed him of the family and life he would have had before they took him. True, he could always look up his parents to see if they're still around -- but he had absolutely nothing to go on. No idea what they looked like, and no idea what their names could be. Or what his real name was. Perhaps it was Bryce. He liked that name, Bryce.

He supposed it was odd, to feel both an attachment and a hatred for a place. He had never returned there once he left. He had told himself that it was for the best, that there was nothing left for him back there. But he had to grapple with a sense of guilt from time to time. He had been selfish in only thinking of himself as he escaped. He had never thought to save any of the others, the others that were surely indoctrinated and brainwashed. And killed, either at the massacre or in the intermittent years that came before.

"Boy," Blue said, not even opening his eyes nor turning around. So confident he was in his skills. "I know you're there. What is it you want?"

"Forgive my interruption, Blue Prodigy," Initiate #100957 said, respectfully.

"It's Blue," the RAFian said, in rather clipped tones. His instincts were yelling at him to trust the boy -- he did not know why. Perhaps he was an obscure relative? Nah, that's too much "Days of Our Lives". "I dropped the 'Prodigy' part when I left the League. Now, what is it you're after?"

Initiate #100957 put his kusarigama and short sword neatly on the ground, and sank to his knees. He bowed forward, head down, exposing his vulnerable neck.

"I wish to become your apprentice," the fourteen-year-old boy said, head still down, neck still open for attack. "I -- I wish to understand."

Blue opened his eyes, and considered the boy for a long moment. He was unsure if he should trust the boy. "You understand that I must vet what you're saying, right?"

"I understand," the boy said. "I'll do anything to earn your trust."

The response was eager, and yet Blue found it believable. But he was having problems trusting his own judgement at the moment, and trouble dealing with seeing the carnage at the stronghold massacre.

***

"He's telling the truth," Cloak said. "Either that, or he's proficient liar."

Blue wasn't too satisfied with this answer and went to Yarin for absolute confirmation. Yes, the telepathic probes were horribly invasive, when involuntarily. And most people were unaware of the probes, unless Yarin dug too deeply.

"He's being honest," the Nyac said. "Even if he is an accomplished Occlumens, I would be able to tell. I would have to delve deeper, granted, if he was employing Occlumency and the deeper I go the greater the risk of psychic damage to the boy's mind. Possibly leaving him in a catatonic state, or insane. I never dare to go that deep. But, my probes tell me he's basically a flatscan human -- no magical ability whatsoever."

"So, I can trust what he claims?" Blue asked. "We don't need another incident like Itellsya."

Itellsya was to this date the first and only RAFian traitor. He went to work for Malice, but nobody ever found out why. And now never will, now that he, as Rumor, was dead.

"His mind isn't anything like Itellsya," Yarin said. "The thing about Itellsya was I should have reported that he had a bit of a powerlust, but I assumed that it was due to his age. I was wrong to assume that. However, this boy -- Initiate Number-one-zero-zero-nine-five-seven -- all he wants is to be the best that he can be. And I'm not sure he even realizes this himself -- he just wants to be respected. He never wanted to kill you, Blue. Not really. It was just an obligation that he thought he had to do -- by telling him about the Tribunal's intended betrayal -- he lost all loyalty towards them. He believed you wholeheartedly, Blue. And he still does."

Blue nodded. He turned to call the boy over. Initiate #100957 hastened to respond, taking a knee and bowing his head. Blue still saw a lot of himself at that age in the boy, without really meaning to. He lifted the boy to his feet.

"What's you name?"

"Initiate Number --"

"No, your real name."

"Real name?" the boy asked. He was genuine flummoxed.

Blue sighed, seeing another similarly. "Then how about I give you one that's less of a . . . mouthful."

"Really?"

"How about 'Shinobi'?" Blue asked. "'Shin', for short?"
Posted by: Cloak
« on: November 15, 2017, 09:56:22 PM »

Trust me, you weren't thinking about that, with the ominous atmosphere when we arrived on the stronghold's land (and your mind was on Leatherhead, anyway -- parental concerns) -- just wait for the next chapter. It will be a bit heavy.

New chapter.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN:
Dead or Deserted

The inside of the stronghold was dingy and . . .

"I am so glad that I left LH with Dino," GH said, as he looked around this grisly mausoleum of death. Blood was smeared everywhere, miscellaneous viscera lingering in places, and there was a fair smattering of mostly intact bodies here and there, lying motionless. This was no longer a stronghold -- it was a tomb.

Blue was speechless. This wasn't a fight -- it was a massacre.

He was expecting resistance as he went for the Tribunal, sure. He was killing aware that he might have to draw blood with his trust sword, but this? This hellish, nightmarish scene? He couldn't have conceived of it. And they were just seeing the aftermath of what happened.

And what did happen here? Did they get too overconfident in their defenses? Overconfidence often spells disaster. Complacency, as well, can lead to catastrophe. But it didn't really explain what happened here.

Phoenix and GH looked put off, but were managing well. Cloak was disturbed, as the fact that leaving something more than a cloak behind after death was still quite foreign to him.

Blue was still looking around horrified, realizing that the nineteen initiates that were sent to kill him -- they were the only survivors of this massacre. But he wasn't so silly to think that that's why the Tribunal sent them out. They must have not foreseen this outcome. Were they too -- ?

He had to find out. He was only barely aware that Cloak was with him. The other two were not far behind. They had to go to the innermost chamber . . . that's where the Tribunal lived and met to discuss how to further their goals. If they were still alive, then they would be there.

Blue had Cloak open the overly ornate door, rather unceremoniously. And there they were. Still sitting in their ridiculously opulent daimyo like robes in too flashy colors. Blue, at first, thought that all seven were still alive. But Cloak dashed that thought.

"They're dead, Blue," Cloak said.

"They're sitting up," Blue countered, not daring to believe.

Cloak flicked his hand, causing a slight breeze to rush the area, and sweeping through all the members of the Tribunal. All seven heads tumbled off their bodies and rolled onto to the floor before the four. Their headless bodies finally slumped down, several slipping off their seats.

"They are dead," Blue said. He couldn't keep his surprise from his voice. Of all the things he anticipated, not one of them came true. Someone had beaten him to the punch, and went completely overboard. "I didn't expect this."

"Who would do this?" GH inquired. He looked rather green -- but that could just be the awful smell in the room. It was this smell that caused Cloak to keep his distance from the bodies. He knew the mechanics of decomposition, but still found it odd and strange and foreign.

"I don't know," Blue said, earnestly. "Whoever it was, it had to be the ultimate assassin."

"Whoever it was," Phoenix said, assessing what this meant, "that means that they're a present and current danger. And what's worse is that they're still at large. We haven't a clue what species or what individual did this."

Cloak examined the smelly environment, trying to discern any evidence -- but the overpowering odor was too much to be ignored effectively, too pervasive to be disregarded.

"All I can tell is that they've been attacked by bladed weapons -- no telltale claw marks or gunfire residue or evidence. I cannot think of any other species capable of such a massacre. . . . Now . . . can we please get out of here? This place reeks of death."
Posted by: gh, King of Birbs
« on: November 15, 2017, 09:29:30 PM »

Cloak, come on. You know I would have chewed you out for using my real name. :P
Posted by: Cloak
« on: November 15, 2017, 02:34:19 PM »

Yeah, might be over my requisite twenty chapters with this book.

New chapter.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN:
Just a Minor Jump Cut

Blue managed to only recruit GH, Cloak, and Phoenix. GH was able to leave Leatherhead with Dino, who wasn't a reluctant babysitter, like Saffa*. They were in a rather secluded jungle, with the sheer cacophony of bird calls, as if they were protesting the presence of this stronghold, well hidden by rushing water of a waterfall. The stronghold itself, square in shape with high stone walls had adhered itself to the outermost lip of the waterfall, were the water cascaded down below. It was at least a seventy-six-foot drop from the edge of this waterfall. This waterfall also powered the facility as well, much like how water wheels power mills and whatnot.

There was a retracting bridge that allowed entry at specific times. And, yes, this bridge was battered with water. Apparently, the Tribunal was confident enough that no one would gain entry without their okay -- but Blue managed, so it was just difficult, not impossible. Even now, Blue had spotty memories how he did it -- but he was sure luck played a large part of it. He thought he used floating debris to help him make it to the banks. And once he left, he had no inclination to return, before now. It would be like Cloak returning to his mother's house again -- this place was filled with bad, and often painful memories for Blue.

"Um, how are we gonna get across?" GH asked. "I think if we wait for the bridge, we'd kinda lose the element of surprise."

"You disappoint me, Logan," Cloak said, making a simple sweeping gesture with his right hand, and an energy platform that was scarlet in the center and turned gold as it radiated out to the edges materialized on the bank right in front of them.

"Oh," GH said, "right."

"Let's go, then," Phoenix said, and Cloak ferried them across. Upon a better look at the citadel stronghold, Cloak was stricken with how reminiscent it was to Azkaban -- though he never visited the place, and didn't know if Azkaban even existed in this realm.

However, the moment that Cloak's feet touched the ground and he felt the vibrations through the earthen and stone mediums, he turned to address Blue, "Are you sure that this is the right place?"

"Absolutely," Blue said. Every step was awakening a memory. "This is where I was . . . trained."

He had trouble admitting that he was indoctrinated here. That he was . . . brainwashed here, but his conscience could not be suppressed or beaten out of him. He couldn't help but wonder about the lives of the victims that the Tribunal wanted him to take.

"There's no one here, Blue." Cloak said, with the certainty all Realm Walkers seemed to have.

"That can't be right," Blue argued.

"There isn't anyone here, other than us," Cloak said, sounding genuinely disturbed. "That's alive, anyway. You still want to proceed?"

Blue did. They came this far, and, though he didn't mention it to Cloak, a part of him vehemently disagreed with the Element Master's assessment. This place was always so busy. So full of bustling people. Sure, a majority of them were assassins and would kill any outsiders that violated the sanctity of this place.

Cloak used his his mastery over the Earth element to crack the stronghold's outer wall like an egg, and the team entered. Blue was dismayed to find that Cloak's assessment was . . .

Accurate.



* ;)
Posted by: Cloak
« on: November 15, 2017, 10:04:09 AM »

Don't quote me on this, but one of these initiates may be coming back. ;)

New chapter.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN:
The Final Initiate, the Kusarigamajutsu Initiate

Just one more initiate to deal with now.

And yet, Blue felt the need to not be too harsh on the initiates, though he was, admittingly, in his inner monologues. But that was just fuelled by annoyances and frustrations. He knew that many the initiates that the Tribunal recruits were just infants or really young (and impressionable) children. Some were set to menial tasks, and that's all they ever known.

Although, that doesn't really excuse their lack of skill and incompetence -- but they were probably handpicked because of those traits. Of course, the Tribunal would not have been forthright with that little factoid. That would mar the sense of validation, vindication, and recognition they wanted all nineteen of these initiates that they sent to kill Blue to feel. And Blue strongly suspected that they declined to inform them that failure would mean death from the Tribunal itself, if Blue did not oblige. And Blue never obliged.

Blue strongly suspected that these initiates were sent, not to kill him (but bully for them if they, by some miracle, managed), but to goad Blue into killing them without mercy. But he was a RAFian, and quite merciful in his own right. These initiates may have been frustratingly incompetent, easily disarmed, or too involved with their own destructive foibles, but that did not necessitate their deaths.

But the Tribunal was always like this. Always treated the deaths of others -- the unprovoked and needless murder of others -- with a cavalier dismissal. However, if the threat was turned against them and it was their lives in jeopardy . . . then suddenly, that would be taken with the utmost seriousness and treated with scandalized tones. This flagrant hypocrisy always sickened Blue, and it always seemed to be a hypocrisy that the Tribunal themselves were largely ignorant of. And Blue suspected that, despite their inherent dishonesty, that this ignorance was genuine on their part.

Blue ****ed his head to the right ever so slightly, and seized the end of the fundo, or the heavy iron weight, of a kusarigama that whizzed mere centimeters from his left ear. He held it tightly, and felt the wielder of the the kusarigama trying to tug it out of his grip. The wielder clearly lacked any real strength.

"A kusarigamajutsu initiate, I take it?" Blue said, without turning around or releasing the kusarigama. "The final one, at that. Your predecessors all failed to kill me, and I mean more than the other eighteen I dealt with earlier."

Still not relinquishing the kusarigama, Blue turned to face his would-be assassin. He was dismayed to find that the kid couldn't be any older than fourteen, fifteen. He found himself strongly reminded of Leatherhead for some reason, and his irate frustration seemed to melt away into a deep sadness. This boy was clearly deeply indoctrinated into the philosophy of deep devotion and unwavering allegiance. He didn't have a choice, any dissent beaten and terrified out of him. The Tribunal's methods were cruel.

This boy probably hadn't a clue that his real parents, assuming the Tribunal didn't do away with them (and make it look like an accident or a murder-suicide), were probably still looking at him. The boy probably didn't even have a name that he would recognize as one, just an initiate number. Blue saw an awful lot of himself in this boy the more he considered.

"Let go!" the boy demanded.

"No," Blue said, sadly. He wondered idly if this boy was too far gone, too indoctrinated with the principals that the Tribunal wanted to instill. Or did he have a rebellious heart? A defiant spirit? A restive mind? Or was his boyhood recalcitrance replaced by abject compliance?

"Let go!"

"Boy, you're doing yourself no favors," Blue said. His tone remained sad and knowing. "I know the Tribunal has sent you to try to kill me."

"And I will! As soon as you let go!" the boy declared. He was showing the usual childhood distortion, the delusion that your capability is more than what it actually is. He continued to demand, "Let go!"

"Boy, they do not expect you win."

"Liar!"

"They do not expect you to win," Blue repeated, somehow both cold and gentle at the same time, "because they know you cannot."

"Lies!"

"You cannot because I have more experience, and more training," Blue said. "You cannot kill me because you fail to understand. It is not so easy to snuff out a life, knowing that you are doing so."

"Shut up! You don't know what you're talking about." the bellicose boy snarled.

"But . . . I do," Blue said. He did not relax his grip, which irritated the boy. "They do not expect you to kill me."

The boy said nothing, but continued to struggle with the kusarigama chain.

"They expect me to kill you," Blue said, quietly earnest. "That's why they've been sending wave after wave after wave of initiates after me, under the guise that I deserve to die because I escaped that cultish League of Assassins."

The boy stopped struggling, and looked at Blue. He was starting to believe, starting to question everything he was lead to believe . . . even his stubborn thoughts to stick to the Tribunal's narrative wasn't really sticking, as he was starting to see several rather conspicuous holes in it that he couldn't explain away as irrelevant. And the way Blue spoke, it actually spoke to the boy.

"And," Blue said, "if you return to the stronghold while I still draw breath, then the Tribunal themselves will kill you."

The boy dropped the kusarigama. Whether he was horrified or terrified, it was hard to tell. Perhaps it was both. To the boy without a name, to Initiate #100957, it was as if Blue informed him that his parents had designs on killing him if he didn't get straight A's in a class at school.

Initiate #100957 ran away, leaving his kusarigama behind. Blue watched him go, fighting an urge to go after him. The boy wasn't his responsibility, although a part of Blue screamed at him that he was.

He just gave the boy the hard truths he needed to hear, the truths the boy had already suspected and Blue confirmed. But Blue had a mission of his own, and he would have to recruit some of his friends.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: November 14, 2017, 06:14:16 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN:
The Kenjutsu Initiate and the Naginatajutsu Initiate

Blue slowed his walk and considered. He knew that there were three initiates left. He assumed that their competency left much to be desired, akin to their predecessors. He didn't want to lead them back to the forum. That was his headquarters, his stronghold. It's where he laughed, slept, and lived. He would also endanger the other RAFians.

Not because these initiates were particularly dangerous. Oh, no. Their incompetence made the idea of them as a legitimate threat laughable. But they carried what essentially amounted to body cams that had a direct feed to the Tribunal. And that would be the last thing that Blue wanted. The Tribunal would use that information . . . and may actually get what they wanted.

Sure, there's Code Avalon, and it's more reliable than it was over a year ago, but it's still being perfected. And it wasn't flawless or infallible. Granted, technically, nothing is infallible and flawless -- perfection doesn't truly exist, and only fools strive to achieve undeniable perfection.

If the initiates don't find him, then he will have to hunt down the remaining three. Shouldn't be too hard -- they're all wearing those stupid ninja-like initiate outfits. They'd probably be trainees in the last three disciplines of ninjutsu.

Suddenly, Blue ducked a slicing whizz through the air. Then he leaped over another. Sidestepped to the right to dodge and a hacking slash downward.  Wheeled around to the left to dodge an upward slash to see the initiate using what appeared to be a three-foot katana.

"Wow," Blue said, "the Tribunal finally sent a competent initiate this time. Kenjutsu, I presume?"

The initiate said nothing.

"Ah," Blue said. He was feeling talkative for some reason. Perhaps his inner Spider-Man was coming out. "One of those strong silent types, I see."

Again, the initiate was silent.

"Well," Blue said, "can we hurry up and get this charade over with? I need to -- I have an errand to do. It's kinda important, and can't wait."

Once again, the initiate was silent, and just swung his sword, almost as he was a mindless automaton. It was unnerving now. It was like he was lobotomized or something.

Blue caught the blade in his arm bladed arm grieves, and it was caught in the hooked blades. Then Blue, with a great amount of strength (not superhuman strength though) he disarmed the initiate, as the sword sank a foot into the soft soil. There had been a drenching rain the night before.

Blue left the initiate, whom he assumed to be defeated. He was getting a bit ambivalent, dangerously so. He continued to look for the remaining two initiates -- the sooner he deals with them, the sooner he could cut them off at their head.

His path was soon obstructed by an initiate with a naginata, a Japanese analogue to the medieval glaive. The blade at the edge of the polearm had a single edge, but without any ornate pattern. The polearm shaft was lacquered and looked well-maintained. It was a simple, vanilla sort of weapon. And the naginatajutsu initiate was actually competent with it.

Blue dodged each strike, with the benefit of the densely packed trees making the weapon less effective than it would ordinarily have. So, Blue stuck to the shadows. Hiding in plain sight.

But then something fortuitously unexpected happened.

The previous initiate, the kenjutsu initiate came over, and couldn't see Blue either. But instead of joining forces with the naginatajutsu initiate, he started to argue with him. The two were so loud, with actual words drowned out by one another.

This was an opportunity to get away from them, and Blue smiled. This was most certainly a way to defeat them. Division amongst the ranks.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: November 13, 2017, 10:29:57 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN:
The Kayakujutsu Initiate and the Seishinteki Kyoyo Initiate

Blue stopped his path to the Tribunal stronghold, and made a detour to go back to the forum. Had he allowed his pride to rule his judgement, he might have get himself in a sticky situation that he wouldn't have gotten himself out of, no matter how good he was. It would be wiser to bring in allies as a definitive backup.

He would recruit Dino -- she could cause quite a stir, quite a distraction, being a dinosaur and all. That would allow the rest of them to get in -- he thought heavily who he would recruit to help him. Cloak would have definitely been of help, as well as Esty if she was there. Cloak would be able to use his Earthsight to easily scout the place out ahead of time, and Esty would be backup muscle, so to speak. But she was also not likely an option, as she was so rarely at the forum these days.

He probably should take any RAFian raring to go -- but no, that would be unwise. It should be thought about more tactfully. Strategically. The Tribunal isn't a force to be taken lightly, despite their occasional incompetence and questionable leadership.

Besides, if the information he got when Empress Goose body hopped into Alan was true, that meant there was like five more initiates out to get him. But they'd probably be just ineffectual as their predecessors, Blue assumed.

Then he heard something. A sloshing sound. Blue looked annoyed. Yep, it was about the right time for another initiate. Would this one defeat themselves too? Or just required to be disarmed?

It was the initiate in the same ninja garb, only with a clashing Yosemite Sam-type moustache, which kinda made the whole ninja motif pointless. He had a large, bulbous nose, and was on the short side. He was sloshing around what appeared to be a spherical, cartoonish bomb. The insides clearly weren't only damp, but soaked through. There was no excuse for that, from an obvious kayakujutsu initiate. How would he get the mixture for such a thing wrong, and why didn't he keep it dry. Everyone knows that if you want to deal with combustible substances that you want to keep water out of the equation, as water hinders combustion.

He didn't even see Blue, and had his back to him. He was muttering curses and expletives under his breath -- and Blue had to hand it to him, some of them were remarkably creative -- but he continued to be obvious to Blue's presence. So what would be the point in Blue calling attention to himself and start a battle that he would likely win given the sheer incompetence of his initiate predecessors?

The answer was easy. There was no point whatsoever in unnecessarily engaging with the initiate when he could simply walk by him. And so he did. The initiate was none the wiser, still spitting out his string of creative expletives and curses.

This was really getting to easy. The Tribunal, in their efforts to insult him (he was sure of this), had not realized a serious drawback in this plan. All the initiates that they sent were outright incompetent, or inadequately trained, or, in many cases, BOTH. They had zero chance of succeeding, and Blue suspected that the Tribunal might have another ulterior motive to this -- perhaps they count killing these initiates towards their kill count, making it sound ever so more impressive. After all, that damn kill count is what they care the most about, anyway. The lives of others they couldn't care about less.

Blue continued to walk to the forum -- it wasn't too much of a detour from going to the Tribunal's stronghold -- and see if he could recruit any of the others help. It was against his pride and ego, naturally, but his wisdom in this manner and his tactical mind triumphed over them. But he also was anticipating running into another initiate.

And so he did. But it wasn't what he expected. He surmised that this rather generic-looking initiate was a seishinteki kyoyo initiate, but something was off. He looked to be about sixteen, seventeen-years old, and he sat upon the grassy ground with his back to a rather unimpressive waterfall. His legs were folded, and he had his hands upon his knees. His eyes were shut, but Blue thought he could detect some R.E.M. beneath the initiate's eyelids.

But he was sure that the initiate wasn't asleep. Not really. Blue had shrewdly deduced that the initiate was astral projecting their consciousness elsewhere. Who knows where it could be? Cloak may have been able to see it, but not him. But Blue had a harsh criticism for this initiate, and he was sure that astral projection was not a technique within seishinteki kyoyo

Astral projection could be so dangerous. You're basically leaving your body vacant whilst your mind, soul, consciousness -- whatever term you prefer -- wanders about aimlessly. Blue wasn't sure if astral possession -- that is, astral projecting yourself into the body of another and either "riding" it or taking it over -- was a thing. But while your body is left unoccupied, that means that any other noncorporeal entity or a being such as an Ectonurite could take it over and claim it as its own, only releasing it back to you of their own, and sole, volition.

So, by going on an astral projected trip, you risk forfeiting your true body to another power. True, this power might just dominate you anyway, if it wanted your body and it had the ability to possess you, like Goose did with Alan, but the possessing entity might find this more preferable, as their would be entirely no resistance, while you could possibly muster up some if it didn't take you by surprise.

Or your body could even be locked away from you -- Collocorpus, for instance. Then what would you do? You'd be stuck in the astral realm forevermore, unable to leave -- assuming the astral realm and the spirit realm were two different, separate things. . . .

All in all, Blue concluded, astral projection was stupid due to having more risks than benefits, in his opinion. But, this allowed him to walk pass the the initiate with no problem. He had bigger concerns to deal with than the poor decisions of an initiate.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: November 12, 2017, 05:17:42 AM »

It doesn't come out until Friday, Dino.

New chapter.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:
The Intonjutsu Initiate and the Shinobi-iri Initiate

Blue fell back into deep thought, and came to a realization.

What did he care what the Tribunal thought of him? Why should he care? They only cared about their kill counts, as if it was a scorecard. Why would he care about the opinions of such people? Granted, they were the people who raised him. But they were also the people who took him away from his true parents.

How it shattered his worldview when he found out. They got lazy with keeping this nugget of information from him, as he witnessed them kidnapping a baby. Killing his parents to do so. Then eventually killing the child when he proved too willful for their liking, as well as failing his first task monumentally. This turns Blue against them and he escaped shortly after that.

He knew that the Tribunal took it as a betrayal, but he saw what they did as a betrayal. They stole him from his parents. His family. He had found a surrogate family in RAF, but it wasn't the same thing, was it? He had no clue where he came from before the League stole him away. They robbed him -- robbed of knowing his heritage.

"You come on out," Blue said, suddenly. His tone was almost bored. He had been aware that some one was concealed and walking behind him for quite some time. It was some baby-faced man. "If you're going to master intonjutsu, then you need to work on being quiet. Everyone in the tri-state area could hear your approach."

The man was indeed an intonjutsu initiate, which had presumably come on the same orders as the others. But what really irritated Blue was that he had no weapon whatsoever, and he could easily tell by the way he walked, by the way he put weight on his feet, that this guy was no martial arts master. He couldn't even master the art of shutting up unnecessary noise.

"You think you can kill me without -- oh, what's the point in keeping up the pretense?" Blue said, immediately flipping over the initiate and giving him a sleeper hold until he was unconscious. "This is getting ridiculous now. The sheer incompetence!"

Blue continued on, continuing his contemplation of the League and how he would cut the head of this demon organization. And the more that he thought, the more he considered getting the others as backup. Not help, but backup. Just in case things go south.

Well, backup and to bear witness. To corroborate and validate his goal, his primary aim. Yes, that would be for the best. And they'd be there if he was somehow outmatched.

Then he heard it. From the movement sounds, and the way he moved, Blue could tell that this was a shinobi-iri, the art of stealth and infiltration. But this initiate was about as stealthy as a heavily inebriated elephant and stood out like a tyrannosaur in the middle of a metropolis* in his obsequious desire to obey the Tribunal.

The sheer incompetence of these initiates were starting to get to Blue. It was becoming more than an insult. This was an irritation. An affront and an offense in every way. Half the time all he needed to do was disarm the initiate (and even THAT wasn't especially challenging) or they defeat themselves! It was clearly these initiates were very barely trained before being sent after him.

Perhaps the Tribunal's resources were not as they pretended. Perhaps they were more destitute than he remembered. Perhaps they exhausted too many resources just trying to kill him. In any case, this was just plain offensive and outrageous. These initiates had no chance in hell of beating him -- and the Tribunal had to have known that.

There was a sharp gasp behind him as the shinobi-iri ran into a thick blackberry briar. It would take him a while to extricate himself from it, as he had somehow gotten himself thoroughly entangled in it. Meanwhile, Blue did not turn around. He didn't even break stride.




* Yes, that was a "Jurassic Park 2" reference.
Posted by: DinosaurNothlit
« on: November 11, 2017, 01:02:24 PM »

Poor Blue, he's probably getting bored of initiates just defeating themselves.  ::)

Have fun playing the new Pokemon game!
Posted by: Cloak
« on: November 11, 2017, 06:00:01 AM »

Just a note, Memoirs will be on a week-long hiatus once I get Pokemon Ultra Sun. I might need a break from the game once and a while, and might briefly break this hiatus, but I wouldn't count on it.

New chapter.

CHAPTER TWELVE:
The Hensojutsu Initiate and the Shurikenjutsu Initiate

Blue continued on, deep in his own thoughts.

He would have to take out all seven of them. And he would have to do it alone. His pride would allow for nothing less. Not to mention he did not want the humiliation of the Tribunal knowing that he needed help in order to take them down.

The whole scene played out in his mind. He would come in with a select group of RAFians, and the Tribunal would laugh derisively and jeer at him for needing help, insinuating that he wouldn't be able to defeat them singlehandedly. He was confident in his skills that he would be able to take them down.

He failed to take into account that he would have to break back into their stronghold, which was likely to be strongly staffed by a "royal guard" of high-tier assassins. Although that would also be stupid on their part, having assassins as a "royal guard" unless they conditioned them to be so devoted to them to be borderline -- or full-on -- cultists with the Tribunal themselves as their perceived messiahs.

Its been many years since Blue left the League. It may very well have changed and the Tribunal may have changed their leadership policies -- though Blue highly doubted that they were any less dictatorial or tyrannical with their position of power.

Blue was distracted when he saw a mesh covered by leaves, grass, mud, and bark. There was obviously a person beneath this mesh. It was obviously a hensojutsu initiate. The disguise was adequately serviceable, and the only real thing that ruined it was the snoring.

Yes, snoring. The initiate had apparently fallen into a deep sleep and his snores were like a chainsaw cutting through a redwood, loud and conspicuous. This kinda went against hensojutsu, falling asleep while disguised like this.

Blue just moved on, allowing the initiate to sleep, never knowing just how close he came to his quarry. The Tribunal wouldn't be as lenient with him, though, Blue noted sadly.

But there was nothing else he could do about it, other than what he already planned to do. Those who joined the League by choice were either unconfident losers that the world forgot, overconfident people with grandiose visions of themselves with egos to match, or people who just simply didn't know what they were getting into. The Tribunal doesn't accept people who want to back out when they realize they've gotten in too deep -- Blue was the only one to escape alive. Which is why the Tribunal is so desperate to kill him -- he stands as a sort of beacon of hope to those who wish to leave.

Then there were the ones that the Tribunal adopted from either kidnapping or orphanages or even orphaning the candidates themselves covertly. These ones were the deeply indoctrinated ones, especially if they've been with the League from infanthood. This kind of devotion was deliberately fostered, for obvious reasons.

A lithe figure dropped down a distance. Blue was prepared for it. This figure was obviously female, another kunoichi initiate. She threw several hira-shuriken horizontally with quick wrist snaps. Blue blocked them all with his Shredder-like grieves. Blue narrowed his eyes, waiting for her next move. She was obviously a shurikenjutsu initiate, specialized in throwing weapon techniques.

Blue was inwardly surprised pleasantly. This shurikenjutsu initiate seemed far more competent than the rest. Then she slipped on a slick root and dropped all her hira-shuriken. Blue felt secretly disappointed, as he was expecting a true challenge. As the initiate hurried to pick up her hira-shuriken, Blue left her in the dust, on his way to the Tribunal stronghold.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: November 10, 2017, 05:36:08 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER ELEVEN:
The Choho Initiate and the Sojutsu Initiate

Blue continued on, putting those two initiates out of his mind. With every new one, they seemed to get progressively more incompetent. And Blue became more and more sure that it was a deliberate insult. As if the Tribunal was trying to say that he was so ineffectual and inconsequential that they didn't need to send their more competent assassins after him. Though he would never admit it aloud, it did irritate and insult him. It did hurt his pride and ego, despite him trying to ignore it and act aloof. Despite him reminding himself over and over again that this was deliberate and intentional as an insult.

He would not give them the satisfaction to know that their message hit home and worked when he eventually went to confront them. And he would. There was no doubt about that. That that would be how this would end. Their blood would be on his hands. There would be something poetic about it, their own former acolyte (through no choice of his own, as his was kidnapped right out of his cradle) ending their lives and their cruel rule. Though he hadn't any interest in taking over the League -- though he could possibly turn it into something better, something with less malignant motives and more benign, altruistic ones. But that would run the risk of him being corrupted himself -- and he didn't want that.

He walked and stopped and looked to his left. She saw a man in shadow wearing a brown trench coat and a black bowler. His face was obscured in shadow, with his green eyes popping out of the shadows, almost as if they was glowing. It wasn't as creepy and ominous as he clearly thought it was. He was clinging to a small alleyway of thinning trees, as if he was successfully obscured in the shadows. It wasn't remotely unnerving Blue. It was as if someone was wearing some lame spy cosplay. This was the choho initiate, and took the whole espionage thing to heart.

And clearly he read too many spy novels or watched too many spy movies. Blue couldn't help but sigh sadly at this. There was really a reason why they were fiction. Though, granted, Blue's reality was odder than any fiction.

"Escape from a spy convention?" Blue said, caustically.

The initiate said nothing, clearly thinking he was cool and aloof. His hidden face betrayed no emotion, his body betrayed no fanboyish excitement. But he didn't attack  -- but promptly trip over a raised root and knock himself out, as his hat floated over to Blue, who stood, stunned at this.

After a moment, Blue shook his head and said, "Poor fool. Disarmed himself by his own inadequacies."

Blue continued on, before his path was blocked by another initiate. At least this one looked more competent than the other. He had a spear -- a sojutsu initiate. Blue's heart sunk when he noticed how clunky and shoddily made the spear was. The shaft looked as if it was inexpertly hewn from a tree branch with many weak spots detectable to a trained eye and the two-foot blade looked as if it was made from aluminium foil and paper mache, full of knicks. The shaft was rough to the touch, lacking any lacquered treatment.

"Please, stand aside," Blue said, hoping, for once, politeness would be sufficient enough. But, nope. It wasn't. It never was sufficient. The sojutsu initiate stood resolutely in between Blue and his eventual destination, and the initiate wasn't a small person either. He was a big, hairy, beefy dude. "Stand aside. You don't want to challenge me."

He grunted disagreement, hut said nothing. Blue saw that this may pose a problem, before he saw a way around him. The initiate raised his spear as if he was aiming for a large mackerel, and the spear dove towards Blue.

The initiate's movements were slow and cumbersome. Dodging the strike was child's play. But Blue did more than dodge, he used this as an opportunity. He had jumped and walked over the initiate's arm. Then he landed with a flip behind him.

When Blue looked back, he saw the blade of the spear stuck into the ground and, in trying to extricate it from the soft ground, he had snapped the blade from the shaft. Then he immediately dropped the shaft, revealing his right hand being full of rough splinters.

Blue decided to leave the initiate to deal with that, as he continued on his way.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: November 09, 2017, 07:53:30 PM »

Sorry that this was so late -- I was distracted by shiny hunting (got a female shiny Misdreavus) and the USUM leaks. Necrozma has some . . . let's just say that it's gonna be a fun game for me. And it comes out in a week.

New chapter.

CHAPTER TEN:
The Sui-ren Initiate and the Chi-mon Initiate

After taking care of that . . . that boisterous initiate, it was time to formulate his plan. He would have to take down all seven of the Tribunal. It won't be anything like taking care of these initiates. The assassins in the headquarters are exceptionally better trained with a legion of more experience than these sad amateurs.

But he must do away with them, to prevent anymore kills from people who like to treat the lives of others as just NPCs in the grand scheme of life -- useless and forgettable after you've collected all you can from them. And expendable. Blue could not imagine how they could see people as potential points on a kill count scorecard -- and he didn't doubt if they actually had legitimate, tangible scorecards. He remembered some years ago, Tribunal Headmaster Samuels actually arguing over who made a kill with Tribunal Headmaster Ryder, as if it was a precious point to them. The whole argument was childish, and he was the only one who saw and remembered it.

But still . . . the stronghold was a beast in and of itself. The Tribunal had managed to hide it away very well. Even Blue was not sure exactly were it was. He had broken out of the place once, without any intention on going back. Much less with the intention of killing the Tribunal.

Yes. Yes, that was his decision.

They had left him with little other choice. They would keep sending initiates at him in an endless annual cycle that was more predictable than, well, the initiates' fighting styles that they decided to send after him. He would only get a brief respite from it, and one of these days, his reflexes will slow, his reaction times will dull. And, then one of these initiates just might do him in.

It was time for this to end. It was time for this to all end. He had allowed this to go on far too long. It was time for the Tribunal to stop wasting these lives to feed their revenge machine -- because Blue knew that's all this was. They were so ardent about killing him because when he left that evidently hurt their feelings.

Blue stopped by a pond which was feed by a stream, where there were three green lily pads, one with a flower blossoming. And there was a pink lily pad, which was overtly not natural. Blue sighed wearily knowing what would happen. He turned his back on the pink lily pad, which might have seemed pretty stupid on his part, but he was well aware of what lurked beneath and what their possible weapon of choice would be.

And it happened just as he expected. The blowdart flew towards his neck, probably inexpertly aimed at his jugular vein, but he simply deflected it with his Shredder-like grieves. It flopped on the ground, uselessly. Probably poisoned. These usually are.

"You might want to get out of there," Blue advised, sounding like weary, "alligator snapping turtles have been known to reside there."

The initiate leaped out of the water, revealing that was only slightly higher than waist deep. She carefully examining the murky waters, apparently knowing just how dangerous the bite of an alligator snapping turtle could be, and apparently completely forgetting her mission. She evidently was a ditz, judging from her expressions and mannerisms.

Blue left her to it, and continued on his way, knowing that the next initiate would probably show up soon. He looked down as he head downhill. He saw what appeared to be a thick hemp rope lying in the middle of the path. Clearly, he was trying to trip him and cause him to roll down the hill, and the initiate would swoop in for the kill while Blue was theoretically disoriented. It was an obvious trap.

Blue looked around and saw the initiate -- apparently an amateurish chi-mon initiate -- apparently thinking he was well-hidden when his hiding place was rather obvious and he wasn't really striving to be quiet or silencing unnecessary movements. This was entirely pathetic, without question. This was a horrible trap to trip him up.

"Seriously, boy?" Blue said. He really was getting tired of this. Of dealing with the insulting incompetence of these initiates. He would have never fallen for this trap, even if he was a fraction of his current age. "A child could see through this."

The initiate tumbled out of his hiding place. Blue could tell that this wasn't intentional. More incompetence. But Blue couldn't muster up anger -- only pity would come.

"I hope that outfit covered your whole body," Blue said, walking away from the dazed initiate, "you were hiding in poison ivy."