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Thread: Fate/Closure [IC Thread]

  1. #261
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Interlude - Stray Cats (I)



    "..."

    The woman walks into a neighborhood she is not too familiar with. It's a dangerous area which serves as a gathering spot for a good number of well-known criminals. It's one of its policies not to be friendly with outsiders and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to claim that asking for a smoke could get one killed on the spot. However, for the woman, there is little to worry about. After all...

    ---She comes from a much more menacing and treacherous place.

    In the dark and cold of the night, attention is naturally drawn towards her. The hood that conceals her identity does little to hide her gender, as strands of hair of a strong marmalade color, too divine to belong to a man, descend just enough to caress her shoulders. Her attire is not particularly elegant, she is dressed much like a rogue of medieval fantasy, however, its integrity is an undeniable luxury around these parts.

    "Sorry, the boss isn't here right now."
    The grunt with Chinese features says with an apologetic smile, as he physically blocks the entrance to the somewhat large compound. "But I'll tell him you came."

    His body is covered in ominous tattoos and the strong smell of his sweat follows him everywhere he goes. His smile slowly transforms into a fully-fledged smirk, confirming her suspicions that he's just toying with her.

    Now, she could simply smash her hand into his ugly nose and rid herself of an obstacle, but...

    Instead, the woman casually turns around, takes a few steps and then waves goodbye, not willing to push the issue any further. She prefers to avoid a fight, not because she isn't strong, but because she is well-disciplined. She's not a warrior, but a leader. She's not here to draw blood, but to talk business.

    That said, one should never underestimate the other party.

    A group that can be self-sufficient and endure the test of time already knows how to take care of loose ends and can identify trouble when they first see it. The moment she walks far enough, the grunt exchanges glances with other four patrolling the neighboring roofs and the hunting game begins. They follow the woman into a dark alleyway and, the moment she least expects it...

    They ambush her, a swing from their metal bat coming straight for her head from her blind spot...!

    "... Huh?"


    At that moment, the distinction between them is made very clear.

    Which of them is more surprised?

    Is it the grunt who trembles at the sight of his weapon not being effective at all?

    Or is it the woman, who did not expect such insignificant insects to be foolish enough to attack her?

    Something in her gaze changes. She might not be hurt, but she isn't immune to pain, either. As her primal instincts stir from their slumber, self-control is tossed at the back of her mind.

    "Guahh--?! Ahh...!!!"


    Her movements are absurdly fast. The victim does not even see a blur... He only realizes he's been hit once he is halfway through the air and a surge of pain shoots through his stomach. Half a second later, his back crashes against one of the sidewalls, leaving a mark on its burnt clay bricks.

    The other grunts are shocked, but not enough to miss an opportunity to close in. One makes a straightforward attack with a sharp tool, while the other nimbly moves past their opponent. The woman skillfully catches the blade between her hands, but immediately finds herself in a bind when the enemy wraps a metal chain tightly across her neck.

    Or that's how it would have been, if the thing they are fighting were not a monster under the guise of a human.

    One kick is enough to rid herself of the one in front of her. With his ribs crushed, he's out of this fight.

    One hand is enough to release the grip on her neck, lifting the other man off the ground with sheer physical might. The moment his head touches the pavement, his chances of a participating in a second exchange are gone with the wind.

    What on Earth just happened? It might have been a rather complex sequence but to the remaining grunts it all must have felt like it lasted no more than an instant. Scared to even move, they bear weakness to the only injury that the woman has sustained, if it can be called such.

    "That is..."

    Make no mistake, they've never seen her face before. Not in person, at the very least.

    But they've seen those facial features. They've heard of what she has achieved the past decade.

    Oh yes, they do know who she is.

    She is a legend.

    "The leader of the Stray cats...!!!"


    -------

    Several hours later. Stray Cats headquarters. Captain's chamber.

    Hiyako Tsurara stares herself at the mirror or, at least, the closest thing there is to one in the Dark World. It's been who knows how long, ten, fifteen, maybe even twenty years since she arrived, and her body still shows no signs of aging. It's not just herself, the other survivors suffer from this as well, everyone looks as young as the day you met them.

    Time works in strange ways over here...

    For example, though there are irregular day and night cycles, their mere existence alongside the memories of the events that have transpired since your arrival all prove the existence of the passing of time. Yet, at the same time, your body still looks like that of a teenager.

    There are still many things you do not know...

    Amongst them is the question of how exactly you are still alive...

    When you first came, you accepted that being trapped here was pretty much a guaranteed death. But here you are, decades later, struggling every day to extend the lifespan of your group. It's been long since you've seen someone new... Rumor is that the Dark World is no longer accessible from the outside. But, while the Stray Cats have made a name for themselves, they are too young to have access to the sheer amount of information that other veteran companies such as the Dwellers or the Neo-Salvanists do.

    "How did it go with the Hidden Dragons, boss?"


    Tachibana Mayumi, former leader of the Stray Cats, carelessly walks into your room without knocking. Well, not like there is an actual door anyways. During your first day in the Dark World, you ran into a group that had her as one of its members and, since then, you've been surviving together ever since. You've seen many people die and many more walk away to never return...

    As for the students you originally came after...

    You've briefly crossed paths with a few, but circumstances always made it hard for them to stick around for long.

    In any case, Tachibana is a skilled in both marksmanship and hand to hand combat but her fighting prowess is barely above that of an average human fighter. There are many powerful monsters around that she stands no chance against. That's why she stepped down of her role and let the real powerhouse lead the team. That said, she is always willing to give you advice, should you ever ask for it.

    "Did you get what you went there for?"

    Last edited by hero; April 19th, 2021 at 09:34 AM.
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  2. #262
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Yamashita Hiro (& Assassin of the Distant Kingdom)
    Fuyuki's Underground Servers- ???'s Secret Laboratory
    Morning Phase



    "..."


    Listening to Hiro and... Cluase More speak, Luna has to pause for a moment and reflect on everything she has learned over the past few days in order to even have a chance to understand what is going on. The topics themselves are not what draw her attention -although they do feel quite bizarre- but rather the way the two of them interact. The cat-like Servant does not act like a servant would at all, if anything, it sounds like she is on an equal or perhaps even higher level than her Master, Hiro, is. While this brings her some relief in the sense that she wouldn't like to have someone unwillingly working with them, the implications behind their threats is not to her liking. Perhaps this is a common way to settle differences in the world of the arcane, but where she comes from, this sort of behavior is unacceptable. That is why, silently enduring all she has to endure to reach up to this point, she ultimately voices her thoughts with a little more passion than intended.

    "NO fighting!"

    In response to her slightly childish outburst, a line of water rises high enough that, for a moment, the territory of the spring is effectively split in two. Naturally, some splashing collateral damage reaches those close by, Hiro taking the brunt of the damage. Clause, who seemingly managed to avoid the attack by retreating upwards, finds that a few drops reach her as well.

    "Umm..."
    After a brief moment of silence, Luna's pitch falls dramatically. "I am still not sure what's the main goal here... But it requires team effort, right? And a working team that cannot leave their disputes behind when doing their job is not a professional one. If you are both eager to compete for leadership, then prove that you are ready to fill that role while on the line of duty! Not beforehand...!"

    To emphasize these last words, she slams a closed fist into the water, creating another attack, one that this time would hit herself as well...

    ...

    And then...

    "Also I am a married woman!"
    She yells as an afterthought, slightly bothered by Clause's earlier words. "I think..."

    Finally done, Luna retreats once more, concealing the lower part of her face under the spring waters. That acts as a cue for Hassan to begin his turn.

    "That machine is my Master and I beg to disagree."
    Mask said, calmly facing the other Assassin in the group. "Think whatever things you want about its shape, bottom line is: It's not a human and that works perfectly for me."

    ...

    Though it is nothing but a comment, you sense a deeper meaning behind those words. Or rather, what you feel is how well-picked and emotionally charged his words are. It's like, at that moment, Mask might have wanted to vent in a similar way to Luna, or Hiro before that, but instead concealed that desire under a powerful veil of patience and self-control.

    "As for repairs, that won't be necessary. I seriously doubt that you or your peers have anything to offer in the field of robotics, and even if one of you did, I would never trust you with something so delicate. This is my lifeline we're talking about."


    Slightly uncomfortable with the cat-like Servant so close, Hassan proceeds to move away a couple of meters to the side. It's an instinctive action born less from cowardice and more from a personal dislike of someone infringing his personal space.

    "Besides, my talents do not limit themselves to the art of assassination. I have a particular affinity for building and breaking things... This might be a little too advanced, perhaps too advanced for the current era, but I'm sure I'll eventually figure it out."


    ... Looking at it directly is still difficult. Perhaps creating an image of something it isn't is the way your brain has to protect you.

    "Obviously, it would help if I knew the password..."

    Then, as if to elaborate on that point, the hanging machine descends, but not enough to submerge itself in the spring waters. You have the feeling that neither liquid nor gas can affect this thing anyways...

    ...

    Oh, there are actually a couple of monitor screens on the side. You must have missed them since you did not want to stare at it so much. One of them is pitch black, with the exception of white and blue box that demands a password. It also has a hint... It reads: 'The common enemy in all stories.'. The remaining one contains a list called 'Daily Objectives'.

    "It's a little bit of a shot in the dark."
    Mask comments, unsure of whether he should believe his own words. "But I think my Master has the means to predict the future to some extent. It sounds likely that its objective is to prevent something bad from happening. Since it ordered me to aid you, I can't imagine other reason than it being the scenario with the best odds of success. Or not... Since we're clearly lacking offensive power. I thought the boy would summon an Archer or something... In any case, they may be no more than a big pain in the ass to follow, but since we've got no idea of what is going on, it's a lead."

    Ultimately, he can't force any of you to continue down this path.

    Though it would probably complicate things, he isn't in a real position of power. Anyone can get down this ride at any time they want to.

    "As cryptic as they can be sometimes."


    To do List
    *FGBC PPP. 21:45 (1,5)

    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

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