Description: tag, Jade / and maybe Lesa (?)
Cyorlithe Nitze - November 19, 2011 01:09 AM (GMT)
November 19, 2 PM
Exhaustion. That was the feeling that was plaguing Cyor most. He was walking through town absentmindedly, with his hands in his pockets as he surveyed store fronts and studied other people. Ren was at daycare for the time being. She hated the place and often complained of it whenever he took her there, but once she was there, she enjoyed herself immensely. She needed to be with kids her own age as much as possible, he knew, and as much as he wanted to have her by his side, sometimes it was better if they spent a few hours apart from one another, though he would probably buy her another present while he was out and about. Spoiled though the little girl was, Cyor couldn't imagine coming home without something to give her so that she could enjoy her time at the daycare better.
He was tired, though. Watching people go about their lives on telescreens and discussing the day's events mostly with Mercurians... well, it tended to take a lot out of him. As much as Cyor enjoyed his job, and as much he knew it was helping his cause, it still exhausted him to no end. Hour after hour, watching those screens, reporting on it to the Mercurians with their technical language that just went over his head... And then, when he did catch someone in an illicit act, Cyor needed to respond fast. If it was a member of the Alliance, he either had to "fix" the recording or he had to send a warning, whichever would prove more effective to their cause.
The coffee smells so good, Cyor realized abruptly as he tread in front of a cafe. Without a second thought, he headed inside and ordered a hot coffee, hazelnut. Once the first sip was down his throat, all Cyor was able to do was to sit back in his chair and let out a deep sigh contentment. There was nothing like coffee on a chilly day to have one's senses start running at high speed. He breathed in the steam, taking in the scent slowly. Coffee was Cyor Nitze's one vice, and he was going to enjoy it and savor it as much as he was possibly able to do.
After buying a paper, Cyor sat down in the front corner of the shop, near the window, coffee in hand. He pored over the front page, his eyes scanning some unimportant articles of the White Regime's good deeds in the past few days. Sighing, he flipped the page, reading up on the results of sports and the like, following the weatherman's report for the wintry spell that supposed to be hitting their area soon. For a moment, Cyor wondered idly if he even should trust the sports results or the weather report in a government-run newspaper. Knowing how far his father had gotten in the White Regime and how easily, he wasn't very sure. Simply because one had a certain name, one could do whatever he wanted in government. Cyor himself was a good example of that.
With a sigh, he folded the paper, already bored with it. Obviously nothing was worth his notice if he started thinking of his father of all people not far into reading. Cyor took a thoughtful sip of his coffee, eyes surveying the coffee shop. He really needed something else to occupy his mind, something other than discarded memories of a past long forgotten.
Ushriya Deva - November 19, 2011 02:17 AM (GMT)
It was getting so stuffy in the dorm. Or maybe it was the fact that Riya had finally given into Raen's numerous "suggestions" that they study. Whatever the case was, they'd been bent over open textbooks for two hours, and Riya felt as if a creak was starting to form in the nape of her neck. Too much studying is bad for you, after all. She pushed the hair out of her face, feeling a headache form in one of her temples. With a flick her eyes, Riya glanced at Raen, trying to see how the other girl was faring in their study session. She frowned. She hated studying. Why did Raen have to encourage responsibility at college? When they were in high school, she usually just helped Riya the night before the test, not two or three days out from a test. This was utter insanity.
With a sigh, Riya began chewing on the end of her pencil as she looked over her Physics calculations. She was quite sure that only about half of them were right, but even that was an improvement from the day before. Without Raen's help, she was quite sure less than a fourth would be correct, and she'd be required to stay after to have a talk with the teacher. Frowning, Riya pulled the pencil from out of her mouth as she punched numbers into her calculator. As much as she loved having class with and being helped by Raen, she couldn't help but wonder why on the green land that was Earth was she was taking physics of all sciences, especially when she could have taken less math oriented ones like biology or geology. Physics was just... eughhh. It was just and would probably always remain a complete and utter mystery to her.
Then, without warning, she broke her pencil in half with slight frustration and threw it away. It was two o'clock, not study hour. Riya closed her books with a flourish, smiling happily, and tossed them all into a pile onto her bed, opting to forget about her subjects entirely for the rest of the day. Then she turned back to Raen, arms crossed as if daring her to ask that they study longer. Riya wouldn't be able to take it if they did; her mind was kaput as it was.
"I'm going to the coffee shop," she announced as she pulled on a jacket. "You can come, too." As expected, at the mention of any possibility of food, Raen was up and ready to go. Riya smiled. Sometimes, it was only to easy to get out of studying with her sister; all she needed to do was mention food, and Raen would come running from wherever she was, even if she was out of earshot. It was a perfect distraction for books, and Riya congratulated herself for having come up with the plan. She would use it more often in the future.
After she slid her feet into a pair of shoes, Riya pulled her sister out of the dorm and past the rest of their classmates. The Venusian RA smiled at them, her eyes lingering far longer on Raen than they did on Riya, as they passed, but Riya didn't notice. Instead, she was smelling the coffee and eating the desserts, or at least envisioning doing these things, as they walked down the hall toward the door that led outside. However, Riya's smile dissipated when the first breeze of the wind hit her, causing a shiver to slither its way up her spine.
She eyed the thin, bony Raen, wondering if she were cold, but decided that they'd better get to the coffee shop a little quicker. It would do better to be out the breeze at any rate, Riya thought to herself with a silent nod as they walked down the streets of the town, studying the other people out and about and the shops that lined the sides of the lane on their way.
At last, the pair finally reached the coffee shop, their breaths coming out in white puffs. With a smile, Riya entered, the bell attached the door ringing merrily. She greeted the clerk behind the counter brightly, surveying the various buns and donuts on display. They all looked so good, Riya knew she would be very pleased to try one of each, but she also knew that she needed to resist temptation. After Raen ordered her usual meaty dessert, Riya pointed to one of the more sumptuous-looking honey buns, licking her lips, and then asked for a coffee as well. After all, those hours they'd spent studying had worn her out entirely. It wasn't fair that Raen could study for so long and spring up like newborn goose. It made Riya want to stick her tongue out at the girl in a very childlike way.
As they waited for their orders to be prepared, Riya led her sister over to a table in the back of the room. No one really liked seeing Raen from the street in a shop such as this one, and no matter how much Riya felt it was unfair or totally uncalled for to treat a member of one's own people thus, she thought it would be better that they try not to cause a scene today. Besides, even if she did like to sit next to the window, it was always better sharing a spot with Raen in the back, no matter how coveted the seats in the front of the shop might be.
"Ooooooh, I can't wait until they get my bun ready!" Riya said, licking her lips in anticipation. She grinned widely at her sister. "They really do have the best ones he-" Her voice simply died. It just didn't want to work anymore.
A blond man had just entered the shop, breathing heavily and appearing to be exhausted. Riya watched in dumbfounded silence as he moved through the line, ordered his coffee, sat down, and began to read the newspaper, acting as if it were a perfectly normal day in a perfectly normal coffee shop with perfectly normal people all around.
"He cannot be reborn!"
The voice, so unlike the firm, maternal one that frequently spoke to Riya in her times of need and danger, was more childlike, but harder. Colder. It was one touched by pain and sorrow, one so engrossed in such pain that nothing could take it away. A frown formed from Riya's lips as tears began flowing from her eyes. Somehow, this man simply being alive was a gross insult to everything she stood for, and she was going to see to it that he was well aware of her feelings.
Robotically, she stood up from the table and walked over to the man. Riya could see him looking up at her curiously, possibly wondering if she'd just lost her mind. However, she wanted to tell him that he had lost his mind, he had gone insane the moment had been born, because he shouldn't have been alive.
And then she tackled him.
Raen Mars - November 25, 2011 05:33 AM (GMT)
All good things came from dedication and hard work. It was something she had learnt over the years, spending her time on each and every test to make sure she had gotten things right. The Martian liked to think that hard work had paid off in all aspects of life, really. After all - how many people from her planet made it to a university?
The idea that her foster sister didn't enjoy studying half as much as she did was occasionally irritating, to say the least. It took nearly as long to convince Ushriya to study as she would actually take whilst studying, Though she had relented easily enough that morning, the quick peeks the brunette took over the top of her book from time to time showed that the other girl was beyond bored. It was almost time for her to propose something that Raen would inevitably need to shoot down just to get some more work done.
And thus, she waited, idly reading over her material as she heard a pencil snap across their dorm room. If she was really being fair, this study session had lasted longer than usual. The emptiness was easier to ignore with her face pressed into a book, however, and she wasn't one to sit idly by and let herself feel that way. She would do anything to fill herself with any feeling but, even if it meant filling her head with things chapters ahead of what she needed to know. With the amount of time she had been spending pouring over her texts, she'd be absolutely floored if she didn't ace everything.
Wait, coffee shop? She perked, having been all too ready to smackdown the suggestion that they stop studying and do something else up until the point in time when it had involved food. Of course, the Martian wasn't stupid, and she knew her foster sister well - well enough to know that the other girl knew the prospect of food would bring her to her feet.
Still, she had to commend her for two hours of trying. It was more than she usually got out of Ushriya, really. She relented, nodding once and grabbing for her vest, hastily pulling it over her frame. "Okay," she offered, bounding after the blonde like a faithful puppy.
She stayed in step easily, hands tucked into her pockets after she locked their door behind them. She didn't fancy someone trashing the place simply because a Martian lived in there, or going through the joint bathroom to tackle Ota for similarly racist reasons. 'It would hardly be such a crime to let them disturb Saturn.'
The brunette slowed, blinking and trying to rid herself of the thought as she blindly followed the girl up ahead. And then their RA was staring at her with the biggest smile, and she couldn't help but offer a nervous sort of frown and scuttle a bit closer to the Terrestrial ahead of her. She hunched her shoulders, did everything she knew to try to make herself smaller. Why was it that garnering attention from Venusians had become her forté?
She was really going to have to work on that.
The walk was uncharacteristically quiet, and for a moment, Raen wondered if she had actually pushed her foster sister too far. But studying was necessary - and she didn't want to be the only one in their family left at the university after their first semester. She especially didn't want to think about how much the slightly older girl would cry if she did happen to fail out. Perhaps it was worth draining her mentally, if it meant that she would never have to see her hurt so badly later on.
She adopted a bounce in her step as she lifted her face just enough to get a better smell of the food cooking at the coffee shop, a contented growl ripping from her throat as she popped up closer still to Ushriya. "They have meat ready," she informed her as they reached the door, pulling it open with a fervour. Apparently, she wasn't the only one excited. She offered one of her rarer smiles as the blonde prattled on about her incoming bun, swaying slightly as she thought about how this was how life should have been. Without being Sailor Mars, without needing to remember that the girl she had grown up with was her Princess.
The smile faded quickly enough, particularly when the Terrestrial stopped dead in the middle of her sentence, dropping the last half of the word that had been on her lips and making for a man she had never seen before in her life. Something within her chest tightened, told her not to capture his attentions, and still, she moved behind the other girl - bearing her teeth and growling as loudly as she knew how to as Ushriya flung herself on top of him.
There was no hesitation. She had priorities, and keeping the taller girl safe was one of them. Even without the knowledge of her being the rightful heir to the world, she had to protect her.
Raen pounced, snarling and making for the man's neck with her eyes narrowed. She would happily knock him out, if that was what would make the other girl alright again. Whomever he was, whatever he had done, she could help her foster sister in felling him for it.
Even if that meant some people had literally jumped and screamed in fear at the prospect of a Martian attacking a Lunarian in public.
Jace Luciys - November 25, 2011 06:55 AM (GMT)
There was something to be said about needing to wake up at five in the morning to feed and exercise a team of sleddogs. It certainly made getting his homework done easier, since despite how early Mai woke up - and she always woke up with him, even if he had to bundle her into the "stroller toboggan" since she would fall asleep on the morning run. Her weight wasn't enough to bug the pack at all, and they enjoyed the chance to pull in the traces, rather than just pulling at leads. Zev hated the boots they wore to protect sensitive pawpads from cement, but he dealt with them, only biting at them when they were stopped.
Jace yawned over his Ethics homework, hands moving idly over the keyboard as he let Johannes - much more knowledgable about the subject - take over his fingers to continue typing, changing the content slightly as the older man gave ideas, so as to better fit the current times, rather than the South African apartheid and it's afteraffects on the culture of South Africa. He could only write on possibilities, considering the situation with Mars and even to a point, Saturn - his mind turned to Ota, and he smiled to feel her mind sleeping in his - and the other planets. Interesting yet very boring at the same time, but that was part of the problem with writing a research paper wherein all your research is written by Mercurians who probably have governmental ties or grants, and there is no way for it just to be due to their working for one certain country, as there was only one real government. Made it hard to write a pro-Saturnian and Martian paper.
He shook his head once to clear his mind, Johannes stopping to let him shake out cramping fingers. The blond looked over at his sleeping daughter, her boy-short hair growing shaggy as it began to grow out again. All those bastards
had served to do was make her eyes more noticeable, and even the shortness of her hair wouldn't stop his girl from wearing her beloved hairclips. The bones gleamed whitely in the lights, she snuggled down in the puppy-pile of dogs."Hey, Mai, luv, wake up."
His girl shook her head, burrowing further into Eira's flank until the alpha nudged at her with a cold nose.
The girl growled faintly, then moaned and blinked."Ya, Puppa?""Wanta go get some cake?"
She jumped up, spilling paws and tails as the dogs' limbs that had curled over her were scattered. Her bright grin was all he needed in answer as she tore through the apartment to her room. Even if she was more of a sweets lover, his daughter was certainly half Martian.
A sharp whistle netted him the attention of six furiously wagging tails, the pack sitting steady as he grabbed up their leads, clipping them on and letting the group drag the nylon strips around the apartment before pulling on his boots and sweater. Mai came bouncing out of her room, throwing back the curtain to show off her bear-hoodie, Zev and Ulf's leads held in both hands as the males walked her steadily forward."C'mon, Puppa, cake!"
Mai chided him as he gathered the leads from her, clipping them all to his belt and hefting her in his arms. They were just lucky that the second-floor apartment meant the pack had easily trained themselves for what to do on stairs. He could've ended up with a broken neck if he hadn't trained them to this already.
The walk from the apartment to the cafe - remodeled while they'd been away this summer, he'd heard; he hoped the food was still as good as it had been his freshman year, and when he was here for those months while she was so little - wasn't too long a one. Long enough, but a good mile wasn't going to hurt him or the dogs, and Mai could easily be picked up and carried with him if she got too tired. Orange, red and yellow leaves crunched under their feet as they went, and the walk took longer than he initially expected as Mai was determined to jump in the crunchy piles until they were shooed away by the cleaning bots. He didn't stop her, weaving her a rough crown of the "prettiest" leaves, and doing the same as collars for Eira and Kepi and Neva, to make them look pretty like her.
Orange and red burst against her hair, a fire burning and making Johannes think briefly of Risa - or Hikari - or maybe, the South African mentioned to his current self, for she had both their traits just as much as she did Keiko's in this instance, more so, with the leaves. 'Risa, with the eyes and fire, really,'
was finally decided as they got to the cafe, Jace merely taking off his lead-belt and clipping it around the bike-rack, the six lounging around as they would.
He held tight to his slightly-dozing 'princess' as he went into the store, his sudden stop waking her up as much as the screams did."Puppa, what's -?"
Mai looked around and saw what her father was staring at, squirming to be let down right before he lunged and joined the fray.
Jace was appalled - an older boy held a sword at his throat, making Jayant shiver, even as his keen eyes looked beyond the blade and cold gray eyes to the boys beyond. What was that young one doing protecting the older one, shouldn't it be the other way around? He blinked and realized he was in more trouble than he had thought he would be when he traveled. He'd just wanted to go to the palace, Mother always told him they were going to go visit the palace some day, and he'd wanted some day to be today, so he'd tried to go to the palace. Had he made it? He opened his mouth to ask and gulped when the blade tightened against his throat...Johannes laughed as Rei wiped at her mouth with the back of her hand, daintiness and ladylike qualities gone in the face of this challenge, her sake-reddened nose nothing compared to the hiccuping Khorvash across the table from her. It really was a question as to who would win. They were actually rather evenly matched...
- what in the galaxy were they doing?!
He grabbed for Raen's arms, attempting to yank them behind her back and pull her off of the Lunarian. 'Khorvash,'
Johannes helpfully supplied, but kept from inundating his future identity with more memories, now was clearly not the time. "Raen, stop this! You don't need to - he didn't - even if Ushriya attacked him, he apologized in the last life, like I did!"
His telepathy was hurried, jumbled in its haste as he redoubled his efforts to pull her away on seeing a streak of fluffy brown when Mai leaned in and wrapped her arms around "Khorvash's" leg, attempting to growl, eyes pinned on the other Martian."Doan't hurt Unca, Auntie Raen. Please doan't hurt Unca! Stop it!"
The little girl begged, tears marring her otherwise tiny-but-ferocious appearance. "Auntie Moo, why you wanna hurt Unca? Doan't hurt Unca, and make Auntie Raen stop!"
This was, Jace realized faintly, not going to be good. At all. He shot a glance out the window at the fleeing customers and his dogs, all on their feet and growling at what they could see - and smell through the door and window. Yeah. They were screwed.Outfit!
Cyorlithe Nitze - November 25, 2011 07:53 AM (GMT)
The caffeine warmed him, making him more alert. Cyor had always loved that quality about coffee. It could brighten up even the most dreary day and wake up even the most tired person. It truly was a godsend.
As it oozed down his throat, he surveyed the restaurant. Everyone was talking giddily, discussing the wintry season, when a young woman walked up to him. He raised an eyebrow. Her face struck him as somewhat familiar, but he couldn't be sure. Khorvash and the general's memories had been striking him all over the place ever since he'd met his liege in this life. He wasn't able to be positive whether he knew her from this life or the last, but the look on her face as she stared down at him imperiously, angrily, did not make him feel any more comfortable. He stood up, confused, and opened his mouth to ask what it was she wanted, when she jumped him.
Or tried to, at any rate.
She ran into him, and while she knocked some of the breath out of him, she was such a small thing that she practically bounced off of him. He was about to lean down, offer to help her up, maybe take her to the hospital as she obviously wasn't in the right state of mind, when Khorvash took over his mind.
He was talking to a young woman with blonde hair in the oddest hairstyle he'd ever seen. She was bouncy, nervous. Flighty. It was as if she could think of a thousand places she'd rather be but knew that this - meeting with him - was somehow important. Stranger still was the fact that he felt the same way, as if he could think of a few places he'd rather be, yet he knew that being there was necessary. He had to speak with her.
"Listen... Usagi, if there was anything I could do to take back what he did, I would. I'm really sorry. I will try to make it up to you as long as you want me to," he said. His voice was sincere and nervous at the same time, as if he truly felt this way, yet he was afraid of how the tiny girl in front of him would react.
It was strange, how sometimes reliving a memory could take minutes while others passed in only seconds. Such was the case of the latter. Cyor came back to himself staring at the girl sprawled along the floor, the girl with such fair skin, such a striking resemblance to the one from his recent memory...
He hadn't realized, though, that she had come with a friend.
In the next minute, he was sprawled on the floor as well, trying to keep a Martian woman from biting his windpipe open. It was all he could do to keep her from savagely tearing at his throat with her teeth. He glared at the woman, and then realized... Was this Mars?
He remember the previous life, battling her at archery, drinking games, sword fighting, everything. They had a friendly rivalry that often took a competitive edge in games and competitions. He couldn't believe that she'd been reincarnated into this savage, feral woman who was snapping at his neck like a dog. It was quite the opposite of what he had expected of the strong, fierce girl who had fought him tooth and nail for every victory.
Then another man jumped into the brawl. Johannes. Somehow, Cyor recognized him immediately. Was it perhaps their camaraderie in the previous life? He didn't know, but whatever the matter, he was thankful for the man's help. He remembered training him, but he wasn't sure if that was the life prior to this or the one before; the memories were too fuzzy. All he knew was the gratitude surging within him that Johannes had come to his aid.
As the newcomer pulled on the Martian girl's arms with all his might, a small girl crept up and wrapped her arms around his leg, calling him uncle. Or rather, "unca." What did this mean? He had never seen this girl before in his life. Had Johannes told this girl about him? However, he didn't need to worry about that right now. Previous lives had no place in this one, no matter the circumstances. He hated reincarnation as it was.
It was then, as Johannes pulled the struggling, biting girl off of him, that Cyor realized that the rest of the customers were fleeing the brawl. He tried to picture himself at the Eye, watching as the scene took place through the screens. It looked bad from any perspective. Whoever was on duty now - probably a Mercurian - was bound to send the Feet marching in right away. After all, a Martian had attacked a Lunarian. Even under a just government this wouldn't have been passed over, and under the White Regime, a Martian doing anything suspicious was cause for worry. Cyor tried to catch Johannes's eye, to see if the man knew who he was, but he was still busy in subduing the girl. He realized that only about a minute had passed. It was strange how the adrenaline in combination with caffeine seemed to make time slow down at an alarming rate.
Ushriya Deva - November 25, 2011 08:20 AM (GMT)
As she ran forward to attack the strange man whose very presence seemed to cut at her so deeply, Riya could not fathom why she was doing so. She felt like a marionette, and it scared her. She couldn't control any of the movements of her limbs or the glare she directed at the pale-haired man. It was as if someone was working through her, knowing her intentions and ignoring them anyway. What was wrong with her? Why was she so angry at this one man who seemed to strike a nerve simply by being in the same room?
However, no one answered her, not even the strong, maternal voice from before. The cold, childlike voice that had spoken to her just moments ago was silent in her mind as well, as if someone had silenced it. Yet she still could not stay her anger or stop her movements. She ran toward the man and pounced on him.
And then she fell backward.
For a moment, Riya was dazed. She must have hit her head on something, because she couldn't focus her vision for a moment after falling. After the world righted itself, she sat up, looking all around. It was strange, how much had happened in so short a time. The majority of the people had vacated the coffee shop; those who remained were frozen in fear, their eyes darting from Riya and back again as if they were afraid that she might whip out a pistol and begin shooting up the place, demanding money.
Then Riya noticed her sister. Raen was on top of the pale-haired man, biting at his neck with hatred in her eyes. Rightly so. This man somehow deserved the hatred Raen was sending him. Riya silently hoped that Raen might make her mark.
She was about to reenter the fray as well, glaring at the man, when yet another man entered. He grabbed Raen's arms, and in her natural state, Riya might have demanded that he release her. Raen was her sister, after all, and deserved to be treated like a human being. However, Riya turned her eyes away from the pair, back to the man who was staring at them aghast. She didn't care if the man maimed or harmed Raen; no, right now, her only goal was to see to it that this man got what he deserved.
Riya was ready to pounce him again; her mind was working out all the ways she might attack him, hoping that this time she wouldn't bounce back as if she'd hit a rubber band. She clenched her fists, getting ready to strike...
"Auntie Moo, why you wanna hurt Unca? Doan't hurt Unca, and make Auntie Raen stop!"
The voice, so small and insistent, was coming from her feet. It was a... child? Riya blinked several times, wondering why an image of a pink rabbit was coming to mind. It wasn't making sense.
"Close your mind to her, Riya. Use your strength."
It was the same firm, maternal voice from before, whispering advice into her ear. Riya wondered where the voice had been five minutes ago, but then a cold feeling swept over her, fighting for dominance over her mind, and the warm, maternal voice faded away.
Riya settled her vision on the pale-haired man again, her gaze becoming cold and hard. She had never felt so empty, so depressed in her life. Or quite this angry. She could not describe the overwhelming negative emotions, flowing within her, threatening to explode. Why couldn't she hold them back? It was as if everything that Riya had ever cared for, everything she had ever found an ounce of joy in, had died. Her insides were cold with the depth of her feeling, and she was unable to control it. She leveled her gaze at the pale-haired man, never once sparing a glance for her sister. It was as if Raen had ceased to hold a place in Riya's heart, or rather, as if there was a void Riya's heart had been.
"You should not have stolen the gift of rebirth, Kunzite," Riya said, staring at him with hard eyes. Her voice, strangely, was not her own. It was a younger version of her voice, broken by sadness and emptiness. Where had it come from? However, instead of saying more, Riya frowned, as if she did not like to hurt people often.
Then, knowing well that the other man was fully distracted and unable to subdue her for now, she attacked once again, knocking him over with a firm push. The man was surprised; Riya was not sure whether she could have managed it without that element, but all that mattered was that he was down on the ground again now. With that, she jumped on top of him, balling up her hands into fists and punching the bemused man with as much strength as she could muster (which didn't amount to very much), frowning when she had hit him several times and it still didn't leave a mark.
Ruro Shoban - November 28, 2011 11:49 AM (GMT)
It was always a good day when he didn't have to work. Ruro stretched, rolling his neck as he walked back to his truck. With his having the entire day (no late-night shift, either!) off from Domi, he'd decided it was high time he visit Amisi. They'd had a great visit, he'd taken her to one of the diners near campus that had been his favorite when he had been at Telo, served breakfast constantly, and had rather good coffee. Mamoru's suggestion of chocolate chip pancakes had been a good one to accompany his eggs. The coffee had been hot and rich like he remembered it. The doctor sipped from his travel mug full of the brew. Not as good as Murray's, but passable - better than Gwynell's.
Comforted by the fact that Amisi now knew the actual location of the diner and that it was accessible by foot, he'd decided it was high time he start heading back to the farm, leaving her to the library and her studying (Ota was asleep in their dorm). As far as Amisi could tell her classes were going well; all he could really ask for, and she was getting along with Ota and Raen and Ushriya. Thoughts of his sort-of-wife had his mind stretching towards hers. He froze, booted foot held above the ground in mid-step. "Fuck,"
both Endymion and Mamoru exclaimed - with the word coming from both
his prior incarnations, Ruro knew it was particularly serious. The cold wall that seemed to make up the bubbly blonde's mind helped too. Ushriya was never like this."Run,"
it wasn't so much a thought or a suggestion as much as it was a complete body takeover, Mamoru and Endymion working together for once, propelling him on, even if they let him do the actual movements of his body. The fact that his mind was now filled with dual voices swearing meant little to him, the thunderous expression on his face convincing the few that were in his way to get out of it. He could sense where she was, but obeyed the impetuous to get his truck and drive it there rather than running. For one, running would be infinitely more noticeable, and for two, he could be trying to bring others with him and it was easier in a truck than anything else by far.
The ride was quick, or at least it seemed so, despite the red lights. He couldn't afford to run them, no matter how he wished to. Too easily caught by the Eye. The doctor felt like he was moving in slow motion as he ran from his hastily (and barely legally) parked truck, wading upstream through a mass of people and six agitated dogs. The dogs didn't try to bite him or even really bother to sniff at him, hackles raised and growling through the cafe window. Ruro felt sick, he recognized this cafe - it was the same one that he'd first met Ushriya in, and had saved her. His sense of foreboding grew as he looked in while opening the door and nearly tore it off its hinges. Well, shit."Riyako! Stop it!"
he commanded mind to mind, heels clicking against the wooden floor until he reached down to haul her up off of Cyorlithe. His shirt bunched at the buttonholes as he tucked her against him bridal style with one arm. "Serenity, once again, stop this."
Endymion growled, trying to distract the princess from her takeover of her current incarnation even while Mamoru rushed towards his Usagi to help her fight back and regain her voice in Ushriya's head. "Usako! Come to me!"
Ruro was left holding up the pieces.
He blinked down at the form bundled into the crook of his right arm, left extended for Cyorlithe to use to get up. The doctor thought for a moment, eyes rushing over the people still remaining. Raen, being held off her feet, bundled into a blond boy's arms. "Itzal,"
whispered across his mind, and he winced at seeing his fourth-in-command's eyes glaze over as memories bombarded him. Not a good time for that to happen, when holding a raging Martian."We need to move,"
he said hastily, "I have my truck outside."
Ruro returned to the matter at hand in his mind, cursing as he did so. Here would be his big test - get Ushriya and everyone into the truck and get the truck moving even while maintaining two separate physical and mental conversations. Joy. Here went his day off.Outfit!
Raen Mars - December 3, 2011 07:20 PM (GMT)
It had all happened so fast. If she wasn't used to the confusion a fight could bring, she might have found some issue dealing with everything at once. As it was, however, Raen was practically built for this sort of situation. One could go so far as to insinuate that she was bred for it.
She struggled against the man her sister had attacked, legs to either side of his torso as she ripped and beat at his neck, went so far as to try to bite anything out of him that she could, and he resisted. It made sense that he would - she was not play wrestling him. She had given up the idea of finding a reason to fight the moment her foster sister had tried to attack, bouncing ineffectively off of the Lunarian she was straddling.
In a way, it was kind of impressive that she had been the one strong enough to fell him. She weighed less, but hit harder. She growled triumph above him, moving an arm and reeling it back in what was intended to be a well-placed punch to his throat. She needed to disable him, make sure he was never capable of movement again. What she had not been expecting was someone to go traipsing through her mind so loudly that it stirred the others who already resided there. Parts of her soul seemed to leap to her defence, one demanding she focus and find her centre, calm herself, and the other issuing a very simple, very clear, and very easy to follow order.
'Kill them both,' she heard Mars instruct with no small amount of venom, a furious growl ripping from the brunette's frame as she was literally lifted off of the man she was being told to handle. The one behind her was the bigger upset. Though she recognised him as Jace, though everything in her screamed that he was familiar, but not a threat, he was holding her like he had every intention of acting out something that she had thought had only ever happened to her in the one life.
It was like watching a movie, she noted, not actually in the vision this time as Mars to her side, for once not bloodied and burnt, stared at her with an intensity deserving of a Queen of the planet of war. "You should watch this. Understand what the man holding you is, and what he is trying to accomplish by taking you back."
Though she made no other movement beyond that in her eyes, the angry aubergine directing shocked violet to what she could have only described as her worst nightmare. She didn't understand the things being said, and yet, she did. It wasn't a language she had any right to understand, but with the Martian Queen beside her, she was able. That had to be Jace there, on top of her, but what... why...
"Jadeite," the other woman began, commanding, using his first name as her features twisted up at the mere thought of him, as though he were repugnant, "Is no friend to us, Raen. You would do well to remember your place and his in the grand scheme of things. You are to champion Mars... he is to try to break you. It is how things must be."
Something caught in her throat as she stared blankly ahead, reliving summer after summer on Mars with the man on top of her uttering some of the more hateful things she had ever heard directed towards anybody in her short life. The Ariana in this vision seemed considerably less calm than the one to her side, insisting that he had no right to take any part of her. That she had already given every ounce that she was to Venus, and killing her had changed nothing.
"I don't... why?" she ground out, the taller figure beside her shrugging as the heinous act continued, shame accompanying pain as he dug knives into her flesh like it was butter for his toast.
"Because he could. He wanted to take every part of me for himself... do not let him take you in such a way. Rei was foolish to believe that he held any measure of good intention. This is his true face. Remember it well." Things grew hazy, her senses fading to the texture of cotton as she tried to find something, anything to hold onto.
Then the last Queen of their home planet had faded into nothingness as well, transparent and vanishing before her current incarnation's eyes. "Wait, I... you can't just leave me with that!"
And suddenly, the mere thought that he had invaded her mind felt more like an insult, an invasion of privacy as she made one terrifying noise after the other, fighting more against the arms binding her then than against the man she had been originally trying to kill on behalf of her sister. Thoughts of the meat sandwich she hadn't had the time to enjoy were long gone as her eyes left from a clouded, dazed pair in her face to alert, furious windows to something darker.
She kicked and thrashed, tried to reach with her mouth to bite him, any part of him, but to no avail. She tried to return the previous mental shockwave, three angry, spat Martian words hurtling towards him, but otherwise only capable of shoving emotion towards him. Rage, hate, betrayal. Any combination thereof as she tried to knock her head backwards into his face, willing to take a hit if it meant breaking his nose.
The Martian could have cared less about the little girl calling her an aunt, or the man who had just come in to sweep her foster sister away from her (though it should be noted that her reaction to Ruro's very presence was to let out the loudest growl she ever had, all but exploding forth from her writhing frame). She struggled and fought like a mad beast because, suddenly, this situation seemed dangerous.
"Drop me, Jadeite," Raen snarled in a voice that wasn't entirely her own, though the accent and language very much was. She heard Rei's desperate plea to think of how she was going to be killed if she kept trying to attack her 'best friend' only vaguely as the other power inside of her demanded control. She allowed it.
Jace Luciys - January 10, 2012 07:51 AM (GMT)
She didn't understand why they were fighting. It wasn't sparring, that graceful but forceful battling that Keiko showed her images of, something that for all its deadly seriousness still had an edge of happiness to it. This was fighting, hard terrible fighting, like had happened when Keiko had been kidnapped (she'd never told anyone that she'd watched all the way up as the chain took them too the roof, watching her Auntie Rei shoot the bad men). But it was worse-worse-worse, because Auntie Moo was fighting Uncle Khor, and Auntie Rei was too. They shouldn't fight, they were friends, they were family. Family has to stick together! Like Lilo and Stitch in the movie, family has to stick together, family is forever! They shouldn't, they shouldn't be fighting!
"No! Stop it, stop fightin'!" Mai wailed, even as Uncle Khorvash stumbled and fell. Her arms started to fall away from his leg, but then something - somehow - she fell with him, his leg falling on her arm. She heard a crack, and oww. Oww, oww, oww, oww. The girl screamed, once, then fell silent, tears rolling down her cheek from the pain flowing up her arm. Uncle Khorvash, Auntie Moo, Auntie Raen... they'd hurt her. Why had they hurt her? She hadn't - she hadn't been bad, had she? All she'd wanted them to do was stop fighting. Did - did they not like her any more? Auntie Raen had taught her to growl, and they had the same eyes, but maybe she had changed her mind? Maybe Auntie Raen thought she was a freak now, like the kids had said she was. A freak and a monster. That meant Auntie Moo and Uncle Khorvash had to think she was a freak and a monster.
Tenaciously, the little girl wiggled her way out from underneath her Uncle Khorvash, holding her hurt arm as she stood.
"Puppa," she sobbed, "Puppa, my arm hurt." She moved closer to him and her Auntie Raen, hiccuping. "I wanna, I wanna go home." Mai shivered, suddenly very cold, teeth chattering.
"Pwease," she cried, "Pwease, Auntie Raen, stop fighting Puppa, I hurt, I wanna go home!"
Jace gave up all pretense of niceity as Raen snarled at him in his mind, firming up his hold on her, his arms looped under her arms and up around her shoulders to meet at the back of her head. His greater height meant she was free to kick and thrash all she wanted, but she couldn't reach to bite him.
"I don't want to hurt you, Raen," he tried. It was to no avail, as Jadeite was snarled at him just as Itzal hit his mind and he was gone.
All he'd ever wanted was acknowledgement from her. Yes, it was probably crazy, he was aware enough to admit that, but she was so gorgeous. Gorgeous and fiery and perfect. He just couldn't get enough of her, he wanted to be near her, to hear her speak, to breathe her scent, to bask in the majesty she seemed to carry about her. It was no wonder even Princess Serenity referred to Mars as the fire goddess. In truth she was a goddess, and he was just a helpless moth drawn to her flame, his shadows calling for a fire, for light, to balance them. He wanted to love her, to shower her with everything good and perfect in the world, as she seemed good and perfect to him.
Yes, she had a temper. So did he. She could be rude and brisk and blunt and loved fighting. He could be rude and brisk and was at times too blunt, and had learned much from his merchant parents in terms of fighting by way of words and legalities. He just wanted a chance with her, a sign, and acknowledgement. Even if she just told him flatly 'no', that she wasn't interested, it would be enough. He just had to know. She'd rejected his early love poems and love songs, she'd even rejected the quiver he had made himself for her arrows - he'd gone so far as to dye the leather and hand stitch it with embroidery of gold flames.
He hadn't meant for it to come to this. Jayaant stared up at his tormentor coldly, throat already sore from held-in screams. She wouldn't get the best of him. He knew this wasn't his Mars that burnt him and cut him and shot him and beat him. He knew it wasn't. It was a trick, a cruel trick to make him give up on her, to give up on what could have been - even if part of him finally acknowledged that it never would have happened, she wouldn't do this. She was too good.
The torture session began again, and he shivered to feel the weakening beats of the other three hearts alongside his - it was not just him being tortured. His brothers - oh, his brothers. He bit down on his bottom lip until he tasted blood. He bit down on his bottom lip so hard he bit it right off, and when the pain from whipping across skin with third degree burns finally became too much, he sprayed more blood across the room as the hunk of flesh that had been his bottom lip fell to the ground, the remains of that bit of flesh pumping the crucial liquid around the room when his mouth opened to scream. But he could not scream. It hurt too much to scream.
After a rest period, when they started up again, he couldn't have screamed if he'd wanted to.
'Mars' had removed his tongue.
Jace staggered under the weight of his memory, under the weight of a fighting Raen.
"No," he said simply, unable to get any more words out. His eyes widened as he looked beyond the struggling Martian to spy his approaching daughter.
"Puppa," she began, only to fall back, back, down, down, a victim of a wild kick by the Martian he held. Mai moaned, lying on the ground, so much blood on her face he couldn't tell if it was her nose or her jaw broken, or if she'd bitten through part of her face or tongue.
"Rei!" Johannes barked, unable to take it any longer. "Help me, she's hurting Keiko." The South African trembled, rage coursing through the veins of the Uranian body he had taken over, wanting to go and bring his daughter to his lord - he was standing right there, busy with the queen and Khorvash, but dammit, something had to be done, or his daughter would die, just in trying to help.
"There's so much blood, bokkie," he whispered in Japanese, "Please, I can't do this on my own."
Cyorlithe Nitze - January 14, 2012 04:05 AM (GMT)
"You should not have stolen the gift of rebirth, Kunzite."
The voice, so empty and yet, at the same time, heartbroken, spoke to a part of Cyor that he had long buried inside himself. A part that he had wished had been all but forgotten. However, this person, this ignorant girl, had brought it forth, had compelled it to take form within him again, and so Kunzite, the hated general, the leader of the hellish Shitennou, was stirring, was regaining his place in Cyor's mind, and though he wished to push the man back once again, force the memories away, Kunzite's strength grew due to the shock and anger that boiled within the pit of Cyor's belly. Who did this little girl think she was, telling him that he didn't deserve to have a second chance at life? If anyone didn't deserve it, it was the bitch who had decided that she'd rather die than fight for her planet, for the other planets of the solar system, the one who had looked at the Earth as if she had owned it, as if it was part of her little dollhouse that was the Silver Alliance.
The pain was blinding. Kunzite knew that he had to get out of there, to seek his liege, to protect him at all costs, but how could he when they were so persuasive?
He was right all along; the Moon had been spying on them with their futuristic technology. They were a corrupt government waiting to burn. And he would not stand for it. He was the leader of the Shitennou, after all. The leader of the Four Heavenly Kings. He would never obey an unjust ruler.
Who did that little rabbit think she was? Confusing the Prince, compelling him with her wiles to form an alliance?! He could have broken her in half like a toothpick. She didn't have the education, the training that Kunzite had been ensured. Why was she the one with the Prince's ear at her disposal? She was spreading lies and propaganda that would help that infernal Moon's dangerous politics!
They were right, and so he listened. He played his part as charitable little guard, making her laugh, charming her into thinking he was her friend. But by night, he planned. And plotted. And knew: the time had come. They would attack the Moon the next time she left them. They would reign, once and for all, superior beings in the solar system, and would never bow down to an oppressive regime like the Moon again.
He protected her, still. He escaped and went to the Moon. The foolish Prince! Kunzite would enjoy killing him.
When he found them together in the Moon Palace, it was fate. He would slaughter the Prince and then he would watch the light die in the Princess's eyes. Then the life would them as well.
He had been victorious. He had gutted the Prince in a fatal blow. Just as well. It was a shame to kill him, but he had been foolish enough to believe those of the White Moon. Death was a gentle punishment compared to what they had in mind for the traitor Prince.
However, in his victory, he was hasty. The Prince returned the blow, and soon Kunzite was dying as well. When he received that wound to the chest, as he fell slowly to the ground, watching the Princess dive to her Prince, all of his memories slowly filtered back into his mind. He had been tricked. And now his Prince would die because of it.
The memory caught Kunzite - no, Cyorlithe - off guard. Because he was so wrapped up in the recollection and the emotions attributed to it - mostly anger and venomous hatred - he completely missed the fact that the girl was preparing to try and fell him again. Because she had the element of surprise on her side on this attempt, she was successful; the girl jumped forward, pushing all of weight and strength into his midsection. The man fell back, landing against the floor, hitting the table and a chair against his arms. And a little girl - possibly Jace's - had attached herself to his leg, and crashed down to the floor with him. While he was probably bruised and going to be sore, Cyor had no idea how the girl was feeling, and her little voice reminded him so much of Ren that it assuaged the anger boiling within him; seconds later, every essence that had been Kunzite dissipated, and all Cyor could think about was keeping the little girl under him safe from the girl who was scratching and clawing at him with the vigor of a wild animal. Thankfully, the little girl struggled out from under him, narrowly avoiding one of the other girl's blows, and began to cry. His heart went out her, seeing Ren in his mind's eye, but he had to get this girl off him before he could do anything about it.
Thankfully, as always, his liege came to the rescue. Ruro picked up the scratching, writhing girl, not so much unlike the feral incarnation of Mars, in a swift gesture and cradled her against him in his arms. Cyor stood up, remembering at that moment that the Feet would probably be storming the place in minutes, if not seconds. Whatever they were going to do, they had to act fast. Hopefully, if the Feet did come before they were able to leave, his name and prestige would get them out of the stickiness that would inevitably ensue.
"I have my truck outside."
The words were true, but Cyor was unsure how they could manage it with the Princess in her present state and Johannes's little girl crying due to what must have been a broken arm. However, after a moment, Cyor took Ruro's truck keys from him. His shoulders hurt from the fall, yes, but right now they needed Ruro's healing abilities and for him to straighten the Princess out. The least Cyor could do was drive. He picked up the little girl gingerly, mindful of her arm, promising her that once they got in the car, the nice man holding the crazy woman would help her. Right now, though, they needed her to be a big girl and to hush. If she could do that, he would introduce her to his own little girl, and they would turn out to be great friends.
"I've got this, Master," Cyor mumbled after a minute as he rushed outside and strapped the girl into one of the seats. "But we need to leave. Now. There's no telling when the Mercurian on duty called the Feet, but we have at most minutes."
Cyor ushered all of them into the car as hurriedly as he could, hoping against hope that they could make it out without a Youma fight. The Feet they'd send out in this case would be the nastiest members they could possibly manage, as the Regime liked to preserve its image as a peaceful nation. Disruptions like this were dealt with quickly. Cyor only hoped that he, as the victim, helping his attackers was enough to push the Feet off it for a while. He could go back later, offer them some explanation, and use his name to get Mars and the Princess cleared. But now, he had more pressing issues to occupy his thoughts.
Ushriya Deva - January 14, 2012 05:02 AM (GMT)
Why was she emotionless? It was as if Riya was looking at the world without feeling. Nothing held the same sort of response in as it did hours - no, only minutes - ago. She could not appreciate the fact that her sister was there, or that she was out for the day, or anything. All she saw was the face of the man she was straddling - the man Raen had been attacking a minute before her, before she had been pulled off - a face that she was trying so desperately to mar. Something told her that this man, a whisper in the back of her mind informed her that his name was Kunzite, had insulted every part of her the minute that he pushed the sword into her beloved Endymion.
But even as she watched herself try to maim and mar this man, Riya could not understand it. Her memories of Endymion's death were nearly crystal clear. Kunzite had had such a scary, sinister look to him. His eyes had been hard and grey, not silver at all. He had come into the Palace with blood on his mind. But this man... this man was different. He looked generally confused, perhaps even frightened. As if he had something beyond this. Riya cried out slightly as she struck him again, wondering why she was doing this. She had never hit another human being in her life before. Why was this man different?
"Do you wish to remember?" that strange, young, torn voice asked of her, pulling at her subconscious, taking her to a world of memories.
She was once again standing in the room of the Moon Palace, but she was no longer Riya. She was Serenity. But then, Serenity was there as well; however, she was transparent, standing off to the side, looking down on the scene with a strange expression Riya couldn't identify dancing across her regal features. Riya wanted to ask Serenity what was going on, but her voice wouldn't work; the girl rendered her unable to control her own actions, and this made Riya angrier than she could say. Usagi had never once done this to her.
Prince Endymion rushed into the room, warning her of the dangers outside and the coming battle. Not a moment later, Kunzite followed as well.
"Watch well, Ushriya. This is the reason you should despise Kunzite with all of your being," Serenity advised, though Riya felt as if Serenity were playing with her emotions, getting her to feel what Serenity wanted her to feel. Why should she judge the Shitennou for their past life actions?
The scene played out much as it had before, except, instead of watching Serenity's actions, Riya acted them out, felt her emotions. She hated it. She hated the tears that flew from her eyes and the general feeling of helplessness and betrayal that flowed through body in waves. She hated that she felt what Serenity felt, relived what Serenity had gone through, each moment until Endymion looked up at her and the life left his eyes.
For a moment, Riya was caught up in it. Her tears were genuine as she cried over Endymion's body, feeling as if her heart had been torn from her and cut up into pieces. But then she remembered. This was the past. They were all alive again. Ruro was still alive. He was somewhere, hopefully not in this twisted memory of Serenity's insane mind.
And with that, life came back into Riya. She remembered her childhood with Raen, playing with her, feeling dismayed when the girl destroyed her Mercies. They replaced the shattered memories of Ariana that were filling Riya's head, replacing the loneliness and despair with the happiness and joy she felt at having such a life filled with such friends and family members.
She and Serenity now changed places; Riya was now the one watching again as Serenity took her own life. The hopelessness and despair Riya had felt was just what it had always been, a memory.
Riya blinked several times, finding herself struggling with Ruro's arms. She was surprised to find herself there. When had he joined the fray? She was about to thank him for stopping her from hurting the man seriously, but Serenity had not yet lost her entire grip on Riya's mind. She was still pushing her emotions into Riya's subconscious, trying to lull her back under into the vision so that Riya might understand why the Silver Millennium Princess was acting this way.
However, Riya despised the girl for all that she had done, taking her body for a stroll and using it to attack an innocent man. While she had been locked in the cusp of that twisted memory, she had learned far more about Serenity than she originally desired. She had felt it, the instant that the life left Endymion's eyes, that Serenity had lost her grip on her sanity. No longer had the young Princess been thinking sanely; all that consumed her thoughts was the quickest way of returning to the Prince again, as if he hadn't even died, but as if he'd gone on vacation and stabbing herself was her journey to join him.
And now that through death could Serenity no longer be with her beloved, she was trying to make everyone else's lives miserable. Well, Riya was not going to stand for it.
In that moment, as she sat struggling in Ruro's arms, her body still lost to Serenity's craziness, Riya reached out to the girl angrily. "Go away," Riya said bitterly. "You aren't welcome here."
With those words, it appeared Serenity finally realized that she no longer had an ally in the teenaged girl. Though she was probably angry, Riya didn't care; she was merely thankful that the royal pain had decided to leave her body for a while. In a moment, Riya stopped struggling in Ruro's arms; she had relaxed into her normal state, finally free of Serenity's hold on her body. She never thought she'd be so happy to be able to ignore a prior incarnation, but was she ever.
"Thanks," Riya said softly to Ruro, snuggling her head into his chest.
It was then that Riya realized the full gravity of what she had done when Serenity had overtaken her.
The poor little girl was crying. Riya's eyes snapped open, and upon seeing the blood and state of the child, her heart felt sick. She wanted to jump out of Ruro's arms and hug the girl to her chest, but she knew that the sight of her would probably only scare her. It was then that Riya, too, started to cry. Had she really been this horrible in her past life?
And there it was again, the image of the pink rabbit appearing in her head as if it was somehow important.
Raen Mars - January 22, 2012 04:05 PM (GMT)
The thing that raged inside of her thrashed like she had as a tiny six year old on Mars, growling and snapping and trying to reach Jace like someone had told her she would die if she didn't. Some part of Raen could recall vaguely that her rage had been for the Lunarian grabbing for Ruro's keys before all of this, finding it now wholly concentrated on the man behind her. He wasn't allowed to touch her, he wasn't allowed to hold her, not after what he had done. He had killed Minu, crawled on top of Ariana, taken her and cut her and tortured her and killed her, too... well, she assumed. The Martian Queen hadn't shown her her own demise, but it seemed all too obvious with the knowledge that he had been so willing to...
No, she couldn't focus on that. She wouldn't let him be stronger than her, even with his hands planted firmly against her hair at the back of her head. The brunette grunted, straining with the effort of trying to use her head to butt his own hands back into his face as the kicking failed, flailing in spite of herself. It wasn't working, none of this was working, and she wanted it to so badly. Nevermind that her arms were starting to fall asleep from the way she was pressed so awkwardly into his, hanging above-ground and stiff.
Had he always been this strong? She couldn't recall. She had never really eyed him up for a fight, he'd always had Mai with him. Mai... Mai!
The Martian detected the sounds of sobbing just in time for her foot to connect with something, the familiar sound of a slap on flesh grinding through her mind so loudly it nearly made her sick. 'Keiko!' What happened next was the mental equivalent of being beaten upside the head with a club so hard that staying conscious would never have been an option. For a moment, her whole body seized, going limp in the blonde man's arms, only to come alive again with the short snort of someone unused to needing to breathe, writhing for a moment as she tried to get to her goddaughter, before remembering exactly why all of this had happened in the first place.
"Johannes, you can put me down now," she suggested, Rei's instinctual takeover of Raen's body making her feel dirty almost instantly before she was able to push that thought aside. No. It was for Keiko, Keiko who had only wanted to help... she refused to let her current incarnation kill her, kill a child when she was there and capable of taking her form. She might not have liked it, needing to put her down like a dog just to keep her from hurting herself or others, but this was one instance where she would not regret it.
Ariana had spent a brief moment battling for complete control as well, with the current avatar out of the way, asleep for all intents and purposes. Forcibly asleep. But Rei had been having none of it, eyes narrowing briefly as she thought on the damage that woman had done. Probably enough rage from a long-dead Queen for one day. Killing their Keiko would not find her the relief she sought, would not sate her taste for vengeance.
Nothing ever would, really, and though they'd argued about that often enough in her life, being dead herself, it was becoming kind of a theme to all of their discussions. Because keeping her out of Raen's mind wasn't her responsibility, wasn't her job. Their fragile, skittish little girl wouldn't do anything but run from the pair of them if they were allowed to bicker in front of her, or forced themselves on her so much. It had been her hope that maybe the Martian girl would turn to her sometime, sick of having thoughts that were not her own planted in her head.
Evidently, she had been wrong. That, or someday was taking a fucking long time to come.
She dropped from the Uranian then, taking only a split second to get a good look for herself at Johannes' current incarnation, smirking mirthlessly at their height difference before skidding after Keiko - Mai, she was going to have to remind herself for the time that she would be in control of Raen's body - and Khorvash out the door of the café.
"Mai!" she called out, sliding to Ruro's truck and towards the moaning girl, wincing at the screech of horror some woman back in the café let out. Right. Martian running up to the little girl she'd just kicked in the face. She wasn't going to be anybody's favourite thing there. "Mai," she started again, softer, "I'm so, so sorry, Mai. I didn't mean to hurt you."
Someone shouted at her to get away from the girl, and she frowned, unwittingly growling back at them. Ooookay, so these vocal cords were going to take some getting used to. "Baby, we've got to leave," she murmured quietly, hesitant to touch her with so many people already so willing to kill her. Her best bet would be that they would see her eyes and assume that they were related. She knew enough about the world around them, as it were, to know that that might be enough to make them not care.
Doubtful, though. A child was still a child, particularly a bleeding, crying, broken one. Even a particularly perceptive one. She likely hadn't needed to tell Keiko that they had to get out of there, but hey. Maybe the more she said it, the faster it could happen.
"Johannes," she started in Japanese, rapidfire pulse almost hurting. She'd have to talk to Raen about that later, maybe. Had she always been so quick to get so excited? Maybe the girl's flight-or-fight response was just amplified. She wouldn't have blamed genetics, knowing how Mars could be in this day and age. "We've got to get out of here." It was obvious, but never let it be said that Rei hadn't had her priorities straight. Keiko would need medical attention - something nobody could give her outside of a crowded little café, or with the incoming Feet soldiers breathing down their necks.
Ruro Shoban - February 25, 2012 07:02 PM (GMT)
It happened too fast for him to do anything about it. He'd yanked his Riyako to him, only for his ears to realize they'd heard a too familiar crack. It was the same sound that had seemed to echo across the farm when Marc had fallen out of the hayloft years ago, the same that had entirely echoed across the farm just a few days ago when Honri was practicing for the upcoming race. Jolting, stomach-turning, it was like the breaking of a heavy porcelain, he always thought, the sound of breaking bone.
"Mai!" he called out, plucking the name from his Itzal's frantic mind, but it was as if the girl didn't hear him, didn't realize he was there as she went crying to her father. Ushriya's gentling and soft thank you in his mind were almost unnoticed as he winced to see the girl fall, face bleeding from where even he couldn't tell.
"I wouldn't -" the start of his warning fell on deaf ears as Cyorlithe pulled his keys from his pocket and walked over to Mai. Ruro did the only thing he could, wince, as Mai's cries increased in pitch and volume, more a wailing scream as she thrashed in the Lunarian's arms. No, she was not going to calm down. There had to be something going on further than what could be seen to provoke that response, especially as the cries seemed to end abruptly when Raen - or was it Rei? - ran tearing after him, ignoring the screams of passerby, Jace - Johannes? - nearly overtaking her with his longer stride.
Quickly he followed after, still carrying Ushriya. At that point it was just easier to carry her, skirting through the mass of dogs his Uranian brother was rushing into the truck bed, wrapping an odd belt-like object around the bar that occasionally was used for extra-long leading reins. He got the driver's door open and put Ushriya inside on the bench seat, scooting her over and then groaning at fate. Cyorlithe and Ushriya were going to end up sitting next to each other. But he couldn't sit in the middle and drive, so it would have to do. Just have to hope Serenity knew better than to do anything rash.
He started up the truck and once Cyorlithe got in slammed on the gas, peeling them out of there and praying that the combination of high-magical energy and Alliance-technology would keep any of them from getting recognized. Not much to be done about Jace's six dogs, but they would think of something, he was sure, if it came to that. Mamoru spoke to him softly, and Ruro nodded. Yes, the colors of magic in the back seat were different than 'expected', so perhaps this would work. Ruro stuck his right arm back over the seat, concentrating on driving, while Mamoru took over a portion of his body.
"Kei-chan, leg please?" the Crystal King inquired of the mass of two brunettes and one blond that were huddled together on the back seat. A spritely purple-and-pink clad leg was held out to him. Mamoru laid his fingertips on the bare strip of skin between the bottom of her pant leg and where her sock had fallen down, concentrating. A clean break wasn't too hard, just remind the bones of where they needed to be and how they needed to look. The face was a bit harder, bloodflow had already stopped from the nose, but the break in it and the cheekbone near it had to be dealt with, not to mention the bruising. Once that was settled he moved his hand away, both Mamoru and Ruro smiling at the soft, "Thanks, Unca Ru," that came out. Whether that was all Keiko or all Mai or part Keiko and an awakening Mai, neither really knew, but at least the little girl was feeling better.
He turned his full attention back to the road, knowing he would have to say something, but quite honestly, Ruro wasn't in the mood. Let them get to the farm, get Mai settled into bed, and then go hash this all out somewhere, probably up in the attic, so that if Johannes or Jace (whichever was currently forward) felt the need to hit something, it could be a punching bag and not Cyorlithe's face.
Jace Luciys - February 29, 2012 11:39 PM (GMT)
Everything hurt. Everything, everything hurt. She whimpered, curled into a ball on the floor as a last act of self-defense. A shadow fell over her and Mai screamed. It was Uncle Khor, and Uncle Khor was mad at her, he'd hurt her, he was gonna hurt her again, like Auntie Raen had hurt her too. She was a bad girl, she had to be a bad girl because they kept hurting her. She just wanted her puppa, he didn't think she was bad, he wouldn't hurt her, he would tell her she was a good girl and he wouldn't hurt her. But Uncle Khor was picking her up and telling her to be quiet and taking her away from Puppa. Mai arched up in his arms, fighting for all she was worth, kicking with her legs and lunging for his face with her good arm, teeth latching onto the closest part of him she could, biting down before releasing the mouthful of cloth and growling for all she was worth, crying and screaming and growling. He had to let her go, he had to, he had to, he had hurt her, he thought she was bad but she wasn't, she wasn't, she wasn't. He had to let her go back to Puppa!
No, no, no, she fought at the straps he put her in, wanting to get out, to go back to Puppa, but reared away was Auntie Raen climbed in. No, no, no, Auntie Raen thought she was bad-bad-bad, thought she was a monster. Everything hurt so bad-bad-bad and Auntie Raen thought she was bad-bad-bad and... there was a voice. Small and soft and kind, telling her it was okay, she was good, and she could sleep for a little bit and things would be better when she woke up. With no other real choices, Mai did just that, letting herself sleep, unaware of precisely of the other coming forward to take over her vocal cords and open her eyes.
Keiko blinked, using the good arm to slap at the seatbelt release and gently throw herself into her aunt's arms.
"Auntie Rei," the ten year old controlled her breathing to keep from sobbing. "It hurts so bad, Auntie Rei. Mai's so scared now, she doesn't understand, she thinks your Raen and Uncle Khor and Auntie Moo hate her now, when they were all accidents or damn Ariana and Serenity." Keiko cursed once, uncaring that it might get her in trouble. The once-queen of Mars was well known to her, considering certain... events during Crystal Tokyo, so her saying thus about the woman was not out of the ordinary. Even her Pappa didn't precisely mind her swearing about the Millennium queen. For the Moon princess... there was a bit more minding, but not that much, since things were bad there too.
She curled the much-smaller than she was used to body into the arms of her godmother, the whine that escaped from her mouth pretty much exactly what she was feeling. A soft wuff had her looking past her aunt's shoulder to the back window. The young girl had to smile through the pain at the sight of six concerned sets of canine eyes fighting to get to look at her.
Johannes dropped Rei quickly, not worrying about making sure she kept her feet. She would, it was Rei, and quietly laughed at himself as she outstripped him. For all everything, she was still faster than him, even in this life, at least for sprints. He looked into the truck cab to catch Mai throwing herself at Rei, but considering the expression, he wasn't too worried, instead rushing to lower the tailgate of the truck, undoing the lead-belt from the bike rack and assisting the six dogs to make the high jump up to the bed, looping the belt around a handy bar near the window and slamming the tailgate closed again. He ran to the door to the cab, heaving himself in and slamming the front seat back upright.
The South African didn't attempt to seperate his daughter and his friend, instead scooping both up and settling them on his lap, pressing a kiss to dark and light hair alike. He breathed a sigh of relief when they were on the road and Ruro healed his daughter's wounds, uncaring whether it was Mai or Keiko he was holding. He was a bit concerned about if it was Raen he was holding, but he would know if it was Raen he was holding, so.
Cyorlithe Nitze - March 6, 2012 08:01 AM (GMT)
Why did she have to be so hurt? Cyor looked down at the girl softly as Raen took her out of his arms. He didn't even struggle to keep her there. If it was one thing that always unnerved him, it was the sound of a child in pain. Perhaps it was his fatherly instincts or maybe he'd just grown more mature in this life, but it didn't matter. All that mattered was she in great pain, even giving off a high-pitched yelp, and he'd been the one to cause it.
A great frown creased Cyor's face. However, he sighed. She was with Raen, or Rei, or whoever was occupying that girl's body now, but as long as Mai was calm, he was happy. He needed to focus now. Hopefully Jace wouldn't murder him later for unintentionally hurting his daughter even more. It would've been very hard for him not to if the tables were turned.
Feeling ill at ease, Cyor watched the sky. He turned and looked down the alleyways. How much time did they have left? Not much.
And then, a thought struck him. He was a moron. He flipped on his telescreen, forcing a calm look to come to his scratched-up face. In moments, his Mercurian superior was staring at him coldly.
"Explain yourself, Nitze!"
The truck was going. That was good. Hopefully, if things when bad, Cyor could end the call before the Eye could track it. But he knew that they were probbly already tracking it.
So he used his last card.
Immediately, Cyor put on the smug expression he'd seen his father's family use often growing up. The sort of look that demanded to be catered to. At once, the Mercurian raised an eyebrow.
"Exactly. Nitze," Cyor reiterated firmly, stressing out his name so that the Mercurian could be sure not to miss it. The man was quick, even by Mercury's standards. He frowned angrily. "I was having fun with some friends. I realize some people got a little carried away. I'd appreciate it if the Feet would be told to retreat. I wouldn't want to have to make some calls to my family to straighten things out."
The Mercurian turned pale. If that happened, it spelled death for him. The Nitze family was as merciless as they were vengeful. If one of their own upstanding sons was involved in some sort of scandal, there would be hell to pay for those involved.
"I see," the man said carefully. He typed some things into his keypad. "The Feet have been called back. Personnel is being sent in to set the area to normalcy. The names of you and your... friends will not be made public. Is that all, sir?" he asked, obviously irritated and frightened but doing his best to hide it.
Cyor thanked the man and bid him farewell. "The Feet have been told to retreat. They're not going to hunt us," he informed everyone, though most of his words were directed at Ruro. Then he sighed. "I really hope my family doesn't actually carry out my threat." If his face wound up on the evening news, they'd be sure to. There was only so much an Eye operative was able to do.
He turned slightly, looking at the trio sitting behind him. "Mai, I'm really sorry about hurting you, kid. I didn't know that picking you up would result in more pain," he said simply, his eyes resting on not only the little girl, but on Jace as well. Hopefully the other man could forgive him, too. He didn't know if he would try to stop him if he wanted to bust his face in. He wanted to bust his face in.
And then, just as he was turning back around, unseen hands gripped the sides of his face, clawing at his eyes.
Ushriya Deva - March 6, 2012 08:44 AM (GMT)
The sound of the child. Riya winced so hard her face twitched. It was her fault, all of it. Tears started sliding down her face. She wanted to reach out to the girl, to hug her, to apologize, but her voice wouldn't work. She was stuck in this still frame of remorse and fear. She knew they needed to get out of there. She didn't even protest when Ruro didn't let her out of his arms until they got to his trunk. Somehow, fighting with Serenity had drained her, and being so near him gave her the strength to hold on longer. But she knew Serenity wasn't gone forever. She would lie and wait for her next opportunity. Riya only hoped that her defenses against her would be stronger and that next time, there wouldn't be defenseless little children in the crossfire.
She was curled up in the passenger seat of the truck, tears continuing to slide down her face as she drifted. Riya didn't know how she had the ability to sleep at this moment, but it seemed that her body desired nothing else other than to release that flow of emotion and then to rest, and so she let it.
When she looked up again, Cyor was occupying the middle spot. She would have protested, but she was in control of her inhibitions now, not Serenity. She didn't have an issue sitting next to the man who looked as if he had a lot on his mind. So she allowed herself to drift and to dream.
It felt like hours later, but it was probably only minutes, when she felt the presence of another inside her head. She tried to awaken, to force her eyes to open, but Serenity was keeping her under. Riya asked Usagi to intervene - after all, Usagi was the only one that the pampered Moon brat would listen to. However, Usagi stayed back. She told Riya that this was a thing she would have to resolve on her own, and that sometimes, a peaceful solution can come from unexpected paths.
"Thanks a lot," Riya replied sarcastically.
After a long moment in which Serenity attempted to claw out Cyor's eyes, Riya wondered what she should do. She was forced into sleeping, and because of this she had no control. She tried to get a feel of Serenity's emotions, but they were so cold and heartbroken, Riya recoiled from them. Usagi urged her onward, suggesting that she might try to understand her opponents before attacking them. Riya ignored the former queen, retreating to the farthest corners of her mind. She wanted to help and protect this man who had done nothing to her, but Serenity, her former self, was the one attacking him. And her other former self, the self-proclaimed peace-loving Sovereign of the Earth, obviously thought that meaningless advice was a big help.
"Riya," Usagi began again pointedly, taking on a firm, maternal sort of voice. "Sometimes fighting is not the way. Sometimes another path must be forged. Serenity is no danger unless you allow her to be one."
Begrudgingly, Riya tried again. She reached toward Serenity, but once again, she recoiled at the touch of the cold emotions there. For one who had been reared to be in control of emotion, Serenity was doing a very good job of letting hers spill over.
This time, however, Riya forced the anger and hatred for her prior incarnation away from her. She allowed Usagi to guide her motions, and soon she was reaching out to Serenity's hands. Usagi took control of her body, removing her from Cyor's, as Riya looked into the cold, hard eyes of the girl who was Crown Princess of a powerful satellite before she lost everything.
"We are not so unalike, you know," Serenity said in her flat voice. "You may tell yourself that we have nothing in common, but you were once me."
If it weren't for Usagi guiding her mind, Riya might have ignored the girl, but instead she listened. For once, she wondered what it might have been like had she been the one to watch Ruro fall. If she didn't have the lifelong sisterhood she shared with Raen. Her eyes widened. She realized that Serenity had been a very lonely teenager whose first real love was the first person who sought to know her, not the her who was Crown Princess of a powerful nation, but the her who was bubbly and flawed. He was the first who knew that person and liked for it, or even despite it. Because, for all her jewels and gowns, for all her friends and her mother, Serenity was just a teenager who was forced to be an adult. She was a girl who had so much and yet lacked even more.
This time, when Riya reached out to her, it was not because of Usagi's interference, but because she was realizing how lonely and vulnerable Serenity had been. She didn't quite feel sorry for the girl, but she began to understand the way she had felt.
Granted, that didn't mean she would allow her to go around attacking innocent men. But she knew that Serenity would never forgive Kunzite for what he had done. She would always try to ensure that he knew her wrath, no matter what form he was in or how much he had changed.
Riya knew though that this was her first step. Understanding. She no longer hated the girl who had taken over her body and was using it for her twisted ways, and now she even understood why Serenity was the way she was. She wasn't strong enough to keep Serenity from doing this again, but she was stronger. It would be harder for the Princess to repeat again, and for some reason, when she discovered this, Serenity didn't seem too angry. She had gone through this before with Usagi and knew it was only a matter of time.
Then Usagi encouraged her to sleep, saying that she would safeguard her body from the machinations of the Princess for now. Riya was tired, and so she fell asleep, leaving her body safe in Usagi's hands.
Usagi may have been a bit of a fool during her lifetime, and she still was somewhat, but she knew she had only moments to look through the eyes of her present incarnation. She allowed her mind to rest for a moment with Ruro's, letting him know that for now, and perhaps always, Cyor was safe from Serenity's murderous intentions. She wanted dearly to speak with Mamoru, to have one of their lovey-dovey conversations as they used to, but she did not have the time for that. Instead, she looked over at Rei, for she knew it was the soul of her dearest friend that resided in the Martian's body at this moment, and exchanged a glance with her.
It was difficult and not becoming of a queen at all, but Usagi reached over and felt Rei's arm. She could feel Riya stirring and would not keep the girl's body from her longer than she'd promised. "I love you," she said to Rei simply, sticking her tongue out at the girl as a reference to their days of fighting. Then she faded back into Riya's mind, allowing her current incarnation to continue with her life.