You find yourself amidst the ruins of a large palace. If you have the ability of sensing magic you'd realise that nearly everything here resonates with a magica aura. Here and there small stones literaly float from the abusively large amounts of power stored here. Because of the broken and fallen walls and celings not much of the palace is explorable. In the back of the room rests a large golden throne atop a small platform. Behind it glowing blue is a swirling vortex which even now seems to want to pull you inside. Too bad the world of Chronos is a protected world. Violating the Council's order is a serious offense...
And so a new age begins, echoing the old. It begins with a single word.
An echo in time, spanning numerous lives and dimensions, the girl's voice begins soft and a trace uncertain. But hidden within that uncertainty, a god-given knowledge of her place, her fate, that far outweighs any sense of trepidation.
In a heartbeat, the girl smiles, drawing herself up to her full dimunitive height and tossing her head. A wave of dark hair shimmers about her shoulders and down her back, licking at her waist as she shifts position and places one dextrous set of fingers to her waist. Sapphire blue eyes focus upon a dark-clad back, the object of her attentions. She continues without waiting for his confirmation... how could he, among all, ignore her?
"Don'tcha think ya got somethin' ya should be doin'?"
Johnny groans a bit as someone else addresses him. He's already having enough problems with confusion alone and apparently no one is going to leave him alone long enough to adjust to it. He turns behind him eyeing the girl without recontion. He rasies an eyebrow and blinks. "And what the fuck are you supposed to be?"
What /is/ she supposed to be? A little below the shimmering mass of hair flicks a long, sleek-furred tail, tip gently grazing the rubble-strewn ground around the girl's feet. And at either side of her head, feline ears protrude. Her unorthodox appearance seems not to perturb her however, and that smile quickly turns to a grin, wide and teasing.
But there's more behind it. Her eyes are oddly dead, the gaze of a lost soul. Far from the spunky, energetic veneer worn upon her lips, and suggested by her trim little body. Whatever this humanoid might be, she's something else beside... "It's alright," she murmurs, soothing touch surpassing the mischief in her grin. She lifts one shoulder in a lazy shrug and steps forward, knocking aside a few stray rocks as she settles into a new position, a little closer and a little more intimate. "I'm a friend. Just gotta talk to ya 'bout those daggers o' yours. I... got somethin' you might need..."
Johnny's suspicion is unwaving. Unseen he fidgits with the release on his daggers' apparent new sheaths. As she gets closer his eyes narrow. He growls slightly as he speaks, "A friend, eh? Bullshit. I've never seen you before, and it's certainly not Halloween..." With a click the two daggers concealed beneath his sleaves eject into his waiting palms. He guestures with them as he continues speaking. "Look, I've had a bad fuckin' day. Somehow I've gone from running away from my problems to being right smack in the middle of them. Funny thing is I don't even remember getting off the plane. Now tell me who the fuck you are right fucking now before I have to get started burrying bodies again..."
Samantha tilts her head faintly to one side as the maniac speaks on, a glimmer of concern rising to those curiously dead eyes. Brow darkening, she glances to one side, moving her lips as she repeats something to herself, testing unproven ground. How can she explain this?
"I'm... someone special, I think. Someone that mattered. But to you?" She laughs, turning her full attention back to NNY, the sound carrying a manic quality, "Jus' call me Tabitha. It's a good enough name, don'tcha think? In any case, I bet yer pretty screwed up right now - proper screwed up. Like ya never-" she hesitates, and laughs again, "Like ya been so many times before, and'll prolly be again."
Pausing once more, she draws in a deep breath and shakes her head. "If y'wanna sort out this whole mess, if y'wanna know what's goin' on... I need ya to listen to me, then I need to ask ya somethin'. A favour. Reckon ya can do that... NNY?"
Johnny's eyes narrow still more. His mind scoffs at her words and he dismisses her until... "Nny? Who the fuck told you I..." He crosses his arms as he ponders this. This is new. Usualy not even new voices in his head call him Nny until he's properly acquainted with them. He thinks back over what she's proposed and resheaths his daggers with a little effort. "Alright, you got my attention... Tabitha? But this'd better be good. I don't have time for this shit..."
The sight of the maniac's daggers retreating is a welcome one, obviously, as the catgirl dips her head in a grateful semi-bow, blinking slowly... a show of relief. Lifting her free hand - that not currently pressed to her side - Samantha brushes at her right temple, flickering a glance downward then back up to Johnny's eyes. Despite any sign of past fear she meets his gaze without any other hesitation, bold despite the void.
"Good ain't exactly right, but it can't be any worse than what'll happen otherwise. Y'see, NNY - an' it doesn't matter who told me that, by the way - we used to know each other, a long, long time ago..."
"...Longer than y'can imagine..."
Suddenly, breaking the now painful trudge of her speech, she grins widely, flicking her hand outward with a single finger raised. It wags back and forth as she flippantly adds, "Not that long, though! Don'tcha go thinkin' about forever, don'tcha go thinkin' about past lives or any other stupid stuff. This is /real/, NNY. I'm real. An' once, we were real together. Power ripped us apart, we fought an' died after standing together fer so long."
She lowers her hand in a melancholy freefall, and bites her lower lip, "That power's still yours. An' I'm here to ask you to use it. Hey." She attempts a smile, a genuinely warm gesture, but it falters and dies, "Ya ever wonder what would've happened if you chose another path? Changed to be a better person?"
Johnny's eye twitches nervously. "Oh good. Someone else here to remind me I've lost my mind." He begins to pace trying to keep his cool. "Look, I'm sure if I've forgotten something it's for a good reason. As much shit's gone on in my past I don't need a trip down memory lane. I don't care what I've done. I tried to leave because I WANTED to start over." Turning to face her again, he takes a step back. "So, 'Tabitha' your gonna tell me you know some dark secret about me, huh? That's the whole point of this? Win my trust by pretending you know me? You know what, I don't want to know you.." His stance lowers as if preparing to pounce her. "I care who you are. I don't care what you know! I'm tired of living up to everyone else's expectations of me. I'm tired of doing what everyone wants. FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU AND YOUR FUCKING STORIES!" He pauses only to push his two long bangs out of his eyes. "Y'know, I've seen heaven. I've seen hell. I've seen labrinths built by things that aren't supposed to exist. I've seen aliens from space. I've done some horrible things with bath and beauty aids. I don't care. I just don't fucking care. No one in this world deserves my sympathy." Instead of pouncing he turns, starting to turn away. He lowers his head and sighs before speaking again. "The things pretending to be human are flawed. I know how ugly things are on the inside. I know how horrible and nasty they can be. No one is nice unless they have something to gain from it." Surprisingly he turns back again, hesitating. "Just what the fuck is your game then, huh? What are you after? Drop the act, 'Tabitha'. Why are you waisting time on me?"
"No dark secret." Unflinching in the face of Johnny's stance and physically unmoved by his foul, violent spew, the only sign of stress Samantha shows is a slight quickening to her pulse, chest rising and falling quicker as her breathing strives to catch up. "Even if there was, not like I c'n come here an' start tellin' you what to do. Ain't earned that right yet, maybe never will. Just 'cause I did before..."
Tailing off, she shrugs. Both shoulders rise this time, and then more deeply slump as the girl subsequently sinks onto her heels. 'No one is nice unless they have something to gain from it.' Her lips twitch, twisting slightly up and then pulling back. She swallows, and tosses her head, eyeing the maniac as though now confronting some deep personal demon. "It's nothin' to you, huh? An' neither am I." (Nor my pop, or Sun-chan... but does /she/ even care about /me/ any more?) "But that's fine, NNY. Really, it is."
"Let's lay it on the line, huh?"
She spreads her hands to either side, palms open, fingers slumping wretchedly against the power-drenched air. "...My name's Sammy Li-Bogard, an' I wantcha t'kill me."
Johnny is glaring angrily as she rambles on infront of him. He doesn't seem to care at all about anything she says as he stews in his own irratation. Yet, when she reintroduces herself his eyes dull for the briefest of moments as if his very soul was sucked out of him. He stares blankly as the name echoes in his thoughts. As his focus begins to come back to him, the maniac flicks his daggers back out and smiles manicly.
"Sure, it'd be my pleasure Sammy. A shame though... you shoulda just said that to begin with instead of rambling on like this. I could've already been on my way." As he holds them at the ready, the metal finish seems to flake off in pieces. Each piece drifts into the air like ashes leaving the blades beneath them black. The black of pure darkness. Although Johnny stares at them in confusion, he doesn't drop his guard and is quick to ignore them. After all something about this seems... familar. Besides, it's not like he's never killed someone before.
Johnny asks, "You want it fast or slow, cat-bitch? How much are we going to enjoy ourselves?"
'Judge not, lest ye be judged...'
It's Western lore ill-befitted to the girl's predominantly eastern education, but still it runs through her mind, causing a slight waver in her countenance as she watches Johnny move his weapons into position. As the words echo through her mind, Samantha wills the blades to shift shape, to shift colour, to /change into what she knows them to be/. Memories are still dim, still rushing back since her liberation from a perpetual void... but these, these are familiar from more recent visions.
"This couldn't just happen, NNY," she speaks slowly, keeping her gaze fixed upon the daggers, "I couldn't simply challenge you, or I'd die like the others. Y'know? Everyone ya ever killed 'cause ya didn't think they were worthy, every walkin' piece of meat... all the others. The others you 'judged'." She stops and sniffs, the first signs of real emotion reaching her eyes as she gives voice to her rather surprising thought. 'Judge not.'
"But'cha did, didn'tcha?" (He chose to let youlive.)
She speaks as if in a dream.
"An' now ya gotta do it again." (He CHOSE to let you /live/.)
She lowers her arms, a smirk flickering to life upon her lips, blue eyes glinting with directionless malice as she steps forward, drawing air into her breast. "Make the right decision, okay? But use those daggers, NNY. Use 'em like they were yer very soul! Think how much you wanna kill me! Think how much you hate me! Hate everyone! Yer angry, but yer gonna have to be a lot fuckin' angrier..."
Her lips twist, turning her aspect grotesque and hateful, "Kill me. I deserve it. I need it."
Johnny's eyes narrow. More for the feeling of deja-vu than the girl's words. His blood boils as this... this THING tells him what he needs to do. "FUCK YOU! DON'T FUCKING TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!" He waves a dagger at her menacingly. "I DON'T TAKE ORDERS FROM -ANYONE- LET ALONE SOME SELF RIGHTEOUS WHORE IN A CHEAT CAT SUIT!!" The maniac leaps at her, both daggers seeming to pulsate from his actions. He turns the tips downwards aiming to pierce her chest with them. Of course, we all know how they'll likely react if allowed to reach their target...
"Maybe now..." Samantha speaks even as she moves, right leg extending to the side to send floored rubble skittering madly. As she turns and flows around this new point of balance her speed is phenomenal; far more than might be expected given her manner and tone this far, form blurring somewhat to the eye. A match for the maniac himself, if not somewhat faster. "You'll find out who I really am."
With a piercing whistle his dread daggers meet only air, though their proximity to the still-shifting catgirl might well cause them to buck and twist, as their devastating power meets its spiritual twin. Even across dimensions, worlds, and souls, the link remains. And as she spins low and rises in a crouch, Samantha feels the same wrenching pull and gasps, not merely in shock but pain.
Blossoming from her tightly toned stomach, surrounded not by a tear of shirt but an unexplained absence of material, dark fluid. It flows outward, ink-black and ink-like, into the air. The girl stumbles, falling forward toward the daggers she has so closely avoided. Instead of attempting to pull further away, even to save herself with an out-thrust arm, she looks up into the maniac's eyes and gives in to the forceful motion.
Falling... across the blades... down toward the sharpened, downcast tips...
As the maniac watches her fall backwards into him something strange happens in his mind. He sees a glimpse of a street at night in the rain. He sees this girl again, only this time lying in a pool of blood. He looks down at his hands and sees two pairs of daggers. These black ones, and the ones before them. The blood seems to be flowing so freely. Water soaking into his clothes as he lays down beside her. His head leans to the side as his mind processes the feelings...
Johnny's train of thought isn't enough to help poor Samantha this time. By the time he jerks himself back into the moment the blades have already done their work. Blood drips from the tainted daggers and the girl lies at his feet. Likely she's not dead, as being distracted there was no real intent to hurt her in his heart. Not this time at least. He looks down at her in confusion and a voice screams from the back of his mind. Johnny looks at his hands and drops his weapons to the ground. As he stares blankly the daggers dig themselves deeply into the already crumbling stone.
There's a long moment where nothing happens. Then, the daggers explode...
Energies swirl around them, kicking up a massive dust cloud. Johnny holds his hands over his eyes and screams as he's pelted by loose rocks. The Zealous Ruins aren't visible from their perspective, and this is likely a good thing as the ground itself explodes sending what can only be described as living shadows and entrails in every direction. The ruins are literaly absorbed by this rampaging power which seems to move like a tidal wave as it continues to spread, blanketing everything in pure negative emotions.
Johnny falls to his knees, tears streaming down his face for reasons he cannot begin to fathom. He looks at his daggers which look like firecrackers in the way they're spewing darkness into the air. Worse still, whatever they're spewing seems to fall like black rain, coating Johnny and Samantha in something that looks like oil, and feels like liquid ice. Even the maniac's bones seem to chill from the horrific rain. He looks down at the girl and screams, "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???"
[!]On the streets of Twisted time seems to displace itself abruptly. The Zealous Ruins which house the portal to the world of Chronos suddenly phases out of sync with the rest of the street as a chaotic darkness lashes out like a tidal wave, blanketing everything nearby in a cold, unexplainable, force of pure negativity. Stranger still, with the time displacement, some might remember seeing it for days, or even weeks before the event. But time catches up to itself now as rocks and stones are literally thrown into the air which may, even now, be raining down onto the rest of Twisted causing massive damage in their wake...
Blood. Judgement. Friendship. Despair. Death.
History's path has been rewritten too many times, the future as convoluted and uncertain as the wild flow of emotions and personalities within Johnny and the girl. Samantha. The very identity stirs violent waves in the passage of destiny, as her life's-blood pours forth and the darkness erupts in an unholy union long denied by her restructured self. The physical effect is no less disturbing, but while Johnny sinks to his knees, the Bogard heiress falls into her own soul, feeling a similarly terrible union take place some way hence... through space and time.
It might be called a reunion, but those should be welcome things.
"I.. don't know." Her voice is cracked and broken, a mere croak sputtered out over the ending of her avatar's life. No other weapon would have done it, no other hand guided the blades to this conclusion. If the cold-searing liquid crashing down in torrents burns, then it is unfelt by she. Samantha feels only a deeper pain, soul-searing. Soul-rending. And soul-rendering. "It felt.. right."
Twisting as her faux-physical form senses the agony in ways she cannot comprehend, she turns an empty gaze once more to the maniac. This time the emotion from before is strengthened, sadness and regret flying about dulling blue eyes marked and maintained by an underlying current of sympathy. But still more; a trace of pleasure. The girl wanted this. Needed this. And damn the consequences.
"Look.. look for me, NNY." She chokes at the last, a fresh flood breaking free at her throat. Her eyes close then as spatters of dark matter strike them, blinding the dying catgirl and forcing her over the edge. With a horrible crack her body lashes up and out in an arch, her spine playing havoc against the outlying flesh as she seems to explode from within - and at the moment gore becomes evident, it is instantly disrupted and transformed.
Darkness lurks within. Now it spreads without.
Evil ichor melts her features, her flesh, her being, and in but a half-second Samantha Li-Bogard becomes one with the erupting power. A thing of blackness, she is lost first to a volcanic spurt, then a spreading puddle which blossoms out across the broken landscape of the ruins. In her wake only the emotions she has stirred to being, the future she has created.
And, an awakening.
Johnny does indeed look down, horrified. This was like the things he saw when the wall broke open. No... this was worse. Things like this don't even exist in the darkest of nightmares. Johnny reaches down to touch her as she explodes outwards becoming the very darkness pouring into the skies. He leans there with his hand outstretched as his mind fails to comprehend what he sees.
The rain slows to a halt. The things summoned about the area fade. Johnny still stays knealing above the outline of the girl in the ground before him. His mind seems to be shattered, unable to think as his hand begins to twitch. After several minutes of silence his instinct kicks in and he draws his no longer black daggers from the saturated soil. Slowly he rises to his feet, his eyes still locked on the spot before him. In the back of his mind, a lock comes undone. Darkness mirroring the destruction spreads over him, and with a scream it escapes him fleeing into the night. The maniac falls unconciously to the ground. It would be several hours before he awakens, and when he does he'll be more than surprised to find his daggers missing...
Accross Twisted Tabitha awakens with a start from Devi's couch. She finaly falls asleep and has this for a nightmare. As she sits gasping for breath and wiping a beed of sweat from her brow she struggles to take her mind off the dream she'd awoken from. It takes her nearly an hour before she relaxes enough to discover Johnny's daggers waiting anxiously for her to claim them on the table before her...