|A meeting in the mist|
In what used to be an alley is now a cobblestone path leading into Nowhereto Park. The two buildings beside the path seem to have been literaly carved open to make way for it. If this where anywhere but Twisted such a thing would be strange. As you walk further into the park, a fog seems to drift in, clearing once you get inside. Why the wall of fog is there is anyone's guess but it does do a good job of hiding the bulidings or the park depending on what side of the entrance you find yourself standing on.
It should be noted that on the side of one of the buildings is now a single door with a glass window on it which looks into a small waiting room. How long has this been here?
It's been a bit of a long week for Mizuno Ami. She's spent a lot of time with her best friend, Makoto, which always makes things better, but her sheer popularity with her clients has begun to creep up on her. She's very good at what she does, and Twisted's Cyber-Security has never been better, but for every client she helps, twelve more seem to spring up. She likes money, but she's going to have to seriously consider creating a waiting list after too much more of this. Combined the attack on the pool when she went swimming with Makoto, it's made for a long week. She knows she should feel bad about killing him... but she did what was necessary to protect her friend. She can't find it in her to feel bad about that. If she could take a good hard look at herself, she'd probably be dismayed by that... but at the moment, she's not entirely herself. The day finds her walking through the park, being a bit introspective, but mostly just spacing a bit. It's not like her, but then... that's pretty much how her week has been.
The fog surrounding the entrance to the park holds many strange things. One could almost think they could see people and figures walking in and out of existance in the mist. Considering the nature of Twisted, this is hardly anything to be worried about. However, when the distinct sound of metal scraping against stone is heard as a hulking behemeth with a metal pyramid-shaped helmet comes walking towards Ami dragging a blade equal to it's height, well... that -is- something to be worried about. The beast stops just before her, sizing the girl up, before lifting it's blade into the air effortlessly and getting ready to bring it down upon her head.
Ami pulls herself out of her reverie, as she looks up to see... something rather iconic. "...Hmm? Fascinating." She pulls her glasses out from her pocket and unfolds them, slipping them on to get a better look at the creature. A few things seem to be reflected in the glasses that aren't coming from around the surroundings, and Ami blinks. Disguising her visor as a pair of glasses ended up being a very useful idea. "...Unfortunately, I think you have the wrong person. The helpless protagonists of survival horror stories don't do well here."
The beast doesn't seem to care about the girl's argument as he brings down the weapon anyways. The weapon will easily cut through anything that's it's swung towards and has been known to cut solid steel effortlessly. Therefor, the girl had better move unless she enjoys the idea of a 'split personality'. About the same time the door which found itself on the side of one of the two buildings that make up this ally swing open, and the form of Senior Diablo steps out. Obviously he hasn't had enough time to realise what his 'bodyguard' has been doing yet...
The weapon cleaves Ami straight down the middle, but no blood seems to appear. After a moment, the two halves dissipate into a mist that mixes with the rest of the fog in the area. "...I must say, you aren't much one for talking, are you?" It appears Ami sidestepped the attack, since she's standing very close to the point of impact as the illusion mist fades away. She doesn't seem all that frightened, even though she should be. "...I suppose it would be out of character for you." She crouches down to put a finger on the flat of the blade gingerly, as though she might damage it, as characters flash in her glasses. "... Did you know Wikipedia has a most defaming article on you? It calls you a figment. You really should establish yourself more clearly." The weapon doesn't seem imaginary to Ami...
Senior Diablo raises an eyebrow at the sound of the blade digging into the concrete here and sighs heavily. He casually walks towards the chaos, tilting his head as he watches the beast pry it's blade free and slowly swing it around to try to strike at Ami again. " Lady Mercury, or Miss Mizuno if you prefer... shall I have my 'guard' stand down or are you enjoying this little 'spat'?" He smiles as he speaks. It would seem that this demon is very content to just sit back and watch, no matter how wrong it might be.
Ami turns from the pyramid-headed blade wielder to look toward Diablo, her mind processing things at about the same speed it always does. Still, though, she blinks slowly, and seems to take time to think before answering. "...Your guard, you say? I should think it would be proper for you keep him on a tighter leash, Mister...." She lets her voice trail off, obviously prompting the devil to fill his name in. Hey. He could be a cosplayer. Those are much more frightening than the devil, sometimes.
Senior Diablo takes a bow as he introduces himself, "My proper, distinguished title is Senior Diablo of the Council of Hell. As for this creation of Alessa's..." He produces a small gold and silver puzzle box as he stands back up. Tracing the design on top of it with a long nailed finger suddenly forces the box to change shape as a peaceful music box tune begins to emit from it. The shadows in the ally converge beneath the monstrous Pyramid Head and a cloud of hooks and chains launch themselves from the darkness, piecing the flesh of the beast and slowly dragging it down into the ground itself. It only takes moments before the screaming nightmare vanishes taking the shadows along with it. Senior Diablo picks up the box with one hand and observes it, facinated with the fact that it's gone back to it's original shape. With a flick of the wrist he tosses it to the senshi and smiles again. "Another little 'toy' I like to occupy myself with. It's known as a Lament Configuration. Your's if you like. Consider it an appology for the beast's actions. Normally I keep it occupied with creatures from the lower regions, but... I've been a bit distracted as of late. Why we need them I'll never know..."
Ami tries not to pale as she sees the creature dragged down by hooks and chains into a screaming abyss. Ah. Demons. Well, that pretty much figures. There's a curious glance towards the box on Ami's part, and her glasses flash with many reflected characters, mostly bringing up Unknowns and variables she's never seen before. "...That is a strange device." She reaches out for it, until she hears Diablo's description, and the instant before her hand can touch it, she yanks it away, letting the device fall onto a cushion dense mist on the ground. Her reaction was as if it was white hot or something. "... Lament... configuration... Nonsense. This isn't some movie, 'Senior Diablo'." For someone who's accusing him of being full of it, Ami seemed to keep from touching the little box rather urgently. The mist slowly lifts the box up so she can study it, but she doesn't look any more anxious to touch the box now than she did earlier. "...Lemarchand boxes are fictional."
Senior Diablo laughs, something that is very unerving to see from this devil. His tail twitches slightly behind him as he suddenly produces a small wine glass and sips. Where'd he get that from anyways? "And in many worlds so are you, my dear. Have you not noticed that here upon the Twisted Street so many worlds and forms of life intersect? Hell isn't a far cry from that. Infact, Hell isn't even it's true name, but why bother using terms that we'd have to explain immediately after we use them?" He pauses to take another sip, and collect himself apparently. "But I disgress, I'd hate to scare away one such as you from a world of true balance and justice. A place where those who commit crimes are punished and those who are innocent are praised. An ideal world I believe. A system as old as creation itself without the flaws of thse mortal realms. Perhaps I could offer a tour for you one day. THAT is the point of that pretty little box you've dropped. It only summons demons when your desires are impure. That's why we've adopted them as a sort of 'calling card'." He smiles again. A smile that sends shivers down people's spines. The devil likes to talk alot, doesn't he?
Makoto seems to have walked up behind the distracted Ami without her noticing. She looks over the odd box and at Ami's comment she responds, "Magical girls are fictional too, aren't they?" She places a hand p Ami's shoulder as she turns o get a better look at diablo. She's not sure what's going on, but she does have one concern. "Ami-chan you shouln't run off like this right now... Are you okay?"
An invitation to hell is not exactly what Ami was expecting from a walk in the park, not even from the Devil himself. She frowns as she considers the box, and narrows her eyes at Senior Diablo. As she holds her hand out at an angle from the box, a blade of pure ice forms within it. The guard is fringed with spikes, and the blade looks wickedly sharp. She points it at the box while fixing Diablo with a pointed stare that says 'This is what I think of your flowery words', when she hears Makoto's words, and her eyes widen. There's a bit of a gasp, and she turns toward her friend, dropping the sword out of surprise. The Lament Configuration drops a few feet as well, but then she catches it with that mist again, sweating a bit. No, she probably shouldn't drop the box of unspeakable evil. "... Mako-chan?" She stares at her best friend for a moment, and then winces. Dealing with the devil isn't what she'd wanted her friend to see her doing. "...I'm feeling much better, this morning. I just needed a walk, to clear my head." She turns to look back at Diablo, her blade still lying on the ground.
Senior Diablo hmm's at the show. With a shake of his head and a heavy sigh he forces a smile as Makoto glances at him. "Lady Jupiter. Good day to you. Your friend is in good hands. I don't come up here to cause conflict, although it does tend to find it's way to follow me." His smile becomes a little more genuine as he eyes Ami. It's as if he'd somehow read her thoughts. "Did you know just last week I was helping a gentleman named Johnathan to create a police department here on Twisted? I can't help but get enraged when I see innocent people being mistreated. Somehow I feel we share that opinion collectively, yes? A shame this world's Council doesn't care about it's people the way we do..."
Makoto blinks and kneels down a little, picking up the sword and looking stern as she stands back up, weapon in hand. "Is everything allright here, Ami-chan...?" The sword was a nice trick, she'll have to ask Ami about it after. Her powers are rarely offensive in nature. "A police department? Doesn't this place have cops?" ... come to think of it, she's never actaully seen any authority figures since she came to Twisted. She just assumed...
Ami makes a small sound at Makoto's question, and keeps her eyes on Diablo. "...Ineffective ones." Her eyes glance around for a minute, as if expecting something else to show up. "... Johnathan, you say?" She lets the Lament Configuration float before her, studying it carefully. "...Your words are very pretty, Senior Diablo... but in the end... words are just air. If you'll pardon me... what exactly are you selling?"
Senior Diablo blinks and is actually taken back by her words. "Selling? Absolutly nothing. I didn't come to you, we mearly crossed paths. I come to this world simply to partake of it. Hell can be so confining. We've been trying to request a portion of the Street for our own purposes and to let those innocents that reside in Hell a place to go where they can be granted the same rights as those who live here, but the Council refuses us even a council with it." He turns his attention to Makoto a moment, "...and I'll have you know that no. This world has no police. No protection. All the Council cares about it keeping each world in it's own protective bubble and to that end they have TASK to keep worlds from being contaminated. Does it matter that unification is the ultimate destiny of the universe? Does it matter that TASK does more harm than good and that they alone destroy the very 'purity' they claim to enforce? Not in the slightest. Bitchy sit, no?"
Makoto blinks, confusion really starting to settle in "Hell..?" she sword in her hand dips a little and she flips the weapon over, catching it by the blacde and offering it back to Ami. "I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about this world... It's very different from my own. But we'll still protect the people here as best we can. As we allways do..."
The blade seems to be merely cool to the touch wherever Makoto touches it, but the air seems to pull water vapor from it everywhere else. When she hands it back to Ami, the blue-haired girl takes it back and smiles. She didn't want Makoto to see her with a weapon, but she'll have to make the best of it. "...Of course we will. We have been, and we'll continue to." She still keeps her eyes on Diablo, though. "...Good luck with your 'unification', then, Senior Diablo. Good day to you."
Senior Diablo's smile fades as they seem to be ready to cast his comments off to the side. "Yes, well... I simply hope your 'protecting' the right people. Miss Meioh might have been a bit more receptive to the differing view of opinions about Hell and Twisted, but that's neither here nor there. Perhaps I'll let her know that you've both found yourselves here since your so unwilling to take me up on my offer." He snatches the puzzle box out of the air and sighs. "Everyone around here is so determined they understand the nature of the world around them. It makes it so hard to give someone that revelation that forces them to think diffrently that I love so much. Oh well, maybe another time then." As he takes a step or two away he flashes the Lament Configuration once more. "A pitty... Everyone assumes evil is all about the corruption and manipulation. No one appreciates that a balance must ALWAYS be kept. Otherwise it falls apart, doesn't it? This world will learn that lesson the hard way I'm afraid..."
Makoto blinkblinks. "Meioh? Setsuna-san?!" she glances at Ami for a moment. "I can understand balance... but We can't go against our natures, right Ami-chan...?"
There's a moment of silence from Ami, and she narrows her eyes again, looking at Diablo like she's seeing him for the first time. She answers Makoto's question quietly, putting as much conviction into it as she can. "Of course we can't..." But Ami can... even has. "... Tell me what you've done with Setsuna-san, please." Her grip on the sword tightens a bit. She's not sure what the devil is getting at, but if it's a threat he's trying to make... well... she doesn't abide threats to her friends, even if she doesn't really mind threats to her own person.
Senior Diablo blinkblinks at Ami's words, turning back around and reguarding the weapon in her hand with a raised eyebrow. "What -I've- done? Absolutely nothing at all. She resides in Hell, guarding the gates as she always has." A smile forms on his face. A smile that widens unnaturally as a revelation occurs to him. "You didn't know she was... AH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!!" The devil is actually cackling!?!? "When you break the rules you must recieve a punishment, and she's broken them several times for your group, has she not? Sooner or later she'll be allowed to return, I'm sure. But we all must play according to the rules, do we not..?"
Makoto frowns and puts her hands on her hips, looking stern, but maybe a little silly considering what she's facing. But anything she tries to think of to respond would invalidate her last comment. her own desires don't factor into it in any meaningful way. The best she can come up with is, "AMi-chan... Maybe we should go home...?"
Ami makes a sour face, and nods her head slowly. "...Yes, Mako-chan... I think we should." She gives Diablo one more stare, not looking happy. Setsuna was punished... the path to Hell is paved with good intentions, they say. She studies the box for one last moment, getting the last of the readings she can from the device, before turning away without even sparing Diablo another word. "...Don't worry. We'll get her back." She starts walking home, her sword evaporating into a fine mist as she does so. For the first time in a while, she's not waiting for Makoto. She seems ... upset.
Senior Diablo continues to smile as Ami walks off. Things couldn't have turned out better, and to think he was here for a diffrent reason entirely. He glances at Makoto, his smile only fading as seriousness washes over him again. "Your friend is wrong, y'know. I've no deciding factor when it comes to ending someone's punishment. That's decided by the person being punished, not us. Setsuna has a duty she must perform, as do we all. It just requires her to be in a place that few would follow her to. Speaking of which," He pauses to open the door in the wall he'd come from. "I should be heading back myself before Alessa investigates the Cenobites taking that Pyramid Head for me. So convienent this doorway is.... a waiting room for the other side. Our Reaper seems to enjoy though." With that statement he's gone and the door slams shut from its own weight.
Makoto bites her lip and looks at Diablo for a moment more before turning after Ami. She jogs a moment to catch up and then puts a reassuring arm around the shorter girl's shoulder, mumbling something about 'every time we go outdoors in this place.'