|The Game is Afoot|
One of the most peaceful places in Twisted so far is the beach. Vast, crystal-war waters - seeming to stretch out to eternity - whisper up to meet smooth, cool white sands. There is a street, of sorts, although it ends quickly in the grassy hill that leads down to the water. A small church is here, with full windows and even a little tower with a bell, though it may not ring often. Down to the east, closer to the water, is a dockside with a rundown shack. The dock is safe enough, not stained nor eaten away by salt water yet, though the shack looks like it's seen better days.
Answers would be a nice thing, you know? Unfortunately, Sun has none of those. Just a memory of a guy in a stupid helmet and a name, and an old crater in the sand that has turned itself into a tide pool. It is beside the tide pool that the dragoness is seated, idly examining a starfish that she plucked out of the pool while she digs her toes in the soft white sands. She seems to have at least figured out how to pull her wings and tail out of that willowy frame of hers.
Though few people are out and about, it is a beautiful day, which makes for a very serene setting. "Oblivion." She clicks this at the starfish as she flips it over to examine its beak. After a moment, she sighs, slipping it back into the waters of the tide pool.
The only response that comes is the crashing of the waves.......
With a splash, the bikini-clad dragoness suddenly rolls into the pool, diving down to the bottom. The wings and tail seem to help Sun in that endeavor, helping to push her down despite her natural buoyancy. She remains beneath the water for a long while, and when she comes back up, she's obtained an even bigger starfish. A few shifts of her wings propels her back to the edge of the tide pool, where she climbs up and sits upon the ground.
"Wish I could find that fucker." Sun scowls at the starfish, flipping it over in her hands for a few moments.
In the water, a small pair of red lights can be seen beneath the waves..... moving slooooowly.....
The starfish Sun picked up, to the extent that starfish realize anything, eventually realizes that it is unhappy with its current situation. The spiny-skinned invertebrate waves its multitude of little cream-colored tube-feet in the air, reflexively latching onto Sun's skin where they contact it. In slow motion, the starfish begins the gradual process of crawling over this obstruction to turn itself upright.
The fluorescent-patterned mollusc leaves the beach-access street and meanders down over the grassy hill toward the clear and relatively calm waters. Serenity is bringing along a bit of extra water as usual, with the air of the hovering force field generator suspending Ren in the air and providing a likewise suspended blob of water. On account of the reflections of sunlight, Ren has yet to notice anyone in the water, but does notice a damp Sun sitting beside it. Ren lifts an alarmingly blue wing clear of the blob of water to offer her a cheery wave.
It takes a moment for Sun to notice Ren, but once she catches the sun sparkling off of the mollusc's water 'bubble', she certainly notices. Slipping the starfish back into the tidal pool, Sun raises to her feet, dusting the sand from her rear end. "Hey, Serenity!" She calls in a more cheerful voice than she was using moments ago. She stretches her wings out, letting the excess water drip from her scales as she attempts to rid herself of a majority of the sands stuck to her tattooed skin.
The two red lights slooooowly approach the shore..... and a mess of black hair breaks the surface. As it goes, and rises, the drenched hair covers most of the creatures face, with only its grinning maw, lined with razor-sharp teeth, partially visible in the mess..... its faded, yellowed kimono seems to be no hindrance even in the water.
It slowly floats above the water, and seems to look at the pair, even though no eyes are visible
Serenity circles around the pool to join Sun, swimming up lazily to 'stand' vertically before her. "You're looking quite good in that outfit!" Ren hisses enthusiastically, inclining antennae towards her and extending a bit of fin to pat her arm. Ren then looks over to her wings, head-tilting to follow the full span of then. "And your wings look even bigger, fully extended," Ren mentions curiously, motioning a pair of fins outward. While looking past the end of Sun's wing, Ren happens to notice the figure walking out of the water and offers a cheery wave.
In response to Ren's observation, Sun stretches her wings to their full length, grinning. "Yeah, they're pretty big." With a sage nod, she closes them against her back once more. "And now you have seen where I first arrived in Twisted." The dragon-girl gestures toward the tidal pool. "I think I might have unintentionally made that, so that's kind of cool, at least." She points to a crab scurrying into the water on the opposite side of the pool. "I made them a home, or...."
She trails off suddenly, upon spotting the doll floating above the water. She blinks a few times, tilting her head toward her shoulder as she takes a step toward the shore. "What the hell..."
Two red lights appear roughly where the eyes would be, though the hair makes seeing the eyes themselves directly impossible. It's horrid grin widens as it slowly grows closer......
Serenity offers a nod and a smile at Sun's story, glancing from her to regard the pool of water thoughtfully for a moment. As Sun takes a step back from the water, Ren looks again at the floating figure and motions in its direction. Ren doesn't seem particularly concerned with the pointiness of teeth (or the presence of them, for that matter) in residents. "I take it, then, that this isn't a friend of yours?" Ren asks her. "I haven't seen a great deal of levitation here, other than my environment suit."
"No, it's definitely n--" Suddenly, for some reason, Sun lets out a shrill scream, dropping to her knees. Her tail lashes behind her, kicking up dirt, while her wings clench tightly against her; all the while, she stares at her hands and arms, a look of horror upon her features. Then, after a moment, she blinks in disbelief, eyes wide as she pats at her hands, wings, and tail in turn. "I..." She blinks a few times, turning back to Ren with wide eyes, before her gaze returns to the doll...thing.
Serenity 'blinks' eyes inward at Sun's scream, fluttering quickly backwards from her with partially retracted rhinophores and looking in confusion between her and the floating doll in the wet kimono. Then Ren suddenly makes a crackling noise and shrinks to a more compact shape, scooting abruptly to one side and then the other with an expression of alarm. Ren scrubs both pairs of fins over the gill feathers, sending slime circulating around in the water. Then Ren quickly rolls over, lengthening enough to twist in a partial knot and rub belly over the gills too.
The doll continues to sloooowly draw closer, salivating blood from its jaws.....
Suddenly, a voice comes from nowhere, saying, "That's enough for now. We don't want to scare them to death now, do we?" The voice stops a moment as the doll looks at something unseen, then quickly adds, "Don't answer that..."
A strange man in black armor, with red glowing eyes and a visored helmet appears next to the doll, which in turn vanishes. Oblivion begins to walk across the top of the water, smirking to himself. "Long time no see, Sunny D. Do be careful when trying to summon me. Sometimes, I don't get to the answering machine first".
The dragon-girl blinks a few times over at Ren, still a bit too shocked to do more than stare as the mollusc freaks out. Then, that too-familiar voice is heard, and the dragoness narrows her eyes. "Where..." She turns to stare at the doll, then, as the man appears. It takes a few moments, but then Sun raises a hand, her face paling slightly. "You...you are..." She sinks back to her knees, only able to stare in shock for a moment.
"Oblivion?" She asks this in a quiet tone as she raises to her feet, not daring to take her eyes off of the armored man. "You!" She hisses, suddenly, taking a few hesitant steps forward. "Are you the one who took my memories?!"
Serenity rolls over once more, twisting in an upside-down knot that sends the cloak of water pulsing in all directions. The twisting sheds more slime before Ren rolls belly-up and relaxes. After a moment, Ren arches the back to bring eyes back to examine the gills. Finally, Ren rolls upright again and flutters into a vertical posture, still absently rubbing head gills with a pair of fins. Ren looks warily in the man in armor without speaking, looking from him to Sun and back. Still keeping a periodic glance at the man, Ren holds up a fin and crackles something that isn't English. The cuff on the rhinophore projects some images of colored gauges onto the fin.
The man smiles, his eyes pulsing a bit brighter red for a moment as he crosses his arms over his chest. "Memory?"
Suddenly, Freakazoid appears, and they let loose with a duet of 'Memory', from CATs! Of course, half-way through, Freakazoid side-glances at Oblivion, and goes "WAAAAAAIT! Aren't you my nemesis!" Oblivion’s only response is to open a portal under Freakazoid, who then gives a surprised, then annoyed look, saying "YOUUUUUUUUUU'RE DESPICABLE!". He falls in the hole, and vanishes from sight.
The momentary distraction completed, Oblivion resumes looking at Sun and Serenity as if nothing had happened "Maybe...I do a lot of things to a lot of people...can't always be expected to remember it all, now can I?". He walks around the pair, smiling evilly "What can you say or do to try to remind me of who you are?
The winged woman blinks a few times at the scene before her, brows raising higher and higher as each second passes. "Um...you just called me Sunny D?" She tilts her head to one side. "Seems you know me well enough to recognize who I am..." She frowns at him, only briefly glancing back toward Serenity to determine if the mollusc needs assistance. Unable to understand the crackling, she turns back toward Oblivion, frowning.
She opens her wings to their full length, then, not so much in an intimidation attempt, but more an attempt to trigger recognition. "Dragon person. First memory I have is you, calling me Sun and saying you would see me again."
Serenity stares at the projection for a few more seconds, eyes darting over distractedly to armored man meanwhile. Ren then calls it off and scoots sideways with a ripple of the cobalt-blue undulatory fins. Still keeping quiet, Ren eyes the man while circling around behind Sun. "I think we may need backup..." Ren eventually ventures quietly.
Oblivion grins "First, allow me to...apologize for my little friend. She's been bored, you see". He continues to walk around the pair, the idea of backup not even seeming to worry him "OH YEA! Now I remember you...... worst BO I've ever smelled on a dragon. And believe me, I've known more than my fair share in my time".
He abruptly stops, and starts walking the other direction around them "So you want your memory back? Well, which ones? Your past self? present self? Future self? Selves that haven't officially existed anywhere else, maybe?"
The dragoness glances back to Serenity, frowning. "Maybe..." Then, Oblivion is talking again, and her blue eyes are pinned back to him. "Well, I do use deodorant now, so perhaps it's not so bad any longer." She frowns then, as he asks his confusing questions. "Um...my past and present? Everything up until I got here." She frowns at the man, clearly not knowing who or what she is dealing with, here. "I just want to know who the hell I am."
Serenity stretches taller to peer over Sun's shoulder at Oblivion, then shrinks again as he continues walking around. Ren backs up against Sun's back (with fewer fashion consequences than usual, since she's in a swimsuit at the moment) while trying to continue to face Oblivion. "I also think it would be a good idea," Ren hisses, "to find out what this person wants."
Oblivion says, "Aaahhh," pointing up a finger, "That IS a good question...I could use a fish sandwich right about now...” He turns and points at Sun with a finger "You... came from this!" he pulls out a bottle full of an orange liquid, which he tosses to Sun. The label reads 'Sunny Delight' "'Course, not that one, but one just like it!". He grins maniacally, waiting to see her response.
Sun hardly flinches when she feels Serenity's water bubble up against her back, though she does shiver ever-so-slightly. "I think he's the type who will tell us if he wants something..." She frowns at Oblivion. "I can make you a starfish sandwich. Not sure how good it would taste, though." She frowns at the man, catching the bottle with one hand and staring at it. "...How did I come from an orange flavored beverage that carries a similar name to mine?" She promptly opens the bottle, sniffing at it...then closes said bottle, frowning at the man.
"Hh," Serenity comments with Sun's assessment, ducking around Sun to 'stand' at her side as she faces Oblivion. Ren regards the thrown bottle and then Oblivion with a puzzled frown. "That does not make much sense to me at all," Ren remarks, then motions out to the side with a pair of fins. "But then, neither did what your friend said about a child and a chair."
Oblivion laughs, "Yea, you got me. I'm fucking with you on that.” The bottle of Orange Juice promptly explodes harmlessly, sending the refreshing beverage in all directions. He abruptly vanishes, reappearing right next to the pair, walking towards them semi-menacingly. "So.... the REAL question is what are you willing to give for these memories?" His eyes pulse with a menacing red light as he grins with malice.
As she is soaked with orange flavored juice this time, Sun flinches, eyes narrowing slightly at the helmeted man. As he poses his question, she stands her ground, her wings slowly opening and closing, staring him down. "I put forth an offer of free coffee from Coffee of Doom for a year. If that doesn't work for you, name a price and we'll see." She straightens a bit to seem bigger than she actually is.
Apparently the sugary drink is watery enough for the force field of the environment suit. It splashes off Ren's suit (though the slime from earlier is still not entirely cleaned up). Ren 'blinks' at Oblivion's apparently sudden change in position and slides to the other side of Sun from him.
Oblivion seems to think on it, looking slowly between the pair, the gears clearly turning in his head.....
"Well, here then. I'll restore your memory to you. BUT!" he holds up a finger dramatically again, then slowly points it at Sun "When I've done so, you have to give me that which is most precious to you in Twisted, with an enchantment in place to prevent any lies over just what that might be". His eyes pulse again as he offers a hand "Do we have a deal?"
The dragoness doesn't seem to mind being the barrier between Serenity and Oblivion. After all, she was the one who went looking for him. His terms put forth, she chews her lower lip thoughtfully, glaring at the helmeted man. "I don't know what will be most precious to me when you give me my memories back..." She frowns, glancing very briefly behind her to Ren, then back to Oblivion, all the while internally debating with herself. "...Fine." She stands just a little bit taller, despite the nervous gulp she can't help.
Serenity continues frowning at Oblivion, 'standing' next to Sun with just a slight ripple of the fins. Ren remains quiet while Oblivion offers the deal and doesn't speak up immediately as Sun glances back. "What does 'give' even mean?" Ren adds. "That sounds self-defeating at best."
Oblivion accepts Suns hand then, and in a flash, grabs her under the chin with his other hand! Violet and black fire, harmless to bystanders, but a hell of a light show, engulf them both as he pumps memories into her head! After a few seconds, the flames die down, and he backs up a few steps, giving her a bit of space.
Well, that was much easier to accomplish than she thought it would be. Oh wait, fire! Wow! That is quite pretty. Oh, wait...this shit HURTS. That much, at least, is made obvious by the blood-curdling scream that Sun lets out as he promptly crams memories into her brains. Way more ouchie than anticipated. When he finishes, the dragon woman slumps to her knees, a shocked and slightly pained look on her face, her breathing fast and rather shallow.
She remains there, staring at the sands with wide eyes, her hair falling down to hide her face. And she doesn't move from that spot for a good minute or so. If it weren't for the breeze blowing her hair about, she would almost be a statue...
Serenity quickly and smoothly backs away from the two, staring at them with an alarm that fades into concern as Sun falls. As Oblivion backs away, Ren moves in, dropping to a height that matches Sun and puts a portion of a fin on her shoulder while looking between her and Oblivion.
Oblivion floats off the ground, arms crossed. He raises a hand, and with a wave of it, Sun begins to glow as he puts a truth enchantment on her. "So...what in Twisted is of the most value to you, my dear?" He grins, waiting her answer. He also attempts to read her mind, looking to see if the first thought there is what she ends up speaking or not, out of curiosity.
The dragoness doesn't move a muscle when Serenity moves in to comfort her, remaining statuesque. On the same level as Sun, Ren will be the first to notice that there are no longer normal fingers gripping into the soft white sands of the beach, with scales like her wings slowly creeping up her fingers and hand. The mollusc will also be the first to notice Sun mouthing /something/ silently, though that something certainly isn't proper English.
Finally, her head lifts to regard Oblivion; her eyes are changing, as well. Reptilian slits have replaced the once round pupils in eyes that are now such a pale tint of blue, they nearly glow white. "My daughter, Raven." She hisses this out with a snarl on her lips. "And while a deal is a deal...I'm going to fucking kill you before I let you take her."
With that said, she suddenly begins to glow, even as the scales travel up her arms faster now, the 'stars' in her colouring twinkling. Suddenly, a gray barrier of some kind expands around the trio in an orb, and things begin to get even more strange than they already are. Time seems to go a bit slower within the large orb, while everything outside of it seems to speed up, then slow down, then rewind; lather, rinse, repeat.
And then, Sun seems to disappear.
Serenity quickly lets go of Sun as she begins to glow and flows backwards when she addresses Oblivion. Ren doesn't seem to notice the surroundings, but does notice the changes on Sun. The disappearance is hardly any more odd, but Ren 'blinks' and looks up in confusion at Oblivion.
Oblivion looks up and around at the effect as it encircles the area. Time manipulation. Interesting. He moves to vanish from the plane with smirk, though the process of him blinking is slowed down dramatically, leaving him momentarily open to attack.
It is during that moment of openness that a rather large Dragon with iridescent purple scales marked by glowing 'stars' appears; apparently, this is Sun's true form. She seems to move far faster than she should be able to in here, especially for such a large creature; onward she comes, mouth open as a blue-tinted transparent cone billows forth from her large jaws, even as she lunges to slash her claws into Oblivion's belly, just in case. All of this while one wing shields Serenity from any potential effects of her breath weapon.
Oblivion is breathed upon, as well as slashed repeatedly by Suns claws, the force of the attacks sending him flying out of the orb and onto the ground, where he rolls to a stop. Appearing to be in pain, he slowly tries to push himself up. Where the claws hit, dark violet blood drips with a hissing sound on the ground. One of his eyes is no longer glowing as he glares up at Sun "Ow..." Still, despite this, he grins evilly anyway.
The dragon takes a few steps toward Oblivion, even as the gray orb flickers out around her and Serenity. She pauses, her serpentine neck twisting around to face the mollusc. Very carefully, she utters, "Run, safe." It's a very guttural language, and she certainly has trouble pronouncing the two words she can manage. With that said, Sun turns back toward Oblivion, slinking toward him smoothly. One claw is stamped on the ground as she lets out a roar, followed by the other, kicking up sand in the process.
As Serenity escapes, Oblivion stands up, letting the violet blood flow freely, which even now starts to stop. The slow spell seems to bend and flow around him a few moments before taking effect, for some odd reason. While he moves slowly afterward, its enough time for him to point a finger, sending a beam of piercing black and purple energy towards the dragon!
In the meanwhile, the dragoness seems to be moving faster...though not fast enough to completely dodge, and the tip of her wing flops to the ground without the rest of the wing to support it, a hole removed from the tip of her wing. Well, that looks awkward. And, oh shit, it hurts, too! The dragoness lets out a roar of anger and pain, darting forward as fast as she can to...well, it looks like she is going to try and have lunch with Oblivion. Except Oblivion is the lunch, it seems.
Oblivion, even slowed as he is, is juuuuust fast enough to move sideways in time to avoid being a snack, losing his lower arm in the process. Gross, black energy is what comes away in her mouth, which promptly begins to sizzle with an unknown purple froth contained therein! His response is nonetheless subdued with the slow as he vanishes, appearing behind her, and in the air, where he throws an energy-enshrouded fist towards the rest of the injured wing, attempting to disable it entirely!
Snarling, the dragoness wipes at her mouth, doing her best to rid herself of the purple froth. She is apparently aware of Oblivion's oncoming attack, and manages to roll away -- but not without having a few extra bones shattered in her wings, while a burn tears through the thin membrane, tattering it. Another shrill roar of pain comes from the dragon, who whips her head around and unleashes another cone of force against Oblivion; partly through, however, it turns into something else entirely, a plume of gray gas that seems to cling to solid surfaces billowing over the armored foe.
Oblivion is breathed upon, holding up an arm and a stump as the breath attack billows into him. Slowly, a beard grows from his chin, his helmet and armor seem to warp and crack a bit, and his nails get longer. However, the slow seems to be gone. In a blur of astral motion, he teleports from place to place, firing beams from multiple angles at Sun!
With the plume finished, the dragoness disappears once again, thankfully in time to avoid more than a few singed scales from the newest onslaught. And for the time being, at least, it seems she may have retreated...
Oblivion peers around. with a quick motion he cuts off the beard, which vanishes afterward. He smiles, saying simply, "The game is afoot..." He floats off rather than pursuing.