|Safety Not Guaranteed|
Without waiting for any sort of reply, Caliga suddenly thrusts the key towards the heavens, allowing his voice to carry out, "Guardian of time! Tear open the sky, and show the Door of Time to me!"
The key suddenly starts to glow a bright white as the air before the two shimmers, a sudden blast of light flying down from the heavens only to slam into the ground, revealing a large set of doors.
"I pray in the name of the father of time! Chronos! Protect us and guide us toward the right path! I beseech you, illuminate our path with light!"
Slowly, the doors open, as mist starts to pour out from within. "Grab ahold of my shoulder, and whatever you do, do not let go Kotal Kahn..."
Arming himself with his trusty macuahuitl, his ceremonial dagger, his satchel and few more trinkets, the Aztec warrior traveled on to meet with Caliga, letting the gem guide him. It was far too late now to wonder if he was doing right to place so much trust in Caliga. He had taken this path and now he would see it through.
As he arrives, he gives Caliga a warrior salute in return to his nod and listens carefully to the man's instructions. Cracking his knuckles first, he watches and listens to Caliga's incantations, and instantly his eyebrows are furrowing in realization. What is all this about time and Chronos? Kotal thought they were going to Hell! Eldergods, are they going back in time?
"I hope you've done this before." Grumbles Kotal to himself and grasps hold of Caliga's shoulder. "Because I imagine that safety will not be guaranteed for this trip."
Thankfully he brought his own weapons.
Now just to make sure Caliga pays him when they get back.
The Mists of Time
With a loud SLAM the doors shut behind them, sealing themselves from being opened again. The sound and the vibration reverberate through the fog, stirring it around them. As it settles once again a voice calls out from behind the doorway. "Lord Caliga. You do recall the importance of /secrecy/ for this place?" Stepping around the door appears the tall, green haired form of its guardian dressed in a sailor fuku not unlike those worn at the Usual Restaurant. She tries to look mad but her faint but bemused smirk betrays her. "To what do I owe the honor of this visit?
As he steps through the door, Caliga suddenly drops down to a knee, lowering his head towards the Senshi of Time, obviously showing her far more respect then he's shown anyone else upon Twisted. "Lady, I have returned because the answers I have come to.." Shaking his head, Caliga stops speaking only to take a slow breath before starting once again. "Lady, I have brought Kotal Kahn here, in hopes that you may assist me in helping him to understand the truth."
Raising his head to look at the Senshi, Caliga doesn't rise. "I have placed my faith in Kotal Kahn, in hopes that he can right what wrongs have been done, however, with the way things are now.. He doesn't understand, and I can't be trusted to present him with the truth." Rising to his feet, Caliga gestures towards the woman. "Kotal, may I present Lady Setsuna Meioh, Sailor Pluto, the Senshi of Time."
When the blinding light fades allowing the Aztec warrior to see clearly, he has that familiar sensation of being before that oh so obnoxious and self-righteous thunder god. Fortunately, he realizes that he is simply association the electricity in the air with bad memories and shakes it off, ready and willing to keep an open mind in this situation, and probably his guard ready. No, he doesn't care that Caliga swore up and right that there won't be any Kombat in this tripe. As the god of fighting, Kotal is duty bound to always be ready for a fight. Besides, its Caliga who told him, Kotal has learned to always take anything he says with copious amounts of salt.
This is a very intriguing position for the Kahn to be in. He instantly stands straight as he senses a figure approaching, ready to meet them with the formality and strength of a true emperor of Outworld. That is until Caliga flat out drops to his knees in a show of reverence, surprising the Aztec. Never did he think he'll see Caliga doing that to anyone. Should he kneel too? But emperors kneel to no man, or woman! Kotal weighs his prudence and his pride closely, and decides that its best to act on the side of caution here.
Though he does not kneel as Caliga does, he does a low reverence, putting his palm over his fist in the traditional shaolin custom of peace over power. A thing he learned facing numerous warriors in the mortal tournament.
He doesn't say anything for now. Guarding his words very closely given all the restrictions Caliga has given him.
Setsuna bows at Caliga and gives a curt nod to Kotal Kahn upon rising. "It is a pleasure to meet you..." she stumbles over his name, "Kotal?" She nervously looks between the two of them for confirmation before continuing, "Please do not speak of your visit here and I will answer any questions I can."
Taking a step back the woman leans on her key-shaped staff trying to assess how much damage she's done by giving him one of her keys. Still, she can't deny her satisfaction to have guests and someone to speak to - even if it looks like once again she'll be playing the part of a teacher and giving exposition to people who don't completely understand it.
To break the silence she looks over Kotal Kahn once again and pushes to get him talking. "A warrior, I assume? Is there a threat approaching?" Setsuna doesn't seem concerned, just curious. Why would Caliga need a bodyguard here?
Caliga starts to speak slowly, carefully choosing his words. "You are free to speak here Kotal, however, do not say the name of Hornboy, or of the Priest and all should be well. Where we are.. is deep in the heart of Hell, and I do not want our presence known. Names, especially here will draw the attention of those we do not want."
Turning his attention back to Setsuna, Caliga reaches into his jacket, and pulls out a small box once more. This time he opens it, and selects another capsule which he presses down upon the top, only to lightly toss it at his feet. The Capsule quickly explodes in a pink cloud of smoke, only to reveal a set of rather comfortable looking chairs. "I figure we could all use some comfort if we are to discuss things."
Setsuna interrupts as Caliga mentions names, "Actually, no. This area is protected. Their influence does not extend here. This area may be hidden away in the heart of the underworld, but it exists outside it. Otherwise they would already know you are here..."
A strange position indeed. Caliga may not realize this, but he's giving Kotal /all/ of the wrenches to throw into gears here. There's a flash of recognition on the Aztec's eyes when Caliga bids him not to say -those names-, and Kotal knows exactly who's -those names- are. Ah, while it would elate Kotal the chance to talk and fight his cousin from Aztlan, he thinks that meeting the flayed one is best saved for another day, when the destinity of a universe doesn't hang in the balance. Even when Setsuna assures everyone that they have no power here, Kotal still refrains from speaking their names just because he made a promise.
Normally Kotal talks, and he talks /a lot/. The only reason why he hasn't done so thus far is because of Caliga's warnings to tread lightly here. However, with those restrictions gone, Kotal seemingly glows with the linger power of the sun that he still holds within him, and he stands to his full height, in the show of power that can only come from the true Kahn of Outworld.
"My lady, though I am known in Twisted and Outworld as Kotal Kahn, I have been known in Earthrealm by many names; Huitzilopotchli, Inti, Buluc."
"I am naught but a newcomer to this twisted realm, but in my home-world I was an Emperor who sought to bring order to a chaotic kingdom not unlike the one of Twisted."
"Caliga has taken notice of my efforts and has trusted me with his memories, and even then it seems that I am yet not fully prepared to undertake the mission that is to help Twisted. For that is my ultimate desire."
"As you may be aware, Twisted is plagued by many horrors and injustices. Creatures from Hell roam freely there and have used it as their personal playground to torment our citizens. Though I know not how things were done before my coming here, as long as I call Twisted my home, I will tolerate no such strife in my domain."
"For I am the god of war, Emperor of Outworld, high cacique of the Mexica and legitimate ruler of the Osh'Tekk empire."
"My father did not raise me to live in a world fraught with insecurity."
He exhales after his long speech and stares at Setsuna with thoughtful, narrowed eyes. "Help me understand what I need to do to save this realm."
Then.. seats! Courtesy of Caliga. Kotal glances at them curiously and idly wonders. "Did you bring the fridge too?"
Setsuna lets Kotal Kahn speak uninterrupted as clearly he has plenty to say. As the topic abruptly changes to furnishings the Senshi can't help but chuckle. She makes her way over to one of the seats, sitting and crossing her legs. Her long staff is laid upon her lap as she reclines. "Emperor, first of all it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Please forgive my lack of knowledge and formality when you arrived." She pauses wishing he had brought drinks. These are not things she gets to enjoy often. "Secondly you misunderstand the nature of the world of Twisted. You do not need to save it. It does not need saving. These 'creatures from Hell' may exist in the underworld, but they are creations of guilt and fear."
The woman blushes slightly realizing she's just given away the fact that she randomly gazes upon the world of Twisted looking for her lost friends to see to their safety. Regardless she carries on. "Very little happens on Twisted that isn't a calculated move. Those threatened have more to fear by those who pull the strings than the puppets those strings control. I hope they have chess in your Outworld? Do you place the blame on the pawns on the front lines, or the king safe and content hiding behind them and giving them orders?"
"I did." Caliga smiles as he pulls out another capsule, quickly tossing it as well. Once it explodes and leaves the fridge behind in its wake, the man moves to sit down. "I suppose I should shed light to that as well. Christabella was going to be freed, even if Tabitha and Dante didn't release her."
Crossing his legs and leaning back into the chair, Caliga closes his eyes. "Christabella was to be freed to lure the dark goddess Alessa out of hiding." Sighing loudly, Caliga idly waves his hand. "I don't have the strength to assist in reigning in Alessa any longer. Quite frankly, if she returns unchecked, I don't believe anyone would. She'd roll right over Twisted, and spread out to every world that is connected with ease. Christabella provides a distraction for her, and allows time to corner and contain the Goddess."
Kotal finally decides to take a seat and lounges in that way he's know to do. The regal Emperor style, leaning his back on the seat whilst leaning sideways. Seriously, it's a practiced skill, every ruler of Outworld needs to learn how to sit like that. As Caliga provides the refreshments, he nods approvingly and will even take a soda this time around, something about being in Hell sort of calls for it.
The real problem starts when Setsuna so casually start saying that the invasion of Twisted by Silent Hill was planned. Kotal's eyes begin to glow brighter and brighter, like miniature suns growing angrier, a sign that he's not liking what he's hearing. Not. One. Bit.
"WHAT!!?" Why, Kotal almost snaps his arm chair by that revelation. "You cannot possibly mean that!"
"You mean to tell me that those wretches fouling up my streets were /allowed/ to be there!?" He glances to Caliga with fury and surprise in his eyes. "Then it is true what you said! That it was inevitable!"
This isn't good. At all. Kotal has no idea what was Caliga's plan bringing him here to listen all this. He must not know Kotal very well if he thought that he was just going to go along with it.
"I WILL NOT BE A PUPPET!" The lid has been flipped.
"Not by Shao Kahn! Not by that so called ruler of Twisted! Not by the Eldergods! Not anyone!" He's still sitting but he's no longer slouching.
The revelation that this methodical invasion was to stop a greater evil does not alleviate the blow at all. "You have to be jesting." He brings a palm to his face as Caliga says the next. "What is it with you people and not simply asking things instead of doing!?"
"Do you have any idea how many lives have been lost because of these monsters!? We could have prepared ourselves for these onslaught instead of being sent in like lambs to the slaughter!!"
"What was the point of having DMC take over TASK forces!? A false sense of security!? The illusion that we had any control at all of our destiny!??" It's a good thing that the sun doesn't shine in the realm, or there would be massive beams of sunlight burning everything down here, that could very well rival the very fires of Hell.
"ELDERGODS DAMNIT ALL! I do not care how mighty this threat is!! Even if I could not contend with it alone I have Lady Amaterasu and Dante's assistance! I do not care if of this so called Goddess for she would have to contend with deities as well!!"
Kotal pauses for a moment, trying very hard not to just stand up and throw a chair at someone. Finally, he just glares at Setsuna with the heat of a thousands suns at her pawn analogy. "Clearly, my lady, our views differ greatly in how chess applies to actual military strategy. A pawn is willing and ready to die for its king in glorious Kombat. What you describe here are sacrificial lambs, not ordered to fight, but sent to be killed in order to buy a few more measly breaths of life to this godsforsaken realm."
Finally he does stand, and he is even shuddering in barely contained rage.
"Give me one reason. /ONE REASON/. For me not to march straight into Town Hall and fight Diablo in Kombat right now."
"I doubt it will top Dante's look of despair when he thought he had failed the people he had sworn to protect. I am sure he will greatly enjoy hearing that this so called mistake of his was preordained by some higher power.
Setsuna lets out a sigh as Kotal rightfully flips his lid. It's not until he asks for a reason that she comes to provide one. "I would assume your TASK was put together both because it is needed and because it was known this threat would come. A lesser threat to prepare you for the possibility of a greater one? Senior Diablo doesn't throw away the lives of the innocent casually. The king may move his pawns but he does so to save the lives of the others. Without subjects a king is useless and defenseless. A check mate." She sighs again, taking the opportunity to shift her legs around. This sitting thing is uncomfortable when you're used to standing.
"For a plan to succeed sacrifices must be made. Preparations must be made. If you, a great Outworld warrior and Emperor where asked to protect Twisted's citizens then it is clear those who asked you to take such a position held a great deal of trust and respect for you. You are not being used, you are being placed in a position worthy of your title and abilities." These words come naturally to her. After all she's used them to defend staying in this position many times to herself.
Setsuna continues, "But what is worth keeping in mind is this... If the people have a problem with the actions and secrecies of their leader you only have two options. The first is to overthrow them, which usually ends bad for a kingdom. The other is to provide for the king a better group of advisors. Someone to tell them what needs to be done and how best to do so. A Council, perhaps?" She smiles, leaning towards Kotal Kahn as she waves her suggestion in his face. "Don't you think it's time Twisted had a new one?"