|A fierce battle, and Twilight's departure!|
Rayne, meanwhile, sits at the table in the dining room... AKA meeting table, looking over a number of reports, still considering just how exactly she should word her findings. A stick of pocky is currently poking out of her mouth, the rest of the package on the table next to a small pile of paperwork.
Twilight Sparkle steps out of the elevator, heading for the table with her wings beating a few times and tail-extension swinging from side to side as she waves to Rayne with one hand. "Busy there, I take it?"
Rayne doesn't look up from her paperwork just yet. "Yeah, kinda working on what I need to go over for an upcoming meeting about Neo-Edo." It really feels almost like she should be wearing glasses right now with the way she's looking over the reports, but no. Her eyesight's actually pretty good. "I feel like I need to be official about all this, but-" She now looks up and pauses mid-sentence. "Hybrid form? Okay, now I'm jealous."
Twilight Sparkle tilts her head slightly before it dawns on her what Rayne means. "Hm-...oh, this? It's what I meant when I said I'd need to pony up."
The door from the Dining Room, or as TASK members have come to know it, the meeting room, opens and in comes the familiar statuesque figure of Kotal Kahn. He's back to his non-armored look, though that no-nonsense look is still as ever in his face. Next to him comes another now staple member of TASK, Reptile, Kotal's own personal master of espionage. "Salutations, warriors." The Aztec warlord greets the two girls. "Is it true what Reptile tells me? Neo-Edo has risen from the forgotten depths?"
Rayne says, "I... thought that meant being a pony again, to be honest." Her attention then snaps to the doors as Kotal moves in. "Yeah. As I'll assume he told you, I lost a night's sleep to checking the city out."
Twilight Sparkle turns to regard Kotal with a relaxed expression, making no move to hide her pegacorn wings or pony ears despite being in her human form. "Evening there, Kotal. I came in to learn more about that myself, and also to ask something of both of you."
"What perplexing news these are." Despite Kotal's apparent trepidation, he looks considerably excited about this, like some long awaited occurrence is finally happening. He pulls up a chair whilst Reptile stands to his side. "Long have I awaited for this development. Reptile was quite descriptive with his report, yes, but he has not spent nearly as much time in Twisted as you have, Rayne. Tell me what is it that you saw." It is at this point that Kotal notices that Twilight is still in human form but with the added wings and ears on either side of the top of her head. His eyes narrow as he focuses on her and her request. "What is it that you need, Twilight?" Meanwhile, Reptile busies himself by catching a fly in mid air with his tongue like a frog.
Rayne says, "Wait, you've awaited it? You knew this was going to happen?" She pauses, slightly dumbfounded by this news. "Uhhhh... yeah. Well, I basically saw... a city. While I only spent one night there, I didn't see any threats. It's essentially a larger, more urban version of the-" She pauses, recoiling slightly as Reptile snatches the fly with his tongue. She's getting taken off guard by everyone tonight! "-a larger, more urban version of the city we've been protecting. They even have a mall."
Twilight Sparkle tucks one strand of hair behind her left ear as it flicks a few times. "What I have to ask is that I be given a bit more freedom to represent TASK, instead of having to wait for you when I come across potential recruits, especially if they're my friends from Canterlot High."
Kotal is an enigmatic person, and despite appearing to want to do little more than hack and slash, he's capable of a surprising amount of subterfuge. He smiles mysteriously at Rayne and reclines on his chair. "Many seasons ago the man known as Caliga, shall we say, gifted me with his memories. Within them held information of another part of Twisted that was long forgotten. Though I knew not when and if the city would arise again, I did know of its existence, and that it was possible for it to resurface. As to why it has happened now or how it has returned.. I do not know." He adds before Rayne decides to ask if Kotal had any part to do in this. He continues, "I see. And what of its people? Do they seem odd in some way? Did they tell you what happened to the city? Do they recognize TASK as the law or do they have a police of their own?" He has all of the questions tonight, and with good reason.
The Eagle Knight glances at Twilight momentarily, "You know the rules, Twilight. If you encounter any potential candidates for TASK you must bring them to me first to review them before they are allowed to join. Alternatively, you can bring them to Rayne or Minu if I am not present. I trust in their judgment."
Rayne shakes her head. "I was trying more to blend in, so I didn't bring up TASK or ask for police. I... assumed it was a fully functional city that converged onto us... or that we converged onto, so I just assumed they had their own government and police." She listens to Kotal's explanation to Twilight, and makes a point of her own. "But if I trust Twilight's judgement, then..."
Twilight Sparkle looks away, lowering her gaze and ears simultaneously. "...I see, then. I resign from TASK, in that case, to operate as an independent party. It's been a pleasure to work with all of you, but if I have no power within the group... Then maybe I'll be able to use it better outside."
"Neo-Edo is very much part of Twisted. Or at least, I seem to believe it was." Says Kotal, not sounding too terribly confident about his own second hand information. "Caliga's memories are very fractured and the longer they reside within me, the harder they are to access. The more I do not use them, the faster they fade away. Much like wilderness claims a road that is no longer being traveled." He ponders this a moment and then continues. "Perhaps it is time to venture into the city and ask the locals directly. If Caliga's memories hold true, then they would be quite.. perturbed by their ordeal." Rayne's point makes Kotal reconsider and he shakes his head from side to side as if weighing his options. "If you trust Twilight then let it be so." But then comes Twilight's abrupt decision to leave TASK and the Aztec gestures to her with his hand. "But I suppose that settles that. Tender your resignation to Minu, Twilight. She will make sure your contract is terminated."
Rayne looks to Twilight with a bit of a look of shock, the trend of taking Rayne off guard tonight continuing. "Just... Just like that? If you've been..." She definitely looks disappointed. "If... you say so." After a brief pause, she looks back to Kotal and nods. "Sure. Ask directly."
Twilight Sparkle steps back, stopping to bow respectfully before lifting off with repeated flaps of her wings. "Be well, my friends... And I will. Good bye."
Yep, just like that. No nonsense as always. Kotal takes Twilight's departure as just another point in the meeting. However as she bows before leaving, Kotal makes certain to do a polite bow of his head as well, as does Reptile. "May the sun shine upon your path." No hard feelings or anything from the looks of it. Then, back to Rayne. "Indeed, we will have to organize an expedition immediately. Are you up to the task, my second?" Oh? Is he going to let her lead the group this time?
Rayne says, "I, uhhh..." She looks back and forth between Twilight and Kotal. The dual nature of this conversation is clearly throwing her off. She nearly literally jumps up to her feet, (nearly because she still has to scoot the chair back to actually get out), so that she can give Twilight a bow as well. "Uhh, I hope you're not... I mean... Good luck out there, Twi." Straightening up, she gives her a weak smile before looking back to Kotal again, "Um, uh, like, when? I'm sorry, I'm a little exasperated at the moment."
Unfortunately, the moment Twilight Sparkle heads outside, there's a shout as the ominous fog once again descends all around the winged and pony-eared human girl, before it's drowned out by distinctive barking. "W-wah...?!"
"Take your time with it." Kotal says as he rather understands the hectic situation they are in despite the fact he's perfectly cool headed. "Gather what information you have and gather our warriors when you think the time is nigh. If you are in need of assistance you are welcome to ask Minu, or D'vorah even, she's quite good at organizing.. though admittedly not nearly as good as Minu." He glances at Reptile. "Don't tell either of them I said that." Uh oh, potential blackmail? Food for thought though since there's a scream outside that they somehow hear all the way from inside the building. Actually, due to the low chances that Rayne or Kotal would be able to hear Twilight screaming considering where they are, a TASK officer is helpful enough to make sure -everyone- knows what's going on. "CODE GREY! REPEAT! CODE GREY! FOG DEMONS APPROACHING!!" The alarms flare too just in case someone missed that. "Lovely.." Kotal raises from his seat still looking quite tranquil, though he's cracking his neck as he does and grasping his giant macuahuitl from his back. "Shall we?" He motions to both Rayne and Reptile.
Rayne says, "Well, it's not, I mean, it needs to be done soon and... I'd already thought we should bring Serenity, but she kinda had a good point that despite her... vastly superior diplomatic abilities to most of TASK, her appearance alone could be a-" And then the code grey hits... And somehow, Rayne feels relieved. Something she can do with a lot less thinking. "Of course. This is what I signed on for." She frowns slightly. "Mostly."
Outside... Twilight's doing decently as she hovers in midair with powerful downward strokes of her wings and delivers a kick to one of the onrushing flayed men. It's safe to say she's not all that happy, and her expression is a clear giveaway. However, the lavender pegacorn-human quickly finds herself surrounded from all sides and grabbed out of the air by numerous sickly grey hands.
Just because he is calm and collected doesn't mean Kotal is taking his own sweet time to get to the action. Au contraire, the god of war is far too eager to get into his domain. Forget elevators, Kotal walks out into the dining room, opens a window, and leaps out of the building falling the several stories down and landing on the concrete feet first. Reptile follows by his side and lands right next to him. "Aah, the call to battle." He says breathing in the air. Behind him, TASK officers are taking positions in the windows of the building to start opening fire on the creatures. "Covering fire, warriors! Protect Princess Twilight!" Just because she just left the organization doesn't mean Kotal has any intentions of not protecting a rightful citizen of Twisted.
The TASK officers open fire upon the grey skinned monsters that are rushing in from the sidelines but the main force is already upon Twilight, two Pyramid Heads are apparently trying to storm the gates of the TASK building along with a cadre of faceless ones, and whoever gets in their way be damned. In this case it happens to be Twilight that they see first, and one of them heaves his massive cleaver to the side and attempts to whack the flying pony(?) princess on the side with the flat of his butcher knife. He's also pretty much ignoring whatever stray bullets or blasters happen to hit him.
What can I say? It seems like all Twilights have a knack for being trouble magnets. And as bad luck would have it all Sunset Shimmer had to do is walk away for a few minutes and it happens. Maybe they were waiting for her to leave Twilight alone? Who knows.
Regardless, the red-yellow haired girl was running back as fast as she could, any doubts in her own capabilities in this world lost to the fact that her friend needs help!
Rayne says, "Wait, did you just..." She runs over to where Kotal and Reptile just jumped out the window and looks down. "Damnit... How do you guys drop like that without killing yourselves?" She draws her swords and taps the pommels together, forming them into a bladed bow. "Let's make these arrows count..." she mumbles as she draws her first arrow from her quiver, lines up a shot on a grey creature, and lets the arrow loose as it catches fire. It's a repeated, practiced motion; take an arrow, draw, aim, release, enflame. She doesn't wait for a confirmed hit on one creature before moving her sights to the next.
Despite her struggling against the horde surrounding her, Princess Twilight's still forced down as one of the Pyramid Heads prepares to cut her left wing off. From where she is, though, the humanized pegacorn can see some of the lesser beasts being shot, bludgeoned, or skewered by burning arrows.
These fog beasts are surprisingly sturdy as usual. Their undead flesh and seemingly complete disregard for pain makes it killing them with projectile weapons quite difficult. It's not only Rayne's arrows that prove to be mostly ineffective, but the TASK officers that fire from the windows and doors of the building have little effect on the fog beasts as well. Rayne's arrows become embedded on the monsters' skin, and the bullets, blasters and magic missiles from the officers just kind of go through with little effect.
That is at least until the TASK Director intervenes. "Receive the blessing of the god of war." Kotal's hand glows and he makes a rising gesture. "The Searing Blade!!" From the ground emerges a glowing totem and all the officers, Twilight, Reptile and Rayne will feel a surge of power within themselves, their weapons glowing brightly with the Huitzilopotchli's blessing. Suddenly, Rayne's arrows are melting the creatures and the TASK officers are successful in riddling the monsters down with their guns.
As a Pyramid Head falls upon Twilight and raises his mighty cleaver to finish the pony Princess off. It is Reptile that dashes in and slices the monster's arm apart with his claws, the heavy cleaver landing with a clanking sound on the ground. "Ssstand up, princesss!" The Zaterran calls upon Twilight as another Pyramid Head raises his foot to try and smash Twilight's head with a stomp.
Meanwhile, Sunset's approach does not go unnoticed by the fog monsters. A flayed one turns around and runs straight for the red-yellow hair girl. It leaps right for her and uses his entire body as a projectile, trying to head butt her on the face and throw her to the ground with demonic force.
As is probably planned, the first time anyone's aware of Dorian's presence, it's with a literal bang! The area underneath one or more of the monsters-- possibly even the Pyramid Head attempting to mutilate Twilight Sparkle-- explodes in a brilliant shower of fiery sparks, with a shockwave that's painful to be too near.
The next sign is a man's voice-- refined and haughty-sounding, but dripping with sarcasm. And there's a growling undertone that suggests he's not pleased. It lends his words a sibilant sound, like a serpent. "The phrase 'clipping wings' isn't meant literally. I can tell you're a barbarian with a brain the size of a peanut, but even you ought to know that much."
And the last sign? There he is, standing there in his leather armor and white cloak, mage staff in hand, the draconic serpents at the end aflame as if the wooden creatures spat flame into the very air. It seems as though Dorian Pavus has indeed come to save the day. Or at least, to help save Twilight Sparkle.
She runs into the fog without thinking twice about it, but internally Sunset Shimmer finds herself wishing she was still a unicorn right now. Then she'd have magic, magic she fully understood, right at her -- No. No! Her expression tightened as she shoved the doubting thought away. She had the magic of friendship, and it could be much, much stronger than just arcane facts and formulae.
She skidded to a stop as the actual fight came into view, and the bizarre geometry reject looming over her friend. "Twilight!" She clenches her fists, any lingering doubts cast aside as she sees her friend needing her. Nobody is likely watching her to notice the faint glow starting to pass over her though. One of the fog beasts comes lunging towards her...
There's a split-second where everything seems to slow from her perspective, as the glow forms a pair of pony ears sticking up out of her hair, while the length in back extends out to the point that it is more like a real pony's tail instead of a stylish ponytail. ... And then the leaping monster gets a sun-shaped fireball straight to the head! "YOU STAY AWAY FROM HER!" Another similar sun-fireball is flung towards the creatures still trying to close in on Twilight.
Twilight Sparkle wastes no time in getting to her feet at Reptile's urging, taking flight again after checking for any injuries. In short order, as she rises to a decent vantage point, the attacking horde is being bombarded with repeated magenta blasts from the winged- and pony-eared human, despite said human lacking her horn. "These things can't be reasoned with... So let's just take them OUT!"
No way that even two Pyramid Heads will be successful at getting to Twilight with all these parties having vested interests in her survival. It's Dorian's first dazzling display that interrupts the Pyramid Head's stomp causing it to stumble to the side, this is then promptly followed by a sun shaped fireball sent flying square at the creature's head. It dents his geometrical helmet considerably and he stumbles backwards, though somehow still keeping a steady grip on his grotesque hook like weapon.
But it is as Twilight says, Dorian finds that these things have less than a peanut sized brain, they have literally no brain, and they don't care at all for insults, they just want to rend the flesh of the living.
As Twilight begins to bombard the creatures, the Pyramid Head with the dented helmet turns to 'look' at Dorian with obvious ill intent for the mage. He cranks his oversized hook and makes a long swipe at the wizard's feet, trying to force him on his back.
The one armed Pyramid Head sets his sights on Twilight as she begins to bombard him, and just because he has one arm doesn't mean he's out of the fight. He picks up his severed arm that is somehow still holding on to that giant butcher knife and uses that extended reach to make a big overhead swing at the flying Twilight, trying to whack her out of the air and down to the ground again.
The flayed one running at Sunset suitably EXPLODES into pieces from the fireball. Black goop and blood, sickening, foul smelling flesh splattering all over the ground and nearby walls. Upon its demise, skinless dogs come charging at Sunset to leap at her, two of them. One dives low aiming to dig its rotten fangs into the girl's leg, while the other jumps at her face with the intent of trying to chew on the girl's jaw.
Dorian's aware that there's someone else joining the fray-- Sunset, though he does not know her name. Fire seems to be her thing, too. Dorian can accept that. Twilight's words get a nod. "That saves me the trouble, then," he decides.
But, see. There's just one problem with having a weapon the size of six counties. It takes forever to swing it. Sure, that's a strong creature. But it may as well be telegraphing that attack from the next county! And so when this Pyramid Head tries to take a swipe at Dorian? He's ready.
Displaying very good agility for one termed a 'mage', Dorian leaps over the swung sword. And in mid-leap he rears back, bringing his staff up, and then down on that pyramid-shaped headgear (or possibly that's its head, it's hard to tell). He's no weak, squishy mage. And he's trained to cause serious pain with a staff weapon.
Sunset Shimmer is quite relieved to see Twilight take back to the air and start blasting monsters in return. Unfortunately she's stopped paying attention to her own flank for the moment after the first creature exploded, and another monster moves in to snap at her leg. Sunset lets out a yelp, and is really glad she stuck to wearing those leather boots instead of fancy dress shoes. All the same, having some monster dog trying to chew through it is not a pleasant experience. Another one rushes to leap at her.. and is left to tumble through a teal colored after-image while the first dog's jaws snap shut, now empty.
A similar flash of teal light leaves anthropony Sunset standing closer to where Dorian and Twilight are, though she looks almost as surprised as anyone else. "Guess I've gotten strong enough with this form's magic that I can use that teleport too." Okay, no more getting distracted. Her teleportation takes a bit of time to 'cool down' to steal a phrase from one of Dash's video games, so she starts readying another burst for when she's attacked again.
With a wince as that knife cuts into her upper left arm, Twilight quickly rises higher to get out of range of any more wild swings from her assailant, eyes beginning to glow white as she draws out more of her inherent magic for a much stronger bombardment. "That's going to sting for a while... And I think it's time I ended this... Everyone, GET CLEAR!"
Swing and a miss! The Dented Pyramid Head's sword misses Dorian's feet completely and gets a good whack on the helmet for his trouble. Though normally resilient beyond measure, thanks to Kotal Kahn's power, Dorian is able to cause far more damage that he normally could. The head of the monster nearly sinks into his own body from the blow, it gets another nasty dent on his helmet, and nearly goes to his knees from the impact. Black, foul blood begins to pour down from the helmet and trickle down his body, and he nearly staggers to his feet like if he was in some serious pain. Dorian apparently hit him so hard the Pyramid Head felt pain and dizziness!
But stand up again the Pyramid Head does and this time, he does something that Dorian might not be expecting. The monster drops his butcher sickle and with a burst of speed rushes at the mage with arms extended. If he manages to get a good grip on the mage, he'll begin to dig his fingers inside Dorian's collar bone with the intentions of ripping the clavicle with his bare hands.
As Sunset dodges the attacks from the dogs and appears right next to the mage, some Flayed Ones rush for her but are suitably riddled by bullets of the TASK officers and Rayne's arrows. Looks like she has a clear path to assist Dorian or Twilight at her leisure.
The Pyramid Head attacking Twilight doesn't look like its going to let the distance stop him from trying repeatedly to bring her down. As the anthropony (learned a new term today) gains altitude, the Pyramid Head rears back and THROWS his butcher knife, arm still holding on to it and all, right at Twilight. The blade and attached arm spin a few times in the air before it threatens to slam into Twilight's side to possibly interrupt her spell and cut her down from the sky.
Dorian is just as surprised as Sunset is about the teleportation. "That will come in handy," he notes. Though he tries to keep himself between the pony-eared girl and the Pyramid Head that he's not sure is dead yet. And indeed no, it is not. The problem is, in trying to keep himself between Sunset and the Pyramid Head he hasn't quite killed, he's not really able to dodge the sudden burst of speed, for fear of it catching HER instead!
And so, yes, the Pyramid Head ends up grabbing hold of Dorian. And he hisses in pain as he feels those fingers start to dig into his neck and shoulder. Oh, but he's not going to go quietly. Oh no. He grabs hold of one of the beast's arms... and summons lightning! He's actually shocking himself, too-- Dorian is not immune to his own magic-- but he's sure as hell shocking the Pyramid Head worse!
And if Twilight hasn't been interrupted? "Go on! I'll get away when I can!" he calls up to her. And then a sudden cry of pain when the thing's fingers start to break the skin at his collarbone...
Sunset quickly takes a few steps back when Twilight says to do so, which gives a wide berth to the rushing monsters getting riddled down in arrows and bullets as well. This was... quite different from the sort of monsters and magic evils she was accustomed to. But that they were threatening lives, and by what Twilight told her about the fog-monsters before, the level of lethality was rightly justified. But her friend was powering up something, and that actually gave her an idea. "Hey, Twilight. Remember the Dazzlings?" Sunset says, as she dismisses her own spell for a moment. And instead makes a dramatic posturing. "o/~ You're never going to bring us down! We're never going to break, you will see! o/~" That's actually pretty good for adapting words on the fly. "o/~ Together we're going to take you out. Not just fighting as a necessity! o/~"
Sounds like she's using her singing to try and give Twilight a Magic of Friendship Musical Boost!
Even though she's not aware of the knife-bearing severed arm flying at her side as she hovers in midair, Princess Twilight Sparkle's eyes are still aglow as she raises a protective barrier with her right hand before suddenly delivering a potent shower of hundreds of rapid magical blasts with a downward swipe of that same hand. And, as Sunset's words reach her, she begins to sing along much as she and the Rainbooms did against that trio.
Dorian is quite the resilient fighter for a mage. Even the Pyramid Head's relentless onslaught is briefly slowed down when the mage retaliates by grabbing the creature back and shooting a surge of magical electricity through his body. The creature's veins begin to pop out of his skin, his flesh blackening as it begins to be charred into cinder by the electroshock. However, this is what a demon like the Pyramid Head is built for. In a battle of attrition, it will win out over Dorian's very mortal body despite the mage's valiant efforts to defend himself and the girls. It might even turn to cinder before actually killing Dorian, but if he keeps holding on to the mage it might leave some serious damage.
At least until the Pyrmaid Head's arms are sliced right off by an incoming macuahuitl. Kotal Kahn finally decided to leap into the fray and chopped the arms of the Pyramid Head grabbing hold of Dorian. The creature takes a few staggering steps backwards, holding his bleeding stumps up in surprise, and then is sliced in half from behind by courtesy of Reptile's claws. The creature's bottom half falls forward, guts spilling out onto the pavement while the now-armless top half falls straight down, unmoving.
Somewhat comically enough, the Pyramid Head's arms are -still- holding on to Dorian's shoulders, but at least they aren't putting pressure on him anymore. "Valiantly done, warrior!" Kotal exclaims, though it looks like this is the second time the Aztec saves the mage.
Twilight erects her barrier just in time to block the incoming improvised projectile of a severed arm holding a giant butcher knife. The thing bounces off and it signals the start of Twilight's magical missile barrage. Something about this magical attack proves to be -surprisingly- effective against these creatures, liquefying them faster than anything even Kotal Kahn could throw at them.
More than likely, it's the power of LOVE and FRIENDSHIP that proves to be the exact counter measure against the fog demons. But for whatever reason, when Twilight launches her barrage of projectiles down at the beasts none of them survive. What's more, this time they are very clearly in pain, twisting in agony as the missiles hit them instead of just falling dead and motionless as they usually do when defeated. Their howls of pain and hisses create a chorus of agony to accompany the song of Friendship and this is all topped by Kotal Kahn's booming laughter when he sees the fog beasts truly experience pain at last.
"HA HA HA HA!! Give my regards to Christabella in Hell, you curs!!!"
After a sustained rain of magical love energy, none of the beasts are left standing, and the fog dissipates giving way to the sun to shine once more upon the Twisted TASK building.
Behind them the TASK officers begin to cheer in victory.
Sunset Shimmer had found there to be a strong correlation between magic and music in her world, and while not necessarily a cause it was certainly a potent catalyst. Especially when it had something strong like her friendship with Twilight Sparkle to draw off of, if how much she puts into that impromptu musical inspiration is any indication.
Orbital Magic Friendship Laser anyone? The creatures of the fog certainly don't seem to be enjoying the show though. Which is a good thing. Sunset finishes singing as the fog starts to clear up, and lets out a soft sigh of relief. "And I was worried I wouldn't be able to do anything in this world." The doubts aren't entirely gone, but at least now she can make a bit of light about them and deal with it.
As soon as Dorian feels the pressure on his collarbone and shoulders ease, his body begins to glow blue-white. And then he turns, to run out of the area of Twilight's spell's effect. In fact, he runs so fast that there's no way he can be covering that much ground with only that motion. A blue-white contrail and a soft humming whoosh accompany the motion.
It's none too soon, either, as Twilight's barrage comes down. And something makes him outwardly WINCE at the barrage. Probably the cynic in him. which is also why it's a good thing he got out of that in time-- because he's such a jaded, cynical bastard that it might have hurt HIM too! Either that or made him happy enough to grin like a complete moron. Which would, of course, have been the worse fate of the two. He's got a reputation to keep!
However, once the rest of the monsters have been dealt with, Dorian sets about extricating the disembodied arms from his shoulders. "Off, you," he gripes and he pulls the limbs off of him, with no small amount of disgust. "I know I'm bloody irresistable, but don't get HANDSY 'till you're asked." He's probably kidding. Oh but he has more to complain about. And it's not his injuries, either. "Ugh, getting the blood out of this is going to be a chore..."
But he also looks at Kotal, with a nod. "Thank you. That makes twice now. I think I owe you drinks at some point." There's a hint of wryness there, and there's a smirk on his face. He's using the expression to mask the wince of pain. He's still injured, but it isn't nearly as bad as it could have been. A look to Twilight Sparkle. "You as well. That's an impressive technique." And then to Sunset, "Oh you did quite a bit. I'm still covered with giblets from varying unidentified sources."
Twilight Sparkle touches down with a few flaps of her wings, wincing at the cut on her upper left arm as the glow in her eyes finally dies out. And the comment from Dorian has her smiling self-consciously as she looks away. "Thank you, but... I'm really not used to glowing praise. If anything... I didn't exactly come out of the fight without injuries myself. I was just doing what I could to protect everyone."
"No thanks necessary." Kotal says raising a hand to Dorian. "It is my duty to protect all within this realm." The Aztec would probably still accept a few drinks though, because that still count as an offering to the god of war. Fortunately though once Dorian manages to pry those dismembered arms from his neck, they turn into dust and disappear. That's one good thing about these fog monsters, very little, if anything, to pick up afterward.
"You all performed exceptionally well, I am pleased to see that such stalwart warriors of justice exist within our ever growing city." The Aztec warlord glances to both Sunset and Dorian. "If any of you are ever in need of a worthwhile career that will put your skills to good use, consider joining TASK. We could use warriors such as yourselves." Then he looks at the princess. "And Twilight, I hope you reconsider your decision of leaving TASK. You've proven to be a valuable asset."
Kotal is not all words and praise though, noticing that Dorian and Twilight have sustained quite a bit of wounds, he raises a hand and causes the sun to shine upon the group. In thanks for their efforts, the sun heals both the mage and the pony princess, stitching their wounds back together and easing their pain. The blood though... that's still stuck in their clothes, if they want to fix that the laundromat is down the street.
Sunset gingerly rests her weight on her right foot. It stings a bit from the bite, but thanks to her boot the beast didn't do any lasting damage. Other than that, she's going to need new boots. Such is life. She umms softly at both Dorian and Kotal. "I'm still working on just getting situated, but thanks." Though she does glance in Twilight's direction briefly at the mention of her leaving.
Then she looks back to Kotal for a moment. And up. And... wow. Just the brief time she saw him at the resturant when she wandered into their party by accident, she hadn't really noticed how -big- he is because she had focused mainly on Twilight. But now, getting a look up close. "... And I thought Bulk Biceps was large..."
"'Glowing praise'?" Dorian echoes, to Twilight's embarrassment. And he chuckles. Crossing his arms over his midriff -- actually no, he makes to, but a twinge in his injured shoulder makes him reconsider it -- he notes, "My dear lady, if I were aiming for truly 'glowing' praise, I'd comment on just how lovely your eyes were, and how your hair caught the purple in your eyes and set it off so perfectly. Or how you looked like a messenger of Andraste herself, raining the holy light of the Maker's judgement upon those who would dare do harm to life." Smirrrrrk~. Okay, NOW he's laying it on JUST A LITTLE thick.
He looks to Kotal as the man speaks, and offers a nod. "TASK?" he echoes. "The police force here? The one who deals with threats like this?" His uninjured hand, the one holding the staff, gestures around the area where the monsters just were. He does however note, "I'll need some time to recover. This is, in retrospect, why I get cranky about people I don't know getting handsy. They tend to grab all the wrong places." Was that a dirty joke? Maybe. though he notices then that his arm is actually near completely healed. "Oh. Well. That's something." He moves the shoulder gingerly, to make certain it's fully healed.
Dorian can't help but laugh at Sunset's comment. Though it's in mirth, he's not mocking her. "You should see the Qunari in Thedas. /Short/ Qunari are seven feet tall. Their leaders and generals tend to be somewhere around nine and a half. Built like barrels, most of them. And almost every one with horns like a dragon." He isn't making light of Kotal's size, no. He's noting when he didn't seem that surprised by it. In fact, he looks to Kotal and asks, "You don't happen to have white hair, do you?" He's kidding; Dorian is fairly sure Kotal is not a Qunari.
Twilight Sparkle keeps her eyes averted, at least up until the sun's healing energy seals up the cut she sustained during the battle. "Well, what I mean is that, even as a Princess... I don't go out seeking adoration or fame, because that's not what I'm after. Royalty or not, I'm just a small part of the world, and I've grown used to living humbly, to the point where I don't want others bowing down to me once they find out about my status."
Even after living in Twisted for so long, a super serious individual like Kotal Kahn can never truly get used to all its absurdity. Dorian's blatant, over the top, flirting with Twilight makes the Aztec warrior to roll his eyes and sort of tune it out. A god of war he is, not of poetry and love songs, its a wonder how that magic missile rain of love and friendship didn't obliterate him either considering he's -literally- made of war.
Either way, as Dorian tries to embarrass Twilight, Kotal notices that Sunset Shimmer is looking up at him and very strangely admiring his figure. Well, walking around wearing little more than a loincloth, sandals and a helmet kind of makes Kotal used to those kind of stares and he simply takes the girl's strange ogling in stride. "Forgive my rudeness. I do not believe we have been properly introduced. I am Huitzilopotchli god of war and chief of security of Twisted, here I am known as Kotal Kahn. I understand you are a friend of Twilight."
A look is given at Dorian when he questions the color of his hair, and Kotal simply removes his helmet to show his short cropped black hair. It makes him look strangely boyish.
Sunset blinks a few times. Had she been staring like -that-? She hadn't thought so.. but seeing as her appearance is that of a teenager it could easily be seen as such regardless. Even if she probably stared more at the 'god of war' part for a moment. She aaahs softly, followed by a nervous little chuckle as she rubs the back of her head for a moment. "Didn't mean to stare ... But yeah, I am. My name's Sunset Shimmer."
"Oh, you poor lady," Dorian replies, as though honestly surprised, a hand over his chest as if shocked. "Your status isn't something to be ashamed of. Particularly if you have the power to help other people. Nothing wrong with accepting praise. Particularly when you deserve it." He smiles broadly.
Ah, that's when Kotal clears up the rhetorical question. And Dorian actually laughs brightly. "Ahaha-- so no, you aren't Qunari. Good to know. I'd take exception to having my mouth sewn shut." That part, at least, he's serious about.
And then Sunset Shimmer's introducing herself. "Ah, that's right, I haven't introduced myself either." Kotal and Rayne know who he is, but Twilight and Sunset may not. He places a hand on his chest, and offers, "Dorian, of House Pavus. Altus mage of Tevinter, most recently of Minrathous. How do you do?" A polite bow. Clearly raised in a noble house, this one was, with some knowledge of etiquette.
"Oh, where are my manners tonight... I'm Princess Twilight Sparkle, of Equestria, and a former student of Princess Celestia of the same royal quadrivirate. It's a pleasure to meet you, Dorian." With a genuine smile, the humanized pegacorn extends her right hand in a friendly greeting.
Kotal puts his helmet back on and nods at the introductions. He already had the pleasure of meeting Dorian though it was briefly and he had to depart quickly, so he is glad that he could finally get to know him properly. "Well met, all of you. It was an honor to fight alongside you today."
Alas, the life of the Director of TASK is full of responsibilities and Kotal decides its time to get back to them "If you'll excuse me I have a reconnaissance mission to plan out. Until our paths converge again, warriors."
He turns to leave and then looks back. "Alternatively, you are welcome to come join us for dinner."
"Is today tacosss?" Asks Reptile all of the sudden who at this point had been surprisingly quiet.
"Yes, today is taco night." Answers Kotal sounding a bit exasperated.
"Hmm.. tacossss.." Reptile's tongue hangs out and he drools a bit at the thought.
Sunset Shimmer returns the bow with a short one of her own, and then chuckles a little afterwards. "Twilight is just modest. She wants to be known for who she is, not what position she may hold." And that's why she was a better royal student than Sunset was, but I digress. "It's nice to meet both of you." Then she glances up at the window for a moment. She's pretty sure she saw a bit of rainbow in it briefly. Was that Rayne shooting the arrows, then?
By this point the magic of her transformation has wore off now that no one was in danger, the ears and pony-tail extension gone to leave her just human looking again. "Another magic user, then. Interesting... Oh, okay, see you later, Kotal Khan." She uses it like a full name as she momentarily waves after the large man.
And of course, Dorian is going to very gently kiss Twilight Sparkle's offered hand! If she allows it of course. Not to worry, that moustache is well-kempt, even after a battle, and very likely won't tickle her hand. He looks like someone who keeps himself well-groomed when monsters aren't being grabby at him! "Very pleased to meet you, Lady Twilight," he offers politely. He's not gone so far as to use 'Princess', because she's said she doesn't like it, but he does offer the respect of the title 'lady'.
As for the offer to come eat? "I may just take you up on that, if you don't mind," Dorian replies. "After all, I'm not quite certain how I got here, and getting lost here would be unpleasant. There's no telling what ELSE I'd bumble into." No way is he gonna admit he's still scared, and wants to make sure there's someone there when the adrenaline crash happens.
Sunset's mention of Twilight's motivation gets a nod of understanding. Wryly he notes, "Ah. I can understand that sentiment. When I went to Ferelden I was treated like an infectious leper, despite having nothing but the best of intentions in being there. Ah well." If Dorian notes Sunset's transformation he says nothing about it. "Do take care, if you aren't traveling with the group," he offers to Sunset. "I would hate for that to happen again. I'm told that fog is quite dangerous."
Twilight Sparkle blushes faintly at the hand-kiss, though her rational side justifies it as a display of respect. "Charming... And Sunset's going to be fine, as she and I are roommates now, so she'll be heading back to my apartment after a meal. I've got nothing else left to do for the night, so I wouldn't mind heading to the Usual Restaurant to eat."
"Ah, that's good to hear, that she'll be safe," Dorian replies. Not just tonight, but that she has a safe place to stay. There are dangers he wouldn't have thought up here. "For now, will you do me the honor of escorting you?" He offers his elbow to Twilight in a gentlemanly way. Yes, he is totally going to be her escort to the place if she wants.
Sunset ahehehehs. "Yeah, I know what you mean. I was lucky the first place I stumbled into is where Twilight was, or I'd really of been lost." Maybe not as badly as she makes it sound, since it was hardly her first dimension hop. But having a friend around certainly made it easier to contend with. "Yeah, after a day of shopping and a night of fighting, something to eat before calling it a night sounds like a great idea."
For a moment... Twilight's turning to share a bemused look with Sunset, laughing softly as she turns back to Dorian. "If one of my other friends was here, she'd be fawning over you... Rarity is really well-mannered, and the most knowledgeable of my friends where social etiquette is concerned. Even after that debacle with Prince Blueblood... She's probably still hoping for some gentlestallion or gentleman like you. But that's a story for another time, I think. I accept your offer of an escort."
Twilight Sparkle makes her way into the restaurant, heading for one of the tables so she can eat. "It's almost like I'm back home..."
Sunset is just half-smirking to herself. Twilight mentioned Rarity, but she was thinking of someone else. She waves to Dorian as he leaves after showing them to the restaurant, then follows Twilight over to the table. "It's a good thing Flash isn't here, he might of gotten jealous," she remarks with a playful teasing tone.
Twilight Sparkle looks over after giving her order to one of the waitstaff. "While I might've denied the accusations of having feelings for him back then, as a cover for hearing it from Cadance and the others back home... Now, I can genuinely say I don't without being embarrassed. He's been really nice, don't get me wrong, but... Well, I've never really understood romance and anything about love. At one point, back when I was still a unicorn living in Canterlot, I thought books were all I needed. Friends didn't matter to me in the slightest at that point."
It's a bit late for a full sized meal so Sunset just orders a salad for herself. "I know Twilight, I'm just teasing. Besides, I think he's taken a liking to our Twilight, even after we explained it wasn't you. Sort of. He's a nice guy though... I kinda feel bad I was only interested in the popularity from going out with him at the time." She sits back in her seat, folding her hands behind her head. "Funny thing Twilight? I thought the same thing. Why would I want to be friends with the ponies I would be ruling over as a princess?" Sunset gazes off thoughtfully for a moment. "I was such a stupid, spoiled brat. It's sad it took a different world, several years, and the 'raging she-demon' for me to learn how wrong I was."
Twilight says, "But, in a way... It's turned out kind of good, in the long-term, for both of us to learn how wrong we were to turn away from the one thing that's really brought us both closer together. And that's something else we can look forward to, the day we can return to Equestria. Thanking Princess Celestia."
"I suppose so." Sunset smiled as she wiggled a finger in Twilight's direction. "And maybe even Celestia learned something from dealing with my rebellion that she used to teach you. Things have a way in happening the best way they need to, even if the individual events aren't so great."
Twilight Sparkle nods, picking up her food with both hands and taking a bite. She, of course, waits to swallow before speaking. "Speaking of her... When I got back after our battle that first time, she asked about how you were doing. So I think she still cares, even after all that happened between you and her. I mentioned that you were in good hands, and left it at that, much to Rainbow's confusion."
Sunset finishes a few bites of her salad. "I don't think I can ever fully express how grateful I am to have someone like you to help turn my life around for the better, Twilight. If it hadn't been for you and the other girls..." She actually shudders a little. "It's scary to think about. Ambition isn't bad itself, but I let it blind me to much more important things."
Twilight says, "From my own experiences... I can understand completely. We're alike in so many ways, but somehow... I kind of have to smile when I realize there are just as many differences between us as well."
Sunset responds with a small laugh of her own. "Even some of the similarities have differences. But I think that's why we compliment each other so well. You don't always see all the details if you keep looking at it from the same point of view."
Twilight Sparkle takes a few more bites of her burger, before washing them down with some of her drink. "And that's the beauty of the world. So many diverse perspectives, each with the potential to bring us all together. I embrace that with everything I am now."
Sunset picks a few more bites of her salad between points of conversation. "Even when it involves Pinkie. I swear sometimes she makes less sense than the magic does!" Then starts snickering again. "It may not be as obvious as it was in Equestria, but magic has had to exist in some subtle degree. Its the only way I can explain how she hides -entire baked goods- in her -hair-."
Twilight Sparkle tries, and fails, to keep from laughing. "My world's Pinkie manages to keep a CANNON in her mane, in addition to appearing from all kinds of places where it should be physically impossible to hide..."
"Oh that's nothing." Sunset Shimmer sets her fork down for a moment, and digs her smartphone out of a jacket pocket. Flips through a few menus, and then holds it up to show Twilight the picture of human Pinkie and Fluttershy standing with a big chocolate cake. That's been sliced in half to show a -detailed- image of a smiling woman inside it. "-That- is what she did for the baking competition for the games. The Principals and Cadance nearly choked on their samples at the sight."
Twilight Sparkle blinks, before just shaking her head in clear amusement. "Somehow, I'm not surprised they'd be able to pull it off. If anything, I'm actually impressed it's so artistic, for being a cake."
"Most of the time it's just easier to remember it's Pinkie Pie and leave it at that. Thinking too hard about it just gives me a headache." Despite that Sunset is still snickering as she puts the phone away and works on finishing up her salad. "She certainly keeps things interesting, to say the least."
"Tell me about it." With only a few more bites of her burger left, Twilight looks up with a giggle as she finishes it off. "I've actually - and LITERALLY - caught fire from trying to understand her, on top of having something as large as a full grand piano fall on me. So now, I've just accepted she's unexplainable, for the sake of avoiding a fatal accident."
"Rarity would faint seeing that happen to a piano," Sunset muses, remembering the trouble the Rainbooms went through with Rarity and her piano before the convinced her to use a keytar instead. She finishes the last bite of salad and drops the fork in the empty bowl. "I think I'm ready to head back to the apartment and call it a night."
Twilight Sparkle nods, getting to her feet and heading out after making sure their meal is paid for, retrieving her apartment key. "I wouldn't doubt it... And yeah, getting rest sounds good. The apartment's not far from here, if you're up for walking."