|Tag! You're It!|
It's mandatory Kombat training day at TASK and emphasis goes to the word mandatory. Of course, considering that TASK personnel is scarce and most of them are usually out in missions, Kotal only managed to bring out whatever officer was unlucky enough to be near him when he decided that today, of all days, was training day.
To note, as he steps out of the teleporter and into the park, only Ferra/Torr were the only unlucky ones of his old Krew to be nearby when he got into one of his flights of fancy.
Rayne arrives much the same way as Kotal did, and looks around the park in quiet trepidation as to what is coming next. "So... What training did you have in mind that is appropriate to the park?" She looks around, and sure enough, families are out and about on this fine day. People are having picnics, going out for strolls, you name it, it's going on, just a scene of peacefulness. And yet, Kombat Training? Rayne frowns.
Silencia was already planning on training in the park when Kotal decided that it was training day. The priestess preferred training on her own, but she had no reason to refuse training with the rest. She was curious though and when Rayne asks just the question that was on her mind, Silencia peeks at Kotal. "I'm also wondering about that, Kotal...and also, I'm not really on the same level as you guys with the whole 'kombat' thing..."
Serenity was apparently insufficiently busy-looking, trying to perform a workout routine of another sort while minding the reception desk. Ren arrives rather later than Kotal and crew after opting to arrive 'on foot'. With easy undulations of the aquamarine muscle within the cloak of water, Ren slips over to the park entrance. Spotting familiar faces, Ren lifts a 'wing' to wave.
"I have taken all this into account." Kotal answers simply as Rayne and Silencia question him on his decision to drag everyone out for Kombat practice, particularly clear non-fighters like Silencia and Serenity of all people.. fish.. mollusc. "It is precisely because our organization deals with a great deal of drastically different power levels that I have devices a plan for all to work around our very noticeable gap in skills."
The Aztec takes a few steps forward and then turns to look at Rayne. "Today's Kombat training is tag." He produces a soccer ball all of the sudden, was he carrying that around all the time? "Rayne, you will be 'it'." So decrees the god of war and flicks the ball at the rainbow haired woman. "I assume all of you are familiar with the rules of this exercise."
Rayne catches the thrown ball and looks at it, a look of confusion in her face. "Tag. As in... the children's game? Well, I suppose, but... what's with the ball?" She looks around, still a slight concerned with the differences in speed... particularly Serenity, as she's never seen the field emitter move with any real speed, certainly not with what she and Kotal are capable of. "Or did you grow up with a different version of 'tag' than what I've seen?"
Silencia blinks surprisedly at Kotal's announcement. Tag? The girl can't help but smile, she used to play quite a bit of that back home. "Tag? Really?" Her tone is more amused than questioning, she was warming up to the idea. Rayne's question about the ball catches Silencia's attention, the girl taps the ball out of Rayne's grasp, catching it and bouncing the ball between her hands absentmindedly while smiling. "There are many types of tag, some include the use of a ball." She peeks at Kotal and throws the ball at him, expecting him to catch it. "I do believe we should establish exactly what kind of game we're going to play!" She peeks at Serenity as well, wondering about the mollusc. "Will you be alright though, Serenity?"
Serenity flows over to 'stand' in front of Kotal with the others, looking on with a matching puzzled expression as Kotal explains. The steal gets a briefly surprised look and then a smile. Ren eventually offers, "I am familiar with tag - taking turns chasing, though may be a bit out of my element chasing anyone here. I am also better at intuiting ballistic motion than I was when I arrived, but..." Ren looks to Silencia and replies optimistically, "I suppose creativity is part of the training?"
Silencia stealing the ball away from Rayne so easily draws some amusement from Kotal. Looks like he continues to underestimate the young fairy girl, he ought to stop doing that by now. "Silencia and Serenity are correct in this regard. Kombat is not always about strength or speed, but creativity. You can be strongest and fastest person in the universe, it is all for naught if you have no skill." He catches the ball with one hand as Silencia throws it at him and spins it in one finger as if he were a basketball player. "As for the ball itself. This is -mostly- to ensure Torr here doesn't flatten any of you, he has problems controlling his strength."
On cue, the massive Torr grunts and bangs his chest like a gorilla. It looks like Kotal is taking into account everyone's safety which may be a first! At least as far as training goes.
He then tosses the ball back to Rayne.
Rayne gets a bit of a look of surprise on her face as Silencia taps the ball out of her hands. "Wha..." She blinks and looks at Sil with a raised eyebrow. She's going to have to pay better attention around the priestess, it seems. "Okay, so a quick clarification before we start... I presume we have to hit Ren proper?" She easily catches the ball as it's tossed back to her again. "It give her a bit of an advantage, in that you have to get the ball through the water. It makes up for her general... lack of speed. Oh, and shall we agree no tagbacks?" She holds the ball in her hands, testing its weight for a moment before chucking it right at Kotal again. Oh. Has she decided to start already?
Silencia grins at Serenity, starting to get excited. "Exactly! We're gonna win this with out wits, won't we Serenity?" Silencia seems to feel like she should stick with her fellow non-warrior in this game. Rayne's surprised reaction and Kotal's amusement get a grin from Silencia as well, the girl confident in her playground skills. "Go ahead and underestimate me, that was probably a fluke!" Her tone suggests otherwise though. She is surprised though when Rayne already seems to start with the game, as she hurls the ball toward Kotal. Silencia's first instinct is to take a couple of steps back, evaluating from a distance before deciding if she should flee.
Serenity still looks a bit skeptical of the plan, glancing to the existing team as Kotal mentions Torr. Ren nods at Rayne's suggestion, looking speculatively at her and the other players. Ren ripples the fins more strongly than usual but in opposing directions as Rayne tosses the ball. "Alliance, Silencia?" Ren suggests, simultaneously jetting towards a spot on the opposite side of Rayne from Kotal.
"It will be better if we simply aim for her water field." Kotal clarifies when Rayne questions the specifics of tagging Serenity. "Though it is a bigger target I rather not slam Serenity with any kind of force, Torr in particular." He gives the ogre a look.
Kotal doesn't say anything about Silencia giggling and her apparent alliances with the mollusc. Namely, because he has a ball thrown at him all of the sudden. "Another reason to use a ball in this game." The Aztec slides out of the way from the thrown projectile, moving across the ground without lifting his feet as if he were skating. This is a guy that can evade things coming at him at light speed, attacking him straight on is probably not going to work. "In battle you more than likely will only have one attack. Learn to make it count."
He then lets the ball roll behind him. Torr and Ferra cheering and then starting to run away from Rayne. Looks like she's still it.
Her surprise attack an abject failure, Rayne runs for the ball, scooping it up on the go with one hand, grabbing onto a small tree with the other to change her direction quickly. She quickly gauges her potential targets, apparently deciding on Serenity as she now makes a bee-line for the floating mullusc! A slightly wild grin on her face, she seems to be going in fairly close... Only to plant a foot in front of her, halting her motion as she suddenly changes targets to Silencia! Her throw is a bit wide, though... perhaps she shouldn't have thrown before slowing her own motion to a near stop?
With a mild curse of "Kyon dez vach!" she runs after the ball to retrieve it again, diving to the ground with a roll before coming back up to her feet with today's 'weapon.' With Silencia clearly on to her now, Rayne looks around for the right target of opportunity, careful to look only with her eyes and keeping her face pointed in Silencia's direction... Before she bolts to the side, sizing up a throw to pick off Ferra! At least this time the throw is in the same direction as her motion!
Silencia nods with a smile toward Serenity as she suggests an alliance. When Rayne runs toward Serenity, Silencia focuses on the ground in front of the mollusc, ready to let vines protect her ally. But that was not needed! Rayne's surprise attack does catch Silencia off guard, but she manages to evade because of her reflexes and her luck, since Rayne's throw wasn't as good as it could be. As Rayne runs toward to ball, she runs away, turning around while running, keeping an eye on Rayne as she runs backwards, stopping only when she reaches a safe distance. She smiles when Rayne seems to hunt after Ferra, appreciating the tactic the colorful warrior had used. She motions toward Serenity to stay close to the bushes, Silencia would be able to provide better cover for the mollusc there.
Serenity doesn't seem terribly surprised by Kotal's dodging abilities. But Ren does 'blink' at Rayne's sudden approach- not only is she using angular momentum, but seems intent on using the linear sort, too. Ren quickly flutters without going in any one direction. With no cover to the side, Ren attempts to accelerate and slide past her left side, which would have segued nicely into providing protecting Silencia with a distraction... if Rayne hadn't switched targets to Ferra already. Ren then stops as abruptly as possible, gills fluttering in the currents and the environment suit making a valiant effort to cancel some of the significant momentum in response. Looking around, Ren spots Silencia again and takes her cue to speed off in the direction of the bushes. 'Speed' is a relative term here, as the environment suit is not going to win any footraces for the foot-free occupant.
In the meantime, Kotal Kahn is surveying the proceedings with wary glowing eyes and his arms crossed over his chest. It almost looks as if he's actually not participating himself, though considering his ability to dodge things in the blink of an eye, its certain that he doesn't need to run around or take a stance in order to avoid incoming balls thrown at him.
The same can't be said for little Ferra go totally falls for Rayne's feint. She thinks that she's in the safe since the rainbow haired girl was looking at Silencia and Ren's direction, then she gasps as Rayne turns to her and gets beaned right on the stomach! "Ack! No fair! No fair! Rainbow hair cheated!!" The girl throws a little tantrum while down on the ground before getting back on her feet. Well, looks like now she's it!
"Grr! Grr!" Little savage Ferra gives a few growls as she looks to the sides holding the ball with both hands since she's almost as big as she is. She runs back at Rayne but seems to change her mind in mid charge and throws the ball at Silencia. "Nyaa!"
Rayne pumps her fist in victory, then immediately runs for cover behind a tree to avoid the dreaded 'tagback,' though this isn't necessary, it seems. Seeing the ball flying in Silencia's direction, she changes her positioning around the tree and... draws a sword? She appears to be using the shiny finish of the bladed weapon as a crude mirror to look around the tree in the direction of where the ball lands, wherever that might be.
Silencia keeps her eye on Serenity as she makes her way to safer grounds. That was her first mistake. Before she knows it, Ferra has already hurled the ball towards her and hits Silencia on her right shoulder. If she had paid better attention, she would've been able to dodge it. It seems the priestess needs to step up her game. A wild grin appears on her face as she picks up the ball, her movements slow and deliberate. She simply moves at her own pace. She then starts running towards Torr. No twists and turns, a rather straightforward attack. The ball does switch to her left hand as she pretends to throw with her right hand. Using that simple feint, she throws the ball toward Torr.
Serenity cringes sympathetically a bit as Ferra is hit, then weaves around the stand of bushes towards Silencia as the girl gets up... And Ren is not quick enough to arrive before she is hit. While she is going to retrieve the ball, Ren catches up and circles around to her side. Supposing the direction of her run to be as it appears, Ren takes a path to the left of and parallel to Silencia's. Ren is partly still swimming in a vertical orientation, as when 'walking' alongside someone, but Ren switches to horizontal and diagonal postures too. The transitions between directions are marked with twists that flash aquamarine expanses over mazes of neon orange and turquoise. Ren even throws in a somersault with 'wings' extended out to the sides, but that move doesn't make it any easier to keep up with Silencia.
Man, tonight is just not Ferra and Torr's night. Honestly, there was no need for Silencia to even do that feint, as the giant Torr seems remarkably bad at dodging anything thrown at him unlike the flighty Ferra. Part of it is his own overconfidence, since he can pretty much tough out anything but the most damaging of blows, and he holds still confident that the ball isn't going to hurt him.
However, just as Silencia throws said ball at him, he seems to remember that getting hit at all means he's it. "Urg!" He gives a surprised grunt and then the ball hits him right on the forehead. "Aww." He gives a disappointed growl and then a snort like an annoyed animal.
Oh well, guess he now has to throw the ball at someone.
Torr doesn't bother with the details either just like Ferra. He grabs the ball and then flings it from his position at Serenity. No feints, no fancy techniques, just raw power.
Rayne continues to rotate around the tree. This is a game of survival, not attack, and a threat can only come from the direction of the ball. As such, so long as she's not the focus of attack, she doesn't see a reason to move from her current position. Ranged attacks are most likely, therefor keeping cover is the most sound tactic, in her mind.
As the ball makes contact with Torr's forehead, Silencia can't help but frown slightly in worry. She hadn't meant to hit him on the head. "Oh.. I'm sorry!" He seems fine though, so Silencia quickly gets back in the game, especially since her companion seems to be the next target! The straightforward attack is a simple matter to take care of. Silencia hums lightly and a vine shoots up out of the ground, right in front of Serenity. It grabs the ball and flings it away, the ball landing rather close to Rayne's location. Silencia glances at Serenity and sticks up her thumb with a grin. "Lets get to the trees!"
Serenity doesn't seem quite as worried for Torr as for Ferra, perhaps on account of the differing sizes relative to the ball. Now, while Ren was evidently aiming at being a distraction, being the one aimed at is evidently a distraction. Ren doesn't entirely freeze, but stops abruptly and somersaults again to present the tail end toward Torr- fewer breakable parts, a smaller cross-section, and a convenient position to flee. Ren 'blinks' at the sudden appearance of the vine, but takes the opportunity and the advice, fleeing in the direction of the indicated trees with rapid undulations of the fins.
Blocked by vines!!? Well, that's just not fair. Not fair at all!!
Torr looks considerably annoyed that his ball was blocked by Silencia. Enough that he actually roars and SLAMS his massive fists on the ground. He looks kind of pissed!
"Cheater! Pants on fire, cheater!" Ferra hops up and down "If you do team things we do team things too!" Now focused on helping out her partner, little Ferra runs up to the ball and kicks it towards Torr.
This actually puts it in a great angle for the ogre to go for the rebound, volley ball style and he smacks the ball at Rayne, shooting at her from the other side of the tree she's currently using as cover.
When the ball was rebounds from the vines towards her tree, Rayne bolts from it. After all, cover isn't nearly as useful when someone's that close to you! When the ball is knocked back towards Torr, however, she changes direction once again, leaping up and grabbing onto a tree to put her up higher to get a better view of the ball that's now headed right towards her! So she drops down again, and the ball sails over head.
Silencia hops surprisedly when Torr slams the ground with his fists. She glances over her shoulder at the giant. She can't help but laugh though, the cheerful sound dancing around as she reaches the cover of the trees with Serenity. "There were no rules against alliances!" Time to bring out the works! Silencia stops running and breathes slowly, focusing once more. The girl flickers out of sight, disappearing into Mother nature's embrace. She speaks softly to Serenity. "Don't worry, I'm still here and I'll protect you! Keep yourself out of sight!" Silencia needs to concentrate to keep her cloaked form though, so the slightest distractions and excitement make her falter and reveal herself. She moves away from Serenity, her movements also absorbed by the nature around her. She can't help but be a bit mischievous though, she makes her way over to Rayne and taps her on the shoulder, still invisible. "Nice dodging!"
Childish indignation is apparently amusing, while roaring from an adult gets a frown from Ren and a little additional speed. Serenity slides the field generator around a tree by twisting belly side towards the trunk and swimming a tight turn around it. As Silencia stops, Ren makes a diagonal twist to come to a stop beside her in a vertical orientation again. Ren gives her a puzzled look as she turns her focus inward, then a surprised on at the disappearance. "Hh... Keeping out of sight was actually the exact opposite of the strategy I had in mind," Ren mentions. Ren reaches out with a pair of fins and an extruded 'digit' to poke the spot where Silencia was, but by then, she's already gone.
Serenity gets to see a bit of both after Rayne dodges the ball thrown by the gestalt warrior. Because as the rainbow haired girl ducks, both Ferra and Torr begin to jump and down in indignation at missing, mimicking each other's movements. It's like its the same person controlling two bodies! Which they are actually.
At any rate, after Ferra does her childish indignation and Torr does his very adult anger. Ferra rushes to pick up the ball again and turns to look at Silencia, thinking that she was easy to hit last time so she should try again.
Or at least, she tries to look for Silenca because now both she and Serenity are gone! "What!? No fair! No fair! Hidey hole be cheating!! Grr!!" The little girl starts running in circles looking for the fairy and the mollusc and then she quickly realizes that she has ran out of targets.
Now there's only Kotal - and she instantly decides against that idea - and Rayne. Guess she's gonna be the center of attention for both Ferra and Torr today.
"Graaa!!" Ferra gives a shrieking war cry and runs around the tree Rayne is hiding, throwing the ball at her. In case it were to miss, Torr is right behind it ready to bounce the ball back at Rayne. One of them ought ta hit her!
Rayne, of course, has her attention focused well on the ball at all times: where it is, where it's going, who has it. Unfortunately, this hyper attentiveness leaves her open to problems elsewhere... like being tapped on the shoulder. As Silencia compliments her dodge, she yelps out and jumps away from the shoulder tap right into the tree. No, not up into it; she slams her body against the trunk of it. At least that means Ferra's throw missed her, as she 'dodged' just in the nick of time! She bounces off the tree, slightly dazed, and is promptly beaned in the back of the head with Torr's latest throw, knocking her sprawling to the ground.
Well, now she's even more dazed, but that doesn't stop her from getting up to her feet again and stumbling after the ball. Picking it up, she looks around for a new target and shaking her head to try to clear the stars from her vision. She's able to spot the bright colors of Ren! Well, she spots the tube of water, at least. She pulls back her arm and hurls the ball in Ren's direction... but her still dazed state keeps that ball from having a very true aim.
Rayne's surprised reaction gets a giggle from Silencia. Ferra and Torr's anger only seem to amuse Silencia, those two should be more careful than to amuse that part of Silencia. She could get very mischievous! When the ball hits Rayne in the back of the head, Silencia gasps and grimaces. Oops, that was her fault. "Sorry!" When she sees Rayne's target, Silencia immediately sprints forward, her concentration broken, so she flickers back into sight. "Ren! It's coming your way!" Silencia's vines shoot up, but the throw was fast enough to bypass it!
Serenity was still fruitlessly feeling around for an absent Silencia, including low to the ground with the trailing fin edges, as it wouldn't do to run over her. Ren stops and looks up, then, attention drawn to Rayne's position by the noise from Ferra and Torr. Ren leans up against the nearest tree, tail end vertically hidden behind it and head and leading edges twisted at a ninety-degree angle to peer around it. Apparently this is what those projecting eyes are good for. The rhinophores, gill-feathers, and the water covering those gills are not similarly protected, but dangle out past the tree as a tempting target... at least until Silencia speaks up. Ren quickly withdraws fully behind the tree and moreover backpedals from it with a rapid flutter of the fin edges.
"Ya hahahah!!" Now its time for Ferra to pump her fists up in victory and do a little dance, Torr following suit as he too pumps his fists up and starts spinning around just like his tiny partner in crime is doing. The both of them seem to be having a great time!
Of course, they don't stick around to see if Rayne is successful in hitting Serenity. Both of them bolt in different directions trying to make themselves difficult targets. "Rainbow hair is it!!" Ferra shrieks and giggles sounding very childish.
Rayne half-stumbles away after the missed ball, finally recovering mostly by the time she makes it to the ball. She picks it up and looks around for a new target. Sil has gone visible again, and Rayne is now out for revenge... for herself getting freaked out slightly back there! Really, invisible Silencia has been nothing but trouble for Rayne. She gets a bit of a running start before chucking it at her! And it goes a bit wide again. Really, Rayne is not very good at throwing balls, it seems, at least not today.
Silencia laughs excitedly when Serenity dodges the attack. "Well done!" She then stops her running and starts running backward as she noticed that Rayne has picked a new target and that target was her! "Ohh crap!" Rayne looked pissed! Lucky for Silencia, Rayne's throw was off again, allowing the priestess to escape. Silencia can't help but laugh at the noises coming from Ferra, so adorable! Out of any direct danger, Silencia peeks at Kotal. He has been very passive this 'training day' and that was very unlike him! "Aren't you joining in, Kotal? Does the War God not participate in his own training day?" Her voice is taunting, the priestess all but daring him to get serious.
Serenity ripples 'wings' in opposition to each other as Rayne approaches to retrieve the ball. Ren 'stands' hesitating for a few moments before one side eventually wins out. In that direction, Ren quickly takes off on an arcing path in the opposite direction from Rayne to meet up with Silencia. Ren travels horizontally for speed, which has the added benefit of presenting a small cross-section behind. (The water, however, presents larger target, as it thoroughly covers the gills as well as the remainder of the body and usually most of the fins.) Ren somersaults into a 'standing' position again. "I don't know if hiding is the best strategy for me in this game," Ren hisses.
Kotal is indeed still here! Overseeing the proceedings with his arms crossed. He hears Silencia's taunting words but he simply shakes his head with closed eyes, long colorful feathers of his helmet swaying behind him. "It would be unfair if I were to join in, my priestess." Because for starters, Silencia's invisibility is rendered null on him since he can sense her presence at all times.
Meanwhile, Ferra and Torr are running all over the place giggling. "Run from rainbow it! Run!" Ferra cackles in delight.
Rayne seems to be less amused by this exercise than the others, growling slightly in frustration as she scoops up the ball again, again sizing up what targets are currently available. Her left eyebrow twitches slightly as she's referred to as 'rainbow it' and that seals in her next attempted target. Deciding on a change of tactics, Rayne starts running right for Ferra! The rules are just that the ball needs to contact, right? Well, who said she had to throw it? She chases down the smaller half of that particular team, but as she chases and Ferra undoubtedly flees, Rayne manages to stumble in the run, thrown off guard by trying to run with such a relatively large handheld object. She hits the ground with a bit of another curse escaping her lips, and she chucks the ball in Ferra's general direction before getting back up.
Silencia hums thoughtfully at Ren's observation. "Hiding does work, but don't stay in one place for too long! I'll try and protect you as much as I can." Kotal's words get a pout though. "And here I thought that you would be itching to join the fun!" She peeks at Ren and motions to a clump of trees and bushes. "Lets take cover there!" While Rayne is busy with Ferra, Silencia makes her way over to a new place to take cover. She does flinch when Rayne hits the ground though. That must've hurt.
"Hh... noted," Ren remarks after considering Silencia's words a moment. Ren hovers at the ready until she points out the stand of trees to aim for. Ren slides the environment suit off at a jogging pace, though seems to be working hard enough to communicate even that much urgency to the sensors. Ren glances backwards at Rayne's exclamation, but late enough to see her throwing from the grounded position as if she'd intended to do that. Ren comes to a stop by the bushes with a twirl, covering the last bit of distance with a backwards ripple and a vertical posture. "Silencia, I assume that was you controlling the vines earlier. If you have that much control, could you not also weave a shelter in short order?"
Ferra is a very flighty little thing, though she can't endure quite as much as her bigger 'brother' she sure can dodge. Rayne's very unfortunate throw ends with Ferra jumping over the ball and then stepping on Rayne's head before running away. "Nyahaha! Rainbow it! Rainbow it!"
Of course it hurt! Only Rayne could manage to get hurt in this kind of light exercise... But it doesn't look like it was any worse than getting beaned by Torr's strike. Of course, that strike looked pretty painful. Though getting her stepped on doesn't make things any better, either, in the case of pain or in frustration. She takes her time getting up to walk after the ball again, scooping it up with a bit of a tired look to her. There seems to be only one target in her mind now, her left eye again twitching as she looks at Ferra. She takes a step forward... then another, then she's suddenly at a run again. She has the same grip she did before, looking like she perhaps might be intending to chase Ferra down again, but no, she suddenly shifts her grip to chuck the ball at the smaller one.
Silencia chuckles softly as she watches Rayne storm after Ferra. It seems it got personal! The sight of Ferra stepping on Rayne's head had made Silencia wince in sympathy-pain. That really must've hurt. Silencia peeks at Ren, mulling her words. "Yeah, that was me... I could weave a shelter, but not as quickly, the vines get confused where to go and end up in a pile." It seems she had tried something similar before! "And also, holing yourself up in a shelter ain't no fun!" For now, Silencia just watched Rayne and Ferra, amused at the mannerisms of the smaller female.
Serenity nods thoughtfully at Silencia's explanation, shifting to lie on one side with one pair of fins flexed forward and one air flexed behind. Floating thus at a couple feet above the field generator seems a compromise between 'standing' at full height and flattening against the disc. "Spending the game holed up in a shelter wouldn't be fun," Ren agrees with a note of amusement, "but showing that you could might be." Ren adds thoughtfully, "I haven't anything of the sort with me now, but I wonder if marking out lines with lasers or fishing line would make it easier for you to control plants." Ren frowns on spotting Ferra's last move through a gap in the branches.
Its clear that her anger is getting the better of Rayne. Normally she could have gotten Ferra with such a throw, but indignant as she currently is by being taunted, the tiny terror that is Ferra manages to dash sideways and then throw herself at the other side to avoid the incoming ball. "Ya hahahah!!" She rolls on the ground with that annoying laugh of hers and continues to run away, even daring to turn around and blow a raspberry at Rayne as she flees. "Pbbbtt! No can get me!"
Fog slowly starts to roll in from all around, gradually creating a thick layer that covers the ground entirely from view. As the fog continues to thicken, faint sparks of light slowly start to emanate across the top, creating an almost dazzling light show as the sparks leave trails of crimson and emerald, intertwining amongst each other to form simple patterns at first.
A few moments pass, and the patterns of light start to become more and more complex as the fog starts to rise up, creating at first a small sphere. The sphere starts to grow in size, the sparks of light now dancing across it until an orb large enough to fit at least normal sized people floats there in the air. The sparks now dance across a certain portion of the orb, at first making seemlingly pointless patterns as before.
A keen eye however would notice that at first the pattern would be that of a simple stick figure, until it becomes more and more defined. What could pass as veins are drawn, then more intricately a nervous system. Muscles, tissue, all of it can be made out until the lights suddenly stop.
A brief thud emanates from within the sphere. Then two thuds in succession. The sound continues, creating a brief but tell-tall rhythm until a small crack appears in the center of the orb. The thud-thud sound starts to become more rapid in pace, quickly elevating to that of a low buzz as more cracks continue to grow upon the sphere.
The sphere is now riddled with thousands of cracks, until finally it shatters. Most may not realize just what is going on, but the keen of eye and mind will know.
As the sphere falls away, the form of a man remains floating suspended in the air, only for it to crumple to the ground below as the last bit of the sphere of fog and light breaks away. The man lays there for a few moments, before slowly rising to a knee. His gaze then turns to the Osha'tek who remains away from the group.
Caliga simply speaks. "Kotal, would you mind assisting me?"
Rayne is doing a very poor job indeed of keeping her cool.
The air around her starts to ripple as the temperature begins to rise, and her left hand is now gripped tightly into a fist, her knuckles turning white. As she reaches the ball, however, she notices the fog rolling in, and she immediately draws both her swords to look around... But there's something different. This is low to the ground, where Silent Hill's fog tends to be much more all encompassing. She watches warily as the fog forms into a sphere, taking a ready stance as she has no clue what's going to happen next. The unknown (to her at least) man falling from the sphere in the end and asking for Kotal's help... were not what she was expecting. Still, to her this is an unknown situation, and that means she's staying on guard, the ball now forgotten.
By this time, every member of TASK, and Twisted City as a whole more than likely, sort of has a knee jerk reaction when they see fog approaching.
Ferra looked ready to defend herself when Rayne was apparently going berserk but as that fog begins to roll in, the massive giant Torr moves with surprising speed and scoops her up to protect her. Even they know that the fog is bad news!
But as it turns out, this isn't the fog that they are used to and that becomes fairly evident when the light show starts. "What in blazes!?" Not wanting to take any chances, Kotal immediately takes point and stands alongside Rayne and Ferra/Torr, macuahuitl drawn, ready to protect Ren and Silencia if it came down to it.
However, a sensation tells him that this fog bears something, or someone, that he recognizes. "Could it be?" It feels like naught but a shadow of the man that he used to know, but he's certain this is Caliga that approaches him.
And indeed, down comes Caliga who seems nothing like his former self. He looks.. broken. "Caliga!!" Kotal shouts in surprise and moves closer, a look of worry flashing across his eyes. As much as this man has vexed him in the past, Kotal still does not wishes him to die. "Hold still." He command as he looks over his shoulder in the direction of his priestess.
"Silencia! Come help me heal this man!"
Silencia hums at Serenity's suggestions to help make a shelter of vines. "That might work, I should try that out sometime..." She lets out a soft laugh at Ferra again. This one really is funny! Then al the fun and games end when that odd fog rolls in. Silencia never had any experience with the fog and it's monsters, but she had heard about it in passing before. She moves slightly to shield Ren, just in case, while staring. The way the fog forms itself and the lights seem to fascinate the priestess, she can't help but stare. When a man emerges, Silencia is more than puzzled. Where did he come from? Kotal's booming voice makes her snap out of it and she rushes over, kneeling down next to the unfamiliar man. She quickly touches his forehead, golden light emitting from her fingertips and she frowns. She glances up at Kotal. "Uhm, Kotal? He seems perfectly fine..."
Serenity is already crouching down in hiding when the fog appears and so doesn't seem to react all that much despite being very thoroughly disturbed by it. Ren rolls over horizontal and twitches both rhinophores and body length inward. Ren glances up sharply to Silencia as Kotal calls her and frowns as she goes out to respond. Ren doesn't get a good look at the figure on the ground on account of remaining behind in the bushes and, for the moment, keeping quiet.
A brief quirk of an eyebrow is given to Silencia as she mentions him being perfectly fine. "I suspected as much." His gaze turns to Kotal, and like an annoyed parent speaking to a child that isn't listening once more the man speaks. "So instead of helping me, you have a pretty girl start touching me? If I knew that would happen, I'd show up more often." Irregardless of any assistance from Kotal, Caliga slowly stands up.
Reaching into his jacket, he pulls out a small stick, only to shake it a few times as it grows in size. Eventually he is pleased with the size, and plants the stick into the ground as a make-shift cane. "So, obviously I interrupted something here. And normally the right thing one would do if they did such a thing would be to apologize... But... Ppppppptthh. I'm not doing that." He grins slightly and leans on the make-shift cane, glancing at those around him. "Hmmmmm... One, two.. three... I see you hiding over there in the bushes Serenity... So how many of these people do you actually trust, Huitzilopotchli?"
The Aztec isn't a particular patient deity, but he has learned the hard way to not lash out immediately when confronted with mockery. He indeed helps Caliga up and sheathes his macuahuitl, crossing his arms as Caliga admits he won't apologize for interrupting the kombat exercise. "No surprise there either." Honestly, Kotal would have been surprised if Caliga had actually apologized.
"These are my proud, chosen warriors." Kotal explains with a gesture of his hand which apparently includes even Serenity into the fold. "I trust them all implicitly. Whatever ill tidings you bring to me now, you can speak of them in their presence."
It now seems to Rayne that this newcomer is no threat, and thus she acts accordingly. And by accordingly, I mean she does her best to sneak over to where the ball is and quietly sneak up to behind Ferra and Torr, where she calmly, quietly tries to tap Ferra with the ball. The plan might have worked, too, if she'd actually managed to lower her temperature again. Instead, unknown to Rayne, the air in the ball slowly expands in the heat... Before it loudly pops.
Serenity reluctantly shifts to a 'standing' posture as Caliga references the hiding spot, rippling sideways slightly for an unobstructed view of Kotal's face as well. But Ren doesn't appear comforted by either the raspberry-blowing or calm words enough to move from the stand of trees and bushes. Ren glances to Silencia, Ferra, and Torr with a vaguely worried expression, but doesn't spot Rayne for a little while longer. The report gets a inward 'blink' of the eyes and a shortening of the body from Serenity, who seems a little short on such at the moment.
"Proud chosen warriors... Do I really need to even find ways to comment on that one Kotal?" Caliga rolls his eyes, only to turn his gaze towards Rayne. His gaze remains on her for enough time to become increasingly uncomfortable, as whatever thoughts he is prone to thinking run through his head. "Yeah. Mighty warriors indeed. Anyways. I've found two more to assist you in the future. Their names will be revealed to you when the time is right. I've worked hard to bring things to this point.. while you play children's games in the park."
Caliga waves his free hand as if he is dismissing that matter entirely. "No matter. The fifth, as there should always be an odd number.. She.. isn't ready yet. Her trials are still underway and I hope that she comes out of them for the better. As for the fourth.." He turns his gaze once more to Rayne. "She'll do. I got a good feeling on that one."
That popping noise from the ball could not have come at a worse time. Suddenly, its not only Caliga's gaze that it's upon Rayne but Kotal Kahn's too. There he was, speaking the praises of his mighty warriors, only to have Rayne try to pull a prank on Ferra out of indignity? Let's just say that Kotal is more than a little disappointed at the behavior of his Second, and he makes that clear with his look.
Still, scolding Rayne in front of Caliga would only worsen things. He glances back at the withered one and frowns at his words. "Children games. Stopping the fog demons, besting Christabella in her accursed city, establishing political relations with Neo-Edo, and preventing an alien invasion are naught but children games to you? It appears that your addled mind worse than I initially thought."
He scoffs at the mention of new warriors. "And just who will you bestow upon me? Tabitha? Who only wishes to sleep in that dragon woman's closet?"
"You've said hollow promises to me in the past, Caliga. Nowadays I have nothing but scrutiny to offer for anything you might have to say."
"Gyeeeh, Er..." No, Rayne does not seem to do well under the intense stare, her face already a bit red from embarrassment at the destruction of the ball. The sarcastic 'might warriors indeed' doesn't help her continence much, either, nor does Kotal's admonishing gaze. She's had a bit of a bad showing all around today, really. Still, she lets Caliga's words go by, noting them, but not fully understanding what he's talking about. Which is a problem, really, as Caliga then singles her out with his gaze again and makes another declaration about her. "I... huh? I will do for what?" She looks at Kotal as he makes an assumption of warriors... which doesn't make sense to her. She now straightens up, looking directly at Caliga. "What are you talking about, exactly?"
"That's it? So you've had it fairly easy then. I did notice a bit of flab around your midsection. It seems you aren't getting your daily dose of conflict and war." Caliga merely grins at Kotal while he rants, especially in regards to Tabitha. Then the grin fades, and he draws himself to his full height, eyes ablaze with fury.
"Allow me to enlighten you then as to what I've been doing while you're playing day care. I've been resurrecting dead gods to stop reality ending horrors from running wild. I've been parlaying with other worlds, to ensure they remain safe. I have been doing things your peabrain couldn't even comprehend. Fighting horrors that would chew you up, spit you out, and then urinate on whatever remains. So don't think you're going to get away with whining about doing a job you said you would do with glee when I've been risking my very existence to ensure that you have something to continue to protect. My sorry state here is a direct retaliation for all I have been doing. So while you think about how you're going to come back about how rough you have it and how you'll put up with my shenanigans, remember that yes, you in fact will, as this is all my doing for what is to come. Once I'm done with this, I'm going to go to my nice little place in hell, and relax, and allow the new age to come without me putting my fingers in everything. It's rather tiring after all."
After he finishes, he turns his attention once more to Rayne. "Yes dear. We're going to be having nice little conversation at a later time about the future of Twisted and you. I think you'll do quite well indeed."
Serenity seems disinclined to provide proof of warrior status at the moment. Ren eventually relaxes, physically at least, leaving the fins free to ripple their edges in station-keeping motions within the cloak of water. During the exchange, Ren regards Caliga with a vaguely confused expression.
Ooh, looks like talking about Tabitha hit a nerve with Caliga. Good, Kotal seldom gets to make him irritated since he's not petty enough to stoop down at his level, but if speaking the truth is what it takes to get Caliga mad, Kotal is more than willing to say it.
Now its his turn to grin, particularly when Caliga goes into full fury blast. "Yes, I am certain woe is you, doing things in imagined places and making treaties that will never bear fruit."
"I am still waiting for that blasted Council to form. How about instead of running off to other dimensions you tell Lady Setsuna that I have the candidates ready and we can do something worthwhile for a change, hm?"
"Now.. is that all you came here to do? Talk of your accomplishments so we could all feel sorry for you? If so then you can leave me be now."
Rayne puts a hand to her forehead and closes her eyes, suggesting a headache. "I'm fairly certain I can't comprehend what you've been through, Caliga, was it? What little I'm gathering from this suggests that you two are working towards a similar goal in this... So why are you both being so antagonistic about this? Or has just that much gone on that I know absolutely nothing about? I suppose that's probably more accurate." She lets out an exhasperated sigh. This has not been a good day for her.
Serenity looks unhappy with talk of evil deities and egos, but distinctly worried by Caliga's interest in Rayne. Still, Serenity stays out of it both physically and verbally, other than nodding along with Rayne's question. Ren makes a similar gesture, too, reaching up with an extrusion of fin edges to rub at the mane of gills.
"Tut tut, Kotal. You're missing something big here, and while you see this as an annoyance..." Caliga takes a deep breath, and raises his head upwards, speaking directly to the sky. "Senior Diablo will see this as a declaration of war, as I, Caliga Satanas, One Seventh Council of Hell have orchastrated the rise of a new Council of Twisted. The end of Diablo is coming, and there isn't a single thing he can do to stop what I have set into motion."
Grinning like a madman, Caliga stares directly into the Osha'tek warrior's eyes. He lets the gaze remain there for a few moments, before wincing slightly. "The new Council will come, and you will be apart, as all who will stand on it will be equals. As everything should be." Lifting his left hand up, a swirl of energy comes to life. "You, Kotal Khan of Outworld, represent those who see strength as law." An image of Kotal remains upright in his hand only to flicker away and be replaced by that of the new Black Dragon of Lunar. "Luna, represents those who deserve redemption, and have something to protect beyond the world around them."
The image changes then to that of the current guardian of time, Meioh Setsuna. "Lady Setsuna represents those who have sought to protect Twisted from the start, and seeks to continue the legacy of those who came before them." The next image may be a shock to Rayne, but it is one that to Caliga makes sense. "Rayne Hurris, the current second of TASK represents those who cannot find their way home, and have sought to make a new life for themselves in this, however mundane or chaotic it may be." The final image, is one that Kotal will not like, as it is indeed that of Tabitha. "Tabitha Li Bogard, daughter of the Maniac represents the final caste. Those looked down upon, and those saw through glasses of hatred and disgust. They are many in number, but they do not come out for fear of retaliation and pain. Yet, they too seek to make this a better place for all who call it home. With this, I set this finally into motion, and the end of Diablo is now at hand..."
On the other-side of Twisted Diablo paces the arena - as he's been primarily occupying his time doing since the strange girl started appearing and leaving cryptic messages for him. Fulfill the prophecy? What prophecy? At first he ignored it, but now it consumes him. The way the girl comes and goes. The lack of evidence. The CONSTANT reappearances. The devil gnashes his teeth in frustration.
...at least until his head jerks to the side dramatically as Caliga's words come drifting across due to his connection with the Library of Hell. Every reference to his name immediately draws his attention and this one is no different - save for the seething anger suddenly boiling at the sound of Caliga's threat. In a voice almost loud enough to be heard from the opposite side of Twisted he screams. "ANOTHER one?? HAS THE ENTIRE WORLD SUDDENLY TURNED AGAINST ME?"
As if waiting for the command the shadows suddenly fill with blood. The message about prophecies appearing once more. Now wild-eyed and frantic, Senior Diablo abruptly vanishes from Twisted, retreating back to hell for a momentary reprise. The arena once more returning to normal, the young girl smiles and fades away. The circle is almost complete. As was done before, shall soon happen again...
"Ugh, you really wouldn't understand." Kotal answers Rayne first, for that is a question that he has long asked himself. If he and Caliga work for similar goals then why are they so antagonistic to each other? Actually, Kotal already knows the answer to that question, its because Caliga is very annoying.
"Ask Serenity, she will tell you." Ren saw Kotal and Caliga's initial interactions after all. She might give Ray the short version.
But not all is for naught. There is a reason why Kotal continues to suffer Caliga's presence, and that is because after bashing his head on him repeatedly, sometimes, it actually bears fruits!
"Good!" He clenches his fist as Caliga announces that overthrowing Diablo is imminent and that all is finally ready to establish the new council at last. As Caliga begins switching through the images its not Tabitha who ends up making Kotal frown but the other cat girl.. Luna. "Hmr, not that cat." Still, he seems to at least tolerate the rest of the choices and sensing Diablo's pain even from here, Kotal does what every warlord does when everything finally goes according to plan.
He crosses his arms and throws his head back in laughter. "At last, I will finally be rid of that insufferable demon."
"Haha!! A HA HA HA HA!!!"
Being his minions, Ferra/Torr follow suit, specifically trained to laugh whenever Kotal does it. "Ya hahaha!!! Woo!!" They don't really question it at this point.
Rayne slowly seems to come to a dawning realization as Caliga begins mentioning the new council. Kotal, Setsuna, then... yes, just what she had a sinking feeling of. Does she look proud of this? No. She looks terrified. Even as part of a council, he thinks she can lead the entirety of Twisted? Wait, if Luna is involved, then doesn't that includes Neo-Edo as well? The color is draining rapidly from her face as just how much is about to be thrust upon her. Then she blinks, looking off towards the arena... Did... she just hear what she thought she did? "Are.... you sure about this? I mean... not the whole of it, but..." She barely accepted being second of TASK... this is so much more.