|Two Out of Five|
When not in the battlefield, his office, or the kitchen, there is only one place in all of Twisted where Kotal Kahn is likely to be. The only place in Twisted that is closest to the sun. The very top of the tallest building in the city; the TASK headquarter's rooftop.
Ever since Caliga brought the news that the Council is being established and that Diablo is being overthrown ed, Kotal has been here in the highest peak of Twisted doing.. well.. essentially he's gloating.
"AAAH AHAHAHAHA!!!" His booming laughter has been heard nearly all day, as a blinding sun ray continuously charges him with power, as if he were gearing himself for a fight. Knowing how things are usually in Twisted, its likely that overthrowing Diablo may not gentle endeavor and the very thought that he may have the chance to finally pound Diablo flat is greatly exciting for the Aztec. Hence the massive power spike that's happening at the top of the TASK building.
Guarding the entryway to the tallest part of the building is the entirety of the Kotal Krew. If anyone currently wishes an audience with the warlord they'll have to get through all his minions.
Silencia had been looking for Kotal and his (slightly disturbing) laughter had aided in her mission. The usually cheerful priestess seems a bit ticked off. She's not angry, but she doesn't like not knowing anything about the situation. She was on her way to interrogate the War God about this 'Diablo' and what exactly is going on. As far as she understood from the conversation between Caliga and Kotal, things would be getting violent and she needed some answers as to why. Her irritation only grows when she sees the entrance to the roof blocked. She crosses her hands across her chest and raises an eyebrow at the warriors. "Will you let me through? I need to speak with Kotal." It might have been a question, but her voice does not allow a refusal.
Rayne puts her hands on the sides of her head for the last time. "Okay, that's it. I've had enough of his laughing now." She sighs and stands up from her desk, walking to an elevator, taking it down, going outside, taking the stairs up... Really, who designed this building? She sees Silencia ahead of her but doesn't bother to shout a greeting... She'll be close enough to talk casually soon enough... and there it is, the road block of the Krew. She gives a nod to Silencia before looking towards the warriors six. "Do you mind? I wanna have a little talk with Kotal."
The one representing the Krew is none other than Kotal's old Second, the one that fell from grace, the bee-woman D'vorah.
It is she that approaches the two girls, her insect like wings lifting her up so she can land close to where Silencia and Rayne are. She gives them both a questioning look, tilting her head and blinking her black insectoid eyes. "The Emperor does not wish to be disturbed, yes?" She answers them with that strange buzzing voice of hers.
Although, noticing that look that Silencia is giving her seems to be too much for D'vorah, who already fears getting on Kotal's bad side again.
"Hm, but I do not think he will deny his priestess and his second an audience." She flies to the sides and gives a gesture to the rest of the Krew, who then part to let both Silencia and Rayne enter the rooftop proper.
Rayne's arrival gets a curious look from Silencia, arms still crossed. She nods back to her and returns her attention to D'vorah. The bee-woman gets an even sterner look when she declares Kotal does not wish to be disturbed. When she finally caves, Silencia breaks out in a cheery smile, as if a switch has been flipped. "Thank you sweetie." A frightening priestess indeed. She glances at Rayne for a moment before stepping forward, shaking her head at the sight of the laughing Kotal. She quickly makes her way over to him and taps his arm lightly. She figured that would be easier than trying to shout over the sound of his laughter. Her expression isn't annoyed or stern anymore, the sight of Kotal laughing out loud was a comical sight to her, even if it was starting to cause a headache.
Rayne nods to D'vorah with a bit of a smile before moving along up with Silencia. Upon arriving at the top, she just sighs into her hand as she facepalms, shaking her head. "You gonna finish that anytime soon, Boss? Because right now no one can get any work done with all this noise." Well, at least she couldn't.
It appears that Kotal Kahn is so focused on his charging up and gloating that he can't even sense the presence of his own priestess approaching. Then again, he was confident that his Krew would be able to stop anyone that dare try to disturb him, and so the pat to the arm came as quite the surprise.
"WHO DARES-Oh, Silencia." The Aztec turns abruptly and looks down to see his priestess standing behind him, followed by his Second who looked quite miffed.
"It is a necessary to prepare for the challenges ahead." Which apparently means that laughing is an integral part of the process. "You should be preparing as well, Rayne. A great burden has been placed on your shoulders. All of Twisted will now be counting on you."
Silencia perks up a bit when Kotal shouts, that was quite sudden. She pauses at Kotal's words to Rayne, peeking back at her friend with a worried look. She had finally managed to calm Rayne down a bit about that and now Kotal is dragging it back up! What should she do?! She does the first thing she can think of. There was only one way Silencia could quickly take Rayne's mind off of nervous thoughts and that's by giving her something else to be nervous about. She reaches out and pets Rayne on the head, ruffling her hair. She quickly retreats, hoping that would distract her enough. "Isn't there a quieter way to do that? I admit your laughter is infectious, Kotal, but I'm starting to get a headache." She smiles at the War God. "Also, I need you to tell me what's going on. It appears to me that a big battle is on it's way and I would like to know a bit more before we're all plunged into it..."
Rayne says, "Yes, and your laughing has been distracting me from any preparations I could have been making. May I suggest the top of Plowse Bridge's Tower if you really need to do this? It's at the edge of Diablo's barrier, anyway." She takes a few steps forward now, having given Kotal and Silencia room until he stopped laughing. Her poor eardrums...
And then Silencia goes and ruffles her hair. Well, there she goes jumping right back away from them again, nearly losing her footing... a bad thing this high up. But no, she's fine, if hyperventilating somewhat for a few seconds. Catching her breath, she regains her composure.
Looking up again at Kotal, though with a bit of flush still there, she continues addressing his concern on preparation. "I've been thinking, putting things into perspective with the help of some friends," she nods her head towards Silencia as she says this, but she's still facing Kotal. "And over the past day or so I've come to realize... That I've basically already been thinking like this. My whole welcome branch idea thing, for instance? I've been putting TASK in my mind as authority, but we're just the police. As a member of the council, I'd be staying in my jurisdiction." Looks like Rayne has definitely found her focus! She's doing a lot better than she was yesterday! "But if you're talking about preparations for battle... You're the war god, and you know our enemy much better than I. As in, at all."
"Do you two not know the basics about gathering power?" Kotal questions the two girls as they basically tell him to shut up. "You must find the tallest perch and shout with all your might, arms outward, like this." The god of war extends his arms and glows a little brighter, though thankfully doesn't scream as he was doing earlier for the sake of everyone's ear drums. "At any rate, that is besides the point." He straightens up and looks between Silencia and Rayne, the latter having finally come to terms with her newfound position.
"It is good that you have thought about this, Rayne. I will no lie and say I was not speculating you may turn down the position. I know how much you dislike leadership. In the event you were to turn away from this opportunity, I would not blame you for it."
"However, it gladdens me to hear that you've embraced it instead. Truth be told, I also believe that this the perfect position for you." The only one Kotal could think of for a welcoming committee for Twisted is Serenity.
Ah, but then comes the question of who and what will they be facing. "Honestly; I am uncertain if there will be Kombat involved at all. But as Rayne says, as the god of war it is in my nature to prepare for such an eventuality."
He glances at Silencia and pets her head. "Diablo is, or was, the ruler of Twisted. Higher above all in authority, even myself. He is also, I am told, the ruler of Hell in this realm which has never set well with me as a reason for him to govern."
"Suffice to say, that I think very little of him as he is responsible for many an affliction that has plagued Twisted."
"Believe it or not, he is at least partially responsible for this fog. Therefore, I can only speculate he'll try to resist being thrown out of a position of power."
Silencia is surprised to see Rayne being rather calm about her new position. A bright smile appears on the priestess' face. It takes all of her restraint not to attack Rayne with a hug. That would have to wait until she has managed to help the warrior with her fear of personal contact. It's not easy though, her hands are trembling slightly. "That's wonderful, Rayne! You've improved exceptionally!" And then Kotal demonstrates how he gathers power and Silencia shakes her head with while laughing. "The specifics about gathering power are different with me, might I say, a bit more peaceful... Just Mother Nature's presence is enough to charge me." She nods enthusiastically when Kotal goes on to explain that he thinks her new position is perfect for Rayne. "I agree!" She glances at Rayne. "You'll see, you'll be able to improve the lives of the citizens of Twisted!" Silencia is almost like a cheerleader at the moment, filled with excitement for the warrior moving up in society. Then she gets distracted by Kotal's petting. His words cause the priestess to frown in contemplation. "How did he even get in that position if he's that bad? I mean, a ruler needs followers to have power, so who are his?"
Rayne says, "You and I gather our power in different ways, Kotal. I'm no sun god, I'm just a phoenix. I get my power just like other mortals do... eating and sleeping." Funny. Most people wouldn't consider an fire elemental bird-being that doesn't age and can return to life once a month if killed a 'mortal.' She pauses a moment, tilting her head. "And from my friends." She's not going to downplay how much she was helped yesterday. She then sighs. "I'm not going to claim I'm going to particularly like it, but if Caliga wants to put his trust in me, I have to make a showing for it, at least. I made it as your second, didn't I? I didn't want that, either. Besides, some of the best rulers are those that don't want power to begin with, so... Hey, I'm perfect."
She shakes her head at Silencia. "Sometimes, power is all that's needed. I've had jobs where the boss had all the power and the employees had basically no say in things... but it was get your paycheck or go job hunting again in a bad market. Diablo's probably the same... For all we know, he's drawing power from Twisted that lets him have such complete control... not that I've seen any evidence of him actually, you know, doing anything to control the city."
Kotal essentially dismisses Rayne and Silencia's complaints about the way he gathers power. He needs the energy to fight and that's apparently final. Besides, he's far more interested in the specifics of everyone moving up in the world and how such a thing came to be.
First he addresses Silencia's concerns as to how Diablo came to be on the throne of Twisted and explains. "The specifics of how Diablo came to be are long and complicated. I only know of them because Caliga bestowed his memories upon me. Suffice to say, Diablo acquired his current position through a bloody coup, where he overthrew the previous tyrants that held Twisted in an iron grip. As strange as it might sound, for all of Diablo's treachery, the old council that precede him was by far worse." It looks like Twisted has come a long way and Kotal and Rayne's accession to power are only the latest of a long line of civil wars and coups.
"Do not trust Caliga." Kotal finally tells Rayne. "He is a braggart and a fool. The only reason why he is giving us this chance is because he himself shrinks at the responsibility of ruling Twisted."
"Not that such a thing would be of any benefit, he would probably run it to the ground with his endless hedonism."
He shakes his head and returns to gaze at Rayne. "What I mean to say is that do not try to live to his expectations, he will only find endless ways to put you down. If you are satisfied with your work then that is all that matters."
Silencia sighs at the explanation from the two of them about Diablo's rise to power. "It's rather sad what power does to people who are weak of heart..." The priestess' heart aches for the city and it's citizens, they must have gone through a lot with the power struggles. Kotal's words about Caliga catch Silencia's attention. "Isn't it a good thing that he's giving you guys the control? Any one man in power will be in danger of succumbing to greed, when there are multiple people in charge, they can govern not only the city but also each other." Silencia crosses her arms across her chest, instinctively slipping into motherhood-mode. "Do not let your emotions cloud your judgement. Even if you don't like him, he is aiding us all, if what you're telling me is true." His last comment gets an appreciative smile. "I agree with that," She then directs her smile at Rayne. "For you are, perfect, just as you said yourself!"
Rayne raises a hand in a bit of a defensive gesture. "Okay, so perfect was a bit of an overstatement, but still... I've been doing what I could to improve this city already, so what's really going to change other than working with some new people? Heck, there's only two I don't know, and despite your misgivings about her, Luna seemed okay to me. Anyway, it's settled, I'm stepping up to the challenge... So now what?" She crosses her arms and looks to Kotal. She might soon be considered his equal in Twisted, but for now, she's still deferring to him. "Do we need to seek out the other three and plan? Or is Caliga still doing... something that I don't know about?"
The Aztec first makes a face at Silencia's boundless optimism and he just shakes his head. "You do not know Caliga as I do." He tries to explain before reconsidering. "Although even if you did you'd probably think the same as you do now. I do not know how do manage to be so merciful, Silencia."
Kotal sighs, "At any rate, it is not that I do not appreciate his assistance, he merely annoys me to no end. No matter how much his helps me, I find his attitude irksome and beyond tolerable. If he ever decides to be civil then perhaps I'll consider not comparing him to gutter trash."
Rayne's comment about Luna also draws some concern from Kotal. "At the risk of sounding greatly paranoid, I would not confine on Luna completely either. I have spoken with her directly in Neo-Edo and there is something about her that simply does not sit well with me."
"I have scanned Caliga's memories thoroughly on the subject, and I've come to the conclusion that Luna used to be someone else, someone that Caliga knew and whom he loathes."
"Normally, I would say that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, but I fear that Luna may be even worse than Caliga, and that does not well bode well for us indeed."
Despite all his nay saying, Kotal smiles and regards both girls. "Nevertheless, now that our input actually matters to Twisted we are bound to succeed. Lady Setsuna can be trusted, and Tabitha is erratic but ultimately harmless. We have little to fear at least in our ranks."
"I honestly do not know if Caliga is doing anything at the moment, but it would be wise to seek out Tabitha and see if she has heard the news. You and Silencia can do that if you wish, I can take care of Lady Setsuna myself."
Silencia shakes her head at Rayne, her smile never leaving her face. "No, no, no, don't you go and take back your words! We're sticking with 'perfect'!" Rayne's words make Silencia extremely happy, her friend has improved greatly since she last saw her and it filled her with pride to see her like this. When Kotal tries to explain his views on Caliga and then gives up, she smiles her usual smile. "I've always been this way! Don't you think it's a good thing that I differ from you so? This way, I'm keeping you in balance!" When Kotal continues to explain that Caliga simply annoyed him, Silencia nods slowly. "I can understand that your feelings might be so, but I'd advise you to be careful. There will always be people who'll annoy you, but that is no reason to not be grateful when they aid you. Especially when you'll be working with them!" She decides to let it rest now though, not expecting Kotal to change his views just because of her words. Kotal's plan about checking if the others knew of their new position makes Silencia peek at Rayne. "I don't know who that is, so I'll have to rely on you for that, Rayne..."
Rayne says, "Of course, the problem of seeking out Tabitha is the fact that I've no clue about anything about her. I have a vague recollection of what she looks like from Caliga's... holo, illusion, whatever it was. So unless you've any clues to send my way on that, Boss, we're probably going to have to wait on further developments." She sighs at Silencia's insistence that Rayne is 'perfect.' Her own fault for using the word. "Now... Can you gather your power without the laughing, or shall I just go out on patrol even though I'm not due for that today?"
"I suppose the balance must be preserved." Kotal answers with some reluctance. Honestly, it sounds to him too much like something Raiden would say, but Silencia is admittedly right in that regard. Without balance, he can't have his wars that he enjoys so much, because like it or not people must be very organized in order to kill each other. "Oh, perish the thought I will be working with Caliga." He adds, "That is part of the reason why I agreed to any of this. If he were also a member of the new council I would much rather assist Diablo on keeping his corrupted throne." Looks like Kotal much rather be in a state of chaos than be annoyed. At least where there's chaos there are fights.
Rayne's concern does make him ponder about Tabitha's whereabouts though and he thinks deeply for a moment. "Hmm.." Scanning his endless memory, he recalls some of the thoughts that Caliga gave him and remembers a place where he has never been.
"There is a dragon that flies over the sky of Twisted from time to time." He explains to Rayne. "Find it and follow it to its lair. You'll find Tabitha there." Doesn't sound too complicated, right??
"I suppose I will try to keep it down." He says lastly about charging up.