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Lady Takanuva

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Year 14


About Lady Takanuva

  • Birthday 10/15/1994

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    SCP Site 13
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    Video game developer in training.

    I am not as shy as I may at first seem...

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  1. IC- Raika Raika's figure faded into perception alongside Mitsuri as they walked into camp. In response to Ahri's summons, they turned to look at him… …and saw the smoke. Their whole body started shaking. The smell of burnt wood and… other things burning… flared in their memory. Calm down. It's not here. Those ******s on Hanaloi are probably feeling toasty, though. Raika felt even sicker. How can you say that? There's people there, everyday people. Not just royals and high-ups. There's always collateral. … fine. You have a point. There was silence for a moment, then Ahri's probably got people there, huh? Yes. Almost definitely.. …******. You think he's going to drag us all along there? I don't know, ghost. Probably not, from what we've seen. But we've been wrong before. Don't remind me. Raika took a deep breath. They focused on the sound of waves and smell of seaspray. They centered themself as best they could. In public ideatalk, they spoke: :Understood.: They turned to the milling refugees. They looked for those who needed the most help, and helped them climb aboard the most completed rafts. ooc: @Keeper of Kraata, @The UltimoScorp, @ARROW404, @Click
  2. IC: Raika They nodded. :Take all the time you need. I'll watch your back.: There was a pause as they turned to step away. To give her some space. :I… don't know what you were to each other. But… if you want to trust me… then you don't have to suffer this alone.: With that, Raika faded from perception. Mitsuri would know she was not alone, but the exact reason would escape her grasp unless she thought hard about it. It was the best Raika could do. Abandoning her in the midst of danger was unthinkable. They… wouldn't lose another. OOC: @Click
  3. IC: Raika At Mitsuri's words, Raika visibly stiffened. Their hands, half-unconsciously, crept back toward their blades. They had no idea how things would proceed, and did not wish to be caught off guard. :I see.: they said, shakiness in their words despite their best efforts. :And… how would you react if that was the case?: OOC: @Click
  4. IC- Raika The tiny menti looked at Mitsuri, slightly surprised. :Yes. I thought you saw that.: They looked down at the piece of protodermis in their hand. :Like you said then: just everyday stuff, right? We've got to… move on…: Liar. They had to be strong. Or as strong as they could manage. Mitsuri was hurting, the most they could do was not add to it. You could give her a hug. Even a hand on the shoulder! Raika almost started shaking. Touching… contact… they still were not used to it. Yuna was… big on it. But were they? And would Mitsuri respond any other way than batting them back with her stave? They stood,wondering what they should do. Hiding their emotions, as always, behind mirrored crystal. OOC: @Click
  5. IC: Raika The comment hit like a blade to the heartlight. why are you here Raika fought back a shiver as shame welled within them. Just everyday problems, they told themself. They couldn't bring themself to look at Mitsuri. Instead, they reached into their scarf. They found the pocket sewn inside of it and carefully, delicately, removed something. It was a shard of gray metal, barely a palm's width in length. Its edges had been blunted by years of sitting in fabric, but nonetheless it seemed something odd to carry so close to one's neck. Collapsing over the kakama's bloodied shards, sobbing into the dirt that there wasn't even a body to bury. Had they carried her away? She was just an adolescent, what did they do to her… It was a solid minute before they spoke. .:...bring something with you. That way they're never far. You can let the place go… after a while.:. Liar. .:...and…:. They paused longer this time, cheeks flushed magenta with shame. .:...and I'm here because you went off alone and we're… I'm… I'm not…:. They were shaking. Trying not to cry. Everyday problems. Just everyday. Look how strong Mitsuri is being. Why can't that be me? .:...I won't let them get you.:.. Raika's hands tightened on the grips of their daggers. It was the only way to stop the shaking. They still couldn't meet her eyes. OOC: @Click
  6. IC: Raika Mitsuri slipped away, almost unnoticed. Raika's strength, both physical and mental, had been returning over the course of that day. They were nowhere near as strong as Ahri. Or even Yuna, for all her years of hauling massive nets and sawing at ship's timbers. But the lithe, muaka-like certainty had re-entered their movements. So when they saw Mitsuri disappear into the treeline, they imperceptibly followed. Not out of nosiness, but rather a sense of duty. Unless you want to lose them, you'll need to be able to fight for them when the time comes. If something happened to Mitsuri, Raika would be there to make sure she did not face it alone. Raika found the area familiar. When they saw the hut that Mitsuri had stopped before, they thought they understood. Perhaps she had left something there. Something important- Then they saw her freeze, and something in the motion cut through to their heart. They unconsciously grasped at the pocket hidden in their scarf. At the shard of kanohi within. Suddenly, a part of them was back in the mountain village, searching in vain for the closest friend they had ever known. The strongest light in their life. Shifting back into perception, out of respect, they stepped forward until they were side-by-side with Mitsuri. .:What can I do…:. they asked softly, looking at what they were increasingly convinced was a tomb before them. ooc: @Click, @Keeper of Kraata, @ARROW404, @The UltimoScorp
  7. IC: Raika Raika barely remembered making it back to camp. Their world was one of red haze and muffled voices. Bones aching, they dragged themself beneath some chaparral scrub and were immediately, finally, unconscious. They had anticipated horrid, lucid nightmares like the last couple days. But instead, they found their nostrils filling with the salt tang of sea air. Looking around, they realized they were in a room with walls of polished glass. Turning around, they saw a large ridged lens rotating in a pool of silver around what appeared to be a truly massive lightstone. They blinked, and looked out the curved window again. The scene was off, like a bad memory, but the coast was familiar enough. It was the Lighthouse. The trapdoor down was exactly where they had remembered it, the staircase glowed with a light slightly more purple than the lightstones had cast in reality. As they descended, the smell of cooked fish and boiling spiced seaweed broth met their nose. Their stomach growled loudly as they slipped out the bottom of the stairwell. They triggered their Volitak and slipped beneath perception so that the old lighthouse keeper wouldn't see them- A woman, one who had never been at the lighthouse in real life, stood at the stove. Her willowy figure was covered by a traveling jacket dripping with dew. As Raika stared, they heard a voice enter their mind. .:Come on out, little ghost. You're not fooling anyone.:. Raika started at the voice. As the figure turned, their suspicions were suddenly confirmed. The figure wore indigo and gold armor over a curvy frame. Their chest was large enough, Raika noted with mixed emotions, to well fill out the breastplate she wore. The Volitak, separated from the armor by a thick, tattered red scarf, was just as polished as the one Raika themself wore. The eyes beneath glowed intensely as she set down two bowls of hot pot on the table. Raika dropped the cloak. It was silly to try and hide from the Wraith, after all. They ate their soup in silence. Raika lamented that they could smell the soup far more acutely than taste it here. They looked across the table at the woman opposite. Voices in your head. The writings Raika had learned their talents from had warned about the potential side effects of dissociation. It was a crucial part of making oneself unknowable. You had to shift the very concept of yourself into a different plane of comprehension. But to make it work, a …bit of yourself… had to stay behind. An anchor. Sometimes that part might start to feel like a whole separate person. You just had to ignore the voices. But… Take any sentient being. Place them alone, perhaps more alone than anybody had ever been. Able to see, but never interact. A ghost. You take any companionship you get in a time like that. Raika broke the silence. .:This is new.:. The Wraith looked up. .:Perhaps. We did have quite the shock the other day.:. Raika stared at the mushroom and hotroot floating amongst the green seaweed in their broth. .:The barrier that Mitsuri mentioned…:. .:...was me, yes.:. The Wraith shifted in their seat to look more directly at Raika. It was like being pinned to their chair. .:I think we'll need to discuss… boundaries… if you're letting others in now.:. There was a longer pause. .:So what happens now?:. Raika asked. .:A good question.:. The Wraith stood, and walked over. .:You've lost the will to defend yourself. I… haven't. And the thing with these new friends? Unless you want to lose them, you'll need to be able to fight for them when the time comes.:. Raika felt their heart racing. .:I… I can't. Not after-:. .:You slew a monster breaking women's minds to make them her toys. Yes, one of them was blamed, but by all accounts she got the equivalent of a slap on the wrist and was told to not let the sun set on her there. She's probably better off now, even.:. Raika felt tears flowing in tiny rivers down their cheeks. The Wraith paused. She looked uncertain, but hesitantly reached a hand out and caressed the side of Raika's kanohi. .:If it's too much… you don't have to do it alone. I can take over for a while.:. Raika shook their head violently. The Wraith almost snatchhed her hand back, looking… hurt? Guilt flooded Raika. .:N-n-no. I… I just… they're my friends. I can't…:. The Wraith relaxed. .:You can't abandon them.:. Raika looked up, tears beaded on the inside of their kanohi. They reached out a cloth-wrapped hand. .:Together?:. The tall warrior's eyes softened. They reached out their own bare arm. .:Together.:. Sunlight cut through the leaves of the shrub Raika was beneath. Shaking their head, they slowly rose to their feet. Every part of their body was stiff, but the horrible deathlike ache had gone from them. It had to have been more than twelve hours. The ship was a hive of activity. Dashi and Datsue alike worked tirelessly helping to construct a fleet of seaworthy vessels. Raika's eyes gleamed behind their mask. The memories of the lighthouse had warmed old memories long buried. Boat repair. A night when Ryuji had been so achingly exhausted he had left his little skiff half-finished while he slept. Come morning, it had been fully repaired, tarred and caulked. He had smiled and thanked the ghost he believed haunted his home. From behind the corner of the keeper's hut, a fifteen-year old Raika had beamed with hidden pride at their work. At the Oki coastline, many attributed the things they felt or saw to heat and exhaustion. A ringti who needed to pause for breath looked up to see the pitch filling she had been laboring over had been melted in and screed smooth as glass. Boards were cut, rope caulk shoved deep, barnacles scraped off and holes filled with wooden plugs. Those collapsing from exhaustion felt as if there was somebody holding them up, but could not place the face. One figure, his green eyes matching a faint glow beneath the shoulders of his robe, thought for a moment he had seen a pair of magenta eyes looking straight at him. He remembered an old legend his grandmother had once told him. Spirits who wandered unseen across the mountains her ancestors had called home. "Raika," he breathed, and the eyes had suddenly never been. He shook his head, unsure where the thought had come from. OOC: Timeskip time! Take us as far as you need @Keeper of Kraata, @The UltimoScorp, @ARROW404, @Click
  8. OOC: i am delighted to have had the chance to work on this with @The UltimoScorp! IC: Yuna Koizumi and Raika - Oki forest: Rain pelted my mask, clung to my body and clothes as I ran, as I hoped against hope that no one would follow me. I should have known better, and hearing footsteps behind me sent my mind and body racing even harder, but it was glancing back and seeing that it was Raika following that made my heart drop into my stomach. They'd want to know why I was running and I'd have to tell them and they'd all crawl in my head and find out just how wrong I was. Tears, hot and angry sprang unbidden to my eyes and I turned my attention back to where I was going- I tripped over a raised root, falling hard into the forest floor. My body, exhausted and running on nothing but adrenaline, refused to get up, to do anything but shake and cry and lay there uselessly. "Please don't…" I whimpered into the soil as the rain continued to pour down around me. Raika came to a stop, losing their own footing and needing to stabilize themself on a tree branch. Their tiny chest was rising and falling rapidly, their scarf and arm wrappings soaked through with mud and water. Don't? Don't what? Raika wondered, looking at their friend. They gritted their teeth under their rain-speckled mask. They had no idea if this was going to work, but they felt this wasn't the time to shove their way into Yuna's mind. The experience clearly already distressed her before, and here she was on the verge of panic. Raika slowly walked over, as one might approach a spooked animal. They squatted onto their haunches, in Yuna's line of sight. With their right hand, they made a pointing gesture followed by facing their hand palm-inward, middle and index fingers extended. Are you okay? Through the haze of mud and tears on the visor of my mask, I saw Raika come into view, saw them kneel down and gesture at me, but I couldn't make out what it was clearly. I tried to sit up, but my body stubbornly refused. "I-I can't…. I can't, I'm sorry…." Heat flared across Raika's face beneath the mask. Their cheeks and chest burned with shame and frustration. Old memories, old taunts. They came flooding in, clouding things, making tears prick the corners of their eyes. She'd have to know sometime. Right? Raika pounded their fist against their thigh in frustration, until the spot was so tender they couldn't bring themself to again. It didn't do much, but it cleared out enough space in their head. Raising their right hand once again, they pointed to the mouth area of their kanohi's visor. They then lifted their chin slightly, pointing to their throat. They then used their hand to pantomime a mouth moving. Then they made a slashing motion across their throat. It wasn't really signal sign, but they hoped it conveyed the message well. Can't speak. They paused for a moment, then put both their fists side-by-side, as though grasping a handful of straws. They then angled their hands apart, as though snapping the imaginary bundle. Broken. They then pointed at themself. They were shaking now, wishing they could just slip away and avoid the comments to come. Blinking away tears, I couldn't help but to give a little laugh. They couldn't speak aloud and I couldn't hear Ideatalk. What a pair we made. "I-I'm…..broken, too." I tried again to get up, and to my surprise I was able to at least get my face out of the mud. It wasn't upright, but it was a start, at least. "I…. I never…." Those tears came back, threatening to overwhelm me if I didn't- "I'm wrong, I don't know what's wrong with me but I'm broken and wrong and I'm scared and I don't know what to do and I'm sorry!" If the truth had to come out….. maybe it was better it come from me, at least…? Raika felt like they had been slapped when they heard laughter. Like something was being pulled out from inside of them. They fell backwards into the mud. The next words out of Yuna's mouth did nothing to hhelp their panic. No, no, they'd called themself broken and now Yuna was saying it too what had they done they had messed up they knew they shouldn't have… Raika began slowly fading into the background, the response all but unconcious. I'm sorry. That snapped them out of the spiral. What? Why was Yuna apologizing? Had Raika not been the one who had to physically hurt her to communicate at all? Yuna at least wasn't a monster. She was kind, and compassionate, and Raika was… Raika was nothing. They were a burden at best and Yuna shouldn't need to… she… shouldn't feel… Raika scrabbled forward towards Yuna, reached to help pull her up… but paused, their hands shaking violently an inch from her arm. They couldn't bring themself to touch her, were scared that if they did they'd hurt her somehow too. Their hands…. They were so close I could feel the faint heat from them on my skin and something in my ached for them to just…. To just touch me. I screwed my eyes shut and it all came out of me. "I'm a broken Menti who can't do anything, all I can do is this weird water stuff I can't ideatalk or make a soulsword or Willhammer anything or Mindarm anything or make Sighteye illusions all I can do is control water and I don't know why or how and whenever I tell anyone they just…. leave or…or make me leave and I'm scared because I don't want you to leave I don't want to be alone anymore I'm sorry I'm so sorry I lied please just don't leave me alone again….!" Please just hold me! Alone. Raika wanted to wrap their arms around Yuna. But they were terrified. All of this… what they were feeling… it was so much. They seized Yuna's hand and clutched it to their chest. They held her hand there, close. They felt almost giddy. Short of dragging Ahri from the waves, this… this was the first time they'd touched another person in nearly a decade. And… it was Yuna. Yuna, so kind, so gentle, so surprisingly like them yet so much a better person. Reaching out to Raika. Not knowing they were not worth her time. Before Yuna could change her mind, Raika had their arms wrapped around Yuna's own trapped limb. They held her arm like a child clinging to a pillow, tears streaming down their face and chest spasming with hoarse sobs. So surprised by the move I was, that I nearly flinched right out of Raika's grasp. A grasp that was soft and warm and- And they were crying? Why? Why were they clinging to me like they had just poured out their darkest secrets? Why…? Slowly, and with much effort, I pulled myself upright, confusion clear on my mask. "R-Raika…? Why are…. Why are you crying?" Almost instantly I felt guilty for even asking since they couldn't respond. My free hand shakily stretched forward, wanting to cup their face, but settling on their slight shoulder instead. "L-look I know it's not… ideal b-but you can do that…. That Willhammer thing to talk to me. It's okay." My heart skipped a beat at the thought that they might reach further and find how I felt- No, no I can't…. They would never…. They couldn't possibly…. But…. What if….? Raika began to open a connection, but paused. Yuna was hurting now, and they knew how uncomfortable the experience was to her. Raika sat up, still clutching Yuna's hand in both of theirs. They pointed to Yuna, then to themself. They then grasped Yuna's hand tighter and held it to where their scarf lay across their breastplate. Beneath which their heartlight flashed unsteadily. They paused for a moment. Then, this time with all the delicate care their frayed mind could muster, they slipped their thoughts into Yuna's own. .:I am crying because I am not good like you, but I think I understand. Never felt like I belonged. Not… not with the males. Not with… I… A-and my voice… n-no way for a Firstborn to act.:. Yuna heard a slightly bitter laugh in her head. What were they saying? Like Mitsuri had said: their problems were normal. Small. How dare they compare them to what Yuna had been through. I felt their words, although this time it was softer somehow. Less of a pressing and more of an easing into my own thoughts. The words themselves were far more impactful. Good like me? The males? First… wait wait wait what did that mean, was Raika…. Were they…? "You're….?" The question died on my lips, a wave of shame washing over me. Whatever Raika had been before I met them was none of my business, and all that really mattered was who they were now. And who they were now was… well I didn't know, really, but I felt safe around them. I scooted closer and pulled them into a hug, unsure of what to say but knowing I wanted to comfort Raika in some fashion. Raika held her close, shaking. .:I… I can't even decide which. I'm… I… y-you…:. They paused, then with a shudder they mustered up their focus to continue the exceeding care this process was taking. .:I'm… not normal. I'm not skilled like Ahri. Or disciplined like Mitsuri. Or… I… I've just… it's just been me. Alone. For maybe ten years… maybe more…:. A lie, technically. There had been the Lighthouse, but that was different. That was theirs. .:I… you… you're so kind. You always push and try so hard and… you aren't a freak any more than I am. You don't freeze up, you don't panic, you don't distrust everyone around you… or maybe you do. I don't know. I… I don't… I…:. Their concentration unraveled, and Raika lapsed back into mental silence as they huddled close against Yuna. Their cheeks were burning. Because of the emotion of the moment, but also because this was Yuna and Yuna was holding her close and… The infatuation Raika had been feeling for the last days of travel wove in with the feeling of connection they were feeling now. They didn't know why or how yet. But they knew that they were going to savor every moment of this closeness in case it never came again. "I don't know about not panicking, I did just run off because Yoka saw me do water things, after all…" I shook my head, "Look, I don't know what I am, but I do know that you and Ahri and the others are…. All I have. I don't want to let you go." My words were punctuated by a squeeze. "And um…. D-don't take this the wrong way but I think I might….like you?" Wow hey look at me go I'm getting everything out in the open here hahahahaha Zataka take me now. Raika's head was swimming. Their cheeks were burning magenta so brightly now they were positive it could be seen through their visor. It's not just me? It's… I'm… she's… If they'd tried to ideatalk to Yuna at that time, it would have been like a hammer against her mind. So instead, Raika just hugged Yuna as tight as her arms could manage, nodding furiously while their heartlight strobed in their chest. They held me tighter, and I swore I felt their mask warm. My heartlight was nearly beating out of my chest, but in a much different way than before. It felt like someone had stuck a swim bladder in my chest and filled it with hot air. Hey I'm a fisherwoman don't get on me about my weird analogies. Point being… They agreed. They…. Felt the same way? About someone like me? Absolutely insane. But in a time like now, what wasn't insane to believe? Just a few days ago Zataka herself had unleashed horrible monsters across our home and people got in ships to flee across the ocean. Everything was different now, and who was to say that my silly Saihoko feelings couldn't be returned by the Menti I had them for? So I didn't say anything either, just…. Held them. Held this moment. Raika wanted to stay in this moment forever. They hadn't… they'd never been held like this. Hadn't been this close to another Dasaka in so long, emotionally or physically. But at the same time, something in the back of their mind kept screaming that those serpents are here. We need to go. Get to safety. There will be time enough later. No good waiting here if you and Yuna die. Not wanting to let go, Raika gave an extra-strong squeeze before shifting to face Yuna. Reluctantly removing their hands, they started to sign a message. They quickly thought better of it. Bringing their hands to their mask, they steepled them together and pressed the heels to their mask. They then opened their fingers into four petals, mimicking the faceplates on the serpents that now wandered the island. They then pointed at Yuna and themself, then back the way they had come. We need to get back. Those serpents might be out here. Right. Speaking of those monsters. I nodded, slowly and shakily standing. I was still exhausted from…. Well from everything. Even so, I held out a hand to Raika. After wiping the mud off of my face… and then my hands. What, no it's not just an excuse to hold their hand how dare you accuse me of such things! "I should…. Probably explain to the others why I ran off, huh?" Raika shyly took her hand and stood. As they did, they felt suddenly dizzy and nearly blacked out. Staggering a little, they collapsed against Yuna for a moment. I guess three hours wasn't enough sleep after three days. Straightening themself as best they could, Raika shakily grabbed their remaining dagger and held it at their side. They looked up to Yuna (they always looked up to her, she could do so many things. Not just combat, but practical too. She was so amazing and she was here holding Raika's hand. She was holding their hand. Would she keep holding it? Would… would this be the norm now?)... Tears of mixed emotion and exhaustion stung the corners of their eyes as they shakily pointed forward with the amber crystal blade. The message was clear enough: Onward! They pressed against me again for a moment as they stood, and that warm tightness in my chest came back. The rain had stopped, too. A genuine grin slipped into my face, and the two of us, this strange, exhausted pair, began making our way back out of the forest. Together. And I didn't let go of their hand the whole way.
  9. This was a jam between Click and myself! This was a blast to work on, as always~♡ IC: Oki shoreline Raika paused at this. They looked into Mitsuri's eyes. .:I understand,:. They said. Then… They opened their mind to Mitsuri. Not breaking that almost painful eye contact. An act of trust. The hardest thing they had ever done. It took all their strength to not collapse into a shaking mess Mitsuri’s own one-eyed gaze wavered, struggling to remain present as Raika stared at her face. She took a breath and squeezed Raika’s hand tighter as she pushed into the Menti’s mind. As promised, the frigid wall that had repelled every attempt to see their thoughts had melted away, and as such Mitsuri was instantly caught up in an even stronger hurricane of anxiety and fear. But she was ready for it this time, quickly finding a way to ride that anxiety as she read the feelings and memories that fueled it. The emotions were like chords of music, or waves of water, or grains of crystal that sang as they passed. The feeling of a constant war with feelings of comfort shattered against her as the sound of the desire to remain hidden, unobserved, safe. A shifting sense of self, a desire for a fluidity of presentation. Fear. That was the loudest note in the chorus. It rang out, its sour taste in every note and shard. Fear of trusting these new people after almost a decade of isolation. Fear of the feelings of closeness. Fear of loss. Fear of a draw to Yuna, to trust the freely given comfort that Mitsuri would immediately recognize as her own. Distrust, this one tied to Ahri. There was a crimson link to that one. It led to something… Suddenly something else. A barrier. Not the cold wall of a mental ward. Something foreign. Mutsuri was inside of Raika's mind. But she was not alone there… A single droplet struck Raika's shoulder. Then another. And another. Their concentration was lost as they shook rain from their visor. And with that, the links, the grains, the waves, the chords, they all slipped away from Mitsuri’s grasp before she could reach their ends. She fought to push her way back in, but she only met the familiar cold wall of Raika’s mind once more. Mitsuri opened her eye, glaring at Raika with an exasperated but understanding disproval. .:You didn’t let me in.:. she sighed over their link. .:We’ll just have to work on it.:. For a moment, something was readable on what little was visible of Raika's face through their visor. In a tightening of the eyes, a shift of the head. The comment had stung. .:What are you talking about,:. Raika said, looking briefly back into Mitsuri's gaze before shifting away. .:I let you in. I'm not a trained Menti like you, it's all or nothing. Why would you say something like that. What do you want from me? Really? Was free reign of my mind not enough? What more did you want to see?:. The hurt had calcified into anger. Raika had bared their soul and was being accused of deception. Had she not liked what she'd seen? Had Mitsuri expected some stronger will than what Raika had to offer? Mitsuri was taken back by Raika’s sudden fire and genuine hurt. Perhaps it was time for a gentler approach. She tried to smile and shrug it off. .:Raika… you said what was in your head… well, that it would make us want to hurt you. What I saw in there, it was normal, surface level stuff!:. Raika forced themself to take a deep breath. Their whole body was shaking with emotion. Vulnerability. They felt like they were struggling to stay in control. Like they were grasping onto consciousness, somehow. But as the panic began to break they were able to reply. .:N-normal?:. they asked, looking into Mitsuri's eyes briefly once again. .: What you saw in there… that was normal?:. .:Hey, everyone is afraid of getting too close. That’s just trust, you have to accept that you might get hurt. And I promise, I won’t tell Yuna.:. Mitsuri tried to wink and grin, but with half her face covered it didn’t look like much. .:I wasn't controlling what you saw:. they stated. .:I just let you in. I… I never got training in shielding my mind. What I learned I figured out myself.:. A pause, then: .:...I wouldn't have let you see the part about Yuna if I'd…:. As they were speaking, their eyes trailed back to the shore. Yuna was sprinting off towards the treeline. The rain was denser there, as if she was running into the heart of the storm. Mitsuri’s next question died on her lips as something forced its way through their connection. As if manifesting into reality from darkness itself, she could see the silhouette of something rearing above her, pinning her down. A hideous serpent, clad in scarlet metal armor. Scarlet that shone with the sickly sheen of an oil slick. Its faceplate opening, acidic venom dripping from its maw as raw terror flowed like ice through her veins. Of a blade stabbing upwards. Again and again. And again. Again and again until the thing collapsed, until it could never hurt me again. Until we were safe. Until… As the connection stretched and finally broke, Mitsuri found herself on the ground, tears streaming down her face as she struggled to catch her breath. Her eye darted across the shoreline, looking for the one who had endured that memory. “Raika!” Raika was already sprinting down towards the shoreline. Their lithe body and long steps cut a gold and indigo streak as they launched themself after Yuna. She couldn't be there alone. Those things would get her. They'd… they'd… Raika's pulse was pounding harder than they'd ever felt before as fear of loss gripped them unexpectedly. They cursed that they couldn't call out to her. They couldn't signal. All they could do, as rain soaked their scarf and beaded across their kanohi, was run. OOC: @Keeper of Kraata, @The UltimoScorp, @ARROW404
  10. IC: Behind her visor, Carol shifted her eyes in what might seem an odd pattern to an outside observer. It was a technique she had been trained with to deprogram the negative thought patterns and to regain some control. She went from feeling like she was teetering on the edge of a cliff face to standing there, looking down. Her heartbeat slowed a little, and she was able to compose a response. "Nothing beyond the basic: this is my first real mission after ten years on ice. I could run a thousand sims and still be caught off guard by the real thing. Just worried some of my old reflexes might be dull, ma'am." That was accurate enough, even if it was not the entire truth. But saying that she was scared of her old nickname proving true on this mission, that she'd lose her teammates the same way she had on Longinus… that would get her pulled off of the team for sure. Spartans didn't get hangups, just results. Especially Spartan-IIIs. She still was one, despite what the records now reflected. Rather than admitting they'd shoved a broken Spartan in cryo for a solid decade, they'd altered her records to pass her off as a Spartan-IV recruit. The ages matched, and Carol had always been more… human… than a good few of the other recruits. Close enough at least to pass as a soldier who'd chosen the upgrades. But Cassie was Alpha. Cassie knew the truth. And, more than anybody else, it was Cassie Carol was scared of disappointing. It was possible only she would know this wasn't her first mission as a Spartan. And she would weigh her mistakes more heavily as a result. Carol stood up. The Mjolnir felt so much different than her old SPI armor. It moved like an extension of her body. It had taken weeks to unlearn the overcompensation for the SPI's laggy assistance and to adjust to how fluid the generation two assistance algorithms were. Her mind cast back to the figure attending to them with a trauma kit. Their mirrored black Mjolnir so different from her ashen SPI armor. Undamaged after a full assault, while theirs were tattered from plasma droplets and shrapnel flechettes. Her teammates here would be better armed. They'd probably all come out looking as shiny as those Spartans had, all those years ago. But fear doesn't like to be set aside. It still writhes and coils just below the surface, waiting for a chink in the armor. But Carol was a Spartan, after all. She'd make sure that chink was as hard to find as possible. The fear might coil around her after the mission, squeeze shivers and tears from her already exhausted body. But now she had to be strong. Had to keep them all safe. That was her job. She would be as much of a ghost as she felt among the group, sliding along unseen beside them. But she'd keep them safe. She walked over to Cassie, and stood to attention. "Ma'am," she said, presenting herself for inspection like she had so many times as of late. @The UltimoScorp
  11. [Meant ti be a correction. Disregard.]
  12. IC: Carol-A215 Carol paused her singing when she saw the status light. The message came through loud and clear, and she adjusted her own transmitter before responding. She flicked over a green status before replying with a confident "Yes ma'am." Cassie a team leader. She supposed time did things like that. The gung-ho explosives aficionado had never been a good fit to the sneak and stalk lifestyle of Alpha company. But it seemed she'd landed soundly on her feet with this position. And, even if that face was now, shockingly, older than her own it was good to know she'd have somwthing close to a friend at her back. Cassie lying, armor shredded by shrapnel from a plasma burst igniting one of her rockets. She shook her head for a microsecond before catching herself. Nobody not gifted with spartan-time would have noticed. Cassie falling to a Kig-Yar's well-aimed laser carbine shot, her yellow armor blistering and running like quicksilver. Would she be ok? This was her first mission since… Since. She looked at her right arm. Flexed the fingers of her mechanical limb. Weeks of practice at the firing range had gotten her response time and aim back to where they had been before. Even so, it was thus far untested. Like her. "Ma'am…" she amended, after a short eternity of contemplation. "I must admit to some anxiety regarding the coming mission. I worry my current skillset and state may prove insufficient to ensure no casualties on this deployment. Nonetheless, I promise to ensure such doubts do not impact my performance. Ma'am." Her ODST-esque helmet faced towards Cassie. The armor techs called it Firefall. It had a mean look to it, big and angry. It felt almost at odds with the almost curvy silhouette the rest of Carol's armor had. And while it was impossible to read expression through the mirrored sapphire lens, Carol put on her war face. "Am I still cleared to go on the mission, ma'am?"
  13. IC: Check. A small figure sat in the corner of the hangar. It had been there for hours. Its deep violet blended surprisingly well with the shadows surrounding it. Magazine: Check. Its blue visor was mirrored, its expression indiscernible as it focused on the object lain out on a sheet of spare plating rested on its legs. Magazine slide: Check. Spartan Carol-A215 set the magnum to her side, beside her Gadulo-pattern needle rifle. It had already been checked over. its Subanese crystal canister lay beside it, not to be loaded until she arrived at the mission objective. The volatile crystal was safer stored until needed. It was a ritual before every mission. Check. Re-check. Nothing could go wrong if all of her equipment was fully functional. And if something beyond her control happened… well, she'd have the best chance possible of making sure her teammates were safe. "Check," she spoke aloud. The sound would not pass the face of her helmet. "All systems nominal" came a voice in her ear. "Thrusters operational, plating repairs completed as of 0200 hours. Shield capacitors primed and ready for engagement. Active camouflage module diagnostic shows one hundred percent predicted functionality with modified plating." "Thank you, Apogee," Carol responded. They called her Jinx. Or… they used to, at least. Things would sometimes just… go wrong on missions she was sent on. Sometimes horribly. If she was fated to be a bad luck charm, though… well, she'd best make sure her teammates weren't the ones who were feeling the pinch when things broke bad. Emotional state:... Carol wasn't shaking. Spartans didn't shake. They especially didn't shake with anxiety. With fear of seeing the new faces walk in. Fear of seeing those faces buried in the mud or staring, blankly, up into nothing. Spartans also never cried. But Carol did. The tears were small and few, more nerves than anything. And rather than eroding, they strengthened her resolve. She slotted her spare ammo onto her armor, clipped her magnum and rifle to her hip and back respectively. Looked out across the room. Spartans didn't sing, that people ever spoke of. Carol's voice echoed in her helmet as she trailed out a soft melody half-remembered from her early childhood. It always calmed her down.
  14. Name: Spartan Carol-A215, AKA Spartan Jinx. Current alias Carol Blake. Species: Augmented human (Spartan-III) Gender: female (she/her) Age: 28 (biologically) Personality: Carol-A215 is an oddity among the Spartan-III Alpha Company recruits. Seeing recruitment as a way to escape an abusive foster system, Carol continued to push herself forward, never backing down even when terrified of the outcome. As a result, she is far more mild-mannered than many other Spartan-IIIs, often seen asnquiet and withdrawn by others. This could not be farther from the truth. Carol enjoys company, just on her own terms. As a result of her usual isolation, Carol spends a majority of her time reading any literature she can get her hands on. That could be a digitization of a classical novel, pulp literature, or even webfiction if it catches her interest. She is highly adaptable and uses unusual tactics to compensate for her shortcomings, excelling as a camoflauged sniper and infiltrations agent. That being said, sue to her reputation as a 'jinx' due to sutuations regularly going wrong tangental to the missions she is deployed on, she has some degree of anxiety ensuring her equipment is 100 per cent operational before any deployment. The one way in which Carol could be said to express the more usual Spartan-III gung-ho attitude is in regards to orbital insertion. Fear of the initial jump from training led her to repeat parachuting as part of training over and over, to face her fear. Fear eventually gave way to confodence, then infatuation. Carol has even gone to lengths to have her armor modified to survive orbital insertion. She has some discomfort on ships, due to past trauma. And she has a chronic fear of losing teammates stemming back to two of her most disastrous deployments which earned her nickname as "Spartan Jinx." Well aware Spartans never "retire," Carol nevertheless oftem comments that she one day wants to open a bookstore on a quiet colony planet. Biography: Carol Blake was born during the later stages of the human-covenant war, on the colony world Chorous. Her parents were drafted by the UNSC and both reported KIA. At the age of five Carol entered the local foster system, where she remained until her covert recruitment by the Spartan-III program at the age of seven. Later investigation based on information given by Carol implies this was to escape inhumane treatment by the orphanage in which she had been placed, but further data has been sealed. Carol was trained as part of Alpha company, and was among fifty recruits headhunted to receive additional ODST training due to their tenacity under pressure. She developed a strong admiration for her teacher, holding her as an aspirational figure. Carol has been deployed a number of times during her tenure, but two of her deployments are of particular note. On her first deployment the UNSC battleship Solidarity experienced a misalignment in its Shaw-Fujikawa slipspace drive and re-entered realspace below a Covenant supercarrier as it fired its glassing laser. An astronomically unlikely occurance, Carol's life was only saved due to her hiding out in an airlock on what happened to be the far side of the craft. She depressurized slowly enough that her SPI armor's vacuum seals held, and was able to jettison herself toward a mostly operational Pelican dropship. She hid out there for three days, before UNSC after-action scouts located and recovered her. Her final deployment was via orbital insertion as part of a covering force for Spartan-II infiltration and capture of crucial Covenant fleet codes during Operation Longinus. However, the information proved to be a decoy and the dropped Spartans encountered heavy Covenant resistance. Carol narrowly escaoed death when an injured teammate blocked a plasma mortar from destroying her, though this encounter cost her right arm. Utilizing battlefield stimulants and her still-functioning SPI armor, Carol managed to direct a small group of fifteen survivors into guerilla tactics. Five of this group survived until the Spartan-II fireteam provided cover and extraction, the first indication any of the III's had of their existence. ONI placed her on ice following this mission, and she was only recently thawed out a whole decade later. To cover this up, and to hide any potential links to the Spartan-III program, Carol has been issued the alias Carol Anderson. Her official record states she is a Marine trained in orbital insertion, who distinguished herself running covert infiltration via orbital drop on targets of interest, and was put forth as part of the Spartan-IV program. Appearance: Carol is slighter in build than many Spartans, though still far stronger than an unmodified human. At 6'6", Carol is remarkably short for a Spartan despite still fitting within acceptable program parameters. Her curvier figure makes her distinct even in armorz though she spends most of her time lurking in shadow, so few tend to notice. Her hair is short with long fringes that are pulled back while her helmet is on. Her black hair is often dyed various colors, and is currently a soft jade green. Her almond-shaped eyes are Payne's gray, but have an almost violet reflection to them due to the effects of chemicals used to alter the eye's function in low-light scenarios. Her skin is olive. Equipment: Armor: Spartan Carol's armor is both an echo of the past and a leading note of what is to come. Carol's Mjolnir resembles a suit of Gen-1 Mk. V-B armor with a helmet and pauldrons reminiscent of ODST drop armor and a pair of built-in jump jets. These accessories were developed as a part of Project Firefall, and her armor is acting as a field testbed for the technology. The plating is dark violet, with red and white accents. The techsuit utilizes a more advanced iteration of the Gen 1 nanocrystalline synthetic musculature, in addition to containing backup shield reinforcements and a more advanced gel layer. The profile is built in reminiscence of the Mark V-B Mjolnir armor series. Its outer plating has been brought to the Mark-III standard, with more robust shielding and a faster recovery time. In terms of armor upgrades: the suit is equipped with a set of Hermese-3 jump maneuvering jets which allow short bursts of propulsion for EVA maneuvering or even shirt in-atmosphere jumps. It is of note that these are less powerful than a standard jump pack and cannot enable sustained flight. The suit's upgrade port is usually fitted with an active camoflauge upgrade. Suit AI: Ancillary systems are monitored and managed by the simple "dumb" AI construct nicknamed "Apogee" in reference to its ability to rapidly calculate landing trajectories in the event of extra-vehicular orbital insertion to protect the suit's occupant to the best level possible. Weaponry: Carol carries a Galduo-Pattern Needle Rifle for sniping purposes, finding it more versatile than a standard UNSC sniper rifle. The rifle has the phrase For Reach delicately and precisely burnt into the side of its casing. For a sidearm, she carries a standard Misriah Armory M6H Magnum sidearm. Prosthesis: Carol's right arm has been replaced with a standard permanent-mount mechanical prosthesis built into her Mjolnir armor. Additional equipment: Carol carries a tacpad to interface with her AI, though often uses it in her free time for various purposes within UNSC allotments. Skills: Sniper: Give Carol any ranged weapon and she will find her mark. Countless hours and cases of ammo at the training range have led to Carol having an almost preternatural eye for distances and air currents. This has led to the occasional joke due to her Cherokee ancestry, but seeing as she has one of the highest proficiencies with ranged weaponry among alpha company, they are never very loud jokes. Stealth: Before her outfitment with Mjolnir, years being deployed in Semi-Powered Infiltration Armor have taught Carol how to become a ghost. Known to rely on her active camoflauge unit far more than her shields, Carol becomes a silent spectre covering her teammates on any deployment. Orbital insertion: Short of fully-trained ODSTs, Carol is one of the most experienced and enthusiastic Dpartans ever to dip their toes into the world of the Helljumpers. With close to a dozen drops on record, she has experience being dropped i to ****** and learning how to adapt when she gets there. Flaws: Carol was diagnosed with severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following Operation Longinus, and was put on leave while her burns were treated via in-situ tissue cloning and a cybernetic limb was fitted. Following this, Carol has worked to hone her abilities and become a more effective support to her teammates. Despite her outwardly positive attitude, she grapples with anxiety over each new teammate and has been known to be extremely critical of her own mission performance. However, she can be hesitant to make deep personal bonds due to fear of losing the ones she cares about. Not being especially open about these insecurities, those who use the nickname "Jinx" for her, often in an affectionate manner, are not aware that the nickname, to her, carries a vivid mark of shame and feeling of needing to be better. When pushed outside of her comfort of arm's reach, a silent assassin or spy, and forced to fight for her life… Carol fights. She fights recklessly. She fights with an almost berserker panic that leaves her shaking after mission, absolutely terrified of what kind of monsters might live inside of her. But she has to stay alive. She has to keep fighting, because as longa s she is in the field it is her responsibility, her duty, to make sure everyone else gets home safely. Carol also likes falling. A bit much, one might say. One might even call this a small obsession of hers. While a very specific vice, it could nevertheless lead her to be a bit more reckless about where and when she is dropping when weighing against the thrill of freefall.
  15. IC: Raika Several emotions grappled for space in Raika's mind. Their immediate response was to brush off the help. But when they tried to form a response to this end, it was as if they couldn't get the words out. Add to this that a growing part of them wanted some peace and clarity of mind. For things to feel simple and straightforward. But there was a very real danger if Mitsuri found out their identity as The Wraith, let alone the information Raika was carrying in their mind from years of espionage. Add to all this that three hours isn't really that much sleep, especially when one hasn't slept in three days. Wakefulness is either a fevered half-dream or a rictus of wired, anxious hyperclarity with the fragility of fine crystal. Raika was solidly set in the second of these camps, the smells and sounds of their nightmares still echoing in their memory. As such, their response managed the twin achievement of being both blunt and potentially condemning. .:To be honest, I could absolutely use some clarity. However: the only place I can call my own in this world is inside of my head, and I don't like sharing the secrets I have there.:. They chuckled through ideatalk. .:Also, I'd have to make sure I can trust you. I have a pretty good feeling that if you knew what was in my head, you'd want to kill me.:. Cold terror slowly flowed into Raika's veins as they processed what they had just said. They'd shown cards that had been clutched to their chest most of their life, to a willhammer far more trained than they themself. They glanced anxiously at her, wondering what would happen now that the kavinika was out of the pen. OOC: @Click @Keeper of Kraata @The UltimoScorp
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