Mortal Kombat - Just My Twilight Life: The Halloween Trick!

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Description: Happy Halloween! All of Honoka's Twilight Friends are ready to have a halloween campout! But Zach Glenn, looking to play a spooky prank on the girl, finds himself in a heap of hot water when a real monster shows up to scare him! Now Honoka, with her new friends AY4M3, Yoshiaki, and Nakoruru all have to work together in order to help their friend Zach, before he gets too spooked! (The cover shows outside the circus grounds by the spooky woods, where Honoka, AY4M3, and Yoshiaki all are around a campfire. They are all looking at Nakoruru with her pet hawk Mamahaha as her arms are out, as she tells them an Ainu ghost story. Above them on the branch of a tree is the kitty-eared Zach Glenn, holding a fake spider on a string, ready to drop it in on the girls and Yoshiaki. Right above him, the wiggling hands of Daniel Jack, a spooky monster, is reaching out to try and nab him.) (50 yen)

Still running, are we?

The figure of the detective rushes through the forest as a blur. Flashes of images whirl around. He was garbed in silks of orange and purple, he was barefoot now. Yellow eyes and bared teeth glimmer between the openings of the forest. That might just be part of the forest, just a feature of the monsters and beast that lurked between the bushes... but the malevolence wasn't. The black mist was the only visual sign of the intense presence of malevolence that was whispering and babbling. Almost as intense as the psionic cloud that assaulted Honoka... but far darker than that. There was a murmuring running through the forest of an abomination of abominations, a monster of monsters that invoke a primal cruelity that was a crime against nature. Something was poisoning this forest, something was challenging it.

I'm getting away from him.

I'm not going to kill him. I can't turn on Interpol. I won't. I cannot. I just need to find the Graveyard, and resurrect my friends. Lita, and Sergei, and.... and Charlie. And Bolivar. They're all dead, right? No, no, Bolivar isn't dead. I need to find the Graveyard. I need to find where they are buried. I need to save them. I just need to- I just need to stop. I need to stop. I won't kill him. I can't kill. I cannot kill him. I cannot.

The trail ends at the edges of the wastes.

The price of the endless campaigns of war stretch beyond the horizons around the opening of the forest. It was bleak and broken. It was nothing but the remains of death, past the decay, past the destruction. It was nothing. The only enduring element was a single tower, stretching high upon the edge of infinity. The figure of Daniel leans against a tree, resting, breathing hard. The wounds of his battle with his fellow Interpol Agent was faded. The yellow and black eyes drift to the clawed hand against the bark of a twisted tree. The detective digs the claw in. A groan of agony emerges from the tree. He felt that shudder of delight through him, that mouth watering. The ectasy of battle was wearing off. He was going to lose control soon. He was going to hunger again soon. The souls he took from Bolivar was... was not enough. It was never enough. He just wanted more, and more, and more. His eyes cast to the wastes again.

Maybe there was something at the tower.

Zach Glenn, since his apparent resurrection, had spent a fair amount of time in meditation. There are few things better for expanding your mental horizons than dying and coming back, after all, and it had made Zach realize that his skills in the mentalist department were severely lacking. Recent revelations led him to believe that this did NOT have to be the case, but without someone to teach him... there was only experimentation.

Today, Zach was trying to see just how far he could stretch his awareness when he noticed it. Something... dangerously familiar. He raked back through his own memories first, before finding it. The... markings, for lack of a better term, of one of The Butcher's victims. But that wasn't quite right either. Perhaps... It had had to go /somewhere/ when it had disappeared, right? Why not Shang Tsung's Creepy Death Island. The monster hunter gets on his feet, and gears up. He had gotten what he thought was a decent lead on things, and set forth for the Living Forest. The place was creepy, without a doubt, but after that untold time... between?

%Perhaps the Forest should be concerned about Zach, instead of the other way around.

You smell that?

That rich stench of a hunter. No, it isn't your luscious Fio, no, if it was, we would be satisfying a different hunger. Could you imagine, making love to her amongst the broken corpses? What if you made Bolivar watch. Imagine the thrill, the sensation. No, no, there isn't a lover there. That stetch, that presence, that power. You know that sensation Daniel. And we're going to find it.

Why, that's your good friend Zach Glenn, Daniel.

The detective feels himself turning his back to the Wastelands, back into the woods. Zach. No, no, Zach didn't need to be here. He shouldn't be here. Daniel tried to turn away. Go into the wastelands. Away from this forest. But he couldn't. He wouldn't turn away. Because he had the rich scent in his nose. His mouth was watering. And dark shadows were sinking over him. The black mist coils around his form, as his palm begins to burn bright red with the crimson energy. He needed, he needed to stop thinking of just how wonderful it would be to make Zach whimper and scream. To scream like how Bolivar screamed, how those guards scream, to make him scream. The detective breathes heavy, licking his lips. He needed to stop thinking about it.

Is that because of what you are, Daniel?

Because you are a monster now? You know that he kills people like you. You know how he hates you, don't you. I remember what you remember. I remember how he ambushed you after you got shot in the head. I remember how he arrived, wanting to murder you. I remember, because you remember. And now there isn't anything stopping him from murdering you. Isn't that delightful? He's going to find you, and mercy kill you! Just like how he tried to with your darling Fio. So what are you going to do now?

What will you do when it is a matter of life and death?

Daniel breaks into a run, back into the forest. The presence begins to grow heavier across the forest. It was a like a shadow over the woods, as the detective runs faster and faster, following the scent of a man. The hunter was being hunted. He could be far away, or so close. The blur was coming. And Zach... Zach might at first notice the black mists coiling between the base of the trees. If not?

Then he might notice the voices in his head.

The presence was purely psionic. But the phrases were a cacophony. Zach. Zach Glenn. The Monster Hunter. The Monster Killer. The murderer of so many innocent people. Just like Ayame. A lynch mob, a fraud, a phony, a killer. A killer. And plump with souls. We're finding you. We sense you, and are finding you. We are coming, Zach. We are coming.

And we have found your scent.

Zach stops only a short distance into the forest. He is being watched, being /tracked/. Not by the forest, but by something /specific/. The psion lets out a long breath, centering himself even as he shakes the slave shackle loose of his coat sleeve. The sandy yellow shard embedded in it shimmers with souls waiting to assist their wielder. He glances around, having been in situations a lot like this. Dashing about would be useless here; he does not know exactly where the ambush strike will be.

But he knows where the strike will fall, more or less.

Then he hears the voices, but those are not exactly a new thing for him, on this island. Zach's right hand flexes open, then into a light grip, as he summons Drywyn from the depths of his being before shouldering the blade lightly. His eyes narrow in concentration as he does what he has /always/ done when seeking out the monsters in the darkness:

He offers them a target they cannot easily pass up, inviting them to bring the pain and horror and death to someone who can stand up against it.

We are closer now.

You will not run. You will let us come. We will find you, and pluck your souls from you. We will tear you piece by piece by piece by piece and RIP YOUR BODY TO SUNDER AND DEVOUR YOUR SCUM AND SLIME AND BITTER AND HATE and we will seek you and we have found you. You are standing alone with your blade. Your blade will not be strong enough. We are stronger. We are coming. We are hungry.

We are here.

And from the brush emerges Daniel Jack.

The detective hunches over at first, his run stopping dead. And then, he steadily looks up towards Zach, transfixing those yellow eyes with black screla upon the hunter. He breathes hard, rows and rows of shark teeth barely concealed over his lips. He stares at Zach, as the cacophony changes. Kill him, kill him, kill him. The murmuring of tearing apart Zach and feasting upon his souls forces inward, boiling outward. The source of the voices wasn't the forest, Zach. That much was clear now. He draws in a deep breath through his nose, taking in the full scent of the man. "zach..." Daniel begins, a growl croaking from his throat, as he restrains himself from pouncing to rip out that delicious agony from Zach's tender form.

"You've made a terrible mistake coming into these woods, scuzzy."

Zach turns quickly to face the sound coming from the brush. His eyes narrow, then go wide when he realizes what he is seeing. Daniel Little, the Butcher Reborn, declares Zach's error in coming to this place. He lets out another long sigh, trying to fight back the process of his heart breaking for the man in front of him. He rolls his right shoulder, the blade of the ancestral weapon bouncing free and to his side as the psion draws himself up.

"Maybe," he says hoarsely, "I am exactly where I am needed. What happened to you, Daniel?"

What happened to you.

Daniel Jack swallows hard. He needed to control himself. He needed to restrain himself. He needed... he needed Zach to understand. "I uh, had a bad fight with Lotus. You know, the girl who killed... killed Lita?" He trails off, as the desire to kill kill kill rattles within. "It went bad. But Fio... Doctor Tessitore, well, she saved my life." Daniel says, standing fast, showing the full extent of the work she had done. "There are a few... a few... side effects." Just a few. "Nothing that can't be resolved by, by... by hurting things, Zach. Animals, trees.... people." Daniel runs his tongue along his teeth delicately. "You... you're pretty lucky right now. I just got done with Bolivar. I can... I can almost control myself." Almost. But there was high emotions from Daniel right now, all directed at this specimen of monster hunter in front of him.

It was almost lustful.

The pure emotion desire for Zach right now was pinpoint. Daniel wanted to do things to Zach, incredible things. To hurt him. Daniel was so hungry for Zach, it rivaled Honoka. Daniel wanted Zach, he wanted him. He was just so personal. It wasn't like Bolivar, it was real and personal. The detective's mouth waters as he takes in another deep breath.

"I think I can get this under control, Zach."

The sword stays in Zach's hand, its point aimed at the ground on a diagonal, still ready to use. His eyes narrow as he considers the man in front of him, as he tries to keep his breathing under control. He can /feel/ the emotions rolling off of Daniel, like fog from dry ice. The psion knows better than to show prey reflexes in front of this hunter. He keeps his eyes on Daniel's torso, knowing that any real movement is going to start there. Zach remembers where his pistols are stowed, his left hand clenched in a loose fist.

"You might," Zach agrees. "But I can tell you haven't yet." He does not tell Daniel what the former agent reminds him of. Zach is not sure Daniel can handle that right now.

He was looking for those, in fact.

He wanted Zach to act like prey. That desire was unceasing. He wanted to prey on Zach. He wanted to chase him until his heart exploded, and he could torment him until he fell into a deep sleep. He wanted Zach, he wanted him, and every yearning now was directed into Zach.

But Zach wasn't prey, not yet.

Every movement from Zach washes over the detective. The sensory high was overwhelming. He felt himself being pushed away, so the Lady Killer could take over. Zach was right. He didn't have things under control just yet. That was true. But time was short, he could feel it. He needed Zach now. Fortunately, Daniel Jack knew a way to help get things under control.

"... I'm... I'm challenging you, Zach."

He finally declares, as he eases into the defensive stance of Todoh. "I'm challenging you to Mortal Kombat, scuzzy. Please... please say yes." The yellow eyes flash pleading. "Please accept it, Zach. I... I'm not going to stop attacking you soon. The desire's too great. But I... I can't let the Earth realm fail. I can't damn the world breaking the rules of the tournament. I... I can't..." There is a thrusting desire that runs through Daniel, all the way to Zach's heart. Two words. Just two words.

I can.

Zach squares his shoulders in the face of this apparent threat. His grip on the sword tightens ever so slightly, as he says the words that may very well damn the world. Or maybe not.

"No," Zach says evenly. "We are /both/ fighting for the Earth. This fight would not profit us at all." Zach very, /very/ carefully does NOT mention the fact that the edicts that might constrain Daniel no longer protect Zach. That right now, the only things protecting the psion are Daniel's fraying self control and his own willingness to protect himself. Zach's body language is one of carefully restrained aggression. He does not want to fight, but he is most certainly game for it if it comes to that.

I can damn the world.

I can damn everything in this world. I can damn it all, and bear the weight of the entire future of failure that will happen. I can invite an apocolypse upon the entire world, because I can't stop myself right now. There is no rational. There is no reason. There is only the purest of pure instincts. To kill. To feed. To destroy. I see the entire fate of the world at my fingertips. I have it right now, in my clawed hands.

And I can only squeeze.

"... I'm sorry Zach..." Daniel Jack growls, staring at the earth beneath his feet. His motions were restrained. The aura wasn't. I am going to kill you Zach. We are going to kill you. I am not of Earth anymore now, but a traitor of traitors. Death, Zach, death. "I just need you to promise me one thing... for your sake."


Kill him.

"Scream as much as you can Zach." Daniel says, looking back up again.

Kill him.

"It makes it faster when you scream."

And Daniel charges.

A palm strike with the left, a hand chop with the right. The combination was the same as it always been, the singular tower of humanity that the detective clung to. No monster could be Todoh-Ryuu. Maybe that was true. Another palm strike with the left comes from Daniel, before it chains into an elbow jab with the left. A final upper palm is unleashed with the right, as Daniel forces to overwhelm the prey. Not prey. No, he's not prey. He has a name.


COMBATSYS: Daniel has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Daniel           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Daniel equips a shining Rose Soul Shard.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Daniel [E]       0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Zach Glenn       0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn equips a twinkling Sandy Yellow Soul Shard.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Zach Glenn [E]   0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn blocks Daniel's Zoot Suit Riot.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Zach Glenn [E]   0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

Zach parries each incoming strike, alternating between his empty left hand and the sword in his right. The movements are sharp, economical, even as each impact sends shudders up his arms.

*Glen,* Zach thinks. *Could use your help.*

The shard on Zach's wrist flares slightly as the psion pivots, then leaps away from Daniel. The sword comes up, now gripped in both hands. The purpose behind the wooden sword from before becomes clear now; it was to help Zach acclimate to /this/ sword. Drywyn shimmers slightly with a faint golden glow as he circles Daniel warily.

"Come on, Daniel," Zach rasps as he pays close attention to Daniel's movements. "Neither of us want it to go like this."

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn focuses on his next action.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Zach Glenn [E]   0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

Daniel Jack was must faster than before.

Before, if Zach leapt away, Daniel would have to walk back up to him. But as Zach retreats, Daniel was already pivoting, already trailing him, already chasing him down. He was closing in, matching Zach's circling with his own movement. If this was normal, Daniel would be slowing down himself just as Zach was. But this wasn't normal. No, as Zach tells him that he didn't need to do this, his actions were pure aggression. His actions.

The expression on Daniel's face said something else.

"What I want, Zach." Daniel begins as energy swirls around him, "Is I want to control this. I need to control this." Crimson energy pours from his palm, as orange chi bursts up his limbs. The black mist hangs heavily around as it mingles with the red and the orange. "Because if I can't control this, people are going to hurt more and more. And I can't control this. And if I can't, then people... people like Ayame are going to have to put me down. I need to control it. And the only way I can control this is... is hurting you. I need to help you, I need to help Ayame."

"I can't force you all to put me down."

The detective slams his arms down, unleashing a familiar slash of chi energy. What was different, however, was the type of energy. Instead of a massive orange semi-circle of a shockwave, the cataclysm of crimson and black mist mingles with the waves of chi, slicing before him towards Zach, threatening to consume him with the staggering speed of the blast. It was faster than before. It was stronger than before.


COMBATSYS: Daniel channels the glare of the vicious eye.

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Zach Glenn [E]   0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Daniel successfully hits Zach Glenn with Chou Kasane Ate.
- Power hit! -

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Zach Glenn [E]   0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0       [E] Daniel

Zach's eyes go wide as he recognizes at least the rough form of the technique. But the chi... the chi was all /wrong/ for it to be Daniel Little. The miasma slams into the psion, throwing him roughly to the ground. Zach rolls quickly to his feet; the /last/ thing he wants is Daniel to go berzerk.

Well. More berzerk anyway.

"Or," Zach rasps, "We find a way through this." Zach's coat is in tatters, revealing the tactical rig strapped with a pair of knives and a pair of handguns. "So that none of that has to happen."

Despite Zach's desire to see Daniel come to his senses on his own, the former Marine has no desire at all to simply be beaten about. Maybe some pain will help Daniel focus. Zach charges in before leaping. He spins once, on the vertical, that shining blade describing a tall arc aimed at Daniel's shoulder!

COMBATSYS: Daniel endures Zach Glenn's Dragon's Tail!

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Zach Glenn [E]   1/------=/=======|======-\-------\0       [E] Daniel

That was the worst part of the madness.

Daniel was berserk in a sense, yes. But compared to his fight with Bolivar, with Lotus, there was a sense of restraint, a sense of precision. There was a feral edge, yes, there was aggression. But Daniel wasn't blind in his offense. There was precision with the power. Every action, every secret of Zach he could see. There was careful calculation. "There is a way through this Zach." Daniel growls as the former marine leaps in, spinning with that holy blade.

"Through -you-"

The blade slices into the detective's shoulder, unleashing a gush of black mist from the wound. It hurt. But not enough, no. The detective forces through it, hurling straight into Zach with crimson contrails behind him. The mix of three chi bursts out as he comes in with another palm strike with the left, and another hand chop with the right. And there, he slashes forward with a lash of orange energy. And then, a second lash with crimson energy. And then, a third, final slash of all three energies, mixing together in a toxic cocktail to drive Zach into a tree with skeleton shattering offense. He was going to tear Zach apart. He wouldn't stop. He couldn't stop.

Until Zach gave him what he needed.

COMBATSYS: Daniel channels the glare of the vicious eye.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Zach Glenn [E]   1/------=/=======|======-\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn channels the spread of the lightning nerves.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Zach Glenn [E]   1/------=/=======|======-\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Daniel successfully hits Zach Glenn with Ragtime Riot.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Zach Glenn [E]   2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\==-----\1       [E] Daniel

Zach's landing is... less than perfect. Even with the assistance of the soul shard he carries, Daniel is able to close with Zach and start with the ripping and tearing. Cloth and blood fly in equal measure. Through it all, though, Zach manages not to scream. He staggers away, weakened but still willing to fight.

Zach is weeping, as much from the pain of the wounds as the pain he is feeling /for/ Daniel.

"Fine then," he growls. "I am sorry that it came to this, Daniel."

A faint breeze seems to stir around Zach, starting at his feet and sweeping up around his body. His hair ruffles slightly as a shimmer of violet energy sweeps through it as he opens up certain mental gateways.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn gains composure.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Zach Glenn [E]   1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\==-----\1       [E] Daniel

But it was that pain that was so sweet to the detective.

Daniel Jack stands over the aftermath of his assault, lapping up the inner pain of Zach. Beautiful tears streaming down his face, as the very nature of himself cuts deep. Rich, delicious suffering that makes Daniel's skin crawl. It might be pain for Daniel, yes. But it was what Daniel wanted... almost. He could take in all the senses of Zach's misery.

But he wanted the screams most of all.

As Zach stands fast, Daniel has a moment of respite too, to take in the rich, delicious suffering. He breaths hard, licking his lips to the sweet presence of pain that Zach was bringing out. "I'm sorry too, Zach." Daniel says, shutting his eyes. "But you shouldn't have come into these woods." As the violet energy sweeps around Zach, the detective begins to swirl with his own cocktail of black, red, and orange energy, whirling around him as he fixes his feet. All his attention and focus was dead on Zach, the rich ectasty flooding him. It was incredible. It was amazing. He could feel his heartbeat, he could smell... the scent of a woman on him. Daniel could feel so close, so intimate to him.

Kill him.

COMBATSYS: Daniel Jacks it up a notch!

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Zach Glenn [E]   1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\==-----\1       [E] Daniel

Zach's eyes narrow. Daniel is all but savoring the emotions of the moment. Fine. Give him /nothing/ then. The mental walls go up even as the emotion drains off of Zach's face. This is a mission. The stone and steel of Zach's mental defenses form up inside of him. There is no place for emotion in the mission. More stone, more steel. By all appearances, Zach may as well be an animate mannequin. There is only the mission. The gates close.

"I made my choice," he says in a flat, slightly gravelly voice. Zach's vocal chords may not be back to full health just yet.

With that, Zach charges. Drywyn flares, the golden flame of Zach's will rippling to life as the psion drives the blade at the already wounded shoulder!

COMBATSYS: Daniel channels the strength of the killing fist.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Zach Glenn [E]   1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\=------\1       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Daniel interrupts Fierce Strike from Zach Glenn with You Got Jacked! EX.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Zach Glenn [E]   2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0       [E] Daniel

More than anything, he wanted Zach to scream.

Even the eye narrow was a sweet sample of it. But the man's self-discpline, it was driving the detective insane. He wanted to make him scream, he could make him scream. He just had to find the right switches. But no, he was drawing into the stoic shell. Daniel waits, drawing in a strong smell. He growls as Zach makes his commitment, as he studies every single move, every smell, every sound, every ripple in the aura. He made his choice, as the sword comes out. And Daniel leers, flashing his shark teeth.

"Bad choice, scuzzy."

And Daniel hurls into Zach like a fireball.

The golden blade drives hard into Daniel's shoulder. But the clawed hands of the detective are able to latch on in perfect tandem. The detective rockets upwards with his opponent, spinning as he rises. Only at the apex of the rise, does he swing the man back, tearing the blade out with it as he raises Zach over his head. And then, after a brief pause, he rockets straight back down to the earth, the red, orange, and black mist contrails following him as he slams Zach back into the forest floor -hard-, unleashing a shockwave of pure chi energy that rips through the forest. Daniel Jack releases Zach and rebounds to the edge of the crater of impact, looking down at Zach with hungry apprehension.

"=REAL= bad choice."

Zach rocks hard with every impact, shudders from pure physical reaction from every rip and tear, as he slams into the floor of the forest. Zach is breathing hard, and his body is giving him every sign of failing. That would be a bad thing right now. Daniel Little, as he is now, /will/ kill him. There is no doubt in Zach's mind of that as his vision starts to blur and fade. If he is going to get through this, he will need something. Divine intervention will not happen here. There will be no last second salvation, no eleventh-hour hero to swoop in and rescue him.

But there IS something here. There are souls. A seemingly, functionally infinite number of them in this place. A memory surges to the front of Zach's mind, of his trip to Hokkaido with Honoka. It is perhaps it is fitting that the Butcher was part of the cause for that trip.

-Zach looks a bit lost with the explanation. "Maybe?" he says after a moment. He looks around, and finds a good sized rock to sit down on. Zach then folds his arms across his chest and bows his head to think. "There's a theory," he finally says, "That our skills come from the things that make us human. The ability to think, to reason. That the energy we wield comes from the soul. Everyone has a little bit of that energy. In order to use that energy, we have to be able to perceive it somehow." -

-"Going back to the theory of where our powers come from," Zach says with a grin. Honoka's sharp; it's one of the things he likes about her. "Some people think that everyone is connected, on some deep level. You feel it when a crowd comes together for a sporting event, or political rally, or a circus. There's a /vibe/ to it, a sort of pressure." Zach shrugs slightly. "Maybe you get yours from that. Or like how extroverts seem to get a boost from being around people." -

It stands to reason that there is no reason that Zach, who generally draws upon the power of his own soul to produce an incredible variety of effects, could not reach out and use this alternate source of power.

It takes less than a second. Perhaps it is because Zach only recently spent time being nothing BUT a soul. Perhaps it is a function of Zach's repeated and exclusive use of his mind to communicate with others. Zach will likely never really know the why or how of it, but when he reaches for all of the wild and angry souls of the forest, they respond eagerly to his call.

Zach lurches to his feet, the golden flames around him rippling and crackling as pale green winds start to whip around his body as if to fan those flames. "You want souls," Zach rasps. "Let me help you with that."

The power coursing through Zach's body is enough to lift him off of his feet, causing the psion to float in the air six inches off of the ground. Green fire sweeps out of Zach's eyes as the energies of this place course through him. He lifts his right hand to the skies. The incorporeal winds increase in pitch and intensity as wisps of green light start to form around both Zach and Daniel. In a single moment, almost crystalline in it intensity, all of those wisps form into very real blades. Swords from every region, every era, surround the two fighters.

After the moment passes, that impending storm of blades breaks on a crash course towards Daniel Little, the Butcher Unleashed.

For his part Zach does not watch, cannot watch. After the fury of his last stand is loosed upon his opponent, the souls holding him aloft drop him abruptly to the ground, causing the former Marine to collaspe from his injuries.

The last thought on his mind as he passes out is of Honoka.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn channels the glare of the vicious eye.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Zach Glenn [E]   2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn channels the strength of the killing fist.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Zach Glenn [E]   2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn can no longer fight.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Daniel [E]       0/-------/----===|

COMBATSYS: Daniel channels the fortress of the steel will.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Daniel [E]       0/-------/----===|

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn successfully hits Daniel with #Claíomh Solias+#.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Daniel [E]       1/-------/=======|

It was an invitation that Daniel could not refuse.

As Zach rises again, he could... well, he couldn't sense the souls moving. But the red gem in his palm glows aflame. They could. They could sense the movement. And the aura of presence shifts as well. Zach lifts his hand into the skies, as the winds come around. Daniel's leer becomes a gaze of intense hunger, and drool dribbles over his lips. He could control himself. He could... he could sense it. The blades manifest, and fear mingles with confusion with primal desire. Daniel didn't understand how to properly feed.

But he learned in this orgy of blades.

The lingering souls force into him, tearing into him. The souls inside him burst out in waves of crimson, entangling in the barrage. It was chaos, pure chaos around him, a spiritual scream that was rattling over the island. Daniel tears into the blades with his teeth, ripping into them, tearing into the storm. His reward ins a rending of flesh and soul, as he is torn in. And then he holds a blade with his hand... and it fades, as he draws it in. As he feeds upon it. And suddenly, he understands. He understands fully. The storm of blades ends.

And the detective falls to his knees, exhausted.

He felt... incredible. Incredible pain, incredible delight. He didn't see it himself yet. But Daniel had changed... changed further. Crimson lines were burning through his veins, the spiritual energy running through him. His skin was darker than it had been before, and his face... his face was nothing but a black shadow, outlined with crimson outlines. Blood was over his body, soaking his silk shirt. But wounds were already closed. The devouring of souls, was... had let him reach a point. He rises up, and a rush of black mist coils around. The tendrils of the cloud reach out, gripping like claws upon the downed form of Zach.

Kill him.

Daniel Jack walks towards the figure, as the soul in his form boil out. Ghastly visages and shapes burst from his body, groping around and screaming silently. His body wasn't supposed to be able to handle so much spiritual energy. So it doesn't. It overflows, it boils out. If Daniel could be confused for a person before, that confusion wouldn't happen again. He was descending into a true monstrous state, well beyond what the Butcher could gift him. He stares down.

Kill him.

Zach was... Zach was an unfortunate victim. Daniel didn't understand why everything was clear now. Most of the voices were silent to the hedonistic delight of the consumption of souls. And it was consumption. They were inside him now. And he felt full. Zach... Zach had fed him. He didn't have to push it any further.



Daniel Jack turns his back on Zach. He didn't have to kill him. He didn't need to. The souls were-

Okay, listen here you little shit.

Pay attention. Because you've had enough chances to kill and torment and feast upon the weak. You can't keep doing this. You can't keep being gentle. You will die if you don't eat Daniel. This is the reality of your situation. You will starve. You will go mad. And then you will be killed as a feral beast. You want to know why the Butcher was a serial killer? Because you had to be, in order to survive. And you need to consume him. You need to. And if you can't take him, well, maybe because he's not the right profile. You need someone of the fairer sex, maybe. Because you hear that? You feel that thought? You sense that?

He's thinking of Honoka.

Daniel Jack turns back to Zach, staring at him. The souls try and reach out for the psionic, recoiling upon the touch of the ex-marine. Daniel narrows his eyes. Honoka. Why would that come to mind? Of course he would think of Honoka. He loves Honoka. Why would't he think of that? It was absurd. Honoka... was here. The thought comes to him. The woman in the graveyard, maybe? He didn't remember that clearly. But they did. His yellow eyes narrow, as the glow on his body seers brighter.

Think about it Daniel. The bratty girl who insulted you, who obstructed your investigations. You know she's a dangerous woman. You know it. And Zach's her lapdog. Didn't you try to help him? No, he ignored you. And now it's too late. ANd think about it? Why would he think of Honoka? Why would he be back after dying? Oh yes, he died. And who would bring him back? You know she's on the island. You know you've seen her. But why is it that you don't recognize her? Because she's in disguise. You can find her, but you need her to come to YOU for revenge. You need to kill him now, and undermine her. She will come out. And then, and then, you can force respect on her.

Or Icould follow him.

Or we could follow him. Oh Daniel, do you have a sinister side to you? Why kill him, when you can follow his scent to where ever the rude little woman is? You know, she can be very emotional I bet. I bet she would scream and cry and beg you for anything. Let him take you to her. Find her. And then, make her respect you. Make her into your lap dog. You want that, don't you? You want her to respect you. You want her to regret ever insulting you, ever mocking you, ever thinking less of you. You want that. You want that, and we can get that. You want that.

You want that.

Daniel Jack stares at Zach. And then, he turns around again. He doesn't run this time. He walks. He walks calmly. Everything seemed calm now. The storm of emotion and hunger was gone; Zach helped him with that for now. In the end, Zach did help him. He could think more clearly now than before. He takes a moment to draw in a deep breath. He wanted that scent. He would remember that scent. And in time, he would find that scent again. Because he knew what he knew inside him. "I want that." He whispers to himself, as he returns into the forest. "That girl needs to learn... to respect her betters."

A whistling come over Daniel's lips.

The song wasn't his.

Log created on 12:53:13 11/08/2016 by Daniel, and last modified on 17:20:28 11/09/2016.