Description: When Sophia tells Dizzy- I mean Edith about Darkstalkers in danger, Dizzy breaks her promise to the Sacred Order to find them and rescue them. When she encounters Hazama, however, she soon realizes she's in a trap.... and makes a decision to save the lives of her friends, no matter what
Edith enjoyed the peace.
She was busy in the garden of the central courtyard, located at the heart of the Vatican. Dressed in the long, black gown of modest nature, she was sitting upon the bench within the courtyard, as the acolyte passed by her. She had met with Pukai, with Leo Whitefang, with Biyu above all. And with her long blue hair tied into a single ponytail, her legs before, and her head down, she stared with her unnaturally red eyes. It was suspicious, it was unusual.
Because she was actually the Command Gear Dizzy.
The young Gear was hardly in a disguise unknown to the rest of the Sacred Order. For everyone, it was Dizzy. And yet, with the concerns about the secrets of the Sacred order being exposed, it was an open secret for them. Dizzy was, for all purposes, Edith. She was a new acolyte, who was studying under Biyu. Even now, she was reading by the center fountain, pouring over a tome of ancient geography, a smile on her lips as she turns the page, absolutely absorbed into the material. She wanted to help.
She always wanted to help.
Under normal circumstances the hallowed halls of of the holy city's ancient places of worship would be some of the best in the world to satisfy the need for quiet contemplation. This is a sacred site, somewhere for the bishops and priests to go when the weight of their worldly obligations weighed upon them so that they might find a sense of peace in quiet communion with their god or simple escape from the daily rigors of life. To that end all those who come here maintain a sense of respect for that purpose, their problems and cares left at the door so that they do not disturb others in their time of rest.
That was before the Sacred Order set up shop here, atleast. Most of the time, these guests of the Church are pretty good about following the rules, keeping their footprint on the facilities to a minimum. There are some who come to make use of this place for similiar reasons as the clergy, some deeply devout themselves while others merely enjoy the atmosphere. However, it is an impossible task for an organization as deeply entrenched in the politics and schemes of the world at large to keep entirely to itself, especially one as militant as the Sacred Order. Inevitably, the tides of fate will reach out to grab hold, careless of who might be caught in the middle.
The heavy clatter of booted feet echoes through the hallways as a young woman makes her way towards the courtyard at a dead sprint, a wake of annoyed mutters and disapproving shouts trailing in her wake as she pushes past the various members of the staff in her hurry. She ignores them all, her face screwed up into a mask of grim determination as if the devil himself were at her heels. It doesn't take long for the sound of disorder to reach the disguised Dizzy, distant at first but growing steadily as the woman approaches the courtyard. She turns hard at the entrance, nearly stumbling over herself as she darts through one of the large archways.
Sophia tears into the area without regard for the sanctity of its peaceful designs, skidding to a halt after only a few steps in. She glances around with focused eyes, searching for something. Sweat pours down her face, her chest heaving with deep strained breathes as if she has been running for some time. It only takes her a few moments to spot her target. She rushes over towards an older man, the wrinkles on his face crunched up with disapproval as she frowns at the medic. Unlike the priests and other guests here, he wears bright white colors, the marks of the Sacred Order adorning the tabard that is draped over his otherwise nondescript clothing. As she draws within speaking distance, he runs a hand through his short salt and pepper hair and sighs.
"Honestly, girl. This is supposed to be a place of rest, you're going to make us look rude. Kids these days..."
Sophia waves a hand through the air dismissively, taking another few long breaths before she tries to speak.
"Non non! No time for dat! Dere iz beeg trouble!"
She wipes her brow off with the back of her long sleeve, shaking her head at the old man with a look of urgency. Angry glares and dark mutterings assault her from all sides from those whose relaxation she has disturbed but she ignores that as well.
"I just came from ze outskeirts of ze city. Dere was a group of dark stalkairs making dere way 'ere... but dey were attacked! I did not get a good look at ze one responsible but I could tell 'e was powerful! 'E was killing zem wizout any trouble."
Sophia seems to recover some of her composure as her breathing evens out and she glances around again, scanning for something or someone without any success. Her brows furrow in worry.
"Iz ze commandant 'ere? Or ze capitaine? I must let dem know! Per'aps we can still save dem!"
Diz- Edith looks up from her book.
The panic, she could feel the panic from Sophia, even before she could hear her. The surge of emotion. It wasn't a psionic sensation, but the pulses of heat and people. She closes the book, and places at her side. Looking across at the courtyard, she watches the old man, and her friend, Sophia. And she listens, quietly, covering her mouth in horror as she hears. Darkstalkers? Darkstalkers in danger? But she couldn't... feel them?
She wasn't supposed to help them.
The thought rushes into her head. She couldn't help them. She shouldn't Sophia was right, the commander, the captain. Leo Whitefang and Ky Kiske should take care of this. She couldn't betray her Sacred Order allies again. And yet... and yet, she wasn't Dizzy now, she was Edith. There wasn't any harm to... to just talk... Dizzy was feeling confused, as the back of her dress was twitching. Danger. There was intense danger. And yet, she finds herself standing up.
Because she had to do the right thing.
Edith lifts the front of her dress, lifting up the skirt slightly as she hustles over to it. "Sophia!" She gasps aloud. "I can help. I can help... I can find the Darkstalkers... or..." She hesitates, looking at the old man, the confusion seeping in deeper and deeper. "Or... maybe I should... find Leo Whitefang and Ky Kiske... I could find them... I could find them quickly..." More hesitation, more uncertainty. Dizzy knew what she should be doing for the Sacred Order.
But what was the right thing to do in her heart?
Sophia gives a start as the young woman comes up beside her, her attention somewhat scattered by nervous energy. She blinks at the robed Dizzy in confusion for a moment before remembering that someone had told her that the Gear was attempting to be a little more subtle. She even had a fake name everything too. What was it? Eden...? Eris...? Edith!
The medic smiles nervously, not entirely sure that this conversation is something that she should be having infront of the rather unstable girl. She'd already rushed off once to play hero and there were still people doing clean up on that mess. On the other hand, being told not to interfere could make Dizzy angry or upset. And then her guardians would be angry and upset. And that would be unpleasant.
Fortunately, it seems someone had a talk with the wanna-be hero. She seems aware that doing someone herself would be a bad thing. The reluctance is clear in her voice, however, her desire to rush off and save the day quite obvious. This matter has to be handled very delicately.
"W-well, I already know where dey are, I came across dem on ze eastairn edge of ze city near one of ze old aqueducts. But you cannot go alone! Dere is no telling 'ow strong ze person I saw is! 'E was crushing an entaire group of mons- dark stalkers wizout any trouble! We must find ze capitaine before eet iz too late. Come, 'elp me search for dem!"
Without waiting for a response, Sophia turns and takes off at a run, heading for another of the large arches on the far side of the courtyard. That path would take her towards the offices set aside for Leo and Ky, a fairly obvious place to look next. Ofcourse, with both of them busy at all hours there's no guarantee either would be found there and with time ticking down on the poor souls it might very well be too late by the time they are located.
She grits her teeth in annoyance. Saving dark stalkers still comes across as something odd to her. Monsters of legend and myth, there's very few stories about their sort that speak of good relations between their kind and humanity. However, times such as these require an open mind. If Dizzy can be civilized then maybe others can too, but not if they're dead. She has to hurry and, with a little luck, things will all work out.
Diz- Edith finds herself at a crossroads.
"Eastern.. eastern... edge of the city..." She stammers back. She looks in the direction of east, familiar with cardinal directions so well now. "That's the old Roman place." SHe repeats, her history knowledge coming to full bear. "And... And we should tell Leo Whitefang and Ky Kiske." She says aloud, nodding her head calmly, even as she keeps looking that way. "I will help... we should find them... and then we should stay here, and be safe."
Dizzy feels the weight on her shoulders, as her steps come away from the direction of the offices. She knew better. She promised. She knew better and she promised. But in the confusion, the chaos... she would just come over there as Edith. She wouldn't need to fight, she would just... just plead. Then Ky Kiske and Leo Whitefang would come to there too, and see that she wasn't a monster, and that she was controlling herself. She was strong. The strongest. And she was in a perfect disguise. Her footsteps come faster. And faster. She just needed to escape. But she couldn't be seen. She would just... she couldn't be seen. IF she kept low... Her back begins to feel lighter. Her footsteps cease. Her legs pull in, as she moves fast and low. She just couldn't be seen. She could do this. It was the right thing to do.
As Edith heads to the aqueducts, just like what Sophia said.
As if suddenly noticing something odd, Sophia slows to a trot and then pauses as she comes to the archway, turning to peer over her shoulder at the courtyard once again. She glances back at the crowd, scanning the annoyed faces of a dozen or so priests as well as a handful of Sacred Order knights, noting the looks of concern or annoyance as they consider the disturbing news she has brought. One face in particular seems to be missing, however.
"Hmm? Did she...?"
The medic frowns faintly. That girl is a lot faster than she expected. No doubt already on her way to play the hero. Sophia had been under no delusions about what would happen when she told Dizzy about the incident. Keeping her from rushing out to help would have been the best outcome for the Sacred Order. Unfortunately, she has no idea how she would have done that. If the Gear had begun to believe she was standing in her way, there's no telling how that might have ended but she's pretty sure it wouldn't have been pleasant.
"Sorry, Ky, I am not ready to die for your pet project."
Reaching into the pocket of her jacket, she withdraws a sleek cellphone and taps the screen a few times before holding it up to her ear. She turns and marches down one of the long side hallways that see little use, looking for a bit of privacy. The electronic device purrs softly for several seconds before the person on the other end of the line picks up.
"Capitaine? Ze little bird appears to 'ave flown ze coup."
The trip from the Vatican to the eastern edge of the city would be a swift one by air, though a great deal more troublesome should the undercover Gear decide to try and maintain her secrecy entirely by following the long winding streets filled with tourists and pilgrims. At the far edge the more modern architecture begins to give way, the neatly paved streets and cleanly built houses fading slowly into more rustic and aged bits of stonework and masonry. Along the outer edges of the city as even these rugged urban surroundings give way to lush forestry, several towering arches of stacked stone stand in stoic defiance of the passage of time. Towering even higher than the tops of the trees, these great constructions once served as the fantastically advanced irrigation system for the Roman Empire. Now they are little more than small pieces of antiquity.
Though there is little activity to be found this far from the city itself, a dusty old road winds along the edge of a large river providing visitors a rough but established pathway to enjoy these impressive pieces of history. Fortunately there are but a handful of sections standing on this side of the city making the process of narrowing down the exact location that Sophia had described a simple matter.
Oddly, the Gear would find no trace of the supposedly endangered dark stalkers, though the obvious signs of battle can be found in the recent scars upon the ground and faint traces of magic still lingering in the air. Whatever happened here, it is already over. Beneath the shadowy nooks of the great arches only a single figure remains, a slender man in a yellow jacket that she would find surprisingly familiar.
There are five additional people laying about in disarray, seemingly deceased; brave soldiers within Librarium outfits. It seems like some manner of bladed weapons were used upon them, and their deaths were quite recent. All indications show they put up a significant fight, although it appears to have been to no avail. Within the middle of the scene is someone Dizzy met once before; the green haired individual that took Noel to be cared for after she had been nearly killed. His back faces where Dizzy would arrive, one hand resting atop his hat to brace it in the mild wind, black vest fluttering lightly. Blood is upon his fingers and sleeves, and from his posture one would think Hazama injured. There's no indication he has taken note of any well-disguised escapees, before he suddenly collapses down to his hands and knees, the strength seeming to give out from him. "Ah... that was rather more resistance... than I expected..."
Edith's arrival comes on foot as well as flight.
As she approaches the road, striding up on it, she... she couldn't sense the Darkstalkers. She could see the remains of the fighting, yes, but where were the Darkstalkers? Fear strikes her, as she realizes that taking a 'careful' route could have very well cost Darkstalker lives... or people lives. No, no, it wasn't too late. She had to try, she had to make it. Increasing her pace, nearly enough to let her tail come out. Moving up along, she finally... she finally sees the victims.
And she covers his mouth in horror.
She wanted to be so subtle, so stealthy. And she couldn't hold back her shock. Walking amongst the sleeping humans, she... she looks at them, one by one, touching them lightly before she understands"What... what happened?" She says aloud, staring at the aftermath, staring at the... death. Dizzy trembles at the sight of the bodies, as she finally looks at the one human who she could... Undine and Necro could feel. She recognized him. But maybe... maybe she wouldn't recognize her. She straightens her posture, to hide her tail under her dress. "Oh! Oh no!" She says, coming to Hazama's side as he falls, touching him gently. "Are you all right? You are bleeding!"
There's certainly a few wounds upon Hazama. They seem to have come from some manner of magical or chi assault, primarily striking him about the torso. His hapless finery is badly singed, and the skin beneath blackened. But a quick appraisal confirms all of the blood doesn't seem to come from any wounds; speckled upon his front and hands. "Oh...?" he comments, voice seeming surprised. "You are... ...Dizzy." He smiles then, eyes nearly closed. Despite his posture, he has no sweat, and his expression doesn't show much in the way of pain as might be expected. "Don't worry...! I took care of the Darkstalkers... although I'm afraid I lost my subordinates." He rolls sideways, sitting down with his hands planted to either side. Face tilting upwards, staring into the night. That blood... it must have come from his desperate attempts to save his friends, of course. "Well... based on the reports, with me in this state... have you come to kill me? Isn't that what monsters do?"
Dizzy begins to feel very cold.
She touches on the wounds... but does not see the blood from them. She doesn't understand. Red is supposed to come out of wounds. Why was the blood... she feels it. She feels the twitch behind her back, as Undine and Necro tries to warn her. The pressure, the pressure was building around her, from within her. And then he... he accuses her of wanting to kill him. She steps back, as she knows this feeling.
"... No, no, I am Edith." She says, hastily. "I am not Dizzy. I am from the Sacred Order, they are very good people. I- I heard there was something happening out here, and I came to help anyway I could." She clasps her hands before her, lowering her head, averting her red eyes. "There will- there will be more help coming. I just came ahead. Is..." She steps away from Hazama, keeping her eyes away as she finds herself trembling harder. "What were the Darkstalkers doing?" She tries to change the subject.
"What were they?"
"...?" Hazama tilts his head to the side, seeming to peer up towards Dizzy. Indeed, those two wings already saw the nature of this beast. Like a coiled serpent, constantly rattling; although that warning noise is oddly hypnotic, rather than a sign to flee. All evidence points to a friendly man settled here, weakened, even if not in pain. "The Sacred Order... they truly are good people." Hazama states without hesitation.
"Mmm. My sight must not be working right~ What's wrong?" is suddenly asked, golden eyes slitting open a touch. "You're acting strangely... Ms. Edith." Leaning forward, his elbows rest on either knee. A single droplet of blood, not his own, splattering on the end of his loafer from his half-gloved hands. "They were being attacked by people who did not understand. This is a cold, cruel world. Their crime... existing. Since the birth of man, that has been worthy of execution, hasn't it? For the color of one's skin, the slant of one's eyes. People can be marked as cattle..."
A grimace, eyes shutting once more as Hazama adjusts his hat on his green shock of hair. "Neeeeeh, you REALLY are familiar to me though! Like..." Golden eyes finally open all the way, and both Necro and Undine would feel a rush of something entirely inhuman. "...I really AM looking at a monster in human skin...! Wouldn't that be scary?"
Undine and Necro were well aware of what kind of presence the insidious snake man held.
Ms. Edith, as Hazama points out, was already starting to want to run away. But... what would happen if she didn't make it clear. Dizzy wanted Sophia to come, with Ky and Leo. They had to come soon, right? Hazama might sense it running from her. Fear.
And the growing power.
Edith flattens her dress, nervously turning away from him. "I... I don't understand. There must have been a misunderstanding. I... I'm sorry. I am not- I am not familiar with you!" She now turns her back entirely to Hazama, averting her eyes, her long blue ponytail behind her. "N-no Hazama, this is the first time we've met!" She responds, desperately. "I am just, I mean... it would be... would be scary." She doesn't stop trembling. She needed to get out of here. She didn't know if she could control herself anymore until she could stop being frightened of this... why was she so frightened of this?
"... We should get you more help!"
"...I never said my name was Hazama..." is cooed out from the black-suited figure. Slowly he draws to his feet, tenderly, glancing distastefully at the crimson on his hands. One clean knuckle bumping the ridge of his hat higher so his eyes can see. "Why are you running?" This question comes abruptly, fishing out an embroidered white hankerchief from his inner pocket to start fastidiously rubbing his hands. "Why are you hiding? You haven't done anything wrong, have you...? Nothing but defend yourself. Since that peaceful village was invaded by the arrogance of man..." Crimson blooms gradually on the cloth.
"Here..." He reaches into his pocket, and pulls out a smartphone. On the back is a green cartoon sticker of a snake with fangs, making a playful grin. After a few taps, he turns the photo gallery towards Dizzy. It's Noel; the woman she injured badly. She's sitting in a hospital bed, but otherwise seems fine. A photo of her being visited by friends, another of her buried in crimson roses, then her again dressed in the NOL regalia, seeming about to leave.
"Something happened between you and her that made her get hurt... And we don't know." He then flicks the photo, showing a nuclear explosion roaring in the distance of Southtown, on the remnants of Mt. Fuji. "Can't you see it?" Another flick. A photo of a crying mother, beside a series of white sheets. "The reason..." Flick. A little girl hugging a teddybear, sitting in a hospital bed with a thousand-yard stare. "...People might be afraid?" The final flick is a photo of Dizzy herself, poised in the air amidst the darkness of the theme park. It must have been taken while she was in battle at some point... and it truly does look imposing.
"It's a terrible sin, isn't it? Hurting the innocent. Ms. Vermillion is suspected of allowing you to escape and feigning amnesia. And there is no testimony available otherwise... who knows what might happen to her, all alone in this big, dark world?" After a heartbeat, "But... if it was an accident... if it could be explained... then that is another matter entirely."
Hazama's smile almost misses a beat, and his expression seems very distant. "It's not a crime, you know... being born. No matter the circumstances... That is what the Librarium believes."
Dizzy locks up at her mistake.
"I... I mean... you are... we know..." Dizzy was not a good liar. And her lies were being dismantled before her very eyes. She should just run. She should juts run now. This was a mistake. She was a fool, and this was a mistake. Maybe if, maybe if she found Ky Kiske, or Leo Whitefang, or even Sophia, they could fix this. They could make it better. She takes a step-
And he could see through it.
She tries to keep her eyes away from the phone, tries to keep it. But even out of the corner of her eyes, she could transfix on it. ANd her gaze gradually pulls away to it. She begins to breath hard, the emotions of... of what she done. Of what people saw her as. The blast cloud. How she hurt Noel. How she... how she hurt so many people? It was an accident, she didn't mean to, she never meant to... and he shows the picture of her. The picture of her at the theme park. Hazama's words poison her, tighten around her, coil around her. She couldn't breath. The weight and pain of what she had done was enveloping her.
And she covers her eyes.
"That's not me. I am Edith! I am a research assistant at the Sacred Order!" Her back twitches again, the wings struggling to return. The dress twirls, as she lunges away from Hazama. Under the hem of her dress, her tail pokes out, exposed and writhing. She covers her ears, tearing forming in the corner of her eyes. "I am not a monster. I am not a monster! I am Edith!"
"Please believe me!"
Hazama does not react with the slightest hint of aggression. After his phone was tucked away, he slowly finished cleaning his hands. The gloves are a lost cause, tugged off one after the other to flick away. "Everything you say may very well be the truth." Hazama finally comments. From the sound, he has not come a single step closer, despite Dizzy moving as if a flighty cat about to break and flee at any moment. "Do you know what a monster is...? A wicked person who preys on others. If you are not that... then why are you hiding? Pretending to be something else. Are you ashamed...? Ashamed at what you've done? What you are? Is that the preaching of the Church? Trust me... true Gods, the divine that people believe exist up above, do not care what you've done here. They will not judge you. Only mankind shall. Cowering within these walls... is that what you wish? I can give you something that the Sacred Order never could..."
The word is whispered, seeming to hang in the air and flirt along it. "Novus Orbis Librarium has many Darkstalkers amongst us already. And we believe that Gears are an unfortunate existence. You were made to be a weapon, but you must choose the path you walk. ...Come with me, to the Library. We can have a nice, comforting chat. If you are innocent and pure, then the Imperator can pardon your crimes, explain to the world that all Gears, just as all Darkstalkers, are not evil beings. You could walk freely. Make friends. Explore the world."
"All the Sacred Order has is pity, and guilt. Hiding you in the dark. To put faith in the unseen. Come, Dizzy. They took you in. They told you what to do. Where to go. To hide. To fear. Didn't they?"
His arm stretches out, fingers curling imploringly. "Make a choice to come with me... and all of your problems will go away~"
The offer is presented before her, so enticingly. What if... what if. She considers how trapped she was, how hard it was to do anything. Even now, she begins to realize, she was... ruining everything for the Sacred Order. IF she only stayed put. If she only listened, if she only.... didn't follow her heart. Hazama's words are enticing, suggestive. Why did she need to stay in those walls? If the Novus Orbis Librarium offered what the Sacred Order had, but with freedom... then she could take it, and be happy. Come with Hazama to the library. And they could just have a nice, kindly chat. And everything would be better. All she had to do... was leave her friends behind.
"... No... I won't..."
She says, finally shaking her head. "No, I trust my friends in the Sacred Order! I trust Ky Kiske, I trust Leo Whitefang, I trust Pukai, and Biyu, and Haruna, and even Zach Glenn!" She exclaims, as she faces Hazama directly now. "And... I know that I am not a monster. But there are still people who think I am!" She recoils from the stationary Hazama. "Stay back! Stay away from me!" The power around her builds to a head, before it finally breaks as she cries out. "Please Leave Me Alone!"
And the clothes rip away.
Dizzy's eyes are wide as her wings, black and white stretches from behind her back, the energy flowing over her body in a surge of force. The dress begins to rip and tear. And Dizzy struggles to grip her dress, struggles to try and hold on to it, to hold it together. The thin clothing underneath becomes revealed; the stockings, the belts, and the little in between. She wasn't quite naked, she wasn't quite clothed. But as the scraps of her clothing falls away, so does any attempt as disguising herself.
Especially as Necro reveals himself.
The black wing extends into the shape of a grim reaper, clad in a black robe. It's green flesh tenses, as he -glares- with crimson eyes directly at Hazama, the pure force of hate boiling out from him. Dizzy reaches for him, trying to pull him away, as her white wing covers her, shielding her. "Please... Please go away..." Dizzy says desperately, as Necro -stares- down Hazama, reaching out and manifesting a great, burning scythe in his other hand. IN the first? He starts tapping his scythe in the palm of his hand, just -daring- Hazama to come any closer. "Please, I don't- I don't want to lose c-c-control again." Dizzy stammers, looking back towards Rome through her white wing, back down the path. All those people. All those innocents.
"Please, don't let this happen Hazama!"
Slowly the hand drops, as Hazama tilts his head to the side curiously. Within his pocket, a recording device continues lazily beeping. An interesting list of names, indeed. "Oh my. You seem to think that this offer is mutually exclusive. Why would you lose your friends by coming with me...? Are you saying they did something wrong?" He places his hand atop his hat, other settled in his pocket, cupped around the recording device. "They claimed you died in the ocean. A tragic accident. Why do they need to hide you? Why can you only trust them? You're speaking irrational nonsense... I bet if Kagura-kun had been the one to help you, and took you to the Library, you'd be a very happy camper right now. Fate is not always kind..."
The rearing Necro causes Hazama to frown, shrinking backwards. Dizzy might interpret such as genuine fear, but the maleficient wing would see that such is false. Not intimidated in the slightest. "You are you." Hazama begins to slowly walk forward, loafered feet clacking on the ground. "Those wings are you. This is your choice. Do you want to hurt me...? Are you going to...? I'd really like you to come with me peacefully. But... if you won't... you realize that the remnants of the United Nations, and a coalition of individual countries, all have tasked me with the 'Gear' problem, mmm? Your fate is entirely at my discretion. ...And will be entirely determined by what you choose to do now~"
Dizzy didn't even know about the recording.
"I... I want to just walk away." She pleads. "I just want to walk away, and I don't- I don't want anymore trouble. Please Necro! Please!" The girls attention was actually -off- Hazama, and on her guardian familiar. He sees through Hazama, the skeletal figure tilting from side to side, winding back his scythe. He was even motioning at Hazama. He could sense the danger. But he existed for dangers.
Even those like what laid behind Hazama's shell.
"Please, just... just walk away too! The Sacred Order will keep me safe, and keep me from hurting anyone anymore. I trust them, because they rescued me." Dizzy declares, pushing away the protective white wing. "Ky Kiske embraced me instead of... instead of hurting me. Leo Whitefang took me in, and all my friends accepted me. Because.... because people like you want to put me in a real cage." She says firmly. "I hate staying in the Vatican sometimes, but..." And Dizzy suddenly stops. She stares far away.
"I'm not supposed to tell you any of this."
The realization makes her numb, tingling. She looks at Hazama, looking almost ready to faint. Necro tightens his grip, his grimlock face intensifying. "... You're going to... you're going to tell them. And they are going to come for me, and they are going to... hurt them all." She was now afraid to even use their names. Stupid. She was so stupid. She can't even dwell on the stupidity of it, her natural trusting nature, even under duress. Because she couldn't run away now. She wasted that opportunity, by speaking. She no longer recoils away, as she stretches her white wing out as well. "... Unless... Unless I stop you..." She says, uncertain that those were even her own words. She would not run.
But she did not know what could happen next.
"...you can't stop me." Hazama says, and his lips turn into a frown. Almost apologetic, as he tugs his hat slightly forward to shield his eyes. He's stopped his approach, although within a range that Necro likely finds quite uncomfortable. "Violence won't solve this issue. I had hoped you would understand that. Sure, you might be able to kill me! But they'll know who did it. Your energy etched into my spent corpse. And the trail of crumbs will lead to your friends. Only they will truly want their heads..."
He pulls out the recorder, crimson light still blinking. "So far, everything you said is just you, me, and our friend here." Somewhat misleading, of course. The information is being regularly beamed to a highly encrypted cloud, and the destruction of the unit won't save Dizzy from anything she just said. "What I do with that information is entirely up to me... Because..."
Slowly Hazama extends his palms, and rippling green portals appear. Coils of spectral chains slither out, topped by serpentine-like heads. They rattle and hiss, glowing azure, shifting to curl around Hazama as a dark, ominous energy thrums out. "...I'm like you. A monster that this world doesn't want. A cage...? I never once said I'd put you in a cage. I said I'd give you freedom... and I /never/ lie."
He shifts both hands to his pockets, and the chained snakes continue to slowly orbit him with a dull rattle like angry ghosts. "I didn't come here to fight you. Maybe I'll win, and drag you in. Maybe I'll lose, and you'll need to murder me, which is worse. ...Or, there's option three...!~"
"Come with me..." Golden eyes slit open once more. "And I'll pardon the Sacred Order. Not a single one of your friends will bear the weight of your existence. I will say that you escaped your supposed death. There's a hundred ways I can spin it to leave him free and clear. They have ambitions and dreams too, you know! ...Ones they cannot do if the entire world is after them, for the terrible sin of your birth. And the potential of what you could become. They do not see them as saviors... but captors, intent on using you to kindle the Gear army once more. A weapon... because you are!! You're not a monster, you're a /tool!!/"
A laugh leaves Hazama, voice sounding melodic as he grasps the side of his head. "I know it. Because I'm a tool, too!! Born for one purpose. One use!! We're soul mates, in a way! C'mon, c'mon... this is my last offer. To come with me and take the deal..."
And then he frowns, slowly reaching up to grasp his hat. "...or I'll have to introduce you to someone else." The gesture, within both of those wings, heralds a great danger. Something is lurking asleep in this already potent vessel. An anarchist, twisted god.
This was the end.
Necro was already building the fires. The nuclear wrath was coming to a head, as the indominable pressure of a god looms over him. Dizzy could feel it. She could feel her village again, as death descended over everything. If Necro and... and he fought, the city would not survive. Necro would not let ANYTHING survive. Dizzy was trembling, as she realizes... there was no way out. No way out, unless she kill this man, or.... or...
Dizzy pushes at Necro, pulling at him now. "I will only agree, under the following conditions." Necro double-takes at Dizzy, ready to pull from her grip. But her eyes water, as she looks up at him. "Please... Necro..." She pleads again. Necro eases behind Dizzy, hurling his scythe down in a bitter bout of flame. Dizzy turns towards Hazama, staring at him. "If you never lie, then you have said only the truth so far. I will come with you. But you must do these things, you must take these conditions. You must pardon the Sacred Order. Do not hold them responsible for protecting me, do not hold any of them responsible for protecting me." She breathes hard, her terror fading into a kind of inner resolve in the face of oblivion. She runs the conversation over her head again, his words, his twisted words, thinking... thinking...
"And you said, Library."
"The Librarium is a Library. You must have books. I will give myself up... if the Librarium hands over all it's information on a place called Illyria." It was a secret she was not supposed to share. But she was desperate. Desperate and... willing to sacrifice herself. A like and like exchange. "If you are a Library that is kind to Darkstalkers, if the LIbrary is what you say it is, then it will give up everything it has on Illyria to the Sacred Order." Biyu would forgive her. "And... my last request..." She grips her tail, hesitating. "... I want to stay in a garden, where there are animals." She looks back at Hazama, puffing out her chest as she draws in a heavy breath. "Those are my terms. Sacred Order pardoned. All the LIbrarium's records and books and information on Illyria, handed over to the Sacred Order. And that I will have a garden to stay in with the NOL. Are those acceptable terms?" She nods her head firmly.
"Or am I forced to fight...?"
Still nothing. Even with those orbitting snakes and a hand upon his hat, Hazama seems to be a prudent person. Nearly assaulting is not the same as attempting a blow. But at length he finally begins to lift his hat, and a great whirl of dark, twisted energy begins to fill him that even Dizzy could sense in her nascent form. His golden eyes becoming wild, grin stretching into something twisted and sadistic...
When her cry to stop comes, the hat plops down immediately. That font of abhorid energy cuts off in an instant. "...? Yes. I never lie." he agrees, readily enough. Not that there's any proof of such. Yet Dizzy, in her deep innocence, might be able to sense something as a result. There's a purity to his statements. Instinct would thrum that he is not one who would grant incorrect information. ...But how it might be interpreted is another matter entirely. Like some twisted genie, turning words and facts to wield like weapons masterfully.
"Illyria? I can't say I'm much familiar with that. But we have an excellent Colone in charge of engineering and information. I can have him meet with Mr. Kiske and give what information he has. There's none more knowledgeable in the Library; my talents lie not in what's written in books, but..." He leaves that to float away.
"So be it. Diplomacy, as always, is the strongest blade. I'll escort you to Central, where you will be processed before transfer to our Asian central offices. I already know the perfect person to be your warden..." Someone who would sympathize with her. Someone who would help draw her deeper into the Library. And someone who would cause no small amount of trouble in the end -- trouble for himself, he would hope, to show his true colors.
"His name is Kagura Mutsuki~"
Necro gives Hazama a scowl. Holding up two fingers, he points at his own eye sockets, and then, straight at Hazama. No. Not straight at Hazama. Straight at the shadow behind him. And then, with a flap, he shifts back into his black winged form. Dizzy... Dizzy clasps her hand before her heart. The nature of Hazama's purity was not truly fathomable to the young lady. But she felt like he was telling the truth. And that's all she had on that.
Dizzy glaps her wings, drawing in heavy breathes. "Hazama..." She says, softly. "When you came to take Noel away, I said you are a good person. I still think you are. Thank you." She gives a deep bow.
"And I hope this Kagura Mutsuki treats me as kindly and gently as Ky Kiske."
Purity is a strange thing. Many think of it as something noble and virtuous; indeed, in many ways, Hazama is exactly like Dizzy. Two beings new to this world, it's experiences, struggling with existences crafted by another. But his... there is no goodness. No; only deep, twisted darkness beyond even that of the shadow who dwells within. "Good person...? Heh. I've... never been called before." Creepy? He gets that a lot. Arms spread out, before the two orbitting green snakes flit into a circle, biting their tails. A swathe of blackness forms within, broad enough for even a wing-tailed creature to slip through. "This will take you to where you need to go. I think it would be best if you made a hasty retreat... your friends would be here soon, and it's not yet time to let them know things~ If they cooperate, maybe they can even visit you in your garden!"
"No one... but I thought..."
Dizzy actually corrects him... before covering her mouht. "Oh! No! I called you the nicest human I've ever met. So you are right." Dizzy was unaware of the mistakes she could be making. But she was well aware of who she would be protecting. Ever since she came into this world, she always felt like doing what was right. And what was right was hard sometimes. But this.... this was the hardest. She looks into the portal nervously, the snakes... she was okay with snakes sometimes, but they always crawled on her legs, and she did not like that. She swallows hard, before flapping her wings once. "Thank you again, Hazama." She says.
And Dizzy dives into the portal, trustingly.
"Mmm." is all Hazama comments, when Dizzy leaps through. She'd fall into a pocket dimension; a temporary spot within the Boundary, as the portal slithers closed. Trapped until he creates a new door, but she shouldn't be left alone for too long; he actually put a number of things in the cage -- a comfortable bundle of pillows, some books, and things to draw. He's ever the caring jailer. Turning away from the vatican, only a few moments later a number of horrendous explosions rip through the night air; the blast wave hits a few moments later, nearly knocking Hazama's hat free. Plumes of fire and smoke flow into the sky, as if a missile strike -- or something far more insidious -- just hit in a clustered spot.
"Oh, my~ That surprised me." Hazama coos to the air. "Were you having fun without telling me again, Terumi...?" His head tilts to the side, listening to the unheard voice. Before a grin spreads earnestly on his lips, as two more green serpents slither out to pool at his ankles, forming a second portal.
"Oh...? You're right. That's FAR more fun...!" he remarks, before descending to join Dizzy in her temporary shelter, before the teleportation whisks away... after all, his personal business in this city is concluded...!!
Log created on 22:47:53 02/23/2018 by Dizzy, and last modified on 00:03:01 02/28/2018.