Description: My Akuma, what big eyes you have. All the better to see you, Dizzy. My Akuma, what big teeth you have. All the better to smile at you, DIzzy. My Akuma, what big fists you have. All the better to fight you, Dizzy. But Dizzy is but a child, and while her power is immense, she is far from reaching her true challenge to AKuma...
Dizzy was very pleased to be in Illyria.
After the conquest of the land by the Sacred Order, and the nature of the now independent state, the nature of Dizzy was dangerous for the well-being. She was captured by the NOL, and then liberated by the Sacred Order. The winged Gear, an artificial Darkstalker, was in very high demand of the countless agents across the world. Why?
Because she was a walking nuclear arsenal.
The Command Gear was in fact one of the most powerful creatures in the world. She was the one who brought the blast cloud outside of Southtown, not Justice. She was the one that brought the Gears War upon Southtown. She was the harbinger of death and devastation. Even now, being within Illyria, she was a terrifying threat to the few that knew: that if anybody attacked Illyria, anybody threatened it, they would risk an endless nuclear-scale barrage from her. She was the secret weapon of Illyria. And now, with fear and total authority at her fingertips?
She was in the deep forests of Illyria, cataloging animals.
"This is a very big trouble!" The blue haired woman states, as she sits on the tree branch. The trees were a mingling of oak and pine, tall with long branches. She herself was up on a tall oak tree. She was dressed in a full figure dress robe; her tail and wings concealed under the farbic. It made it very hard to move around, but she had to climb up there to investigate what she saw. She had a notepad and pen, and her crimson eyes locked on a bird nest. "There is three eggs... speckled with light brown spots." She states, brow furrowed. "But this is too late in the season for nesting. These baby birds are in great danger!" She states sadly. "But the mother is away... she is getting food I think. So I could save these eggs now, without making the mother upset. But the mother would be upset..." Dizzy considers carefully the moral implications, knowing well that time was the essence.
It would be all too soon before the mother bird would return.
The Woods: A place spoken of in fear in olden times. The fairy tales portrayed it as the place where witches lurked in candy houses, where too-helpful strangers deceived or made deadly bargains, where cruel monsters lurked under bridges, and fairies abducted children to raise as their own. It was where the Big Bad Wolf watched and hunted -- ever hungry, and ever seeking something in humanity that it could not find, despite its strength and its countless escapes from death itself. The Woods, the forest, was the domain of evil things and ill fates.
In reality, it was dangerous for reasons of wild animals, of other humans who used it as a place to kill, and steal, and violate, and enslave, and it was where getting lost was a very real and potentially lethal possibility. No civilization nearby to launch a rescue, no city lights to guide them in the deep dark beneath ancient boughs and roots crawled up out of the ground like tentacles. It was a place where the fog rolling in, the sound of animals and the unknown, and sometimes of whispers that were maybe imaginary but one couldn't QUITE be sure of made the idea of magic and monsters all too plausible.
A creature that might be considered one of Ye Olde monsters is fulfilling a role ironically better suited to Snow White, but in the darkness there are subtle indications, quiet disturbances, an unnatural hush, that indicate that perhaps the fairy tales were doubly on the mark when they spoke of monsters. Eyes like cinders burn in the blackness, and though the form is human, much like Dizzy there is no discounting that the bare footed thing that approaches, with the bearing of a man but the presence of a demon, is something that has transcended humanity.
The metaphorical Big Bad Wolf advances from the shadows, in his latest incarnation, a host suited to this day and age: Akuma.
His searing gaze is fixed upon the Gear up in the tree. Whether he was detected before now, or only just, he is HERE, his bulging arms folded across his chest, a scowl worn so deep that it has become a scar the only expression he is capable of. Almost a creature of stone. He does not speak yet, instead waiting and taking the other's measure. Her response, and how long it takes for her to provide one, will tell him much.
It's not Dizzy who detects him first.
Akuma might feel the sudden surge of presence. Malice, power, anger. It was like a hot wind blasting from around the figure, invisible and consuming. Hatred, pure hatred, and aggression. Fight, fight, it was hungry to fight and tear. It was a threat, a promise, a dare, all through the simple pulse of the aura.
And it wasn't alone.
Mingled with the predatory violence was an hostile defensiveness, like a snarling she-beast guarding her brood. A sheltering, shy protective force, holding back the first presence, chaining it back. It was less eager to fight, but no less powerful. Two powerful presences, two overwhelming fonts of strength. And yet, the focal point was here, this small woman who did not seem to even notice the man yet.
when Dizzy turns towards Akuma, she actually gasps.
"Oh! Hello!" She says warily. "I am Edith. I am looking and writing about birds." Dizzy says, using her alias for strangers. Even Gears; she was... she was afraid of being stolen again. There was a flicker of fear coming in there again. And every flicker only feeds the flames of the crushing, hostile, hungry violence boiling out from her. She turns around, looking down at the stoic figure. Her own feet are bare as well, as she kicks her legs a bit.
She could hear the voices of her familiars.
She looks at the man, the smile... shrinking away to a nervous apprehension. She was feeling the power as well. "Are you.. are you one of the Gears?" She asks, tracing her fingertips to mirror Akuma's visage on her own face. "Isn't this place very nice? I like the- I like the forest." She writhes a bit up on the branch, as the hostile presence does not cease.
"Maybe... maybe you are looking for animals too?"
Those hostile emanations, aggressive and protective, are very much an inciting influence. Akuma needs no encouragement to fight. It has become his reason for existing in many ways. But he is selective, seeking only the strongest, or those whom he feels can become strong. The guilelessness of the girl despite the increasingly agitated dual presences that shepherd her would have almost dulled his edge under other circumstances, simply from how undefended she leaves herself. But that those two keep challenging him, especially the pushy one, holds his attention.
He lets 'Edith' flounder for a bit, and then finally speaks. "Is that what you are? No more than a beast?" When he speaks, sharp teeth flash in the light that filters through the tree tops. Fangs that make his dimissive attitude towards animals somewhat lacking in self-awareness, if one cared to see them as a creature's natural weaponry. But that foreboding pressure as he pushes back intangibly against the auras, challenging them in turn, trying to goad them into taking the first action whether the nexus of their attention wishes it or not, speaks of something infernal, not natural.
"I am Akuma. I seek the strongest." He slowly lowers his arms to his sides, a red energy starting to drift up from him as the light level dims, like someone has cut the shadows around him and made them bleed. "Will you answer my challenge as a creature that capers in the trees like a monkey, or as a warrior?"
There is a flash of fear now, true fear. Not merely apprehension. But actual terror. Dizzy trembles up on the tree. She looks at the eggs. And she sees it all now. THe violence, the fighting, the little eggs being crushed-
"I- I am not a warrior!"
She drops down from the branch. Falling a mere 20 feet, she lands on her feet as delicately as a cat, without the true grace of one. Her movements are somewhat clumsy, no presence of a martial artist, of a warrior. And yet, she eases her feet, staring across pitifully to the vaguely beast-like warrior. "But I am... I am not a monkey either. I am just..." Dizzy shuts her eyes tight. No. It wasn't going to work. Dizzy trembles, looking almost ready to withdraw into her shell. She was afraid, truly afraid. And yet, she knew it in her heart. She couldn't lie. "You... you can sense it, can't you?"
"You can sense the power."
She opens her eyes again, running her fingers through her blue hair nervously. "They can sense your power, Akuma. They... they can sense how strong you are. That you... that you are very strong." Tears build in her eyes. "Why... why me? Why this? We don't- I don't want to fight. If we fight... it could hurt the animals here. The little birds." She clasps her hands together, nearly begging the warrior.
"Is there... somewhere safer we can... talk about this?"
Akuma apparently sees no need to answer the question. She already knows he can feel it, or else she wouldn't have asked. Her landing, light if without any modicum of training, does nothing to impress him nor does her continued pleading. But it makes clear who and what he is dealing with. A mere child, with no heart in her for battle, power be damned. If it was about pushing her to use a dormant power, about setting her on the path of hate, that would be one thing. This, however...
His eyes track upwards to the nest. The weak being crushed under foot when they obstruct him is something that happens sometimes. But destruction for the sake of destruction is not his way. He does not care if the nest is destroyed, but there is no reason to do it intentionally. Not unless he decides it would force her to fly into a rage and attack him, and he does not yet have that impression of her. But it's not ruled out.
There is an opportunity here. Like the Wolf from the stories, perhaps talking to the human will lead him to better prey. Gears... Are they all like this? Or are there some out there who know the thrill of battle, have hardened themselves? This power that Edith has without any sign of training is peculiar. He has felt powers like it, blossoming around the world, but this is his first time encountering it. Finally, he nods his head minutely. "You will give me the answers I seek if you do not wish to face me. I have no interest in simply beating children, even if they are not wholly defenseless."
Now maybe she will lead him to her 'Grandmother's' house. And perhaps there, he will find a Woodsman who can challenge him, or at least one who knows more these 'Gears'.
Lead the way, Red Riding Hood.
Dizzy was a child, only a few years old. Her metabolism and aging was staggeringly rapid, and her intellect took pace. But her maturity was slow; at her worst she was a teenager, temperamental and unpredictable. At her worst, she could turn all of Illyria into a scar. That was the power. But as Akuma restrains his violence for a child, he lets her find a place of 'safety.' The thoughts flash through Dizzy's frightened mind. You could run away. You could flee. You could escape, and have him chase you like a frightened deer. But Akuma let her talk.
And Dizzy would allow him to have what he wanted.
Dizzy bows her head. "Thank you very much, Akuma." She says graciously. She looks up, and opens her notebook. "There is a... clearing, that has no birds, and no animals, just a strange, withered old tree with a strange aura. I think the aura scares away animals, so that would be safe! It isn't far! Come along!" Dizzy closes her notebook, and leads the way quietly.
It isn't a far walk, and soon Dizzy takes him to a clearly. There is no vegetation on the earth, no animals, no birds. Just a single, gnarled tree, pock-marked with rotten flesh with bare limbs, that almost dared to reach out. Dizzy smiles brightly as she approaches the tree, hands clutching the notebook behind her back. "This place should be safer. No animals, no birds. That way... that way if I lose control, then maybe I won't hurt anything." Dizzy takes in a heavy breath, and exhales. "That's what happened last time, when someone wanted to test my strength." She turns back around, sadness across her face. But at least no more fear.
"Can we... can we just talk, now?"
Akuma follows, a monster trailing a monster. One believes himself above humanity, the other believes herself human. He spares a baleful glance at the tree, before focusing on the one who brought him here. "Speak then. What are you really? You mentioned 'Gears'. There are more like yourself?" Going out of control, she said. Perhaps destroying the bird's nest would have gotten him the results he sought after all. But would it have been a test of fists or simply putting down a mad beast?
He peers at Dizzy, trying to find some hint of a fighter inside of her, of this out-of-control berseker who might satisfy his fists. But for now, she will simply have to exchange information for safety. A power this significant is one he is sure he can track down at a later time, perhaps when she has matured further. It would not be the first time he has spared someone for what they could become further down the line.
What are you?
Dizzy casts her eyes to the tree. And looking at it, she shakes her head. Her potential was... not very comfortable to think about. She was like a newborn hatchling. But when Akuma asks the question, she shakes her head, lowering herself down towards the ground in a crouch. "I... I don't know what Gears are, really. I am a Gear, because that's what people call me. But from what I understand, what I've read..."
And Dizzy pulls up some of the dirt into a pile.
"Gears are made, like with people's hands. They are built on blocks of animals, and people, and made to be very powerful." She makes a lump, with little ears, two eyes, and a smily face. "I don't know how we are so powerful, compared to humans. They were made to be weapons; I was supposed to be a weapon. There are many gears here, that were rescued from the NOL prison I was held in. THey are lead by Dr. Paradigm. He is not very nice, but he means well. There are smart gears, who are almost smart as humans, but others are like animals. That is what Gears are supposed to be... But... I'm different from that, because I came from an egg!" Dizzy furrows her brow. A flash of power, as she lets the dirt crumble away. "Let me show you something, Akuma." She turns around, standing tall.
And her dress suddenly bursts off.
Fire courses over her form, swirling around her as the dress burns away. Underneath, she is generously described as wearing belts instead of clothing, with barely enough black leather to cover her decency. A fat, long black tail extends behind her, as two wings stretch out. One white, one black. The power before, already a strong aura, redoubles in strength as the full form of the Gear is exposed. Dizzy flaps her wings, as feathers scatter around. "I am not really Edith, that was a lie and I am sorry, but what I really am is a secret that you cannot tell others because I don't like them finding me. When people learn about me, people get hurt. But I am... My name is really Dizzy, Akuma!" And she gestures at her wings.
"And this is Necro and Undine."
The tan-skinned martial artist listens. Manufactured people. Weapons created at a level of power without any of the hard work needed to get there. Shameful! As the Master of the Fist, he finds such a shortcut to a false strength to be contemptful of the fighting arts. Who can trascend humanity by becomg part beast? Still, this little girl did not choose to follow her path. That alone keeps him from deciding to defeat her for striving for godhood without putting in the blood and sweat, and forging her fists with murder, as he has.
When the Gear turns away, her attire and form altering in flames, he shifts his stance. He has seen transformations before, in prepartion for a fight. Then he looks upon the two things introduced to him, as though they were people. The wings. So it was not a dormant power at all, but something active and acknowledged, merely hidden. Not unlike Akuma's own in a way.
"Your name is irrelevant." he responds harshly. "Your true potential is shackled by your kindness. You will never be able to fully apply your power until you have moved beyond both human and animal parts of yourself, and made your origins as a weapon into a tool rather than your nature. Decide for yourself who and what you will be, and what your abilities will be used for. Whether that is to destroy those who seek to hurt you or to defend something you stake yourself upon, this CURRENT state is a charade. A fantasy." This scathing critique is the most he has said thus far, but he is not quite done.
"I recognize that you did not choose this path. If you wish to hide away until you are forced to choose it for yourself, do so. I will find you again when you are ready. For now, the ones who made you and the other Gears, who transgress upon the territory of gods in their attempts to create demons, will fall before me. Tell me what you know of them. I will put an end to them myself." Assuming there's any left. The violence that has shaken the world of late must have claimed at least some of them when their creations ran wild.
Not even his name.
Dizzy didn't feel in danger; Akuma might fight her, yes. But he was just... well, just wishing to fight her. And yet, when he speaks, a spark of anger now builds in her heart. Her wings extend, as she bristles at the accusation. Find the people her made her? Dizzy didn't even think to punish them. It was cruel. And he would come back, when she is ready... Dizzy pouts, as she sticks her chin up. Courage fills her, as when he demands her to tell him?
"No." Dizzy says firmly.
"No, kindness is a good." Defiance? Or ignorant ranting of a young child. The courage fades a moment, as she... recollects. "I... I killed my friends, my family. My village. That's all this power is good for." She walks up to the tree, touching it. Her skin feels funny upon the touch, but that is all. "Destruction. Death. It's all awful and bad and... and I hate it! I hate all of it! Wicked humans that pollute the world with their evil!" There is a hint of darkness. "But... but good humans try and protect it. And... and if being shackled is what stops me from hurting everyone, from killing what I love again, then I should be shackled. I should be kept away in my trees and forests, because I don't want to fight! I don't want to be a monster, a weapon! I don't want to hurt people anymore!" And she pounds her fist into the tree.
Splinters explode out from the aftermath, as a wailing erupts. The tree is obliterated from the force, as the very cursed seals binding it are shattered. Screaming souls boil from the depth of the tree's remains, as corrupted spirits are unleashed. It is a cyclone of spiritual energy, as Dizzy, stepping back, watches. For their sound, they are harmless; at least, to the pair. Dizzy just shakes her head at the aftermath of even a moment of frustration. "How can you seek this?" She pleads, a tear rolling down her cheek. "How can you want to hurt the people who did this, who made me, to fight me? What are you, to love violence? What are you, to love destruction?" Dizzy mourns, shaking her head as she glances to the sky, as the last of the sickly green spirits dissipate into nothingness.
"You're human, aren't you?"
Akuma stands by silently as Dizzy rejects what he says, reveals more of who and what she really is than the innocent child disguise in her moment flashes of anger, her release of fury. She has already killed, or been forced to, and still has not learned what this strength truly is. His distaste for her immaturity grows by the second. Even those who have made her into the creature that has done the things she even now rails against are those she does not wish harm upon.
Incomprehensible. Perhaps she will learn in time. The world is not so kind as to let a power like hers go untested. Opponents will appear whether she wishes them to or not. He will return when the time has come. Instead, he returns to the question she asks of him, and answers in an echo of her rejection.
"No." Not human. Not anymore. Red eyes on a black background glint in the wake of the release of spirits from the tree. Such a cursed place, destroyed by the strength this 'Dizzy' wields, in an idle at of frustration, yet she tells him how much she abhors violence and bloodshed.
"The path to mastery is lined with the corpses of the weak. I seek to perfect my fighting arts, to find a challenger who is capable of killing me through their own mastery. But those who craft monsters and set them loose are contaminating the pool from which I might draw my opponents. I do not care if they are man or monster. I can practice on any of them. But this..." He gestures up and down Dizzy's form. "...Your power is wasted upon you as you are. If others like you might be made, who squander their might while hiding away, lamenting what they have already shown themselves to be but taking no action to change, then I have no use for such fools!"
He turns away, the kanji for 'heaven' erupting in a red blaze upon his back, his fury at the dabblers who would recklessly combine human and animal, complete with the power to erase nations, but no drive to better themselves through conflict causing it to manifest in his Chi. "With or without your help, they will perish. Decide for yourself if the path you are on is undesirable, and something you wish to spare others, or acceptable enough that you will hide away from interfering in others being chained by it."
How dare he.
The image of the phrase comes over the command gear. She could feel the rejection, the... the sheer contempt. She wanted... she imagined that she could convince Akuma on the mere moral righteousness and kindness she believed in. As the last of the spiritual force fades away, Akuma's words hammer her. Tightening her hands into fists, she takes a step towards the demon. "I... I..."
ANd Dizzy has no way of responding.
Anger and frustration flash in her heart. She even wanted to strike the man in the back. ALready, she could feel the urging of Necro. And yet, she stilled her hand. She had just enough control to not let her emotions run wild. She didn't want to hurt people. She just... wanted an answer, to tell him what the right thing was. The problem was, she had ruined so many lives, out of it. Lack of control. Who could control herself, but herself? And that was why she had nothing.
That there was an unavoidable foundation of truth.
"It... it is wrong..." Is she can muster, falling into a resting sit, leaning to the earth as she wraps her wings around her. "It has to be... right?" SHe didn't know if it was. But what happens if someone pushes her? THey would push her into a fight. ANd if she cannot control herself... then it would be destruction. But if she learned to control herself... what kind of monster would she be? What kind of weapon would she be? Without even a blow, Akuma had defeated the Command Gear.
She did not have the answer just yet.
The red-haired demon turns his head to glance over his shoulder at the girl who is now slumped to the ground. What he seeks, he will not find here. It is time to hunt answers on his own. Perhaps if he tracks down enough powers like Dizzy's, he will find someone willing to talk. If not... They will tell him what he wishes to know unwillingly. "If it is wrong," he says somberly. "Then what will you do about it?" He then begins to walk away. "To do nothing when you have the strength to do something is to condone what you say you abhor. It makes you //complicit//."
A twisted form of pep talk. It is no doubt not intended to bolter Dizzy's morale, but instead to prod her into action. But only time will tell if it is the action Akuma wishes her to take, or the action that adheres to her professed ideals. And time will also tell if those ideals survive in the face of conflict with others who have the power to resist someone as mighty as the Command Gear herself.
For now, it is time for him to follow the trail of bread crumbs to the fool children who have wandered into his forest.
Log created on 11:50:22 09/25/2018 by Dizzy, and last modified on 10:50:20 09/27/2018.