Description: After the weirdness of their bout. Aaron and Brandon struggle to make sense of what happened in their match near the Southtown Boardwalk. With Aaron moving on in the tourney, Brandon decides to pass along a warning about a potential next opponent.
The initial efforts to drag Brandon out of the fighting area met with failure by the on hand medics. Each time they reached out to put him on the stretcher, either an arc of electricity would jump off and shock them away or they would end up touching him and have difficulty releasing as muscles seized up from electrical stimulus. Eventually, they solved the problem of moving him by using rubber gloves and using rubber sheets to either move him or as a surface for when he was on the medical bed.
Diagnostics were likewise made difficult as the combination of electrical and arcane energy wreaked havoc with their ability to get proper readings to outright destroying medical gear. The solution was to track pulse through rubber gloved touch and do nothing else until his energy stabilized a bit.
Eventually Brandon's eyes flutter open and he stares at the tent roof in utter disbelief. His deck was supposed to be stable and predictable and in this fight, it was neither. It would have been something totally different if he had completely removed the binds on his arcane power, but he didn't. So he lays there in silence trying to figure out what just happened.
The silence of the tent was broken by a tapping knock.
Aaron Fang had followed as closely when Brandon was carried away, trying as best he could help in the transport. He could tell something was off with Brandon, but he would have not clear idea of what was normal for him and what was not. What the scout did know was his own flow of spirit was being disrupted by what felt like a blade slicing into it. If the effect was beyond just him? oh what it would tell if it were beyond him.
"Mr. Malone? It's me, Aaron, might I come in sir?"
"Come in. But you might want to keep your distance."
Even as he says this, arcs of boundary laced electrical energy leap from his body with loud crackles and pops. The noise and arcs are exacerbated when he shifts around in the bed so that he can sit up so he can look at his visitor. Unfortunately, the bleeding continues on his torso due to bladed energy being inflicted upon him earlier in the same match and he lets out a pained hiss.
"So what brings you to my humble med tent, Mr. Fang?"
Aaron enters the tent cautiously, arcs of lightning flashing. He enters with his walking stick, unstrung, and sits as close as he can without the stave becoming a lightning rod.
"I was worried about your condition, and that lightning about you."
The scout, winces at the bleeding from Brandon's torso. Dull target arrows never gave such gashing wounds before. "I must ask you, is the lightning normal? Could you simply control it before, or is it an entirely new occurrence?"
"Ahh... I see."
He glances around at his body as energy sparks and crackles about him. The smell of ozone practically permeates the tent from all of the arcing energy. Then the detective looks over to his visitor.
"No. I'm a light mage. My usual schtick is light shows and illusions. Before today, I could've made my energy look like electricity but that's first time it /was/ electricity. The part that was surprises me the most is that my deck was prepared with light magic spells. If it were to happen while I wasn't using my deck, it would have been surprising, but significantly less than what happened out there."
He then takes a moment to look to study Aaron's eyes and see how he's processing this information.
"Your energy was behaving strangely as well, wasn't it?"
"It has for a while now."
Aaron gazed at his walking stick as he pondered the light magic turned into electric. "I bit ago started feeling like my spirit is run over with a knife, or a blade, at times. At first it was only when I was drawing large volumes of the spirit at once, that is when the blade would unfold. I thought it might have been a flaw in my practice." He returned his eyes directly to Brandon. "But this was the first time the blade unfolded outside of then."
Aaron took out his pocket knife, closed, as a visual aid. "But is your magic normaly always unfolded sir?"
Brandon's eye goes toward that knife being utilized as a visual aid. He's quiet for a moment as he determines how to put his particular situation into similar terms. He looks at his hands as electricity crackles and pops in his hands and then at the pouch that has electricity coursing through and around it.
"When I use magic through my tarot deck, it's more like a multi-tool. The pocket knife in it isn't always unfolded, but I can choose to unfold it if needed and I can use it for other functions. When I'm using magic directly, outside of rituals, it's more like a Bowie knife with barbed wire wrapped around the handle. It doesn't fold and is as capable of harming the user as it is anything that the blade encounters."
He would be more than happy to give his own visual aid but he has neither of those things on him and until he stabilizes, he's not even attempting to perform any of his illusions.
Aaron was piecing together why Brandon was injured so, magic harming him was normal it seemed. The unusual feature being the pain. "Have you run across anyone strange recently sir?" Aaron redirected to determining cause. "I ask because my issue with the blade started when I had to fight a very strange man. He was by the name Crock, and he played a song that resonated terribly deeply to my spirit." Aaron leaned forward inquisitively.
"Do you think it might be something that spreads?"
That name was clearly familiar to the private investigator and it was one that clearly brought on bad memories if the angry look on his face and the tone of his voice were to be believed.
"I have fought him before but his energy didn't 'resonate' with me or change my energy at all. I would have noticed it. I used my magic directly as well as through my deck between when we fought and now multiple times. This was the only time my energy behaved like this."
He glances over at a newspaper and remembers a newspaper article that he read a few days ago.
"I do know that we weren't the only ones this has happened to though. In the Neo League Quarterfinals, Aranha had thrown a Web Shot made of fiery magma and Olivia had something going on with green veins, sprouts of plant like organic matter sprouting out of her elbows, and trails of flower petals in her wake when they were fighting."
"Hmmm" Aaron just thought upon this. There were more than two cases, which meant may have less been about contact.
"The reason I asked was due to what he said to me after it happened, he said I was 'part of it now'."
"I think Mr. C-Rock knew something about 'it', and it might have something to do with the wider spirit about us then. Perhaps the fault is not in ourselves, but the earth? Considering how often the blade would unfold when I felt deeply into it."
"Either way we might need to figure out what 'it' is."
"In my case, he was too busy patting himself on the back for getting me to 'cut loose' and use my power directly."
His face takes on a contemplative expression as he thinks about the particular situation. As it stands he didn't think they had enough information to go on.
"It's possible that he does know more about this. It's also possible he might be unrelated. We don't have enough information to know either way so while I'm not dismissing it outright, it isn't exactly my particular theory either."
He looks the other fighter in the eye and realizes that an opportunity to speak was created through Aaron coming in.
"Since you'll be moving on in this tournament, I figured you should probably get the heads up on this. Depending who wins the fight this round, you could be facing a supernatural creature. I suspected something was up when the video footage had trouble picking them up specifically. Blurry but when paused, it sort of looks like it's still moving. I'm telling you this so you know to be careful in dealing with them. I had hoped to face them myself but it wasn't in the cards. Pun not intended."'
"Fair, if we had any concrete ideas about this, then we wouldn't be discussing it. But it is good to know that this is wide spread, we ought to compile who has had such issues, and we might be able to figure out a clearer picture, at least before a 'it'."
When the topic started to move to the next fight, Aaron "With my power like this, I would think I need be care to not hurt them?" Aaron asked, but he had a feeling he would not need such concern when noting the supernatural nature. "Is it one of those... Monsters?" He had his pocket knife open. "If it were such a creature, one of those monsters from Metro City, then I appreciate the warning. But worry is not needed." The scout looked at a scant few notches in his walking stick.
"I did not start learning to fight by battling, humans, Mr. Malone."
Aaron rubbed his back, almost feeling the old claws.
Brandon nods. It's a simple gesture that conveys understanding however there's also a touch of concern on his face as well.
"Well that's well and good that you are capable of fighting them. But it's also good to keep in mind that not all Darkstalkers are evil. Some just want to be left alone and live out their lives in peace. Just as some want to watch the world burn. It's also important to keep in mind that some of those 'monsters' in Metro City were once human before Fio Tessitore got her hands on them."
His voice takes on the tone of someone who has dealt with a lot of those things before on a regular basis. In fact it was his job in a way. Though the more supernatural aspects came more to the fore after the Majigen Series.
"Darkstalkers can be just as nuanced and complicated as humans. It's just they have extra baggage of having supernatural powers on top of it. Based on your posible opponent's behavior in the first round, I don't think this one is one of the live and let live variety of darkstalkers and should still be regarded with caution. Anyway, good luck out there, Mr. Fang."
"Thank you Mr. Malone, I know how dreadful a human can be. It is more that a normal human is often helpless to a normal Darkstalker. My worry is more that a person ought to be prepared for them."
When he learns it is likely not a Darkstalker anyways, he loosens up. "I might still be prepared for other supernatural creatures. I have seen and fought things that are rather bizarre before." Before he would leave, Aaron wanted to give him a small gift. It was a wristband with a wire and alligator clip at the end. "This might help with the electricity, this is what is used to handle static sensitive electronics, it might help so long as you can ground the clip. I am unsure how much use it will have, but I would shamed if you could not be cared for injuries I did to you." He placed the simple technical tool on the nearby table, getting a slight jolt to do so.
"Thank you Mr. Malone, I hope to see you well, both body and spirit."
Log created on 12:35:15 04/02/2021 by Brandon, and last modified on 19:43:29 04/02/2021.