Description: After her training with Rosalind and Leo, and her experience with the young Tsinghua, Dizzy believes she is ready to not only leave to face Ramlethal and help her understand humanity, but explore the world. But before she can give Ky a little present before she leaves, King Leo intervenes, with news of the state of the world... and with a change of plans as well.
Castle Illyria represents the seat of power amongst Illyria, where the ancient line of kings ruled over their lands.
Perched within the Illyria valley in the Albanian Alps, the castle bears a strange blend of classic medival architecture and almost ancient Macedonian and Greek influences, all with modernized nuances running through it. Endless white marble spires and vaulted arches intersect throughout the castle grounds, giving a strangely gothic style to it despite the brightly designed masonry. The entrance to the castle bears a sturdy gatehouse leading to a narrow, over-vaulted corridor of the entrance. The ramparts of the castle share this blend of styles. Electric lamps illuminate the parapets, enhanced with magical energy. Many carry a checkerboard pattern upon the floor, bringing alternating black and white tiles. Vines and greenery overgrow on the parapets and in decorative pots, giving a kind of floral life to the walls. Unusually for what is normally defensive fortifications, there are great marble fountains decorating on high. The ramparts cross not only on the exterior walls, but over the courtyard and gardens of the castle complex, intertwining with the tall towers that pepper the castle grounds.
Sitting by one of these fountains was the Command Gear Dizzy.
She is wearing the disguise of Edith, garbed in a long black dress that goes all the way down to her ankles, where she wears a conservative pair of heels. She doesn't entirely avoid the buckles, with two thick belts over her shoulders. Her blue hair is done in a long... poorly done braid, all the way to her back, tied in a yellow ribbon at the end. Her wings were hidden, out of sight in the form concealing dress. She had a long, rectangular suitcase on the edge of the fountain; it was open as she was busy checking over everything she packed one more time. She was humming to herself sweetly, eyes bright, an eager smile on her lips. Today was the day. Today was the day when she was going to finally go out, and speak with Ramlethal. She had proved herself ready to meet her. She proved she could control herself. For the most part. And then after she convinced Ramlethal to stop her world, they would go out and explore the world outside of Illyria, to show her that despite everything, humans weren't bad. All she needed now was to have her friend Leo Whitefang and Ky Kiske come here, and tell her where to go. And then, well.
Then she would finally have a chance to stretch her wings.
Ky Kiske has faced many things. He has fought Darkstalkers and Gears. He has worked against the machinations of evil men of many stripes and creeds. He has spent almost his entire adult life training, preparing himself to face the countless dangers that threaten the world.
He is not prepared for this.
Dizzy has been a...special case, for a variety of reasons, and since she put forward the idea of speaking to Ramlethal, Ky has been anxious about it. On the one hand, it is a moment of trust, of growth, but on the other, there are very real fears here...and fear is hardly the only emotion running wild.
"Dizzy," Ky starts, "Are you--" He pauses, takes a deep breath, and starts over.
"Are you ready to set out?"
When Ky Kiske approaches her, Dizzy's heart felt so light.
She was happy. She was always the most happy when Ky Kiske would come for her. She was beginning to think more about how some people make her feel different, and how Ky Kiske made her feel the most different. It made her warm and safe and secure and kind of tingly. Necro didn't like that feeling at all, but Undine was very encouraging about it. Sometimes Undine would even tell her things that would made Dizzy blush, about things that boys would feel sometimes around girls like Dizzy! How boys think and feel, and sometimes the things they do when thinking and feeling about Dizzy! It was very strange, and Dizzy almost wanted to ask Ky Kiske right now.
But Ky Kiske was asking her if she was ready!
"Oh yes!" Dizzy said gently, her chest swelling with joy. "I trained with Leo and Rosalind, and I know I am ready and can control myself! I am so excited, I almost can burst! I even picked out all the clothing." Dizzy shows the various clothing she had emptied out on the edge of the fountain. Fortunately there is no embarrassing unmentionables that might make the knight even more uncomfortable. However, it seems the Command Gear was eager to use non traditional means. Dizzy pulled a pair of very short shorts from the edge of the fountain. "Is this going to be appropriate for very warm places?" She asks brightly. "I don't think I will be able to hide my tail, but I was worried that if I cover too much skin, it would make Ramlethal feel uncomfortable." She turns it around, touching the hole in the back so to show Ky Kiske.
"Do you think I should bring two, so she can wear one too?"
Earlier, elsewhere in Illyria castle:
Leo sits, brooding, desk piled up with unfinished and unfiled stacks of paperwork concerning everything from mundane financial figures to details on the latest behind the Chi and Magitek research to Sacred Order deployment figures and strategies for defending the slowly but ever expanding reach of Illyria within the greater world beyond its small borders. A world that seems to be dipping increasingly into chaos with Illyria being this strange almost fairy tale like island floating in the middle of a surging chaotic sea. His hair has been cut these days and he's traded in his usual Sacred Order variant uniform for a more modern looking flair but ther'es no changing the scowl on his face.
The latest round of news from the Dead or Alive tournament plays across the large wall mounted screen by his desk. Darkstalkler riots, a floating fortress that none forsaw even existed. A blockad effort by Zepp. Panicking nations and Janus. From Leo's perspective - simply a means to collect specimens for DOAtec and Ultratec to build God only knows what. Relius is surely taking notes.
He glances over at his meeting calender and then grunts and sighs before putting a hand to his head and then sighing, "I'm going to be the bad guy again. Dammit. Why do I -always- have to be the bad guy.. "
Soon, in the command center of the castle, Leo storms in and furiously looks around, "Where is Ky??" A usual question from him which the operators handle with their usual grace.
"The FIrst King has left for a meeting. A meeting that you are already late for, Second King."
"For heaven's sake .. he's actually on time the only time I planned around him being late! I have to stop him -before- he goes in to see her!"
And so it goes.
Ky taps the handle of his sword, still in its scabbard, with his index and middle finger. It's an idle gesture, one picked up, perhaps, nervously. NeedingThunderseal at hand in a moment's notice has become increasingly (and unfortunately) common, as much as the knight prefers to handle things with more diplomatic tact.
But this situation was one that would strain his best efforts at diplomacy.
Ky coughs, pressing his fist to his mouth quickly. "Excuse me, Dizzy," the blond man turned away slightly, his face reddening steadily. "Are you su--" He clears his throat again. "Are you sure that's what you're most comfortable wearing? I cannot speak for Ramlethal, but she does not seem the type to be overly concerned with someone's choice of clothing." Closing his eyes, Ky turns back to face Dizzy (and away from those shorts). He adjusts his collar slightly with a quick tug.
"So you said you've trained with Leo and Rosalind," the subject is quickly changed. "I'm glad they were able to help. It sounds like you've grown a great deal. I'm glad."
Dizzy thought it would be a good time to try one of those things that Undine was whispering to her at night.
When Ky Kiske was talking about how much more grown she was, she lowers her head meekly, and folds the shorts. She knew how Ky Kiske was responding. She could hear the blood rushing through his body. Feel his heat in the air. Smell the sweat that was building around him. It was almost predatory instincts. Except, of course, Dizzy didn't want to pull that rapidly beating heart out of him. To run him down, trapping him and listening to the sharp scream like a rabbit. She wanted to hold his hand. And maybe him hold her hand. She wondered how it would feel if she was the rabbit. Necro had strong opinions on letting herself be so vulnerable to these humans.
Undine had different opinions.
"What would make me the most comfortable, is whatever clothing makes you feel the most comfortable." Dizzy whispers, keeping her eyes down, a sweet, innocent smile on her lips. Her knees gently connect together as she sits upon the fountain, raising her head up to let her eyes lock upon Ky Kiske. "I am sorry. I shouldn't make you so worried. You look so much more handsome when your cheeks aren't so red." She places the shorts in her lap, and folds her hands on them neatly. "I might have been a little rough with them, but they got out of the infirmary very quickly! I even fought a young man named Tsinghua, and I did not kill him accidentally!" She states brightly, ignoring the whole... Fireworks incident part. "I know you are so worried about me, and what happens. But..." She rubs her feet together, her shoes knocking together softly. And now, she's the one who blushes faintly, as she looks back down into her lap. She scoots over a little bit, to make a space where if Ky Kiske would choose so, he could very well sit.
"... It makes me happy that you worry about me sometimes."
"... I am sure they'd look very nice on you, Dizzy," Ky answers, but keeping that particular thought at bay is a dragon that must be slain that might even be beyond Ky Kiske's abilities. Instead, he keeps his focus on the task at hand. "I am trying to be less worried," the knight continues. "Because I know how hard you've worked and how powerful you are, Dizzy." He gives her a slight smile. "To be honest, I'm more worried ab--" Tsinghua. He'll have to ask around and write that man a letter of apology later, no doubt. And a thank you to Leo and Rosalind. Commendations may be in order.
"I am very glad you restrained yourself. It shows you've grown quite a bit." Ky adds, pacing to the side. When Dizzy makes room he takes pause, inhales, and moves to occupy the seat next to her.
"Are you excited?" he asks after a few moments of empty air.
Dizzy shuts her eyes, hiding the strange new feelings that were trying to seize control of her as Ky sits down.
Dizzy didn't quite understand this feeling. It was a happy feeling, but a new kind of happiness. It was a lot like the feeling Necro has when he imagines eliminating every lifeform with a functioning brain stem within a 10 mile radius. Not quite the same, but very similar to it. Undine explained what it meant, and what you were supposed to do with that feeling.
That was a lot scarier than Necro's answer.
Dizzy keeps herself reserved, just happy for her own happiness when Ky Kiske sat beside her. "I am so excited. Ky Kiske... That it makes my heart feels like a Mountain Scruffed Thrush, when it rises from it's hidden nest in the morning, to fly out across the valley to find a snail, to knock upon the grey rock." Dizzy smiles, her true heart revealing itself for only a moment. "Oh, I just want to see the world so much. It's not that I don't like it here. Necro was scared that this valley would be like a cage here, where I would be a pet bird that will never be let out. And I was scared that King Leo would be want me to stay here. But I love it here. I love the people... I love the people here too." She scoots just a little bit towards Ky Kiske, turning her head. Her red eyes were slightly lowered, because Undine told her that it was very useful.
"Do you like it when I call you Ky Kiske?"
"Is it too formal?"
She scoots again, leaning in closer at Ky, to look closer into his eyes.
"Or would you like me to call you something more special?"
"She can't go!"
Leo's commanding voice is a sudden jarring exploding burst of a mood whiplash just shy of the same force in which he bursts into the outer courtyard from a side hallway, rushing into the area like a bettering ram unleashed into a china shop. He had been told where Ky had gone off to. He expected to find him just shy of approaching and reaching DIzzy.
He did not expect to find the command gear and the first king in such close proximity to send the hearts of a thousand fan fic writers a flutter. "Ky---she--Oh.. Lady Dizzy! I..uh.."
Leo's shudders to an embaressed stop, the paperwork he had been carrying, contianing reports and assessments of the rising intensity of the JANUS Riots, the threat posed by The Fatal Core, blockades, rogue super weapons and more, fluttering about from his flailing arms coming to a stop as he looks on in embaressement and frustration.
That is..I mean.." he pauses, steeling himself again for the soon to come look of disappointent, perhaps even anger and outrage..and he pushes on.
"I mean...we need to rethink this and reschedule.. Ky. Dizzy.. Things have changed since we started this. It's too dangerous still. For all of us."
In that moment, a thousand different ideas crossed Ky Kiske's mind. Was this appropriate? Should he even treat Dizzy this way? After all, she was new to the world. There were feelings in his heart about her, and yet, there were many things she did not know about the world. Would it be unbecoming--no, immoral to indulge these feelings. If she opened her heart to him, would it be wrong to reject her or accept her? What if she --
The knight smiled back at her, blue eyes moving to her, then back toward the distance. "I'm glad that you're happy here, but I think it's good to travel. Leo is wise, but I think we have to balance caution with a willingness to brave the world."
What a question. Ky's brow furrows, but he does not move further away when Dizzy comes closer.
"Ah," Ky's eyes meet Dizzy's. "Well, I--"
Ky rises her a start, brushing against Dizzy as he does.
"Hm," he clears his throat, cheeks slightly aflush. "Ah, Leo. I was worried you'd been held up. Is this--"
He looks toward Dizzy. "--do you really think so? I mean, I'm concerned about the developments with the tournament as well, but Dizzy --"
For a moment, Dizzy was just about to take a moment to do what Undine wanted.
They were now doing what Leo wanted.
Dizzy pulls back, blinking her eyes when Leo suddenly comes. She swaying, dazed. What was happening. Why weren't they doing the, well, doing the natural things. Doing a good thing. Instead, they were... they were apart. What was making them apart. And she turns and looks at Leo Whitefang, the wise and reasonable leader who was describing wise and reasonable things, and a wise and reasonable course of action for Dizzy to take. For them all to take. Dizzy began to hurt. Her heart began to hurt. Her body began to hurt. And her wings. Her wings very, very hurt. She speaks barely a whisper. But it's a whisper that cuts past Ky's and Leo's words sharper than any scream.
"No." Dizzy says softly.
She wraps her arms around Ky Kiske's arm, embracing it like a small child and its teddy bear. "Tell him no. Please. I- I was ready King Leo. I was finally ready. Ky Kiske said it was good. The-" She squeezes a bit harder, not enough to snap the bones of the king. But just a little tighter, as she tries to make sense. "Please, please tell-" She sniffs hard, as her eyes begin to stare off in the distance. She shuts her eyes, and takes a deep breath. She exhales.
The air begins to get colder.
And much, much heavier.
But she looks at Ky, looks at his smooth complextion, his empathy, his kindness, his wonderfulness. She is maturing. She is growing up. And if she is growing up, then she has to prove she is a woman. She has to prove she is strong, stronger than she was before. And that she can, ultimately control herself. She loosens her grip slightly, straightening her back as she lifts her chin up, looking at Leo sadly, but without tears in her eyes.
"What is happening in the world, King Leo." She asks gently.
"And why are those things happening, making us change our plans."
Her words..her expression..alllmooost makes Leo recant his prior words. He senses maturity and authority and not the authority of a command gear but that of one asserting herself. Her desire. Her wisehs. Her right to make her own determinations.
It's really to bad that, as with all who grow up, it must come with clashes with higher authority figures that represent the need to surpress and direct in order to impose their view of 'safety'..
"Yes.." says Leo, slowly in answer to Ky although he holds Dizzy's gaze for a second. He looks away from her, back to Ky and then to them both as he holds up one report for Ky to take and read.
"The DOA tournament has turned into something of a global debacle. A massive war-fortress has risen from the sea and is being blockaded by Zepp and undoublty other nations at ready to join the fray. But more then this..we're seeing social upheaval over this JANUS project.. VIolent riots are taking place across the world within Darkstalkers and metahuman communities. I've increased our own surveillance efforts regarding any rogue Gears and Gear technology that may be caught up in this because there is concentrated effort to malign, abuse and direct the anger of these people. Mercenaries, soldiers, and more are being independantly deployed the world over against one another and against civilians. We're seeing an uptick in Darkstalkers and meta beings attempting to seek aslyum here due to our policy on them. It's escalating into open uncontrolled warfare.."
He looks pointedly at Dizzy now, "Dizzy...you would need absolute, total control and surety of your abilities under these circumstances. Even with a disguise you could still be mistaken potentially for a Darkstalker. Your search for Ramlethal, who has not surfaced in quite some time, could easily bring you into the bullsye of these factions and these protests."
Suddenly Dizzy has Ky's arm, and tighter now, holding him so tight, but he too holds firm. The temperature drops, the air gets heavy. his breath creeping out in a small cloud and drifting away into the garden. Ky inhales, and when the mood shifts, he smiles, ever so slightly. He reaches to put on hand gently on Dizzy's, then aims to offer her the hand of the arm she's holding. His other goes for the report.
He looks at it, his brow furrowing.
"So they really went forward with it. What are you all planning..." he asks no one, his eyes on a dossier labelled JANUS. "--Leo is right," Ky seconds. "But the need for someone to step forward and defend these people," Ky glances toward Dizzy. "Is greater than ever. What do you think, Dizzy? I know it's another worry, but you've made so much progress." He glances toward Leo. "And you, Leo? You know that I value your counsel here."
Dizzy is silent for a moment.
She is thinking. Calculating. Her expression was still, solemn. But gentle. Everything she heard she connects with everything she read. Current events, she was always behind on. But she understood riots, Darkstalkers, mercenaries. She understood the hate and fear. There was a time when she didn't, when she was more innocent. But steadily, she had been losing that innocence more and more. Maturing. Growing up. She did not like this part. But Undine told her she wouldn't.
Undine told her that she couldn't stay a small girl forever when she loved him so much.
"Whether or not I stay or go," Dizzy begins, speaking gently, almost meekly. "The world will always be at the edge of destruction. I was peaceful in my village, when there was no conflict, and I was protected by the god Raiden. And when Justice came, as I understand, is when the peaceful world I knew ended. And since I have been here in Illyria, is has almost been the same cycle." Dizzy looks up in the sky. "It is peaceful here. Isolated. And soon, the outsiders will come, and bring chaos and destruction. The peace here will be destroyed again."
"And they will come for me."
"Just like Ramlethal did."
She looks towards Ky Kiske, her face so sad, her eyes glassy, before turning back to Leo. "In my heart I know you want to keep me safe. But staying here will not keep me safe, not forever. And you know this. This is why you are always so... so afraid. I feel it in your heartbeats. And the truth is, leaving here won't make you safe either. But whether I stay or leave will affect... will affect what I care about. Who I care about, who I l... who I care the most about. Because Ramlethal almost killed you to get to me, King Leo. And would kill Ky Kiske. Who else would kill you both to get to me? And at the same time, how much danger would you put yourself, if I was all by myself in the world, if I was taken again?" She nuzzles her head into Ky's shoulder, leaning into him, resting herself as she hold herself close. Her expression fades, as she lets out a sigh.
"I wish I was normal."
"If I was normal, then I wouldn't worry about such silly things."
"And then I could be happy."
Her chest swells, as she straightens up once more, releasing Ky Kiske's arm, but holding his hand. She begins to stand up from the fountain. "I don't know what I will choose. I will choose the right thing. But I don't know what that would be now. I wish I was a foolish girl again, so I could just... run away." She nods firmly. Her heart ached. But she looks at the little pants, the outfits. The dreams and ambitions. The hopes. "But I will accept your counsul. I will not leave now. I will change our plans."
She gives a big smile to Leo, then Ky.
That was....not what Leo expected.
He is suspicious.
"You will.." he says slowly. It feels like something is missing here. A need to explain more.. TO try and avert some sort of disaster that he can feel but can't quite articulate.
"Dizzy.." he says, slowly, after a glance at Ky, "We're not trying to put you in a box or take your freedom from you. Honestly..if you wanted to leave no matter what, there is little we could do to stop you..."
That could have been a mistake, he muses after letting that out, but it's not untrue and she's almost assuredly long ago realized it. "When I make these suggestions it's not because we believe you can be protected forever but because we want to be in the best possible place to protect you and to protect others. Ky is correct. The world -does- need heroes. It's not the time to simply hide but perhaps there is...another way."
Ky actually seems a bit surprised when Dizzy rests her head on his shoulder, but he does not object. "You are wonderful as you are," Ky says, "if you were meant to be any other way, you would be." He says this with confidence. Surety. "If there are challenges in that, there's a purpose to it, and, I think," Ky says. "You are doing your best to grow into that and be your best." He glances toward Leo for reassurance.
"--really?" Ky asks. "Are you sure? You seemed so certain of going, that I didn't--" Ky looks to the side. "I didn't want to break the news of what has been happening. I am sorry, Dizzy. It had gotten worse when I was in the field, apparently." He glances toward Leo again.
"And what Leo says is true, Illyria is your safe haven just like anyone who calls this place home. That is our purpose in offering asylum here. You don't need to blame yourself for something I've--that we've taken on ourselves." Ky pauses. "But what did you have in mind, Leo?"
Dizzy wasn't quite being insidious.
She just was thinking directly. And when she thought directly, things were very serious and clear. Logical. Of course, that logic fades for a moment when Ky tells her that she was wonderful the way she was. Her legs felt weak, and she almost was melting. Of course, Leo quickly sobers her up again. "I know that." She responds gently, hands still clasped before her. "You don't have to justify it anymore." She looks from Ky to Leo again. She was smiling.
Her heart was so heavy now.
And the air was no less cold and heavy either.
"But what is the way you are thinking, King Leo. What you thinking that you and Ky can do to help?"
He said perhaps there is another way. Not that he had one. Shoot.
Leo frowns pursing his lips in thought and then looks away to try and hide his frustrations and the lack of a clear plan other then 'Keep Dizzy safe and also everyone else in case she loses it and nukes a city.'
"Perhaps.." he begins, slowly, opening himself up to something he -had- been considering, "..Perhaps in the midstd of all that is happening...the time is coming where Dizzy should make her presence known in a way that invites those who are in need of hope to come seeking it. We would have to be ready for an influx of refugees as well as accusations of using a command gear to our own benefit.. but maybe, just maybe, we can take a stand in a way that both bolsters hope and also establishes that Illyria is not a nation that is simply a brief moment in time..but is htere to be part of this world..."
Ky does not seem to quite realize the effect he has had there, but perhaps that is for the best, for now.
"Acting as a symbol of hope," Ky says more than asks. "That's a big burden to bear, but it is definitely a role that Dizzy could serve that neither of us could not." Ky furrows his brow. He lightly taps the hilt of Thunderseal, thinking.
"But we'll have to make preparations while Dizzy decides if that's a role she would be willing--" He stops himself. "That she would want to play."
Dizzy begins to pack up her belongings.
She was putting them all back in the suitcase with the quiet dilligence of a maid. She listens. A symbol of hope. That sounded beautiful. But she knew what else she was. She remembered the time when she was being hunted down. Hope. And fear. She felt the weight of both. How she made Ky felt. Terror. And a unique feeling that she didn't fully understand. That maybe he would still care for her, even if he saw her true face. As the short shorts are placed in, the last item, she closes the suitcase. "I will have to think about it. The whole world hates me, and is afraid of me. But... I have made so many friends. I have see how beautiful and... handsome people can be."
"Would I be an angel these people?"
"Or would I be a devil?"
Dizzy seemed troubled by the questions, but she clasps her chest. She looks at Ky Kiske, and Leo. "Thank you for being patient with me." She places a kiss on Ky's cheek, and then picks up the suitcase, and walks away. She wouldn't leave yet. She just needed to find a place to think. Someplace quiet. Someplace remote.
Someplace no trouble would ever happen.
As Dizzy starts to pack, Ky glances toward her with a brief smile that gives way to sadness. It's not an unfamiliar feeling to feel you're against the world. It's a worst one to ask yourself if, in picking that battle, you've made the right decision. It is always a challenge. Always a struggle. Not just against the forces arranged outside, but in an inward one as well.
Ky turns to Leo with a nod, looking for reassurance in his comrade in arms, his friend. Instead, he is blindsided by Dizzy.
"Ah--" For a moment, Ky Kiske is more stagged than he would be by any blow. He reaches up and runs a hand along the side of his face.
"...you are welcome, Dizzy. Please remember, you don't have to bear this burden alone." He does not elaborate further. Not yet, at least.
Log created on 16:07:14 04/04/2022 by Dizzy, and last modified on 09:06:06 04/06/2022.