Testament - Ghosts in the Night

Description: Two spirits who walk in the night talk and spar. And form a bond!

Late evening, and the sun is just beginning to set, casting the shadows of the trees across the clearing. The headlights of the various cars can be seen on the highway, but it's likely with the dusk settling in that they can't see anything within the clearing from there.

A girl wearing a very elaborate kimono walks into the clearing, carrying a duffel bag held out in front of her with one hand. She glances this way and that as she walks, calmly apprehensive about something. Other than that, the clearing looks absolutely empty. Seeing no one around, she sets down the duffel bag in front of a tree, and squats behind it, starting to unzip it.

The young girl is not alone. Two sets of red eyes follow her, one those of a man's and the other those of a bird. Hidden in the shadows of the forest, he waits. Watches. At but a mental command, a shape flies out of the darkness. A bird. Black as the approaching night.

The bird lands in a tree above the girl, tilting its head and blinking. A soft, peeping 'caw' emits as the beak opens and then closes quickly. It looks harmless... except why is this bird watching so intently...?

The girl looks up, stares at the bird, tilts her head to one side. Still, it's just a bird, so she shrugs, and starts to remove her kimono, puts it into the duffel bag. It doesn't end up that salacious, though, because under that kimono she's wearing a black tanktop and black shorts. She pulls out some black socks and black leather athetlic shoes, changing them out for her wooden sandals, and then finally out of that duffel bag, she pulls out a black tiger mask with silver highlights.

Swish! A rustle of thick cloth, like canvas, and a shadow moves in the underbrush. The shadow comes from behind the girl, and disappears to her right. Now that was DEFINITELY something bigger than a bird. In fact it was... about the side of a human being. And she might have the sensation of being watched...

The girl tenses for a moment, growls softly. She spins around on one foot, her arms hanging limply at her sides, her face thrust aggressively forward at this new presence. Her demeanor's entirely changed since she put on that mask. "...what sort of creature are you to disturb me...?"

Almost as if prompted to do so by her words, the crow caws loudly, fluffing itself up. And then it takes off, and flies back into the treeline. Notably, exactly where that shadow disappeared to. There is silence for a long moment. Then suddenly... a chuckle. Low and smooth, a male's voice. But it sounds... odd somehow. As though the sound is echoing around itself.

"...'Creature', you say."

The voice is odd too; it almost sounds... metallic? Electronic? There's a rustle of leaves, and a dark-haired, pale-skinned man in black exits from the underbrush. His eyes are the color of freshly-spilled blood. The crow is perched on his shoulder. And he seems to be unarmed.

The tiger-masked girl glances around this way, then that. Seeing the pale-skinned man appear, she turns towards him, drops to all fours, her fingers digging into the grass like claws. "...would you say that's wrong...?" She tilts her head far to one side. "...i don't think you're any more human than i am...."
She turns slightly, slowly starts to circle him. "...what are you doing here... why were you watching me... is your energy that of a human...?" She lets out a soft growl. "...there's no purpose in fighting you if you're just another monster...."

"No. You are quite correct," the man agrees with her assessment of his not-human-ness. "In fact, 'creature' is the kindest thing you could call me." He doesn't sound like he's kidding. "But YOU claim not to be human... can you back up that claim?"

It's weird. There's no visible reason his voice should be distorted like that. But it is. It sounds like there's some autotune going on. But his face is exposed, and there's nothing visible in his mouth to cause it.

Then she mentions fighting him. Tilting his head and propping a hand on one hip, the man notes, "...And who said I came here to fight?" There is a distinct teasing note to his voice. He may be playing with her. He doesn't bother following her as she circles him. But the crow does!

As she's told she's correct, the tiger-masked girl falls back into a cross-legged sitting position, her palms resting on the ground in front of her. "...no reason to fight you, then...." Her voice is harsh, a little quiet, a little growly.

She stares up at him, tilts her head a bit to one side. "...do you care if i'm human or not...? ...that's not something i care about... just need to devour human energy, so if you had been human, would've fought you... regardless of if you wanted to fight or not...."

"So you hunt them as well?"

His tone is curious and thoughtful. He crosses his arms, cupping his chin in thought. And he exchanges a look with his crow. Oddly, they do seem to actually have some sort of silent exchange. Perhaps he's consulting the bird for his next course of action? That's a weird thought.

"Of course I care if you are human," he replies. "I prefer that you aren't. It's not often I meet those who aren't. There should be more people who aren't in the world." While he speaks, the bird is tilting its head and blinking again, as if looking at the girl intently.

The girl tilts her head to the other side. "...how do you tell if you're human or not...?" She shrugs a little. "....i just want to be the strongest... everything else is secondary... if everything else is humans or tigers or creatures... all fine... i just need to be strongest...."
She looks over to the bird. "...fighting you is probably pointless too...." She shakes her head a little, and slides up onto two feet, posture slightly bent over, arms hanging at her sides, and walks closer to Testament, stares up at him from behind that mask. "...why do you hunt humans...? ...do you need their energy...?"

When she asks the question of how to tell? Testament chuckles again. "That's an existential question," he comments. "So many have pondered that meaning-- what makes a person 'human'? They act as though it's a great thing, to be human. As if 'human' is best." He scoffs.

Though he pauses as the crow on his shoulder squawks angrily at the girl. Testament merely smiles, and raises a hand to stroke the bird's back almost affectionately. This seems to calm the bird.

Though... when that question is asked, all traces of nicety disappear. A cold expression comes over his face, and the hand still at his side clenches into a fist. "I hunt them because I hate them," he says quietly. Though there is a low hiss to his voice, leaving the metallic voice sounding much like a serpent's hiss.

"...why...?" The girl stares up at him, starts to walk around him at this closer range, staring at him from various angles. "...i don't get what it feels like to 'hate'... if you're stronger, you can do what you want... no reason to hate... if you're weaker, you become stronger, or you run, or you die... hate doesn't help...."

"...what purpose does hate serve...?" She pauses. "...or... is it more, hate gives you something to do...? ...i've often wondered what i will do once i'm the strongest...."

With her looking at him from all these different angles, she might note something. His eyes. It's not their color that's strange. It's... something else. Something odd in them. A sort of... gleam? Some sort of unfocused look... an emptiness.

Very quietly, he asks, "...Has anyone ever taken anything precious from you? Have you ever watched them hold that precious thing and destroy it without a thought? Not because they hated you, or because they wanted it and couldn't have it. But because they simply did not care? Because they wished to use you, and this one piece of you was getting in the way...?"

"...no..." The girl pauses, considering this for a long moment. "...i guess if someone chopped off my limbs and removed my power, but didn't kill me... i might be angry...."

She stops in front of Testament, staring up at him again, into his eyes. "...did something precious to you get taken...? something that you can't get back...? something that humans did...?"

Testament nods once, slowly. "Yes," he confirms. Tilting his head back, he says quietly, "And as long as they remain, they'll just keep doing it. There will be more like me. Except those people... the others they'll control. Like they tried to do with me. The others don't have a chance. I do..."

"...controlling people is another form of power... but is all of humanity doing this...?" The girl turns her back on testament, walks back to her duffel bag, turns back towards him, sits down upon the bag. "...wouldn't it be more efficient to kill those that are actually doing it...? killing all humans is going to take too long, if you're doing it personally... i don't get it...."

"Others will just take their place," Testament replies. His voice takes on that hiss again. "They need to be MADE to feel the PAIN they are causing... need to KNOW that their reign of this world will come to an END." His voice returns to normal. "But... I will start there." He nods, slowly. "Yes. I will start with them... the ones who began it..."

"...don't really get it..." The girl falls sideways onto her duffel bag, curls up slightly. "...if you're killing powerful humans... that would release a lot of human energy...." She turns her head back to face Testament. "...i was beating up some humans... some man fought me because of it... said he was fighting to defend the earthrealm... from otherworlders... are you one of these otherworlders...?"

Otherworlders? Testament pauses, looks at the crow on his shoulder. Then he looks to the girl again. Her question of what he is gets a pause. "I am now." That's a little confusing. But he has a question of his own. His voice going smooth again, thoughtful, he asks, "You draw energy from humans, you said? Tell me... how do you draw this energy..."

The girl bats her hand at one of the handles of the duffel bag that hangs loose, turns her face towards it, seemingly momentarily distracted. At that question, she looks back to him. "...they throw it at me... i tear it out of them...." She lowers her head slightly. "...we fight... you can't take much from weak humans, even if you kill them... but strong humans... just fighting is enough to get a lot...."

"...as long as i don't defend humans... you have no reason to kill me? ...but I want to know just how strong you are...." She rolls up onto her feet, her arms hanging loosely at her sides again.

"Ah... I see," Testament muses. "There won't be many strong humans where I will need to start. Only weak humans that sit behind desks all day." However, he raises a brow as the question of how strong he is comes up. "Oh? You want to know? I killed a human accidentally. I struck out in confusion and his neck snapped."

"...maybe i will hunt with you another time... for now... though...." The girl walks closer to Testament, stops a few feet away. "...not exactly what i meant... you've already seen my face...?" She raises her hand up towards her mask.

"Hm? When you came in?" Testament inquires. "Yes, I saw you. I have no reason to tell anyone who you are. Also anybody I could tell who would care... would end up being human." Hmph. "And I don't care to make an effort to stop your feeding on them. Whether you kill them or I do, it's no difference to me."

The girl undoes the makes, takes it off, looks up at Testament, straightens up. "Then keeping the mask on is a bit silly, don't you think?" She hardly moves her mouth as she speaks. "But if someday you fight stronger humans, I might be interested in helping you. Right now, though, I want to compare your strength to that of a strong human I fought who was against Otherworlders." She smiles up at him. "Don't worry, though, I don't have any intention of killing you."

Testament pauses... and then chuckles. "Then you want to fight me?" he inquires. A smirk pulls at his mouth when she assures him she's not going to kill him. "Kill me? That assumes you'll be able to. I tried. It doesn't work." To his credit, at least he doesn't say outright that she can't.

He raises a hand to his face. As if anticipating his movement, the crow upon his shoulder flies up into a tree to wait. His nails look quite delicate... but in the next instant, those nails have dug deeply into the flesh of his cheek, and tear a long line across. It looks like it should be a reasonably painful injury, but nothing serious. And his wince confirms it. But...

The gash in his face literally EXPLODES with an arcing spray of blood. A spray that... seems to freeze in mid-air. Freeze and then reshape itself, into a scythe with a blood-red blade. The injury on his face is suddenly gone, as if it had never been.

COMBATSYS: Miki has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Miki             0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Testament has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

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Miki             0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0        Testament

"...You don't want to be alive? I don't get-" Seeing him cut himself, she stops speaking, her smile fading, her brows raising slightly. As the blood scythe forms, her eyes widen as she sees that display of power, taking a few steps backwards without really thinking about it.

But then, she smiles again. "Excellent. This should be a challenge." She drops down onto all fours, and the front half of a gigantic pink tiger made out of energy, with darker pink stripes, erupts out of her back, rushes towards Testament, aims a swipe at his legs with it's glowing claw.

COMBATSYS: Testament overcomes Handsome Beast from Miki with Phantom Soul.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Miki             0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0        Testament

"No doubt," Testament replies, to the statement of a challenge. Though whether he means he'll be a challenge for her or she'll be a challenge for him is unknown. The chi-tiger comes at him, and he narrows his eyes. Meet chi with chi, right? So he extends a hand, as if he's offering her something. But a flash of dark red chi appears in his hands, changing into a glowing skull that arcs down from his hand at the tiger.

The tiger's claws are literally a split-second from tearing into his legs when the skull and tiger collide, and the claw is diverted from its course. The skull keeps going, too... right at Miki.

COMBATSYS: Testament successfully hits Miki with Phantom Soul.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Miki             0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1        Testament

Miki's eyes widen as the skull effortlessly knocks her tiger aside, and then the skull hits her in the forehead. She stumbles to one side, growling as the dark red energy, rather than vanishing, continues to course through her. She starts to slowly circle Testament, her head turned towards him, watching his movements very carefully.
"I think you're far stronger than that man... but a few more tests are in order...."

COMBATSYS: Miki focuses on her next action.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Miki             0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1        Testament

Miki speaks of a possible defender... and yet she thinks Testament is stronger? Good, that's less chance that he won't have to worry too much if he stumbles on whoever this man is she speaks of. Still, he's not about to let his guard down. Especially not now! "Tests, hm...?" Something about that... doesn't sit right with him. It brings up fear and pain, half-forgotten memories that hurt...

Pain is strength. Fear is strength. Make it into anger, and make it into strength. Since she summoned, he sees it only fair that he do the same. He seems to bow to Miki, holding the scythe next to him. Miki might want to watch behind her. There is a... something coming at her.

It's red, and has a square metal thing where eyes should be. It's small, but it's all mouth. And OH GOD SO MANY TEETH.

COMBATSYS: Testament successfully hits Miki with EXE Beast.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Miki             1/------=/=======|=======\====---\1        Testament

Miki tilts her head a bit to one side at that bow. She isn't quite sure what's going on, until she feels something right behind her, looks back, starts to hurl herself out of the way, but it's far too late. And then suddenly, it's on her, savaging her legs and back with it's energy teeth. She makes a sound that's somewhere between a scream and a roar, fingers sinking into the earth as she tries to drag herself out of it's jaws. Finally, it vanishes, stops biting at her, and she turns her head back towards Testament. "...much too strong...."

She circles him a few more steps, then suddenly turns, leaps at him, aiming her teeth at his throat. Her teeth, however, are not human teeth. Not entirely, at least. She also has the fangs of a tiger.

COMBATSYS: Testament dodges Miki's Strong Punch.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Miki             1/------=/=======|=======\====---\1        Testament

"Do you want to withdraw?" Testament inquires. It's in an amused tone, but not at all a mocking one. Though suddenly she's leaping at him with TEETH, and he leaps back. The bite barely misses; Miki can still feel the warmth in the air for a moment where he was. Testament is visibly surprised... she shouldn't be able to move like that!

Then again, neither should he. He jumped back as if he'd simply stepped into the air and floated back. Even his kilt seemed to move in slow motion. "I see. A wild and deadly one," he comments, a smile coming to his face again. But with the distance, he seeks to close it... with a wild and deadly attack of his own. He leaps forward, slicing his blood scythe downward. As he swings, the blade seems to elongate and widen, trailing as if it were returning to its blood state.

Is that a skeletal face that's beginning to form...?

COMBATSYS: Miki counters Gravedigger from Testament with GWAR!!!.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Miki             0/-------/---====|=======\===----\1        Testament

Miki lands on the ground standing on two feet, knees slightly bent, her arms held up in front of her. "Thank you. I think I can survive another hit or two."

She narrows her eyes as he closes in, and crouches down, reaching a hand to catch onto the staff of the blood scythe right, the blade stopping inches from her neck. She smiles, and two energy tiger legs emerge from her hips. All four legs push off, and she leaps up with a growl, knocking Testament to the ground, landing on top of him, his blood scythe knocked away and to one side of him.

Her hands curl into Kung Fu claw grips, and she savagely rips at his stomach, while the energy tiger's head and shoulders emerge from her head and shoulders, and rips with it's claws at his chest.

The scythe melts away as it leaves his grasp, his will no longer able to affect the blood to keep it in shape. "What...?!" And suddenly he finds himself on the ground, tiger claws ripping into his flesh. He gives a choked grunt at the rending claws, and flails for a moment, forgetting how to get free. Though as the claws continue to shred, Miki might notice that the blood is becoming thicker, but the skin and muscle is becoming less cohesive. Until finally...

One of her strikes literally strikes nothing but partially congealed blood, spraying it across the clearing. She's actually now sitting IN a pool of partially congealed blood, and it bubbles into horrible screaming skull-like faces! The blood flows away, reforming into Testament, though it looks like that was an effort, given the grimace and the quickened breath.

His eyes narrow... and he resummons his scythe. "More tricks than I thought, it seems... I'm enjoying this..."

COMBATSYS: Testament enters a trance-like state.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Miki             0/-------/---====|=======\====---\1        Testament

Miki blinks, stopping once she realizes she's just mauling a pile of blood. "...I killed him?" She sounds confused, this doesn't jibe with her understanding of how powerful he was from his chi. But she doesn't really sound /upset/.

As the blood actually starts to scream and form faces, her eyes widen, and she jumps back, does a flip midair, lands on her feet. Seeing him reform and summon her scythe, she tilts her head a bit to one side. "Oh, you're still alive." That makes more sense. She smiles. "Tell me when you want to stop. There's no value in killing you."

She rushes forwards, attempts to step on Testament's foot, and then launch a series of jabs at his face with one hand.

COMBATSYS: Testament blocks Miki's Hard Stuff.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Miki             0/-------/---====|=======\====---\1        Testament

When Miki steps forward, Testament blocks her foot stomp with the haft of his scythe. However, he has to raise his off-arm to avoid the blows impacting his face. The grunt is audible. But he has a very strange reaction to her attack...


The blade of his scythe slices through flesh and bone about halfway up his forearm, leaving the severed limb to drop to the ground. With her proximity, Miki can probably hear the "Ghn!" So yes, it hurt. The severed limb almost immediately melts away into more of that sludgy bloodstuff. But not just that.

Like the wound he'd made in his face, a massive spray of blood comes from the stump of his arm. But it rises up, and then spreads out into a net... and then tries to engulf her!

COMBATSYS: Testament successfully hits Miki with Zeinest.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Miki             0/-------/---====|=======\======-\1        Testament

Miki's eyes widen as he cuts his own arm off. She raises her arms to block the incoming attack no doubt coming from that pool of blood on the ground. However, the sudden burst of blood from the stump of his arm, instead, takes her offguard, and she's caught in the net, and struggles to break free, her eyes darting around this way and that as she looks for some kind of escape, some way to deal with this bloody monster.

COMBATSYS: Miki focuses on her next action.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Miki             0/-------/---====|=======\======-\1        Testament

As Testament backs away, the sliced-off arm begins to regrow itself and the blood begins to draw itself back into him. He looks tired-- breath quickened, posture not quite so straight, sweat visible on his brow. But there's a smile on his face nonetheless. It's a mad smile, his quickened breaths interrupted with an odd sound that might be... a soft laugh?

It is. It's a chuckle, under his breath. "...Haa... haha..." He feels ALIVE now, like he hasn't since he woke up after the conversion.

Testament swoops in, trying to stab his fingernails into her chest (thankfully they're not TOO long), lift, and throw her. As his off-hand swings in for his, his face suddenly seems to look more like a skull... his laughter begins to sound more raspy...

COMBATSYS: Miki counters Medium Throw from Testament with Savage Grace.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Miki             0/-------/--=====|=======\=======\1        Testament

Miki catchs Testament's wrists in her hands a moment before the claws reach her. Her tiger bursts out of her side, slashing through the netting that surrounds her, and sinking it's claw into Testament's side. The upward momentum of his claws carries her partway up, and she uses it to flip up and backwards off his hands, landing back on the ground several feet away from him on all fours.

Her mouth hangs open slightly, showing off her fangs, and she coughs up a bit of that bloody mess that got into her mouth.

Immediately noticeable. That blood? Tastes TERRIBLE and there are no words for how terrible. Like dirt and death and metal and bug guts and oh God IT MOVES IN HER MOUTH /EEEEEW/. Good thing she spat it out, who knows what he'd have been able to accomplish with that blood inside her? BLEH! Nasty!

The claws in his side send him flying to the side with a grunt, and he has to get to his feet again. When he does get to his feet, he almost looks like someone's pulling him up by strings, rather than standing up the normal way. His face is back to normal now, no longer looking like a skull, but that mad grin is still there!

And he raises his hands above his head, releasing the scythe... and it seems to fly to attack Miki on its own. Notably though... it's aimed to strike with the haft, not with the blade. So he's still keeping SOME control of his actions."

COMBATSYS: Miki blocks Testament's Medium Strike.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Miki             0/-------/-======|=======\=======\1        Testament

Miki starts to rise up into a standing position, and furrows her eyebrows at Testament. "What are you made out of?" I mean, obviously blood, but....

Seeing the scythe coming towards her, she catches the haft of the scythe in her hands, and it drives her back several steps as it's energy bites into her. However, she tries to keep hold of it, and charges at Testament, trying to sink the end of the staff into Testament's stomach.

Pumped up on adrenaline, it seems like a good idea.

COMBATSYS: Testament endures Miki's Random Weapon.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Miki             0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2        Testament

"Hnnf!" It's the distinct sound of air being forced out of a body. The haft of his own scythe connects with his stomach. But as he grabs onto it when it makes contact, he's not thrown back. He's forced back, but he should still be within arm's reach of him. And if so? He will reach out. Slowly. It's not an attack. He's just trying to cup her chin gently in his thumb and first two fingers of one delicate hand.

"...You're pretty strong. Let me show you... my strength..."

The voice is soft, low, quiet. A breath behind it. And then he's pulling his hand away and raising that hand into the air. An invisible wind kicks up and he pulls his hand down, doubling over as if in pain.

Suddenly... a large portal appears in front of him. And from it? A mass of blood, shaped into a skull. And it shoots out towards Miki.

COMBATSYS: Miki endures Testament's Nightmare Circular.

[                          \\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Miki             0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\-------\1        Testament

Miki blinks as Testament takes her chin in her hand - since he has no intent to harm behind it, she didn't see it coming. She stares up at his eyes for a moment, frozen, shakes her head a little.

And there's a portal in front of her. A portal with a giant skull coming at it. It's much too big and fast for her to dodge, so she makes the split-second decision to try to walk through it. She keeps on walking towards Testament, and jumps a little, launches herself forwards in a punch in his general direction, but by the time it might reach him, most of her energy has vanished. Regardless of what the result is, she's likely going to just crumple to the ground after it's delivered.

COMBATSYS: Miki can no longer fight.

                                  >  ///////////////               ]
                                  |>>>>>>>\-------\1        Testament

COMBATSYS: Miki successfully hits Testament with Quick Punch.

                                  >  /////////////                 ]
                                  |>>>>>>>\-------\1        Testament

She keeps walking? Testament is surprised by this! He stands there, eyes wide, while she walks towards him. He either doesn't see it coming or is too shocked to move when she throws the punch, and takes it in the jaw with a grunt. However, as she collapses, he makes to catch her, aiming to guide her gently to the ground as he kneels.

He's coming down off of it now... that strange thrill that seeing blood flow lit within him. Some tiny part of him, buried so deep that he can barely acknowledge it, cries. But it's so far away that... he just can't feel it anymore. It feels like someone else's emotions, but inside him...

But here and now... Testament seems appeased. Whatever demon that screams for blood seems calmed. Enough that when he speaks, it's quiet and smooth again, without the hiss of hatred from before. "...Are you all right?"

Miki is still suffering the effects of the contaminated Chi running through her system, and grasps Testament's arm in a way which, while she is gripping onto him with all of her strength, seems more like she's trying to deal with the pain than actually attacking him. "...I should... survive." Her voice is weak, not very growly.

After a few more convulsions and quite a bit of sweating, she slowly relaxes, the contaminated chi having run it's course, but even lower on energy than before. She stares up at Testament a bit blankly.

Testament shifts so that he can hold onto her gripping hand with his own, sending his scythe away. He can take pain. "Your heart is still beating quickly... it should pass soon," he assures her, his voice almost soothing.

And once the 'poison' has run its course and she stops shivering, he offers a smile. It's an honest smile, not the crazy one from before. "Is it better now?" he asks as she looks up at him.

Miki furrows her eyebrows up at Testament at that smile, and slowly releases her deathgrip on his hand. She nods slightly at the question, and is silent for a long moment. "...I really don't understand..." Her voice is soft, she's not putting much energy into it. "Thank you for indulging my curiousity, however...."

"You're definitely stronger than that man, if you were wondering."

"Hm? What don't you understand?" Testament inquires. He nods as she thanks him. "You're welcome. And thank you too. I... I think I needed that." He sounds a little uncertain... but relieved, nonetheless. And he chuckles as she mentions he's stronger than the man she'd met. "Thank you," he says once more. It's a good sign!

And then he blinks, realizing something. "I just realized... did we exchange names? I am 'Testament'." Funny name, but he's not human, so not too unusual there. "And you?"

"You," Miki responds to what she doesn't understand. A little bit more life is starting to come back into her voice. "I am glad that you found it useful too." She stares at Testament for another moment.

"My name is Miki Murakami. I also go by the name 'Black Tiger Mask'." She slowly struggles up into a sitting position, and offers him a hand. "Let's be friends." She smiles up at him.

Testament shifts to sit next to her as she moves to a sitting position as well. He takes hold of the offered hand, shaking it firmly. But not too tightly. He still hasn't figured out how to meter his strength. They gave him so much power, and they never showed him how to use it. Of course, they expected him to be a mindless drone, so... that was a non-issue.

"Miki... that's a beautiful name," he returns. He nods to the mention of being friends. "I... I'd like that," he agrees. "I don't have friends anymore. Except for one." He looks up to the trees, and the crow flies down from the branch and alights on his shoulder, with a quiet caw.

"I'd rather have a powerful name like yours. Testament. It definitely sounds like someone who could kill a lot of people." Miki tilts her head a bit to one side, staring at the crow for a long moment. "You have lovely plumage." She holds a finger up towards it's claws. "Lets also be friends." She smiles at it.

Powerful? Testament pauses. Suddenly there's a visible thousand mile stare. It's not his real name. But he remembers how he got the name. Some of it. It's hazy now... his mind doesn't want to remember it. And he breathes something under his breath. It's very quiet. But it sounds like something in particular...


Meanwhile, though, the crow on Testament's shoulder caws quietly again, making a sound like a chuckle. And it too raises one claw to 'shake' Miki's offered finger. Crows are pretty smart, here's proof!

Miki's smile widens slightly at the Crow as it shakes her finger. "Are either of you hungry? I brought a few snacks." She looks from the crow to Testament as she asks this question.

As she looks back over to Testament, she tilts her head a bit to one side. He's clearly very thoughtful, but... "...Vater?"

...she doesn't really understand what he's talking about. "What's a Vater?"

Testament is... not there. The lights are on, but no one's home. Until the crow squawks quietly and nudges him. There is a mental nudge to his mind, as well... and ultimately that's what wakes him up. "...What?" Blink. Blinkblink. He didn't catch a word. Testament seems confused now, as if he's completely missed the last five or so minutes of conversation. Of course, he probably did...

Miki furrows her eyebrows, places a hand on Testament's arm. "Are you all right? You were talking about a 'Vater'. Maybe turning into blood isn't good for you." She's silent for a long moment. "...Testament, how do you know that there isn't some sort of residual programming or control in your head? I guess there's no one you can trust to help you with this sort of thing, however."

Testament blinks a couple more times. "A-ah? Y-yes, I'm fine..." he assures her. "It's... I was... remembering something. Something painful." A scowl pulls at his features at the mention of residual programming. "...It's possible," he acknowledges. "But that's why I need to kill them. If they're not around, they can't try to control me."

Miki furrows her brow a little. "You should be careful about that. If you're going against the people who implanted programming with you, you should have friends with you, so they can kill someone if they start controlling you." She stands up a little shakily. "Think about it. I don't mind helping kill a few people for a friend."

She looks back to Testament. "Where are you staying? Or are you just travelling through?"

Testament nods slowly. "I will need to see how strong it is," he replies. "If I can resist it-- resist THEM-- I doubt it will be a problem. But I need to know first. Know how deeply the control might go. But if there are defenders-- those that you mentioned, they will come. There won't be just one. There will be a legion."

As for where he's staying? "Here, in the woods. It's more peaceful here, without humans around," he replies. "I like the quiet..."

Miki furrows her brow at those words. "Yes. They do seem very goal oriented, so that would make sense. But if it's going to be legion, you might should rethink your plan or find a few more allies. I don't think you're strong enough to take on a legion of guys who are as strong as that man."

"I'll come visit you again another night. People will wonder where I am if I'm out too late, and it wouldn't do to draw suspicions to me right now." She walks over to her duffel bag, switches out her athletic shoes for wooden sandals, starts to put her overly elaborate kimono back on.

"No. But I will get my point across," Testament replies. His voice drops into a dangerous-sounding tone. "I will let them know that I am coming for them. That I do not intend to bow. And that I will kill them. Every one of them. They will live in fear. And when the end finally comes, it will be in terror and pain."

...He REALLY does not like these people...

Testament remains seated as Miki stands. he seems to be getting control of himself again, breathing deeply as if to calm himself from the anger that had just risen up a moment ago, when he spoke about his plans. While she dresses, he adds, "Besides... if we DO work together, we don't want to reveal our numbers before we know what we're up against. We need to learn about THEM first. And then, once we know their strength..." That growl is back "...We can ERADICATE them..."

Finished dressing, Miki hoists up her duffel bag, holding it out in front of her straight-armed in her left hand, and turns around, smiling at Testament easily, as if they're discussing some lighter topic. Gossip, perhaps. "Well, it's your plan for vengeance. Just tell me if you want help." She starts to walk away.

"Have a good night, Testament, crow." She lifts her free hand and waves as she walks, pauses, looks back over her shoulder. "Does your crow friend have a name?"

"I will need your help," Testament acknowledges. "But first I want to test them. No need ino putting you in danger until it becomes necessary." His tone, too, lightens. "Thank you, Miki. A good night to you as well."

He pauses then, as Miki asks for the crow's name. "She... does. But it is a name I can't give..." Pause. "Tset." The German pronounciation of the letter 'Z'. "Call her 'Tset'." The crow slooooowly turns its head to look a Testament. It's almost a visible 'what' expression.

Miki laughs softly. "Tset, if you don't like the name Testament gives you, I can bring a name book and list off a bunch next time I come." She waves her hand again. "Good night!" And with that she sets off down towards civilization. Humans. The creatures that need to be wiped off the face of this earth, apparently.

Log created on 01:47:38 01/08/2015 by Testament, and last modified on 13:00:58 01/09/2015.