Description: TESTAMENT has a known hate-on for humans, and Lord Dohma -did- promise safety -- for now -- so he's decided to place the fighter with the oddly familiar weapon against another supernatural origins. Though whether his opponents can work together is another matter: EADNI's eccentric behavior might prove to be a mixed blessing for the youthful, driven CHLOE... only time will tell if they are able to work together, or whether they'll be swept into the blood river below! (Winner: Chloe/Eadni by surrender)
It was easy to blame the sea for the stench.
It was a rotting smell, mingled with the tang of iron and salt. It was easy to blame the vast river of blood underneath, a grim reminder of the horror of Majigen. And yet, the blood river was far from dead; in fact, the churning sea of crimson was filled with life. Or at least, a form of life. The rushing surface is constantly broken by sticky foam and strange, smooth-skinned lampreys the size of dolphins. Skeletons forms from human bones take the shape of fish, their skulls rising up to the surface to jaw. And naturally, ghostly forms and figures, lost souls drifting through the dimension, sift through the clouds. It was easy to blame the sea for the vile stench.
But no, it was the fog that carried the scent.
The lost souls lurk within the the thin, hazy cloud of red mist, rising high above the river. The rancid stetch of diesased blood clung to the mist, carrying into every crack, every crevice, every exposed surface with a smeared sheen. The faces of the wandering spirits, contorted in pain, in fear, gazed bleakly through from the crimson fog, until unseened creatures pull them away, jerking them violently from the depths of the mists.
It was through this fog where the bridge breaks through.
Staggering high over the sea of blood was the Metro City Bridge. A modern suspension bridge of moderate standards of engineering, it is a blend of concrete, asphalt street, and wire suspension, holding it aloft as it sway idly over the river. It was desolate; only the remains of abandoned cars litter the streetscape, without even garbage holding it. Most are empty. Some are not. And still, it is devoid of life. The bridge stretches out over the river, stretching further and further.
And then it just ends.
The bridge justed ends into nothingness. Wire suspensions stretch to oblivion, ending with no sign of where it lays. High above the bridge, strange red gargoyles sit high, accompanied by skeletal seraphs, bearing three sets of wings: A pair before the eyes, a pair upon the back, and pair where the feet would be. It's bones rattle as they flutter about, testing the red gargoyles that wait, and watch silently.
And then, figures begin to move through the mist.
Thirteen men and women flicker through the mist, moving carefully, moving swiftly. The men and women were garbed in fine clothing, though the quality of the clothing was in tatters... and at least 100 years or so out of fashion. All were unnaturally beautiful, with smooth skin, and almost feline features. One of them, a man dressed in a fine tailored suit and waistcoat, was clutching a digital camera. Another, a woman in a daring flapper dress, held a boom microphone. The people are watched idly by both gargoyle and seraph, the churning blood sea boiling underneath the bridge. And yet, they were not disturbed, as the crew begins to set up. A stand is placed, another camera is broken out. The stage was being set for the event that was to take place; a battle to appease, a battle to impress. None of the fighters have arrived yet; only their audience was here; the Red Arremer, the skeletal angels, the lost souls that drift through the mist, the mysterious humanoids that prepare the eyes with which to watch them, and the vile creatures lurking deep within the crimson river.
They would not be waiting long.
This place is strange.
It wasn't quite what Chloe was expecting when she first decided to come to Majigen. Admittedly she had had pretty confused opinions about what was likely to be there, or how it connected to Metro City, but she at least /had/ some expectations.
She expected it to make sense, for one. She expected it to be a lot like the world she knew - okay, yes, maybe with some differences, but she had no idea what they could possibly be; for someone as different as she was, she had no experience with the occult, no knowledge to draw on. She was a freak and a mutant, not a wizard or a demon (as far as she knew) or a relic of a bygone age. And so she went to what might be a fighting tournament, expecting it to be pretty similar to the ones she was used to.
It wasn't. And that made Chloe a little uncomfortable. Maybe she should have backed out when she had the chance...
She's still trying to treat it as if it is. When she walks out of the mist, she's dressed like she was going to wrestle, in the faux-snakeskin leotard that she wore for much of her career, with a jacket she probably isn't going to keep for the actual battle. Her tail isn't looped around her waist but left loose, though; it didn't seem necessary to hide it right now.
She sees crew and audience. She doesn't see fighters. "Uh, hello?" she asks of nobody in particular, breaking silence. It even /sounds/ strange here, like it wanted to echo but couldn't quite manage it.
Vile stench? Testament was perfectly at home.
There was nothing human here. Nothing that reminded him of having once been human... memories that were slowly beginning to return to him. He'd see something, or hear something someone said, and it would remind him of some little thing that happened when he was human. Usually a minor thing. Something he'd never have remembered otherwise. But why now? Could it be related to his father's showing up? Maybe.
Regardless, he had a job to do.
No indeed, the audience would not be waiting long. Because a skull appears in the air, about six feet or so off the ground. It appears to be cackling. And then with the sound of space warping around the location, the image of a man with long black hair, in black clothing, appears. An almost 2d image first, before it 'unfolds' somehow, and becomes real.
And what about the third member?
There is a great sucking sound, deeping from the depths of the river. The great white lampreys breech the surface of the crimson sea, fleeing en masse from the great form forcing through it. Staggering, scrambling, the mass raises an eddy from the blood, struggling through the viscous fluid. It's sudden appearance, forcing through the thick liquid, soon loses the flash of terror it struck in the souls of those foul creatures.
It does not take long before the creatures to turn on titanic intruder.
Skeletal vermin begin to swarm the looming form, their abominal bodies writhing as they hurl themselves in it. The great white lampreys soon follow, latching on with their sucking maws on top of it. Even the Red Arremer, the solemn gargoyles, join the seraph as they encircle the mass like vultures, flying in long spirals over it. And yet, the form continues to press forward, right to the standing pillars of the bridge. With a great lurch, it slams against the bridge, shaking it and swaying it.
And from the surface of the blood, the two-legged hut rises.
It's great legs, tarred pine trunks, latch on with its gnarled talon-like roots to the pillar rising up from the bridge. The door was latched tight, and skeletal vermin and lamprey alike still cling and spasm as it breaks from the river. With heaving steps, it climbs with startling agility, every slamming step shuddering the bridge, letting it sway. Slam, slam, slam it comes, pulling itself to the top of the bridge. The towering hut, standing tall above the 13 humanoids, standing tall above Chloe and Testament alike, finally reaches the street.
And there, it looms,
It gives a sudden shake, and with it, it's parasites are sent flying. The great white lampreys are sent tumbling across the street, one smashing into one of the abandoned cars. The skeletal fish creatures are scattered; some shattering into their base humanoid bones, while others begin to claw across the street, struggling towards the edge of the bridge, and thus, back into the river. And up close, some of the smaller creatures of the river can be seen: tiny leech like creatures, with the distorted visages of human creatures, their expressions twisted into silent screams, and their open mouths filled with tiny toothed suckers, snapping out from behind their grey lips. The great huts stands, blood still pouring from its stoic form. And there, it kneels down, bending forward.
And its only door opens.
Stepping out too gracefully, with almost a glide, a beautiful woman emerges. Dressed in a faded-blue linen dress, the woman almost looks like a peasant. She wears a shawl over her top of faded green, and upon her head was a babushka of scarlet red. Her skin was quite pale, and quite soft, with ruddy blush marks upon her cheeks. A smile was on her face, a simple, subtle smile. Her black eyes look outward, blinkly softly as she adjusts the large leather stachel at her side. She steps forward barefooted, approach both Chloe and Testament as the 13 humanoids suddenly train all their attention on the trio. Still smiling, she speaks with the flowing, kind tone of someone who truly loves, truly understands.
"Mother has finally come~"
COMBATSYS: Eadni has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Chloe has joined the fight here on the left meter side.
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Chloe 0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0 Eadni
COMBATSYS: Testament has joined the fight here.
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Chloe 0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0 Testament
If the river of blood hadn't creeped Chloe out (it had), the arrival of her partner (?) and opponent definitely would have. People should not appear out of hovering skulls, as Testament does, stepping out of his skeletal image and somehow becoming physical and real while he does it. Chloe takes a half step back.
But if what Testament did shouldn't happen, Eadni's arrival is worse. When that - /thing/ lifts itself out of the river of blood, Chloe's entire body stiffens, then relaxes as she tries to balance when it makes the bridge wobble. She does a good job of not looking at anything that came out of the river.
She definitely needs to see if she can get out after this round. This is too weird for her. Metro City can be someone else's problem; she'll stick to wrestling.
Straightening from her slightly wide-legged stance, Chloe makes a point of not looking at the impossible hut, which unfortunately means she has to look somewhere else, and everywhere in Majigen is pretty much equally creepy. Her gaze passes over a cameraman (that guy's not human, she thinks) and then onto Testament. Well, at least he doesn't look... too impossibly freakish. Chloe doesn't know what his scythe is going to be made of, apparently.
"Okay," she says, a little uncertainly. Then, louder and more firmly, "Okay. I'm good. We're good. We can do this. Right?" She's mostly talking to herself, trying to pump herself up, her unnaturally golden eyes half-narrowing in the strange light.
She looks at a bystander that she hopes is an official of some kind. Can they ring a bell, or... something? Please?
...Now that's something you don't see every day.
Testament raises an eyebrow at all the ruckus from the river of blood. Yes, he does have to preserve his balance when all the shaking of the bridge starts. He gives a sour look to the bridge. Oh this is definitely going to be a problem, he realizes.
Once all the unnatural wildlife starts to flop onto the bridge, he idly kicks one of the skeletal fish that gets thrown his way back into the river. There, go swim away, you bony thing. Definitely not an eating fish, that's for sure. Even if it did have any meat on it.
Chloe's murmured statements get a smirk from Testament. "This is only the tip of the iceberg," he states, with a bit of a mad grin. Though his voice is almost kind as he says the next. "Don't be afraid. You have power enough to survive here."
As for Eadni's entrance? Well, Testament doesn't remember a mother. So he has no real longing for 'Mommy'. For the moment he waits. And offers a nod of greeting to Eadni. He doesn't know her to offer more beyond that.
High above, the black raven circles about, wheeling in the unnatural air like a child running through a field. Zio is OVERJOYED at feeling the touch of a demon world again, even this close to a human world. And so she plays, squawking happily.
No one ever truly loses the memory of their mothers.
Eadni stands there, the woman's serene expression mingled with her soul-piercing gaze. Behind her, the two-legged hut just... stands by. The seraph and the gargoyles begin to fight over one another, fighting for one of the beached lampreys struggling upon the street surface. The kicked skeletal fish's bones scatter across the ground, though the creature somehow manages to writhe its way over the edge, and lands with a shallow slap to the blood sea below. Nearby, the one of the thirteen, wearing the fine cap and bearing the camera, notices Chloe giving him a look. He smiles, flashing a pair of fangs brief as he brings up the camera in a smooth motion.
"Let it begin."
The words come as the bridge lurches again. A great, droning groan drills through the crimson mist, carrying it through to the very bones of the three contenders. Shrieking erupts from through the air, the scent suddenly redoubling. Hooting and moaning rises from the sea, as the thirteen men and woman all begin to smile, their features sharpening. Terror, terror was in full force; though as Zio was flitting about, she is soon joined by several other ravens, flitting in the bloodsoaked sky.
"It is all right, my child~"
The words come so sweetly, so kindly, so warmly. Eadni is behind Chloe, a hand on her shoulder, a touch so soft. And she leans in close to her partner in this fight, her smile wide, her eyes inky pools. "He is right. There is nothing to be afraid of. We all have so much power, that we won't let anything terrible consume you. Mother will keep you safe~" The woman brushes a light finger upon her cheek. Tilting her head softly, she squeezes Chloe's shoulder as the woman looks up at Testament, her smile unfaded. "We will be gentle, won't we my dear? I would not like any of my children to be hurt tonight." She tilts her head the other way. Her grip tightens suddenly, before releasing Chloe completely. "If you need to hurt anyone, child." She begins, looking straight into Testament, her appearance unblemished.
"You may hurt mommy~"
Carefully, she begins to rummage through her leather-bound satchel. Up close, it may be much easier to identify the... human-like visage on the side of it. The patchwork coloration. The presence of... pink leather work. Rummaging through it, she take in a deep breath, as she finally plucks out one of the bulky contents within: A human skull. Holding it up, she inspects it carefully, before idly twirling her finger. "Eye of fire, eye of flame, what once become, now became~" She sing-songs. She stops her twirling, thrusting an index finger straight to the street.
And the ground breaks.
Beside Chloe, a single piece of rebar thrusts up from the asphalt, before being wrapped around in woody vines. Deftly, the woman places the skull firmly upon the spike. After a moment, the mist suddenly -shudders- as something jerks through it. Eadni snatches her fingers into the mist, catching something unseen. The shrieking grows louder, as the woman touches the skull with her pinched fingers. The skull suddenly erupts into an emerald flame, its eyes suddenly roaring alight with the spiritual fire. Eadni looks at Testament, and then Chloe, a smile on her face.
And immediately goes back to frisking out another skull.
"I'm not worried about 'power'," Chloe says in response to Testament. She's still unsettled, one might almost say agitated. She's worried about a lot of things, but having strength is not one of them; she knows she has that, even if she's not always entirely sure where it came from.
Though, compared to some of the people she's seen here, that might not be true either. She's not /that/ strong by comparison to some of the devils and demons about, in her own estimation.
The bell (or droning sound, more accurately) sounds, and that means it's time to go. But Chloe does not immediately rush off, because Eadni is right there, putting a hand on her shoulder - or almost so, as Chloe twists away from it like she saw it, letting Eadni only brush her fingers momentarily against Chloe's too-dry skin.
"Please don't touch me," she says, her eyes drifting down toward the satchel. It is probably for the best that Chloe does not recognize it; she does recognize a skull when it is removed, though, and decides that she'd rather be anywhere but next to Eadni for much longer. Especially when she does /something/ with the ground, forming a spike and lighting the skull on fire. All this twitching of the bridge is annoying; at least she doesn't have balance problems.
Yeah, she thinks. She definitely needs to get out of here. But if she just runs now, something will catch her... wait for a better moment.
Since the match has started, Chloe takes advantage of the excuse to move away from Eadni, creeping toward Testament. She moves surprisingly lightly on her feet, her tail held behind her, almost stiffly. She can't quite bring herself to charge in, though; instead she inhales, drawing power as much as air into her body and twisting it.
Chloe spits a glowing blob of green energy. It's not actually poison, or anything physical, but energetic chi that crackles on impact with anything; she's lobbed it at Testament, and if it hits, the sphere bursts, the disruptive chi clinging to him in a greenish aura.
COMBATSYS: Testament overcomes Venom Breath from Chloe with Phantom Soul.
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Chloe 0/-------/-------|=======\-------\0 Testament
The weirder it is, the less it feels like anything human. The less it feels like anything human, the more he can convince himself that it's not. That HE'S not. He can forget those memories inside him of the life before he was made into... what he is now. They hurt too much to think about.
Luckily, as Eadni starts making torches out of what look like human skulls-- pulled from a bag that may or may not be made of human skin-- and green fire, the small mad smile spreads across Testament's face. He starts to gather up those memories and shut them away, back in the box in the back of his head that he keeps his troubles in for later. He does answer Eadni's concern though. "I don't have any reason to injure her, not to worry."
Not YET, anyway.
The 'gong' sounds, and Testament chooses then to ready himself. And to draw his weapon. Which, though Chloe might have faced him once, she might not have seen exactly how he makes the thing, no. He raises a hand to his face, digging into his cheek with one of those long, sharp fingernails of his, and TEARING a deep gash across his cheek. Except instead of just bleeding...
The blood explodes out of the gash in an arc! The arcing spray of blood seems to freeze into that shape, and the far end of that arc elongates into the handle. And then the scythe forms fully, and the gash he'd just torn in his face sleas up as if it was never there. Yes, it's the same one he was using against the fighters in the UN building. He was hitting them with something made of his own blood.
...Yeah, he's not helping the creepiness.
And then Chloe gives him a reason to attack her. So it's her he turns his attention to first. As the green blob comes at him, he extends his hand, palm up, and a skull appears within it, glowing with fiery black-and-yellow energy. He releases this skull in a slow arc towards the green blob. The two meet and the blob splats against the skull, but the skull doesn't disappear. It keeps going...
If she hadn't said please.
Chloe said the one word, that made the difference. The one word that kept Eadni from lashing out at a naughty girl. The one word that may have let her keep her skull. A mother's love is unyielding, a mother's love has no condition to it. But a mother must be treated with the utmost respect, a mother's love can never be rejected. Chloe rejected the tender touch of her mother, her new mother, her most important mother. Words were power, and Chloe's word cut deeper than any knife. Eadni had every right to punish Chloe right there, and right then.
But she said please.
And Eadni still loved her for it.
"Of course my darling~" The woman says brightly, plucking out another skull. Once again, she whirls her finger. "Eye of Fire, Eye of Flame, What once become, now became!~" As Chloe retches up a blob of violent energy, another stake erupts from the street, another shriek comes as she plucks something out of the mist, and the woman fixes another skull. As it erupts into flame like the first, she repeats her dilligent work, retrieving another skull.
But as Testament tears his face open, she perks up.
"Fantastic!~" She praises as the scythe manifests. "I trust you, my son, I know I can trust you to control yourself. This is such a precious child, she remembers to say please~" She hums to herself as the bloodied skull erupts out, ripping through Chloe's own blob and hurtles towards her. Pulling out another skull, she holds it up high. "Eye of Fire, Eye of Flame, what once become, now became!" She repeats, slashes the skull through the mist. More shrieking comes, as Eadni releases the skull. The skull is engulfed in the emerald flames, but unlike the staked skull, it begins to fly, the spiritual force carrying it aloft.
The first skull suddenly rattles.
Eadni is plucking out another skull from her stachel, as the first skull torch suddenly turns its head. Fixing straight upon Testament, it continues to rattle. Eyes suddenly brightening, the emerald flame surges to a pyre. From the depths of its eyes, two beams of intense, eldritch fire burst out. Searing forward, straight towards the reaper, the staked skull is swiftly consumed by the sheer energy. As the blackened skull falls apart from the stake, a sort of sigh is heard, followed by weeping.
Eadni sweeps another skull in the air.
"Eye of Fire."
"Eye of Flame."
"What once become."
COMBATSYS: Testament successfully hits Chloe with Phantom Soul.
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Chloe 0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1 Testament
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Chloe didn't even say 'please' because she really meant it. She said it because that's what you say at a time like this; she doesn't hate Eadni (yet), she's just unsettled by her, and Chloe didn't really think about what she was saying before she said it.
Still, she did use those words. Maybe she's not as much of a jerk as she sometimes comes off as.
Recognizing the reaction it got from Eadni, Chloe says, "Thanks," as much to keep her off her case as any other reason while she regards Testament. Chloe was not at the UN building so she doesn't immediately recognize Testament's scythe as identical, but she doesn't need to: it's a scythe that he apparently pulled out of his own body, or at least the blade. Blood? Or... either way, it's gross.
More of her attention is on his assault - the skull. Chloe is too close to do much about it, but she tries to roll forward, under it. A sudden dip in the skull's flight path (possibly from the spatial twisting on the bridge; she didn't /think/ it was flying that way) makes it clip her anyway, catching her by the shoulder and rolling her sharply to one side with a burst of chi. That hurt!
Chloe pops back to her feet. She's agile, if nothing else; she moves as if she was double-jointed everywhere, which in fact she may be. She's closer to Testament now, and she does lunge forward, trying to grab him by the shoulder and arm; with a snap of her body, she tries to whip him to the side.
Directly at the skull eye laser, too. Whoops. - wait, skull eye laser? Since when do skulls have eye beams? Chloe turns to stare at Eadni's workmanship for a moment. This may be a mistake.
COMBATSYS: Testament dodges Chloe's Quick Throw.
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Chloe 0/-------/-----==|=======\=------\1 Testament
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COMBATSYS: Testament overcomes Shut Your Eyes from Eadni with Hitomi.
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Chloe 0/-------/-----==|=======\==-----\1 Testament
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Suddenly it seems as though Eadni is following suit with the skull attacks! A wind flutters through his hair and ruffles the bottom of his kilt... and a dead tree grows up out of the bridge before Testament, taking the brunt of Eadni's skull lasers. And the roots might his Eadni if she's not careful, oops!
And then Chloe is leaping in and trying to grab him! Chloe will find her arm wrapping about a mass of blood, as Testament disappears from sight in a wash of blood. The blood is not normal, either. It's thick, and vicous, and oily and smells foul, and ARE THOSE SCREAMING FACES IN THE BLOOD?! Yes, for the moment that the wave of blood rises from the ground, it takesthe shape of wall of screaming faces just large enough to cover him from sight.
He reappears soon after, in a similar wash of blood. The first thing he does? Smirk at Eadni's words. "Of course she has manners. She's not one of the masses teeming outside the portal. She is like us. She understands."
COMBATSYS: Testament successfully hits Eadni with Hitomi.
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Chloe 0/-------/-----==|=======\====---\1 Testament
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Of course, screaming doesn't bother Eadni.
A proper mother doesn't lose her composure. As she tosses the skull in the air, the pair of burning skulls begin to float around, drifting idly in spirals overhead. The other sentry skull turns its head, focusing its eyes upon Testament as he falls into screaming. But Eadni herself? She is humming along as the tree bursts out from underfoot. A causal glance of her hand comes. "Tree afoot, pull up your-" Was the incantation. But the wood does not yield.
Instead, it tears into her legs.
The woman does not bleed. But as the tree rips into her, its gnarled roots tangling deep inside, the sharp smell of turpentine erupts. Eadni's serene smile continues, looking first down upon the dead tree, and then on the boy who manifested from blood before her. She takes in a deep inhale, tilting her head as she places a hand on the foul tree digging deep into her flesh.
"Darling, this tree is sick~"
She places both hands on the tree, as she digs her nails into it. The inky stillness of her eyes seems to tremble, as she mutters deep and low. "You musn't use sickwood, darling. Cursed wood is a contagion, that cannot spread." Emerald energy flares over her arms as the tree grows still, it's teeth retracting. Upon her legs, what little is exposed, are the deep grooves of impact, where the teeth cut deep in. The flesh was warped, but no blood was spilled.
Just that ever growing scent of turpentine, mingling with the stench of the blood mist.
The cursed wood is uprooted, as it nearly molds into new shapes in the woman's hands. "But this will do, yes, this will do." Eldritch energies flow from the witch's hands into the cursed wood, infusing it. "You would not mind if mother borrows this?" She asks idly, as she pulls it apart into long, twisted masses of wood fiber and plant matter. Weaving and shaking it, the inky pools begin to ripple as her face begins to take on a glossy sheen. "Mother needs to borrow a lot. Mother needs blood..."
Briefly, she casts a longing gaze towards Chloe.
"No, no, I won't." She excuses, nodding her eyes as she passes the wood matter into one hand. "I am sorry, my child," She apologizes sweetly, the cursed wood continuing to mingle with the emerald flame. Taking a step towards Testament, she... she takes a much larger step than what her legs should take. Reaching a hand forward, she attempts to bury it straight into his shoulder. And bury it was very likely; the woman's hands are much sharper than they look, as she just tries to hammer it in.
"Mommy needs to borrow your blood~"
Chloe expected to get her hands on something solid or, if Testament managed to get out of the way, nothing at all. She was very clearly not expecting to run her hands through foul-smelling blood, certainly not when it had screaming faces to look at her.
Chloe recoils with a sudden yell, going down to a crouch. She scrapes her hands on the bridge itself, wiping them ... well, 'clean' would be pushing it, but 'cleaner' is at least accurate. She's even more disturbed than she was before, and she wasn't exactly perfectly settled then.
It's not helping when Eadni looks at her like that. Don't even think it! Chloe thinks to herself, but doesn't actually say. She doesn't want to donate her blood.
Another thing that doesn't help: Testament saying she understands. Chloe doesn't. She understands... some things, but nothing like Majigen. She might be a Darkstalker but she has never really spoken to another, no demon or devil or whatever Testament counts as. Or Eadni, for that matter. Nobody like that is quite human.
Hissing under her breath, a more human sound than might be expected out of someone who looks at her, Chloe holds her distance. She doesn't immediately move across the bridge, instead trying to get a sense of how it shifts underfoot - she's already been thrown by that once, she doesn't want to do it again. Maybe if she can figure out the best approach... or retreat, if it comes to that.
COMBATSYS: Chloe focuses on her next action.
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Chloe 0/-------/----===|=======\====---\1 Testament
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COMBATSYS: Eadni successfully hits Testament with Medium Punch.
-**- LUNATIC HIT!! -**-
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Chloe 0/-------/----===|=======\====---\1 Testament
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Testament's attention is on Chloe. Eadni, the strange woman with the mommy fetish, doesn't get his attention. Not until it's too late, that is. Testament is assuring himself that Chloe's not too weirded out by it all. While he does want to bring Chloe into the world of Darkstalkers, he doesn't want to break her too terribly in the process.
Except then Eadni is beside him and mentioning needing his blood. Except instead of explaining? Her fingers jam into his shoulder, drawing a grunt of surprise and pain. Not only that, but the bridge shifts just as she does this. And her fingers go through... and through. Eadni can feel the layers. That's bone. That's marrow. That's the other side of his arm. Yes, the fingers did go all the way through his shoulder. His reaction?
But not just that. Once she pierces his shoulder, she gets the blood she's looking for. Probably not the way she wanted it though. It explodes out, creating a 'net' that tries to throw her back. And it's liable to make it harder to move for a while, too. And even as he pulls back away from Eadni's jabbing hand, his shoulder cracking as the bone re-orients itself, he continues to laugh.
COMBATSYS: Testament successfully hits Eadni with Zeinest.
-* WILD HIT! *-
! VENGEANCE !
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Chloe 0/-------/----===|=======\======-\1 Testament
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He was so soft.
As her hand breaks through, she lets out a soft 'hm.' Wiggling her fingers gently, she clenches her fist. As his laughter comes, Eadni's expression is that serene smile. "Oh my~" She coos, slowly attempting to draw her arm back. "You are a strong boy, aren't you. Darling-" She begins to call out to Chloe, as she keeps her distance.
And the blood comes.
The net washes over her, giving her no time to break away. But as it comes, her voice rattles off, instinct and experience flooding over her. "Blood begets blood, life begets life" She mutters over and over again, struggling to do -something- to the blood. It does not change as the spray of blood erupts harder, threatening to carry her away. But she doesn't get blown back.
No, she mingles.
There is a crunching sound underneath as Testament surges back with equal fury. Eadni's feet are buried deep under the asphalt, forced straight down into the street as the blood floods over her. Her flesh was peeling back now, revealing layers of skin under skin. Her form withers, growing more and more gnarled as her chanting intensifies. The wooden matter continues to surge with the eldritch energy, as the bridge suddenly dips LOW towards the river. The seraph and gargoyles over head begin to fly overhead, the ravens toying with Dio as they tease and flirt with her. Blood rises, the river rises up and up, something inciting it. "BLOOD BEGETS BLOOD! LIFE BEGETS LIFE" She chants, that smile locked on her face.
Until there is a sharp snapping sound.
Eadni's legs snap off at the ankles, sending her rolling across the asphalt. Her hide is torn up, her dress is shredded, and worse of all, her satchel is send upturned, sending skulls tumbling across the bridge. She collapses into a heap near Chloe. Already, the seraph and gargoyles dive down on the wounded, blood-soaked woman.
They flutter back as Eadni rises.
"Blood begets blood~" She repeats softly, her legs... twisting into stumps. The flesh hardens, flattening out as she rises up. She has not lost height; instead, her form narrows even more as she holds up each of her hands. Blood drizzles from her one hand, it's hand in a fist. Steadily, it unclenches, as a splash of blood falls to the ground. Immediately, it forms a circle before Eadni, taking on arcane pictographs and symbols as they weave within itself.
"Life begets life~"
And there, she hurls down the wooden mass into the heart of the circle. The remains of the tree strike the asphalt, and immediately takes the form of a heaving, raw boil. The verdant sore begins to pulse and shudder, as the ring of blood begins to glow.
The edge of the river was beginning to spill over the bridge now.
"Darling." Eadni states to Chloe, smiling at her. Her features was no longer rounded, no longer beautiful. Now it was hollow and thin, her body chipped, scarred, and jagged. Moving with unnatural grace, she bows her head. "My darling child, mother needs you to be brave. As long as you are brave here, nothing will take you. Courage is the only defense against the creatures of the dark; and you need courage now. We need courage now~"
"Come with me."
Eadni looks back at Testamant, smile still on her face. "I have never heard of a boy as strong as you, a boy with your powers~" She begins, as the witch begins to pick up speed. Inspite of her body rending injuries, she was almost gliding across the ground as she closes the distance. "Who are you, child? I need the name of my Reaper~" She coos as she takes to the air. Leaping with a bound, she goes airborne, clawing at the mist, climbing upon it. As she reaches a few feet into the air, her arms then spread apart, the woman twisting her body at Testament. Eadni dives down, quickly slashing her arms in a cross motion, attempting to tease the boy with a rending cut.
Meanwhile, the boil of wood begins to burst open, into a fresh plume of green life.
Chloe is a Darkstalker because of... well, an accident, as far as she knows. She doesn't remember it, or her life before it, really. She's a freak, a mutant, but she has no experience or understanding of weird shit like this. All she'd been trying to do was make a life for herself and, lately, try not to be ashamed of what she was.
If Testament's goal was to not freak Chloe - who, despite her appearance, is largely a normal, in that she doesn't understand a lot of this - he probably could have gone about it a better way than laughing about someone driving their fingers into his arm and lashing out in a web of blood.
She recoils. And again when Eadni's legs crack, revealing... she doesn't even get a good look at what's there, but she doesn't look any smaller. Different, but not shorter, somehow twisted. Chloe just wants to leave now. She wants no part in whatever this is. Majigen is worse than she thought it could ever be. It's not for her, or people like her.
But she has nowhere to go right now - she can't even leave the battle, not with the bridge twisting every which way. Fuck this, she thinks, in a sudden fit of uncharacteristic fury. She'll finish this fight but then she's out of here. She'll never see these people again, if she can get out of the demonic city. She's certainly not going to go anywhere with Eadni.
Chloe forces herself to face Testament again. She's stuck here, so she may as well win, so she can walk out of here under her own power. She advances, slowly at first, then faster as she steadies herself emotionally. She goes in for what looks like nothing so much as a shoulder check, turning it into a spin that smashes with her tail like a club. Her tail seems bigger and bulkier for the few seconds of her rotation, returning to normal with a shimmer of greenish chi after she finishes her spin, landing low with one hand on the bridge to steady herself.
COMBATSYS: Eadni successfully hits Testament with Strong Punch.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////// ]
Chloe 0/-------/-----==|=======\=======\1 Testament
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Chloe successfully hits Testament with Crushing Blow.
?!? Weird Hit! ?!?
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////// ]
Chloe 0/-------/-----==|=======\=======\1 Testament
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ <
The rending cut from Eadni splits Testament's shoulder again-- the same one she'd damaged the first time, mind you. And just as it had done that time, the wound seals itself up. And then Chloe's tail strikes him. It probably would have hurt worse, but the bridge shifted again, and pulled him away just enough for it not to strike with full strength.
Testament steadies himself, readies to attack... and then stops. Chloe's obvious discomfiture brings Testament pause. She's still young. She doesn't deserve to go through this. Besides, it may push her away from the anti-human side forever. She needs to be inducted into this slowly, so she has time to adjust to it all.
He stills... and then dismisses his scythe. Looking to Chloe, "...You shouldn't be here. This is too much, too fast." Looking to Eadni, he answers her question, "Testament." Then he looks up to Zio, a mental command brings her to alight upon his shoulder.
"This match is yours," he says quietly. Then, with a sound of space warping, his image seems to fold in on itself from the sides, disappearing. The skull appears to remain for a moment, clacking its teeth, before it too disappears.
As the elusive child speaks to Chloe, Eadni lands softly. Encircling around, he allows Chloe to make for the lunge. It was a moment for the pair to make their move. But then... the boy leaves. Fading into a flicker of skull, it seems for a moment that it was over. Already, the howls and shrieks of the audience comes, as Chloe and Eadni seem to be the winners.
Oh, it would not end with Testament's leaving.
As the be-top hatted man with the camera approaches, Eadni smiles sweetly towards Chloe... and then, the wooden sore. Already, green plant life continued to burst out. The strange 13, originally smiling at the outcome of the fight, had their smiles fade as they gaze upon the strange growth. Eadni turns towards the plant boil, as suddenly, roots begin to drive out from it, driving into the bridge's asphalt. The witch nods her head, closing her eyes. "The match is mine?"
"Oh, I was not here for a fight, darlings~"
The tree begins to grow, the roots driving into the blood, absorbing it. Already, the trunk was at a height of 20 feet, the branches spreading. The color of the tree was darkening already, taking on the candor of the environment. But the bridge was... it was spreading across the bridge, the verdant life mingling with the blood. Absorbing the blood, absorbing the mist. It was blood for blood, life for life. Eadni smiles as howls of rage, of disgust come from the seraphs on high, their twisted songs rattling from the abominations. Eadni looks back at Chloe. "My ritual is complete, darling."
"You better run~"
COMBATSYS: Testament has left the fight here.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////// ]
Chloe 0/-------/-----==|=======\===----\1 Eadni
The shifting bridge leaves Chloe a few feet away from Testament and slightly confused about the twist in space. Not as confused as she is about everything else, mind you, but she wasn't expecting it to actually move her around. Or maybe him. She's unclear on the matter.
She takes a step back, preparing to do something else - but Testament vanishes, giving them the win. On one hand it's what she wanted - a victory, so she could find a way out. On the other hand, part of her is disappointed she didn't get to fight more than she did. There's a part of her that likes to fight, and it's stronger than it used to be...
...but honestly, keeping herself safe (and sane) is more important to her. She gives the top-hatted man a somewhat toothy grin to make sure he knows she knows that they have the victory, but that's all. Eadni has some words for her.
What does she mean, she's not here for a fight?
Chloe looks at Eadni. She looks at the tree as it grows, the roots groaning as they work through the bridge. And, honestly, Eadni doesn't have to tell her twice. "I'll leave you to your gardening!" she calls, possibly the one bit of humour she's willing to try right now.
That's all she says entirely, in fact, before she starts to make her way off the bridge. She starts walking. She looks back a couple times, and as soon as she thinks people aren't looking at her, she switches to a flat-out run.
"Mother's blessing to you as well, my child~"
Eadni's response comes with a truly sincere tone. But as Chloe turns to run, the shrieks of rage intensify into pure hate. The 13, ankle deep in the blood, suddenly break into a run. The leeches, the lampreys, and the bony fish suddenly tear across the bridge, lunging straight for the tree. They gnaw at the roots, latch on to the living pillar. The creatures of the river act as almost an immune system, the antibodies fighting to attack the intruder the was forcing its way into the realm. Chloe was, at least, safe;
Not even the Red Arremers were willing chase her down.
The gargoyles were now busy sparring with the seraph, the skeletal creatures battling the gargoyles over the new territory. Great thumping sounds rumble through the mists, as the two-legged hut begins to stomp down at the creatures attacking the tree. Beams of flame erupt out, as Eadni simply sifts through the blood, snatching the spirits as they come, snatching the skulls as they come, and reinforcing them. The 13? The 13 would be nowhere near here now, as they flee. They had a much better idea of dealing with the witch. Lord Dohma would be hearing of this.
If he wasn't aware already.
Log created on 18:50:03 04/12/2015 by Chloe, and last modified on 20:05:18 04/29/2015.