Description: One of the field research operations has managed to secure some Gears for me to investigate. I found them disappointing; small ghostly things, barely able to survive hands on research. But as I went to dispose of them, Jack-O' Valnetine, one of the stronger Gears as I understand, arrived to claim them. See, they function as a kind of hive mind, working under a queen as drones. And as she created them before my very eyes, she revealed to me something so incredible, that I have decided that I must have her. For Science.
In the aftermath of the war, there were still a few loose ends.
NOL teams were spread out over Japan in the aftermath of the Gear Wars, seeking and containing any remains of the Gear ARmy. While the Gears themselves were of mixed status, sometimes easy to track down and dispose of, others showing a kind of strength and autonomy independent of the others. One such team found the scattered forces of the Southern ARmy, the invasion force that managed to capture the island of Kyushu. Returning with their 'prisoners,' they were at an off-sight in the woods, where they were waiting further orders on the nature of the creatures.
Relius, of course, was always delighted to retreive these rogue creatures.
"How intriguing~" He coos softly, looking over the three boxes of the captured abominations. The purple-garbed scientist strides into the tent, his pupil-less eyes transfixed upon them. Each pen housed a smattering of each type of creature acquired. Two were sealed, but the third was open for the head scientist's attention. The small, marshmallow like creatures were in the shape of dolls. When found, they were armed with spears. But having been carefully disarmed, they were running around. The other two had more flying creatures, their situation uncertain to contain.
Relius reaches out into the crate.
Dancing his fingers over them, the ghosts scatter, trying to avoid his grips. Relius watches them, deeper and deeper, before snatching forward. Seizing one of them, it gives a high pitched whine, shaking and writhing in his grasp. Raising it up to his eye level, he stares into it, inspecting it, studying it. "And how precular. You are such a precious... little... thing..." He coos, as his cape billows. A single scapel on a mechanical arm rises up from within his cape, as his grip tightens. The creature screams louder, writhing more and more. The scapel comes closer, pressing against the tummy of the small creature. Relius shushes it, as the pressure builds. The scream suddenly escalates sharply.
Until it falls silent.
The remains of the creature disappates, collapsing between the fingers of the head scientist. The Mad Alchemist frowns. "Hmph." He grunts, dissatisfied. "These are the so called Gears? They are impossibly frail, and their essence is miniscule." He turns away from the crates. "These are hardly worth my time." He states to the commander of the troop, adjusting his glove as the scapel arm retracts. He gestures dismissively at the remaining, as one ghost struggles to climb out.
"Dispose of them."
Some ends are better left dangling, though!
Others, tied rather quickly.
The little scream, escalated, causes an ear to wiggle not far. One that is attached to a being mouth deep into a sundae that isn't hers. A rather smart pair of civilians chose 'treat' over trick, and that is how history is made. "Mpph?" Jack-O's head tilts as she hears it. One of her 'scouts'. One of them that had been under assault. Twitch twitch. No, under duress. In danger!? With a sudden gasp, and inhaling of the sundae, Jack-O's arms grasp Dorpos firmly, seeds of energy gathering in his mouth, before her arms swing out towards the ground. The ceiling gives way before Jack-O' does, Dorpos and Gear streaming into a sky with a thick plume of energy following her.
She doesn't land directly onto Relius, however.
he remaining white ghosts, marshmallow in nature, may try to escape - yet Relius will find it is eerily silent a moment later as the two little gears vanish, essence not dissipating like the previous had. More of the same essence gathers nearby instead - as if it had just moved - a sudden spike of it. In the dynamic nature of Jack-O', the Gear crests the hill, Dorpos underneath, as she ramps a damaged building, feet landing against the ground, skidding and tearing into it as all the momentum bleeds off in a very short period of time. Far shorter than it should be safely.
"Yooohooo~. You're not supposed to play with my friends like that, y'know~." The high-pitched girly voice proclaims, twirling around to reveal a glowing pumpkin like mask and a chain to a pumpkin like familiar, glowing at Relius. "Hee hee hee. Maybe I should play with you instead...."
Another strange creation, of course - but it wasn't to be any easier to understand. "Instead of wasting time, like that, I'll be taking them off your hands." The voice, and sentence, transitions into a far older and more knowledgable direction, Jack-O's hands on her hips. "It'll let you get back to what you were doing far sooner - and you did plan to just get rid of them. I have just the place to store them, in conditions that will be far more agreeable." She explains, "After all, I ... hmm..." The fragmented thought crashes. Error! [A]bort [R]etry [C]ontinue
- "They'll be better in my hands."
Relius does sense the shift in essence.
He actually turns around, eyes widening at the sudden... disappearance? No, relocation. Energy shifts and flows, as -something- calls for them. The commander gasps, as the ghosts fade from sight. Relius suddenly feels the spike. And delicately, he takes a step to the side.
The interior of the tent collapses.
Panic bursts out from the NOL personnel as suddenly, the Gear arrives with a burst of chi energy. Guns train on Jack-O, as more of the ghost energy. Relius steps back, rubbing his chin as he observes the transformation. It almost seems like a young girl, except... something seemed off. As she goes into a little blue screen of death, the scientist narrows his eyes.
He had to look deeper.
Relius stares deeper into the broken soul. His gaze reaches through, writhing through like long fingers, probing and wriggling. Hooking in, drawing out. A realization dawns on the man, as he adjusts his gloves, as the personnel steps in front of him, surrounding the girl. "These are yours? I can see the connection between you and them... and yet..."
"What are youT?"
Relius somehow steals Jack-O's T for his own.
It was a matter of FA()E.
The burst of chi energy is nothing compared to the quarter of a mile skid that chewed through the landscape in a neat impression of her feet, though the feet and dress seemed to have survived it. Nothing beyond the measures of fighters in the present - but certainly something that would, in the slightest, cause a peak of interest. "The white ones are mine," She begins, "But you couldn't keep them from me anyways." Is her claims - as the halo on her head, slowly rotating, picks up in speed and momentum. Moments later hands raise upwards to grasp a ghost bag which is placed before her, the woman leaning forwards on it, elbows on it as it eems to wiggle.
It isn't posturing. It's pressure.
The first miniature gear opens the door with a smile. The house even smiles! It carries but a stick as it waddles free, looking around and turning to Jack-O'. It stands at attention and smiles. "I'm interested in the other ones, the ones currently in containment fields seemingly designed to withstand Gear level assaults, as well as manage their natural aggression when engaged, captured, or otherwise unable to escape. Fight or flight~." She cheerfully chirps.
A second little marshmallow man Gear joins in attention.
Both elbows lean on it now as her foot wiggles behind her, "Oh? What am I? You seem like a scientist, so I imagine you already know the answer. Of course, then instead of forcing you to rely on the scientific method, I'll spare you your valuable time. I'm..." The voice, once again, raises. "JACK-O' Valentine~!" She sing-songs, "I'm a SUPER scary Gear, groooowr! If you don't give me any candy, then you'll be setting yourself up for a trick!" Hands move to claws as she adopts a generic monster stance!!!
Oh... eh?! There's some right here, nevermind~!" Some of the sundae was stuck under the mask. "MmMMmmmm~." Jack-O giggles, "Otherwise, it's a seeeeekrit~."
Relius has no tell on how to respond to the intruder.
He was studying her performance, her strange, almost manical behavior. Her strange energy signature... what was this creature? As the house brings out one of the missing ghost creatures, he is forced to rub his chin again. The soldiers were locked, waiting for an order from Relius. When finally, she explains herself in a... completely strange way, that seems to satisfy something within the scientist.
"... Yes... of course."
Relius mutters idly, as he stares into Jack-O, his attention astray. "These are not designed as individual Gears, per say, but as individual drones for a central controller. A queen ant, to use the analogy, with her drones and workers. Sensable sacrifices, and the energy is recycled back to the queen. "
And he looks at the 'house.'
"And that's the vessel. And they are able to procreate, based on their source houses, driven by your own lantent seed energy." Relius actually approaches the house, to the little ghostly figure. His cape billows, as a single claw grips it, crushing it with the force of pressure. As the essence fades, he nods along. "So frail, and yet... by focusing on one, the whole can move to strike against me. It's colony behavior." JAck-O then gives her threat.
And Relius snaps his fingers.
A single spiral lollipop appears, peppermint red and white. It's old, certainly, and a bit sticky. But Relius hardly thinks of it, as he tosses it in the air at Jack-O's general direction. "You are a bright one. Yes, the containers are quite secure; they are normally utilized for seithr containment; their unique properties keep them contained and sealed within the seithr transportation units. You won't be able to draw them out, or break them out without far more brute force." The NOL soldiers look nervously back and forth from Relius and the Gear. Relius suddenly gestures the soldiers.
"You may leave now."
The soldiers stares warily, as they lower their weapons. Stepping out, they... stare at the scar of magical energy that Jack-O' took as her route. The remains of the tent was, for purposes, 'evacuated.' Relius heads over to the containers. "Now, I am going to liberate these ones with swords. I want to see what you -do- with them, Miss Valentine." Already, something was moving from underneath the cape, extending behind. Long, mechanical limbs with... cameras at the end?
"I assume, it is Miss?"
It should be surprising that Jack-O' simply doesn't 'fear' Relius. Plenty of reason, but be it because he isn't someone she knows - or since she simply doesn't fear him - there is plenty of space. Maybe, possibly, she cannot put the warning signs together.
"Biiiiingooooo~!" Jack-O' remarks, grinning as Relius mutters and makes such an astute observation! "Ah!" The little one is grasped, complaining, flailing, angry - and then with a sad face, vanishes! Yet Jack-O' doesn't feel a thing. No essence is lost. A never ending army already created - but how effective can such a swarm be? The Queen in this case, needs to be nearby! "You reaally shouldn't do that, they're going to get all sad - and they're looking at you. Jiiiiiii." She remarks, making antennae like motions and sticking out her tongue, pointer fingers wiggling, thumbs against her forehead. "Everyone, look at him~!"
All the other white marshmellow soldiers face Relius - including the one that staggers out of the house. Three, now. Apparently hurting one doesn't even stop the production. It may even be the same one! Before there's candy. Catching it out of the air, Jack-O' glaces at it - and the mask is placed to the side, the lollipop placed right in her mouth. "MmmMMMM~!" She exclaims, the soldiers leaving them as Relius commands it. "Buhbyeeeeeee." She waves, childishly, as she throws herself onto the house.
It pops up, larger, Jack-O' bouncing forwards off of it like a trampoline. The suit clings to her as she lands before the larger house, glancing at the boxes - rocking back and forth. "Ooooh, yess, I'm a miss~! Miss A-" The older voice comes back, "Jack-O'." She answers. Another marshmallow, 4, but this one comes with a sword and not a stick. Somehow. "Interested in parameters and relation to these. I see, an unknown and known objects with possible relativity. Sort of like solving for X, hmm? I guess that'd make me the missing Y value." She muses, "Please continue then."
Relius pops open the container.
There is a hissing sound, as magical energy is unsealed. The scientist steps to the side, over the other container, as he observes the flow of energy.... and the eyes upon him. A Gear queen, with her little gear drones. On paper, this should very well meet the conditions for a Command Gear. ANd yet.... the relationship seemed to be more direct. Relius himself should be afraid as well, and yet, he was so fascinated at what could happen next.
And to say the least, the implications of his soul.
"Yes, yes, Jack-O. You know, there is something very fascinating about you. Your soul burns brighter than anything I've seen... and yet, it seems only half-formed. Like a spring of mistletoe, a little parasite looking for a host... or perhaps something else. I find it very interesting that you behave like a Command Gear, Jack-O'. And with an uneven intellect as well..." He places his hands on the next container, watching the results of the last release... as the army of ghosts begins to grow around him.
"Are you ready for the next one, Miss Valentine?"
The flow of energy is immediate and direct.
Upon being freed, the Gears stand at attention, all eyes focusing on Jack-O' as she stands before them in her odd suit. Hardly fitting attire for a Gear - but she wasn't really a Command Gear, even if she was quite the commanding presence among her own. "Ah! So that's what happened to the rest of them." Jack-O' exclaims as yet another surprise, a question, is answered. Hands come together before they seperate at once, spreading to her sides. Chi is emitted, yet it does not move - forming what seems to be the keys of an organ as she rests her hands on the chi construct.
"Yes, I'm quite ready." She answers.
"I see, I'm sure you know even more than you let on, don't you? coming to such conclusions so quickly, even with such limited evidence. Or is it an assumption based on previous observations, being cross analyzed?" Jack-O' rattles off, hands dancing over the keys as every little gear about her reacts a bit differently. It's almost as if she was giving them commands.
With bright happy faces, the angry spear gears and the cheerful sword Gears float around her in greater number, almost creating a wall between the two. "Ah... I see, you have a hypothesis you're interested in testing, is that it?" She muses out loud, candy stuck in her cheek. "Mmm... it does feel weird to be a /subject/, especially.... hmm? You want to know everything, do you?"
"Hee hee hee... well, a girly's gotta keep her seeeekrits, y'know~?" The much younger voiced Jack-O' exclaims!
It was incredible.
The camera tracks and scans, recording and observing. The duality of this woman, and yes, he would consider her a woman. The organ plays, and the chain of energy flows from one into another, harmony running through the drones as they sway and dance in unison. Already, the waves were coming, and Relius was becoming more and more surrounded. Relius might dimly be aware he was in great danger.
In fact, he might even embrace it.
"Picture, if you will, the possibilities." Relius begins, as he draws his gloved fingers on the edge of the containment unit. "That there are infinite meaning, associated with the evidence presented. The fact: A broken, half-formed soul, imperfect, and yet, impossibly powerful with incredible potential. The reason, however, could be infinite. Hypothesis, THesis, and then, antithesis. All equally viable, with the scientific method in disarray. The only constant, thus." And there is a glim in his eyes, as he flashes a grin.
"Is what young ladies are willing to give to me."
"I take great pride in uncovering secrets, Miss Valentine." He says with almost a detached tone, as he unlocks the last of the ghosts; the one with scepters, with staffs. "The way you are connected to these little objects is fascinating, and possibly replicatable. Imagine what I could do, with countless little dolls, all following a host unit." He looks up, casting a gaze across the full force of ghosts... as the camera scans as well.
"Would you appreciate more candy, Miss Valentine?"
The little Gears now move together, magical ones, floating about all together.
"I've got a great imag-gi-nation~!" Jack-O' exclaims, seemingly to just play the organ with reckless abandon, hands slamming the keys almost playfully as she listens to Relius with almost no seeming attention paid. "Oh-kaaaay~!" Is the answer. Infinite meaning with the evidence. Imperfect, yet with potential. Infinite - the constant being quite a tall order! Head tilting back and forth - Jack-O' is clearly listening as the little Gears move about.
"Hee hee hee. Young girls sell off their clothes to old perverts? You think I'm one of those~?" Jack-O' asks, and then presses a ton of keys! The little Gears suddenly sstart fuming, red in the eyes, faces, and giving off a load of heat! They all seem a tiny bit angrier, even the spears, if that is possible! "See, they're all juuuudging." Sticking out her tongue, Jack-O' is thusly offered more candy..
The mask is placed back atop her face, "I'm alll good, Mr-E!" She sing-songs, "All those long words~ I'm all dizzy and -" It happens again, "From what you've said, I can't make this easy for you." Jack-O' explains, "You do take pride in uncovering secrets, but all of this is what they've provided me with to protect myself - and operate safely within a margin of error... as you state from your observations, you're quite aware of what my capabilities are, but consider a new piece of evidence." She proclaims, "I am the final product, a Version 2.0 of the Valenties. This," She waves a hand forwards, "Designed as I am intentionally." A hand raises up, infront of the scowling green glowing face, "What use is half a soul, and a broken mind? Consider what I am not," She waves her hand forwards, "Like how the color black is not the abscence of color but the presence of all of it to a humans eye."
Her head shakes, "I do not intend, however, to share what I am. Humanity is already recovering, I didn't intend for the Gear's to - ... I?" Hmm. "We've done enough harm for now."
A child, and an adult.
Relius much more appreciated the adult, the keen, brilliant mind that rivaled... Kokonoe? A perfect companion to entertain the hours. Relius could see Jack-O' in his lab, peeling away the layers, to uncover that true purpose. And yet, the only way to that woman was the child. He had hoped the candy would lure the child closer... so he could have the adult to himself.
Unfortunately, she was just a little too insightful.
"... Hrm." Was the grunt, as the ghosts turn red. Relius takes a step back, glancing at the horde. The potential did not stop. From one queen, an entire army was formed. INdividually weak, but collectively... Relius was not eager to test the strengths of a whole army. The experience would be a delightful discovery, gauging the power of the Gears. And yet, that was what his underlings were for. The cannon fodder. They would test her limits. And the data would be useful.
And yet, she didn't want to fight anymore?
Relius turns to the side, adjusting his gloves. "What those intentions are... I intend to find out, Miss Valentine. I will find out what you are... and place you on your little space on the shelf of reality. I am used to little dolls who have a purpose... unfufilled. As for humanity, well. If that is the cause for your hesitation, I intend to resolve that problem." A threat? A warning? A promise? A twinkle in his eye, as he looks to the Gear. "Do not worry, Jack-O' Valentine."
"I think there is plenty more harm left for you to inflict on humanity."
And Relius throws an arm in the air, as he strides towards a... direction. The camera bobs back within his cloak. "Unfortunately, I think I can't pry you open just yet, dear. It seems in my curiousity, I have accidentally left you with an incredible army. What you do with that army... well, I would keep alert. You have many soldiers between you and your ice cream sundae... and I think you would do well to consider what the world intends with you. You might have decided that humanity is recovering."
"What about you and your Gears?"
The child was easily played with, but the adult was not entirely asleep. Infact, it is likely that Jack-O' knows both sides of herself, mind twisting between the simple and complex. Why, the complex may become simple when looked at correctly! Or when you happen to do whatever you please at the time and knock it over. Jack-O' never seemed to mind either way. The Gear had little to worry about after Justice's death - no United Nations to control, command, or demand of her.
"Hee hee hee... did'ya think I was made yesterday~? Noooooope." She remarks, sticking out her tongue - rather, her mask makes a tongue sticking out motion. "Left yourself oooopen~." She sing-songs, Dorpos raising besides herself, little wings flapping. "See, Dorpy? Nothin' to worry about~." Chained to the familiar, Jack-O' thinks - and bobs her head. "Oooh, I'm a doll?" Jack-O' gasps, the voice changing once more. "Such words of flattery are usually kept outside of the lab." Jack-O' leans against Dorpos as the swarm of Gears step out, step by step, to make more space. "Everything worked out the best possible way it could... no, I imagine there are better, but the chances were infinitesimally small that we'd be going into string theory. I'm happy with the current state of things... and I have no desire to change it." Is Jack-O's claim. "Oh, I'm sure there is. Indirectly one or two humans might get hurt, but those are within acceptable parameters. The whole of humanity does not need to suffer a repeat of the United Nation's intentions. Well, not now~." Jack-O' remarks, pushing off of Dorpos. "My Gears will be fine, including those that aren't my Gears." Jack-O' declares. "I imagine you'll be unhappy without at least one more half answer to mull over. The scales of Juno. That's what my 'classification' was, within the United Nations."
"To restore the balance of Juno to humanity."
With a grin, Jack-O' begins to swing the ball and chain, idly, "Ooooh, but you're probably the kinda guy that won't take no for an answer... proll'y waiting for a big reveal~!" With ^^ eyes on the mask, and two fingers for peace, Jack-O' Valentine flat-out wastes Relius' time. "I'm One hundred percent compatible with Justice~! Hee hee heeee. Me an' my gears... are goin home!" The organ keys slide open as the army simply vanishes, the little house, large as it has gotten, begins to tick down. 3.... 2.... !
Relius almost just walked away.
His curiousity was satiated, his opportunity closed. Whatever this little girl, this incredible woman was, would keep her secrets to herself. He knows when he shouldn't toy with a doll. You let them just sit on their shelf... while you prepare your own army for them. She makes a juvinial tongue stick out, he doesn't even look back. Even the riddle of Juno doesn't even give him pause. The arrogance of the scientist comes, as he strides out of the remains of the tent-
Compatible with Justice.
The words actually stop Relius. He turns around slowly, staring at Jack-O'. And he sees that light. That piece of the puzzle. She- was this a joke on him? "No." He says quickly, snapping his fingers. The shape of Ignis appears, the construct swaying and swinging, her arms extended. Was it a bluff, a trick? The possibilities were endless. But.
Compatiable with Justice.
Another Command Gear. Another weapon of that caliber. A piece, an... opportunity, to repeat the events. Jack-O' was taunting him with the war, babbling about it. But now... now Relius could finally see the potential. No, he would not let this answer slip through his fingers."Seize her, Ignis!" He commands, as a flurry of mechanical limbs erupt from within, surging at the organ and Jack-O' in tandem with the construct...
All of these words, all of these little tidbits, aren't really enough.
Yet, Jack-O' simply stuck out her tongue finally and fessed up. The question may be 'why?'
Humanity has to know, after all, what scales are all about. "Yeah-huuuuh. Trick or treat~! Y'know? But you gave me a treat, so I ain't gonna trick you!" The Gear exclaims. She wasn't a command Gear because, simply put, she didn't need to be. She would 'inherit' it if necessary. Just like the power. Just like the personality.
Yet what purpose did such traits, to manufacture endless small Gears, serve? What purpose at all, the ability to control them unquestioningly, modify their abilities,a nd even detonate them? Moderately useful tricks, capable of doing oh so much alone - and if left alone. Yet, she was a patch. A patch that would be applied to Justice - one that, if the tide of the war called for it, could have changed the game entirely. Such powerful tricks, such amusing capabilities, applied to a Command Gear the calibur of Justice.
"Ignis? Ooh - I told you I gotta go! I can't just not anymore~! Buh-"
Ignis lashes out, the flurry of mechanical limbs erupting forwards - surging at the organ and Jack-O'. The organ is depressed - and Ignis may struggle to pass through the energy barrier momentarily that is formed around her, the wall already cracking as she powers through it.
Jack-O' leaps backwards, Dorpos placed beneath her as the energy shell cracks and shatters, the 'house' glowing bright red before detonating, a mixxture of smoke and fire as Jack-O' disappears into the sky, accelerating at an unhealthy clip - one that would certainly hurt a human. She didn't have to worry about such a thing, however. Especially with her mask on.
"WHEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee~!" May be heard as she quickly accelerates away!
Purpose was what Relius made it.Dolls could be tweaked and adjusted, nasty little personality quirks ironed out, smoothed out into benign little princesses. Obedient. Quiet. And above all, effective. Jack-O' was incomplete. And with the right kind of fatherly love and care, Relius could see that she would be complete. And then, she wouldn't have those nasty little girl thoughts, only those sweet adult thoughts, perfectly focused into just the right purpose.
Relius's purpose, specifically.
And yet, it escapes his fingers.
Ignis rends into the wall, struggling into the energy. It was a stalemate, caught between the inescapable endurance of the construct and the Gear. But a stalemate could be broken. As Daddy comes, his claws snapping as Dropos is slammed down... And then, the explosion comes. The burst blasts Relius back, stunning him as he is sent hurtling on his back. Ignis is knocked aside as well, as the dust settles, and smoke fades. The soldiers are around him. RElius groans, as he is helped up by Ignis. He stares up at the distance. And he rubs his chin.
"... How intriguing."
Log created on 17:27:37 01/19/2018 by Relius, and last modified on 00:40:59 01/20/2018.