Aurora - Hunger Pains

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Description: It was a simple job. Case the joint while the owner was away, get in, get the goods, get out. What could be easier for an advanced creation such as Moondyne? Of course, there's always a few unexpected hitches in every heist and this one is no different. However, the bedraggled woman she encounters in the alley proves to be less of a hitch and more of a buried landmine.

The last twenty-four hours for Moondyne have been... interesting. She had tried to spy on one Kagura Mutsuki, creating a link between the two--on a lark that she might be able to learn more about what NOL was up to lately... lets just say the robotic mouse girl had been in for quite a surprise there. The memories of another creature were difficult to digest in an orderly manner--along with other things that came with such a scan. Things she hadn't even begun to realize yet. But why had she done it, ultimately? Wanted to feel more human? Or just to feel /something/ at all? She didn't know herself.

Still, somehow, she felt invigorated--and it was time to get back to work. Her current project was the few million in bearer bonds that a certain businessman living downtown had in his vault. While it was likely it was in a safety deposit box somewhere, it would be easy to find the necessary documents or keys to gain access to it... once she broke into his townhouse, that is. She had cased the place and it's grounds for an hour or so now, sitting with her legs over the ledge of a nearby multi-story building, her tail trailing off the side next to her. Soon, once it got a little darker, it'd be time to hit, and she'd make her way into the place.


How long has it been since the last time she felt something else? A faint groan escaped as her mind wrenched her out of the relatively peaceful embrace of slumber. Her sleep was haunted by nightmares, as always. Horrifying monsters with teeth and claws that ripped and bit and shredded at her pale flesh, harrying her as she attempted to flee through an endless void of darkness. She could feel them as if they were real, even sense the intense need of their endless hunger. To call her nights restful would be a joke; but at least in her dreams it is the monsters that thirst for blood instead of her.

The horrid stench of discarded refuse and rotting waste singes her nostrils as the pale reflection of what was once an attractive young woman rises from a pile of trashbags. Hardly the most comfortable bed but its better than sleeping on the cold asphault. More importantly, being buried under garbage all but ensured that no one would disturb her. A precaution, yes, but not one taken for her own safety. She'd learned what happens when someone startles her by accident. It wasn't pretty. Just one more sin to stain her worthless existence.

A second groan fills the air as the ragged figure rises from her filthy cocoon, though the culprit this time ends up being her stomach. She grits her teeth as the world wavers in front of her, staggering sideways as the weight of nearly a week of nightmares and starvation threatens to bowl her over. The stout wall of the alley manages to catch her before she tumbles over though its support is not the most graceful of allies. Her head clatters off the hard bricks before she can reach out to stop herself.

The impact hardly even registers in her mind at this point, just background noise. The faint trickle of red that runs down her cheek a moment later, however, makes her go rigid almost instantly. Her breathing starts to accelerate, chest heaving hot and heavy, as she lifts a trembling dirt-encrusted finger up to wipe the smear of precious vital fluid away from her grimey face. Her eyes widen slightly as she holds the bloody finger up in front of her face, pupils dialating into tiny black dots. Instinctively, she extends her tongue, and rubs the crimson droplets onto its surface. There is a moment of what might be brief relief, her wild breaths slowing back to a steady drumbeat in silence.

The side of the wall that had so helpfully supported the woman explodes under the force of a sudden wild punch. She snarls in fury, almost like an animal, as the shards of flying brick scatter around her, marring her already tattered clothing and skin with fresh cuts. It takes several seconds before she even realizes what has happened staggering backwards in apparent shock upon finding her fist buried wrist-deep in the shattered brickwork.

"No, no, no...."

The young woman's hand up to her head, fingers digging into a mess of wild tangled hair that might at one point have been a vibrant pink but is now as bedraggled and stained with who knows what as the rest of her. She staggers away from the wall, trying to aim her steps to take her deeper into the alley, away from the noise and life of the busy streets.

"Not again... not... again!"

The impact nearby was enough to jolt Moondyne off her perch, causing her to lose her balance and begin to fall forward--twisting in mid-fall enough to catch the edge of the rooftop ledge with one hand. She hung there looking downward, before putting her feet out and finally letting go voluntarily--using the reduced momentum to help cushion her drop a few stories down to the alleyway below. Trash and bottles are strewn around as Moondyne comes to a landing, her hologram field she might have had around herself as she fell temporarily shorted out by a nearby puddle of water she happened to make contact with as she landed.

"Are... are you alright there? Can I help you?" she asked, peering through her red visor at the woman that she tried to approach slowly from behind, keeping a good distance away from. This person was screaming and in some serious distress, by the sound of it--and likely also what Moondyne could pick up from her own brainwave sensors. In an alley, to boot--this wouldn't be unusual except for that very... unusual display of force that she had just demonstrated, car alarms in the distance were likely still going off.

Still, there was no one else... except them, and the girl did seem to need help. A little of Kagura had already rubbed off on her. She followed the girl a little, her tail twisting about behind her, as if anxiously, cocking her head to one side to try to pick up anything with those large ears of hers.

By the time the strange humanoid lands behind her, the bedraggled young woman has managed to stagger about halfway down the alley. It isn't far but there's enough space between them that it should be difficult for her to randomly lash out, at least. Never know what a crazed junkie might do in a moment of delusion or panic.

It's a fair assumption to make. Though the girl's clothes might have once been flashy and colorful, like her hair, they are now a tattered mess spattered with dark smears of greasy sludge. It impossible to see her arms from here and in the dim light it might not do any good to be closer, especially since most of her skin is as caked with filth as the rest of her. The signs are there, however. She seems disoriented and jittery, clearly distraught over something. If the robot's sensors are able to take a deeper look at her brain activity they would find it much the same - wild, frantic, and completely unstable.

For a long moment, it seems that the strange woman completely failed to notice that she has been joined in the alley by another person. Head clutched in her hands, she continues to take one faltering step after the other, banging noisily off trash cans and scattered piles of refuse in her confusion. Her fingers dig tightly into the stained mop of her hair as if they might offer some sort of handhold on reality as she struggles with whatever demons plague her.

Suddenly, she freezes in place, just as she done when the first smell of blood hit her nose. The haggard girl stands completely still, frozen as solid as a painting on the wall as several more tense seconds pass by. Then, she does something even more creepy and unusual: she starts to sniff at the air.

Despite the rather aromatic bouquet of unpleasant stenches that mark this trash heap, the woman inhales deeply as her nostrils flare. Slowly she starts to turn around, sniffing rapidly and intently as a bloodhound that has discover the scent of its prey might. Though her head remains lowered and her eyes tightly shut, her steps somehow become more sure-footed as she starts to stagger her way back towards the open end of the alley. Her progress is slow and ponderous but steadily gaining in speed, each step coming faster and more steady than the one before it.

"Hungry, so... hungry..."

The words spill out of her mouth in a low mutter, almost imperceptible until she draws closer. She chants them over and over with the zeal of a mindless cultist as if they are some kind of incantation that will conjure food from out of the air in front of her at any moment.

"Hungry... must feed... must... hungrrry...!"

Young lady... in trouble... also good looking...

Kagura had left more of an impression on Moondyne than one might have thought. Sprinting and zipping around to come to a stop before Aurora's path, she came to a stop and held a hand up--beginning to speak.

"Just a moment, madmoiselle~ you seem to be in some distress, maybe there's something I can help you find... to eat," Moondyne found her reddish brown eyes distracted by the rather tattered and open-chested black getup that Aurora was still wearing the remnants of. It was some kind of set of... combat chaps, one side with a heart-shaped keyhole over the thigh and the other a suspender-belt leading down to a stocking... a large dark red bra and yellow boots and gloves. Moondyne's tail lashed about behind her as if anxious. Of course, being only 5'0", she had to give a little more effort to get Aurora to get her on eye level with the anthro mouse bot.

"Down here, down here--yes that's right, I think I can help... you want... blood?" Moondyne had indeed picked up on some of those timultuous surface thoughts, lips curling into a smile showing white buck mouse-like teeth over her lower lip. Already, Moondyne was projecting beams from her eyes and visor to delve into the redhead's mind, trying to lock eye contact with her.

She /did/ want to help, but she also was even more curious than before what was going on with this one... and who knows, could even try to 'fix' her woes, if even temporarily.

"Tell Moondyne what the problem is, hmm? Don't be shy now~" words not only being heard via ears but also by the mind.

Though her motives may have been charitable, attempting to stand in the young woman's way proves to be a mistake; attempting to brush against her mind a far more terrible one.

Until the moment that she interposes herself in the girl's way, it seems as if she would have simply wandered right past the robot, completely oblivious to its existance despite the repeated attempts to draw her attention. When the metallic hand make contact with her skin, however, she reacts as if Moondyne had been hiding in the shadows and jumped out at her making wild sounds. A strangled cry of surprise and fear escapes as she stumbles backwards several steps, instinctively retreating away from the source of her surprise.

"Wh-what?! Who are...? How...?"

Rather than find comfort in the soothing tone, the strange vagrant seems even more agitated and alarmed at the presence of another person in the alley. Clearly, she has been taken completely off-guard by the robot and this seems to have frightened her quite severely. She shakes her head a few times, leaning up against the wall once more for balance as she takes several long breathes.

And then she looks up and the mistake that has been made becomes gut-wrenchingly apparent.

Aurora's eyes go wide as she sweeps her gaze up from the wet muck-encrusted floor of the alley to the creature that stands before her. As impossible as it is, she had completely failed to notice its presence. Bright red blood-shot eyes meet the gaze of the inhuman construct, her scanning beams washing over the dilated pupils as they twitch with a faint hint of madness glinting from behind a hazed stare. It takes only a few moments for the machinery to do its job, delving through the open windows to take a deeper look into the tormented mind behind them.


Aurora - that's her name, that much was able to be gleaned in the few moments of mental contact - takes a terrified step backwards, her eyes going even wider as if having just seen a ghost. A faint nimbus of scintilating purple energy smoulders to life around her pupils, wisps of an all too familiar power radiating out like solar flares from those twin black suns. What else could be seen in such a short scan is a jumbled mess of impossible data - memories, emotions, beliefs, all twisted into a raging cyclone of hatred and pain by something else, something not native to her own mind. Something has done this to her, that much is obvious. Unfortunately, it's also obvious that Aurora possesses something quite dangerous all on its own - psycho power.


Something almost audibly snaps in the girl's head, her fear suddenly shifting into a torrential outpouring of raw mental energy. The mind scanner would become completely useless, assuming it doesn't short out completely, overwhelmed in a wave of emotions that explodes out of the girl like a physical wave of pressure. The previous embers of power that had started to flicker in her eyes erupt into new-born suns as her irises shift from red to blazing neon purple.

"Die, demon!"

With a ferocity that is almost feral, the girl whips her hand forward in the way, fingers splayed out into a claw. She snarls as a mass of sparkling purple light blazes to life around her forearm and spreads out in a massive wave of blazing glittery fire. It'd be quite pretty if it weren't so obviously deadly. The trash lining the alleyway explodes into tiny bits of confetti as the tidal wave of psycho power washes over it and there's precious little time for the robot to try and avoid a similar fate!

COMBATSYS: Aurora has started a fight here.

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Aurora           0/-------/-------|

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

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Aurora           0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0         Moondyne

COMBATSYS: Moondyne blocks Aurora's Shining Inferno.

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Aurora           0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0         Moondyne

That... didn't work. And even worse yet, this situation was turning from bad to even worse when Aurora revealed her true nature.

"F-Fuuuu--" Moondyne was human enough to know fear, outrage, happiness--however nothing she was feeling right now was pleasant. Not only was this girl suffering some legitimate form of dementia, she was also in a berserk state, no amount of her coaxing would calm her--and worse yet, she was a psycho power user. That was one of the few things that could invoke this kind of response from the mouse bot.

Forcing her own self back, Moondyne severed the link before the raw amount of psychic energy could flow into her own body and damage her, however concentrating on /that/ also left her open to Aurora's fiery claw wave attack--which hit her in the chest as she attempted to shield herself with her arms, throwing her back.

"Definitely /not/ taking you anywhere with an attitude like that," Moondyne scoffed, her face curling into an unamused cringe, lowering her center of gravity with her tail whipping around--a series of glass-like rectangles appearing in front of Moondyne, before they shot out one after the other toward Aurora.

The black chaps wearing psyker girl didn't seem to be able to be reasoned with--maybe once this was over.

COMBATSYS: Aurora endures Moondyne's Mirror Master.

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Aurora           0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0         Moondyne

If she was confused and upset before, Aurora is fighting mad now. She had lashed out in a moment of blind panic at being surprised by the presence that she couldn't feel - a presence that had immediately attempted to invade her mind. Old memories welled up from behind the barriers she had put in place, things she had tried her hardest to forget, to bury deep in the recesses of her psyche.

It is a powerful tool in the arsenal of a psyker, to cut off parts of yourself that don't want to have to deal with any more, but it isn't perfect. You can bury and you can hide and you can try to forget but it's never really gone. All it takes in the right trigger, the right twist at the wrong time, a bit of old trauma to poke the sleeping bear and it all comes rushing back in an uncontrolled torrent of emotion and pain.

"Take me.... won't... let you take me!"

Aurora grimaces in obvious pain as she clutches at her head, staggering backwards from the effort of unleashing her own power. She hardly seems able to remain focused on the present as old nightmares rise up to haunt her delusional mind intermingled with all manner of new ones thanks to her encounter with the strange man in the park. Like Aurora, he had been hiding his true self, his true intent. Even with her powers she couldn't sense the hostility, the pure twisted malice, not until it was too late.

The glass-like objects crash into the crazed pysker one by one. The first one impacts hard against her shoulder, sending her staggering sideways. She recovers just in time for the second to hit her square in the gut but rather than double-over the girl seems to get enraged all over again. A fresh snarl peels her lips back and it is only now in the faint glow of her blazing eyes that the dark black stains of what might be dried blood can be seen on her lips and teeth.

Aurora rushes forward, ignoring the subsequent impacts of the strange weapon against her unprotected flesh. She doesn't even bother trying to defend herself, too berserk to have anything like self-preservation able to cut through the haze of red. With a wordless bellow of fury, she hurls herself at the robot, her slender arms reaching out to try and wrap around the construct's torso and crush it like a beer can with her psychically-augmented strength.

COMBATSYS: Moondyne blocks Aurora's Cutie Crusher EX.

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Aurora           0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0         Moondyne

"Don't want to take you, cherie--unless you wanna be~" Moondyne's playful side was coming out more now, likely thanks to Kagura's influence, even if she was in the middle of a deadly fight with a psycho user. A psyker, if you will. Unfortunately for the mouse, this was likely one fight where the odds were stacked a little against her!

"Ouch--you want blood? quite a bit of it there! Thank me later--" Moondyne was surprised by the sudden lunge, likely easily able to be picked up (Moondyne was neither large nor very heavy, as far as robots go) and struggled a bit against Aurora, before kicking back from her with one foot and landing in the alley again, breaking out of the grab before she could be crushed.

"Take a seat, won't you?~" Moondyne drew attention to herself with a wave of her hand and a gesture, meanwhile a holographic CHAIR-like construct rose up from behind Aurora, trying to push against her legs and knock her into it--restraints along the arms and legs of the glowing boxy chair-like thing seemed to imply this would be some kind of... trap!

COMBATSYS: Aurora blocks Moondyne's Undying Trickster.

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Aurora           0/-------/--=====|=======\==-----\1         Moondyne

Unfortunately, Aurora's attempt to get a solid grasp on her opponent didn't go quite as well as she'd hoped. She grabs hold of the synthetic rodent and starts to squeeze. For a moment she is rewarded with the sensation of bending metal only for the slippery thing to worm its way right out of her grasp. Fresh fury boils up inside of her from a seemingly endless well of red hot emotion and she lets out a harsh growl of frustration as Moondyne pushes her away with a sudden kick.

"Blood... w-want... bl-"

The mad ramblings are cut short with a sharp cry as the chair suddenly slams into her from behind. For a moment it seems as if the trap has been sprung successfully but Aurora has other ideas. A look of sudden panic contorts her face and a nimbus of purple light engulfs her from head to toe in a instant. She whirls around like a crazed cat with its tail caught in a door, tearing and rolling and smashing the chair apart in a frenzy of motion.

After thoroughly dismantling the offending piece of furniture, Aurora continues to slam her fists on the ground repeatedly, apparently unable to realize that she's crushed the object of her fear until her knuckles are raw and bloody from punching the bare pavement. Disturbingly, the concrete is the one who comes away from that altercation looking worse for wear. Suddenly realizing that there is nothing left for her to pound on, her glowing eyes snap back up to the robot, her gaze wide and her expression twisted with some sort of torment.

"I'm... so hungry...!"

She shakes her head as tears start to roll down her cheeks, carving tiny patches of cleanliness through the layers of blood and grime coating them. Her eyes narrow on Moondyne and the tone of her voice becomes harsh and accusatory.

"But you... you don't have anything! No mind. No blood. No soul!"

Aurora growls as she works herself up into another frenzy, the pavement cracking under her fingers as she curls them into the concrete as if it were cardboard. The aura of her rage starts to build in intensity again, directed at the creature foolish enough to draw her attention in this sorry state.

"Did he send you here to torment me further, /demon/?! Are the nightmares not enough?! Does this pain... make you laugh?!"

Aurora moves though it's hard to see it when it happens. One moment she's kneeling on the ground, hissing and sobbing in despair and anguish. The next she's right in front of Moondyne, her eyes sparkling with psychic power. She doesn't bother with anything as fancy as a punch or a kick - such complex techniques are beyond her now. She simply attempts to collide with the robot like a gleaming torpedo of purple fire and twinkling glitter.

COMBATSYS: Aurora successfully hits Moondyne with Lovely Flash EX.

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Aurora           0/-------/-======|=======\==-----\1         Moondyne

"You need to calm down, honey--your blood pressure--woah!" Moondyne jumps back from her tearing apart her holographic construct designed to trap her--doing her best to avoid the garbage and chunks of the chair being thrown around.

"I too have a mind, you take that back--" she is collided with by the girl, who is wreathed in fire, energy and despair--throwing her back and into a dumpster, with enough force to knock the huge heavy metal bin askew.

"Ouch... if I can't make you behave, then I'll have to stop you some other way," Moondyne picked herself up from the pile of rubble and garbage, pulling herself out--light blue hair all mussed in the process, her holo-generator kicking into high gear and causing her to wink in and out of sight. Likely still not completely invisible for someone with Psycho Power, however...

Camouflaging herself, Moondyne tries to flank Aurora and strike at her with one hand--her entire hand wreathed with her own chi energy!

COMBATSYS: Aurora fails to interrupt Soulenoid from Moondyne with Sparkle Bomb.
- Power fail! -

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Aurora           1/--=====/=======|=------\-------\0         Moondyne

Surprisingly, the camoflague seems to work better than intended. The moment that she winks out of sight, Aurora's eyes go wide and she steps backwards in a suddenly defensive move. She stares at the place where the robot was only a few moments ago, disbelief plastered across her grimey face.

If the girl was in her right state of mind, it wouldn't be hard to figure out what had happened. Cloaking technology, while not particularly common, is not unheard of. If nothing else, it would be easy for her to assume that Moondyne had simply teleported away or moved extremely fast to some other location. But the way that Aurora stares at the empty space speaks of a mind plagued by doubt, one that has seen too many things that only later revealed themselves to be no more than delusions.

For a moment, a hint of the terrified young woman buried underneath all of that filth and anger reveals itself as she casts her gaze around in wide-eyed apprehension. But the spell breaks when her opponent goes in for the strike. Even after her impromptu trash sweeping, the street is still too full of refuse and detrius for a completely stealthy approach. Something crunches behind her and Aurora whirls, her rage coming back with full force in that instant. Her fist lashes out at empty air, unable to pluck the location of the construct out of her surroundings without being able to tap into the emotional energy of a human mind through which to track her.

Unfortunately for the psyker, her wild strike does little more than open her up for the perfect counter. The mouse's energy wreathed hand slams into her exposed side with sledgehammer force and Aurora is sent flying into the wall of the alley, smashing her head against its rough surface for the second time tonight. This blow seems to finally get past her inability to feel pain and leaves her lying in a dirty heap on the floor. She lets out a groan, momentarily stunned, but there's no telling how long that will last.

The energy that's transferred is... mostly electrical, but with heat as well--Aurora would find it rather compelling, and probably a little off-balance thanks to the strike.

"C'mon, babe--I don't wanna hurt ya--" a little of Kagura talking there, Mouse never used the term 'babe' before, taking a few steps back from Aurora. Not that it seemed like she'd listen to anything she had to say, Aurora was like a woman possessed. Using out and out stealth to attack her opponent from the side or behind didn't even factor into decision making here, Aurora was as much a danger to herself as she was to others. Not that that was Moondyne's main concern--she'd been out there for crime time when Aurora popped out of the garbage.

"Sure you don't wanna take a rest?" Moondyne engaged her internal systems, rapidly desciphering the data gained during the fight, before whipping out a pair of holographic sub machineguns, trying to spray her with energy projectiles!

COMBATSYS: Moondyne successfully hits Aurora with Enemy Fire EX.

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Aurora           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0         Moondyne

As suspected, the electric discharge had managed to take Aurora by surprise and its effects were momentary at best. Shaking off the disorientation after only a couple of seconds, the crazed psyker pushes back to her feet and the pressure of psychic energy starts to build in the air once more, crackling like freshly burnt ozone on the tongue.

"No... s-stop... must... st-"

Whatever she had been about to say is cut off by the chattering bark of the twin automatic guns. Tiny beads of holographic energy fill the air in a deluge of digital bullets that are no more pleasant to be struck with than the real thing. Aurora lets out a surprisingly girlish shriek of pain as her body is hammered by the onslaught of light, curling her arms up to protect her face as instinctual level defensive reactions take over.

"No... n-no! I... can't sleep! Can't close my eyes! If I don't... won't see me...!"

Once more, barely comprehensible words start to spill out of the tormented girl in a torrent of rambling madness. She drops into a crouch, pulling her knees tightly into her chest as she buries her face into them to ward off any further attacks, rocking back and forth like a terrified child trying to pretend there isn't a monster in the closet just a few feet away. Ragged weeping sobs wrack her body, her voice already wispy and hoarse, likely from previous episodes such as this.

It's a pitiful sight but if the robot's calculating mind was tempted to be moved to compasion at the sight, all delusions that it might be safe to approach the broken woman vanish only a few moments later. Her hands slowly lift up, trembling as they clutch at her hair just as she had done when Moondyne first took notice. Her head shakes back and forth rapidly, her eyes glossy and wild. The brilliant suns that had burst to life in her irises are gone now, replaced with full-on super novas. The aura around her body starts to grow in brightness and intensity, whipping tendrils of purple flame lashing out all around her in a tempest of unfocused destruction.

Suddenly, Aurora looks up. With a clarity that she has failed to show throughout their brief encounter thus far, the girl turns to look up at Moondyne. Her eyes are wide, her expression one of horrified recognition. She knows what is about to happen but there isn't much she can do to warn the stranger, whatever they are. There is but a single moment as the whirling power all around her seems to die down all at once, seeping back into her body as if being drawn in by some invisible force. Aurora trembles, her fingers clenching at the dirty clothes on her legs as she whispers a single panicked word.


There is a scant few moments for the robot to decide on a course of action before the tired, frightened, dirty girl becomes ground zero. If her power before could be considered a tidal wave, what erupts from her now is nothing short of a volcanic eruption. Raw unfocused psycho power explodes from her in all directions, searing neon purple fire scouring everything around her like a fuel-air explosive. The wall of the building behind Aurora evaporates into powder as does the asphalt beneath her feet. She hovers in midair, screaming in terror and pain as her emotional energy floods the alley and the street beyond it with a deluge of seemingly endless wild psychic flames.

COMBATSYS: Moondyne blocks Aurora's Soul Dynamite.

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Aurora           0/-------/------<|======-\-------\0         Moondyne

"What, you're still okay??" Moondyne had to admit, this made her feel bad--at least the way Aurora was reacting--but there was still the problem of her being out of control. Right now Moon was trying to stop her as much for her own sake as anyone elses. She backs away from Aurora as she begins to seemingly... charge up? Or lose even more control of her psycho power and begins to hover--running and diving into the air as the sudden wave of energy EXPLODES outward from her and leaves Moondyne smoking from the sheer blast of energy she only partly avoided.

Agh... really almost out of energy here, kaff--damnit," Moondyne picks herself up, still smoking, and her hair looking worse for wear--armor covered in a layer of soot here and there, as if she'd been burned.

Suddenly, Moondyne comes out fo the fog and debris storm as Aurora hovers there, jumping into the air and trying to land a jump kick right into her head!

COMBATSYS: Aurora endures Moondyne's Quick Strike EX.

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Aurora           0/-------/---<<<<|======-\-------\0         Moondyne

Okay is a pretty relative term. Aurora is still alive, still conscious, still clearly a threat. But okay might be pushing it, as evidenced by her little accident as the control over her powers manages to slip the leash for a few seconds.

The results of her cutting loose are flashy and somewhat dramatic. The purple flames scorch everything they touch with near napalm-like tenacity, clinging to surfaces and, judging from the shrill screams coming from the nearby street, people with ruthless intent. Most of the alley is coated in a layer of burnt stone and concrete save that which was near Aurora which is just a small circular crater now. Obviously the worst of it was contained to the space within a few feet of the psyker but that's scant consolation for anyone or anything that got caught in that tidal wave of purple destruction.

It's unlikely that after a display like that the place won't be crawling with all manner of authorities in only a few minutes. Any plans for grand larceny in the vicinity are most likely out of the question at this point unless Moondyne is even crazier than this lunatic. Which she might be, considering she's moving towards the source of that miniature psychic nuke.

Aurora grunts in pain as the kick connects with her head, still locked in the air as the last of her short temper tantrum burns itself out. The impact makes her vision swim and her knees feel weak. If she were standing on solid ground she might very well have collapsed from the disorientation. The last thing she needs right now is more things causing her head trauma. More importantly, she can't afford to be captured.

Gritting her teeth through the haze of dementia and what is probably a fresh concussion for her collection, Aurora clenches a fist at her side, summoning the last of her psychic reserves to the fore. Even at the best of times, when she's fully sober and rational, her control over this energy is somewhat touch and go. She wasn't built to be a surgical instrument, just a bludgeon with which to smash the enemies of her creators. A sharp hiss escapes through clenched teeth as she gathers up the purple flames, the familiar pain of drawing on more power than her mind has to give echoing through her body as it picks up the slack.

There's only going to be one last shot at this. She has to take this... thing out of the equation and get out of here before anyone can find her. Even in the best case scenario they'd want to help her, take her to a hospital where she'd be surrounded by all those people, all those voices in her head fighting for attention as grief, worry, and fear ran rampant through her mind. And then there's all that blood...

"Please," she gasps, trying to cling to her remaining shreds of sanity. "Just... let me go!"

This heartfelt plea is puncuated by a single powerful punch, just in case being polite proves inadequate. She doesn't have time to play nice, too many lives are at stake. Searing purple flames that fill the air with a trail of twinkling glitter trace an arc through the darkness as the girl rams her fist at Moondyne's body, more interested in knocking the construct down long enough for her to flee than actually damaging it.

"Outta my way!"

COMBATSYS: Aurora can no longer fight.

                                  >  ////////                      ]
                                  |======-\-------\0         Moondyne

COMBATSYS: Aurora successfully hits Moondyne with Heart Breaker EX.

                                  >  /                             ]
                                  |=======\=------\1         Moondyne

Moondyne doesn't have much of a choice as she's hit with a sudden powerful cross punch like that--it's strong enough to send her careening back into a section of the alley wall, hitting her head and causing her to black out for a few moments. There she will likely lay for a good many moments until her consciousness returns, and her auto-repair functions can begin to mend some of the damage she's incurred. Which there is a good deal of. Still, she was alive. The more data she absorbed from her opponents the better she was able to fight.

The mouse bot lay half-buried in a mound of strewn garbage bags, most split open, one white boot sticking out of the top of the pile, tail sticking out somewhere along there.

COMBATSYS: Moondyne is momentarily distracted by a saucy social media post!

COMBATSYS: Moondyne can no longer fight.

A brief surge of hope rises up from inside of Aurora as she feels her attack connect. It surges up like a warm breeze, filling the girl with vigor and momentarily offering a balm to her aches and pains. Adrenaline is a hell of a drug, especially for an empath who literally feeds on emotions. While her own impulses might not be nearly as potent as siphoning off the excess enthusiasm of a cheering crowd, it's enough to get her moving towards an exit from the alley.

Even as she breaks into a run down the dark valley between buildings the wails of pain and fear from the street give her pause. She can't help but wince in sympathy as those emotions drift across her senses like tiny needles raking over her brain. As she rounds the corner, making a mad dash for the safety of the less populated parts of town, a pang of guilt twists her stomach up into a knot. A particularly high-pitched wail hits her so hard that she physically staggers sideways, crashing hard into the side of the building with a grunt.

The empath ignores the pain as fresh agony lances up her side. It's just another scrape, one more bruise for her collection. No one cares about her. No one /should/ care about her. She's just another monster now, barely worth more than the filth she's been sleeping in.

Instead, her attention is focused on the suffering of those who have become collateral damage. That last voice had belonged to a child. She can still feel his presence, mindless terror and confusion running wild through the air. He didn't understand what had happened, why he was in so much pain. His mother, he wanted his mother but she didn't come, not even when he cried and calls for her. Why doesn't she come?

Aurora grits her teeth, squeezing her hands over her ears as if it might somehow shut out the voices. It's never worked before and tonight is no different. It's all her fault. If only she hadn't been so naive, so distracted by the promise of the attention she would receive by being in front of such large crowds. She should have noticed! It should have been so obvious to her! Stupid, stupid, stupid!

The shrill blare of sirens cuts through the distant moans of pain and the crackle of still burning psychic flames. Aurora snaps out of wallowing in self-recrimination long enough to glance in their direction. She really should leave now, should turn and run and disappear into the sewers and just die like the diseased rat she is. Yet, she can't help but feel compelled to do something, anything, to help those suffering souls. But there isn't anything she /can/ do, is there?

This isn't what she wanted to happen. Her strength, her powers - they were always meant to be used as weapons but she never intended to hurt the innocent. She had cut ties with her past precisely so she might avoid being used in that fashion, little more than a grenade to be thrown into the path of something her masters wanted destroyed regardless of what got caught in the blast. She had vowed to be better than that, to aspire to something greater. Instead, she had let some monster fool her with little more than a bit of flattery and a cheap disguise.

"I'm sorry."

Her apology is little comfort to anyone, but she whispers it anyway as she turns and starts to run, offering it up as a tiny prayer since it's all she has to give. The girl doesn't look back this time, afraid that this she won't be able to stop herself from running as fast as she can towards the fires and sirens if she does.

Aurora tries to shut out the little swirls of emotion floating in the air around her, pushing away the tendrils of human consciousness. On any other day they would be comforting and welcome, a constant reminder of her connection to the rest of humanity. Right now she would give anything to be rid of them. The efforts are pointless, like trying to bail water out of a ship sinking into the ocean with nothing but your hands. For every handful she pushes aside an entire wave rushes in to takes it place.

Futile or not, she keeps trying, keeping her mind focused on the impossible task of shutting the world out. She tries to juggle these efforts with running to only mild success. Trash cans clatter loudly as she bangs into them in her hurry while bags of refuse catch her legs, tripping her up, sending her sprawling to the cold ground. She doesn't care - no, she welcomes the pain. One more thing to concentrate on, one more thing to keep her distracted.

Anything to avoid having to think about the raging bonfire of suffering left in her wake - and the fact that she can't hear the little boy's voice any more.

Log created on 20:11:19 09/19/2019 by Aurora, and last modified on 00:16:52 09/21/2019.