Clio - December in the Park

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Description: Investigations continue on the matter of restoring the blighted Metro City Park to its former splendor. Two young city natives with ties to the supernatural meet again to discus findings, identities, and potential futures for the sake of Metro's supernatural health. Brandon Malone finds out more about the background of the witch he's discovered, and in turn she finds out what power Malone keeps inside.

It started with a note sent to Abigail's Repair Shop requesting Clio's presence at the Metro City Park. He stands alone, just barely outside of the area of the scorched part of the park. He waits alone wearing a white trenchcoat, white slacks, white shoes, and a white fedora with a black band.

In his hands is his deck of tarot cards. Shuffling. It's one of his nervous tics that he indulges in when he's alone. He looks around for Clio for this meeting. Hopefully he doesn't have to worry about getting attacked here once again.

A stopover at Abigail's. A usual habit that's been picked up in her times returning to the city. She's been moving more brazenly, and responding to Brandon's call for a meeting is evidence of her comfort. Clink, clink, clink; she precedes herself with a steady rhythmic knocking of her chain's links against one another. Her boots are quiet, but the thud of the spiked end striking and dragging along the paved footpaths toward the scorch.

"Hey there," she says, her voice carrying a tone of amusement, forced as it is. It's followed with a yawn and a half muffled by her own hand complaint, "Daytime's not my thing. But if you're looking for me, I know it's important."

She's in her hoodie, going down to her knees, the hood's down now. She still has the Kaka clan mask, but it's resting on the back of her head rather than covering her face. She's also found time to return to her make up, with the heavier cat's eye shadow she was favoring during her days with the NOL. And she's grinning when she sees Brandon, stopping the sway of her chain by swinging it wide around her waist. The chain's markings shine for a moment as the chain cinches itself like a belt. "Got news on the park?"

"I'm sorry. I'll keep that in mind if we end up meeting in the future."

With Clio now here, he slides the deck into the leather pouch secured to the belt of the trench coat before looking back to the other mage to give a nod before turning back to the park with a frown.

"I do. I hope that if you have anything on it, it's better than my news."

He pauses to direct his gaze to the scorched edge before to taking a breath to continue.

"When I took samples, there was no life. Mixing portions of the scorched dirt with soil ended up rendering the entire mixture inert. Putting a leaf in the soil would eventually render it to dirt in a few days."

"I hope that's sarcasm," Clio says with a wry narrowing of her eyes.

She looks down, eyes tracking the tarot deck. The expression on her face when she looks back up to Brandon suggests she doesn't have a lot of leads. She stands on heel, clinking the links of her chain and following Brandon's suggested look to the scorch.

She starts to drift her look skyward when Brandon speaks, a small frown on her lips. The clinking continues. "That doesn't sound like poison," she says, looking forward again. "Mimicking poison, but not exactly that. Or toxin. 'Sides, if it were, I don't think it'd just stop like this." She kicks a dirt clod over toward the scorch side for emphasis.

She casts a few glances left and right before making a short palm's out hand gesture. A circle flickers into being, roughly Clio sized. Two rings concentric with sigils wrapping between them. "My circle absorbs energy. I can use it, too. But if I were to change a few of the equations, it would just render the force inert." The circle goes out. "I wonder if that's happening here. It isn't quite killing. It isn't quite poisoning. It's just. Dirt."

"When I went to my mentor about my findings, she suspected that it was seithr contamination because of how quickly various items such mulch or leaves would go inert when the items were introduced to it to improve growth in the area. You do make an excellent point about it not encroaching on the non scorched land."

He just shakes head with a frown irritated that he can't do more.

"Either way, It's outside my particular expertise to fix. Also, as loathe as I am to admit it, I think that the NOL might be the only group that has any chance at fixing this and I don't like the idea of calling upon them for help."

Clio nods slowly. She takes a step toward the scorch and looks around. She exhales, back to Brandon, and something in her posture shifts. Her feet are more square, her shoulders back, chin raising as it becomes apparent even a girl less than five and a half feet tall can slouch and stand loose.

"Seithr contamination is most likely, given the surroundings. Entropic decay on a rapid scale, but held within particular boundaries. Granted, there is always some degree of ambient seithr, you cannot avoid it, but I suspect that here might have been a leyline nexus."

She turns on heel and takes a few steps to the front of Brandon. "I've seen what Leylines can be. I was in Illyria when I "died"," she explains with air quotes. "And this is within the NOL's purview. They would cordon off the area, likely establish an engineering base here, and expand the current branch office. They would move in, repair their reputation in the area, and then never leave."

She pinches the bridge of her nose, screwing her eyes shut and making a small noise of frustrated rage. But as soon as it starts, it stops. "But there may be others. The NOL has the resources, but there are other minds. Possibly dangerous ones. I should ask my teacher."

Brandon is quiet as Clio talks since it's an opportunity to learn more and/or challenge his preconceived notions. Perhaps someone with different point of view might find a solution that he couldn't see. After all beyond that cantrip that he likes to use to save on his dry cleaning bills, or manifesting light on certain UV wavelengths, he's not that great at purifying/cleansing magic. While what Clio says doesn't exactly connect to those things, it does provide excellent food for though.

"That leyline nexus position could possibly be why Jedah picked this location to pull Metro City into Majigen."

His finger tips brush up against the pouch with one hand as a finger tip touches his lip.

"I suspect that would be their MO and they probably would be successful in restoring their rep because I wouldn't be surprised if most of the unsavory parts of the organization are in the upper positions where the rank and file are the ones less likely to be horrible than the ones in power."

He moves the finger tip from his lip to chin and then nods. As he looks at his conversation companion, he thinks he noticed a flash of something. Something that might indicate a more intimate knowledge of the organization. He's not going to pry. It's not his business. "If you could ask your teacher, I'd appreciate it."

Clio looks closely at Brandon. She looks away, at to where she knows her old offices were. A second glance, this time toward the part of the city she was raised in. Her fist clenches around the length of chain in her hand. The sigils heat with an azure glow. "Every day I regret I wasn't in town for that shit," she mutters.

She turns now, stepping back toward the scorch. "You don't need to suspect," she says, "And you're right, for the most part. But it doesn't matter if the rank and file are the sweetest things on earth, they still help monsters."

She looks over her shoulder to Brandon. "If you get involved with this, with the NOL, things get dangerous. I need to know if you can handle yourself."

The arcane investigator nods in response to the look over her shoulder. He seems to know innately what the other mage means when she wants to know if he can handle himself. He takes a step back and slides into a modified Philly Shell fighting stance. His lead shoulder raised to protect his chin, his rear hand raised to guard the side of his face, and his lead hand draped across his waist to protect his torso as well as keep his hand close to the tarot cards in his leather pouch.

"Ready when you are."

The thaumaturgic brawler bounces on the balls of his feet as he waits for Clio to take her stance as well.

COMBATSYS: Brandon has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Brandon          0/-------/-------|

Clio's chain unravels as she unclasps the weight end. With a roll of her left arm, it coils about her limb, wrapping like a snake whose pointed head she holds in other opposite hand. "Don't take this the wrong way," she says, "But I just don't like the idea of good people getting involved with the NOL unless they can watch their back."

She turns on heel and squares off. "Dispatched in manking's darkest hour, we are knights of the blue flame! I am Lieutenant Clio St. Jeanne. Formerly of the NOL." she presents herself before rolling forward in a low, bouncing on the balls of her feet, stance that isn't too terribly far from something feral.

"Let's have some fun, hat boy."

COMBATSYS: Clio has joined the fight here.

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Brandon          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Clio

A sliding, rolling lurch from Clio has her shifting position. Her boots make light scraping sounds on the dirt. She runs low, sweeping outside. The spiked chain in her hand starts to whirl up. Faster and faster it gains speed and begins to whistle. The spike sails through the air, hurtling past Brandon and embedding in the ground. But shortly after, the real weapon comes for the mage. Clio hurls herself through the air from one end of the chain to the other, a rolling, two footed missile kick coming right for Brandon's center of mass, and planning on singing far away past him as she goes.

COMBATSYS: Brandon blocks Clio's Chain Bomber.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Brandon          0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0             Clio

The detective only has an instant to be able to track the path of the chain. He knows he isn't going to get hit with that but even still he felt the need to shuffle to the side slightly. That's when the real attack comes in. As the the feet come in he only has time to perform a shoulder roll to redirect the kick. A slight pained grunt leaves his lips upon impact.

He turns around to get Clio back into his view.

"Brandon Malone. Head of the Knights of Swords and Wands detective agency." He felt no need to mention being on the Hungry Wolves team since he barely contributed to their efforts. And his defense of Ayame from Lee Chaolan's attempt of marketing combot likenesses as well as an attempt to kidnap her were old news at this point.

The Empress tarot card suddenly appears in his hand as his body glows a pale yellow as he dashes forward attempts to charge right into the other mage.

"Nice to met ya."

COMBATSYS: Brandon successfully hits Clio with III - The Empress.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Brandon          0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0             Clio

A close in strike. Clashing. Catching Clio hard in and close. Yet, she laughs as she's rolling bodily by the larger man. She didn't need much for introduction, she just wants to know this guy can survive a throwdown with some of what the NOL can throw at him.

Back she goes, rolling over her shoulder. She's in close, on her back foot. But with a wide look in her eye, she rolls back as a roil of shadowy energy expands and bursts from around her chain.

By the time she's back on her feet, her chain wrapped arm directs itself at Brandon and the energy bursts forward. It screams toward Brandon, taking on the shape of a pair of gnashing bestial jaws.

COMBATSYS: Brandon reflects Jaws of Ammut from Clio with IV - The Emperor.
- Power hit! -

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Brandon          0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0             Clio

COMBATSYS: Clio parries Brandon's Reflected Jaws of Ammut!!

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Brandon          0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0             Clio

As quickly as the Empress card appeared, through sleight of hand, it disappears and in its place is the Emperor tarot card. As the energy flies towards Brandon gnashing teeth and all, a golden shield of light forms in between himself and the vicious looking projectile. The energy is then pushed right back towards Clio.

He then backs away, attempting to bring himself into an out boxer's range as with a flick of the wrist, he makes the Emperor card disappear as well.

"That looked like that was gonna be nasty."

"Good!" Clio's shout is high, elated almost. "You'll need that!"

The jaws hurtle toward her, so she digs the nailed toe of her boot into the ground. The maw sails for her, and she holds steady. Her eyes close, she feels her own power returning to her.

That same circle she had shown earlier returns with an iridescent display of light and violet flames. The jaws crash against it and Clio's waiting hand. The blow back makes Clio's loose hood flail in the winds. Her short haircut does as well to a less impressive degree.

"Power loosed, can be chained. And loosed once again. The circle turns." Clio speaks to herself and there's a steady reverb to her words as the jaws bleed into the spell barrier. The sigils glow, and in that moment, Clio fires forward like a blur.

In that moment, she is airborne, but low to the ground. She rockets, rolling, a length of chain held taut in her hands. A choking bar of hanging arcana laced steel that aim's right for Brandon's neck. A strangling blow meant to take and toss, but with Clio's burst of enhanced speed, it's only a possible precursor for her landing into a twisting, arcing kick that streaks a crescent in her wake.

COMBATSYS: Clio blitzes into action and acts again!

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Brandon          0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0             Clio

COMBATSYS: Brandon blocks Clio's Avernian Gate EX.

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Brandon          0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0             Clio

COMBATSYS: Clio successfully hits Brandon with Bad Moon Rising.

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Brandon          1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0             Clio

The amount of speed Clio brings to bear is overwhelming. He barely could manage a defense against the precursor, shelling up in response to the strangling bar of energy laced steel. Even though he prevented her landing that blow cleanly, the incredible speed left him unbalanced and ill prepared to deal with the arcing kick which proceeds to slam him down to the ground.

When he rolls back to his feet, his stance changes to a peek-a-boo boxing guard. The figurative chains keeping his energy restrained are removed and golden aura flares up around his body.

"I suppose you should also see what happens when I get desperate. I probably have enough in me for one last shot. Let's see if I can make it count."

COMBATSYS: Brandon taps into his power directly, surrounding his body with a bright aura.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Brandon          1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0             Clio

Clio lands with a unnatural softness on the park's grassy floor. Her chest rises and falls with each breath, her eyes closed in the moment following. Her position low to the ground, chain wrapped fist touch the other, the other spread with fingertips to the earth. There's a distinct tang of magic, the potential of seithr flows around Clio.

Her eyes open and she looks back toward Brandon. She looks that aura over and she licks her lips in anticipation. "The NOL wants you desperate. They'll be bringing a lot more than what I can if you piss 'em off enough. They taught me. Harnessed me. I was their dog. I know what they can and will do. Even if they're helping, you still got to stay tougher than them. So show me everything you got."

Light flares around Clio, the violet light struggles to burst forth from her chain's sigils. She grits her teeth and laughs a challenge, "C'mon. Make me hurt!"

COMBATSYS: Clio gathers her will.

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Brandon          1/----===/=======|=======\==-----\1             Clio

Brandon didn't expect to be given room to remove the restraints on his power and not deal with the consequences of it in the form of being attacked for his trouble. Usually those who can sense him tapping directly into his power and even those who don't realize what he was doing attack him just so they don't have deal with him throwing whatever crazy stuff he was about to do. It meant that now, instead of having one shot, he might get two spells off while unrestrained. He just needed to take advantage of the opportunity.

A blade of light forms in the arcane brawler's hand as he bobs and weaves forward before delivering an upward slash and performing a small shuffle backwards.

COMBATSYS: Clio blocks Brandon's Sunburst Strike.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Brandon          1/-======/=======|=======\======-\1             Clio

Clio needs to see. She wants to know everything getting thrown at her. She has to know if it's the kind of power that can withstand attention from the NOL for good or ill. She rises from her crouch when Brandon approaches with his beautiful blade. She meets it with the tight coils of chain wrapped around her arm. The links are heavy, and they are a conduit for Clio's own abilities to mold and shape chi with seithr. They burst with light on meeting one another, a searing glow as the two magics meet.

Clio grunts and shouts wordlessly, more out of vigor and drive than the pain or frustration. She's thriving off the conflict. Off the surge of pain and the struggle against someone. And when Brandon backs, off, she moves forward.

A low shift of posture, her free hand touches her hip, a finger draws a circle on her hip. And she blasts forward. The sparks of power along her chain break open as licks of violet flame break through and she brings a heavy cross for Brandon's chin with her chain enveloped fist.

COMBATSYS: Clio successfully hits Brandon with Chains of Fenrir.

[                                < >  ///////////////////           ]
Brandon          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0             Clio

The hammering blow connects. Arcane energy sparks wildly about. But Clio is, as always, fast. She reaches out and pulls Brandon back before he can rebound as she mantles him with a quick leap. Above, she looses the chain from around her arm, its coils dropping at Brandon's shoulders as Clio drops to the ground.

On landing, she hurls the spiked end into the ground, it sticks hard and with it tightens the choking tether of the chain. With the chain lashed tight around Brandon's throat, Clio quickly rolls back and bursts upward into the air in a backflipping kick to Brandon's chin.

And while Clio lands with a gymnast's posting, Brandon is sent up as far as the length of the chain will go before it snaps hard and drives Brandon back to the park grounds.

Once, again Clio's amazing speed and agility is on display and Brandon knowing how hard it is to keep a close enough position to deliver his own blow tries to step into it as a desperate attempt to maintain control of the range. Unfortunately, the amount of arcane might was just as overwhelming as her speed. He gets whipped and knocked around like a ragdoll and when that final slam is delivered, the arcane brawler finds difficulty in the mere at of standing.

After a few moments he manages to struggle back to his feet, wobbbling and swaying as he raises a single hand into the air. Several arcane swords of light form above him and circle high in the air. The swords suddenly point towards Clio before bearing down upon her in rapid fire succession.

The arcane brawler falls to one knee due to the effort as well as the pain of having his own power tear at him. The restraints are quickly put back on his power since he needs to recover from this fight and killing himself would not be conducive to repairing this park.

COMBATSYS: Brandon can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Clio dodges Brandon's #Astral Blades of Death#.

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

A rain of light. Sharp edged arcane power made manifest. Clio, still in her landing position, cants her eyes upwards to see the growing armory of Damocles overhead. She almost immediately afterwards drops to a low and practiced stance. She darts forward, low enough to scrape her fingertips against the ground. As each blade falls, she slips to one side or the other. They strike the ground, close shave, but never quite fully touching the high speed witch.

She closes in on her chain, reaching out for it and on a touch, kicks into a backward rolling spring that finds her landing as the last blade hammers into the parkgrounds with a feeling of finality.

And Clio St. Jeanne rises up afterwards, unharmed by the illuminated rain of death. And she smiles, laughing happily after all this, and all the dust up and all the arcane power that had been built up. A whooping that finishes with her rocking quite happily back and forth on her heels.

"Okay, okay, good, that was good," she says with a wide grin about her. "Sorry if I went a little hard there. Gotta know you won't get hurt."

COMBATSYS: Clio has ended the fight here.

Brandon finds himself breathing heavily, not exactly from exertion but rather the self induced torture from tapping directly into his arcane might. He grits his teeth as he rises back into a standing position. After a few moments he finally trusts himself to be able to speak without the physical strain being evident in his voice.

"I hope I proved I could handle myself. Granted, I can still use little bit more work though that applies to almost everybody."

He touches the pouch on his hip drawing energy from his deck of cards to at least make it easier for him get home.

"I'm probably not going to involve the NOL right away about this... Going to them is the absolute last resort. I'd rather not make it easier for them to establish themselves here. It would probably make it harder for me to operate even with a legitimate investigator's license. That was one of the main reasons I would rather hear what your teacher would have to say."

Clio nods her head, impossible for her to not look just a little smug. "Oh yeah, you proved it. You should meet Makoto. You and her fight alike."

She exhales, lowering the stiffness and self pride. She affixes the weighted end of her chain to the massively oversized collar about her neck, and once more wraps the other end around her waist, before slipping her hands into the cozy front pocket to rest them up; sore as they are post punching. "See, that's sorta the problem here," she says, laughing lightly. "My teacher's kind of near the top of their wanted list. So, this is just sort of a precaution in case anyone comes sniffing around."

She looks aside and shrugs. "He's also a cat, but how about I just prepare you over some ice cream? I always get ice cream after a fight. S'better ritual than most of my spellcraft."

Log created on 14:19:39 12/08/2020 by Clio, and last modified on 20:33:23 12/08/2020.