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    A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 5th August 2021, 10:01 am

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    Vandrad felt like a clown. He hated having to wear a suit and it made him all sorts of uncomfortable, mostly physically. But for this purpose, he would swallow his pride. It was all important that he play his part well.

    The capital of Fiore, Crocus, was quite the expansive city. While places like Magnolia and Era were what the prince would classify as high tier towns, the heart of the nation proved to be as large and grandiose as people said it was. Vandrad admittedly might have had trouble finding himself around it, were it not for the technological aids from his own creations. They provided an easy-to-follow map, along with smaller, more intricate details that he frankly didn’t care about. All he needed to know was where to go and who to look out for and luckily, with Mercury’s aid, that wouldn’t be hard. She’d utilized her drones to craft a net of observation, giving him ample view of every street, alley and path that led right to him. There was no way that Patricia Reeves was getting the drop on him, even if he suspected that she had no intent on surprising him.

    He and Mercury had worked together on a plan to discover what the illustrious doctor’s secret was. Ever since he’d met her, the woman had confounded him with her curt, dismissive and overly analytical manner. There was also the fact that her magic just happened to be the same as his. While Energy Monarch was a rare power set to inherit, it wasn’t impossible that two or more people could possess its abilities at the same time. What marked it as odd was the fact that they had run into one another and he had been tested each time. Their first meeting could have been chalked up as mere happenstance but the second one, with the trap and her unveiling her abilities, had been all too conspicuous. As a fighter and now as an engineer, Vandrad didn’t trust situations lining up so neatly – there was always margin for error and, in most cases, the error was prevalent and almost guaranteed. If he were to hazard a guess, and he had explained as much to Mercury, the second meeting had been a means of testing his strength and magic and Patricia had been there to observe and interact as needed. Mercury had done her own digging and discovered a lot of abnormalities to her story and her presence. As such, the prince had asked the Silver Wolf mage to aid him in uncovering her secrets and her goals and she was all too happy to participate, honestly thrilled to go snooping.

    The best place to start was her laboratory, the main building set in Crocus. While they could simply break in and attempt to get into a server room, they both believed Patricia would have security measures in place. That and it seemed the woman worked almost constantly. It was better to attempt a duel operation – Vandrad would serve as a distraction and Mercury would be the one actually breaking and entering. She’d still need to account for the security but Earthland technology would, no doubt, be simple for her. It was just up to the prince to keep Patricia preoccupied, so she couldn’t discover any breaches. Vandrad reached out, asking her to drinks and dinner so that they could discuss opening a business relationship. She had mentioned her connections to the Rune Knights the last time they saw one another so it made sense that he revisit the topic.

    They’d agreed on a fine restaurant in Crocus and there Vandrad was, already at the table he’d reserved. The restaurant owner had sat the prince personally; now that his name and title had been revealed, he was getting far more lavish treatment from the general populace of Fiore. It bothered him to no end but for the reasons of deception, he simply went along with it. He was given the best seat in the house, a table in the VIP section that was cordoned off from the rest of the dining room. In fact, he found himself sat out on the veranda, looking out over the fields and land just beyond Crocus’ limits. He was promised the best servers and the best service and Vandrad simply nodded along. He despised every second of the royal, robust treatment and he knew Mercury would be eating it up. After all, she could hear everything that was happening around him through the small ear piece that transmitted both of their voices and surrounding area to one another.

    "Try not to enjoy yourself too much laughing at my expense,” he remarked softly, knowing she could hear him. Vandrad had come dressed up, putting on a pair of black slacks and black dress shoes. Given the hot, summer heat he had opted to wear a clean white dress shirt and a black vest over it, avoiding the hefty warmth that would come from a jacket. He adjusted his blue tie a bit as he glanced out over the Fioran land, basked in moonlight and the darkness of the evening. Despite the situation, even he couldn’t deny it was an impressive sight. A small part of him wondered if he should consider bringing Mercury to dinner here at some point for a real outing rather than a scheme.

    His thoughts on that were interrupted as he spotted movement out of the corner of his eye. As he looked back, he saw the restaurant owner leading in none other than Patricia Reeves. And in spite of himself, Vandrad was actually… a bit stunned. Her long, curly, brown hair had been primped and straightened so that it hung down over her left shoulder heavily. She had larger framed glasses on that seemed to expand the vibrancy of her ocean-blue eyes. Golden hoop earrings hung down from her ears, glittering in the lights from the restaurant. She was wearing a tight-fitting, off-shoulder blue sweater that hugged her frame well. A black and white striped skirt ran down from her hips and over her thighs, ending just a little below her knees and providing a slit in the front for her to walk with ease. Her midriff was showing between the gap from sweater and skirt and he could see the small chain from the bottom of a belly-button piercing. And the clacking of her black, strappy heels echoed all the way out to the veranda. Even for a man like Vandrad, it was hard not to find her stunning.

    “Your Highness, Doctor Patricia Reeves has arrived,” the owner announced her introduction, guiding the doctor to the table.

    "Thank you. You may leave us for the moment,” the prince said with a soft nod. The owner gave a short bow and departed, Patricia watching him leave before turning back to face Vandrad with a warm smile.

    “Vandrad. Or should I say Prince du Wolff? Or do you prefer Your Highness? I hope you don’t expect me to bow,” Patty said, her normal colorful attitude coming right to the forefront.

    "Vandrad is fine. I’d rather we not get lost in the ridiculous details such as titles,” the prince replied curtly.

    “Why, I must be special then,” she said with a small giggle before she pulled out her chair and sat herself down. “I must admit, I didn’t think I’d ever hear from you again. The last time we saw one another was… well, exciting is possibly the nicest term.”

    "Yes, I must admit I was not expecting you to kiss me…”Vandrad said slowly.

    “Oh. I was talking about the card trap and having to kill all of those deities. Nice to hear that the kiss was the most exciting part about that,” she was quick to jump in, giving him a cheeky grin.

    Vandrad opened his mouth to speak, perhaps to shoot down any kind of idealizations she was attempting to make. But then with a sigh he let it go. She caught him in it and chuckled once more. “It’s also nice to see that you haven’t changed. Here I was worried that Fiore might have softened you but you’ve still got that rugged, tough personality.”

    How little she knew. "Perhaps we should start with drinks.”

    “A fantastic idea. Oh garcon,” Patricia said, raising her hand to catch the eye of the attendant nearby. He eagerly came over at the request, hungry to prove himself to the guests and, more likely, his boss. “We’d like a bottle of your finest brandy, if you wouldn’t mind.”

    Vandrad blinked in surprise. "I thought we’d start with wine…”

    “Oh I think we’re far past wine at this point, aren’t we?” Patricia interjected, casting him a smirking glance. “And I’d love to see a menu as well. Thank you.”

    And, already, it seemed Vandrad’s attempts to be the driving force behind the meeting had been usurped. So much for sticking directly to the plan.






    Words: 1495  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 433
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,137,963

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 19th August 2021, 3:46 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Damn... You didn’t tell me she was fucking hot...

    Mercury was currently lounging on the grass in a small park inside the city, about half a mile away from the laboratory that belonged to Patricia. Despite the fact that she looked like she was merely lazing about and enjoying a day in the sunshine, Mercury was quite hard at work. Vandrad had let her know what restaurant he was going to meet the doctor at so Mercury would know how long she’d have if Patricia needed to leave, so Mercury had taken the time to pre-emptively place a few tiny drones around the inside of the restaurant that wouldn’t be noticed by even the most keen or suspicious of eyes. While she had given Vandrad a small earpiece so they could communicate with one another -- or at least, so she could listen in on the conversation and add to the growing dossier that was Patricia Reeves -- Mercury hadn’t told him about the cameras that would allow her to actually see as well. Not that she imagined he’d be too surprised by that.

    Zooming in on the digital feed inside her mind, Mercury took a nice long gander at the woman’s ass. “You sure you don’t wanna tap that while you have a chance? Cause I might.” Honestly the best part about all this, which she wasn’t sure if Vandrad had realized ahead of time or not, was that she was going to get practically an entire evening of being able to say whatever she wanted without the prince being able to respond, or even make a face, and Mercury planned on utilizing every moment of that.

    Holding up her fingers gently, Bandit hopped down from his perch on her knee to her hand. She petted him in soft strokes along his back, the crow soaking in the attention and allowing Mercury to use him as a distraction so anyone who happened to walk by and see her talking would assume she was just talking to the bird. Listening in on the conversation, she observed the exchange as the brunette teased the man about his princehood, which was public knowledge these days. He insisted she ignore titles, and the woman giggled and took it to mean she must be special to get to be on a first name basis with royalty. Mercury snorted and rolled her eyes. On the one hand she was glad that this woman was clearly going to be so easy to distract, but on the other hand she was a little unimpressed by that same fact. Ah, well. Let her think herself special if it kept the woman out of Mercury’s hair long enough to do her part.

    They chatted a bit longer, with Patty admitting that she was surprised to even hear from him again, given everything that had happened at their last run in, which had clearly been a set up. Not that she had voiced that last part, of course. And Vandrad, precious Vandrad, rather than acknowledging the life or death event and the revelation of Patty’s magic instead focused on the kiss. Mercury cackled openly into his ear, already knowing where the doctor was going to take that comment. “Man, you lobbed that one to her.” With Vandrad unable to undo the comment, he irritably elected to change the subject entirely, starting with drinks. Patty was all too happy to oblige, practically snapping over the wait staff like she thought herself an aristocrat and ordering an entire bottle of brandy for them.

    “Damnit, I’m not supposed to like her,” Mercury commented after the brief exchange that followed, knowing that while Patty was going to be easy to keep distracted she was not going to be easy for Vandrad to keep on the linear path he’d crafted for the evening. “And before you get all huffy with me about not paying attention to what I’m supposed to be doing, relax. I’m getting my shit done.”

    And indeed she was. Mercury was a master spy, and had been such for practically her entire life before she’d come to Earthland and acquired magic, which had only increased her capabilities.Right now it was best to keep a low profile and do some scouting from afar to see what she was working with. So she had sent a couple of small drones no bigger than common house flies, to examine the building. There were a number of security cameras posted outside, primarily focusing on entry points into the building and along the alleys outside the exterior walls. There was even a camera covering the roof and the door that led to it. Directing a few of her drones, she had them land on the cameras where they very carefully sliced the protective layer of plastic casing around the wires and embedded themselves, passively syncing with the camera so they could forward the feed to her.

    Letting that sit for now, she sent a few more of her drones inside through an exhaust vent in the roof, where they easily spread out and emerged through vents in various rooms of the building. A full blueprint of the building began to download directly into Mercury’s mental databanks, giving her an extremely precise layout of each floor. In a matter of seconds, she knew where each room was located and how many security guards were watching the place. It was a fairly large facility consisting of six floors with various departments each having their own level. On the first floor was a standard security room where a single guard sat in a chair in front of a bunch of monitors, clearly bored to tears but not to the point of slacking. Either the man was paid extremely well, or it was still early enough in his shift that he was still too alert to nod off just yet. There were three other guards performing random patrols throughout the building, and Mercury observed them for a while to log the paths they took so she could compare it to their later rounds and see if they kept the same routes. She also zoomed in to get clear shots of their ID badges, collecting their names.

    As she put on a search in the background for their full identities, Mercury began a visual breakdown of each floor. There were various different offices and labs upon each for various different types of scientific studies. There were also offices dedicated to more administrative purposes, such as finances and human resources. There was a large office at the top with a personal lab that she could only assume was Patricia’s, particularly since there was a room attached to it that appeared to house a large computer main frame. Once she had a pretty basic idea of what was where, she planted the drones in strategic locations and pulled up the results from her search of the security guards.

    Their public records were pretty easy to get a hold of, and it took her almost no time at all to not only access most of their private details but also confirm what kind of magics they had. Mercury had no intention of getting into an altercation with any of them, or even having them realize she was there, but in order to stay out of sight she had to assess how likely they were to have magics that could detect her. Thankfully, they all had fairly basic or common magics that she should be able to work with. “Well, Bandit, I guess it’s time to get the party started.” The bird cawed at her and hopped into the air, allowing Mercury to get to her feet. Throwing down her hover disc, she stepped on and shot up into the air after the feathered creature, and made her way toward the building.

    WORDS: 1306 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 19th August 2021, 7:52 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    Oh of course Mercury was going to comment on Patricia’s looks. Vandrad had expected that -- the Silver Wolf mage was nothing if not predictable when it came to attractive people. And though the prince hated to admit it, and only did so internally, the good doctor did know how to clean up well. He considered if perhaps she wasn’t planning to use her ability to dress provocatively in an attempt to disarm and distract him. She was operating on a highly suspicious level since the beginning so it was hard to put the strategy past her. If anything, it was more frustrating that he couldn’t deny that it could work; Mercury may have even complimented her on it.

    Speaking of his partner, she squawked in his air about his hesitancy to bed the woman -- a remark that earned her a sneer. His eyes snapped around the immediate area, attempting to suss out where her cameras were hidden. Chances were, they were all around them. He suspected she would take the extra precautions but he had hoped, fruitlessly it seemed, that she may have an ounce of professional decorum. Deciding just to look in a singular direction, he gave a quick and decisive shake of his head, answering both her question and her statement. They were here to distract and reappropriate information and the last thing he needed was Mercury deciding to derail the mission on the off-chance that she could hook up with the doctor. As far as he was concerned, her gift for the evening was the ability to mock and tease him without reproach -- though he intended on paying her back for every word later.

    Patricia was calm and collected, talking to him as if this truly was a casual dinner. Mercury seemed more invested in the conversation, admitting that she didn’t enjoy the fact that she seemed to like Patricia. As if a mental communication had opened up between them, she was quick to stop him from making any kind of glances or silent glares at the fact that her focus should have been on her part of the mission. How frustrating it was to be in love with such an insufferable woman. Swallowing his annoyance, he was relatively silent as Patricia continued to order their brandy and asked about seeing the menu.

    As the waiter departed, Patricia turned her gaze back to Vandrad. She placed her elbows on the table and leaned forward, her sweater giving a little so that he got a healthy picture of her cleavage, were he to look. Unfortunately for her, the prince was more than capable of meeting her gaze and resisting the opportunity for a cheeky look. Attractive and dolled up meant nothing against the weight of their mission.

    “So tell me, how have you been?” she asked, giving him her complete and undivided attention.

    "This is hardly a social call,” the prince replied.

    “Oh no, I’d never dare to assume that you’d want to do anything remotely social and practical by other’s standards,” the doctor was quick to shoot his way. “If you’d rather sit here in complete and utter silence beyond professional discussion, I’m more than happy to get some work done. I brought my Lacpad and can connect right to my laboratory from here.” Her tone was honest and sincere, seeming more interested in making him feel comfortable, while still finding a way to mock him.

    But the idea of her using her tablet was concerning. If she was connected to the server, it was possible she could pick up on Mercury breaking in. A slim chance but a chance nonetheless. As she started to shift in her chair, ready to reach around and grab her purse, the prince ground his teeth together and swallowed his pride. "I have been… well. How about you?”

    Patricia placed her hand on her chest, feigning surprise. “Well, well… manners. Maybe that royal upbringing did adorn you with some practical training after all,” she teased, turning back and away from her purse. “Busy, quite busy. I’m not your usual, run-of-the-mill worker. My office hours seem to last all day, every day with breaks in between to sleep and sometimes eat. My work unfortunately doesn’t always stay in the lab either and usually finds its way home with me. Awful bed fellow, magical science -- very vanilla between the sheets. I prefer a bit more roughhousing.”

    His eyes widened slightly at her brazen, bedroom confession. "W-what? Why would you say such a thing?”

    She laughed. “Calm down, will you? I am merely making a joke. You’d think I just confessed to being a bisexual dominatrix with a penchant for pegging.” That time her words were intentionally trying to rile him up and she watched with amusement as his brows rose in shock but then settled, picking up on her ruse. “Aw, look at you. You’re learning.”

    "I just think it’s inappropriate to discuss such private information with someone you’ve only interacted with twice. Especially during a proper dinner,” he retorted.

    “See, here’s the thing, Vandrad. I deal with prim and proper all day long. Don’t get me wrong; I love being a scientist and studying magic and everything else in the world. But sometimes I need a break and, if you’ll pardon me, your highness, a girl likes to shoot the shit,” she explained, giving him a laid back shrug. Before he could reply, the waiter returned with a bottle of brandy and two glasses, complete with ice balls. The glasses were set down and the brandy poured before a menu was handed over to each of them. “Thank you, sir,” she said to the waiter, raising her glass to him. As he walked away she downed the entire thing in one gulp before she reached over and poured herself another.

    "You’re a lot more… casual, than you were last time,” Vandrad observed as the doctor poured more brandy for herself. He reached down and picked up his glass, taking a cautionary sip.

    “As I said; a girl likes to cut loose when she’s off the clock.” She gave him a genuine smile but he could sense something underneath. A flutter of concern, worry… fear even. Her face hid it well but something in her own words had sparked true feelings beneath the surface. “But I’m more than happy to act professional and simply speak when you want to converse.”

    She was offering it again. The prince eyed her before he threw back the rest of his drink and took the bottle to pour himself another helping. "No. No, I should apologize. I’m acting like the nobles I’ve grown up with; snobbish and supercilious. I owe you more than that, considering you did help save my life.”

    It was Patricia’s turn to look surprised, blinking at him slowly. “Well. That was unexpected.”

    "Believe it or not, I’m full of surprises as well… Patricia,” he said, raising his glass to her to cheer.

    She smirked. “My mother warned me that men with surprises usually spelled danger. Luckily for you, I like danger.” With that, she cheered him and took a sip from her drink. “Hard to believe it’s been over a year since we’ve seen one another. More surprising that you suddenly wanted to talk to me about my connections within the Rune Knights. You had mentioned that back during that tarot card trap event and I figured, after this much time, you would have taken the initiative yourself to reach out to them.”

    "Well, I found myself handed a lot more responsibilities within my own guild. I was promoted to an ace within Fairy Tail, the role of Taskmaster and Treasurer.”

    Patricia nearly choked on her drink. “Taskmaster? And here I was joking about being a dominatrix.”

    "Very funny,” Vandrad said dryly, rolling his eyes. He could only imagine Mercury was having the time of her life listening and watching. "Adding into the fact that my nobility became front page news and I’ve been relatively distracted.”

    “Yes, I was quite surprised. No one in my lab believed that I had made out with a prince from Bellum so I was more than happy to show them your message asking for this meeting. A lot of the ladies and some of the guys are quite jealous of me right now.”

    Oh joy, how lovely to hear. "How about yourself? Anything in particular you’ve been working on?”

    “Oh a little of this, a little of that. My benefactors like to throw different projects to the front of the queue practically on rotation. Thank the mana I was born with the patience of a saint.” She swallowed down the rest of her brandy and started to pour herself another glass as she finally started to look over the menu.

    "I’m guessing you’re a heavyweight when it comes to alcohol?” he asked, gesturing to the bottle.

    “Oh no, in fact, I’m quite a lightweight. Which is probably why some of the letters on this menu are starting to crawl. Probably best that I get some food in me.”

    As if on queue, the waiter returned with a basket of freshly baked bread and dipping oil to go with it. “For the madam and sir,” he said with a slight bow of his head.

    “Oh, you are incredible. If this doesn’t work out, you feel free to shoot your shot my way,” Patricia said, gesturing to Vandrad and herself. “I’m pretty sure this says chicken marsala. If it does, I would love that.”

    “Wonderful choice. And for you, your highness?”

    "Skinless chicken breast with brown rice and steamed broccoli, thank you,” he ordered, handing the menu back to the waiter.

    The man bowed once more and headed off to put their orders in. Patricia took a piece of bread and ripped it in half, dipping half of it in the oil while offering the other portion to Vandrad. “I say we eat some bread and then we can discuss what you wanted to go over; my connections to the Rune Knights. Sound fair?”

    Vandrad nodded as he took the bread. As he watched the woman munch on the bread, he could only wonder how Mercury was making out at the laboratory.





    Words: 1703/3198  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 433
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,137,963

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 21st August 2021, 4:17 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Mercury was having a great time. She could only giggle as the prince scanned the restaurant with an irritable scowl trying to figure out where her cameras were, only to ultimately just pick a direction to shake his head at her and assume she would see it -- which she did. It wasn’t difficult to assume he would be annoyed with her for seemingly paying more attention to the dinner than her own part of the mission, but the truth was that observing the dinner was just as much a part of her goals as infiltrating Patricia’s office. After all, she needed to know how the woman behaved when she had her guard down. It was data she could compare later if she ever needed to pick up on suspicious tics.

    She opened up as any normal person would, asking Vandrad how he had been and starting the dinner off with pleasantries. Mercury rolled her eyes when Vandrad attempted to cut the conversation off. If this was his way of distracting the woman, Mercury wasn’t very impressed with it. Casual conversation was the cornerstone of espionage. Luckily, he seemed to realize his mistake right away, particularly when Patricia mentioned that she could access her lab through her tablet, and reined himself in. “She has remote access, huh? That’s good to know. Alright, killer, keep her talking. The more she talks, the more we learn about her and the more she thinks she’s winning you over.” More than anything, by the end of the night Patricia had to believe she was succeeding in drawing the attention of the prince. It was the key to setting up whatever trap they would lay for her later, depending on what Mercury found out.

    As the conversation carried on Mercury soared up into the sky above the cloud on her hover disc where she would have a little cover. With a snap of her fingers, The rest of her stealth suit materialised around her body, including the various pouches and gadgets around her waist and thigh, and the armoring along her limbs and torso. Her intention was to use as little magic as possible while inside the building so that she could minimize the likelihood of any part of Patricia’s security being able to sense her. As such, it was beneficial to have most of her tools crafted and ready to go, though in a pinch she could use her enchanted pouch to mask if she needed to create anything. Touching a setting on her wristband, her cloaking shield turned on, bending the light around her to cause both her and her hoverdisc to become invisible. Then, she came down from the clouds and began heading toward the labs.

    Cackling merrily at the prince’s discomfort as Patty threw a few rather crude jokes his way, Mercury continued to grow a slight appreciation for the woman, or at least her bold sense of humor. While Vandrad was a bit annoyed by it, and likely feeling like he was just at dinner with Mercury herself, he steered the conversation coolly into something more casual, finding a natural way to explain away his stiff mannerisms as simply a product of his noble upbringing. She expressed her surprise in his contacting her after so long, thinking he wasn’t interested in the opportunities she had to offer him, to which he masterfully used his increased guild duties as an excuse. When he mentioned his position as taskmaster, Patty practically swallowed her brandy down the wrong part of her throat, remarking about how she had just been joking when she’d teased about sexual domination. “Oh lady, if you only knew.”

    As they began discussing her work, Mercury pulled within range of the building. There were a number of ways she could get inside between various windows and the roof, but these were the obvious entryways that likely had more digital security fixed to them, just as an internal alarm. So instead, the Xocili aspired to take a less conventional route and simply stroll right into the front door, with a little assistance from her companion of course. Bandit had a penchant for following her everywhere. Even now she could hear him cawing lightly from whatever perch he’d found. Dropping down to the ground, her hoverdisc folded itself back up and she put it away before approaching the main entry.

    It was locked, of course, but given that there was a security guard right in the foyer watching the monitors it wasn’t alarmed. That was all she needed. Pulling out a couple of her thin lock picking tools, Mercury carefully and quietly played with the mechanism on the door. As she did, Bandit swooped down to the ground next to her, somehow able to sense where she was and what she was doing, despite currently being invisible. She could only assume he could smell her in some fashion. He hopped forward, watching the door curiously until there was a soft click. The automatic door registered the motion in front of it and slid open, allowing Mercury and Bandit to walk right inside.

    The guard at the monitor stood up immediately. [b]“Who’s there?”[/color] he asked with a frown, his hand hovering over the weapon fixed to his hip. When he looked toward the front door, however, all he saw was a single crow tilting its head toward him and walking about like it owned the place. The guard instantly relaxed. [b]“How the hell..? I could have sworn I locked that door. Go on, get out of here! Shoo!”[/color] He moved toward the entrance, doing his best to corral the bird and usher it back outside, to which Bandit stubbornly hopped in basically every other direction but the one the guard wanted him to go in.

    With a grin, Mercury used the distraction to silently stroll right past him until she was behind the security desk. Withdrawing a couple small devices from her belt, she placed one in the back of the guard’s computer and one beneath the panel to the alarm system. Both devices tapped into the electronics with effortless ease, syncing with the programs and establishing control over them. By the time the guard had successfully managed to kick Bandit back outside and relock the door, Mercury was already moving into the rest of the building.

    According to the blue prints she’d put together and the cameras she’d stashed throughout, there was little of interest to her through most of the building. The vast majority of the rooms were simply various labs with standard supplies and set ups. Sure there were computers throughout the place, but they wouldn’t hold the type of information she was hoping to find. Patricia’s personal computer would have everything these computers had on them, and more, so she wasn’t concerned with wasting time going through every electronic device. Instead, she had one other point of interest besides Patty’s office: Human Resources.

    The Human Resources office would be chock full of some of the most sensitive information about both Patty’s business and the people who worked for her. While she didn’t expect to find too much about Patty herself there, she would gain an incredible amount of valuable information that could be used in a myriad of creative ways. By now the guards had done a couple of rounds that she had been able to monitor through the cameras, and Mercury had picked up enough to know they were professionals. They did not keep to any particular routes, and they did not each keep to the same patrol areas, often switching with one another to keep themselves fresh. Luckily, she would always know where they were with plenty of advanced warning. Keeping an eye on their whereabouts, she made it to the offices without indecent.

    She wouldn’t have to try the handle to know the door was locked. It was standard procedure for a room like this to have extra measures of security due to the sensitive personal information within. There was a lock pad outside the door, but Mercury did not immediately move to interact with it. Instead, she adjusted her vision to its x-ray setting, looking through the walls to the wires and lines that ran within them. Most of them were clearly for lights and general electricity purposes, but sure enough there was a line that ran through the door frame that was indicative of a sensor. Not only would she have to disarm the alarm, but she would have to find a way to get inside without the guard at the security desk being pinged that someone had opened the door.

    Thankfully, that wouldn’t be too difficult for a woman like Mercury. Starting with the alarm, she fixed a small device to the panel and seamlessly hacked into it, her custom programming automatically scanning the system until it could confirm the password and enter it. The light on the panel turned from red to green. Then, she reached into her pouch and masked her magic as she conjured a thin, small metal plate into her palm. The sensor on the door was magnetic, so all she had to do was trick it into not realizing the door was being opened. Making sure none of the patrolling guards were within range to walk in on her any time soon, she carefully slipped the metal plate between the top of the door and the sensor in the door frame. Lastly, she took a prerecorded section of footage from the security camera that faced that door to this office and set it as a loop overriding the main feed so no one watching the monitor would be able to see the door open.

    Once that was done, she quickly picked the lock on the door and slipped inside, quietly closing the door again behind her. Monitoring the computer on the first floor, she confirmed that it did not trigger any reaction to state that someone had gone inside. Mercury swapped her vision to night mode so she could leave the lights off in the room. Then, continuing to ignore the computes, she unlocked the filing cabinets and quickly began flicking through the hard files for anything that would be of interest, including personnel and incident records. While she could download this information more quickly in digital form, it was much riskier than working with the physical copies. Plus, she didn’t actually have to read anything. As long as she saw it, her internal system would record it and store it away for her to look at in more detail later.

    Quickly flipping through the folders with the most sensitive information, she kept an eye on the patrolling guards and an ear to the progression of the dinner date...

    WORDS: 1791/3097 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 21st August 2021, 5:40 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    The bread seemed to ground Patricia, at least to a state where she wasn’t going to wind up heavily intoxicated before they’d even gotten their food. Vandrad and Mercury had discussed the use of alcohol to help loosen her lips but the prince had hardly expected that she’d be two full glasses of brandy in by this point. It worked to help lay the foundation of getting information out of her without her fully being aware of it but if she rushed it, he’d be more responsible for taking care of her. That sounded almost worse than the dinner. He nibbled on his bread carefully as the doctor feasted upon hers, sighing happily to herself.

    “Well that is certainly going to help. I can see the slight blur on the edges of my vision,” she said as she reached over and held the bottle up, inspecting it. “I asked for their finest vintage and they delivered. I’ll have to be sure to leave a rather large tip.”

    "Don’t worry about the bill, I’ll take care of it,” Vandrad interjected as he took another sip from his glass.

    “Oh, in that case, I should put in some orders for rare Hargeon trout and maybe some stone lobsters to bring home to the lab,” she replied. As his eyes narrowed slightly, she gave him an impish smirk. “Kidding. And you’re not taking care of the full bill. This is a professional dinner and, as such, I insist that we each pay for our own.” She seemed quite insistent on that point.

    But that also opened the door to an opportunity for Vandrad to distract her. Openings like this were hard to come by, let alone earn, but he had somehow managed to create one unintentionally. If she was truly on guard and prepared for his usual rhetoric, it was time to pull the rug out from under her. "Patricia,” he said, his voice soft and her name coming out of his mouth like mulled wine. It stopped her right in her thought process, her eyes softening as they met his, now somehow not as sharp or hard as they usually were. "Please let me pay. It would be my pleasure.”

    He felt a flutter of surprise and arousal rush through her and her cheeks reddened slightly. “O-Of course,” she answered him, her own voice matching his in its softness. “Thank you.”

    He gave her a genuinely compassionate smile but below the surface, he was smirking like an outright villain. He could practically feel her defenses loosening, her attraction to him a weakness that he had just used as an exploit. Perhaps he shouldn’t have been too proud of himself but for someone who considered himself a greater danger when speaking the truth and being straightforward, he was immensely amused at how well deception worked for him. He knew he was capable of it but he underestimated how quick and precise he could be.

    Now he had her full attention and it was important that he not squander it. If he were to miscalculate his next step and dismiss anything out of turn too abruptly, he would lose his advantage. He had to play himself but a slightly more compassionate version; a task that did not come easy.

    “So, the Rune Knights,” she changed the subject, pushing past the moment and onto business. “The last time we talked, I believe you were indicating wanting to get in touch with its Director. One Mythal Ragnos, correct?”

    "Yes. He’s an old childhood friend that I was hoping to catch up with. It’s been several decades since the last time I saw him. While the situation with the organization has certainly calmed down in comparison to where it was before, it’s still been difficult to set up a meeting,” Vandrad explained, the fibs easily sliding out from his mouth.

    “That’s probably because you’re not there on official business. I’ve met with Director Ragnos a few times, along with his fiance and the Field Marshal of the Rune Knights, Serilda Sinclair. They’re good people, smart people; they knew exactly what they were looking for in investments. I’m happy to help but unfortunately we weren’t able to reach an agreement. I wasn’t able to provide the materials they wanted and I had to shut down the deal before it even started. It’s really too bad; just between you and me, the two of them are gorgeous. I know you haven’t seen your friend in a long time but he grew up to be a beautiful man with an equally beautiful wife. I don’t normally want to be the meat in a sandwich but…” Before she could go too far, she paused and shook her head. “I apologize, I know you don’t want to hear that kind of talk.”

    "It’s fine. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable speaking your mind. I’m just… not used to it, that’s all.” That may have been the biggest lie yet. Ever since he could recall, he’d been treated to open and honest opinions about everything from his family, including sexual relations. Mercury had come along and provided yet another avenue of constant comments and actions along the same line. What was perhaps even more sad was the fact that, recently, he’d grown accustomed to it. He might have even considered the perverted talk kind of amusing and enjoyable. But he’d never say that outloud.

    More importantly, he was showcasing an opening, trying to present himself as amenable and willing to make gestures in consideration to her. It seemed to hit its target once more, as her mouth turned upwards into a soft smile. “Anyways, I haven’t met with him or the Field Marshal in a couple of months. But I’m happy to provide you with their contact information. It might be a bit easier to reach out to them directly than going through the secretary.” She reached for her purse once more and took out her datapad. Vandrad held his breath quietly as she pressed a few buttons on the screen before she turned it around to face him, presenting the contact details.

    "Thank you,” he said as he reached into his pocket and pulled out an iLac. It was a brand new device, one that he’d purchased for the sake of this mission. He used his own datapad and information network routed into his own devices and had long dismissed the use of the brand models. But for the sake of looking relatively normal and in line with whatever background information she might have on him, he had gotten a new one. And he even made a show of playing around with it as if it was complicated and hard to figure out. After all, not many beyond his family and Mercury knew his studies into technology and development.

    As he put back his iLack into his pocket and Patricia put away her datapad, the doctor spoke up. “I meant to ask, and I hope this isn’t stepping over any lines, but… that whole fiasco with the tarot card. I used my magic to project your future power onto you. Did you… ever manage to achieve that?”

    Happy that he didn’t need to lie or deceive for a moment, the prince smirked slightly before his Empowerment overtook him. His hair and eyes instantly changed into the piercing blue color that he’d come to know as the peak form of his magic. Patricia gasped slightly, her eyes lighting up at the sight of the wondrous magic. "Does that answer your question?”

    “Oh, very much! Your magical output is extraordinary! I don’t even need my scanner to feel it. I’m so glad to see you managed to master your Ethernano Manipulation.”

    "Energy Monarch.”

    Patricia scoffed and rolled her eyes. “I should have known the minute you called it that that you were a royal.”

    "I didn’t come up with the name,” Vandrad said with a shrug, letting his Empowerment disperse. "I simply keep it alive so that it doesn’t become a dry scientifically termed magic type.”

    Patricia gasped slightly in mock offense before chuckling. “You cut me, sir. You cut deep.” After a moment, the prince joined her in the chuckle before they both managed to calm down. At that time, Patricia reached down and took her glass in her hands, swirling the contests around. There was a long pause of comfortable silence before she spoke again. “I never properly thanked you for saving my life back there. I know I helped but you did most of the work. Seven three point six percent, to be exact.”

    "We both did what we had to do to survive. No thanks is needed,” Vandrad replied, taking a sip from his drink.

    She nodded in agreement. “A fair estimation.”

    "What about your magic? Have you taken the time to improve it over the past year?”

    He felt a twang of something within her again. Her smile didn’t leave but it dropped a little, touched by the topic in a negative way. She swiftly downed her drink and started to pour herself another. “Not at all. I’m honestly bringing the name ‘Energy Monarch’ down just by having it. I’m so busy with my work that I barely have any time for personal training, let alone improving my magic. Deadlines and demands from executives just… rule my life.” Her tone was sad, painful even. He could feel the washing, quivering emotions through her body that shook her core, though she kept a cool and practiced facade. She forced a smile at him once more. “But that’s okay. I’m doing what I can to improve Earthland, one step at a time.”

    Her words were ominous. Vandrad almost felt like she was crying out for help. And yet, she seemed incapable of doing so. As if someone was holding her by a chain, ready to tug if she gave away too much.





    Words: 1652/4850  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 433
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,137,963

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 21st August 2021, 8:40 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Mercury frowned a bit as she listened in to the discussion. Something seemed… off. While she was perfectly happy that Patricia was willing to go out of her own way to drink herself into a stupor -- after all, it would make their jobs a lot easier -- the fact that the dinner had barely started and she was already more than a little buzzed felt a bit excessive. Unprofessional, even. At least, for someone that they suspected was trying to spy on Vandrad. As a master spy herself, she could not see the advantage in getting herself drunk around the person she was casing.

    For now, she simply continued to listen as she flipped through files and gathered as much personal data as possible. They briefly went back and forth over how the bill would be handled and that was when Vandrad took his first real step in the game. Even Mercury paused in her chore as he spoke Patricia’s name, drawing in the attention of both women as he softly insisted on paying for the meal in a way that was bound to woo the pants of any lady. With a slight stutter, Patricia relented. Mercury allowed them a brief moment after the fact, mostly because she was a bit stunned herself. Then…

    “Why don’t you ever say my name like that?” the lavender haired woman muttered, speaking quietly so her voice wouldn’t carry. “You might want to ask for extra napkins. I think her seat is dripping.” Having gathered everything of interest. Mercury silently shut the file cabinet and locked it back up. One of the guards was making their way in her direction, and she needed to get out before they came by and saw that the room was unlocked. Slipping outside, she locked the door from the inside handle and then quickly set the alarm again, removing her tiny device from the panel. The metal plate she left in the door as it would take too long to retrieve, but chances were it would take someone quite a while to find it, even during the day. As she started walking down the hallway, the guard came around the corner at the far other end, checking the locks and peering his way through the windows and such to make sure everything was in order.

    When he didn’t stop to inspect the office any further than confirming the door was locked and the alarm set, Mercury slipped past him in the hallway and started making her way to the top floor. In the meantime, she tuned back in to the conversation on the other side of town where Vandrad was selling their carefully crafted fib about having had difficulty getting in contact with Mythal. The Xocili had been surprised to hear that Mythal and Serilda were acquainted with Patricia, a matter that had seemed quite suspect in itself until the couple had explained how they had been the ones to approach the doctor originally, not the other way around. Coincidence wasn’t something Mercury often bought into, but for that particular circumstance it seemed to be the case. The doctor even spoke her thoughts a bit on the engaged pair, complimenting them on just about every front, including her desire to be caught between the two of them. “Now that’s a fucking mood.”

    By the end of it, Patricia gave Vandrad the contact information, so far with no alerts on her data pad that anything was happening back at her lab. As they moved along to a different topic, Mercury made her way to the top floor of the building where she stood outside the door leading to Patty’s office. As she expected, it also had its own individual security panel, though this one was a bit more advanced than the last one. When she turned on her x-ray vision to check the door, she was surprised to find that there was not a magnetic sensor to alert the security of any time the door was used. Mercury frowned in thought. She supposed it made sense to a point. Being the owner of the company, she would hardly one anyone able to monitor her comings and goings. But it still felt odd to think that she only had one security measure to her office.

    Scanning the room, Mercury didn’t see anything of note at first. Then, she noticed a camera in one of the corners of the office that was pointed toward the desk where her computer was. With a frown, the Silver Wolf mage flipped through her internal monitors, going through each and every security feed that she had hacked into, but none of them fed from Patricia’s office. Was that camera on its own system? Scanning the walls in x-ray mode again, she checked the wires, confirming that the camera in the corner was attached to what appeared to be a mainframe in a smaller room attached to her office. Interesting. Utilizing the small crack beneath the door, Mercury withdrew one of her tiny drones and slipped it into the room where it flew up to connect onto the odd camera. Once Mercury was synced to it, her emerald eyes went wide in surprise before a pleased grin spread across her face. “Well, look at you. You’re really making me work for this one, Doctor Reeves…”

    It was a thermal camera. Rather than record a traditional feed it read heat signatures, and most likely was set to trigger an alarm of some kind should any wayward heat signature, such as that from a body, move across its field of vision. Mercury was quite delighted. Something like that would be damn near impossible for most people to fool. Even her invisibility wouldn’t be enough because it was monitoring for heat. Luckily for Mercury, and unluckily for Patricia, the Xocili was not the average infiltrator. Placing her bypass device on the panel, she hacked into it -- a process that took a little longer than the previous door but one she was successful with nonetheless. Then, she picked the lock on the door, which was much more complex than previous ones. Mercury actually had to try a couple different picks before getting the right combination.

    Then, before stepping inside, she paused for a moment and focused inward on her body. Slowing her metabolism, she forced her body to slowly cool itself by a number of degrees until it matched the temperature in the room. The Xocili would be moving a little more slowly like this, but it would be enough to trick the camera. Checking once more to make sure the guards weren’t around, she carefully opened the door and stepped inside, using her attachment to the thermal camera to monitor her movements and regulate her temperature. “I’m in her office,” she updated Vandrad simply. She had discussed with him ahead of time that if she was going to run into any problems, it would more than likely be within Patty’s personal lab, which Mercury had suspected was where the best security measures would be.

    She took a good long look around the room, taking everything in and even walking around quietly to make sure she got good footage of everything inside. There were a few projects in various stages of design, with blueprints and prototypes set up at various stations. Mercury analyzed each of them, downloading various schematics and digitally breaking down the physical specimens without touching them. In truth, Mercury was impressed. Outside of Silver Wolf’s own projects, the things Everance and Dudley built, and some of the stuff she’d seen come out of the engineering labs at the Rune Knights, this was some of the most advanced tech the Xocili had seen since arriving on Earthland. She couldn’t deny that Patty was quite good at what she did. Some of the concepts she was working with was bordering on techniques that mimicked what she’d seen on other, more advanced planets The doctor was clearly ahead of her time. In literally any other circumstance Mercury would be trying to recruit her. Hell, she still might. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, as they say.

    Still, she couldn’t allow herself to be distracted for long. Mercury needed to get what she came for and get out. She would have plenty of time to analyze the details later once she met back up with Vandrad. Moving over to the computer at the desk, she turned on the monitor. “Alright, let’s see what you’re hiding…” Pulling out a small USB device of her own making, Mercury plugged it into the back of the tower. After a brief moment for the internal programming to do its thing, she was easily able to bypass the logon screen to access the desktop.

    That was where the easy part stopped.

    If Mercury hadn’t had a literal connection with all of her technological creations, she would never have noticed the virus that subtly slipped its way into her drive. “What the fu-- oh shit..!” Without having any time to stop and think about how it was happening, the computer had registered her foreign device and was executing processes to corrupt the drive and log a history of its attempt to connect in its memory banks. “Te, te, te! Chaur koh vea chenh soy asa tow..!” a slew of what Vandrad could only assume was profanity in the Xocili language would trickle into his ear pierce, and while he wouldn’t understand what she was saying he would hear the panic in her voice as she furiously fought to try and overwrite the invasive coding.

    WORDS: 1601/4698 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 21st August 2021, 9:42 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    Mercury just had to ruin his moment of victory by making it about herself, though that surprised him very little. He had managed to say Patricia’s name in such a wholesome and catching way, keeping her from being anywhere near distracted and breaking down any emotional defenses she may have erected against him. It was a pure, incredible moment and of course the Silver Wolf mage had to chirp to life in his ear and wonder why he never said her name like that. How quickly one could just reach out for the trophy and rip it out of another’s hands, taking away the glow and glory. But that was Mercury; always willing to harp on him on anything and wasting very little time in doing it.

    The prince managed to maintain his poise and not give away his annoyance, even after she remarked that Patricia would probably need spare napkins. He kept his attention and focus on the doctor, keeping her interested in the conversation and placating any concerns she might have by showing his own interest. It wasn’t that Patricia wasn’t curious; in fact, the whole point of the mission was to find out more about her, so one could argue she was very intriguing. And to his credit, Vandrad asked genuine questions and hoped for genuine answers, which she seemed to give. In fact, it presented the opportunity for him to feel out her emotions and sense what she attempted to hide behind the careful, sturdy facade of hers. It seemed she wasn’t as sure of herself as one might think.

    It made Vandrad wonder something he hadn’t considered; was Patricia not their main target? As of that moment, they had no leads on anyone operating above her but given the motions in flux and the sadness radiating off of her, it was undeniable that there were regrets she was having a hard time swallowing and moving past. She was in something she didn’t seem all that desirous to be part of, or so it seemed. That or she had an inkling of his abilities and was using them to manipulate him for her own benefit. That would be hard to believe, considering no one knew about his latent empathic senses. But she had his magic type so who was to say she couldn’t have other abilities that had started to manifest along with them?

    It would have been extremely beneficial to have Mythal somewhere nearby. The Director of the Rune Knights had explained about his innate ability to sense lies, quite literally picking up on the darkness in one’s soul and words. He hadn’t considered bringing in his adoptive brother, for the sake of sticking to a smaller party and lowering the chance of any of them getting caught. He would simply have to trust his own instincts and right now, they were telling him that something wasn’t adding up. Luckily the somber moment between them was uplifted by the arrival of food, their dinners handed to them from the waiter. They ate in relative silence, simply passing a few exchanges about the food rather than anything meaningful. After all, as far as Patricia knew, he’d gotten the information he wanted. There wasn’t much more to discuss.

    As the forks were put down, he heard Mercury speak up in his ear, confirming that she was in the doctor’s laboratory. Now they were in the endgame; the most difficult part of the mission, at least on Mercury’s side of things. The security seemed pretty simple to get by, according to the Silver Wolf mage, though he felt she was more summarizing her experience with Earthland’s technology rather than outright research. Nonetheless he gently nodded to confirm he heard her message and now, it was time for him to keep Patricia’s attention on him completely. Yet even as he was saying that, she was standing up and pulling her purse up from her chair. "Leaving so soon?” he asked, looking up at her.

    She turned her head back to look at him, clearly surprised. “Well… dinner is over with. Though you’ve been lovely, I figured you’d want me out of your hair sooner rather than later, now that you have the information you need.”

    Vandrad snorted softly. "Do you think me so rude as to dismiss a guest the moment she puts down her fork?” he asked as he stood up. He poured another helping of brandy into her glass and held it out to her. She looked at it and then him before she took it and Vandrad took the initiative to walk by her and over to the railing. He leaned against it and she, taking the silent invitation, walked over to stand next to him.

    “This was nice. I expected… well, I assumed you wouldn’t have even let me stay to eat,” she admitted.

    He nodded softly. "Given how I’ve acted in the past, that’s not surprising. And while I stand by my words of how ridiculous everything involved in that tarot event was, I shouldn’t fully blame you for all of it. It wasn’t like you placed the trap there.”

    “Of course not.” There it was, a ripple of guilt. The admission he needed to know that she had been the one responsible for the tarot in the first place. Vandrad had already suspected but he’d spoken up about it for the sole purpose of trying to see how she felt about it. There wasn’t a single shred of pride or amusement at the memory; all there seemed to be was shame. But still her confident facade remained. “Nonetheless, I appreciate you allowing me to stay and converse. And drink; you have no idea how much I needed this.” She indicated the drink and took another healthy gulp of it.

    "Yes, for a lightweight, you held yourself quite well,” he said, giving her an amused smirk.

    “Oh don’t let this fool you,” she said, giving a wave at her general person. “I am feeling really good. Food or not, that brandy was strong. I’m going to sleep well tonight,” she chuckled as she sipped once more.

    It was a calm, quiet moment. Frankly, Vandrad didn’t feel the need to say much. She seemed content to just be there, to be away from whatever work she had been hard pressed to complete. There was very little distracting he would have to do. But, of course, the moment that he believed things could only continue to go smoothly was when the plan always broke apart. In an instant, he heard Mercury starting to curse. At the same time, the datapad in Patricia’s purse started to beep. His eyes widened as he heard the Silver Wolf mage sputtering out an alien language, her native tongue no doubt and filled with curses. The doctor’s face had twisted in confusion as she started to pull her device from her bag and was bringing it up to look at it. She’d just barely set her eyes on it when Vandrad acted. He had no time to think about it; he needed to distract her completely and fully, with no room for error. It was going vastly outside his comfort zone but when it came to missions like this, one couldn’t afford to be picky on what they would or wouldn’t do.

    "Patricia,” he said once more, his hands coming up to her shoulders. The sudden grab from the Prince caught Patricia’s attention, bringing her eyes back to him. And then before she could question it, he pulled her to him and dove him, planting his mouth against hers in a deep and passionate kiss.

    He could feel her body go rigid in surprise and shock. But just as quickly as she had been put into awe, she gave into it. Her hands, still holding her glass and datapad, wrapped around his neck and pulled him harder against her, her mouth moving against his in desirous earnest. Selling the deception, the prince allowed himself to melt into the embrace. Unseen to him and unknown to Mercury, Patricia had brought her hands closed together so that she could reach her datapad. She had seen the alert and now used the kiss to type in some easy coding, shutting the alert down before it passed on from her device to others. After that, she created a quick entrypoint in the corrupting code for Mercury to use to bypass and escape, so long as she was paying attention to it. It would look like a natural break in the code, fabricated from the computer rather than something anyone could have come up with, let alone on the fly. In fact, she had held her hands together so well, that it just looked like she was mashing her hand against the screen in arousal.

    All this Patricia did with the softest of touches, while still managing to make out with Vandrad. And once she had completed it, she allowed herself to get a little more engaged with the prince. After several seconds, he finally pulled away and she couldn’t help but lean forward a bit, not wanting him to leave. She took a deep inhale, not having realized that she had been holding her breath. “Wow…” she breathed, bringing her datapad up to fan her face.

    "S-Sorry. It must have been the brandy. Did I distract you from something?” he said, indicating the datapad but clearly still trying to keep her attention on him.

    “Oh it was probably just security giving me the all-clear about the building. But hoo boy, you can feel free to distract me like that anytime,” she admitted, giving him an impish grin. She slid her datapad back into her purse and then used her free hand to lean on the bannister. “Just need a minute to center myself.”

    "From the brandy?”

    She gave him a look of absolute derision. “Yes, clearly from the brandy,” she said with a short laugh. After a moment, she cleared her throat and downed the rest of her drink. “Well clearly this night isn’t over. Go ahead and pay the bill; I’m going to freshen up in the bathroom and then we can go for a walk. I think I’d like to show you my lab. Luckily, security will be lighter now so… we can be alone.” She gave him an extremely lustful look and then, as she walked by him, reached down and gave him a solid slap on his ass. When he turned to look at her, she shot him a wink as she rounded the door and headed towards the restroom.

    He waited until she was out of earshot before he spoke again. "What the hell happened, woman?” he hissed into the earpiece.





    Words: 1791/6641  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 433
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,137,963

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 22nd August 2021, 10:59 am

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    “Chab laeng, chab laeng, chab laeng…” Mercury threw her firewalls up in full force, battling back the virus and slowing it down. She knew she’d beat it, but it was going to take a minute. Or at least, so she’d thought. After a few long seconds, she spotted an opening in the coding. “Now tinoh!” Without wasting a breath, Mercury typed out a fast command on the keyboard and severed the connection before ripping her device out of the back of the computer.

    She had managed to stop the invasive programming before it could log any permanent files or complete any of its processes, but now she was left staring at the monitor in shock as anger began to settle within her. Vandrad must have managed to get a moment away from his dinner partner as only a moment later he spoke up very directly in her ear to ask her what the hell had just happened. “Chhkechhkuot nih mea-” Mercury growled under her breath, cutting herself off as she realized she was still so hyped up that she was speaking words he couldn’t understand. She needed to calm down or her body temperature would rise and tip off the thermal camera.

    Sighing out the vast majority of her frustration and stowing it away for later, she tried again, this time in a still annoyed but much more collected tone. “Something that should not have been possible. I managed to log on to her computer but it tried to install a silent virus on my access drive. It’s pretty standard, even with Earthland tech. What’s not standard is a virus like that being able to detect and access my tech.” While Mercury was still composed and clearly keeping herself in check for the mission, Vandrad would hear the ire and indignation in her voice as his partner was very clearly offended on a personal level by this development. Mercury took a lot of pride in her work, and for the most part hadn’t had much trouble at all with getting what she wanted when she wanted it, even through the occasional challenge. Hell, most of the time Mercury enjoyed a good challenge -- it was one of the reasons she and Vandrad got along. She wasn’t as vocal about it, but much like him she enjoyed rising above hurdles as they presented themselves and proving her superiority.

    But this was different, and it showed. “I’m not going to be able to access anything directly from her computer. The virus will just try again as soon as I connect. I’m going to have to try something else.” Locking the screen on the computer, Mercury made her way over to the adjoining room with the main frame. She was going to have to connect directly to it in order to bypass the invasive programming. However, as soon as she opened the door and got a glimpse of the system, she stopped in her tracks. It took a moment for her to register what she was seeing, if only because it was so out of place. Then, her anger washed away completely and she was left with a small smirk on her face. Suddenly, everything made sense. “Oh, Patricia… you clever, naughty girl… No wonder you got the drop on me.”

    The mainframe was of extraterrestrial build. More impressive was that she didn’t recognize it. Mercury was highly educated in the technology of just about every advanced race out there, yet this was an unknown. “I’m going to need a little more time. She’s got an alien set up that I’ve never seen before. I need to run some diagnostics and see what I’m working with before I try pulling any information out of it so I don’t trigger any security measures again. This is going to take all my focus, so you’re on your own for a bit.”

    It was time to pull out all the stops, and after that last fiasco Mercury was raring to go to put this pretentious little bitch in her place. She may have gotten her hands on an advanced computer that Mercury had never seen before, but in the end nothing stood up to the technological might of Xocil, and she intended on proving that. Mercury carefully inspected the outside of the mainframe, scanning its hardware inside and out to build a digital blueprint of its composition. She counted the exact number and type of ports it boasted, where they fed to, and how each component had been organized within the chassis. There were several different hard drives that she could only assume were capable of holding a great deal of information. The power box was also a thing of beauty, extremely powerful and seemingly self-sustained by producing its own neo-nuclear energy.

    The first measure of security was the access port, though it was less security and more advantage of circumstance. The main port that Mercury would need to connect to was of a unique design that she was unfamiliar with, which meant it was likely custom. The only people who would have access to such a port would be the one who created the computer, or someone who’d had enough time to study it to build an appropriate plug. The latter strategy would take days or even weeks for the average Xocil, months for an Earthlander. If it weren’t for Mercury’s unprecedented form of magic, there would have been no way that she’d have been able to handle this tonight. She would have needed to take her findings back to her own lab and work on building an interactable port by hand so she could return another night to try again.

    That would not be the case tonight, however. Reaching into her enchanted pouch, Mercury crafted a new drive with a plug that matched the port based on the schematics she’d pulled of it. Knowing this might take a while, she tapped into her connection to the security outside Patricia’s office and set it so that the panel would appear to be armed should any of the guards walk by on rounds. She also sent out a couple small drones to take a post by the door so that they could scan anyone coming inside and silently alert her. Then, she sat down in front of the main frame, took a breath to focus, and got to work.

    Ready this time for surprises, she plugged the drive into the port and immediately overrode the initial malware with the programming she’d crafted based around the coding she’d gathered from it last time. This time around, she was able to shut the virus down before it even had a chance to get started, tricking it into not recognizing her device as a foreign object. From there, she started her diagnostic, digging through the software on the computer and looking for anything akin to anti-virus programs and scan-ware. Finding several, Mercury got to work one at a time to first disable anything meant to trigger an alarm or alert. Rather than simply turn these programs off, however -- a process that in and of itself could leave a trace of activity -- she continued to adapt the coding of her own device until one by one each measure of security had been convinced her presence was merely a normal function of the mainframe not even worth logging a report about.

    It was a time consuming process that took several long minutes to get through, even at Mercury’s level. A patrolling guard came and went in the time that it took to get through every layer of security, confirming the door was locked and the alarm appeared to be set before moving on. Once Mercury was certain that she could move through the mainframe without triggering any alerts or leaving any trace of her invasion, she got to work digging through the files. There was a lot to go through. Much of it was stored behind encryptions that she needed to code her way past before she could even upload them into her own database. Most of them she didn’t look too deeply into; she could tell at a quick glance that it was schematics and plans for current and future projects, things that were interesting but not really what she was looking for. What she needed was more protected files, ones that Patricia would have taken extra precautions to make sure they were as difficult as possible for someone else to find.

    After several long minutes of searching, she discovered a password protected file buried deep within another folder of seemingly insignificant information. Pulling it up, she took a moment to bypass the encryption and pass code. Picking a file at random, Mercury opened it and took a quick peek at the information. What she found inside gave her pause. “Hello, what’s this..?” It was a series of what appeared to be articles from a prominent scientific journal, chronicling a fallen star that they had been trying to locate and study. Patricia was listed as the leader of the team in charge of the study. With each article Mercury pulled up, she learned more and more about the team’s journey. And then all of a sudden, there was a file containing a news article about the destruction of Patty’s former lab, and the investigation that followed it. Practically overnight, Patricia went from being a highly respected, highly valued member of her community to being scorned and discredited by her peers, who accused her of purposefully setting her lab on fire.

    There must have been some truth to their accusations, because the end result was that Patty had been formally charged with arson, destruction of property, and a number of other things. She had also had her doctorate revoked. “Oh, you lying sack of stardust…” Mercury murmured, a triumphant gleam in her eyes. Patricia wasn’t actually a doctor, not any more. Her license had been terminated, and as far as Mercury could see it had never been reinstated. The woman was breaking all sorts of laws every day as she continued her craft and charade around as though she were still licensed. If word of that got out to the right people Patricia would come under heavy fire.

    But that still left a number of questions, the first of which was why had Patty burned down her precious lab and risked her prestigious reputation in the first place? What had she been trying to hide? She flipped through a few more files before she found her answer. Apparently, she had discovered that the fallen start they had been researching had not been a star at all, but rather a spacecraft. Her curiosity piqued, the Xocili continued to scan through the files trying to find anything she could about the ship and what they had found, only to come up empty. That information appeared to be missing, but Mercury was not one to believe in appearances. Patty was a careful, intelligent woman as far as Mercury could tell. That information had to be here somewhere. There was no way the disgraced doctor would have simply destroyed years worth of research.

    But it also begged another question: How come none of this was public knowledge? How had the records come to be more or less scrubbed from the entire digital web to the point where not even Mercury had been able to find it until just now? That took some serious tech savvy, and while Patricia was certainly impressive she did not have that kind of power. Someone else had to have helped her. Mercury downloaded everything in the folder and then did another scan of the data on the mainframe, this time searching for anything she may have missed during her first sweep. She found a number of hidden folders, most of which contained standard files for basic computer operations.

    Eventually, she came across a hidden folder that caught her attention for the simple fact that the folder had no name. Peering at it, she opened the folder and found several layers of encryption as well as another password to get through. After about a minute, she got inside and found what had to be every piece of research and information Patricia had collected on the ship she had found. Curiously, it was yet another piece of technology that Mercury did not recognize, which was saying a lot. What spoke even louder was that the designs of the ship did not match up with the alien specification of the mainframe she was currently hacked into. That made two highly advanced pieces of tech that Patricia had come into contact with that Mercury knew nothing about.

    Downloading each file as she opened it, the last thing she came across appeared to be a digital journal of some kind. As Mercury skimmed it at light speed, her emerald eyes narrowed sharply at the eye opening details found within: Patricia was being blackmailed. Mercury wanted nothing more than to read over everything in detail, but she had already spent far too much time on this mission. She needed to leave. Doing one last sweep and not finding anything else of interest, she unplugged her hardware from the mainframe and stood up to her feet with a renewed sense of curiosity and focus. Moving her way back through the woman’s office, she collected all of her drones except for the microscopic ones that were embedded into the security cameras.Then, she left the office and re-alarmed it for real. Getting out of the building had been relatively easy, achieved much the same way as she had gotten in. She simply waited patiently until one of the guards left for their lunch break, following him outside through the door he utilized and then slipping away into the night. Once she was far enough away, she hopped on her hover disc and shot back into the sky.

    “I’m out. I got everything we were looking for, and then some. I’ll meet with you at Fairy Tail.”

    WORDS: 2339/7037 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 22nd August 2021, 1:05 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    It was a long, terrifying couple of moments as Vandrad demanded to know what was happening and all Mercury could do was curse and speak in another language. He waited, glancing back towards the door to see if he could spot Patricia coming back. Last thing he needed was to be obviously talking through an earpiece when she returned. Luckily, Mercury managed to handle whatever issue she was dealing with and decided to slip back into the common tongue. She explained that something impossible had happened; the doctor’s computer had launched a virus into Mercury’s systems, attempting to counteract the hacking by embedding a damaging computer program as retaliation. That was fairly normal for databases that held priority and confidential files, something even Vandrad understood. But the Silver Wolf mage explained that it wasn’t a common virus; it had managed to detect and access her technology -- a feat that was near impossible. The prince’s brow knit together tight in concern; Patricia had the ability to hack Mercury’s technology? Up until this point, no one on Earthland had displayed any kind of efficiency in understanding things that came from the stars. Yet not only was the doctor aware of the tech, she could use it. Did that mean that Patricia Reeves was an alien as well?

    What was it and him attracting aliens? First Beira, then Mercury and now the doctor. He cursed internally before glancing towards the door once more. There was still no sign of Patricia as Mercury continued her explanation, saying that she would need to take an alternative path to access information, citing the computer as problematic. As he continued to wait with bated breath, pacing in his spot slowly, the waiter returned. “Sir, the bill,” the man stated, handing over the paper to Vandrad.

    He didn’t even glance at it. He reached into his pocket and handed over a small pouch containing jewel. It was far more than the dinner was worth but he couldn’t be bothered to pinch his pennies at the moment. "Keep the change,” he said, without looking at the man.

    The waiter bowed and started to leave just as Patricia returned, smiling softly and boasting a small bit more makeup than before. “Alright. I’m ready to go. Did you take care of the bill?”

    He nodded softly and was about to speak when Mercury chirped up in his ear once more. She stated that she needed more time and revealed that Patricia had an alien set up that was beyond Mercury’s recognition. She had to lay the groundwork for her hacking module before she could even get into the database and it was going to require all of her attention, leaving him alone with the doctor. "Yes, we’re all set. Sounds good,” he said to Patricia, while his words were really meant for Mercury. This meant he would have to keep Patricia distracted for a little bit longer, as well as keep her away from her laboratory. They were still several blocks away from the building but there was no telling how long Mercury would need to extract the information. He couldn’t just keep grabbing her and kissing her, though he imagined she would be fine with that. At some point, she would most likely try to advance physical contact and he wasn’t sure if he was prepared for that. Of course, it was hard to deny that certain parts of him were more than ready and he cursed the fact that he couldn’t control that.

    With the bill paid, the two of them walked in from the patio and through the core of the restaurant. The owner came over to him and thanked him for his presence and tried to rectify the exorbitant amount of jewel that had been paid for the meal. Vandrad waved him off and, once again, told him to keep what had been given. With a final goodbye, the couple walked out from the entrance. “This way,” Patricia waved him on, leading him in the direction that would lead them to the laboratory.

    They walked in relative silence, which Vandrad took to be the quietness that came before what was now being perceived as a hookup. Through the streets they went and as they passed by one four way stop, he happened to glance off to the right and spot something. They weren’t terribly far from the laboratory but there was something that was next to the building that could slow them down a bit; a public park. Digging once more into territory that he wasn’t as comfortable with as his family and Mercury, he reached out and took her hand in his. "Rather than just walk through the streets… Why not take a more scenic route? It is a beautiful night,” he said, stopping and gesturing down towards the park.

    “Oh. Oh,” Patricia repeated herself, seeming to collect something from his words that perhaps Vandrad hadn’t meant. “I’d love that,” she said with a soft smile, her fingers now splaying so that she could intertwine them with his. Well that was his own fault but it was hardly the worst thing he could imagine. Now holding hands, the two of them turned and started walking towards the park.

    “You know, I don’t often get to walk through this place. I see it everyday through the windows and I keep telling myself I’ll come out here but… work continues to play the ultimate distraction,” Patricia explained as they started their stroll along the cement path.

    "Getting outside is important. Despite my responsibilities, I always try to make time to go out and train within the wilds. Communing with nature can offer insight that four walls cannot,” he told her, speaking outright about his own beliefs.

    She nodded. “Wise advice. I wish I could make the time like you do. Having that freedom would be… it would be a breath of fresh air that I had long forgotten.” He could feel her sadness once more, this time loudly radiating off of her like a beacon. Her words had a double meaning and it was, so far, the closest she had gotten to speaking the truth to him.

    And so, he decided to take a gamble. As they passed by a small set of trees, he came to a stop, forcing her to stop with him and turn to face him. "Patricia, is there something you want to tell me?” He came right out with it, opting to confront the matter headon. He could sense the tumultuous ocean within her, drowning in falsities, deflections and lies. His assumption of her motives had changed in the matter of an hour, now that he could sense her emotional foundation and see the unrest within.

    She was taken by his sudden stop, her eyes staring up at him in wonder. As he asked his question, her gaze averted slightly, pain and frustration bubbling to the surface as she battled within on what to do. Her fingers tightened around his for a brief moment before she relaxed. “Maybe later. I think I’m done talking for a while.” Before he could protest, she pushed herself up against him with such force, it caused him to stumble in reverse. His back found the hard, jagged bark of the tree and before he could question that, her mouth was on his again. Once more she kissed him feverously, her hands roaming over his chest. Well, it was one way to pass some time and so, reluctantly, he kissed her back. Ironically it was not difficult and, in fact, it was a bit enjoyable. He’d never admit it outloud, of course, but she smelled nice and unfortunately the amount of physicality that he and Mercury got into had activated a portion of his mind and body that he had shut down for a long time.

    He wasn’t sure how long it had been but Patricia clearly had a goal in mind. Soon enough she was sliding downwards and her hands were grasping at his belt. The worst part was Vandrad was so worked up, he wasn’t sure he would deny her without reason. Luckily the stars found it in themselves to have pity and Mercury finally spoke up again, stating that she was out. The haze in his head immediately broke and he reached down, gently taking her hands. "Sorry,” he said, taking a deep breath. "I think we should stop.”

    Meanwhile, as Mercury flew into the sky, something would chirp from the files she had stolen. Then without provocation, a video file would pop up and the image of Patricia, in her doctor’s garb, would pop up. “This is an automated emergency alert reacting to information being taken from within a certain proximity. Normally this would send a signal to myself and my superiors but I’ve… altered the coding. Don’t be alarmed; I imagine you’re quite shocked that your thumb drive or computer is suddenly displaying my image. That’s part of the coding. I’ve also redirected the safety protocols that would have otherwise destroyed you.” A moment later, a loud, shrieking yowl would rip through the air and if Mercury looked back and upwards, she would see what looked to be a miniature rip in reality. After a moment, it dispersed. “Transdimensional portal traps can be quite nasty so I just altered the location of it to be far enough away that it doesn’t affect you. I don’t know who you are or why you took this information but I must request something of you. If you comply, you can return to my office and I’ll pay you a handsome reward -- far more than whatever your employer offered you. My request is simple:”

    “Get this information to Vandrad du Wolff of Fairy Tail.”

    Back in the park, Patricia looked surprised. “I’m sorry, did I do something wrong?” she asked.

    "No, no it’s not that,” he said. He held back the remark about her doing things more right than he expected. "This is just going a little fast and I think the brandy might be affecting us both.”

    “Oh,” she replied softly. Then, picking herself up from the ground she brushed some hair from her face. “You’re right. I was just… I’m terribly sorry.”

    "You have nothing to be sorry about. I let this get too far. We should… it would be better if we parted ways for the night.” The prince was already trying to adjust his shirt and pants. "I’d hate for you to get the wrong impression of me.”

    She nodded softly. “Of course, I understand. Very wise.” Her words were hurting and he could feel the ache right in her emotional core. He even felt bad, which was perhaps the worst part of it. “In that case, have a good evening, Vandrad. It was really quite lovely.”

    "Yes, it was. Good evening, Doctor Reeves.” He gave her a small bow of his head before he turned and started to walk away. She lingered for a few moments longer, watching him go, before she sighed and started back for her lab.

    Vandrad made it back to the edge of town before his magic overtook him and he launched into the sky, soaring in the direction of Magnolia. "I’m on my way back. I’ll see you soon.”





    Words: 1882/8523  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 433
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,137,963

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 22nd August 2021, 3:02 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    The Silver Wolf ace came to a screeching halt in the air the moment a file awakened within her database without her permission. A digital image of Patricia opened up within her mind’s eye, as clearly as if she were watching a video on a tablet. Fury unlike any other ripped through her core. Who the hell did this woman think she was? There was so much red in Mercury’s vision that she almost wasn’t even listening to the recording, forcing herself to pay attention even as she instinctively fought to trace the feed back to its source to eradicate it from her databanks. The only reason she stopped was when the recording admitted that it had been rerouted to not feed back to Patricia, nor her employers, giving Mercury pause -- even if it did nothing to quell the inferno of anger within her.

    If anything, she only became more enraged at the insinuation that she might have been destroyed by the coding, only to have a yawn in the fabric of reality rip open above her with a hideous shriek. Mercury’s sensors went utterly haywire and she whirled on her hoverdisc, ripping Mercy out of its holster and firing off a couple rounds before she had even realized what was happening. Her shots were swallowed by the portal and in an instant it snapped shut. At this point the Xocili had half a mind to go back to the lab and set the place on fire herself. In fact, she was almost tempted to not even give everything to Vandrad just to spite Patricia, as that was the one thing the recording asked for. Trembling with rage, she growled and focused inward once more, scanning her databanks at full power to make sure there were no other surprises in store. After she found no other sleeping files or unidentified software, she once again made for Fairy Tail.

    By this point, Vandrad was likely going to get there before her. Unbeknownst to her, the prince would feel her approach long before she actually walked into the door of his private quarters, as the Xocili was still utterly seething. His door would open and at first it would look like no one was there because she still had her cloaking activated. Bandit would gently swoop inside with a squawk just before the door shut again. As the bird found a perch, the cloaking device dropped and there stood Mercury, red in the face with indignation. “I’m going to fucking kill her,” she informed him without even really looking at him as she crossed the room to his computer and turned the monitor on. “I’m going to start by ripping her nails out and peeling off her skin an inch at a time, and then I’m going to take her screaming body with all her exposed muscles and leave it to bake in a tanning bed on the highest ultraviolet setting so that the cancer will continue to grow on her corpse long after she is dead and buried.”

    While there had been moments through the course of their friendship where Vandrad had gotten glimpses of the deep seeded darkness within Mercury’s soul that betrayed she was a woman who could and likely had taken a sick and visceral pleasure in inflicting pain on others, this was the first time he would hear her speak in such violent detail. Typically the parts of her that were concerningly unhinged only came through through sharp focus and collected, sadistic smirks, anger never really being an emotion that she often felt, and certainly never something that set her off to this extent. Hell, not even Sabine had made her this furious.

    But it was more than fury, though Mercury herself wasn’t consciously aware of that fact. She felt humiliated, violated even. There was a soreness inside that could only come from her pride having been severely wounded. The Xocili founded the vast majority of her self-esteem in being of the last living members of a dying race that was the end all be all of technological superiority in the known universe. It was a talent that was quite literally written into her DNA, so much a part of her that it practically defined her, and with good reason. And it wasn’t so much that it had been a challenge -- Vandrad knew her well enough by now to know that she hardly expected to breeze through everything she did, and she was quite happy to meet challenges head on. But something about what had happened to her tonight had struck her deep, leaving her not just infuriated but shaken and wounded on a deep, personal level.

    “I don’t even care that she’s being blackmailed. I’m going to track down every piece of the legacy she built on her stolen technology and dismantle it, and then when I get my hands on her handlers, I’m nung thveu soy puokke meul dauchchea khnhom samleab mnoussa krobknea del puokke thleab sraleanh…” Once more she descended into her native tongue, unable to find the proper words in the Earthlander language to convey the vast extent of her violent creativity. By the time she was done with Patricia, she was going to be begging to return to the group that had her under their thumb, and Mercury would not be merciful enough to grant the request.

    WORDS: 897/7934 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 22nd August 2021, 5:45 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    Vandrad was awash with conflicting emotions when he arrived at Fairy Tail. As he walked into the living quarters and up to his room, he was a bit surprised to find that Mercury hadn’t returned yet. It was possible that he had flown home faster than her; he had a tendency to use more magic in his flight when he wasn’t quite paying attention. And he truly was distracted, his mind trying to sort out all the information he had stumbled across during his ‘date’. One thing was for sure; the situation with Patricia Reeves was not as black and white as they had believed it was. He’d figured her for a mastermind, coyly playing the added audience to study him for one reason or another. After all, she seemed remarkably brilliant in comparison to others. Now he was almost entirely certain that whatever she was involved with, she was not a willing participant. He couldn’t say for sure and it was still entirely possible that she was playing him… but he doubted it.

    The part that hinged on the deception idea was the fact that she knew he could feel emotions. Mercury didn’t know that, his family didn’t know that -- he hadn’t told anyone of that odd quirk. Mostly because it was hard to explain and more so that it felt invasive. Did he enjoy being able to pick up on emotions like an empath? Not at all but it had its benefits here and there. He viewed it as a tactical advantage that he could have against anyone and so he’d left it a secret. But he hadn’t known where it had come from and with Patricia having the same magic type as him, it was possible she could utilize it as well. If that were true, though, he felt there would have been some kind of magical feedback. Plus he’d kept his emotions steady, beyond when she was actively kissing him. She didn’t have any triggers or feel any advantage being won in her favor the whole night beyond arousal and he hardly counted that as a victory.

    Vandrad frowned as he reached up and started to unbutton his shirt. Being home, there was no reason not to get into something more comfortable to wear than the monkey outfit he’d been stuck in. As he pulled off the vest and started to unbutton his shirt, he felt something white hot. It was a volcano of absolute fury, a beacon of rage he’d never quite felt before, save for himself. As his eyes lifted to the doorway, he watched it slide open with no one proceeding inward. A moment later, Bandit soared in and found himself a perch. At the same time, Mercury finally shut down her cloaking and revealed herself… and her face was twisted into white hot anger. She started out by stating that she had every intention of killing Patricia, her focus lost in her own little world. It was a drastic change from the cool tone she’d had only minutes ago. Then the Silver Wolf mage went into a visual and visceral description of exactly what she wanted to do to the doctor, even as she started to activate his computer.

    This was an anger he’d never experienced before. But it wasn’t just rage; there were also conflicting emotions of embarrassment, concern… even fear. Clearly something had happened in transit from the laboratory, enough so that she was lashing out viciously with her words. Mercury continued, coming right out with the fact that Patricia was being blackmailed but not caring at all about that fact. She intended on destroying everything she had worked on and then going after whoever was superior to her. Of course, the description for what she planned for them was lost in translation, as she once more broke into another language he couldn’t understand. "Mercury, calm down,” he said gently, raising his hands and placing them on her arms. "Tell me what happened.”

    It seemed that upon reaching a certain distance from the laboratory, something had activated in the information. Patricia had appeared and told Mercury that a signal had been activated but she had edited it. She’d also counteracted some kind of trap and within seconds, some kind of temporal rift had opened nearby -- which would have opened up around Mercury, had it not been for the intervention. The final part of the message had been asking the thief to bring the information to Vandrad; an ask he certainly hadn’t been expecting to hear. It seemed that all the anger Mercury was feeling was from the sudden surprises she hadn’t expected. The Silver Wolf mage was all for a challenge but she had her limits and the unknown -- rather, the incalculable -- were factors she did not take well. It was safe to say she was lashing out as a means of getting out her mixture of emotions.

    "Let’s not commit to any acts of violence before we’ve learned the full story,” he told her calmly, gesturing to the computer. "You’ve clearly discovered that she was blackmailed so it’s safe to say that whatever we believed is not quite the truth.” With that, he typed in a few commands onto his computer and brought up the information she had stored. There was a lot; Mercury had hit the payload of data. Vandrad scanned over a few things, looking at them in detail before moving on. There were a lot of schematics for projects in different states of being. Some news articles pertaining to her research, including one about a fallen star that she’d been sent to investigate. Buried in other folders was the truth of the matter; it had been a crashed spaceship not of Earthland. Shortly after that, Patricia’s lab had burned to the ground under suspicious circumstances and the blame had been directed at the doctor herself, though that wasn’t quite an apt title as, it seemed, she wasn’t quite a doctor at all.

    It was a lot already but after browsing a bit more, he found the electronic journal that Mercury had discovered. He was interested in reading it but, near the end of the file, he found a video recording marked as “Will and Testament.” Glancing at Mercury briefly, he pressed his finger on the file and opened it, directing it to open on the small projector near to his console. The projector flickered to life and then fabricated a digital screen before them, displaying Patricia Reeves in her lab. The lights were dimmed but not out behind her and she seemed to be alone.

    Patricia sighed softly as she removed her glasses from her face and rubbed her brow. “This is Doctor Patricia Reeves. If you’re watching this, either you’re a fantastic thief or I’m dead. It’s entirely possible both of those factors could be true; Sixty seven point two percent chance in fact.” She gave a small shake of her head and placed her glasses back on her face and looked at the camera. “I’m recording this in hopes that someone finds this and uses it to make things right. I’ve encrypted my personal journal into this file, along with some reports I’ve managed to create without being noticed. A few years ago, I was commissioned by the Fiore Magic Council to investigate a fallen star. This kind of research trip was fairly standard but once I arrived, I discovered that I had been led to the site under false pretenses. It was not a star but, in fact, a flying craft of extraterrestrial make.”

    “It was beautiful. Whoever had crashed the ship was long gone and we found no bodies; just the ship itself. The machinery, the technology was mind blowing. I’d never seen such advanced critical thinking and creation in use beyond my own creations. I was in awe of the ship and of whatever race created it. I was tasked with reverse engineering the technology for Fiore’s sake and I was told, deceptively, that it was to help create better magical machinery to aid the people of Fiore and even the world beyond. I was ecstatic at the opportunity to not only test my scientific abilities against a superior construct but also to help craft a world with peace -- true peace. The deception did not last long, of course; within days, the inquiries on what kind of weaponry could be created started coming. While I insisted that the applications for whatever technology I created were meant for the betterment of mankind, the Magic Council was more interested in creating super weapons. Within a few months, it became unbearable. So I made a foolhardy choice; I took the remnants of the spacecraft… and I hid them.”

    “No, the details of where it’s hidden are not in this will. At the time, I believed it better that the technology disappear so that no one could have it. I’d managed to reverse engineer a few pieces of technology but I dismantled and hid those as well. Upon returning from my task, I discovered my lab burned to the ground. The Magic Council had the Rune Knights arrest me and I was charged with arson, destruction of property, willing participant in the destruction of government property along with several other charges. They claimed to have proof that I was the one responsible for the arson but insisted that such proof could disappear, should I be willing to provide information about the whereabouts of the spacecraft technology. I declined their offer and was sentenced to twenty years in the Rune Knights prison along with having my doctorate revoked.”

    “I never even served a day. While awaiting my incarceration, I was informed that the charges against me had been dropped and I was a free woman. I was suspicious of the ‘why’ but no answers were given. My doctorate remained revoked and my licence to study and operate was gone. So, I did whatever any woman would do in that situation. I drank a lot of alcohol, had meaningless coitus with several men and then eventually left Fiore for Bosco. There, I went back to academia and got several other new doctorates and began a new practice of applied ethernano construction.”

    “A year passed before I was approached by a man who called himself Hasan. He worked for an organization that operated universally, with the goal of bettering all of mankind, not just singular nations. They hunted rare artifacts and tracked down legends in hopes of finding technology and magical devices to help improve the overall quality of life of everyone on Earthland. I was skeptical at first but they provided documentation of several projects I was aware of and their involvement in it. They even claimed to know about the situation involving my unethical and unjust arrest and sought to help me bring the truth to light. It seemed like a dream come true.”

    She sighed softly. “You know what they say; if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. They were genuine… at first. They utilized my knowledge and practice effectively and the projects I was assigned did seem beneficial. Eventually, it seemed that I had proven myself worthy of their top secret projects and then I was introduced to the Engineer. The Engineer is from a race beyond our planet, a man from beyond the stars. As it turned out, the Engineer was the pilot and owner of the ship that had crashed. He was intrigued over the progress I had made in such a short time on the remnants of his vessel and believed I was the key to helping him make further progress on his own projects. What I discovered, shortly thereafter, was that his focus was not altruistic. He used humans as test subjects, pushing them to their limits with technology from our world mixed in with his own.” She paused, her eyes trailing away from the camera for a moment. “I still recall the first patient to pass. I did everything I could to try and save her but the Engineer told me that spoiled goods weren’t worth the effort. I returned to Hasan and attempted to leave the organization, wanting no part in disgusting experimentation that would put lives at risk.”

    Her face hardened. “But he told me I wasn’t leaving and outlined all the details of my new occupation. It seemed that they had been the ones to influence the Magic Council to free me, in hopes of recruiting me. They had all the information regarding my past and even the falsified proof of my crimes. Worse still, they told me that they knew where I had hidden the Engineer’s ship remnants and if I didn’t cooperate, they would leak the information to the Magic Council and help construct the weapons that the Fiore ruling body wished for. But before all of that, Hasan told me that he had no qualms about simply killing me and letting my past speak for my legacy.”

    Patricia’s eyes looked back to the camera. “In that instant, it struck me. If I refused to participate in their efforts, I would effectively be throwing away my life, along with the incalculable lives of others. Though I care very little for my legacy, I have no desire to see this world brought to heel by any one organization or nation. So rapidly does the brain act that I believe I had thought up the plan before Hasan had even finished talking. I agreed to stay and work for them but outlined rules for my participation. When he attempted to dissuade me of any kind of parlay, I explained to him that my recruitment was not an easy task and that murdering me so easily was impossible. I had proven myself an asset and I estimated, correctly, that they would instead attempt to pressgang me into compliance rather than ending my life. I’d called his bluff but insisted, deceptively, that I had no desire to see my name be dragged through the mud. So I would continue to work for them but I insisted that human subjects were not to be used for experimentation.”

    She let out a small chuckle. “Hasan, to his credit, was shocked and impressed. In the end he agreed and so my role as mole began. I learned I was part of an organization called the ‘Dread Masters’ -- dreary and sullen name, as far as I’m concerned. Their goal was the destruction of celestial beings and the utilization of the powers that such beings possessed. The Engineer had proven that life beyond our world existed and it seemed he, too, disliked the idea of creatures considering themselves above mortals, though I hypothesize he took offense at anyone believing they were greater than him. Technology crafted by the Engineer was installed into my laboratory, both to help me keep information confidential as well as keep a keen eye on me. They rightfully didn’t trust me but I did nothing to confirm their distrust. Instead, I did what I could to learn from the technology I had been granted and counter its effects by creating my own devices and projects. It’s taken some time but I’ve succeeded in several of my tasks. Most notably, being able to create a quasi quantum-magic algorithm to confuse the trap embedded in the coding. The Engineer is keen to keep his secrets and embeds dangerous, lethal manners in his documentation that activate after a certain proximity. That was not easy, I assure you. I do not let on how much of his technology I’ve managed to break down and understand; he treats me more like a glorified lab assistant than anything else.”

    “But not Hasan. He saw an opportunity to make me a field agent and tasked me with attempting to get close to Prince Vandrad du Wolff. And to ‘sweeten the pot’ as he put it, he used the Engineer’s technology to graft a copy of his own magic onto me; a magic type referred to as Ethernano Manipulation. According to him, it is a rare magic type that only certain individuals are capable of utilizing. He knew, rightly, that it would intrigue Prince Vandrad and make him curious to learn more about me. I was given a cover story and sent into the field. Meeting Vandrad was… enlightening. I saw someone that I believed was capable of bringing down the organization through sheer force rather than subterfuge. That and… well, he’s undeniably handsome. Nonetheless, I connected with him and took some liberties to my mission parameters; still well within reason to what they expected but curious enough for any person outside to consider strange. It’s my hope that it raises his curiosity enough that he begins digging. So Vandrad, if you’re seeing this, this was why I kissed you within that trapped reality.”

    “Things are getting worse within the Dread Masters. The rules I set down are less and less observed and considered. I discovered that a woman had been kidnapped and experimented on. Terrible magical augments were installed in her and I believe it’s caused her extreme mental damage. Hasan claims that she is scum unworthy of consideration and refuses to acknowledge my protests. I’ve also been put under more scrutiny lately. The Engineer’s watchful eye never rests and he, instead, pressures me to work to unhealthy limits. But I will continue as far as I can, so that I can gather as much information as possible. It is dreadfully little in comparison to what I hoped to achieve, I must admit. But something is better than nothing.”

    Finally Patricia released a small sigh. “And that’s all I have. As I stated near the beginning of my inflated explanation, all of the documentation I’ve gathered is stored within this video file and my journal entries. With any luck, you were able to secure more information off other servers but I’ve seen the worst of what happens to people trying to hack our informational network. All I can do is hope that you’re better than the others. The Dread Masters have to be stopped no matter what and I believe part of that destruction comes from taking their privacy and showcasing it to the world. Thank you.”

    And with that, the video file clicked off, leaving Mercury and Vandrad in silence once more.





    Words: 3063/11,586  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    Last edited by Vandrad Ragnos on 24th August 2021, 7:33 am; edited 1 time in total


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 433
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,137,963

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 22nd August 2021, 9:01 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Like she was drowning in the ocean once more, Vandrad’s hands reached into the sea of her fury and pulled her back toward the air. He stopped her from getting too involved with connecting to the computer to focus on what had set her off, holding her arms gently and asking her to calm down to tell him what happened. With a deep sigh to make a conscious effort to calm herself, she explained about the message that had forced its way from her system and the portal that had attempted to kill her. To her credit, she did explain in the message that Patricia had fixed it so the attack would miss, but it did little to make Mercury relent on her stance of pointing her anger toward the disgraced doctor.

    The lavender haired woman knew she was being petty, but frankly she didn’t care. In a way, she was acting in response to a trauma that borderlined on rape. The message had been intended to be received through the storage device of whatever person managed to successfully steal it, but the problem was that Mercury was her own storage device. It had been violating on a physical level, and an intimate one at that. Unfortunately, Mercury didn’t have the a healthy upbringing to fall back on to teach her how to cope with a feeling like that, so instead she lashed out at the most immediate source of her anger: Patty.

    Thankfully, Vandrad was there to keep her level, respectfully informing her that she should refrain from acting out until they had all the details. She was calmer after getting everything off her chest, at least, and so she merely nodded gently before following his lead to finally return to the computer. He drew up the files, revealing the tons and tons of information she had gotten her hands on, and she guided him toward the most pressing documents, but otherwise let him look at everything at his own pace. Not keen on standing idly by, Mercury flopped down on top of his bed and closed her eyes like she intended on resting, but really all she was doing was going through the documents on her end as well now that she had more free time to study them in earnest.

    When the prince looked over to her after finding a curious video file, she was still laying on the bed with her eyes closed, but they would flutter open as soon as she heard the recording. Turning to look back toward his screen, Mercury turned around and sat herself back up to watch the video with him via the projector. The doctor opened her will and testament by commenting that the person receiving the video had to be a spectacular thief to get their hands on it, to which Mercury reacted with only a soft, mild, “Hmph.” Trying to butter the Xocili up after the fact certainly wasn’t going to earn any favor, but even Mercury knew when it was time to shut up and listen so that was what she intended on doing.

    It was a lengthy video detailing the events Mercury had read in the articles, but this time it was including Patty’s personal report and experience of how things had gone down. The short and skinny of it was that the Magic Council had pressed her to use her findings for violence, and Patricia had been so wholly against the idea that she had gone out of her way to hide everything to keep it out of their hands. As soon as they found out, she claimed the Council destroyed her lab and then framed her for the act, though not without attempting to coerce her into submission. Patty had refused, but somehow had never served her sentence. The charges had been mysteriously dropped, and so with no other outlet she had gone on a bender of sex and drugs until she ultimately wound up in Bosco and went through enough education to be credited with other doctorates.

    She had lived freely for about a year before a man called Hasan had approached her on behalf of the group that would soon become veritable slave drivers to her. Similar to the Council things had started off well at first but it did not take long for the cracks to form and reveal that they were just as much, if not more, corrupt than the Council, utilizing several tools to control her to do their bidding under the guidance of someone only referred to as the Engineer. Not only was he not native to Earthland, but apparently he was the owner of the ship that Patricia had discovered. Mercury frowned heavily here. She was aware of a few other aliens currently on the planet, but none that fit the description of an evil technician. The doctor tried to leave and was unsuccessful, but claimed to have dedicated herself to sticking to the work if only because she knew the only way she could combat the group was to play along and keep them close, even managing to stake some autonomy in the process.

    While she went into a few more details about the Engineer and how the environment had regressed back into territory she was not happy with, Patty explained that the computer Mercury had hacked belonged to the Engineer and it was he who had set it up with the counter measures that had very nearly spelled Mercury’s doom. Her ire rose fresh, though she was admittedly assured by the fact that it was in fact another mysterious alien that had thrown her for a loop rather than this annoying Earthland doctor. However, the restoration of some small semblance of her pride was quickly thrown to the back burner as the doctor revealed the name of the group she had found herself working for.

    The Dread Masters.

    “What?!” Mercury could only stare at the screen in unadulterated shock before peeling her gaze away to look at Vandrad to make sure she hadn’t misheard. The Dread Masters were the antithesis and sworn enemy of the Order of Souls, and were supposed to have been eradicated a long time ago. She had a number of questions, but was forced to tuck them away for now as the seemingly endless video of Patricia talking nonstop carried on.

    Continuing to listen, the doctor explained how she’d gotten roped into spying on Vandrad and trying to get his attention. Apparently the reason she had magic like his was because the organization had forced it on her in an attempt to make her more curious to him. When she finally met the prince, however, she saw a chance at salvation. Mercury rolled her eyes heavily when the other woman took a moment to gush over Vandrad’s looks. She wasn’t wrong, of course, and if she had been in a better mood Mercury would have had quite the field day with the comment, but right now she still had some lingering irritation with the woman and simply wasn’t in the mood to be pert for once in her life. Patricia took it upon herself to do as she was bid, but in a way that she hoped would make Vandrad suspicious enough to see through the surface of her actions. She claimed that was the reason she had kissed Vandrad in the midst of that trap, earning not just another eye roll out of the Xocili but also a soft snort of disbelief.

    The log was concluded with the admittance that the Masters had recently done some horrific experiments on a young woman that seemed to have caused extreme mental trauma, and due to her protests of the study Patricia had been put under heavier guard than normal. She ended by stating her belief that the key to unraveling them began with exposing them, which she hoped they would do, and from there the video finally ended.

    “This is insane.” Mercury rubbed her face with her hands, her brain going a mile a minute to compute all this data to try and figure out what the hell was happening. Out of any organization it could have been, the Dread Masters wasn’t even something she had considered as an option. Hell, the only reason they even knew about them was because they had accidentally gotten caught up in everything with Mythal and Serilda, and Mercury had taken it upon herself to use the opportunity to snoop. “Okay, so we know they’re all about fighting immortals and stealing their powers. So what interest could they possibly have in you? You’re mortal. A powerful a fuck mortal, but you still don’t fit the criteria of the beings they target. At most you have your power -- the dark one that manifests around demons and gods… but that’s a fairly recent discovery for you. Patricia was already casing you before that power started manifesting, wasn’t she? They couldn’t have possibly known about it before you did...”

    WORDS: 1501/9435 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 23rd August 2021, 5:53 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    Patricia Reeve had recorded a will and testament for whoever had managed to wrestle the information from the databases. She took time to complement the thief but even Vandrad had a feeling that Mercury wasn’t feeling up to being doted upon. She had managed to cool off, laying on his bed and closing her eyes so that she could flip through the documentation within her own mind. But once the video had been started by the prince, she sat up and gave it her consideration -- albeit a petty, annoyed consideration.

    The doctor outlined the entirety of her tragic backstory, outright accusing the Fiore Magic Council of being deceptive and warmongering profiteers. They also apparently had knowledge of a visitor from beyond the spectrum of Earthland and had kept it quiet for the sake of improving their own arsenal. Patricia had been taken in by the multitudes of scientific breakthroughs that could come from studying the wreckage but eventually, she saw the light. In the end, she had hidden the wreckage so as to prevent catastrophic peril for the rest of the world. The Magic Council had paid her back by framing her for arson and sentencing her to prison. But before she could serve a single day of her sentence, she was released. Now without her acclaim and doctorate, Patricia went on a bit of a binge before moving to Bosco to start anew.

    From there, her story took a turn. She was eventually recruited by another organization to help improve the world, as well as help her prove herself better than the false crimes she had been accused of. It didn’t take very long before she realized she had been taken in by a shadowy, malevolent group intent on bettering themselves. When she attempted to depart, their leader, Vandrad supposed, had made a threat against her life. Realizing where she stood, Patricia turned the threats back, calling their bluff and insisting they meet her demands for quality of life if she were to remain. Her boldness earned an agreement and the doctor set out to infiltrate the organization and discover their secrets.

    She made mention of another alien called the Engineer. His methods seemed barbaric by any standard, utilizing humans as test subjects without concern or care. It had been his ship that Patricia had discovered years prior, though he hardly seemed enthused to try and revisit it. It was his methods that the doctor disagreed with and it seemed if she were to continue, the Engineer would need to take alternative options to his testing. When the leader agreed, he also revealed the name of their organization; the Dread Masters. The name struck a familiar chord in both Vandrad and Mercury, with the Silver Wolf mage speaking out in surprise. Vandrad’s face remained a chiseled stone of concentration, though that meant he was already frowning and looking rather irritated.

    Patricia continued, explaining how she had taken advantage of the doors that had been opened and learned to discover more about how to meld Earthland technology with extraterrestrial. She admitted that she had achieved more than was expected, especially given that the Engineer was more interested in using her as lab assistant. It had been Hasan, the leader, that saw the potential for more and insisted that she work in the field. Her assignment had been Vandrad, to get close and learn more about him. They had used the Engineer’s machinery to graft magic onto her; specifically the Energy Monarch magic type. She said that it had been Hasan’s magic that had been copied onto her’s, meaning that this Hasan person was actually the one that had a similar magic to him. He hated to admit it but Vandrad couldn’t deny that it had caught his attention. She outlined that meeting him had presented her the opportunity to lay some groundwork for her trusting him to investigate her, claiming that kissing him had been a means to an end. He wondered if that had been her intention earlier as well.

    It seemed during the time of her recording the message, things had taken a turn for the worse. Her demands were no longer being met and any shred of respect they had for her was disappearing. They also didn’t trust her and were keeping a watchful eye on her movements and actions. She had only managed to accumulate a certain amount of information, which she believed was very little against what she hoped to get. She wrapped up her thoughts, reiterating about her embedded files within the journals. All she asked was that whoever had managed to get their hands on the information that they bring the information about the Dread Masters to light and expose their secrecy to the world. And with that she was gone.

    Mercury spoke first, expressing just how insane the whole situation sounded. She outlined what they knew about the Dread Masters; that they sought out gods and demons and stole their power for themselves. The real question, as she put it, was why they wanted Vandrad in any capacity. He was a mortal being, strong and powerful but still fallible. She theorized that it could have something to do with the additional magic power he had only recently begun to master but even he hadn’t known about it the last time he saw Patricia. He hadn’t seen any signs so it was impossible that the Dread Masters knew about it when he didn’t. Unless… "They know more about the dark power than I do,” he said aloud, his eyes narrowing slightly. "If this Hasan person has Energy Monarch as well, it’s possible he knows more about the dark part of it. Maybe he’s mastered it and knows what its capable of.” On cue, the magic boiled up from within, cloaking him in a dark and menacing aura. Now his anger was coming to the surface as he glared at the screen in front of him. "Whatever the case, this has moved beyond just the two of us. Now we need to get Mythal, Serilda and those Order of Souls people involved. If they know more information, we’ll need it. Because I have every intention of wiping this scum from the planet. Each and every one of them will die screaming, wishing the gods they hated so much would show mercy upon them.”

    His hand closed into a fist with such ferocity and speed that the air around him bellowed outwards from the sheer strength of it. After a moment of bathing in his fury, slowly the magical aura about him began to fade and the pressure in the room would diminish. He let out a small exhale from his nostrils, releasing his anger… for the moment. "But that’s beyond tonight. It’s been a long few hours. We both need a release.” With that, he turned to her, already stripping off the rest of his clothing.





    Words: 1152/12,738  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 433
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,137,963

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 23rd August 2021, 8:04 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Vandrad surmised that it was possible they knew about his dark magic because this Hasan had something similar. If that were the case, he would know what to look for. Unfortunately, the logic was sound, and Mercury didn’t like it one bit. And not just for Vandrad’s sake, either. She was without a doubt angry over this organization stalking and attempting to manipulate the first and only real friend she had ever had, and she was already working out various ideas in her head about what she would do when she came across these people. But she also had to wonder: if they were watching Vandrad, had they been watching her, as well? Vandrad had gone for four decades without much by the way of friends or partners, and then within a couple short months of meeting one another he and Mercury had been practically inseparable. They had to have been looking into her, too. How much had they put together?

    It was a lot of questions that she didn’t like and the very thought was putting her back on edge. Luckily, Vandrad seemed to have the same thing in mind as she had. It was time to call in his brother and future sister-in-law, as well as the Order of Souls. The Dread Masters had just painted a target on their backs and neither of them intended for the Masters to live long enough to regret it. “I’ll send a message out to Serilda to let her know. I’m sure she’ll be able to get the appropriate group together.” She would have done so right then and there and continued on formulating some kind of plan, but the prince had other activities in mind to focus their energy toward, and Mercury had no intention of declining.

    The meeting happened much sooner than Mercury had anticipated. She had figured it would take time to get Chishan and Zifu to meet up, but apparently the knowledge that the Dread Masters were at large was concerning enough news to merit a near immediate get together. Mercury had called Serilda first thing in the morning on a secure line and by that night the Field Marshal called her back to confirm that they would be hosting a small gathering at their home in Era the following evening. Mercury had figured the Order of Souls would want to keep to their own secure bases, but after discussing it with one another it seemed the leaders trusted that the home of the Rune Knight leaders was every bit as safe and secure as any place they could host from. Not one to shirk as a host, Serilda had made it clear she intended to feed everyone while they were present as she imagined whatever discussions arose for the evening may take some time to explore at length with one another.

    Soon enough the night of the meeting had arrived. The Silver Wolf mage met up with Vandrad at Fairy Tail before using her teleportation ray to instantly drop them off at Serilda and Mythal’s door step. At this point they had visited so often that Mercury knew better than to knock, the pair simply opening the door and letting themselves in. Since this wasn’t really a social call, she had not taken the time to dress up in anything worthwhile, just showing up in the street clothes she had been wearing throughout the day. She could smell food from the kitchen and followed her nose to find Serilda at the stove, as well as Victoria at one of the counters putting a large salad together. In the adjacent dining room, the table had been stretched to make room for extra seats. It was already set up with nine place settings.

    “We’re here,” the Xocili announced as they walked in the room.

    Serilda looked up from the pot in front of her and smiled, though there was a tiredness to the expression. Granted, that could have been because she’d quite literally just given birth the week before, but Mercury sensed it had more to do with the seriousness of the topic they would be broaching. “Hey Mercury, Vandrad. Good to see you both.”

    Since she didn’t look like she was able to pull away from the cooking, Mercury opted to go over and give her a casual hug herself. “Smells great. Anything I can do to help? You two look like you got your hands full. Sup, Victoria?” While the Seal still made Mercury nervous, she had interacted enough times with her by now to be friendly with her, particularly since they seemed to get along decently.

    The Seal smirked in her direction, then toward Vandrad. “Good evening to the both of you.”

    “Mercury, would you mind stirring this so I can check on the roast?”

    “You got it.” Taking over at the stove, Mercury looked around a bit. “Where’s Mythal?”

    “He’s upstairs with Gren changing the girls. I’m sure they’ll be down soon.” At the mention of the newest daughters, her spirits lifted a little. Serilda still basking in the glow of a motherhood she never thought she would experience. As before when they had originally been planning to have Gren and Vandrad meet, it seemed she had dismissed her staff for the night in order to give the group privacy. The noblewoman opened one of the ovens to check the temperature of the large pot roast inside before shutting the door back up. Opening the fridge, she began removing other bowls of previously prepared dishes and other sides to accompany the main course, setting them out on the counter to be moved onto the dining room table. “Chishan and Zifu should be here soon. Please feel free to help yourselves to something to drink.”

    WORDS: 960/960 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 23rd August 2021, 9:37 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    This had started out as a simple two-man job but it had quickly escalated into something far more complicated. The Dread Masters were a force that they had only discovered due to Mercury’s down time while they had been waiting at the Order of Souls’ base. No one had truly brought it up, with the Silver Wolf mage only mentioning it to Mythal and then, assumingly, Serilda later. By this point, it was safe to say that Serilda would likely have been informed so the four of them were, at the very least, aware and able to recognize the name if it was mentioned. And it had been brought up and with that name drop and informational overload, it was abundantly clear that they not only had to converse with the Rune Knight couple about it, but they would need to meet with the Order of Souls as well.

    That particular fact wasn’t exactly something Vandrad was looking forward to. He had his qualms about a secret organization that waged secret wars in the name of protecting the peace. More than that, the Dread Masters were a deviated branch from the original Order, connecting them by the very thin thread of intent. The Order wanted to protect the world from gods and demons and the Dread Masters wanted to kill all the immortals and use their power as their own. A difference of light and day; of one side of a coin matching to the other. Chishan seemed a decent enough person, who seemed to glow with pure intent. His wife, Zifu, was… another story altogether. Nonetheless, they had more knowledge about the Dread Masters than anyone else and if this devious group was still in operation and actively putting people in danger, they needed to be included in the loop.

    Mercury insisted she would send a message and then they could leave the organization of any kind of get together to the noblewoman. That was the last the topic was spoken of for the night, as Vandrad and Mercury found a more carnal means of working out their anger and frustrations. Mercury had reached out in the morning to the Field Marshal to give her the details and by that same night, they already had a time and place. It was surprising to see that the Order members were so willing to leave the comfort of their own protective bases. But at the same time, if there was anyone on all of Earthland that could provide a safe space, it was Mythal and Serilda. They were arguably two of the strongest wizards on all of the planet and it was highly unlikely anyone was getting the drop on them there. They would be meeting at the home of the Rune Knights the following evening and it seemed the Field Marshal fully intended to provide a meal. Serilda continued to prove just how well she fit the noble role, waiting to provide for her guests, despite the seriousness of the topic that was to be discussed.

    The following night, Mercury returned to Fairy Tail to meet up with Vandrad. He’d spent the morning finishing up one of his latest armors and had spent most of the day training in it. Now, more than ever, he was determined to have the best condition equipment should the need arise. Once the Silver Wolf mage arrived, he followed her through the portal she made with her ray, winding up in front of Mythal and Serilda’s home in an instant. At this point in their relationship with the other couple, knocking was relatively unknown, though Vandrad may still have taken the time to, at least, alert the household they had arrived. But he followed Mercury inside, glancing behind them briefly before closing the door behind them. Vandrad was still dressed in his armor; a black material that was tight against his arms and legs outlining his muscles in impressive detail. The black material ran over his hands as well, effectively giving him full length gloves. Gold embroidering had been attached to his wrist, forearm and hand along with round lacrima crystals embedded on the back of his hand. Over his torso was a smooth white chestplate, polished metal that hugged his form while still serving to add extra protection. Two small pauldrons clung to his shoulders. His white boots also had lacrima gems embedded on the flair that was attached to the top of the coverings.

    The house was seemingly abandoned once more; meaning that Serilda had sent home the house workers for the night so that they could have as much privacy as possible. The savory smell of food lingered about the hall and the pair followed it to the kitchen, where they found Serilda working over a stove and Victoria preparing some kind of salad. Mercury announced their arrival and Serilda looked up at them. For a woman that had just given birth only several days prior, the Field Marshal looked good; he’d even go as far as to say glowing. The prince didn’t know a lot about giving birth but he imagined that most people would still be bedridden and yet here was Serilda, making them all food. He gave her a nod, a display of just what kind of mood he was in, given the news that had been dropped on them only a day and some change ago. The Seal of Conquest gave them a greeting and Vandrad repeated the gesture as he glanced out into the dining room to see the extended table.

    Serilda asked for Mercury to assist with the food, to which the Silver Wolf mage practically leapt over to. She asked about Mythal and Serilda stated that he was upstairs with Gren changing the girls. "I’ll go check on them,” Vandrad said simply, turning and walking out from the kitchen. Normally, he was a bit more sociable than the way he was acting. One might argue he was warm to both Serilda and Mythal and, to an extent, Victoria as well. But he was completely in a business mindset and it seemed that nothing was quite going to soften him up. Up the stairs he went, lost in his own thoughts as he sought out his father and adoptive brother. He let his senses expand to pick up on the overwhelmingly positive emotions and followed their ‘scent’ right to Gren and Mythal.

    Both men were holding one of the girls, talking softly to one another and to the babes. As he entered the room, Gren was chuckling. “Can’t believe I’m a grandad,” he said, cooing at the child in his arms.

    "You certainly look like a grandfather,” Vandrad remarked as he walked in.

    Gren looked up at his son. “And you look like a soldier right off the battlefield. Where’s the war, Vandrad?”

    The prince glanced down at his armor and then reached up with his right hand and tapped the armor right over his heart. A small light flashed and the armor began to disintegrate within itself, breaking down into atoms and congealing into a different form. Now, rather than a full set of armor, Vandrad was wearing more casual clothes. The armor had displaced itself from its original setting to this one, allowing him the freedom to look unprotected and relaxed.

    Mythal whistled softly. “That one of Mercury’s creations?”

    "This is one of mine. Mark three of my current armor project. Uses nanotechnology and magical sensors to take different forms, depending on what I need it to do,” he explained briefly.

    “That’s pretty damn impressive. And speaking of impressive, come say hello to your nieces.” Gren summoned the prince over with a soft jerk of his head. As Vandrad came closer, both Mythal and Gren turned so that he could see the bundled up babes. “This is Alexia and that’s her sister, Naomi. Say hi to Uncle Van.”

    Despite the horrible nickname that he would be sure to squash sooner rather than later, Vandrad gave each girl his attention. "They are the spitting images of you and Serilda,” he said to Mythal, finally managing to crack a smile, albeit a small one. "How have you and Serilda been holding up?”

    “Ah, who needs sleep or a normal diet when you have these two beautiful bundles of joy?” Mythal said with an obviously overjoyed but tired smile. “But we should set them down while we have the chance. Otherwise, we’ll all be takin’ dinner up here.”

    Both Gren and Mythal put the girls back in their cribs, the babies apparently tired enough at the moment to doze off. The trio of men slowly moved out from the room and closed the door just enough so that it was relatively dark in the room. By the time they were walking down the stairs, there was a loud knock at the front door. Already on the path to it, the men went to open it and reveal Chishan and his wife, Zifu.

    The leader of the Order of Souls was dressed in a simple yet complimentary purple button down shirt, along with some black slacks. Zifu had decided to go with a sleek, off-the-shoulder pearl dress. “Evening everyone. We brought some dessert,” he said, holding up a plate and smiling.

    “It is a delicacy from my home nation,” Zifu explained.

    “Sounds great. Bring it on into the kitchen,” Mythal said, waving them in. Now a group of five, they made their way back to the kitchen. “The girls are down for now and Chishan and Zifu have arrived,” Mythal announced as they reentered the kitchen.





    Words: 1599  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 433
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,137,963

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 24th August 2021, 9:03 am

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Serilda glanced up as Vandrad announced his intention to go find his father and brother and check on them, turning and heading toward the stairs without much other word. The prince wasn’t exactly the most chatty of individuals on a regular day, though he had become much more sociable and friendly over time, particularly after being introduced to Gren. But today, something was clearly bothering him. Mercury hadn’t really gone into much detail over what they had found when they had spoken the other day, only relaying enough for Serilda to understand that they had come across information that proved the Dread Masters were not as gone as the Order of Souls may have hoped. Serilda and Mythal knew very little about the Masters; really only what Mythal and Mercury had discussed almost a year ago, which had been regarded as little more than a chapter of history. None of them had really looked into it any further. Well, Mercury may have she supposed -- that did seem to be the woman’s thing -- but if she had found anything, she had never mentioned it.

    “He seems… out of sorts,” the noblewoman remarked, not really intending to start any discussions before the rest of their guests arrived but unable to truly ignore the elephant in the room, so to speak.

    Mercury’s face hardened slightly as she stirred the pot, adjusting the temperature of the fire down a little to keep the dish from burning. “He’s angry. I am, too.” Granted, the two of them were angry for somewhat different reasons. There was an overlap of course, but while Vandrad was more preoccupied being upset over the manipulative and covert methods of the whole operation that had put an objectively good woman in danger, Mercury was very focused on whoever the mysterious alien Engineer was who sported tech that gave even her a run for her money.

    Unbeknownst to the Silver Wolf ace, Serilda and Victoria shared a glance. As the Seal finished the bowl of salad and began adorning the dining table with the various dishes Serilda had set out. The Voidwalker turned back to Mercury. “Well, whatever is going on we’ll figure it out together. It’s the least we can do after everything you two have done for us. We’re always here for you and Vandrad whenever you need us, Mercury -- for anything at all.”

    While the comment itself wasn’t necessarily anything out of the ordinary, there was something in Serilda’s tone and the way their eyes met that made Mercury feel like there was more to what she was saying. The lavender haired woman wondered, not for the first time, how much about her origins the couple had managed to put together. She trusted that neither Vandrad nor Gren had revealed her secret, but the fact of the matter was the Rune Knight couple was both powerful and intelligent. And not just them -- these days, Mercury had found herself surrounded by all sorts of observant and mighty beings, both mortal and immortal, that for all she knew could have easy ways of seeing right through her fronts. It was already bad enough to know these days that Mythal could sense lies as easily as she could. Easier, actually. It meant that she had to be very careful about the way she worded things around him.

    Nonetheless, Mercury offered Serilda a small but surprisingly genuine smile. “We never doubted that you were. Thanks, Seri.”

    Not long after that there was a knock at the door announcing the arrival of Chishan and Zifu, who were greeted by the men. The entire group merged back into the kitchen and dining area where Mercury was helping Victoria with the last few arrangements of the table and Serilda was carving slices out of the finished roast. Setting down her utensils, she wiped her hands off on a nearby towel and moved over to greet them more formally, offering them both a handshake. “Your majesties, welcome. It’s good to see you both again. Thank you for making time at such short notice, and for being willing to come all this way -- it’s a little difficult for us to travel at the moment, so we really appreciate it. Please make yourselves at home. Can I get you something to drink? We have a variety of most everything, both alcoholic and non.”

    Victoria took up the mantle of finishing the carving so Serilda could tend to her royal guests personally. The Voidwalker went to retrieve whatever they indicated they would like. While Serilda had been greeting the other couple, Mercury wandered over to Gren with a small smile that seemed practically reserved for him. “Hey there, big daddy.” She gave him a tight hug and a kiss on the cheek before turning to Mythal with a brighter, more cheeky smile. “And hello to you. I guess I have to come up with some kind of daddy nickname for you now, too. Congratulations!” She embraced the director as well. “Where’s Lux? He hasn’t popped up to exchange customary insults with me yet. I’m starting to feel neglected.”

    Once the pleasantries were over and everyone had said hello or acknowledged everyone else in some form or another, Victoria had finished separating the roast. “Serilda, I believe everything is ready.”

    “Oh, good! Everyone, please feel free to take a seat wherever you like.” She picked up the platter of beef cutlets and followed everyone into the room. Once the royal couple had sat, Serilda held the plate between them so they could select their slices first and then began to go around the rest of the table to serve everyone else in whatever order they had set themselves up in. “Forgive me for skipping past most of the pleasantries, but we all know we are here for a reason and I think we would all rather get right into things. What did you two find?”

    Reaching toward various bowls as they were passed around to her, Mercury filled her plate a little bit at a time. She shared a look with Vandrad, letting him take the lead as he usually did anyway. They had discussed and agreed beforehand to lean as much on the vague side as possible about how they had come across the information, as anything too obvious about Mercury’s episode of breaking and entering would probably be enough for Chishan and Zifu to suspect that she may have been the one behind the leak in their own storage. It was going to be a long, potentially awkward night in which Mercury was going to try to keep as much attention off of her as possible and most likely failing at that. So, she felt it best to let the noble folk start things off with one another and she would interject as necessary from there.

    WORDS: 1143/2103 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 24th August 2021, 2:48 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    As the royal pair entered the kitchen and caught sight of Serilda, Victoria and Mercury, their soft smiles grew a bit brighter -- even Zifu’s. As the Lord of the Order set the food they had brought on the counter, Zifu walked over to Serilda and gave her a respectful bow of the head. “My Lady Sinclair. It is no trouble at all on our part to travel here. We have brought several gifts for you and Mythal. May I just say that I was deeply moved by the news that you were expecting. Both you and your future husband deserve all the happiness in the world and we both wish to extend our congratulations on the arrival of your children.” Serilda giving birth had been quite the gossip around town, both in Clover and Era. The Field Marshal had continued to do her duties despite the pregnancy but everyone was thrilled and ecstatic when she finally came to term and gave birth to two healthy baby girls.

    “Yes, congratulations to you both. Also I hope you don’t mind; I invited Wanda to come along with us. She operates as our main source of information and I figured if there was something you wanted to discuss with us, she should be present.” Chishan said, clapping Mythal on the shoulder.

    "It’s fine. I’m sure she could provide some useful insight into the matter,” Vandrad replied coolly, barely casting a glance at the Master of the Order.

    “Thanks Vandrad.” Then he turned his attention to Mythal and grinned. “If only I could go back in time and tell your younger self that you’re going to be getting married and have daughters,” he teased the Slayer.

    Mythal chuckled. “He’d probably call ya a liar and give you a swift kick in the stomach for makin’ up such ridiculous shit,” he shot back.

    Serilda asked about drinks and both Chishan and Zifu kindly agreed to some wine. As they went about getting the drinks, Mercury found herself over to Gren and pulled him in for a tight hug. “Hey good lookin’,” he returned the quiet but intensely flirty attitude, taking a bold step and carefully sliding his hand down to gently cup her ass as she moved over to Mythal. He did it with such finesse that no one would have seen it but Mercury certainly would feel it. As he walked over to help Serilda with the drinks, the Silver Wolf mage set her eyes on Mythal and gave him a grin. She teased him about needing to come up with some kind of daddy nickname as well, now that he was actually a father.

    Mythal laughed. “Uh… well, I guess I can’t exactly dissuade ya from that. I’ve seen what happens when Vandrad tries to tell ya no.” Mercury was, without a doubt, one of the more strange women that the Demon Slayer had met. Her interest in giving people nicknames, as well as her attraction to… well, most of the people around her, made her about as quirky as one could be. Mythal wasn’t sure he’d ever truly adapt to it, if only because he wasn’t that extroverted. But it didn’t stop him from enjoying her presence in the least, especially given all they had been through together -- both good and bad. As he returned her hug, she asked where Lux was, stating that she was missing his banter. “Ironically, he’s reading somewhere. He’s on the hunt for somethin’ and he ain’t tellin’ me what it is. Some kind of surprise.” Whatever that meant.

    Right after that, Victoria informed them that everything was prepared and ready to go. As the group meandered from the kitchen to the dining room, a knock echoed out from the front door. Chishan excused himself and went to go get it and when he returned, Wanda followed right behind him. The neutral woman came looking a bit like a ballerina, which was certainly an odd choice. A green, off-the-shoulder corset hugged her torso tightly, with purple fur adorning the top. Gold lace pulled each side of the corset together, creating a window to her cleavage. She was wearing purple gloves that made her look like she had feathers, with boots that matched.

    “My apologies for my tardiness. I had some matters to attend to and then I needed to change because of said matters,” Doctor Wanda explained, idly gesturing down at herself.

    The group now took their seats, most of them waiting until Chishan and Zifu took their places. It was customary to wait for a royal, especially a queen, to sit down before the rest of the crowd followed suit. It was a practice Vandrad understood and had participated in many times over the years but it still found a way of annoying him. But he decided to leave it alone this time, finding no benefit in ignoring protocol. Once they had sat down, the food was directed towards Zifu and Chishan first and the Lord of the Order chuckled awkwardly. “Please, feed yourselves first. You prepared the food, the least we can do is wait for your to pick what you’d like.”

    “They are following royal protocol, my love,” Zifu informed him gently. “But I agree. Lady Serilda and Prince Vandrad are both royalty as well and we are all connected to one another in some fashion or other. Let us pay respects to one another by having ourselves a meal in the ‘family style’, I believe is the phrase.” It was clear that, while she understood and respected the traditions shown for royal figures, she would prefer they all operate on the same level. It seemed a lot of the tension and poise that she’d held before was gone for the moment, perhaps because the situation was not nearly as tenuous or dangerous.

    How little they knew, was all Vandrad could think. And it seemed Serilda wanted to get into the thick of things, stating that she’d like to skip over the usual pleasantries that went with dinner. They had gathered for an important reason but none of them, beyond Mercury and Vandrad, knew why. It was safe to say that everyone gathered around the table wanted to know what they had discovered and the attention was drawn to partners. Mercury, who was still in the middle of gathering her food, gave him a look. They’d come to the agreement that he should take the lead and leave certain details vague or omitted, for the sake of not outing what the Silver Wolf had gotten up to while in the Order of Souls base. The prince remained in place, having kept from taking food right away as he sat with his arms crossed over his chest. A clear sign that he was bothered and the subject that was about to come out was deadly serious.

    "Mercury and I just completed a mission that has long been planned the other night and the results of our information gathering has brought to life troubling details. Serilda, Mythal -- you have both met and talked to Patricia Reeves?”

    Mythal looked surprised. “Uh yeah. She was contracted to help us refine the Engineering Corp of the Rune Knights. Unfortunately timing wasn’t on her side and she wasn’t able to dedicate the slot to us but promised to get in touch with us when she could. She came highly regarded by the Magic Council; they practically ordered us to meet with her over other possible applicants.”

    Vandrad snorted dismissively. "That’s because the Magic Council has her under their thumb, in a manner of speaking. Some years ago she went into employment under them to do research and development. Her first task was to explore a fallen star. Once she realized that the Magic Council intended to use her discover and research to make weaponry, she hid what she had found. The Council, in turn, framed her for burning down her lab and sentenced her to prison. But then they released her, for another group had convinced them that they intended to recruit Patricia.”

    His eyes flickered to Chishan and Zifu. "Does the name ‘Dread Masters’ mean anything to you?”

    The couple froze instantly and Wanda let out a small gasp of surprise. “It cannot be…”

    "I thought you might. The rhetoric you fed us about protecting the world from gods and demons sounded awfully similar to what they wanted to do, or so Patricia tells it. Stealing power from immortals and using it for themselves.”

    “The Dread Masters are a splinter group, made up of members that used to be part of the Order of Souls… or at least they used to be. They wanted to use the power that had been enslaving humanity to defeat other gods and demons and then put humanity up as the new rulers. There was a war between our two groups and the Order of Souls came out the victors. I had been led to believe they were all slain.”

    "Then your Order failed spectacularly,” Vandrad shot back calmly, though his quiet anger starting to churn beneath the surface once more. "Patricia was recruited -- enslaved rather -- by this organization. They used her to experiment on humanity and then they used her to follow me, to spy on me. They grafted magic onto her so that I would be curious, so I would want to be near her and study her and the only damn reason I know any of this is because she took a risk to her own life to record her findings.”

    “Grafting magic? What are you talking about?” Zifu asked sternly, more upset over the news rather than the prince’s attitude.

    "One of the Dread Masters calls himself Hasan and has the same magic as me. He possesses Energy Monarch and he used someone called the Engineer to transfer his magic onto her.”

    It was quiet for a moment as Chishan intertwined his fingers, resting his elbows on the table. There was an intensity in his eyes as he seemingly stared off into the ether, pondering what he’d heard so far. Finally he spoke. “Do you still have access to this information?”

    Vandrad nodded. "But I have no intentions on handing it over. We’ve only just barely gotten through some of it. And what we’ve found hasn’t provided the answers I want.”

    “And what are the answers you’re looking for?”

    The prince leaned forward, meeting the Master’s gaze. "I want to know everything about these Dread Masters. I want to know how they operate, how they think and where they could possibly slink off to hide. I want to know if they can be killed. But most importantly, I want to know what the hell they want with me.”





    Words: 1788/3387  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 433
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,137,963

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 24th August 2021, 7:07 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    “Thank you so much,” Serilda told Chishan and Zifu, humbled and touched by their kind words of congratulations. Chishan commented that he had also invited Wanda, explaining that since she was their top informant they had thought it prudent that she be a part of the discussion. Vandrad advised he was fine with that, to which Serilda nodded in agreement. “Yes, that’s perfectly alright. Wanda is welcome in our home any time. Let me just put out another place setting for her.”

    Serilda poured a couple glasses of wine for the visiting royals before putting another set of dishes and silverware out for the unexpected addition to their dinner party. Meanwhile, the rest of the group greeted one another, with Gren finding time to slip Mercury an intimate pat on the rear that the Silver Wolf mage quite enjoyed, giving the much older man a small, naughty little grin before moving over toward Mythal. She teased him about the possibility of bequeathing a nickname of the daddy variant to him now that he was quite literally a father, causing the man to laugh and admit he couldn’t really stop her, since that would only encourage her more. “And just like that, you’ve caught on much quicker than Vandrad did.” She asked about Lux, and apparently the Lightbringer was off reading and looking into something he was interested in finding, which he hadn’t divulged to Mythal yet. “Ominous,” was her only playful response, having been around Lux long enough at this point to know he was a bit of a prankster.

    It wasn’t long after that when Wanda arrived, dressed in quite the outfit. She apologized for being late, explaining that she had been caught up in other matters and then wound up having to change because of whatever had come up. It was certainly a strange attire to have elected to adorn, but Mercury’s eyes had lit up like Christmas lights at the sight of it. “Girl, I love everything about this.” She gestured to the entire ensemble. “It looks fantastic on you.”

    Once everyone was settled into their seats, Serilda chose to follow protocol and offer first selection of the main course to the highest ranking nobles at the table. However, Chishan and Zifu both respectfully insisted on forgoing such etiquette, with the queen suggesting they simply partake in a more casual, family style arrangement. Serilda bowed her head with a soft smile. “A gracious suggestion. Very well, thank you.” Finding her own seat, Serilda sat with the rest of them and the plates were passed around, but she wasted no time in taking charge to get them started. She could sense that Vandrad, at the very least, did not wish to waste time and there was no telling how long they would be there once they got going.

    The prince and his friend shared a quick look, and then he began to speak, focused enough on wanting to talk that he had yet to put any food on his plate. The room listened in rapt attention as he explained that he and Mercury had recently finished a mission that they had been putting together for quite some time, and through it they reaped some weighty information. He asked the two Rune Knights about their previous interactions with Patricia, to which Serilda frowned and nodded curiously while Mythal explained their brief history with the woman. When Vandrad explained that the Council had been secretly terrorizing and attempting to control the woman, Serilda paused where she sat. She cast a glance toward both Mythal and Gren, the only other two in the room that were involved in the ongoing investigation into the council.

    Vandrad went on, explaining about everything that lead to Patricia’s current circumstances and having been press ganged into working for the Dread Masters. The very term brought Chishan, Zifu, and Wanda to a horrified halt. It was confirmation enough to what they already knew, and Vandrad continued by explaining what they knew of the dark order. Chishan followed up with a more detailed explanation, though it granted nothing additional to what Mercury had already read back in the Order of Souls’ base months ago. His annoyance and frustration finally rising once more to the surface, Vandrad snapped a bit over how the Order had clearly not done a good enough job at eradicating their counterparts as Patricia was essentially enslaved to them now, forcing her to take part in unethical and grotesque experiments as well as grafting magic onto her without her true consent so that she could be used to spy on him.

    This caught Zifu’s attention enough that she didn’t seem to care about his tone for the time being, prompting Vandrad to explain about the one known as Hasan, who shared Vandrad’s ability to control ethernano. He also mentioned the Engineer, who was the one to physically perform the graft itself. There was a long moment of quiet as everyone digested what was said. Mercury took that moment to silently reach beneath the table and take Vandrad’s hand, giving it a soft squeeze and passing him a meaningful look to remind him both that she was there to back him up and also to help him ground his anger before it became too hot again.

    Eventually Chishan asked if they still had the information that had lead to this discovery, to which Vandrad confirmed they did but also informed them that for now Mercury and he were keeping a tight lid on it until they could finish going through it themselves to try and find what they wanted. When prompted to elaborate, Vandrad explained that what he wanted was, frankly, everything. He wanted to know who they were, how they operated, where to find him and how to deal with them, but first and foremost what they wanted with him specifically.

    There was another moment of pause before Victoria gently cleared her throat, swallowing the bite of roast she had taken only a moment prior. She seemed to be the only one that hadn’t forgotten about her food completely aside from Mercury, though that was hardly a surprise given how long the woman had been around. “Actually, I believe I may be able to answer that last one for you.”

    Calmly cutting her roast into bite sized slices like this was any other family dinner, she told them, “As you are all aware by now, I and my siblings have been alive since the dawn of humanity. Our existence is such that we spend a lifetime with a mortal that shares a bloodline with our first vessels, and when those vessels die we fall into a slumber until we can be born into a new host. Sometimes the process of rebirth can take some time, and as such it is quite common for a number of years to pass before we are conscious again. While we have not been present to witness every waking moment of history, we have lived through most of it. All of us have run into both the Order of Souls and the Dread Masters here and there over the millenia. I could probably tell you quite a bit about both organizations that has been lost over time. Same for the Sins and the Divines.”

    “I was awake during the time when the Order went to war among itself and splintered. While I was not personally involved in any of it, the Order was a much more public organization at the time, and so the civil war was a bit of a hot topic among the immortals. The Dread Masters were formed and led by a small group of like minded men and women that felt rather passionately about having a more aggressive approach to combating immortals and putting humanity above the gods. One of their most prominent founders -- the one that was predominantly in charge, in fact -- was a man by the name of Marka Ragnos.”

    The older woman paused there to set her golden eyes evenly on Vandrad and Gren, letting the knowledge sink in. Taking a sip from her wine, she continued. “When I first learned of Mythal and Gren’s existence not long after waking within Serilda, I figured the shared surname was merely a coincidence and thought little of it. And obvious, Mythal was adopted so he did not carry Ragnos blood. However, I was able to confirm the lineage during the battle with Faera in Mythal’s psyche. The Goddess of Love met us almost immediately upon our arrival, and it became clear right away that she intended to separate us from Gren in an attempt to weaken us. While we had lost the element of surprise in Faera learning of my presence, Serilda quickly came up with an absurd and risky plan that to this day none of my previous vessels ever attempted… and shockingly, it worked. She was able to secretly retrieve a small amount of Gren’s blood from his body before we were separated, and I was able to use that to locate Gren even through Faera’s trickery. We were only able to rejoin him for a brief moment, but it was enough for Serilda to temporarily transfer my consciousness inside Gren.”

    “Once I was fully exposed to Gren and able to use my blood magic to help give him an edge, I was able to confirm his lineage as a direct descendant of Marka. Marka and I had fought before on a number of occasions via one of my previous hosts, so I had been exposed to his blood before. It is the same blood that runs through Gren’s veins… and yours.” Victoria turned her attention back to Vandrad. “If the Dread Masters have been tracking Marka’s bloodline, then it is no wonder they have been looking into you, particularly with your mastery of Ethernano. In a way, the Dread Masters is your birthright, as is the Order of Souls to an extent, considering that they used to be one organization. If I had to hazard a guess, they are probably vetting you for recruitment.”

    She paused there to return to her food, giving the mortals a chance to discuss what she had relayed so far and to pose any questions, should they have them.

    WORDS: 1715/3818 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
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    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 24th August 2021, 9:04 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    Both Mercury and Vandrad knew that if anyone was going to provide answers about the Dread Masters, it had to be the Order of Souls. After all, they had once been a singular unit of operation before their ideals had forced a violent split. History like that was not so easily written away or hidden and for Chishan, who was the Master of the Order, he should have access to it. Though the prince did his part not to give away that they had already known about the branched order, it was very hard as his anger started to rise. He wasn’t mad at the Order, though he supposed in a way he was -- they had failed to wipe out their enemy. Pests always found a way to come back and return with a vengeance if not properly stamped out. The misgivings of the world now and the plans of the Dread Masters could easily be blamed on the Order of old not willingly hunting down their brothers and ensuring their demise.

    But he gained nothing in using the past to accuse. All he needed were answers and there was no better person to answer than Chishan or Zifu. If it required them to go back to one of their bases and go looking through records, so be it. Vandrad was ready to dedicate whatever time was required to get the answers he needed. He’d laid down a set amount of questions but it was obvious that the prince wanted nothing more than the full details of the Dread Masters. But he could already tell that something was amiss; Chishan looked flustered, afraid even. It seemed, more than likely, that the Master didn’t know as much as the prince was demanding. His demands were going to come up empty with a face like that and even the comforting hand of Mercury, squeezing his under the table, did nothing to quell the fury that was going to come from not being able to get tactical details.

    Just then, the last person Vandrad expected to speak up cleared her throat. All of the eyes of the room turned to Victoria as she finished the cut she had put in her mouth. She stated simply that she believed that she could provide an answer to at least one of his questions -- specifically why the Dread Masters were hunting him. His fury cooled for the moment, he gave her an appreciative nod as she continued to cut into her roast and slice them into neat, bite-sized chunks. She started by talking a bit about how the Seals worked; their awakening within a mortal body and then going into hibernation after said mortal perished. Each of the Seals had lived a thousand lifetimes over the entire course of the planet’s existence and it had given them ample opportunity to observe the world’s events. Many of their race had dealt with the Order of Souls and Dread Masters in equal measure and Victoria believed she could provide a significant amount of details on both them, as well as the Sins and Divines, should that interest them as well.

    The focus was on the Dread Masters for the moment though and she explained that she had been active when the Order broke into a civil war. Given that the Order was more open with its actions and goals, the dispute had drawn quite a bit of attention, especially from the immortals. She outlined the Dread Masters goals once more -- wanting to take power from the immortals and place themselves at the apex of creation -- and then revealed that one of their founders, who had led the group for some time, was named Marka Ragnos. The name held such electricity in its reveal that it was safe to say that everyone in the room was struck by the weight of it, eyes widening and breath inhaling sharply.

    “Marka Ragnos?! Zifu gasped. “We knew the name Marka but his last name was Ragnos?! The Living Weapon… he is...”

    “It appears so,” Chishan said softly, reaching over to take Zifu’s hand in his. It was a silent and careful way of asking her to continue listening, even as Vandrad and Gren turned slightly to look at one another before turning their gaze back to Victoria. She explained that upon learning of Mythal and Gren, she simply believed the surname was simply one that had been passed down from a different bloodline. After all, there were bound to be several Ragnos families out in the world and frankly, Mythal didn’t carry any blood relation to the name anyways. But she was finally able to confirm the relation during the battle with Faera in the Director’s psyche. Apparently Serilda had used some trickery to gain some of Gren’s blood and then had transferred Victoria’s consciousness into Gren to aid him in his portion of the battle. When that connection was made, the Seal was able to confirm the descendancy. She had come to blows with Marka on a number of occasions so she had a good idea of what his blood traits were and how they related to Gren’s. That meant that the former Knight had passed down the same genetic traits to his son, Vandrad, making him a descendant as well.

    It made sense that the Dread Masters would be looking for someone that was related to their original leader, especially given his gift of Energy Monarch magic. As Victoria saw it, the Dread Masters were his birthright and even the Order of souls, to a point. By her assumption, they were most likely looking at Vandrad as a potential recruit, someone whose power they could utilize in their war. It made sense, of course; if he was truly related to this Marka -- and he had no reason to disbelieve the Seal -- then they most likely saw his strength and abilities as something that belonged with them.

    “This… can’t be true,” Zifu said softly, looking like she had seen a ghost. “There must be some mistake.”

    “Victoria is a lot of things but she ain’t a liar. And I’d be able to tell if she was,” Mythal replied, the Director leaning back in his chair and looking at both Vandrad and Gren.

    Vandrad was quiet for a long time, his eyes plastered to Victoria as he considered her information. So the Dread Masters were seeking him out because he had an ancestor that once ruled them? But that didn’t quite add up. From what he could tell, they weren’t looking for Gren at all. An organization with as deep ties as they had, there was little doubt in Vandrad’s mind that they had an inkling that the former Knight had returned to life. So why not seek them both out? Energy Monarch could possibly be the answer; Gren didn’t possess that ability but why worry about that when one of their own already could utilize it?

    Then it hit him. The dark power that had come out in the past year. The one that activated around beings that had celestial and demonic power. It all made sense now; something in him had been passed down from Marka, some kind of magic that reacted to gods and demons violently. "I know why they want me,” he said finally, eyes scanning the room. "The power I used to fight Faera that night in the cemetery. When it first came to the surface, it was when I was in the presence of someone using celestial power. I’ve only recently managed to get control of it and use it willingly but it still can get out of control around people that use immortal-based magics. Mercury and I ran tests on it and researched it but we were never able to figure out what it was.”

    “I could tell you what it is,” Doctor Wanda finally spoke up, raising a hand with a single finger extended.

    “Wanda, absolutely not. You will not--” Zifu started to speak, rising out of her chair.

    “Zifu. Please. It’s Wanda’s choice,” Chishan interrupted, waving the woman down.

    “But if she does--”

    “I know,” the Master confirmed with a nod. “But she was planning on telling them anyway. If this is how she wants to reveal herself, then so be it.” He looked over at Wanda. “Go ahead, Wanda.”

    She gave the two Order of Souls members a soft nod before she got up and walked around the table. She approached Vandrad. “Would you mind standing, Prince du Wolff?”

    "It’s Vandrad,” he was quick to remind her but he still pushed back his chair and stood up.

    “Do I have your permission to touch you?” she asked.

    Brow furrowing, Vandrad gave her a nod. She returned the gesture and then brought her hands up and placed them on either side of his head. “The power that you’ve discovered but cannot name. Focus on it. Show me the picture of it that you create in your mind when you want to activate it.”

    It was an odd request but the prince nodded gently before closing his eyes. In his mind’s eye, he focused on the dark magic, bringing forth the image of a raging ball of darkness and flames. And then he felt Wanda there, in his head, watching the ball as well. He sensed her as she got closer to the magic and pressed her hands against it. It flared up in resistance to the intrusion but Vandrad forcefully brought it under control.

    Wanda’s eyes opened once more but they had changed color. They were a dark silver now and slowly she turned towards the center of the table. One of her hands removed itself from Vandrad’s head and stretched out and there, just above the surface of the table, appeared a vision. Looking like a digital projection, an image of a man standing before an audience. He was a tall man, dressed in dapper, almost royal clothes. A coat with fur fringe clung to his shoulders, covering most of the outfit from sight. A small black goatee adorned his chin, a thin mustache rested above his top lip and a single strand of black hair hung over his forehead. A dark black line, almost like a tattoo, ran the length of his brow, with jagged dashes through the horizontal. And his eyes were a deep red, small but malicious looking. A tall golden crown rested upon his head, its jagged points brown from dried blood. Even in the mirage, there was a sense of foreboding and darkness about him that would make everyone in the room feel uneasy.

    “Marka Ragnos sought only one thing; to take the power from the gods and the demons and make himself the highest of gods. Believing that the one, true god’s throne sat empty in the heavens, he wished to bring humanity to the pinnacle of existence and rule over all reality with the rest of his kind at his side. But he needed power and weapons to fight back and, as such, the secret group within the Order of Souls that would eventually become the Dread Masters departed on a secret, suicidal mission -- to kill a god. Many were lost but in the end, the celestial being fell and then the remaining members enacted a magic enchantment of their own creation. From it birthed the Ark of the Dread Masters; the magic which only those meant to lead could utilize. It is the culmination of all the stolen power and weapons from the gods, a source for their rebellion as well as an armory. Marka Ragnos used this power to slay many a god and demon, taking their strengths and adding them to his own. And only a rightful heir to his legacy will be granted the power once they have been awakened.”

    As she finished her speech, her eyes fluttered and she stumbled backwards. Vandrad was there to catch her, putting his arms out to keep her from falling to the floor. Doctor Wanda looked up at him and slowly, over a few moments, managed to find her strength once more. “The Ark of the Dread Masters…” Chishan said softly.

    “How did Wanda do that? I didn’t think… I thought she only had supportive magic,” Gren questioned, looking between Wanda and the Master.

    Chishan glanced up at the former Knight. “Wanda can take on any magic that she chooses. And her abilities go beyond even what we can comprehend. You see, Wanda isn’t a human like the rest of us…”

    “She is a living, breathing Ataxian shard.”





    Words: 2096/5483  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 433
    Cosmic Coins : 0
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    Experience : 1,137,963

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 25th August 2021, 5:39 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    If there had been tension in the room before at the mention of the Dread Masters themselves, the room had become palpable with it once Victoria had revealed what she had learned. Zifu seemed intent on denying the truth altogether. Serilda had practically turned to stone, her face an unreadable facade of focus as she silently ruminated over all the information that had been brought to light. Mercury was equally as quiet, though in truth she understood very little about the implications outside of “Vandrad was related to a powerful bad man that died a long time ago”. Mythal spoke up in Victoria’s defense, not that the queen had necessarily been accusing Victoria of anything. Still, he confirmed there was no deceit in the Seal’s statement.

    Victoria nodded her acknowledgement to Mythal before turning toward Zifu. “As alarming as I’m sure it is to face this truth, blood does not lie. It may evolve over the years, but it never loses its origins entirely. My intention had been to relay this information after the battle with Faera, as I figured it was something everyone currently gathered here would want to know. Once we had all mostly gathered again after we got a chance to rest, however, I elected to wait. There had already been enough conflict that day, and since we were not aware that the Dread Masters were still a threat, the topic did not seem urgent.”

    The room was silent for some time as no one knew what to say or how to react to this information. Vandrad in particular was extremely pensive, and after a moment he finally spoke up to say he now understood why they wanted him. Mercury turned to give him a curious frown as he explained about his power that they had yet to identify, the one that had a bone to pick with immortals. While he didn’t say as much out loud, Mercury instantly followed his logic: The Dread Masters were all about conquering gods and demons, so that meant that the prince’s abilities would be an enviable, even necessary tool, in their quest. But it still didn’t answer the question of how they knew about it, as they had been spying on Vandrad even before the power had manifested. So, did that make it an inherited ability, one that they had reason to suspect he would develop?

    Before Mercury could voice such a question aloud, Wanda chirped up to let them know that she was capable of confirming exactly what the ability was. This offer was met with some resistance as Zifu practically threw herself from her chair in an effort to stop the woman, but as he had done several times before Chishan stopped her, explaining that it was Wanda’s choice to reveal herself, and she had already planned on doing so anyway. Now more confused than anything else, Mercury could only watch as Wanda stood and came around the table, asking Vandrad to join her. The prince did so and then allowed her to place her hands on his temples, instructing him to focus on the magic in his mind.

    After a moment, she opened her eyes to reveal they had changed colors, and with an outstretched hand she more or less turned herself into a projector, using her body to transfer information directly from Vandrad’s body into a visual image that they all could see. Mercury leaned into the table, peering at the hologram of the man with intense study. He was dressed like a king, complete even with a crown. He wore a large cloak that was adorned with thick white fur, and across his forehead was some kind of strange tattoo or tribal marking. The expression on his face was more than enough to pinpoint him as a bit of a pretentious scumbag, and there was no mistaking that something about him was just… wrong.

    Wanda relayed some details about Marka, the man in the image. He was hungry for the power of the gods, and not just that but to acquire the seat above them all, as he supposedly believed there was a singular throne above even the gods to be master and commander over all reality. However, he could not do this without the proper power and tools. So, he and his secret followers set out to kill a god and succeeded, allowing them the chance to apply their magics to birth something called the Ark of the Dread Masters. This magic was one that could only be utilized by one meant to lead, and consisted of all the stolen power of the immortals. WIth this ability at his beck and call, Marka was able to run rampant upon many celestial and demonic beings, and only a worthy member of his descendants would be capable of awakening the power within them.

    With the speech concluded, Wanda lost her strength. Vandrad kept her from falling, holding her steady until she could hold her own weight again. The Xocili was busy trying to comprehend the information, which seemed to have a strong effect on the leaders of the Order of Souls. Honestly, the question as to how Wanda had managed to perform the feat of extracting such information from Vandrad was the last thing on Mercury’s mind; to her, it was just magic. But apparently it was much more than that, as many others at the table held curious gazes toward the woman. Gren spoke up to ask the question, and Chishan gently explained that Wanda was not bound by mortal limits of magical abilities because she was an Ataxian shard in living form.

    Victoria sat up in her seat, fixing Wanda with a focused gaze through narrow, golden eyes and she studied the woman with renewed understanding and curiosity. At first she said nothing. Serilda was eying the Seal from across the table as though monitoring to make sure Victoria wasn’t going to do or say something inappropriate. It seemed the worry was not needed as the older woman ultimately relaxed and, with polite curiosity, asked, “May I inquire as to which one?”

    Whether or not Wanda chose to answer, Serilda tapped her fingernails thoughtfully against the surface of the table. “I’m sorry, I know we discussed this when the topic was brought up last, but I was a bit preoccupied. Remind me the significance of Ataxian shards again? I believe someone said they had something to do with a goddess of the same name?”

    “Yes. Most mortals who are privy to such knowledge believe there are ten divines and seven prime sins. However, there are actually eleven. Ataxia, the Divine of Entropy, was the most powerful ol the gods.. And the most destructive. As I explained to Gren once before, each of the gods and demon lords represent the embodiment of the virtues and vices of life. Ataxia is their antithesis, the chaos to their law that strove to undo creation in its entirety. Such was her threat to creation that the Divines and Primes formed a temporary truce to work together, sealing her away between dimensions where she would no longer be a threat. Kingdom Darkness was her domain, and as Gren and I learned from the memory of hers that we witnessed, Faera volunteered to inherit the toxic realm after Ataxia’s banishment in hopes of sparing her siblings from the very same corruption that now plagues her.”

    The Voidwalker frowned. “Well, that’s… horrifying, to put it mildly. I don’t think Ruzatz has ever mentioned this before, not that we ever had reason to ask about it.”

    “I doubt he would be able to tell you much, anyway. Ruzatz is not the original Prime of Lust, and this happened long before he assumed the mantle. The only ones who would be able to explain in any detail would be those who were present, which would be the rest of the Divines and Ozorith, who is the only remaining original Prime. The other demon lords have been killed and replaced various times through the millenia.”

    Another uncomfortable thought, but one that wasn’t wholly pertinent to the topic at hand. With a small sigh, Serilda let the subject go and turned to Wanda. “Well, what you are holds no consequence to me, Wanda. You were there when we needed you and you put yourself on the line to help Mythal and me during our most desperate hour. You have my respect and my gratitude, and our door is always open to you without hesitation. To all of you, in fact.” She turned to nod meaningfully to Chishan and Zifu. Then, after a moment’s pause, “That being said… I suggest we keep this knowledge from Lux. He has been… better, lately… but I think it would be wise to withhold him from temptation.”

    Having been quiet for some time, Mercury finally found her voice, steering the topic back on track. “I have a theory… One I don’t like, but it needs to be discussed. As Vandrad mentioned, Hasan is utilizing the skills of an agent known only as the Engineer, and the only thing we really know about him is that he is extraterrestrial. This in and of itself isn’t altogether shocking; my guild, Silver Wolf, has quite the collection of alien goods that have been discovered over the years. However, one of the things that Doctor Reeves managed to impart to us was a number of schematics for current and future projects, as well as those of the Engineer’s computer.”

    “To call his work advanced beyond the current reaches of our planet is a gross understatement. Thanks to Patricia, we know know that he is the one that is responsible for grafting Energy Monarch onto her, and we also know that she is not the only person that this Engineer has forced magic onto. So my question, and my concern, is: If he has found a way to install rare, powerful magics into those who did not inherit them naturally… can he also remove such magics? What if the intent of the Dread Masters is not to recruit Vandrad at all… but to take his power and graft it into another, such as Hasan?”

    WORDS: 1699/5517 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 29th August 2021, 7:54 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    The words “Ataxian shard” hadn’t been in the heads of most of the gathered party for very long. A few of them hadn’t even heard of it until the situation in the cemetery and the snooping of Lux through the halls of the Order of Souls. But it was quickly understood that they were powerful relics that contained a portion of the trapped Divine Ataxia’s power. What didn’t make a lot of sense was the fact that Doctor Wanda was being called one when she was, clearly, a living breathing person.

    Victoria was the first to speak, wanting to know which one Wanda was. The woman’s face drooped a little in shame and she wrapped her arms around her middle. “I’m not entirely certain myself. I am able to comprehend what I am but nothing more than that. I apologize,” she said, her head dropping a little.

    Serilda spoke up again, wanting to know what the significance of the shards were in the first place. She’d only managed to pick up on a little bit during the interaction, having been distracted by the larger problem of Mythal’s issue. Victoria was quick to chime in, explaining more about who Ataxia was and how she had been trapped by the combined force of the Primes and Divines. Kingdom Darkness had served as her realm and Faera had offered herself as the replacement, willing to hold back the corruption so that her siblings wouldn’t suffer its effects. In the end, the Goddess of Love had become as toxic and hateful as her sister. Serilda wondered if Ruzatz might be able to offer more information but it seemed that he wasn’t an original Prime Sin; the only one on the demonic side seemed to be Ozorith, whilst the Divines were all the originals. “The truth is, we don’t know what Ataxian shards are. We assume they are remnants of Ataxia’s power when she battled the other Divines and Primes during their entrapment of her. She is the antithesis of order and reality, her power in utter chaos. We only know this much because of what Victoria and Gren saw during their trip through Mythal’s psyche. Lux seems to have his own idea of what the shards are and I’m not sure if Victoria shares that same viewpoint. The only one that would really know is Ataxia herself. Whatever the case, they’ve proven to be powerful magical artifacts, capable of upending entire nations should a wielder choose. We haven’t found many and frankly, we weren’t even sure how many there were. But Wanda is the first one that has appeared as a living woman. She’s a bit like a supercomputer and she’s capable of wielding any magic she puts her mind to. She’s also a wonderful caring individual who seeks to help others more than anything else. She’s not an officially licensed doctor but she has the knowledge and mannerisms of one so the nickname stuck,” Chishan explained.

    The green-haired woman was doing her best not to blush hard at all the compliments raining down her, clearly trying to disappear within herself. Even as Serilda turned to Wanda and explained that what she was didn’t matter and her actions had spoken far grander than her origin. The Voidwalker held great respect for Wanda and explained that no matter what, she was welcome in their home. "That goes for us as well,” Vandrad spoke up, having calmed down and returned to a relatively normal state. "You put your literal neck on the line for my family and friends. If you ever need anything from me, all you need to do is ask.”

    Wanda lifted her head to look at him and then Serilda, her eyes wide with a look of awe. After a moment, she nodded and managed to put a small but brave smile on her face. “Thank you. I will.” It was very clear to everyone in the room that this had been a huge step for the woman; a revelation that she had surely expected to go far differently. She had no reason nor any demand to tell anyone what she was but she still felt the need to be honest, no matter if it earned her scorn or distrust. But instead she saw only acceptance and it lit a light within her that perhaps had been dimmed a little with anxiety.

    With the soft, encouraging moment over, Mercury spoke up once more, bringing the topic to Vandrad and the Dread Masters. She focused primarily on the Engineer, mentioning that he was extraterrestrial in nature, which wasn’t all that exciting, considering that Silver Wolf had collected evidence of aliens for years. But it seemed that Patricia had managed to code a bunch of schematics into the stolen goods and what was there was so far advanced that it went beyond what Earthland could even dream of. Patricia had been the one to reveal that the Engineer grafted Hasan’s magic onto her but had also completed the terrible experiment on others before. That led her to one question; if he was capable of transmuting magic from one person onto another, could he do so against an unwilling participant, therefore stealing it. And if that was the case, was their focus on Vandrad not to bring him into the fold but rather to take the power he had inherited and give it to someone that was working for the cause? "A fair question,” Vandrad remarked with a soft nod. "And I’d like to see them try. I’d take great pleasure in wiping them out with the power they covet.”

    “It’s terrifying to think that the Dread Masters have managed to bring an extraterrestrial into their ranks. We’d never gotten an official meeting from anyone beyond the stars; we knew that the star that Patricia Reeves was sent to investigate was a crashed ship but that’s only from records we appropriated from the Magic Council over the years. There’s been other evidence, such as what Silver Wolf has, but never a body, living or dead. It’s hard to prepare for a force we know nothing about and all we can do is make the preparations that we think might work. But our focus is mostly on the dangers in our own backyard, let alone what lies beyond,” Chishan explained.

    “Jeez… first gods and demons and now aliens. And just to throw a cherry on top of the shit pile we’ve already got, I learned a bit more about the Ataxia broad. There’s a woman that I’ve worked with who also happens to be connected to one of the Rune Knights top targets. Turns out both of these women are called Avatars of Ataxia. They are basically an extension of her chaos power, though one of them is far more culpable of the destruction than the other. Unfortunately I ain’t supposed to kill the mad bitch the next time I fight her so I can’t even properly do away with that problem. Figured I’d bring that up since we’re all gathered together anyways,” Mythal took a small detour, referring back to his meeting with Darius and Aeron. He scratched the back of his head. “The good news is I was able to get a full list of the Divines and Sins, names and titles. Might help fill out some details for ya. That and Faera’s Immortal Thirteen, the humans that possess portions of her power. Includin’ the one that attacked Gren and Monica.”

    “I’m impressed, Mythal. That’s a lot of information. It might help us come up with a better strategy for bringing Faera down,” Chishan said.

    Mythal frowned. “Yeah ‘bout that. It seems we shouldn’t be lookin’ to kill her. If she dies, Kingdom Darkness will go haywire and cause a lot of destruction. Might even result in destroyin’ this world anyways. We’ll need to figure out somethin’ else; maybe lockin’ the door on her for good.”

    “That’s an awful lot of information you’ve managed to recover. Do you mind if I ask where you managed to acquire it?” Zifu asked, turning her gaze to Mythal.

    The Rune Knight Director looked back at her deadpan. “A reliable source. I ain’t givin’ up their name; gotta protect my source. No offense.” More importantly, he wanted to protect Aeron and not have the Order breathing down her neck. She had enough on her hands.

    “That’s fine, Mythal. We’ll accept anything you’re willing to part with and no more,” Chishan played mediator once again.

    “Sure. I’ll give ya a copy of the names and such.” After a moment of letting that settle, he scoffed. The Dread Masters seem to pack a full house when it comes to recruitment. Ya think they got any cryptids? Markus and I ran into some vamps and werewolves that’d probably be down for some world conquering,”[/color] Mythal remarked, clearly unenthused over the idea of even more dangerous beings being roped into their sightlines.

    “It is perhaps most surprising, and concerning, to think the Dread Masters agreed in the first place. Though if these extraterrestrials are mortal beings, they might see them similar to us. It does make one wonder what this Engineer is here for though,” Zifu spoke up.

    "By the sound of it, he is using humans as cattle and the Dread Masters don’t bat an eye at it. They can pretend to be sanctimonious and preach that they stand for mortals but they are sacrificing their own kind. It’s as bad as ancient god worshipping as far as I’m concerned,” Vandrad spat, sneering. "If their plan is to try and kidnap me and take my power, then we already have our bait. I’m unafraid of this despicable group and if they attempt to come at me, they’ll find themselves one hell of a fight. As for Patricia Reeves, Mercury and I have decided it’s in our best interest to coordinate with her and see what else she may have learned after the making of her video. She seemed remarkably distressed when I met with her and it may be in her best interest to let her know what we’ve surmised for her own best interests.”

    “That sounds good but the problem seems to be gettin’ to her. You make it sound like she’s under some heavy security and observation. And if you do anythin’ too drastic, it’ll alert ‘em and who knows what’ll come after that,” Mythal informed his adoptive brother.

    "Well, we have come up with a plan. She’s not going to like it and neither are the Dread Masters. But it’s the best option we have for not giving away what we know. I’ll admit, it’s a bit foolhardy. It’ll get the job done though. Patricia Reeves just may not enjoy the first part of it…”






    Words: 1797/7280  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 433
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,137,963

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 30th August 2021, 5:07 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    It was interesting that Wanda didn’t know which shard she was, particularly given her recently revealed skillset of being able to use any kind of whatever magic she wanted to. One would think such an ability would narrow it down. But, it was neither here nor there. While Victoria was more than a little curious, Serilda had been stalwart enough about the other Ataxian shard that wasn’t currently in the form of a living person. She would gain zero ground in something like this, and the truth was that Wanda had also earned Victoria’s respect after hearing about everything that had happened. So, the Seal merely nodded her understanding before getting into a discussion about the shards with Serilda.

    Chishan added his own two cents, confirming that no one really knew what Ataxian shards truly were. All they had were assumptions that they were remnants of the goddess’s power from her battle with the other Divines and the Primes. Up until Gren and Victoria’s encounter with Faera’s memory, they hadn’t even known what Ataxia’s true nature was. Either way, they knew with certainty that the shards were intensely powerful magical artifacts that could be the catalysts to uprooting the world, and so far Wanda was the only one they knew of that presented as a sentient being. Chishan compared her to a super computer, but one that possessed as much compassion and thought as any other human being.

    Serilda assured the green haired woman that her origins changed nothing about their respect or gratitude for her, and Vandrad quickly followed to say the same, informing Wanda that she need only ask if there was anything she needed. From there, Mercury moved the topic along to voice the bigger concern that had presented itself to her that night: namely, whether the Dread Masters actually wanted Vandrad himself, or just his Ark magic. The prince relented to the weight of the possibility, of course with his usual “fuck around and find out” confidence. Meanwhile, Chishan remarked upon how concerning it was to know that the Dread Masters had willfully employed an alien. They knew about the ship that Patty had gone to research, and knowledge of extraterrestrials on Earthland wasn’t unknown, if mostly because of Silver Wolf’s diligence in collecting such things, but they themselves had no concrete proof of their own.

    It was a topic that quickly splintered off into another, with Mythal remarking upon all the various wild cards of beings that were suddenly cropping up all over the place. He used the chance to reveal some of his own information that he’d acquired regarding Ataxia herself, stating that he recently learned of the existence of not one but two women known as Avatars of Ataxia. Victoria lowered her fork in an instant, staring at Mythal with rapt attention as he explained about what he was told, and how he had been advised not to kill the more dangerous of the two women right away for reasons he didn’t share. But apparently, some of the other information he learned was the names and identities of Faera’s Immortal Thirteen -- as well as the names of the rest of the Divines and Sins, though Victoria could have easily relayed that bit of information.

    The Master of the Order of Souls expressed his respect over how much valuable information Mythal had managed to discover, hoping it would lead to better discoveries on how to deal with Faera. As Mythal explained, they were going to need quite the game plan because should Faera be killed Kingdom Darkness would come apart at the seams and start to consume reality. When Zifu inquired as to where he had gathered such knowledge, Mythal respectfully advised that it was from a source he trusted but wanted to protect, offering to give them copies of all the information for their databases. Mercury definitely wanted to get her hands on that information as well, but she would ask Mythal about it later after everyone else had left.

    The queen spoke up in surprise that the Dread Masters would even consider employing an extraterrestrial in the first place, given their sense of superiority when it came to anyone that wasn’t human.. Or at least, mortal -- which could have been the difference. Alien, while strangers to Earthland, did not constitute as immortals and thus were more comrade than enemy. Still, it left her curious as to why this Engineer would join up with the Dread Masters in the first place. Vandrad surmised that he likely saw it as ample opportunity to conduct his immoral experiments freely, using humans like guinea pigs. As far as he was concerned, it simply went to show the hypocrisy of the Dread Masters, who claimed to be the bastions of mortal salvation. He reiterated that if their plan was to capture him and steal his power, then he was all for them making the mistake of trying. In fact, he even revealed that he and Mercury had already worked out a plan to get in more direct contact with Patricia again in the interest of swapping further information with one another. Granted the plan wasn’t one that Patty would like too much at first, but if they were going to have any shot at getting to her safely without raising suspicions then it had to be convincing.

    Mercury nodded. “I also plan on looking a bit more into the Engineer himself. Currently, I am aware of at least three extraterrestrials on the planet. I actually met one of them not too long ago. He’s definitely a decent guy that poses no threat to us. He and an associate of his are bounty hunters, currently on Earthland in pursuit of a third alien that they are attempting to capture, and from what I was led to understand that one is dangerous. I’m not sure if these events are related, but it’s the only lead I’ve got at the moment. So, I’m going to get in contact with them and see if I can get more information about their target so I can confirm if there’s any overlap between our missions.”

    The room was quiet for a moment longer as everyone pondered the recent round of details, but none was more silent than the Seal of Conquest, who had not return to her meal since Mythal had revealed his intelligence. She turned to the director. “Your contact… you’re certain she is reliable?” Victoria asked, brows furrowed with uncertainty. “Much about Ataxia’s Avatars is unknown, even to me, but generally they are regarded as.. Unstable, to put it politely. The legends say that those with minds that have been broken by insanity are drawn to Ataxia’s chaos. In fact, one of the original founders of the Dread Masters -- and one of Marka’s closest cohorts -- believed that mental instability in mortals was actually caused by Ataxia directly. He guestimated that she preyed on the weakened minds of those who suffered from intense trauma, seeping her chaos into them to break them further, attempting to utilize them as gateways to seep her magic out of her prison and back into the mortal realm from which her siblings had banished her."

    “He never had any proof of this, of course, but Darius was a bit of a prodigy when it came to the study of magic, clairvoyance, and the celestial; it was his research and spellwork that led to the successful birth of Marka’s Ark magic. If he developed a theory that he felt strongly about, he was rarely proven wrong.”

    WORDS: 1262/6779 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 30th August 2021, 6:05 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    Mercury spoke up about her own intentions following the meeting, the Silver Wolf mage intent on learning more about the Engineer himself. She, quite casually, revealed that she was aware of three extraterrestrials on the planet at the moment and had even met one of them recently. She explained that he wasn’t a threat to the planet or it’s people but he was on the world tracking another one that seemed highly dangerous, along with a third associate. She wasn’t sure if there was any correlation between the two separate events but it seemed foolhardy to dismiss the possibility. Her goal was to get in contact with the alien she had met and see what other details she could get about their target and see if there were any similarities. “You’ve made contact with beings from beyond our world? And you speak of it so casually. Remarkable,” Zifu commented, honestly in awe of the Silver Wolf mage.

    "If they can provide some information, that’ll help. But it may not be a terrible idea to get information about their target anyways. The last thing we want is a rogue, dangerous alien being left unchecked. That can get annoying very quickly,” Vandrad commented. It seemed he was far less concerned over the protection of the people of the planet and more about the distraction it would cause. The prince was fed up with issue after issue popping up, one right after the other and he was about ready to incinerate the next person, immortal or alien that decided to cause a ruckus.

    There was a lot of information to process and the room fell silent as each member of the gathered party considered what they’d heard. It was only after several minutes of quiet contemplation that Victoria spoke upm, turning her attention to Mythal. She questioned the reliability of his contact, apparently perturbed over the revelation that he had interacted with an Avatar of Ataxia. She continued her thought, explaining that much about the Avatars were unknown but they had always been viewed as uncharacteristically unstable. The rumor was that the ones that had gone insane found themselves one step closer to Ataxia and her destructive power. Apparently one of the Dread Masters founders, an ally to Marka, had hypothesized that mortal mental deterioration was brought on by Ataxia herself. His belief was that the imprisoned goddess sought out men and women who were victims of trauma and agony and broke them fully, making them useful pawns and pylons to spread her magical influence. The Dread Master was never able to prove it but, and there was the kicker, the man named Darius had been a magical genius. He had helped develop the framework for the magic that became the Ark and Victorica believed that if Darius believed it so, there was little proof that it couldn’t be.

    Mythal hid his dissatisfaction on his face but inside, he was cursing softly. He made a promise to himself that the next time Aeron offered to let Mythal talk to Darius, he was going to step on that crystal just enough to make the archmage squirm. The bastard had been part of the Dread Masters in the first place and had, almost directly, led to the situation they were in now. Tucking that bit of information in the back of his head, he leveled his gaze with Victoria. “She’s trustworthy. She’s had her issues and I ain’t gonna sit here and lie and say that she’s completely right in the head but, given what she’s gone through, she’s fared far better than most. It’s the other one that we need to be concerned about; Trinity or rather Thana, if you wanna go by her real name.” Mythal would stand by Aeron, having connected with her on a deeper level than he had anticipated. After all, one of the main reasons he had brought the information he’d learned up was so they could be prepared not only for their own troubles but the one that Thana represented as well. He looked over to Vandrad. “She’s the woman that you fought during the attack on Fairy Tail.”

    "She better hope she doesn’t run into me again. I won’t hold back the next time.” Thana’s escape was still a sore spot for the prince and the way his hands tightened into fists was evidence enough that he was seeking redemption for that error.

    “Well that was a lot of information. I wish that we had come with some revelations of our own; it seemed Wanda was the only one that prepared accordingly,” Chishan made a soft joke, giving his compatriot a gentle smile. “Thank you for including us. I know our first official meeting came at a terrible time and it created waves of distrust but we hope to prove ourselves worthy of your trust moving forward. I don’t want the Order of Souls to operate out of the darkness like the dark shadows that others fear. I want us to be out in the light and working among the world’s greatest protectors; everyone that’s gathered her.”

    “Bit of a stretch to call Victoria one of the world’s greatest protectors considerin’ what she is but she ain’t too bad,” Mythal teased the Seal of Conquest with a wry smirk.

    "Thank you all,” Vandrad suddenly spoke up. "This issue caused me quite a bit of contention and grief. But through this discussion, things have come to light and helped me begin to understand what I must do and what must be done in general. I’m not used to relying on others to help give me peace of mind but this was enlightening. I appreciate your efforts.”

    “Cripes, Van, yer gonna bring a tear to my eye,” Gren joked, even making the motion to wipe at his face with a finger. “I say we finish this delicious meal and have ourselves a few more drinks to ease our spirits. We know what we gotta do but there’s no reason for us to not enjoy tonight and get back to business tomorrow.” The former Knight raised his glass. “Whose with me?”






    Words: 1021/8301  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 433
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,137,963

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 30th August 2021, 8:28 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    About two weeks later, it was finally time. Vandrad and Mercury had taken a bit longer than usual to enact their plan, if only because the nature of their foe was complex to say the least. It had taken Mercury quite a bit of study to make sure she create the tools she needed to successfully pull off her heist. Frankly, it was the first time in a long time that she had been challenged so eloquently by a technological hurdle. Luckily, she was more than happy to rise to that challenge and show this elusive Engineer that he wasn’t the only bully on the playground. Patricia had made it clear to them that she was constantly being monitored, so the natural conclusion was that both her lab and her physical person were bugged all to hell. That meant that they needed to be very tedious and precise about how they approached Patty, so as not to incriminate her in the eyes of the Dread Masters.

    Which was why it had been decided that Mercury was going to kidnap the woman.

    The Xocili was quite looking forward to the job, eager to dig into her roots and show off what she was made of. Vandrad was less excited about the subterfuge, as he always was, but for once he had not argued, knowing that the situation was far too tenuous to be driven by his stubborn pride. So the stage had been set, the pieces were put in place, and now it was time to make her move so they could finally get some real one on one time with the good doctor.

    Mercury had opted to pull her heist at the time when it was least expected: in broad daylight. Thanks to the monitoring devices she had left connected to Patricia’s security feeds, she was able to pick up quite a bit about the woman and her habits. She truly did keep long arduous hours which often left her quite sluggish in the mornings after nights of not enough sleep. Much like Mercury, it seemed Patty was rather reliant on a tall, hot cup of joe to jump start her energy. There was a place not too far from the woman’s home where she frequently visited like clock work every morning to get her daily fix, a small but popular hole in the wall coffee joint that practically knew the woman by name at this point.

    This was where Mercury waited, sitting casually at a small table in the patio area outside of the coffee shop. She was dressed in a black skirt with gold trim that hung past her knees with a slit on one side that went up nearly to her hip. Her black top covered little more of her chest than what a bikini top would, with a black strap that crossed around her waist over her stomach and a gold collar with symbols reminiscent of math equation signs strapped to one side of the top of the blouse. She wore tall golden colored boots that rose up to her knees, and a bright pair of purple and blue tinted sunglasses with wide, round rims adorned and mostly covered her face. She sat calm and relaxed among many other people that were enjoying the start of their mornings at various tables around her, just another faceless body in the crowd, drinking her -- admittedly quite delicious -- coffee and perusing her iLac.

    When Patty came to order her drink, everything would seem quite normal. The staff were the usual faces that she was used to seeing, and those whom she had built up a small, friendly rapport with greeted her as usual before taking her order and building her drink. There was only one major difference: one of the baristas wasn’t exactly who she appeared to be. In fact, it was actually one of Mercury’s highly advanced clones that she had set up to be in a place to make Patricia’s drink that day. And little would Patty know that her coffee would have an extra ingredient, one that was odorless, tasteless, and would dissolve instantly in any liquid without changing its color or appearance in any way.

    Once Patty had received her order, Mercury, got up from her table and started walking behind the woman at a safe distance as she made her way to her lab. It would take about a minute or so of sipping her drink before the doctor would start to feel even more sluggish, her drink having the opposite effect of what her intention for it had been. Once it reached a point where she would need to stop, the realization likely dawning on her that something was very, very wrong, Mercury approached from behind. Using the crowds to mask her movement until the last moment, under the assumption that Patricia could use Energy Monarch to monitor the world around her in a full radius, she casually slipped and arm around Patty’s waist to support her and kept her walking.

    “Good morning, doctor. I don’t recommend fighting the little drug I slipped you. It will only make you dizzier faster,” the Xocili practically purred at the woman in a smug tone. Speaking only loud enough so that Patty -- and anyone listening on the other side of any bugs she had on her -- would hear, Mercury went on. “You have been quite curious about a friend of mine. A bit too curious for my liking, in fact. So I think it’s time you and I had a little chat.” Steering them down an alley, Mercury pulled out her translocation ray and opened up a portal to its predetermined location, practically carrying the woman through it as she would quickly fall unconscious. The moment they stepped through, with Bandit swooping in after them, the door would close and they would be gone.

    A little while later, Patricia would find herself waking up in the most unlikely of places. It would likely take a moment for the grogginess to wash away completely. The first thing she would see were the blurred images of a number of a number of sex toys and related items scattered around the room. As her vision would clear, Mercury would step in front of her, bending over the bed upon which Patricia had been laid and giving the woman a small, impish grin. “Rise and shine, sweetcheeks. Nap time’s over.”

    WORDS: 1074/7853 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair




    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 487
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,309,025

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Magic:

    A Date and a Little Light Robbery Empty Re: A Date and a Little Light Robbery

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 31st August 2021, 10:30 am

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    A Date and a Little Light Robbery RJtajUnz_o
    It had been weeks since her ‘date’ with Vandrad and yet nothing seemed to have changed. Had something happened?

    Patricia Reeves was practically a zombie as she walked along the boardwalk, her willingness to move only brought on by the desire to keep going forward. After another night of restless sleep amounting to a total of three or four hours, the doctor had dragged herself out of bed, showered to try and make herself look presentable and headed out. All the while her brain was continuing to work in overtime, running through all she needed to do and what she had already done. Layers of plans and blueprints and complicated chemical and magical formulas spun wildly within her head as she walked along the path. And yet it wasn’t her normal processing that was at the forefront of her mind. No, she had long learned how to continue her own study and calculations in the background of her day while she focused on what was right in front of her.

    Or rather, what wasn’t in front of her. It wasn’t like she expected Vandrad to act right away. Their date had gone in some… surprising directions, more than she had expected. But just as she had assumed, when she returned to her lab, a little more buzzed and aroused than she expected, she had gone to check on the breach in information. Whoever had done it was masterful, covering their tracks with such poise and expertise that many wouldn’t pick up on it. Even Patricia had a hard time finding the digital tracks and when she did, they were few. Of course, she knew that the Engineer would discover something suspicious based on the failed error message so she was quick to scrub the alert from existence, all but completely erasing the break in. Otherwise the intruder had done all the work for her. By now, Patricia assumed that it was Mercury Arseneault; she was an ace member of Silver Wolf and had showcased on many of the observational data a knack for technological superiority. In fact, she was a point of interest for both the Engineer and Hasan, the two discussing a means to bring her in along with the prince of Bellum.

    Of course she wasn’t meant to be privy to that information but at this point, Patricia had learned more about the Engineer’s technology than he anticipated. He wasn’t the only one with tricks and she had proven that by deactivating his defenses and essentially keeping Mercury from being vaporized. With the information in her and seemingly Vandrad’s hands, all she had to do was wait until they did something. Unfortunately for herself, Patricia was hardly a patient woman. She played the part well enough and could distract both others and her own mind from focusing too hard on her impatience when need be but this was far too important to ignore. Days went by, with nothing occurring that would be considered any kind of ‘move’ or ‘action’ against her employers. They must have been biding their time.

    That meant that she would have to wait as well and that meant continuing to work. The Engineer demanded the long, arduous hours from her and she complied, silently cursing his existence and wishing to plunge his face into a vat of acid until all the matter melted away. That was an amusing thought and she managed a soft, tired smile as she pushed in the door to her local coffee shop and got herself in line. The world was a muted vision of blurry figures and faces as she stood there. After what felt like hours, she was called up to place her order, though it was more just confirming her existence. The people knew her here and knew her order by heart. All she had to do was throw some jewel on the counter and wait a few moments before her name was called. She mumbled a thanks and gave them all a wave as she once again departed and headed back out, now onto her lab.

    The first few sips of the coffee were utterly delightful, as they always were. She cursed her addiction to caffeine but by the Arcana was it too good to pass up. She sighed to herself happily, nursing the beverage in her hands and sipping on it. Already the world was starting to clear up, the bright colors returning and the detail sharpening in both the living and inanimate. But that moment of clarity was gone almost as quickly as it came and soon her vision began to swim once more. The strength in her body was dissipating and she tried to blink away the sudden wave of lightheadedness. Something was wrong; her mind attempted to fight through the chemical reactions that was attacking it to coordinate some kind of hypothesis. She wasn’t that exhausted that drinking caffeine should cause this kind of reaction. No, this was an outside persuasion. Her coffee -- someone had drugged it.

    Even with the knowledge of that, her body wasn’t reacting defensively. She swayed and had to place her hand against the nearest wall to keep herself up right. Her mouth felt dry and numb, her inclination to call for help halted before it could even start. People passed by and looked at her in concern but no one actually stopped to check on her. If anything, they probably felt she was just feeling sick. But then an arm was around her waist and she was moving forward, guided by an outside force. A familiar voice spoke up even as her head was turning in alarm and unfortunately Patricia was unable to put on a poker face and pretend, even remotely, that she didn’t recognize Mercury beside her. She told her not to fight against the drug, as it would only make her dizzy spell worse. She remarked about Patricia’s curiosity in a shared friend -- Vandrad assumingly -- and she hadn’t liked just how interested the doctor was. I twas time they had a chat.

    “I’venowhatifyousayitwhat?” Patricia garbled out slightly, her eyes unfocused and her mind starting to darken. Mercury continued to walk her, turning down an alleyway. Already her body was failing her and the Silver Wolf mage was carrying her weight at this point. All the doctor saw before she blacked out was a portal suddenly appearing in front of them and apparently she muttered. “ooohpurty,” before she was lost to the world.

    It was some time before she started to awaken. Her mind rose up out of the darkness and she moaned softly as her body started to shift and stretch. For a brief, few seconds she was calm and collected, as if waking from a naturally imposed sleep. But then when her brain had turned fully back on, there was on concern. The memories of what had happened flooded the front of her mind and in an instant, Patricia’s eyes shot up and she tried to sit up. But the grogginess caught hold of her and stopped her before she was even fully right, her eyes glazed and watery, distorting her view of the world. There were several different objects about the place and in her haze, she couldn’t help but wonder if they were torture devices. Giving her head a quick shake and blinking a few times towards the bed, she finally lifted her gaze back up. Well they were objects alright -- sex toys and fetish items that all belonged in someone’s secret dungeon. As she looked around, she began to understand that she was, in fact, in some kind of dungeon, though it was bright, cheery and vibrant with its colors and presentation. That arguably made it more disturbing. A figure moved into view and she turned her attention to find Mercury there again, now in much better definition without the hindrance of a liquid drug. She looked quite pleased with herself and stated that it was time to get up.

    “Well,” she finally said, ignoring the disgusting, dry aftertaste in her mouth. “That was certainly one way to get my attention. And quite the sight to behold upon my awakening. I suppose I should be thankful you decided not to paddle me until I was conscious.” Patricia said, nodding towards the hanging item nearby and referencing it in a form of a joke.

    "I understand it was not the greatest variation of kidnapping known to man but that’s why it’ll work. The Dread Masters will expect a lot of things but I highly doubt they’d expect this,” Vandrad spoke from the shadows as he walked into the light. Dressed in the same outfit he had worn to the dinner, he crossed his arms and looked at Mercury. "The choice of where to take you was her’s and while it is hardly my idea of a suitable location, she made some compelling arguments. Personally, I think she just wanted to see the dungeon.”

    Patricia looked at Vandrad and then Mercury, taking a moment to look them both up and down. She hardly believed that they were there or that she was there or really that any of what was happening was actually happening. After a second of consideration, she swung her legs over the bed and sat up. “No, this is perfect. The Dread Masters have a vast knowledge of your preferences and they’ll never consider a place such as this. They might for her but they would assume you would fight and refuse to go along with it.” She rose to her feet and faced the two of them. “I trust you’ve prepared for the listening devices they’ve planted on me?”

    "Yes, Mercury patted you down.”

    A small thrill of something ran through Patricia at the idea that the woman had searched her body. She pushed it down, chalking it up to a side effect from the poison. “Well done. I don’t believe we’ve been properly introduced,” she said, offering her hand to Mercury. “Doctor Patricia Reeves. I’m a fan of your work, Mercury Arseneault. Normally I’d pretend I know nothing about you but considering Vandrad has been under observation, you have been as well. Your abilities are quite impressive.”

    "This isn’t a social call, Doctor Reeves. While we have a set amount of time, I’d rather not concern the Dread Masters over your location more than needed,” Vandrad interrupted.

    “Yes, of course. I’d rather not have them go to any extremes either. I believe you brought me here because you managed to decrypt the information from my databases. Is there something additional you need?”

    "No. Rather, we’re here to fill in some of the gaps that you weren’t able to figure out,” Vandrad stated as he walked over to stand beside Mercury. "Because of the information you provided, we were able to discover the connection I share with the Dread Lords. It seems I’m related to one of its founders, Marka Ragnos.”

    “Are you? How very interesting…” Patricia said, lifting her hand to clasp her chin gently. “That would seemingly explain their interest in you.”

    "Yes and no. We believe they are after a power I possess. Something called the Ark. It’s a weapon the Dread Masters covet, a source of magic they can use to fulfill their mission. I assume they want me so they can use the same technique that they used to infuse you with Energy Monarch. They may want to take it from me and put it on Hasan.”

    “Ethernano Manipulation and while that may be a portion of their goal, it’s not as simple as that. Hasan still possesses and can use his magic, even while I have it. It’s a temporary form of replication. Essentially the Engineer uses technology and magic to align ethernano wave lengths and freezes them in a temporal anomaly. He is then able to configure them and connect the atoms with that of a person. But it is only for a set amount of time before it fades and it has to be reconstituted. I don’t currently possess control over Ethernano Manipulation -- they grafted it onto me for the set time and when it faded, they didn’t apply it again. I believe it’s because our interaction never went beyond that second meeting.”

    So they hadn’t trusted her to reapply the magic copy. Perhaps they were playing the long game to see if the bait had been truly snagged or not. “But you speak of their mission as if you know it. Did you happen to come across that as well?” Patricia spoke up again.

    "Yes. The Dread Masters used to be part of another organization, the Order of Souls. They split because your employers want to kill and absorb powers from gods and demons to make themselves stronger. They want to establish themselves as a new pantheon of immortal rulers,” Vandrad explained.

    He could feel the surprise run through Patricia’s body, followed quickly by a wave of horror. Her eyes widened a bit and she froze for a brief moment of time before relaxing, if only slightly. “That’s… awful. The experimentation they’ve done so far, the lives they sacrificed to complete projects… it’s all so they can become gods themselves?” Patricia was shaken, angry and confused all at the same time. She wasn’t even truly looking at Mercury or Vandrad in that moment; the weight of realization had hit her so hard that she almost felt like she was drugged once again.






    Words: 2243/10,544  | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


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      Current date/time is 28th September 2021, 4:46 pm