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Kingdom Hearts: Apocalypse ~Part 1 Rebirth " Machinecken Town"~



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Eternal Dream

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~- Halo -~

Sevastion was still distracted, something that was really starting to irritate him. Even so, by the time that they'd touched down in Halloween Town, he was happy to find that he'd untangled himself from Susanoo and his memories. Even so, he could tell it was going to take a little while still for the two of them to resume their normal relationship; those dragons really had messed with his head.

Which meant he had absolutely no resistance to scoffing when he saw what Halloween Town had to offer him as its choice of wardrobe. What did the World do; reach into his memories and pluck Susanoo's armor from it? He'd had enough of the god at the moment; he didn't want to look like him too!

A dry sense of humor was the only thing that told Savy that Henry had turned to look at him. Looking to the other god soul, Sevastion gave him a quick once over before saying, "And you look like a creepy, dead doll. You're point being...?"

But Sevastion had already lost interest in what Henry had to say next, because something that Andrew had said back in Machinecken, and the memory of lightning and charred earth demanded his full attention. What had Andrew called Susanoo? An Astral? Was that what the gods were called in the blonde's home World? Not only had he been able to see Susanoo, but Andrew had made it sound like he was connected in some way to these Astrals. And if he was, and the Astrals had a similar connection to Andrew that the gods had to their hosts...

A ribbon of frosty gold light stretched before Sevastion, and he didn't even think about it. He ran, following the trail to Andrew.

Sevastion wanted to know just what the hell was going on.

~- Wicked Game -~

They were kind, this boy and this man. For a short while, Leyla just let herself listen as Andrew, Topsy, and even the one named Syn spoke. Even though she wanted in a way to give her own opinion about Summons, Guardian Forces, and Astrals, she kept her peace. Truth be told, even though their auras held no malicious intent, Leyla found herself somewhat afraid of Topsy, something that she was ashamed to admit, but made her reluctant to talk to him. She could sense he was powerful, and he was also a Hybrid. After what had happened with Masquerade...

Leyla forced herself from the memory by focusing on Andrew. He confused her, in some ways. She watched him walking next to Topsy, a gentle, yet unmistakable fierceness to him that made her ache. The boy was a Hybrid too, but for some reason, it didn't bother her nearly as much as Topsy. Andrew seemed to set her at ease, but at the same time, that ease hurt. Everything hurt right now, because all she could think about was Master Anise.

Matt.

"Do you want to see a real monster??"

Leyla froze, unable to remember what had set him off, but fully realizing the Topsy had turned on them. She saw his wings spread behind him, white and skeletal, and her own flared in feathery defiance of his display. A heavy weight appeared in her right hand, and she was surprised when she saw her dagger Archmage in her hand. Wait, these were her wings, and not an ornamental pair created by the World? Wait, now's not the time for that.

Focus on the Hybrid.

"Come on Tops, you've got this. Don't let him control you."

"Yo, Tipsy. What the hell do you think you're doing? I leave you alone for two minutes and you turn on us? Some of us here still need answers, dammit!"

Leyla turned at the voice to see a man with a golden edge to his aura enter the clearing, his eyes focused on the two Hybrids as Andrew stayed close by Topsy. The boy in the kitsune costume didn't seem to pay him any attention to the man, he full attention on Topsy. Leyla tried to radiate as much calm as possible, both for her own nerves and to send as much peace to Topsy and Andrew as possible. She couldn't think... she couldn't act... were there eyes watching them from the treeline...?

She just wanted the threat to be past and her fear to be gone.

~- You're Not Alone -~

Her girl was missing.

The feline sat back on her haunches, watching the night sky. The still pond, which had held her attention so completely mere moments before, was no longer of interest to her now that she had slaked her thirst. She looked to the sky, through the reaching, bare branches of the trees that towered over her, as she listened intently, waiting to hear that sweet, familiar voice. Something to take away this fear within her. Fear of change, of the unknown. Of fire and monsters and darkness.

Her girl was missing.

She wanted to wait longer, to hope that her girl would walk through the trees at any moment. But instinct demanded movement, and she was growing restless. A chuff of air escaped her, and with a final blink of jade green eyes, she rose to her paws, sniffing at the air to decide which direction to go.

A soft crackle of dried leaves and twigs caught her attention, diverting her mind from her missing girl and full into an instinctual need to hunt. She blinked again, her hindquarters wriggling slightly as her ears swiveled to track the path of the noise. Then, she exploded forward, chasing after that which had become her prey.

~- Unravel -~

He was starving.

He kept his step soft, using what little coverage he could find to keep himself hidden. He was conscious of each paw step, where each of his feet went as he kept his presence suppressed, not allowing his prey to sense him until the very last moment, and then it would be too late. He wasn't sure who it was, just that it was a Hybrid, and one that had monstrous potential. There were others near the Hybrid, others that could be hurt, and badly. It would do this World and all others in the universe a great service to take the Hybrid off the table, and no one would fault him for using the Hybrid's life force to sustain himself.

No one, that is, except for himself.

As much as he didn't want to hunt this way, he knew he had to feed soon, or turn into a mindless monster himself. It was only a matter of time before that was his fate, he knew, but he still had a few things he needed to do, and so he would push himself as far as he could before he would take the life that would sustain his own.

A monstrous way to exist.

He crested the top of the rise, keeping himself to the trees for a moment more of cover as he peered over the rim. He could see his target, the Hybrid with the skeletal wings. Malicious energy was rolling off him in waves, malignant intent rolled around a desperate struggle as the host tried to wrest control from the monster. A feeling the hunter knew all too well; maybe, if he tried to convince himself that this was murder, but a mercy...

For a moment, his eyes flicked across the others as they tried to reason with the Hybrid. A young, blonde boy, another boy that by his stance almost seemed to have caused this reaction from the Hybrid, a dark haired man that had just appeared on the scene, and more that he could sense coming shortly behind this man.

His eyes turned to the final soul in the clearing, and his mind froze. She raised her face, and even though he was certain that she couldn't see him, he still felt her eyes on him. She was safe. She was alive. She... she...

He couldn't be here.

He backed away from the clearing, his eyes unable to turn away from her even as he lost her over the ridge of earth. He didn't know how far he went, backing away; how far he would have gone, if his haunches hadn't bashed into a stone. The spell broken, he turned, fleeing without a care for sound, his mind filled with too much time of bitter loneliness and monstrous measures to survive. Please, don't let her have seen him. Please, don't come looking for him. He didn't want the reality of the present to distort the past. He wanted her memories of him to be pristine.

Perfect.
 

purgatory

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I had stars. Stars in my eyes dude! Calpurnia was so cool, I feel like I was meeting her unofficially, officially here in what had to be related to her. She recalled the wager that I made from before, and truthfully, I remember being told to run along. It breaks you in a way, not being able to handle being pushed, but it was a sign of damage. I was starting to belief all of us had that in common, my little spell of reality weathered a smile, because I could put it in my mind, that Cal really didn't hate me, but I had to work on her more.

"I'll let you know when the time's right," I said affirming with a sharp but vigorous gaze "--It's a promise then."

These precious moments, soon became a blur, as a violent red light took me. I looked at my keyblade that was reacting, and it was the charm I attached to it before given to me by Trace. And as quickly as I came, I watched Calpurnia sprint off towards the revealed core before I was engulfed completely in shadow. I guess for now, the situation was handled and maybe I could finally rest.

My body lay there, unconscious and I still wasn't moving. I was the very definition of exhausted, but in my mind I was still dreaming. The sound of light breathing released from me in brief snaps, my hand locked into my keyblade and all I had to my name was Grigori and whatever else was on me. The concept of sleep, almost felt foreign to me, but I'd never collapsed this hard before and it was definitely a first.

I was dead weight right now.
 

TruestSyn

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Syn got scratched on the face but didn't falter. It wasn't the first time he was scratched by a hybrid that was his friend. His heart ached a bit. Was there no hybrid that had full control? Was their fate really to stay connected like that forever? He was surprised at the speed which Andrew had protected the girl, who's name he still didn't know. And that ice woman, did he say Shiva? Another summon, what a spectacular thing they were. Maybe one day he could get a summon of his own.

"I don't know you well, Kretts, but I know you're way stronger than I am. If anyone can take control it will be you. I don't want to lose another friend to the heartless inside. I'll accept this scratch on my face as a sign and reminder that no matter how much control that heartless is, there's a wonderful man inside who wants to protect his friends and the one he loves."

He already has his weapons drawn so he shifted his stance to prepare for battle with the heartless. If he released the hybrid, there was a chance that Topsy may not recover for a long time. He was older than the others, which could mean that most of the heartless was already intertwined with Topsy, almost completely throughout.

"There's something weird going on here in Halloween Town, and it's awakened your heartless. We don't have time to be playing around here, friend. With the help of this Shiva, I'm either going to wake you up...OR I'M GOING TO RIP THAT THING OUT OF YOU!"

He lunged forward and began with a flurry of strikes, marveling at the icy woman battling alongside him. He didn't want to hurt this new friend, but he had to save them all. With the kind of power Topsy held, he would likely kill them all. A few scratches made it through, but he knew he hit a few times as well. All he'd need is to see is a little bit of Topsy and he'd be able to hold back, but if he didn't...Syn shook his head, he didn't want that to be a possibility.
 

Hazen Gregory

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It was like Topsy was watching a scene unfold from a favorite movie of his; except that this time he was the villain. He struggled to regain control but couldn't stop Hazen's bored rampage. As he attacked Syn, Hazen's voice kept mocking him again and again and his eyes burned with the sheen of darkness. He'd seen Andrew fall to the ground hard and in his own mind reeled back in horror that he'd caused Andrew pain, even if it was just a small amount. Topsy's eyes shifted back and forth as Shiva floated into the air and faced him, her frosty form radiating with a bright blue aura that broke the darkness. He cried out, trying to regain control as another familiar face showed up on the scene; Sevastian.

A second passed and Topsy inwardly laughed when he heard Sevastian call him 'Tipsy'. Hazen still had control of his body as Shiva reached forward and a small mass of frozen energy shot from here palm. This was her weakest version of the Blizzard spell. Hazen snarled and swung his arm down, smacking the frigid mixture of energy and magic away. Syn had already moved in to attack, so this caused some of his strikes to take the brunt of the attack, his weapon strikes slashing through the blizzard spell. The final two slashes made their way to Topsy's dark clad body. Making use of the left skeletal wing, Hazen extended the bony structure outward and closed it in on his chest which took the blow. He then rapidly opened it to cause a stagger effect from the force exerted from Syn's weapon being knocked backward.

[FONT=&quot]"Silly man, do you think that will be enough.....you can't win that easily. I could use this body to kill you all if I wanted, Topsy is MINE!!!" [/FONT]Topsy's voice sounded more raspy than it had before. Now, The dark billowed around Topsy in an even wider area; Then quicker than Topsy had ever been seen to move previously, the hybrid rushed each Shiva clone separately, ripping his outstretched hand through their chests, causing each one to vanish into a mist of icy matter that froze the ground beneath them, covering it with a small patch of snow. [FONT=&quot]"You?? Right Me out of this host?!?! Come and try it."[/FONT] Topsy spun around, his body slowing down to a near crawl as he tried to force Hazen back into submission again, but it seemed that the darkness released from Topsy was still too dense and it fueled Hazen's onslaught.

Topsy pushed off the ground and started to jumped forward as the real Shiva tossed another larger lump of frozen matter his way and he dropped back, angling his body to spin around upward and launch a powerful kick that once again knocked the Blizzard spell away from him and sent it hurtling toward Syn.

Topsy spun around in several circles as he continued to inwardly battle Hazen. His arms thrashed about and both eyes flickkered back and forth from their normal color to the shen of darkness that replaced then as Hazen remained in control. His normal voice returned and he sounded desperate, [FONT=&quot]"Andy...please help me. I don't want to hurt any of you...please help, I need you. I don't wa...Seva....uuuuuugh"[/FONT]

His eyes reverted back to their dark pitch of all black and Hazen's raspy voiced emerged once more, [FONT=&quot]"Ahahahahahaha."[/FONT] The maniacal laugh droned on intensely. [FONT=&quot]"That's right fox boy...come and save your Abby. Don't you want to feel his love?? Ahahahahaha!!!"[/FONT] Hazen poked at Topsy's weakened mental state and snickered as he prodded Topsy with another terrifying notion. [FONT=&quot]'Did you forget?? You broke the seal on your magic by summoning Bahamut. That means I can do THIS...'[/FONT]

Topsy turned toward Sevastian and Andrew, one of his eyes reverting to its normal hue as his hand raised up and a bright spark of magic started to grow there. It was obvious that he was having great difficulty trying to keep the magic from forming but it kept getting bigger. Topsy's face was contorted as he said, [FONT=&quot]"Please, you have to get away before...."[/FONT] Then his voice returned to Hazen's evil tone, "Power of the ages, magic of the cataclysm, incinerate those before me." Topsy grabbed his left hand which the spell had grown atop and tried to move it in another direction but Hazen had predicted this. [FONT=&quot]"Release your wrath. Ha!!! Suckers...eAT ThIS!!! FLARE!!!"[/FONT]

Instead of the spell being aimed directly at anyone in the vicinity, Hazen detonated the blast right as it fell from atop his finger. The spinning lump of non-elemental magic burst apart, spreading out in a spherical radius that was about 17 feet in diameter. The wave packed not only the essence of heat from the magic increasing the temperature of the particles in the air around them as it spread, but there was also a daunting concussive and explosive force to the spell. At such close range, Flare was certainly a force to be wary of without proper defense and immediate action against it...
 
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Story Keeper

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~- Let's Try This Again -~

Nana knew that Trace was doing something to cut him out of the conversation, but he wasn't sure what that something was. A slight smile on his face, Nana tried to read some of the conversation by their lips but he couldn't quite pick out the words. Frustration building in him, Nana snarled low in his throat as his eyes flashed red, the monster inside of him stirring at his frustration. Seeing the female hybrid messing with the puddle of blue goop, he perked up slightly upon seeing the dog that was created from it.

He liked dogs.

Hopping down from the tree, Nana crept forward to get a closer look at the dog. Only for it to rush toward him, a smile spreading across his face, he started petting the friendly creature as he chatted, "Who's a good boy? You are. You're so cute, even if a little ugly. Do you think she'll let me keep you?" Looking toward the other hybrids, he scooped up the dog and walked over, petting it the whole way. Nodding to the girl, he focused on Trace and after shift the heartless dog's weight to his one arm, he used the free arm to motion to his ears and commented, "How about you remove whatever you put in place so we can both talk like adults. And, um, sorry for back at the manor, you're not nearly the child I thought you were." Focusing back on the dog, Nana placed it on the ground before he started petting it as he waited to see what Trace would decide to do.
 

Key Wielder

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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Just play along... Just play along... Just play along...[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Honestly, it was easier said than done. Despite her words, the last thing Yoake wanted was to be seen in public like...like...[/FONT][FONT=&quot]this[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. What had she done to deserve such a tacky, hideous costume? As they ran towards the scene of the battle erupting in the distance, she was constantly (and as inconspicuously as possible) yanking the front up where it seemed determined to offer the world a much more comprehensive view of her than she felt comfortable with. It was a nightmare, the sort of thing she assumed only pitiful excuses for [/FONT][FONT=&quot]men [/FONT][FONT=&quot]preferred to see. That, in any case, was what she would call them for the time being. She had other choice phrases for them that were far more appropriate in her mind, but she had appearances to maintain here.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]And a [/FONT][FONT=&quot]very [/FONT][FONT=&quot]unsteady neckline. That had to take her full attention.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]“Definitely doesn’t suit you,” [/FONT][FONT=&quot]the voice in her head mused, its tone more sympathetic than sarcastic. It bolstered her, albeit slightly.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]You’ve got that right. First chance I have to change, I’m taking it.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]“I’m not sure that’s how this world works.”[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Well, people have changed the world before, right?[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]“Touché.”[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Yoake was so distracted by the rare amicable exchange that she almost didn’t realize what was going on until it was too late. Fortunately, her invisible companion was more than accommodating in that regard, and she skidded to a halt a few yards away from...she wasn’t sure what. Andrew was there, as was Topsy, who... Well, Yoake would table that pun for later, but he definitely didn’t look like he was in control—which made him a threat. Or more of one than usual.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]From the looks of it, that threat was suffering from one serious multiple personality disorder.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Are all Hybrids like this, or am I just lucky to find one?[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]“Your guess is as good as mine.”[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Wow, something you [/FONT][FONT=&quot]don’t [/FONT][FONT=&quot]know?[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]“I never said I knew everything.”[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Just implied it.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]“Right.”[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Rolling her eyes, Yoake reluctantly summoned her Keyblade just as a blast of heat nearly sent her flying backwards from the force of Topsy’s spell. She managed to hold steady for the moment, but one thing was clear: if they didn’t do something, the next bout of magical discharge could be the last they saw.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]If she was being honest, Yoake would admit she had no clue what she was doing. Fighting wasn’t her strong suit, and the only magic that was hadn’t worked out for her as well as she’d hoped in the past. She barely knew anything about her abilities to begin with and was quite happy to keep it that way.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]But self-preservation came first.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]“Heal or...something,” she whispered fervently, hoping against hope that the blinding light that burst from the end of her Keyblade towards her target would buy them even a moment to incapacitate Topsy—or for him to incapacitate himself, if they were really lucky.[/FONT][/FONT]
 

TruestSyn

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Syn was dazed. A few of those hits were hard, but the chunk of ice smacked him straight in the face. The mask that was a part of his Halloween Town costume was knocked off and landed somewhere in the forest nearby. His vision was blurred but he tried to keep focus. Enough of his vision was maintained to see the giant ball of fire that was about to be unleashed and he took quick action. The last thing Topsy would want in the case of a rampage would be to hurt Andrew. He held out his arms facing Andrew and tried to cross his blades at his back. The flare went off as Syn tried to whisper to Andrew that he would be safe and was stopped short by the fire burning across his back. The wings and most of the jacket that were a part of this new ensemble were scorched off and he was flung face first into a tree. Without a mask for protection, his nose was slammed hard against the bark and he could feel blood dripping down his forehead. Syn was on one knee, trying to maintain posture as he attempted to gather darkness to increase his own strength, but failed as he slumped to the ground unconscious.

No matter how much I try...I'll never be...strong enough.
 

Shinra

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Renn was blasted back into the wall of a nearby building by the force of the spell. "Flare... one level above Firaja."

How can I stand up to something like that? We need to get Topsy under control now!

But he was soon blinded by the light that Yoake produced as she joined the fray and Renn took that chance to bolt over to Topsy and Tackle him off his feet while he was incapacitated. "Topsy! Snap out of it!" He succeeded in knocking the much larger man to the ground onto his back and grabbed him at his wrists to try to hold him down. "C'mon Topsy you can hear me can't you?!"

But soon enough with a roar he was thrown off by the sheer force of the hybrid and then he took Renn by the wrist and back into a wall that cracked upon his impact with it but Renn simply slunk down to the street. "that was stupid..." He raised his keyblade and healed just himself.
 
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Story Keeper

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~- Hold My Breath -~

Andrew channeled more of his power into Shiva, his eyes glowing. He saw Sevastian, and he almost called out, but he was distracted by the creature before him tearing through the Shiva clones. All he knew was that the creature before him wasn't Topsy. He tuned out everything that would distract him, sending a gust of wind toward Sevastian, Renn, Yoake and Syn he was relieved when the spells took the way that they were supposed to. He watched as a boy similar to his brother called up his scythe, getting ready to go in for an attack. Topsy started thrashing, clearly fighting for control over his body. An idea coming to his mind, Andrew shouted, "Ramuh! Come here and run blocker! Shiva, help him, I need an opening!"

He knew he was pushing his luck, bossing two of the Astrals around like that, but he didn't care. His resolve was shaken when he heard the desperate plea from Topsy, making Andy stare at him in open concern. Taking a step forward, Andrew raised his hand toward the other hybrid, trying to remember what he was planning on doing. The hybrid regained control, and the laughter made Andy's skin crawl.

"That's right fox boy...come and save your Abby. Don't you want to feel his love?? Ahahahahaha!!!"

The darkness in him stirred, making his eyes go to a violet color. He saw the flare spell that Topsy started casting, a curse escaping him, Andy strengthened the various aero spells that were around the field, including sending one towards Topsy to try and lessen the damage. It turned out he wasn't the only one, Leyla had panicked and cast a powerful spell, temporarily surrounding the area in light and leaving him dazed. What he hadn't seen because of the blast of light was Syn's attempt to protect him. Regaining the ability to see, Andy shot her a questioning look before he focused back on Hazen. He also saw a quick glimpse of Syn and his heart jumped into his throat at seeing the other fighter hurt, clenching his fist in response despite that causing pain to radiate up his arm from the burn he'd gotten from the spell. Andy glared at Hazen, fury shining in violet eyes only for them to freeze as an idea came to his mind.

He took a deep breath to calm his nerves, then Andy closed the distance between him and Hazen, his eyes brittle chips of ice. "Listen here heartless, I don't give a shit what you do to me. But, you hurting my friends? Hurting Topsy? That's a no. Don't you ever call him Abby! You're also forbidden from hurting him. If you do either of those, and I find out, I swear to Bahamut nothing will stop me from ripping you out of him and personally ending you myself."

He was in front of Hazen, a hardened glare on his face that was so far out of character for the cheerful puppy. A hand on his chest, Andrew glared at the hybrid and continued, "We can do this one of two ways, you can either willingly submit. Or we'll force you to submit to him again, take your choice heartless. Just know, I won't stop until Topsy is back." A devious smile spreading across his face, Andrew stood on his tiptoes and whispered in Hazen's ear, "You want to know why?" He waited a moment, tracing Hazen's jaw before he teased, "Sorry, you don't have a right to that info yet."

Calling his lance, Andy took a swipe at Hazen, his eyes holding zero of the gentleness that was typical of Andy. He knew though that if Hazen wanted him dead, there'd be nothing he could do to stop him and yet....

Andy was going on a suspicion that Topsy wouldn't allow it.

Renn got in the way, tackling Hazen and making Andy bristle with outrage. "Shiva, get him out of the way, now." He spoke, deathly calm even as Henry shot him a what the hell look. Once the ice spirit had removed Renn from Hazen, Andy crouched down and looked at Hazen. "So, it's your move, what's it going to be?"
 
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Eternal Dream

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~- Afterglow -~

Yeah, Sevastion had seen a few things in his travels, but he hadn't really seen too much with the Hybrids in the last few months until Machinecken. Still, he'd seen plenty of monsters, and he'd seen Tamashi no Kami lose control too, and that was the feeling that he was getting now from Topsy. The guy rubbed him all the wrong ways for no damned good reason, as far as Sevastion could tell, but he also had the feeling that Topsy could be a good ally in the long run if he'd just leave Andrew the hell alone. Okay, maybe Sevastion knew why he was irritated.

Actually, no. No, he didn't.

"Power of the ages, magic of the cataclysm, incinerate those before me. Release your wrath. Ha!!! Suckers...eAT ThIS!!! FLARE!!!"

"No!"

Susanoo's power flared hot through Sevastion's veins, causing the rippling blue god marks to appear across his skin once more. But it was more than that this time; his eyes flared a bright, burning gold, and streaks of pale blue appeared in his hair as his power crested. He focused on the ice left behind by Andrew's Astral friend, and willed it to turn from solid into water. A shout from behind him drew his attention for a bare moment, but it still didn't distract him from the matter at hand.

"Sevastion, you f.ucking idiot!"

He could barely feel Sevastion now, though. Susanoo knew he was there, but his consciousness was the one in the fore, while Sevastion was now the spectator. The dragons rose once more, ready to do as there master bid, when a soft voice attracted Susanoo's attention.

"O sacred light, guardian of the divine wind, grant thine hallowed blessing and protection. Holy!"

Blinding light filled the clearing, such that even Susanoo couldn't see. Turning his head as the light waned, he saw the girl with the wings at the center of the fading light, an object clutched close to her chest. He'd heard the tremor in her voice, the panic that must have driven her to use such a powerful spell, but her instinct could prove to be useful. Holy was one of the most powerful of light spells, and while it hadn't mitigated the effects of the Flare that Topsy had used as much as Andrew aero shields had, her spell just might stun Topsy's Heartless enough for Andrew to help him push it back into submission.

"So, it's your move, what's it going to be?"

"Choose wisely, child. You won't get another chance if you choose wrong and hurt him," Susanoo said. His voice was just as even and calm as Andrew's, but it hinted at the calm before the storm. His dragons flanked him on either side, their towering, watery forms giving low, rushing hisses as they watched from above.
 

Hazen Gregory

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The entire situation had gotten to the point that Topsy was getting more and more confused on how to regain control. His eyes had turned grey in color, showing that he was steadfast in not allowing Hazen to take full control, and yet he was still completely horrified. He watched in dismay as the Flare spell was released and caused widespread area damage in its wake. Syn had tried to intercept the spell and ended up being blasted away by it along with some of the others. Hazen saw this chance to keep causing damage to those whom were trying to stop his fun, but Topsy had managed to somehow slow him down. The heartless within wasn't able to stop his host from literally reacting to Shiva's presence and the hybrid became locked in place, being touched by the frost magic.

It seemed that Leyla had called upon her own destructive powers of the light and ended up casting Holy, which amplified the blast of light that another female whom had joined in on the fray used. The duo of light attacks hit Topsy at the same time, causing Topsy cried out in agony as he felt every bit of the holy magic smashing into his form. His jacket was burned off as this happened. He'd tried to boost his defenses, but Hazen had interfered by trying to regain full control again by using every ounce of his dark being to restrict Topsy's actions.

Topsy wobbled on his feet, his left bone wing had literally been almost completely disintegrated when his body was enveloped by Holy and as he gasped at the shock from the attacks, Andrew approached him, staring into his face. His words were so full of meaning and intentions that Hazen didn't immediately know how to respond to them, The heartless was shaken by Andrew's resolve and he roared as both eyes turned black once more.

Topsy caught the whisper that was directed at him and he tried to reply, used his mind to try and respond but all he could manage was to crack a demented smile as he willed his lips to move. The thought about what Andrew said made his heart throb and spirit soar. It was almost like the literal power of love and concern was weakening Hazen as he had stopped speaking. Topsy tried to reach out to caress Andrew's face, just so he could feel his physical touch but before he could manage it, Andrew swiped at Topsy/Hazen with his lance, slicing off another piece of the bony wing. Hazen cackled, his voice coming out half hybrid, half Topsy's voice,"Owww Andrew, how could you hurt me, I love you!!!" He laughed and Renn rushed in and slammed him into the ground. Topsy grimaced inwardly as his back smashed into the hard ground, feeling an intense pain where his broken wing bent sideways causing blood to spew from the wound as the wing finally snapped off.

"UUUURAAAAAGH!!!! I'LL KILL YOU ALL. I'LL KILL YOU ALL!!!"The yell alone emitted enough mana and physical energy that Renn was blasted backward and slammed into a wall, the force of the blow cracking behind it. Topsy realized then that Hazen wasn't effectively using his Draw ability, nor was he channeling ambient mana or magic properly to maintain proper defense against spells The hybrid was burning through Topsy's reserves at an accelerated rate. This gave Topsy a far-fetched idea...

Inside himself, Topsy was in the grips of his heartless, the gigantic heartless monster held Topsy in his hand and he struggled to break free, spamming Flare spells at Hazen in his mind whom barely responded to the damage. On the outside, Hazen lay back on the ground, growling at Andrew and Sevastian as Topsy started to bring his plan into fruition. He raised his upper torso up as much as possible and allowed his remaining wing to become encased in magical particles that rapidly started to form a quick dual spell casting. "Double Demi." It was the only chance he had and it felt right, so Topsy took it. As both spells were cast to the sides of the water dragons manifested by Sevastian, space began to pull at the area around the dragons for a several seconds, making it so that both creations were pulled to the side, stopping them from easily moving in to attack Topsy when he reached up and pulled Andrew down to him.

Topsy wrapped his arms around the kitsune and used his free hand that Hazen tried to use to grab Andrew's throat to grab the back of the fox-man's head instead. Topsy looked up into Andrew's violet eyes with his black ones of the primordial darkness and whispered,"Andrew, please be my knight in shining armor like in Machinenecken Town. Save me?? Please??"Then he planted his luscious lips on Andrew's, kissing him and allowing even the small bond between them and the power of care and compassion to be absorbed into Hazen. Topsy refused to release the kiss until he felt the darkness around his body start to shrink. Topsy's bare chest pressed against Andrew, one spot being obviously tender from the burn received from Holy.

On the inside, Hazen screamed in horror and confusion as the roles were reversed and Topsy grew giant. snatching Hazen up into his grasp...the darkness around Topsy vanished and the ground shook violently as Hazen was banished into the deepest reaches of Topsy's inner being. As the darkness vanished, the shadow of a larger than life Darkside washed across the area, looming for an instant, then disappeared as fast as it was visible.


OOC: And they say love conquers all yes?? It does <3
 

Deimos

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"Then i'll make sure it's you next time."

These words left Trace's lips, as a whirring sound emitting from his arm, shifting the darkness into physical wraps and fastened around her arms, after cleaning the wounds. Bray's last flutter before it released it's breath, effectively muting them across the distance, but they were able to hear each other fine. He released a very calm sigh, there was a clawing at his psyche as Anti had been creeping into it's instincts again. Watching closely, his heartless could be a completely wild animal, and in more crucial moments, a deadly tamed monstrosity. Neither was ideal, but both belonged to the vagabond researcher.

There were lights far, far as hell away from them, and the shadow of what looked vaguely like that of a darkside. It was the size of a marble from the hinterlands, but nonetheless it was definitely real. Off beyond the graveyard, towards the hills and just before the mansion. Trace and co would've never realized the other hybrids well out of range of their senses, but you couldn't miss the bright light from "Flare" being imploded before it expanded as heat. Trace briefly acknowledged the unsettling light before his attention came back to Vrivianne.

Vi was still completely incapacitated, and this wouldn't get any less encumbering, that "holier than thou" prick was here. Isolated itself in condescension, and proceeded to ignore Trace. He didn't forget, in fact, he left immediately as that broke his interest in this hybrid in particular indefinitely, and in the following moment's you'd understand why.

Trace helped Calpurnia stand, and walked towards Vrivianne as the stranger made their way to them, he crouched down soully focused on the girl. In his mind, she was really serious about this kind of transformation, the abhorrent life that ties with it and he had to admire the courage it took. When Vi appeared, he'd sent her to scout for him, before she could report anything she slipped into her current state of unconsciousness. He could only make a decision about what happened, that she checked things out, and ran away as fast as she could from a heartless enemy this hybrid announced that they sent.

"Child?" His amber eyes looked up, cutting through the other hybrid like peeling the skin on a potato. "You don't put much thought into your words do you?"

Picking her up, the Cross kept it's obelisk like stance jabbed into the ground and he walked toward Calpurnia and set her to rest near the tree before resuming his conversation. Clasping his hands, "Recap. You stalk us. I find you. You pedestal yourself, ignore me. Attack the kid. I leave, and yet here you are. You make no sense and we don't care. We finished with this conversation?"

He spared no stone unturned, seriously, screw this guy. Neither of them knew the other's name and there would never get to a point of familiar that'd issue that comfort level. You didn't deserve to know, Trace would sooner die a complete enigma than to to continue this conversation in any capacity as "friendly" unless this other hybrid did one hell of a job rebounding from it's first impression. A weak ass apology is only ever going to be that, a weak ass apology.

"Cool, consider yourself disavowed from my family tree." Trace leaned against the cross and simply shook his head.

He could hear the sound of howling in the distance, non-sparky howling. Then closer, the sound turning into thuds against the group, almost like a gallop. From the direction of the graveyard, there was a loud trotting and two giant heartless that looked like dogs entered the fray, stopping just behind the opposing hybrid. Trace's eyes widened some, then he looked at Cal's dog, then the other dogs. He wonder if they consumed a great deal of hearts to become that freakishly large or we're just emblem heartless created to that size, sparky had hope yet.

The heartless dogs looked at Vi, Trace was following were their eyes landed and turned his head to the keyblader who was asleep.

"Looks like the kid ran away from your...pets. Follow her lead from earlier and scram. I've got nothing useful to say to you."
 
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purgatory

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Sleep was easily something that I got so little of if you can believe it. I wasn't the greatest at winning friends in the past, you know, spent so much time getting really phenomenal at fencing to satisfy parent's expectations. Didn't qualify for apprentice or even a beginner for the keyblade academy, something about being too exceptionally gifted with a blade, they feared me being used as a weapon for a rival school.

This was kind of irritating. I kept remembering this guy, what was his name again...ugh, beer memory. My head was fairly barren, I was staring at the ocean in school uniform wanting the destiny islands to return so bad. But whenever I closed my eyes, even for a moment, I just keep recalling the same images over and over again.

My body shirked.

This was the reason I drank so often in the first place, no outlet for all that built up. The limited time and passing of company, this obsession with finding this person I feel forced responsibility on mine. The images inside my head shifted, I was sitting at a table, and Calpurnia was curled up in a chair at the other end, her hood down. Trace slumped over on the left side of the table.

"Whats your story kid? Alcoholism isn't exactly...normal? Then again, neither are we." Trace said, looking at his hands, then at Calpurnia.

"Don't vomit again. Gross."

I spread myself out on the table, this part of my dream was probably the most peaceful it's been in...well, a rough number of months. Thinking about them both, not really Trace so much, I kinda felt like I could finally relax a little. I had this weird "wet feeling", uncomfortable, but it went away a little ways later. I'm guessing my curiosity shaped a question, because i was starting to feel better. I think, after everything, I'd ask the two of them why they changed their minds about me. I still thought, in all honesty, that I really didn't fit in place of many scenarios. Trace seemed like a passionate guy gone astray, he said some mean things about people that were unfortunately true if you followed a lot of the generalizations made about hybrids.

"Drinking is how I deal with my loneliness. Homeworld is gone, friends and family with it, and the last person I was connected to committed suicide. Yeah, tell me it hasn't been a rough time of things. Sometimes you really just believe that life sucks and your still around, while it's terrible to be around."

I yawned tucking my head in between both my arms to nest.

"Humans don't care how bad things are and neither do hybrids kid. You just persist in your own direction, don't overthink this shit, it'll drive you mad."

Cal cut Trace a gaze briefly, her lip with a slight sour, "Learn to brush it off, ok? Sleep."

It was always somewhat comforting hearing her speak. Compromising was something she understood and it seemed like they expected little of that, something that was just out of left field for me. Droning around as the daughter of a half-decent fencing family, I was really lost on breaking free of that, and when I got that freedom, I just didn't know...what to do with it. I'd figure it out, but I was glad to be given the chance, the time to do just that.

[Dream btw]
 

Story Keeper

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~- It worked? -~

Andrew had a brief "Oh crap!" look when the water dragons were attacked, restraining them before he felt himself get brought down on top of Topsy. Meeting his black gaze, Andy's heart started pounding in his chest. Had he made a mistake? Was Topsy going to let him get hurt? As Topsy's arms wrapped around him, restricting his movements and his hand drifted toward his throat Andy felt his eyes start stinging, tears forming in them as he got images from Machinecken in his head.

The touch at the back of his head had him flinching, there was still a lump there from when Harley had basically shoved him into the wall. "Andrew, please be my knight in shining armor like in Machinenecken Town. Save me?? Please??" Topsy pleaded, before pulling Andy down into a kiss.

At first Andy fought it, fear of being restrained making him want to get away as tears fell to Topsy's face. His arm hurt from the burn he'd gained from flare and holy. He closed his eyes, trying to will himself to calm down as his whispered in his mind, Calm down Andy, it's Topsy. He won't hurt you, it's why you put yourself right in the heartless's path.

He felt the darkness quiet down, alerting him that Topsy was back to normal. Opening his eyes, they remained violet for just a little longer before reverting back to normal. He didn't know how to respond to what had happened, he'd only pulled back enough far enough that his face was a couple inches from Topsy. "I-I...." He stammered, unsure of what he wanted to say, there was so many things that wanted to come out. I love you too. I'm scared of the heartless inside you. I'm terrified, I thought I lost you. So many other thoughts raced through his mind, instead of trying to talk, Andy closed his eyes again.

"I'm sorry for your wing, I didn't mean to hurt you. I just wanted to get you back. I thought if I threw him off his game enough you'd come back." He breathed, keeping that confession between him and Topsy alone. Shifting his weight ever so slight so he wasn't applying pressure to Topsy's chest or even his injured wing. Andy heard the low snarl of an animal, he couldn't pinpoint the exact location of it. Opening his eyes, he turned his head as a puzzled look crossed his face, he wanted to know what noise was.

Glancing back at Topsy, an unsure look crossed his face as he tried to figure out what to do, give the fact he couldn't fully get up because he was still being somewhat pinned by Topsy's arms behind his back. A soft smile spreading across his face he breathed, "It worked though, I knew you wouldn't hurt me."

~- Alluding Me -~

Nana just took the verbal lashing that the other male hybrid gave him. He couldn't blame him, if anything Nana would have considered him an idiot if he trusted him right off the back after their last encounter. A weary smile spreading across his face, he quickly dismissed the two dogs that had appeared next to him. Looking Trace dead in the eye, he answered truthfully, only a tiny bit of reluctance in his voice, "No, she drew me here." He nodded to Cal, before continuing, "I sensed her back at Oogie's Manor so I came to investigate. And when I saw what you did with her heartless, I...."

He took a deep breath, trying to figure out how to continue. He wasn't exactly good at being anything but cheeky, but he had a feeling that he had to drop that attitude and try to be himself if he had any hope of gaining this man's trust. "I was impressed by it, not many people, including hybrids, would have stood up to a heartless like that. Or at least with what I've seen, and I've seen quite a bit." It came off as a laugh with the last bit, his mind growing nervous so it did the only thing it could think of.

Petting Sparky, he muttered something under his breath. Looking at the other man, he thought of something and asked, "What exactly are you planning? You seem to be trying to gather other hybrids to your cause, or at least I'm guessing since you've approached both her and me. I haven't seen many do that, so what do you want?" He thought about mentioning something else, but decided to withhold it since something about this hybrid seemed scientific in nature, earning Nana's interest.
 
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Key Wielder

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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]When Yoake was a little girl, her father had been the primary disciplinarian in their household. That, of course, was to be expected: their culture was patriarchal in nature. There were few families that allowed their female members much say the way her father did, and she had seen the results during her interactions with other villagers. Wives were generally relegated to the shadows, nodding along with whatever their husbands said in a show of loyalty that was probably less feigned over time as you got used to being an echo chamber rather than a force to be reckoned with. Daughters? They were even less of an entity. Parents hoped for sons so that they could carry on the family name, not daughters that they would one day have to marry off in order to ensure their own fiscal survival. In her case, Yoake had been fortunate. Her father owned his own shop, which had been passed down through generations of their family, and wasn’t hurting for munny. As such, he hadn’t cared much about her desires or lack thereof with regards to finding a husband. He’d granted her freedoms that the other girls of her acquaintance could only dream of—she spoke her mind, offered her opinion, and even held a place of relative importance in their family business. All he ever asked was that she do two things: help support them the way they had always supported her, and behave in a manner that would bring honor to their family name. That meant carrying herself like a lady, being polite even when she desperately wished to do otherwise...[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]And not rolling her eyes. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Ever[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]The wonderful thing about her father was that his version of discipline was rather different from her mother’s. Where she tended to be more strict, even harsh in certain circumstances, he had made jokes unless Yoake refused to take the hint. When she was little, he’d insisted that rolling her eyes would make her face stick that way. Try as she might, her eyes would be caught under her eyelids, blinding her to the rest of the world and making her appear forever fed up. People would laugh at her, he’d said, or believe she thought herself better than them. She didn’t want that, did she? [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Her answer had always been the same: “Of course not, Father.” [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]So had his: “Then don’t let me see it again.” [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]And he hadn’t. From that day forward, she’d only rolled her eyes when she was positive that neither he nor anyone else could see. That wasn’t to say that he didn’t [/FONT][FONT=&quot]guess[/FONT][FONT=&quot] that to be the case; there were many occasions scattered amongst her memories where he’d shot her a wry look that quite clearly indicated that he was aware of her sarcasm. Even so, he had never gone further than his odd little tale of frozen faces and their subsequent need for a hermitage. [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]In this instance, however, Yoake was willing to risk it as she nearly gagged at the sight of Topsy and Andrew in such a state. What did they think this was, some romantic movie or a child’s story? Topsy could have killed someone, and that wasn’t even mentioning the fact that they’d only met [/FONT][FONT=&quot]that day[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. A glance at the watch on her wrist (which, thankfully, hadn’t transformed into something useless like her outfit) told her it hadn’t been twenty-four hours yet since the chaotic scene in Machinecken Town. It surely felt like a lot longer than that, but it [/FONT][FONT=&quot]wasn’t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. That being said, it was probably a bit premature to be giving each other bedroom eyes while a dark [/FONT][FONT=&quot]something[/FONT][FONT=&quot] was eating Topsy from the inside out. (Or so it seemed—she didn’t claim to be an expert in Hybrids and preferred to keep it that way.)[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Plus, one of them was a [/FONT][FONT=&quot]child[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. [/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Disgusting.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]“You’ve definitely got a point there,” [/FONT][FONT=&quot]the voice in her head agreed. She could practically feel the disdain rolling off it in waves and would have nodded if she didn’t catch herself at the last moment. They already had one seemingly insane member of the group nearby; she didn’t want to increase it to two. [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Whoa, we aren’t a group[/FONT][FONT=&quot], she told herself firmly. [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]As a matter of fact, now that they were out of harm’s way, there was no reason for her to stay. Machinecken Town was gone, as were any answers she could find there; Renn was of no use whatsoever to her if his best advice was [/FONT][FONT=&quot]just don’t use it[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. The morons were safe, and they were ready to cause more chaos in a world they definitely had no business being in. Everything was back to normal. [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]That meant it was time for her to go. [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]At least, that was what she was hoping for. Fate seemed to have other plans. [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Tabling the idea of splitting up for another time, Yoake peered into the shadows around them and tightened her grip on her Keyblade. Yeah, she wanted to get rid of the damn thing—it was why she was here, after all—but she wasn’t stupid enough to let it go in a world like this. Not just yet. [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]“Save the nonsense for later. I think there’s more trouble here than just us,” she pointed out quietly, listening to the growling with growing unease.[/FONT][/FONT]
 
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Her memory of her past life is hazy at best. Sometimes the missing pieces puzzle itself together in her sleep; hence, she doesn’t sleep often. What’s the point in watching at a grubby little kid--yourself--roaming for scraps in the street, far from home. It’s the sad, pathetic, forgettable tale of a street rate.

...Not that much has changed.

But she remembers always wanting a dog. Always
having a dog at her side during that sorry chapter of her life of being on the streets. So, yeah, she’s a little attached to her companion, even if he looks like he’d sell her out for a biscuit and belly rub.

So, really, it kind of bugs her when a random stranger just up and makes himself comfortable with her dog. Who the hell does this guy think he is, getting chummy with Sparks like that? Scooping him up in one arm like Sparky’s some… lapdog to be toddled around? Only Cal can spoil him, no one else!

Petty? Perhaps. But she owns up to it.

Just as she's about to protest, the smell of magic hit Cal in a sudden burst, and in the distance, a reddish-orange flare blooms a little past the edge of the wood. Smells like trouble. Trace has the right idea. The sooner the hybrid beats it, the sooner they can move on--hopefully get out of here. This place is starting to feel as damned as the Town.

She side-eyes Trace. That new hybrid and he talk like they’re familiar with each other, though Cal doesn’t care to follow the conversation too strictly when her dog is one step away from a creeper hybrid. If only she wasn’t as banged up… The newcomer meets her eye and nods, and Cal blinks rapidly between him and the two canine heartless being turned away by their master. She frowns. Christ. The thought of Cal leading him to them...

“Look, dognapper,” her steps are still shaky, but she pushes herself forward regardless. Leaving the cross-shaped obelisk and Vi and Trace’s sides to close some of the distance between her and the stranger. “I’m tagging along because of a bet and a bad decision. All there is to it.” It's hard to explain why Trace’s last words cloud her head, briefly, but it's more than enough for Cal to grit her teeth with a disdainful click.

Her gaze falls to Sparky, foaming at the mouth and trotting in circles at the new hybrid's feet.
Dumb dog always gets too excited with strangers. Not too different from real dogs.

“Don’t give a crap how you got here, dude, but you’re not going anywhere till ya back away from my precious child.” She bends at her knees with outstretched, bandaged arms, mustering up a half-smile, “Sparky, my smart, sweet boy! C’mere!” If this is a hostage situation, Sparky looks none the wiser, completely ignorant (ignoring) the hybrid’s performance to show more of his belly to the stranger for blessed rubs.

Traitor. She should have just kept the dog as digestive juices in her stomach...

Cal’s eyes narrow, her grimace at the heartless canine completely dark under her hood. “You’re lucky I’d kill for you, dumbass.”
 
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Despite him still aching after the impact when he was launched off of Topsy, the shock of what Topsy and Andy had just done hit him MUCH harder.
Seriously? I haven't known Topsy or Andrew for very long but holy crap that blossomed fast! Well it looks like Topsy is under control now at least...

Renn finally let off a sigh of relief as he dismissed his keyblade.

But in regards to his choice of partner I say: "To each their own."

Renn was trying to get his mind off of what had transpired and he spotted Yoake looking more sour before she said: “Save the nonsense for later. I think there’s more trouble here than just us,” Renn then followed up because He wanted to get his mind off what had just happened. "I agree... let's see if we can help out around here."
 

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These were not normal circumstances, try and remember this clearly.

Trace was originally a human being in love, possessed even, with the fabric of freeing hearts from the body. Perpetuating a dogma to follow this trail of research to the end of the world as history had done so long before he was even born. The idea itself, a belief so arousing and deepening his devotion to fufilling a calling he'd had. Becoming one with a heartless, certainly freed his heart in retro-spect, apparently to the point it was like sharing a core/heart if he didn't know any better.

This hybrid was starting to become less and less one-dimensionally flat, but at this point it was quickly becoming a vane effort. Trace respected the effort, but he'd never openly acknowledge this, he was too petty for that. Rolling his eyes, he didn't even get a name, wasn't going to give his, Calpurnia's, or Vrivianne's away either. Watching closely as the stranger dismissed the two heartless dogs, confirms to Trace, 'Looks like he's not denying thats what he sent to chase Vi with.'

Trace's eyes narrowed sharply. Not a very good listener, or probably not understanding what he meant when he said 'disavowed', namely an extremely proper (rude in his context) way of saying he want's nothing to do with the stranger. Once you hit that point, you either avoid the hybrid entirely, or you die. This persistence was only going to end on a bad note of the second outcome, and Trace didn't feel like leaving, until they left. Clearly he had no interest in leaving if posing questions was all the stranger could do between Calpurnia and him.

Calpurnia seemed more irked that Sparks was completely infatuated with this new hybrid. This companion of hers really did love attention, he seemed flaky like that to quickly jump into the arms of another for a treat and a scratch behind the ear. Unable to help but release a slight smirk. If there was one thing Trace learned by observing this other hybrid, it's how to do one thing. Seal the exits.

[No Escape This Time]

A barrier purged around the hinterlands, and even the door leading to christmas town. "I'm just gonna kill you now if thats cool." Trace said unironically bracing and pulling two swords from the sides and jabbing them both around the keybearer, while reaching for two more from the cross, one from the top, the other from the left. Clutching these in his hands, the cross created a tiny protective area for Vi. Taking a single step, he slammed the blades together and you could hear a loud gear turn, sounding more metalic than the whirring sound of the bandages he created for Calpurnia. There was a dial just above the hilt of the thick buster and smaller chainsaw blade. Once Trace turned it to 1, it kicked up speed and he turned the hilt to add power speed to increase it's cutting power.

VRR!...patta patta patta patta VRRR!

It. Was. So. LOUD. Until it wasn't anymore.

Trace's demented face, widened in earnest with a desire to mutilate the other hybrid limb for limb in perpetual silence. Bray projected it's noise cancelation, you couldn't even hear the hybrid laughing at the top of his lungs before he did a crazy lunge for the nameless hybrid and struck the ground in front of him with a vertical slash boring through the dead ground kicking up dirt rapidly and creating a screen of dust that was quickly covering the area.

The heartless sigil on Trace's right hand glowed, and his companion knew it's command and returned sound.

VRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR~!

"ENOUGH with the questions already!!! DROP DEAD!"

Trace didn't need Anti's help in losing his mind, in perpetual insanity even. He could vaguely make it out in the dust, but he saw sparks haul ass past him and jump into Calpurnia's arms as she motioned for him to return earlier.

"Smart move pupperino." Trace snarked holding the chainsaw powered buster with two hand and relying only on his sense of smell to find the stranger. There was a relatively decent paced swing through the dust at where he believed him to be.
 
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“Oh, Trace...” Cal hums, twisting her lips as if deep in thought and contemplating her next words carefully, how to put this politely, mildly, “My dog was in there...”

No way he can hear her now, much less even know she’s talking. Cal can barely even hear herself between the strangely familiar mechanical whirring and the near-deafening scream of Trace’s weapon.

The first time it started up, it nearly blew out her eardrums, she was sure of it. And then, just like that, silence. Like the flip of a light, off.

And throughout all of it, her dog was in there.

Really, it isn’t too close of a call. The rift created in the earth from the blade just misses the stranger, but it’s enough to spook Sparky into abandoning his new companion in favor of Cal’s side, who observes the dog at her feet with relief that sours to a scoff.

So, now you miss me?

My, he sure changes loyalties fast when his own hide’s on the line...

Alright then. Go fetch. She jerks her chin towards a tree, and the dog takes off. In a purposeful leap Sparky snaps onto the stem of the trident, and in a swift, twisting movement from his body, the weapon rips from the tree and cuts through the air. Cal catches it in her hands, and god, has it always been this heavy?

No. She just hasn’t been this roughed up in a while.

It takes one final look to confirm Vi is safe from this mess before she launches forward with a kick from her feet. On Trace’s tail the moment he lunges forward.

Now, sure, Cal isn’t all about answering pestering questions from strangers, either. That’s not what this is about. It’s about the punishment is disproportionate to the crime. Cal’s petty. For sure. But murder? For a guy whose only crime, as far as they know, is dognapping and pestering? A bit much.

So when Trace, in the veil of dust, makes to slash at something--whether that something is the head of the hybrid pest or merely dirt--Cal just. Acts. Slides right in front of the arc of the blade and raises her trident between them.

The crude clash of the blade-saw with the hilt of her trident rattles her bones, pierces her eardrums and kicks up flecks of sparks and it’s so damn loud. Up close, that whirring
again, is still so familiar...

Ah, that’s right. Her eyes flick to her arms. The bandages...

“Oi...”

She almost says Trace’s name
aloud, but bites down on her lip before that can happen. If Trace is anything like Cal--and she’s beginning to suspect he certainly is--his heart is as wary as her own. She’s not about to go against that. Not her place.

Even if Trace is clearly having a... moment right now.

“We get it. You’re edgy.” The utter satisfaction when she realizes, even in a dire situation like this one, she still can keep up the casual act--with a smirk no less! There’s something powerful in faking confidence when it’s damn near impossible to foretell how something as risky as this can play out. Yeah, this is probably a stupid move. A dark chuckle in the edges of her mind confirms it.

The dust stings, but doesn’t dampen the sharpness of Cal’s gaze as she bites out through grit teeth, “Chill.”
 

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One would consider Trace's response largely belonging down the beaten path of overkill. Surely, no one would be wrong in thinking that, but trust wasn't halloween candy, you don't just give it out so...liberally. His heinous gaze for the unknown hybrid came about of a few things, one of which he said already. It involved the keybearer's safety, he may have been wary of her, but she was in his company as well as Calpurnia and they were priority despite hiccups to follow their freshly forged mutual understanding.

Under him, of all places the smell wasn't hostile and he possessed a look of shock. The vr'ing sound of the chainsaw met and clanged against Calpurnia's Trident. There was a firm hold here as the hybrid loosened the dedication to his hold to switch the knob to 0. Lowering the blade as it sank about a foot into the dirt. His heartless bird came fluttering aglow following the light radiating from Trace's hand in the dust and landing on his shoulder. Pecking twice at his head, it eyes were gray and it's head shifted around cautious of Trace's now starting to wane, animosity.

For a moment, he simply listened and let Calpurnia speak freely while lowering the blade to the dirt. One crucial piece of information he did share, and it regarded their keybearer friend, which was enough to charge Trace's aggression and fully warrant this hybrid's head. He'd never fault the girl entirely, she's been genuine if not too genuine to her ideals and with the two hybrids, a purist as Trace is to his research. Personal motivations aside, he listened, perhaps pushing it a bit far, sure. In earnest, this hybrid tried to reconcile, but that wasn't what he should've done in Trace's eyes, giving the psychotic hybrid time to forget his face would've been the best option, an option Trace gave him by telling him to leave. Multiple. Times.

“Chill.”

"Fine." Trace offered a more guarded reply than normal and pat Calpurnia on the shoulder, his next response loosened up a bit. "It's because of the kid ok. Not sure if you missed that part, I wasn't interested in anything he had to say, simply for not owning up to what he did to the kid. Its why I wanted to rip off his head, thats the truth."

That was half the truth, but the more impactful part of it. Seriously. Trace walked away the first time to allow him space to perform whatever deeds on this world he chose. Despite how he was spoken to the first time, he thought little about it until...he just kept following them like a fly on the wall. Constantly there, making it so much more difficult to forget, until he would eventually lose his temperament.

"I've never been more ready to get the hell out of here than I am right now."

His voice broke the silence, and he sighed, still kind of irritated, that much was written over his face and he'd never deny it either.

"Nows not the time to answer your questions. Plain and simple, christ, I nearly cut down one of my own out of a reaction to what you unwittingly did to both me and my acquaintance."

There it was, there was the other half of the truth he strategically left out thanks to his paranoia. The more he was starting to explore how to deal with his emotions, the more slight instances like this would happen, for the better naturally. All in all, he could finally breathe normally and lifted Calpurnia up, not missing for a second she still was recovering.


(That should make things easier for you Skitty)
 
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