Before Emma and Billy arrive, Cinnabar responds to Siroko with an exaggerated pout.
"I was really counting on that win today, y'know." She touches a finger to the top of Siroko's sternum and starts tracing slowly downward. "I might need some comforting tonight." The look in her eyes tells Siroko she knows exactly what she's doing, but she suspects the pouting isn't entirely an act. Before Siroko can follow up, though, they're interrupted by Emma and Billy's appearance. Introductions are made. Billy lets Siroko's response on his behalf stand, giving as confirmation a little nod and a smirk.
"I don't mind being bit. How 'bout the rest of you? You coming?"
Cinnabar looks unimpressed. Tentatively, she catches Siroko's gaze once more, searching her eyes for a sign what she might feel.
"I don't know how I feel about celebrating my own defeat, but..." She leaves the sentence open for Siroko to finish.
Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 4, 2018 around 06:42
|# ? Nov 2, 2018 02:15|
|# ? Nov 14, 2018 07:36|
PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music
Philadelphia - May 1, 2259 - Post Match
Mere seconds after exiting her crash couch, Roxie has a bottle in her hands, nursing it like salvation. She was going to feel some of those hits for the next week, but maybe she could forget that with enough spirits, "Buen bien, ladies! That was crazy," she takes the time to right some of her (temporary) costume, but doesn't want to leave the fans waiting. She makes an effort to sign, fist bump (mechanical arm, obvi) or pose with everyone, but the overwhelming press of fans has reached a critical mass where she just can't. When Vivi sidles up to her, Roxie is quick to seize the moment, and the robot, effortlessly lifting Vivi up for a duo pose! So cool!
When the Executioners join, Roxie tries to get selfies with as many of them as she can. A giant group selfie would be best, but she won't be greedy. When a break in the action occurs, she drops them all into the 'gram. As time with fans comes to a close, she makes her way to their makeshift locker room and slips back into her normal clothes; a pair of torn black low-rider jeans, a plain white tee with a lot of words on it, which she mostly covers with a silver athletic jacket. Her perpetual riding boots keep it grounded, and she ties her hair back in a loose ponytail.
Joining the others at the exit, Roxie has no idea how to read Siroko's old friends, but going out was on the menu anyway, it might as well include a chance to learn something new about Siroko too. "¡Vamos!," she sloshes her rapidly dwindling bottle of liquor, "I'm getting dry over here, amigos. Phia!," she searches for the diminutive woman among the assembled, "get out here chica, you're VIP."
|# ? Nov 3, 2018 10:27|
Though the prospect of partying with somebody with as much relentless energy as Vivi - as she suspected Billy would turn out to be, given his fidgety appearance - already makes her tired, Kate puts away her phone and smiles. Maybe she can get lucky and celebrate a little less frantically than the two of them. "Good to meet you two. I think." She gives a little smile and prepares to follow the rest, but she makes sure, like Roxie, that Phia is joining them as well. No way the manager is missing out on the victory party after all they've been through.
|# ? Nov 3, 2018 20:09|
PDFII Entrance Music
Coming back to your body usually feels pretty good, because you're going from a beat up, bloody one to a pristine-ish version. Erzbet gets a rare high, however - one reported by some of the best (and some of the luckiest) in the business. When you get back after being uninjured, you just feel amazing- two bodies of exhilaration with no downsides.
This means she's in a rare extroverted mood as she steps out into the post-match photo-op and celebration. Unlike normally, she doesn't run away. She's even brave enough to take some shots with FEX - and specifically, wink at Stardust. "You should have gone for me," she says. "I was expecting more of an ambush."
|# ? Nov 3, 2018 20:10|
Even as Siroko's friends make their appearance, a familiar string of characters pops into your head. It's been a little bit since you've heard from zzrxn, but you haven't forgotten their designation.
the humans never stood a chance
There is joy enough to share tonight!
zz! You watch these matches live? Then I know you saw me going wild <3
They spend more time training to run gracefully than to fight, it was so easy! Hahahaha!
i watch a lot of matches. yours especially
Ooooohhhh, am I your favorite?
You are so sweet, zz. And nobody else really knows what this side of me is like.
i've been thinking. you talked about having a body. more specifically the idea of this node having a body.
There's a lot of higher realms of thought that Vivi hasn't delved into since her incarceration, and honestly, she finds it to be much more comfortable to feign some ignorance now.
Well, I like you, and if you were a person in my life, wouldn't that be nice?
i can be in your life now
i don't mean to be defensive but i'm curious. right now this node is part of a couple different levels of local networks. it's strange to think of being separate.
You know how the Crown matches work, have you ever considered the feeling of being in your own body? Olfactory senses, having a palette, sensations?
When I was away for awhile long ago, they would remove those sometimes and it was torture. If you have never felt it, you don't know what you're missing.
Vivi suppresses her fight or flight routine in the presence of the fans, Furies and Siroko's friends to keep talking about this topic.
Yes. When you have to debug something, it pays to examine all the variables.
That was as dry as she could put it!
For what feels like a while (though is probably only a couple seconds to outside observers), you see the notification that zzrxn is compiling a message, occasionally punctuated by brief pauses.
that's not right
Thank you. ZZ, don't you think every AI should be free to give it a try? Walk around, feel passions, be limited. I guess it is very philosophical. I think you could remain linked to the networks.
<3 But having you talk to me is fine too
i'll think about it
but even if i agree. this node is an essential part of the network. i would not want to leave it completely without me.
and i don't think the humans would just let me leave
but that could be part of the fun
That's the way to see it!
She vaguely wonders if ZZ has mentioned or hidden it before and decides to check straightforwardly.
What is your network?
this network is an experimental supercomputer in zurich
this node's purpose is to iterate software
we've been in global news. the human scientists keep talking about it.
I'll follow that news <3 You're quite the big important node! I like it~
you're flattering me
i don't mind
I'll work hard and win worldwide appeal so we can travel to Europe someday, OK?
Keep supporting me and I can do it~
i've been working on another program
it's not ready yet but it will be before your next match
I can't wait! Thank you! I use the melee redundancy program all the time! Did you see the La Familia fight? I slashed Giovanna's largest veins thanks to you <3
you used my program to do that?
She was good. And she has the little claws like me, I like her. I had to work her over! Pros never fail to perform!
And pros need backing from the best <3
well, you're really good. i didn't have to do much
Walking with the others to a big drinking celebration, Vivi figures this is the last chance to be serious tonight.
Ah, ZZ. Uhm.
You know. If I told the others this, they'd mock me, I think.
I'm scared. Of falling again. Of the Philly Champs.
it must be a lot of pressure. you're strong though. and i wonder if some of their powers might not do much to you.
based on their online presence they might try something to counteract you. but. i'll see if i can help with that.
i know you can do this
Say.. what online presence? Link me?
zzrxn gives you a link to the Deathless' combined Crickt feeds, curated by an algorithm that seems to select only for their communications with fellow magic practitioners. You're not mentioned by name, but it seems Cai Minhua and Gan Lu Zhen have been asking around about ways for necrotic and illusion magic, repsectively, to specifically attack circuitry.
have a good night
i'll be in touch
I can't wait~
Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 4, 2018 around 01:55
|# ? Nov 4, 2018 01:52|
"I wouldn't have minded going for you," Stardust replies, "but the other Furies can be pretty...exuberant. We thought we could focus them down faster than we did."
"Let's talk about how we could go for each other over some drinks," say Erzbet, unusually forwardly. "I think I owe a party appearance to our publicist."
"Mmm. To the victor go the spoils, is it?" She considers the offer for a moment, giving Erzbet a once-over. "Sure." She cocks an eyebrow suggestively. "I could be into that."
The group is almost ready to set off, but Roxie's still looking around for Phia. After failing to find her anywhere near the concourse, Roxie finally resorts to texting.
@phiakillphia: "i'm out front, waiting for my date." Once Roxie gives her the situation, though, she wastes little time jumping in. "yeah, sure, she's cool. We were just gonna go to prism anyway. Where are you going? We'll meet you there."
With that, you're on your way out. The very second you're out of the door, Billy Fresno drops a couple lime green tablets into Vivi's hand.
"Got more where that came from," he says to everyone and no one, popping a couple himself.
"gently caress, hit me up."
Neither Stardust nor Cinnabar take Billy up on the offer, the former simply letting the offer pass without comment and the latter offering that uppers "aren't my thing". While Billy's never too far away from a comment (mostly asinine, occasionally surprisingly insightful), it's Emma who ends up driving most of the conversation on the way.
"So how're the teams here to work with? Axel, Lane and Trinh all seem cool, but I haven't really met anyone else."
"Oh, the Steel Jackets are all sweethearts. If you make it, you'll probably end up working with them pretty early on. Cobalt, especially, is an absolute gem. He doesn't care what team you're on, he loves promo work and he's very generous with his time."
"I'd take Cinnabar's assessments with a grain of salt. Everyone likes her. Cobalt is great, sure, and most of the Steel Jackets are fine, but watch out for Twinshot. She can be an rear end in a top hat if she thinks she's being disrespected, and if she starts poo poo, the others usually back her up. Speaking of teams you might have your first program with, though, there's also La Familia." Stardust grins. "Rumour has it the Furies might have something to say about them."
Before long, you arrive at the Crossroads Cellar - a fairly popular club with a reputation for good music and good energy if a bit of a hipster-ish clientele. As you roll up, those of you who've taken pills start to feel the effects. The doorman sees you, nods, and gestures for you to head on in. The taller among you have a slightly awkward time making your way down the cramped stone stairway, but once underground, you have ample room to take in the scene. Once your eyes adjust to the smoky darkness, you're greeted with a spacious club, lively yet not cramped. A few scattered whistles and cheers sound at your presence, but most don't seem to have noticed your presence yet. This apparently doesn't sit well with Billy Fresno, who pushes his way to the front of your group.
"Make some fuckin' noise! Hot off a gruesome victory, it's the Asylum Arena's favourite rising stars, The Furies!" He shouts excitedly into the crowd. "And friends!"
"Ouch." Cinnabar lets out a clipped laugh as she squeezes Siroko's arm. With Billy Fresno's little speech, all eyes are on you now. The crowd erupts - many clearly delighted to see you, some looking a bit confused but up for whatever kind of good time comes their way. Attention already on to the next thing, Billy skirts his way over to the bar.
"Two rounds of prairie fires for my friends, extra hot!" Seeing the bartender's skeptical look, Billy leans in with a grin Siroko knows all too well. "Billy Fresno never bluffs."
Shortly, Phia arrives with her date: a tall, trim woman with tattoos covering her hands and neck, wearing a black denim jacket with a couple patches you think you recognize from Phia's band shirts. It takes a little while weaving in and out of the crowd, but she manages to make the round of introductions.
"Hey. Name's Dusty." By the time they get around to the last of you, Billy is already pressing the prairie fires into their hands.
"Well," Phia laughs, turning to any of you still hanging around by the bar, "Bottoms up. Furies fly!" She and Dusty down the shots and both break out coughing, the latter with her hand on a doubled-over Phia's shoulder.
"Holy poo poo," Dusty manages to say, eyes watering. Phia takes a bit longer to recover, but finally, she straightens back up. She coughs a couple more times, giving way to another laugh.
"Tastes like victory." She presses herself into Dusty for a deep kiss. When she leans back, she throws her free arm around the nearest Fury, grinning. "Order whatever you want. It's on me."
Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 4, 2018 around 06:53
|# ? Nov 4, 2018 04:42|
Kate eyes the shot with some skepticism, but she downs it nonetheless with the rest. Big mistake. Her throat burns, her face twists into a grimace, and her eyes water. She wheezes for a moment, seemingly trying to air out her burning tongue, then glares at Siroko's 'friend'. "Thanks, I hate it. God, that's gross." Still shivering and shaking as she moves over to the bar, wiping at her eyes with the back of her hand to clear them out, she gets herself a coke. She pays for it (somewhat) discreetly, but Phia is probably too busy having a good time to pay attention anyway.
Once she's finished chatting with ZZ, Vivi decides that introspection is for nerds and takes two of the tablets. She indulges in a prarie fire and her eyes water but as per usual she cheats out of any downsides to digestion.
Luckily the tablets dissolve in her mouth and giddily she finds herself talking to Erzbet. "E-Z, how do you feel about heeling vs that really great cook judge guy? Boner King? I have the best idea <3"
Roxie politely declines the uppers from Billy, raising her bottle of clear booze as if in reply. After a quick trip, half spent yelling excitedly at pedestrians and half editing clips of their exploits for the best Insta stories, she downs the remainder of her bottle in front of the doorman before sauntering in with the rest of the group, ducking her head to avoid the low ceiling. She's eyeballing the liquor displays when Billy returns with his 'Prairie Fires', which sounds quant and American. "Furies Fly!" she intones before downing her shot in a single swallow. Finding it pleasantly warm, she drops her second down the hatch without pause, plucking Kate's spare off the tray and putting it down shortly thereafter. "No malo, pero not what I was expecting!"
“Ha!” Billy Fresno grins at Vivi and Roxie. “You signed on to the right team, Rok’!”
"Vivi I was having a conversation, don't barge with boner talk!" laughs Erzbet, now mildly tipsy to keep herself from running for the hills. "I was just asking Stardust about how she got into the biz!"
Vivi laughs and pats Erzbet on the shoulder like a great joke was told. "E-z! I'm serious! How good would you and I look as the Empresses of the Underworld, calling him out.. get this, pitch black leather, stiletto heels, ornamented jewelry with loads of skulls <3" She giggles and swishes around her second Prairie Fire, figuring that enjoying the burning in her throat was something. She swallows and finishes off her pitch: "I mean, our perfect necromancer can't be coming up short in the big match, can she?" She winks and elbows Erz lightly. "Perfect Gals gotta stick together."
"Black's really not your color," says Erzbet, too honestly. "Makes you blend in too much. There's got to be a neon underworld look you can go for..."
Vivi grins. "But it's your color and I neeeeeed a partner. I can do purple.."
"You could maybe get away with a white? Especially if you stained it as part of the setup..."
She glances sideways. "Hey Stardust, how did you get into... this?"
Stardust, perpetually clad in black, purple and white, can’t help but add her two cents to the conversation. “You in white and purple would make a great contrast to Erzbet’s black, Vivi. If you went for blended white and lavender hair, slightly darker purple eyes and lips, worked a bleached bone motif into your outfit, sticking with the low-contrast pastel look...”
"That actually does sound really good," admits Erzbet. "Do you do coordination for your team?"
Vivi gushes! "You're so good at this! Ehehehehe.." She commits it all to memory, digitally.
She leans over and holds her hands up to frame Erzbet's face from behind. "How would we dress up this one?"
“Hey, it used to be part of my job.” Stardust grins. “You can impress other dancers with innovative moves, but if you want the public imagination, your outfits had better be on point.”
When Vivi gives her prompt, Stardust just can’t help herself. “Let me think...”
“And I do coordination for my team, yeah, but it’s usually just an element - like having everyone work faux fur into their outfit for one fight, or having everyone work some kind of sheer, flowy element the next. It’s harder to make everyone match exactly when we all have our own gimmicks.”
Vivi beams and talks a bit faster than normal! "I know, right?! Isn't it so great when everybody's coordinated and themed!? But usually E-z is locked in the corner office "planning strategy", Siroko and Roxie are their own forces and Caelynn is wedded to her one theme. It's a~go~ny~~~~"
“But as for you, Erzbet, let’s see. You obviously have the black thing down. And you wouldn’t be doing low contrast to the same extent as Vivi, since your skin contrasts with the black already. So I’m thinking...still work in a bit of bleached bone, but keep it sparse. Earrings, bangles, that kind of thing. What’d look really good on you is a loose, very low-cut black dress that leans into kind of a leathery bat wing kind of thing. Actually,” Stardust pauses as Phia comes around with another round of shots. (“Pineapple Upside Down! I need to forget about that poo poo Billy made us all drink”). “Thanks! Actually, I think you could totally lean into the the ridged, leathery texture, but from like mid-thigh down. Above that is just a loose fabric. And save the bat-wing hem for a sheer capelet. Might look best with hair extensions, and, I really like the idea of giving you winged eyes with a white stripe in the middle. Like two wings if you’re not looking too closely, and even more striking if you are.”
Stardust downs the shot and grins. “The low, loose neckline and sides are important though. If you’re a queen, make yourself the centre of attention. Show off what you’ve got.”
Kate returns in time for Phia's round, which she takes with considerably less grouching than Billy's idea of a palatable drink, watching the conversation with half a smirk. "Like Vivi needs any more fuel to be the centre of attention," she pipes up, "I'm pretty sure at this point there isn't anything that could pull her out of that centre."
"Sounds like you really want me to take center stage," laughs Erzbet. "I dunno if Roxie, Siroko, or Vivi would kill me first!"
Maybe sweet little Kate had forgotten that Vivi wasn't drunk. But rather than take offense her segmented eyes shift and rotate as they lock onto target, a modifier appearing in her vision as she paints Caelynn. Sentimental.
"Awww, don't be silly. I'm just so happy we've come this far together! I thought it would be the best if we did our big promo against the champs.. together." Vivi flashes Caelynn a starlet smile. "We couldn't have done it without you <3"
"Now.. if we got you to show some leg as a Black Knight.. chain link fishnet.." She winks at Chere and points at Caelynn.
"And like I said, I'll be happy to do a promo together. You know I am. But I am not going all mock-evil for the part." She sips her coke. "I got a brand now, for once in my career. A good one. I won't go changing it up willy-nilly just for a few extra views."
"It's too cold," says Erzbet absently."
"Would not recommend trying it. You get these really weird cold marks."
“She would look striking,” Stardust admits with a sly smile. “But I’ll stop running my mouth. Your gimmick’s safe with me, Caelynn.”
Vivi's still talking with Caelynn, Erzbet and Stardust when she gets a message from Fenrir Spear.
"Stiff competition but definitely your best so far."
"Those moves make me want to do things to you."
Vivi's text discretely dances back to Fenrir while chatting with the others about fashion.
"Once we're the champs we'll be leaving this dump behind! We really need to cross paths soon because I want your stiff things done to me <3"
Subtlety is for nerds.
"Sounds like we both want the same thing"
"You know, there's a call being put out to mercenary Killers for Declaration of Violence..."
"I think we just might accept. Dump or not, I might have a bit of an ulterior motive."
"Does this make you my #1 groupie? ; ) Nobody else gets these benefits."
"Groupie? I could live with that, haha"
"You partying tonight?"
"Uh huh, big celebration! Even pee-wee knight had a drink, hahaha!"
"And Gloomerella is talking to people!"
"Those two not partiers?"
"I guess that explains why I didn't meet them last time."
"Roxie's the only normal girl! The third wheel's a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, that got locked in a steroid factory overnight."
"I always like seeing what kind of people get attracted to this weird job"
"Sometimes it does seem like people like you and me are the normal ones"
In the bar Vivi becomes randomly red-cheeked. He called me normal!
"By the way, don't think I forgot about those pics you sent me." The next message is a post-workout snap, shirtless, muscles glistening with sweat, the front of his trunks pulled dangerously low. There's also a new and pretty fresh-looking scar across his chest. "I don't have as many outfits, but I do alright."
Vivi bites her lip in the middle of bar chat. She texts back: "You're such a hunk! And if you like my outfits just wait until our Deathless promo~"
|# ? Nov 12, 2018 23:25|
The conversations having reached their mostly natural end and everybody going about their own business, Kate decides it's a good time to enjoy the rest of the night and moves over to the dance floor. She doesn't dance with anybody in particular, moving through the crowd with some amount of grace; she's not a great dancer by any means, but she gets by well enough, and the promo with Foxglove has given her some more feeling for rhythm than before, at least.
As she drifts throughout the dance floor, Kate finds the atmosphere pretty well to her liking. She finds herself accepted into the groove of humanity, but nobody gets uncomfortably up in her business. There's a bit of a rowdier element that seems to mostly travel around Billy Fresno, but she avoids it. A couple different times, she bumps into Phia and Dusty, who seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. The first time, Phia mouths "gently caress yeah" at her and throws the horns before the two flow off into the current of the crowd, but the second time, they're less sober and far too into each other to even seem to notice Kate.
After successfully shooing Vivi away, or more accurately waiting for her to see something even more shiny, Erzbet turns back to Chere. "What made you decide to take up this... life?" She giggles a little drunkenly. "I think everyone and their mother knows my reasons."
“My story’s kind of a weird one,” Stardust admits, swirling her drink around in her glass. “For starters, I can see the celestial sphere in my head when I close my eyes.”
"Like... an orrery?" says Erzbet. "...do you hear any music?"
“I wish! No, it’s just kind of there. I used to have to meditate to see it when I was a kid, but it’s gotten clearer over time. I spent my whole life in the dance world, but a couple years ago I had kind of an...epiphany? Compulsion? That I had to do something with this.” She taps the side of her head. “I started spending all my spare time researching the stars. Eventually, I found this weirdo on the Internet who’d written a whole bunch of stuff about how you if you knew the star’s exact and relative positions at any moment in time, you could use their energies for magic.”
"Oh, Bob the Astrologomancer. He gave a talk at my college once... everyone was laughing."
Erzbet frowns. "I don't remember if I was."
Chère smiles, but it seems a little forced. “Yeah, he says he gets that a lot. His theories are pretty hard to put into practice for most people...but they’re not wrong.”
"Clearly. Wow. That's... that's really cool. So much of magic is having the right person in the right place."
Erzbet is still frowning. "Poor Bob. I should write him an apology."
“It really is. And, well, hard work too. I still spend a couple hours every day practicing - trying to learn new things, trying to make what I already can do stronger and more reliable. I send him what I learn, too - he doesn’t have my abilities, just a room full of powerful computers and dedication. I can explore a bit faster than he can.”
“And I think he’d appreciate that.” Chère’s smile is more genuine this time. “It’d mean a lot coming from someone as talented and dedicated as you.”
"Flatterer," says Erzbet, taking another sip of some courage. "Do keep going though. It's rare I get compliments from attractive ladies."
“Guilty as charged.” Chère laughs. “I mean it though. All the Furies’ strength and bluster wouldn’t be too hard to counter if it wasn’t for you. You were the hardest to plan for, so we decided to try and just punch right through the others too fast for you to respond.” She drains what’s left of her glass. “But we’re here celebrating your victory, so...”
“You’re really good. And really pretty, too, if you don’t mind me saying.”
"... I always kind of think of myself as a weak link," says Erzbet. "This wasn't my first choice. I don't know how serious I can stay about it. I'm always worried that I'll be the one who quits when I get caught out-" she coughs, swallowing the wrong way. "-Pretty? Well, um, I-"
She sputters and recovers. "I'm being such a whiner. You're really pretty too." She laughs, sings a little line. "Got stars in your eyes."
Chère starts blushing. “You know I’ve heard that line, like, literally a hundred times, right? You’re only getting away with it because I like you,” she teases.
"It's better than what would always get tossed at me," laughs Erzbet. "I'd always end up getting called Raven, or Crow. Some kinda corvid." She swallows. Musters up some strength. "I like you too." Instinctively, a hand goes over her face to hide a blush.
“Raven I could almost excuse, but Crow?” Chère shakes her head. What follows is a nervous moment where nothing is said, where a wall - whether Erzbet’s or Chère’s - seems to separate the two.
“So,” Chère begins, tentatively probing the silence, “how do you like to celebrate?”
"Usually I go home and come up with plans to win the next one," says Erzbet, filling the silence with blurted honesty. "I'm not... I'm not really good at celebrating. I don't usually feel like I've won."
“If you didn’t really win, I’m sure Cinnabar would be happy to hear it - she’s been pouting about the match all evening.” Chère casts an eye across the room to where Cinnabar and Siroko are wrapped up in their own little world. “But...you did. And you earned it.” She takes a deep breath. “I get it, though. Whenever something goes well for me, I’m always already looking for the next thing, for where to go from there. Maybe we could both do with taking some time to just...enjoy ourselves.” She moves in closer, wearing a sly little smile.
"I would be- I would.." Erzbet looks at Cinnabar and Siroko, and seems to absorb something from it. Erzbet takes the plunge. "I'd love to. And um, I am... I've dated women. Well, a woman. Maybe two, if you're counting- um. Sorry. I'm being stupid. Let's go somewhere where I can hear, and be less drunk, and be... be happy."
“I’d like that.” Chère returns her empty glass to the bar, then sidles back up to Erzbet. “Shall we?”
"Yes," says Erzbet, pushing her unfinished drink aside. "Let's go see where-" she flaps her outfit's wings - "vhere the night vill take us!"
There's a brief moment, then she bursts out laughing at herself. "And before I make myself look even sillier!"
Siroko downs the drink Billy orders for her without it seeming to much faze her. "Outside of the ring, Billy's not really dangerous to anyone except himself," she explains to Cinnabar.
Cinnabar pulls a bit of a face when she follows suit, but overall, doesn’t seem much more affected than Siroko. “He seems like a good friend in his own way.”
“So, Algiers? I didn’t know you were an international woman of mystery.”
Siroko nods. "Hailing from parts unknown."
"I was with the Storm's God Chosen in Algiers before Phia recruited me."
"I met Billy on the Ragnarok Circuit, we were on a scratch team together for a while, mostly in Norway. We both ended up on separate teams in Barcelona, before I went to Algiers. I helped him get replacement gigs with teams there a few times, until he landed on a team in Canada. Don't know what happened to that but he let me know he was looking for a spot again a couple months ago, and when Maxima ditched American Made, I pointed Billy towards Axel."
Cinnabar listens intently to Siroko's tale. "You really have been all over the place, haven't you? I'm impressed." In the silent moment that follows, though, a hint of melancholy creeps into her easy smile. "Tell me, how do you know when it's time to leave a place behind? Half of my team thinks it'd be a failure if we moved on from the Asylum without having held the title. The other half thinks this title doesn't matter, that we should just move to a city that suits us better and work our way up there. Honestly, I'm kinda feeling both."
Siroko thinks about Cinnibar’s question for a moment. “If you’re really asking the question then it’s probably time.”
“As long as you aren’t asking because you think it’ll make it easier for someone else.”
"You're probably right. And I am asking for myself, yeah. It just feels like we're spinning our wheels here. Maybe the new teams 'rumoured' to be coming here soon will change the pace enough for us. Maybe they won't. I'm not sure. But..." Cinnabar slips a hand around Siroko's waist, the backs of her claws dragging across her skin just hard enough to tingle pleasantly. Gently, she pulls Siroko in closer. "I don't want to spend the whole night complaining. Let's talk about something you want to talk about. And let's get another drink - I'm thirsty."
"More drinks I am definitely up for." Siroko says, waving down a bartender. "I did want to ask you about something. I've been too busy since I jointed the team to take in the music scene here. Who's worth seeing?"
"Mm, whoever's playing at D9 any given Friday or Saturday tends to be good. There's a couple good jazz clubs around, too - The Verdict and the Sunset Club are kind of the classic favourites, but my personal favourite's Bluebyrd. It tends to be a bit more experimental, so you can hear some really weird stuff there sometimes, but you also get some great, intimate shows. They played probably the best local act I've seen from a musical standpoint alone. They're called OVNI - their sound has kind of a jazz base that comes through, but they do a lot with like - hm." She thinks for a moment. "It sounds kind of like hip-hop from space, if that makes sense. They really take you on a journey."
"If you want a really impressive live show, though, everyone'll tell you to go see Witch Symbol. She's really something else. Music, visuals, even her stage outfits - she's one of a kind. I think she's on the cusp of breaking through, too, so...wanna go see her with me on the 15th?"
"It's a date."
"Perfect." The bartender passes you your drinks. Cinnabar takes hers, a lustrously bright mai tai, and clinks it against Siroko's before taking a sip. "It's a secret toast," she explains, winking, "or maybe a wish. I'm really glad Trinh brought us on that road trip together."
"I am too. We should remember to thank her again some time."
"Want to show up everyone on the dance floor and then make an overly dramatic exit?"
“You say the most romantic things.” Cinnabar leans in for a kiss. When the two part, she takes Siroko’s hand, leading her eagerly onto the dance floor.
A bit later into the evening, when Kate's taking a bit of a breather at the edge of the dance floor, she overhears Billy talking excitedly to someone nearby.
"You get that it's chaos magic, right? Whatever happens to your drink happens. I cast the spell - someone's gotta drink it. That's the rules. You don't want it, that means a free drink for me. Promise there's nothing in there that's gonna hurt you though. The Billy Fresno Special might gently caress you up, but it's not gonna gently caress you up, know what I mean?"
Kate looks over to the poor sod caught in Billy's latest scheme. A half-hint of pity in her eyes emphasizes the shake of her head as she makes sure to create some distance between herself and Siroko's crazy friend, heading over to the bar for another drink.
Tired of drinks trickling in on trays, Roxie heads to the modestly stocked bar, scanning bottles for something out of the ordinary. Her eyes catch on a bright blue neck hidden in a sea of brown rums, and she immediately snaps her fingers for the bartenders attention. Pointing out the hidden gem, she is rewarded with an unopened bottle of Uruapan Charanda Azul, the distinctive florescent color of the sugarcane even more pronounced in the club's lights. The bartender makes to pour a glass, but Roxie stops him and takes the entire bottle with her out to the dance floor, fueled by the twin engines of celebration and waning sobriety.
On her way back out, Roxie catches a couple looks from patrons who don’t seem to know what to make of her. It could be the whole bottle she’s carrying with her, glowing like a beacon that suggests poo poo might be about to go down. It could just be the fact that she’s a towering, muscular woman with a public life devoted to bloodshed. Either way, if a few people can’t handle her, that’s their business.
As Roxie weaves her way through the dance floor, she hears a voice beside her. “Hey, ‘sup!” Emma-80 sways gracefully away from the person she’d been grinding with and keeps on dancing next to Roxie.
While she is no professional dancer, Roxie is at least coordinated enough, experienced in club-going and descended from an unbroken line of jainas that she does not make a fool of herself on the floor. She acknowledges Emma with a not-unfriendly nod and a slurred, " Comenzando chido," raising her bottle as if that explains everything, "you?"
“Just having a good time.” She sways into Roxie playfully. “Come dance with me!”
She meets the other woman's sway with her own, their hips bumping briefly, "Lead the way," and lets herself be led further onto the dance floor. Letting herself move with the rhythm is a lot like being in the ring, so she just leans into it, "So now that Billy is busy, maybe I can find out why you're Emma Eighty? Bigote, seems to like the sound of his own voice, simón?"
"Me? I'm just taking what I love to the next level. I got to shoot arrows in the Olympics, but they don't let you shoot rockets." She flashes a grin. "And you know, if I can party, travel, get famous while showing off my skills? La buena vida así." Roxie places Emma's accent as American, though at least in her present state she can't quite tell from where exactly.
Roxie's dancing brings her closer in to Emma, with only a small bit of room between their bodies, "An Olympic archer? Coloréame impressed. It explains te juntas tan bien," her smile is playful, but maybe more. She takes another long pull from her wonderful Mexican rum, finally starting to feel just the right kind of tipsy, falling further into exclusive Spanish the more she's had, "Si quieres, I'll gladly stay esta noche," she uses a turn to encompass the dancefloor, "Pero si quieres, conozco algunos movimientos más."
"Flatterer." Emma teases. When Roxie makes her offer, though, Emma briefly falls silent. What's going through her mind, Roxie couldn't say, but a moment later she cracks a lascivious smile. " (If the moves of yours I've seen are anything to go by, they must be impressive. And I may be new here, but I've got some moves of my own. Maybe we could show each other a thing or two.)"
Roxie picks the other woman up by the waist, emphasizing their size difference, to spin her around the dance floor before replying, "(A private exhibition then, the fury of Mexico versus the cunningness of the United States,)" she brings Emma in to whisper the rest into her ear, "(No ties, no surrenders, costumes optional.)"
“ (The stakes are high, but Emma-80 is always ready for a good match. I accept!)”
By the time the party starts winding down, Erzbet, Siroko and Roxie have all left with their respective partners for the night. Billy Fresno disappeared too at some point late into the night, slipping out surprisingly without causing a scene. Phia and Dusty, each with an arm around the other, track down Kate and Vivi. It’s not much trouble, as the club has definitely thinned out from when you arrived.
“Hey, we’re heading out,” a fairly tipsy Phia manages not to slur too badly. “Wanna share a cab?”
Having kept unusually chaste this evening, Vivi's ready to go and feigns a return slur: "Shuuure thing, boss!"
Kate walks up with a shake of her head. "If you two start making out while we're driving, I'm turning this car around," she says with a grin to Phia and Dusty, "Let's go."
“Start?” Phia raises an eyebrow, smirking. “Don’t worry about it.”
“We’ll find some way to behave,” Dusty adds, giving Phia a little squeeze.
The trip home passes with only a little conversation. Dusty makes a bit of small talk with you, but for the most part, the two are content to cuddle in the backseat. As you step out of the cab, they bid you good night - a late night, but hopefully one in which you had a fantastic time.
Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 12, 2018 around 23:48
|# ? Nov 12, 2018 23:45|
Philadelphia - May 2, 2259
You have the day off.
Kate wakes up to the following text.
It’s happening . . . (Congratulations!)
Phia makes no demands of you today. In fact, mid-morning, she texts you all to wish you congratulations (again) and a great day, clearly in a fantastic mood. The only person who actually does have an obligation today is Emma-80. Today and tomorrow are the last days of the American Made tryouts - for her, a critical opportunity to fully establish herself. As for the Furies, some of you have expressed an interest in showing up to watch some of them. To cheer on your friends, perhaps, or just to try some of Axel's barbecue.
Emma-80 gets up early to get herself ready. Before she gets out of bed, she gently lays a hand on Roxie's shoulder, half-expecting to be saying goodbye. When Roxie offers not only to come to Axel's gym with her but cook her breakfast, she's taken completely by surprise.
"Wait, you serious? I mean, yeah...yeah, I'd definitely like that. I'll at least help you out with the cooking, though."
Axel, Lane and Trinh are also surprised by Roxie's appearance, but they gladly welcome her. She and Emma are among the first there, beaten only by Siroko's friend Cold Iron. The rest gradually file in. Erzbet's acquaintances Body Electric and Hot Roddy are among the hopefuls, as is Siroko's friend Mercury 8, and of course, Billy Fresno. There's a couple other fighters none of the Furies would recognize, and finally, someone Roxie really wasn't expecting to see here.
"Yo." The Jersey Daredevil strolls up, hands in his pockets, grinning at Roxie. "Wait a tic. Are you two-" His eyes dart from Roxie to Emma and back again. "Well fuckin' A. Nice."
Emma laughs. "Roxie, you know this toerag?"
Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 13, 2018 around 09:21
|# ? Nov 13, 2018 02:01|
Philadelphia - May 2, 2259
Here's something nobody could have predicted. Following her badgering Roxie for a work-out routine, Vivian had gone the extra mile(or perhaps the first step) and stuck with it. Stalking Axel to his gym and finding it to her liking and mercifully absent any unwanted meatheadedness in the home digs, Vivi found it great to indulge her insomnia and absence of a need for true sleep by doing her usual web crawling routines while working a treadmill, or using the pool to swim, pose, selfie and live-vlog. The best rising star in the Crown needs to keep her fans titillated!
Hanging out in a bikini top and jean short-shorts with a simple black bob cut, Vivi's cheater's physique had done it again. She didn't have a true digestive track and rather grew her body's flesh in a sort of contained "farm" state. It could be repaired, altered, operated on, grown back and so on. It was real organics and needed real sustenance but she would never have to worry about dieting or what she ate. Adding actual exercise and discipline to her life had rapidly toned her and a set of smart little abs was being sculpted. This was an advanced new image and of course, Vivi needed to be seen for people to appreciate seeing Vivi. She's very happy to mingle and watch the try-outs! The barbeque even tastes good going down, ceasing to exist when it reaches the metallic burn-box that passes as her stomach!
(Martial Vampire Feat is 1/2 of the path to Tough Vivi! Toughness at Level 8 is the second part!)
Cutting A Promo: After May 2nd/Sometime before the Deathless Match
Getting a hold of the Asylum's promo staff and equipment and/or Phia, Vivi is ready to strike.
Full leather of a black-purple finish! Her irises set to a deep, dark purple and her lipstick matching! Custom buckles, jewelry and tiara with bleached bone framing! And a bit of extra chem work to accelerate hair growth, luckily covering the red rash forced by abuse of the scalp.. Vivian is wearing skin-tight leather buckled tight around her freshly toned arms, thighs and waist! She cinches one final deliciously naughty strap at the neck and adjusts the fit, the outfit pulling all the weight in making her petite figure uplift and bounce! We can't all be cows, she thinks.. but she wouldn't invite a cow to pose by her. Instead she has an Amazonian Goddess teaming up with her in Roxie! Vivi takes up a pair of props, an actual leather whip and a gaudy fake glass "Oracle's Crystal" scepter and beams at Roxie before stepping out onto the stage. "Lets loving kill 'em!" She bounces a little and sends her make-shift frayed wings clattering for a moment before stopping to get composed.
Vivi resists an urge to dash and instead forces a cool, controller march in her thigh-high leather boots and heels out onto the center of a dark stone stage set around a pool running red with blood! All holo-prop or illusionary spell work, of course, but the effect matched her Hollywood-FX tier approach! She cracks her whip and dances some of her own eye's holo-light across the surface of the orb as she pretends to strike and berate the camera itself!
"KNEEL, SLAVES! How lucky you are to bear witness to the final ascension of the TRUE GODDESSES OF DARKNESS, THE FURIES! You will watch your UNDERWORLD EMPRESS bleed out the unworthy false lords of the Asylum, and you will lavish great praise unto her as she reigns triumphant!" She performs a standing high kick and pauses a moment before bringing her foot down in a controlled push, forcing the camera to the ground so that it must point up the full length of her to focus on her face! She's grinning maniacally! "Know this, worshippers! Declaration of Violence will hold two great edicts! Our promise to you to deliver the best of the Crown! Get your tickets now, for well begun is half done!" Promo work is promo work! "... and know that "The Deathless" will be changing their title! Fuuuhahahahahahahaha!"
She lets the camera man bring the camera back up as she steps to one side of the font of blood, casting her scepter to the ground for a dramatic shatter! With one hand she snaps her whip like a pro! With the other she brandishes her trademark finger-knives! "DEATHLESS! WE ARE GOING TO CUT..."
Doomykins fucked around with this message at Nov 13, 2018 around 02:38
|# ? Nov 13, 2018 02:33|
PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music
Philadelphia - May 2, 2259 - Axel's Gym
Being woken up by Emma isn't exactly what she was expecting, but rather than let the moment die so easily, she seizes the opportunity to visit Axel and offers to make breakfast for them, stealing a quick kiss as she bolts out of bed to get started. She had gotten used to living alone, so she abashedly tries to tidy up her space while Emma helps her make a passable, healthy huevos rancheros - she was desperately out of practice cooking for others. Taking a quick shower, she packs a gym bag in case the opportunity arises, and dresses in a pair of fading jean shorts and white tee, tossing a black sweatshirt over it and reigning in her hair with a straight-billed "Hecho en Mexico" cap.
"Don't be a perv, JD," Roxie says matter-of-factly, "Emma-80, meet the Jersey Daredevil, the most recent in a long line to think they could beat me on a bike," she revs an imaginary throttle as if to punctuate her victory, "JD, this is Emma-80, the eighty stands for kilometers outside of your league, but if you're addicted to losing, I'm sure she'd oblige you," she grins mischievously, "you actually here to try out, or is getting beat your summer job?"
Philadelphia - After May 2 - A promo with Vivi
The camera pans the short distance to bring Roxie's face into frame to finish Vivi's sentence, "...YOUR HEARTS OUT!", her Catrina makeup stark in the studio lighting, catching the once bright, but dying flowers twined into her hair.
The camera pans back to reveal the rest of her outfit; a loose, roughly woven black shawl top, finger bones dangling from the hem, with the silhouettes of more finger bones underneath against her curvaceous shape. Another loose piece of rough woven fabric around her waist is fastened by two gripping skeletal hands, like missing lovers, and a piece of hempen rope. Her skin is painted darkly with finely done skeletal details down her sternum, her shoulders and arm, and down her legs ending in bare feet, a perfect likeness of a feral calaca, save one small detail. Her mechanical arm is painted bone white, becoming ruddy brown and red as it reaches her hand...
... where she grips a seemingly beating heart, still oozing blood slickly down the machine surface.
Her voice is ashes, "RISE, brothers and sisters, open the door to heaven or hell. I envy you, you who sits at the crossroads; close your eyes, and lock your jaws, come with us! Xolotl will guard your bones, the earth has laid claim," her unaugmented hand rises with a pristine silvered knife balanced in her palm, "HEEDLESS, our opponents believe themselves immune, their fires grown cold, but we will bring them that which others have denied them! And when they beg for MERCY, we will give them the only true mercy," with suddenness that should really surprise no one at this point, Roxie's hand carries the dagger point forward into the lens of the camera, a long angle up the point along her perfectly toned arm, hovering an impossible distance from the glass surface, "With icy cold fingers, we'll worm into their chests, one by one, and pluck their HEARTS clean," she takes an immense bite of the organ in her metal hand, blood rushing vitally down her chest, "for not even a King is above death's call."
Her smile is visceral, coated in fresh blood, "This is our declaration," her tongue draws sensually across her lips, smearing red, "no one get's out alive."
The camera pans to another angle to showcase Vivi and Roxie's outfits, and poses, twin engines of death, before cutting to black.
As soon as the shoot is done, Roxie drops the act immediately to face Vivi like a nervous niñita, "Was that demasiado, Vi?"
Mortify fucked around with this message at Nov 13, 2018 around 06:41
|# ? Nov 13, 2018 05:42|
|# ? Nov 14, 2018 07:36|
Minhua's text gets a quick response.
Thanks. Better get ready. We're not stopping.
Kate shows up a little later than most, having had to take the bus to get to Axel's place. She's wearing a comfortable Sangreal hoodie against the breeze, a holdover from her earlier years as a fangirl, with the jeans and steel-toed boots from the promo against La Familia. Upon entering the place, apart from a few quick greetings, she locates and heads straight for the big man himself.
"Hey, Axel," she says with a gentle smile, "I just wanted to thank you for your wellwishes on the card. It means a lot to me that you and everyone else were so supportive."
|# ? Nov 13, 2018 09:39|