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Nemo wasn't too surprised by Raiya's sudden entrance into his domain, given the muffled scream he overheard seconds before in the other room. But regardless, he still wasn't prepared for the immediate confrontation. Nemo nearly spilled his coffee all over his robe and seat when she grabbed him. Nemo gently set down his drink on a stand next to him before any damage could be done and paused his western movie. He raised his hands up in fake surrender. "I assure you Raiya, I haven't the slightest clue on the Crux gang's misfortunes or how I've apparently caused them. The past few months I've been here. So how about you calm down and tell me what's going on here, If you keep sparking like that you might short circuit some of the delicate electronics I have in here. They're antiques." He replied, feeling a small shock.
"Yeah... that was me, but that second part is odd, because that's exactly what I thought about you when I heard you skipped town and expected to still remain top dog in a city you aren't even present in. Now that my friend, is a bit bold of you. Che palle, Mamushi! Che palle! Frankly I was a bit insulted. I heard the whole incident was a bit embarrassin' too, one guy walks in and makes you bend the knee huh? How do you think that makes me feel? Certainly ain't scared." The voice paused for another brief chuckle.

"I suppose I should introduce myself though. You're probably more familiar with my cousin Vincenzo, leader of the New York branch of the Giarciano gang, second biggest gang in town. But the truth is that ole' Vin just hasn't been tough enough with ya Mamushi. That's why I'm here now, Gianni Giarciano, The Don, capo dei capi." Gianni paused for a couple moments before continuing.

"Giarciano gang been number two for too long, but that's soon to change. Let me tell you how this is gonna go amore mio, you're gonna tell your stand in back there to pack all your shit up, and take a fuckin' hike. 'Cause you're all done in this city Mamushi. Boom, it's over. Your territory, mine. Your operations, mine. See where this is going yet? Hell, if any of your boys want a job I'm fuckin' hirin' here. Otherwise you all can fuck off with your tail tucked and find a new shit-hole to run. Got it?"

Gianni suddenly added on before Raiya could get a response in. "Because let me tell you what's going to happen if you don't. What went down at the pier is just gonna be a little appetizer for what's to come. Me and my boys are gonna run a train on you junkies. Crux gang ain't got the muscle any more, especially when I have all my homeland assets in town with me as well. You're outnumbered, you aren't even here to lead your own gang, I'll squash every last one of you tattooed greaser rats until there ain't one left. And I even hope you show up yourself so I can cave your skull in myself with my bare hands like I did your buddies at the pier. You aren't the first magi I've tangled with."

"I'll give you until midnight, tomorrow, to give me an answer. Otherwise there's gonna be bodies in the street." Gianni finished after a short pause and then hung up.
While watching his movie, Nemo was stirred from his concentration by the racket going on outside his room. He leaned to the side and grabbed the vintage looking remote control that paired to his television and paused the western. The silence allowed him to better eavesdrop on the conversation. After pulling his blanket to the side Nemo stood up with his coffee cup in hand and walked to the door. He unlocked it and peered outside, taking a sip as he looked around. By this point Raiya had ended the call and entered her room. I guess that explains Miss Grumpy. He thought before closing the door, forgoing locking it and returning back to his movie.




After a few moments a voice emitted from Raiya's manadial. "I presume you've already gotten most of the bad news?" The man sounded rather young, probably in his mid thirties. His voice sounded confident and condescending, with a slight accent to it. It was definitely Italian, but he had clearly worked hard to minimize it. "Well... I hate to break it to ya, but that's only the half of it amore mio." He added with a slight chuckle.
Nemo took a bite out of one of his cookies as Raiya began her response. His somewhat upbeat demeanor rapidly began to sputter out as she spoke. His chewing stopped altogether as she started the second half of her mocking response, leaving him with a blank deadpan expression after he swallowed. It made him look sad in comparison with the mood he just had. His cheek impulsively twitched once when she finished. Nemo remained silent as Raiya left the kitchen. After a brief silence he finally spoke quietly, clearly to himself. "...I'm not annoying."

Nemo took a sip of his coffee and left the kitchen. He briefly observed Raiya in the living room watching her show and took note of her hostility levels towards him being above the norm today. "I'll be in my room if you need me, Raiya." He commented with a less chipper soft tone while rolling his fingers on a backrest of a nearby chair. He then turned and left.

Nemo walked upstairs slowly and entered his room. He popped another cookie in his mouth and then closed the door behind him and locked it. Despite the lack of excitement for him in the last few months, Nemo had clearly kept himself busy. He had totally renovated his room, however since he was the only one to enter his room nobody would have noticed yet. He seemed to have a mish-mash of retro technology and Victorian-era or funky-style furniture in his room mainly.

Nemo set his plate and drink down on a end table and walked over to the window, now dressed in flashy tyrian purple velvet fringe curtains. He pulled a small silver chain, causing a grey blackout cover to slide down, completely blocking any light from entering the room. Now that the room went from dark to pitch black, the only person who could still see in it was Nemo. He pulled the curtains closed to hide the cover and then walked over to his own television set. It was a medium sized metallic-grey and black colored retro set clearly dating back to the 80's, next to it sat a silver-grey VCR. Both were positioned on top of a wooden stand with two small cupboard doors. He opened them, revealing a large VHS movie collection inside. A good 85% of the movies inside were either old western's or horror movies. Nemo removed one from it's resting spot and took the tape out and fed it to the machine.

Nemo turned on the television, which sprung to life rather quickly as if it was glad to still be functioning. It only softly lit up some of the room, keeping the rest dark. He walked over to an ornate Victorian-era loveseat and sat down. The piece had a vintage looking floral pattern, which gave it a sort of grandma style kind of look to it. At his feet there was a expensive looking Persian rug, and at the top of his seat rested a colorful Navajo blanket. He pulled the heavy thing down and covered himself with it as the movie started. The movie he picked was "My Name Is Nobody", an old western. He picked up his small plate again with his coffee cup and cookies and sipped and munched idly as the movie played, careful not to spill or get crumbs anywhere.



Nemo moved from the living room to the kitchen, holding a small plate with a ornate coffee cup in it. Among his usual accessories, he wore his pink robe with a pair of heather grey sweatpants, a vintage looking white t-shirt with a large faded yellow smiley face decal on it, and a pair of house slippers and white crew socks.

"Hello there Raiya." Nemo commented, taking a sip of his coffee. "Fixing yourself a bite to eat, I take it?" He added as he swung open a pantry door with a flick of his finger and a basic spell. He reached up and pulled out a box of small German cookies. He grabbed a handful and placed them on his small plate before returning the box.

For the most part Nemo had remained reclusive in his room for the three month break. With no fighting to do he only conversed intermittently with the group. This was especially true for Raiya, who still seemed to be upset with him.
Nemo looked down at first, seeming somewhat apologetic. "I'm sorry Raiya..." He said, before clarifying on what he was sorry for. "I ran out of explosives, I just couldn't fit it into the performance. It was a really great spell though." He finished. "You shouldn't move marionettes with your hands Raiya, it's just improper form." Nemo continued. "Also that doesn't sound like me at all... but I appreciate the creativity." He added with a quieter tone that before. It was left up into the air if he was joking or not, given his own voice impressions of the rest of characters in his play.

Before Nemo could speak any further on the matter, Felix started to explain his predicament. "It's not like I've ever given up on a task once I've already started it, but I presume that whole leaving for free courtesy doesn't extend to me, does it?" Nemo asked with a slight grin. "Do you have any idea how to release yourself from the curse, or are Raiya and I going to likely remain the muscle for the remainder of this campaign against the four largest magical organizations in the world?"

"Also, I'd like to announce that I really like the word clandestine. It's got a nice ring to it, ya know? Honestly, it isn't used nearly enough."
Nemo raised his hand. "I've got you covered there, buster." He spoke, breaking his standing silence. He got up and positioned himself so that Felix was standing on the opposite side of a big table out in the middle of the room. "Good thing I planned for this in advance." He whispered, likely to himself. Nemo then began to pull various items out from his inventory. He placed what appeared to be some sort of title card on the table made out of folded cardboard with sharpie marker writings. The card read The Big Paragon Adventure by Nemo and Pals.

Nemo removed the card and then pulled up a cardboard backdrop with a crude painting of the docks they begun their mission at drawn on. From behind that he then used his magic to telekinetically raise up five small doofy looking wood marionette replicas of their team, fitted with small scale clothing and faux fur hair. All in all, they were pretty well made.

"Alright, so first we were at the docks, trying to sneak into Seidon's ship." Nemo started, jiggling the string marionettes to make them look like they were doing a sloppy walking animation. "But then, two guys from the dock showed up and were all like. Hey I'm walkin here! You're not gettin' on this ship, badabing." Nemo pulled up two more marionettes, replicas of Logan and Boslan from the docks. He exaggerated Logan's accent greatly.

"So we were all like. We're gettin' on that ship, badaboom. And got into a big fight." Nemo caused the two groups of puppets to collide into a ridiculous looking slap-fight. Eventually the two adversary puppets puppets went limp when he dropped their control sticks, and were dragged "off screen", signalling they had been defeated. A much cleaner representation compared to their actual grisly deaths.

Nemo took the puppets off the table and changed the backdrop to a large cardboard cutout of Seidon's ship. "Afterwards we all snuck onto the ship by hiding out in a shipping container. But apparently our hiding skills weren't as good as we originally thought, and we jumped out of the box and were all like. 'Surprise!'" On cue, Nemo pulled their puppet group out from behind the display. The only change being that Nemo and Raiya were now brandishing small scale katanas. Afterwards he pulled out an apposing group of puppet Seidon, Caspian, Lori, Roy, and the Tao Twins.

"Seidon was all like, Arrrrrgh, get off me ship you scallywag! You're not getting me treasure me hearties, yo ho!." Nemo once again greatly exaggerated Seidon's accent. "And we were like, yeah, we're totally getting that treasure, and you talk with a stupid accent too." The two groups of puppets then got into another slap fight, this one even grander in scale then the one that came before. Nemo began to add comical punching and sword fighting sound effects as the marionettes fought.

First puppet Nemo and Raiya defeated the Tao Twin puppets, and they were dragged off stage. Followed by Roy being slapped into submission by Zuri, Travis, and Zoey. Puppet Travis delivered the death-slap before marionette Roy was removed from the stage. Then puppet Nemo and Raiya defeated Caspian when Nemo swung his replica sword to pop off puppet Caspian's wooden head from his body. It rolled off the table and landed by the couch Raiya was laying on.

Nemo leaned over the cardboard cutout and replaced his small scale sword with a tiny replica of his rifle. "Then I was like, hey Travis, watch this sick ass shot. Bang!" Nemo recited, jerking his puppet to make it look like his rifle had fired when he made the crude sound effect. This apparently killed the puppet Lori, as her puppet body fell limp before being removed from the stage.

"So then only Seidon was left, and he was like, oh no, my crew and stuff, is like super dead, Arrr!" Nemo continued, forgetting to use the fake pirate accent until the end. "Blackbeard used a big magic attack on us, and we all dodged it besides Zoey, and she was like. Ow!" Nemo then flicked his wrist, causing the controlled marionette stick to violently swing around and overhead smash the Zoey puppet onto the table. The force of the impact caused the wooden puppet to explode into pieces that abruptly shrapneled throughout the room, possibly hitting some of the members of the group. "...and then died." Nemo added, confirming her fate if the display wasn't good enough.

"We fought Captain Morgan for a while, but then-" Nemo paused the slap fight, moving in to replace his rifle with a miniature revolver. "I shot him a bunch of times." One would of thought that Nemo would just do some more sound effects, but apparently he had some room for more production value in this performance. The small pistol was actually functional and rigged with blank rounds. He fired five off, causing small blood filled squib explosives placed in the Seidon puppet to go off, making it look as if his body was being riddled with bullets like in an action movie. The whole scene was a surprisingly ridiculous recreation of the act.

Nemo had the puppet Seidon fall to it's wooden knees. "It looked like Captain Kidd was down for the count, but it would be foolish to think it's that easy." The puppet Seidon looked up from his kneeling position. "I may die, but I'll make sure you all die too, so I can kill you all again in the afterlife or whatever too... arrr." Puppet Nemo fired off one more shot from his mini revolver, causing puppet Seidon's head to suddenly explode into a bloody mess. Thankfully most of the fake blood was caught by the cardboard backdrop. Nemo then drug the headless Seidon off the table, causing a morbid blood trail in the process.

Nemo took all the puppets off the table and replaced the backdrop with cardboard ocean waves. Followed by a cardboard cutout of the ship with the group on it. Nemo moved the cardboard ship to make it look like it was floating on the waves, as well as shifting the backdrop to make it look more animated. "Unfortunately, before we sent Davy Jones back to his locker, he unleashed his pet fish against us." Nemo made a few wacky sounding groans to signal the arrival of the kraken. A far cry from the terrifying real deal they had experienced earlier in the day. Suddenly, large cardboard cutouts of the monster's tentacles emerged before behind the waves. They began to repeatedly smack the ship.

"We tried our best, which was basically doing nothing, but the sea was all like, whoosh, whoosh! Whip a whip a doo!" Nemo started, making sound effects for the immense storm they were facing at the time. He whipped the boat all around, even upside down to display their struggle. "And the monsters was all like, bang, bang, BANG!" Nemo added, making sounds every time the tentacles hit the ship. "And sadly, we sunk like a rock." He finished, pulling the boat under the waves and out of view.

Nemo discarded the current props and changed the background to the sandy beach they awoke on. He laid their puppets bodies limply on the table. "Thankfully, we washed up on a beach, and were not eaten whole by the sea-beast." Nemo rose the marionette's controllers up, causing them to spring back to life. The only change in the group was that the Raiya puppet was now missing it's jacket. "We walked into the heart of the jungle, sure that this was the island the paragon rested upon." As the puppets comically jingle walked across the backdrop, Nemo switched the beach out for the jungle with the temple's entrance.

"Finally we reached our destination, which required us to operate an ancient device to open the doors and gain entrance to the paragon's resting place. But, in a wild turn of events, it was revealed that the doors were actually working for the Arcanocracy, and it was one huge ambush." Nemo then revealed puppet Father Galvadon. It was a spitting image of the church member, except for the part where he had replaced his gold mace with an old timey walking cane and gave him a long black curly mustache and top hat. "Myah-hah-hah! It is I, Father Galvadon. I've come to stop you rabble rousers before you give us any more trouble, see?" Nemo perverted his voice so that he sounded like a vintage vaudeville villain.

"I was all like, you guys go on without me and I'll deal with this guy, even though he might kill me because he's super tough and specializes in both my weaknesses. And Raiya was like Yeah, don't care at all, loser-kun."

Nemo paused for a moment, sniffling sadly from his position before continuing. "So I was like... Okay... and then got into a big fight with Galvadon." Nemo explained, sounding audibly depressed. Nemo had the two puppets charge each other slowly and engage into a downtempo low-energy slap fight.

Nemo's "fight" with Galvadon faded off to the side as the remaining group entered the temple. He replaced the backdrop with the inside of the temple. "Travis, Zuri, and Raiya went deep into the catacombs, finding none other than Father Stockton waiting for them inside." Nemo explained, dropping his sad voice. He then revealed puppet Stockton and placed him on the table. For the most part, Stockton looked like his real life counterpart, but with a giant oversized cranium to house his clearly massive brain.

"I wasn't there to hear how the battle started, but I'm pretty sure it went something like this." Nemo coughed slightly to adjust his voice. "Hey guys, it's me, Father Megamind. My brain is the biggest in this whole room, so every move you can make I've already planned for in five different ways. Bow before me, or I'll be forced to use my mind magic against you!" Nemo said in a nasally nerdy voice.

The puppets then collided in another slap fight. But instead of slapping back, the Stockton puppet raised it's hands up to the sides of it's temples. Nemo began to emit humorous electric buzzing sound effects. Apparently this was what "mind magic" sounded like.

"Eventually, thanks to Travis and Zuri, Stockton's mystifying mind magic was disabled. He collapsed to his knees, unable to fight back now that his only offense was taken from him. But before Raiya could deliver the death blow, I returned from my battle with Galvadon, victorious." The Nemo puppet walked back into frame, beaten up and bloodied, clothes ragged and waving his revolver wildly. After reaching Stockton, the marionette Nemo exclaimed "Die!" and point blank shot the church puppet in it's massive head. After the blank round went off, the large head of puppet Stockton sprung a leak, steadily squirting fake blood all over the table. It fell forward and face planted on the stage, continuing the leak until the head had shrunk down to a normal size.

"Apparently this made Raiya-" Nemo moved in, placing stickers on puppet Raiya's face to give her angry eyebrows and an unhappy mouth. "-really mad."

Nemo switched the background to the final throne room of the temple. With puppet skeleton Croft and a mini paragon on the other side. The group approached the artifact, with puppet Travis splitting off and getting closer. "Finally we were met with the object we had come all this way for, but the paragon was in a precarious predicament, so Travis stepped up to nab the artifact." The puppet Travis creeped closer and closer to the gem, finally getting into arms reach. He extended his wooden arm out to grasp the paragon, and as soon as he touched it the skeleton spoke.

"Don-"

Before it could say any more, puppet Travis quickly removed the paragon, causing the skeleton to wheeze and explode into fine dust before it could speak any further. The grey bone powder coated puppet Travis thoroughly.

"And so there we were, standing with our second paragon, victorious in our search. But this victory was short lived, as it turned out that the entire island was actually a fake island generated by the paragon at the request of Captain Croft in his dying moments. And now that Captain Croft, barely alive through the paragon, had perished without his lifeline. The island would perish with him."

Nemo switched the background to include the black hole they had encountered before. "A big scary void hole opened up, slowly sucking us all up as well as the island." Nemo moved the marionettes and jingled them in front of the cardboard anomaly. Nemo began to emit various goofy wails as they were pulled into it.

After changing the background back to the moving waves, Nemo plopped their puppet doubles down into them. "After that ordeal, we returned to the ocean. Thankfully with no sea monster still in sight. Raiya, of course, was panicking. Oh no, we're all going to drown out here in the sea! Ahhhhhh! We're doomed!" Nemo jiggled her puppet rapidly as they cried out in fear.

"Thankfully, I was able to create a raft for us to float on, and then Travis disabled the paragon's manawaves so we could send out a distress signal. That's when you came in Felix." After placing all the puppets into a plastic boat, Nemo brought out "Puppet Felix."

Puppet Felix, in reality, was a fat clown marionette with a small nametag that said "Felix" on it. Either Nemo had ran out of marionettes to use in his performance, or still held some form of grudge against the arch-magi for locking him up in Mamertine for so long. Puppet Felix waddled across the waves slowly, accompanied by bass low tuba noises every step. "Hey guys, it's me, Felix. I've come to rescue you. Step inside my fun portal to return to my magical castle." Nemo supplemented Felix's actual voice with a Barney the Dinosaur like impression. He then honked his clown nose at the end.

Nemo dropped the wood controllers to all the puppets, letting them rest limply on the table. He stepped back and rested down on his comfy chair, satisfied. "And so yeah..." Nemo crossed his arms confidently. "That's pretty much how it happened."
Nemo lifted himself up from his seated position. "Sorry Felix, you missed the battle. Shame, Travis had quite the impressive skirmish with a skeleton too." Nemo commented, hiding his sarcasm the best he could. Nemo flipped his fingers upwards towards Raiya, using a light telekinesis to levitate her up. He caught her just as she reached the apex of the spell and started to fall.

After walking through the portal, Nemo was greeted with the sight of their cabin's living room. However, for Nemo the well illuminated space wasn't all that favorable over the view of the dark seascape. He initially squinted as his eyes slowly adjusted to the light, the brightness truly irritated him to the core. Nemo walked over to the couch and abruptly dropped Raiya onto it's cushy confines, an action entirely lacking the tenderness he had shown to her in the past. It was likely that her harsh words against him earlier had at least temporarily extinguished his camaraderie towards her. "I trust you can take care of yourself from here."

Nemo looked down, seeing his soaked boots. He let out a sigh, pulling them off and returning them to his mana-inventory. Nemo went to work on his body next, smelling awfully like salt-water still. This wasn't the first time he had gotten himself unintentionally soaked, and over the years he had perfected small spells to clean himself in a jiffy. Nemo walked over to the bathroom and stepped inside, closing the door behind him. Within a couple minutes he returned, fully clean and dry, now wearing his plush pink robe, pajamas, slippers, and usual accessories. He sat down on a chair and waited silently.

"Allow me." Nemo replied, lifting his arm up and checking his gold manadial. "Everything seems to be in order now... lovely job, Travis." He complimented. Nemo tapped the dial to bring up a holographic interface. He maneuvered through a couple screens before poking his finger in the air to press one of the incorporeal buttons. A slight beep was made before the device sent a call to Felix back at their base.
Nemo let out a deep sigh of relief when he heard Travis' status update on his firearm. "It'll survive the bath, but I might have to tend to the wood-grain at a later date." Nemo replied. Before he could plan on the matter any further, Raiya brought him back to the more pressing matter.

"We might die, but I doubt the ocean is going to be what claims us. Well, seeing how you do with water, maybe it will get you... but not me." Nemo replied, raising one hand out of the water and speaking a single work incantation. "Mutatio." Immediately the water a few feet away began to stir. It rose up from the sea and began to form into the shape of a basic boat before solidifying into a black unidentifiable substance. After finishing, the makeshift boat plopped down into the water, revealing it was indeed buoyant.

Nemo swam over and heaved himself on board first before pulling the exhausted Raiya in next. Thankfully there was just enough room for everybody. He waited for his other team members to climb in before addressing the group. "Before anybody asks, no, I don't intend to row us back to shore." He announced before turning to Travis. "Felix would have a hard time locating us with this paragon, but Travis here is more than capable of taking care of that problem already, aren't you?" He asked.

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