Recent Statuses

5 mos ago
Current Don't forget how rough it is
10 mos ago
What are you talking about? The birds totally don't flap their wings at 2fps if you're more than five feet away...
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11 mos ago
Let's try again with less typos. Pls check out RP:…
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11 mos ago
I definitely didn't make a massive, incomprehensibly bad typo while advertising an RP... no, no, I'm a GOOD writer... I'll just be crying over there.
11 mos ago
We have people. But would could have more!…


Facts about me:
1. I like writing.
2. I like cats.
3. I like RWBY. (#Yangbestgril)
4. I am 29 years old.
5. I have graduated college.
6. I'm trying to get better at drawing.
7. I'm a dude.
8. I eat far too much cheese.
9. I watched a Markiplier video once. Now I have a crippling Taki addiction. Don't send help, just more Takis.

Various, relevant links:

Most Recent Posts


Wolf couldn't say he was terribly surprised by Zephyr's response. With the way he acted, all that was missing was a timer ticking down atop his head until the day came he made the wrong person mad and retribution was brought down upon him. Then again, sometimes the most successful people were also the worst people. Perhaps karma would remain blind to him for a long time yet.

"It's fine..." Wolf replied to Melissa, quite used to screaming and shouting -- especially from a woman. He considered asking how he could help, but she seemed to have that part under control at least. He recognized her, though only vaguely. He knew she was on the student council, specifically part of the disciplinary committee.

Unsurprisingly, Zephyr seemed above discipline. Money, power, and an all but, if not total, total disregard for authority made for a difficult to touch combo. All the more reason Wolf wanted nothing to do with him.

"Not your first time dealing with him I imagine." Wolf said to Melissa. "He's pretty much infamous for this, yet nothing seems to change. I get why you'd be frustrated."

Desert · Morning · [&.vietmyke]Desert · Morning · @vietmyke

Weiyuan lifted his head, though he wasn't sure why. Obviously it was because he'd woken up, but why? Normally one could guess at why they'd woken up, but he was drawing a blank.

He was also... aware he was still in the desert. Had they gotten lost? Stuck? He looked around and it seemed they hadn't moved at all. Had it not even been a day?! Why was he waking up? The last time he could recall waking up twice in a row was all the way back after his throat injury.

Suddenly his head snapped around. He thought he'd felt something. It was faint, but it was... sort've there. Somewhere? He couldn't see anything, but he'd definitely felt it. He pulled his jackets hood back, but no amount of additional peripheral vision was unveiling whatever it was.

He realized quickly enough it was coming from the ground. Was something under it? On a whim, he used his banding, as if he was about to manipulate the sand beneath him, but then... didn't. He could feel it subtly shifting even under his control as the tremors passed through it.

It didn't really tell him anything new, except for perhaps one important detail: the direction it was coming from. It was headed toward them, or more specifically, it seemed like it was moving toward Jin. It was just as well that he could tell the man was awake as well. He was also the one with the gun in case this meant trouble, so that was... good?

Not really taking the time to see what Jin and Sumire were up to, he hurried over, knowing full well he was about to appear quite insane. He waved to get Jin's attention before pointing in the direction he felt the tremors coming from.

Something coming, he mouthed, repeatedly if needed, until Jin got the idea. He didn't even bother trying to whisper, already feeling how dry his throat was. It was only his first time interacting with the man, let alone trying to communicate with him. He had no idea what to expect.

He glanced about, hoping perhaps Chu Hua was awake as well. He wondered if she'd listen to him if Jin didn't, but... could he truly say he knew her any better? With no evidence to back up his words, would she be more inclined to listen just because he asked her to?

Was there even anything to be worried about, or was he just jumping at shadows? Or, worse, what if it was all in his head?

He could still feel it; he wanted to believe he hadn't cracked any worse than he already was. Whatever it was, they'd all find out soon enough he supposed.

??? · |@Exit] & |@KillamriX88] Collaboration??? · @Exit & @KillamriX88 Collaboration
Chae opened their eyes to find themselves in what looked like a metal box or a holding cell of some kind. Fluorescent bulbs in the ceiling basked the room in a harsh white light. Chae was in a metal chair, that was quite uncomfortable, and was seated in front of a metal table. Her wrists were cuffed although the cuffs were not connected by a chain. Sitting across from her was a man in uniform. He wore light complexion, dark eyes and muddy brown hair that was pushed to one side. On the table in front of him was a manilla folder that was unmarked.

”Can I get you anything? Water? Some food? You’ve been out for a while.”
Chae-Won slowly looked around the room, getting her bearings. Yeah, this made a lot more sense. She looked back at the man sitting across from her and stretched before relaxing into the chair as best she could.

"Oh, yeah. Thanks, that'd be great. Oh, while you're at it, can I get a hot towel and a massage? Maybe some new boots so I can put my foot up your ass?"

This was going to be unpleasant for her, she was sure. Might as well make it suck for him too if she could.
Nelu snorted and his mouth twisted into an amused smile. ”Right then. Straight to it.” He nodded. ”Let’s just start off with some particulars about what’s going on here so we’re both on the same page.” He gestured at Chae. ”You’re a Bender and as a Bender, you have no rights. You’re scheduled for execution. However, due to your… unique bending, we’ve put that on hold. Now, I’m here to ask you some questions but before we start. Obviously you can’t bend in here and even if you could…” He tapped the metal table. ”This is all platinum. Alright? And no, this isn’t some trick. You’re not cuffed. The bands are just stopping you from bending but they’re not doing anything else. You can get up and move around if you’d like. Stretch. I don’t care.”
Chae-Won stared back quietly for a moment as she considered her options. She really wasn’t tied down it seemed.

Her first imagining was herself jumping up, grabbing her chair, and smashing it into the man’s head. She took a deep breath and buried those urges for now. Even if it worked, which was a big if, so what? Instead of being locked in a box with an asshole, she’d be locked in a box with an unconscious asshole.

And also back on the execution block, most likely.

“You know, I knew all that, but it’s still funny to hear someone like you say it so serious-like.” She rolled her eyes. “And I really don’t care how expensive your table is.” She was vaguely aware that platinum was important for resisting benders, but she wasn’t sure what it had to do with her. Oh, wait, was it because of metal bending? She’d never even tried that, let alone seen it in action. She considered herself lucky that she knew it existed.

Then again, apparently her glassbending was even more special. At least according to this guy.

“Anyway, funny man, go ahead. Ask. I can’t stop you.” She really wished she could, though. “Keep making me laugh and I might even answer.”
”Why’d you stay behind?”
“Dropping buildings on assholes like you gets me off. Next.”
The light in Nelu’s eyes shifted. Brightened. ”So that was intentional.” He said, raising a brow. ”Even with what was going down that day, it would take some amount of know how to do what you did. A lot of practice I assume which… even then there isn’t much material out there to learn from. Self taught?”
“I had my ways. But yeah, not a lot of teachers to go around. So, you know, congrats on that one.” Chae-Won crossed her arms indignantly. “Take the cuffs off and I’ll show you a few more tricks I know.”
Amusement and some slight surprise found Nelu’s expression once more. ”We were actually going to get to that but you know what… I’m okay with skipping to the good stuff.” Nelu pushed the chair back a bit and stood up. ”We tried to make sure you were well rested before we got to anything physical. We had some of our doctors look at your injuries and made sure your accommodations were as comfortable as possible. You look and sound like you had some rest. At least I hope you did. How was the Duster Hotel?”

When Chae-won blinked next, the room around her changed. She found herself standing in a much larger room than before. The ceiling above her was impossibly high and the room itself incredibly wide. The walls were again made of metal as were the ceiling and floors. Light filtered in from a skylight. In front of her was a block of dirt about as tall as she and twice as wide, a peculiar looking black rock that stood to just above her ankle and a pane of glass that was as tall and wide as she was and was fixed to a wooden frame that was standing up. Nelu was now at the other end of the room some fifty yards away. The objects in the center between them both. Chae also noticed that her wrists were no longer cuffed.

”I hear it’s quite nice.” He yelled out to her.
Chae-Won stumbled a little, disoriented by the sudden change in scenery. She rubbed her wrists, as she noticed she’d been let loose.

“All right, then…” She took a deep breath. “If you survive this, you’ll have to explain to me how you keep doing that,” she called back to him. Until just now, she’d been starting to think the Duster Hotel had been a hallucination of some sort, but now… now she wasn’t going to even bother trying to guess.

She began walking forward, running her hand across the pane of glass as she did.

“I’m sure you have some sort of plan, but… I really don’t have a reason to be gentle, so what happens, happens.” She knew the odds were probably horribly skewed against her in some way, but she had a lot of anger to let out right now.
She stomped down, only for the “rock” to… jiggle a little. She figured the boost to her bending must have worn off, but even so, that was just ridiculous. Nothing else felt wrong, though, so perhaps it was the rock and not her.

Well now she was even more pissed off.

“. . . fuck it.” She instead stabbed her hand into the block of dirt, and when she pulled it out, she’d gathered a fistful of gravel, leaving the softer earth behind. She then wound up almost like pitching a ball, and hurled the rocks at him. With her bending, it was more akin to a shotgun blast of stone flying at his face.
Nelu moved almost too quickly, as if he had a read on the attack before it’d been sent. He’d ducked low and darted to the side, keeping toward Chae’s left and maintaining his distance while moving out of the way. 25 yards was not much, but there was enough space in between the two that any one else wouldn’t have been able to maintain control over the individual grains. The spread remained small enough that much of the force behind the throw was preserved and the impact against the wall was surprisingly effective. Nelu smiled.

In the middle of him stepping away, the round metallic device he was holding left his hand and as a second appeared from behind him, joining the first in an orbit around his person. He was making no obvious bending motions. ”Very nice!”

With a wide swing of his arm, one of the balls left its orbit and flew directly at Chae aiming for her wrist. It was moving about as fast as Chae's initial attack.
Chae-Won had no idea what the balls were, but she wanted no part of them. Maybe they were just his way of mimicking earth bending for the sake of the duel, or maybe they were zappy. Logic dictated that they probably wouldn’t affect her bending, as then what would be the point of this duel, but why take chances?

She didn’t have time for anything fancy as one flew at her so she did her best to side-step it.

With those things buzzing around, this would be annoying. She needed a moment.

She threw herself at the block of dirt, destabilizing it as she came into contact and sinking herself into it. When she was done, she found herself in a little pocket within it, doing her best to solidify it around her again. It had worked in the desert, hadn’t it?

She just hoped those metal balls weren’t strong enough to punch through.

What was even the point of this? Clearly this guy had some sort of interest in her. She thought back to the start of the conversation. He had clearly suspected she could bend metal, or at least had been prepared in case she could. She was an earthbender with knowledge of glassbending, so no doubt they were wary of her capabilities. They couldn’t know what she did and didn’t know, though by now he clearly knew she couldn’t metalbend if he’d been paying attention.

Did… he want her to? He actually seemed almost excited every time her capabilities were brought up. Was this some sort of twisted training?

That black lump of stone must have had metal in it. Perhaps it was a big chunk of unrefined ore. She just had no idea where to begin with it. Her bending wasn’t that good, especially now that the boost from the explosion was gone.

For now, metal was out, but she still had a few tricks. She remembered what that boost had felt like, so maybe she wasn’t back to square one exactly.

She slammed her hands against the inside of her earthen cocoon, and the whole thing crumbled to the floor. No longer compacted, she separated out the gravel from the soft dirt and spun it around her like the sandscreen she’d made in the desert… except much more painful to try and walk through.
It was hard, but the more she did it, the easier it got and the faster it spun. She’d never really had cause to push herself this hard in the past. Flashy shit like this was no go when you were trying to hide.

Today, she wasn’t hiding.

“Let’s try this again…” she muttered to herself. Her next move was to separate off a cluster of the spinning rocks and once more blast them at Tarnelu. This time, though, she had a lot more ammo in reserve to follow up.
...That’s more like it…

Nelu’s smile widened as he looked upon Chae’s work, recognizing a hint of the technique she had used the other day. Although much smaller given the limited amount of dirt, and made entirely of small pebbles and gravel as opposed to sand, the power behind the attack was the same; her movements identical. A temporary boost in power from an explosion was no excuse for the skill involved in such a technique.

Again, as if too early, Nelu moved to the right, easily dodging the first of the volley of rocks. Before she could correct the rest of the stream, the metal ball that had been hovering above her head looped down and smacked her wrist, momentarily interrupting her. It flew back up into the air again and remained there.

”I’ve already seen that trick.”
Chae-Won hissed in pain as the ball struck her wrist, but in a way it emboldened her. So what if it hurt?. She’d had worse. It would take more than that to stop her.

The swirling stones began to wobble and drop, as she was interrupted, but she quickly spun, reaching out with her other hand to regather them and pulled them all toward her palm. She collected them between both hands and took a breath.

She’d done this before. She didn’t have to hide. This wasn’t the kid.

She could hurt him.

Once more she blasted the rocks at the man, but she fully put her anger into it. She fired them all at once, in a wide cone. He’d have to move real fast if he wanted to dodge them all this time. And this time she followed them, breaking into a run.

Even if some of the rocks hit, they’d have to hit something really important for them to put him down. No, she’d need to get closer and stop spraying gravel at random to do that. As she ran, she tried to keep an eye out for the metal spheres. She wanted to be ready this time.
The attack was wide. Too wide. The cone spread so quickly and moved so fast that even with his early detection, dodging would be difficult. A dive had the potential to clear it but even then there would be risk for a follow up attack and he’d be too unbalanced to properly react. His options were slim.

The ball still orbiting him swung into position in front of his chest and suddenly burst, rapidly filling his side of the room in white steam. The released pressure was enough to repel the rocks back toward Chae and would have swept the room faster than she could react. She was thrown to the ground. Behind her, the rocks peppered the wall and broke the glass pane.

Although initially nearly scalding, the water vapor in the room quickly cooled until it was almost refreshing.

”That’s precision. Power… control, Chae-won. Noone should be this capable and yet here you are, forcing me to defend myself… and we’re not even in an open field.”

The water in the air and on the ground began to collect, drawing toward each other and to Nelu like the branches of a river. It snaked around him and climbed into the air, spinning into an ice ball that was hovering in front of him. ”No one gets this good by themselves so who taught you? Your father?... Your mother?”
Yep. There it was. The odds were well and truly stacked.

“Actually…” Chae-Won groaned as she slowly sat up. “It was your mother.” She pushed herself back to her feet and rolled her neck. “Or what, were you hoping I’d give someone up?” She chuckled darkly. “Sure. Why not? Want my home address? Or should I tell you where they’re buried?”

“Now come on. You’re putting me to sleep.” Of course he was a bender too. She’d have been disappointed if he wasn’t a hypocrite on top of everything else. A water bender this time? “You’re a bender too, right? Entertain me.” She stomped down on the ground hard, sending out a light tremor. All the scattered rocks from before leapt up and returned to begin swirling around her once again.

Maybe this was going nowhere, but she wasn’t going to be satisfied until she made him bleed.

”How about this…” The ball of ice began to rapidly melt and the released water began to spin around him. ”...You hit me just once, and I’ll tell you how I’m doing that ‘thing’. I’ll tell you about the ‘hotel’. ” The revolving water became a perfectly shaped orb that provided cover from all sides. ”You’re going to need a little more than a few rocks to get past this!” He yelled over the sound of water cutting the air. The speed of its rotation increased though it was hard to tell exactly how fast it was going what with how smooth the surface of the sphere was. Nelu stood in the center, waiting.
She fired a few stones at the shield, only to frown as they bounced off harmlessly. She knew she couldn’t just power through it the way she had against the air shield in the desert. Water had a lot more substance to it and would just grind anything she threw at it to dust.

Well, if he was just gonna sit there and wait…

She shut her eyes even as the rocks continued to orbit her, taking a deep breath to try and calm herself. Seconds ticked by, until finally she opened her eyes again. She fired off two more rocks, watching as they again deflected off the barrier of spinning water.

The swirling stones then dropped to the floor as she cut her control over them.

She took another deep breath, gathering her focus. All the rock and dirt from the collapsed block began to gather to her, forming into a large sphere before her. The sphere then contracted as she compacted it. Even then, it still stood about head-height before her, obscuring Nelu’s view of her.

A moment later she kicked it, sending it careening toward Nelu and his shield of water. However, right before it could collide with the shield, it came to a dead stop. A second passed, then another and another with it just sitting there… and then it began to spin.

On the other side, Chae-Won had dug her fingers into it and spun it, using her bending to increase the speed dramatically. It began to careen off sideways, finally allowing Nelu and Chae-Won to see each other again, but before it could get too far, Chae-Won swung it back into the shield.

The two spherical objects collided, seemingly to no avail… but then Nelu might realize part of her plan. The earthen sphere was rotating counter to his shield. She was trying to slow it down.

The next part of her plan was far simpler and more obvious. She cocked her other arm back and then smashed her fist against the shield. In any other situation, a simple punch would have been deflected, and even in the best case scenario, the flesh would have been flayed from her knuckles, if she didn’t just lose half her hand.

However, her arm up to just below her shoulder had been coated in a dark material. She’d found a way to bend, albeit crudely, the metallic rock.

Even so, the shield resisted her. Her own strength was nowhere near enough to break through. It was only her bending the material around her arm then held it in place and kept the hard coating from being eaten away by the surging water.

She could see plainly the gap between their skills. She could have been getting soaked as the water sprayed around her arm, but any loose droplets just got quickly absorbed back into the shield by his precise bending. Her own earthen sphere was already slowing to a halt, only its sheer bulk doing anything to slow the speeding waters, and even that was rapidly being eroded away.

But she was stubborn and, as her sphere was worn away, it just meant she could refocus her efforts onto her arm.

Finally, her fist broke through… but could come nowhere near close enough to reach the man within.
It wasn’t until Chae had warped the metal rock around her hand and arm that he began showing any interest. Once the black material had pierced his shield, his eyes lit up and a smile spread across his lips that was less amused and more… enthused.


There it was in all its glory, protruding through the stream of water in defiance. A show of Earthbending he hadn’t seen in a long time. He wondered if his former teammate would have been as excited to see it as he was. Unfortunately for Chae, the victory was short lived as fighting against the quickly spinning orb was draining them of their strength. Shortly after breaking Nelu’s defense, Chae’s attack was repelled.
As her earthen sphere was worn down and cast aside, the surging water finally overwhelmed her, pushing her away and sending her tumbling.

She rolled to a knee and looked back up at the man, panting, one arm hanging limp, held imobile by the stiff, heavy armor she’d coated it in. Her fist, however, had now unclenched ever so slightly.

There was one place the surging waters did not cover. Directly at his feet where he had to stand. A place that should have been safe, as she could not bend it or reach it past the shield. Or at least, she shouldn’t have been able to.

Technically, she hadn’t. The object she’d dropped had.

. . . Moments Earlier. . .

Chae-Won shut her eyes. If he was just going to stand there and let her think, she’d take it. She knew nothing in her current repertoire could break through that shield, not with the limited resources given to her here. That chunk of ore or whatever it was could probably withstand it, but she couldn’t metalbend! . . . right?

She recalled the sight of him turning steam to ice and back to water again. It was like her glassbending, just bending two forms of one material. Except, it wasn’t really. Glass had undergone a permanent, chemical change from sand. It had been a huge pain to grasp that, but it was still earth.

Metal… wasn’t that. It came from the earth, but wasn’t earth. Yet… somehow it could be bent. Yet… not all of it. Why couldn’t platinum be bent? What was so important? Why had he left her that shiny, block rock like she could use it? What was the difference?

Maybe it was simple. Earth could be bent, metal couldn’t. A platinum table, or those cuffs, must’ve been refined to a level of purity that made it beyond her reach. A raw chunk like that? There must have been earth still within it, or even other types of more processed metal.

Metal came from the earth, and within it, earth must still remain.

If it was earth, it would answer her. She just had to make it listen. Just like glass, she would make it obey her.

She used some of her rocks to gauge the direction the shield spun, watching the direction they deflected off of it. She then dropped her own “shield” and focused, gathering all the earth at her disposal into one, large boulder-like sphere. As she sent it at Nelu, she called upon the metallic rock behind her. She found it, in between the metal, the earth; the impurities that she could actually manipulate.

At first, she wasn’t sure what she was doing here. What was the point of all this? Now she knew. The kid was out there, somewhere, and these people found her of enough interest to keep her around. As long as she was still there, someday she’d have a chance. Wherever he was in this world, she’d find her way back to him…

… and make them regret letting her evolve this much.

. . . Now. . .

She swung her free arm up, and a glistening shard rocketed toward his chin.
Nelu sensed it only a second before it happened: An upward thrust entreated on something he wasn’t yet aware of. He looked down as Chae’s arm went up, just in time to catch a glint of something on the ground. There, near where his barrier met with the floor, was a piece of glass.

The small warning was the only reason why he didn’t end up with glass in his mouth. He leaned left, just as the edge of the shard was about to cut his jawbone. It flew past his ear and severed a strand of hair on his head before striking the interior of the barrier and ricocheting off of it. Immediately all the water in the room stopped. The orb. Any water on the ground. The mist in the air. Chae.

The orb was peeled open from the front and Nelu stepped through, holding a piece of glass in his and staring at it as if he were studying the thing. As he left the orb and it collapsed behind him, he turned to Chae, his smile looking as though it was on the verge of breaking into laughter.

That... was impressive.” He began. He moved closer to the woman and knelt down by her frozen figure. ”So not only do we have a Glassbender, we also have a Metalbender. Well… Kind of.” Nelu looked at the crudely shaped gauntlet Chae had made. It wasn’t perfect by any measure, but the fact that they were able to command the material to take any shape at all was impressive in itself. The implications were huge and the danger even more so.

He stood up again and dropped the glass on the floor. ”I don’t have any more questions.” He said, almost sounding as if he were happy about it. ”I actually have a date I’m looking forward to and I need to get going. I don’t want to keep them waiting. But… a deal is a deal. You didhit me so I owe you an explanation.”

”The uh… the hotel… the Duster Hotel”... Again, a strange sense of exhaustion came over Chae. Their eyelids became heavy and Nelu’s voice became warbled and hard to understand. ”It’s not a place.” Chae heard before blacking out.
Chae-Won awakens, lying on her back on a rather soft, comfortable mattress. Above her, a plain gray, cement like ceiling stares back. On all sides, plain gray walls. To the right is a stained wooden door that is slightly ajar and past it, white bathroom tiles are visible with a white fuzzy floor mat lying on top. To the left is a window with white sheen curtains drawn and outside, clear blue skies. The sounds of birds chirping can be heard. Past the foot of the bed and against the wall is a stained wood dresser about five feet tall and mounted to the wall is a large monitor. On top of the dresser is a remote with no buttons or markings, a small plant in a white pot and a small black pebble.

The room continues around the corner although what is down there is not currently visible.

There is a nightstand next to the bed, and on it is a tall asymmetrical cuboidal shaped lamp, a free floating digital time display, and a pen and notepad. 'Duster Hotel' is written at the top of the notepad. However, the 'T' on word 'Duster' is capitalized and looks like it's been slightly moved so that it is no longer aligned with the rest of the letters.

The bed itself is neatly made, beneath Chae, with two white pillows at the top and gray sheets tucked nearly perfectly underneath her. On the floor next to the bed is a pair of fuzzy gray slippers.


Wolf had to pause.

He should have just ignored all this. It wasn't his problem. He wasn't involved. It would be bad if he got involved; really bad. He still couldn't shake the memory of what had happened the night before -- what he'd done.

There was no reason for him to get involved.

But there was another reason he couldn't shake those memories. Zephyr's indiscriminate acts of violence felt too similar to the individual Wolf had faced the night before. If he'd felt it right to stop one, why not the other? He wanted to say because during the day, there should have been someone else who could deal with Zephyr, and maybe that was true.

Deep down he knew it was just because he didn't want the attention on himself.

Wolf knelt down by the executor, seeing they'd already passed out. Wolf grit his teeth, his mouth moving before he could catch himself, glancing back at Zephyr.

"One day you're going to lash out at the wrong person." Wolf narrowed his eyes at the other boy, but then just turned back away, looking down at the unconscious man. "No one is impressed." He could have said more, and part of him wanted to, but what was the point? He hadn't truly meant to say anything at all, and anything more would be to push his luck... assuming he hadn't already.


Wolf was honestly astonished the school was even open, but then again it was Clausewitz. They let nothing stand in their way. In a way, it explained everything that happened. It really was the kind of place that could push you over the edge.

"This place is going to hell."

It wasn't a surprising statement to hear as he walked through the halls.

"What this time?"

"Zephyr, of course. Two more victims."

"Must be his favorite number. You know, I bet he's responsible for the other night, too! Two girls!"

"No, they actually caught who did that. It wasn't him for once."

"Isn't that even worse!? I mean at least they got the guy, but how many things do we really need to worry about?! They said those girls might not be able to ever come back to school. Y-you don't think-?"

"I'd rather not think about it at all!"

"Did they say how they caught him?"

"That's just it. At first they thought he was another victim. He was all messed up..."

Wolf just kept his head down and kept walking. No doubt the rumor mill would only churn faster and faster as the day wore on. He didn't need to hear it now. He was well aware of Zephyr anyway and always made it a point to steer clear of him. There was no way anything good could come from their paths crossing...

He wasn't too worried, though. While Zephyr had his reputation as a menace, Wolf had his reputation as a bottom-of-the-barrel nobody. There was no reason for them to ever meet.

A Memory? A Dream? / ??? · A Memory? A Dream? / ??? ·
It wasn't technically illegal to leave the city and walk out into the endless, barren sands of the desert, but it was the kind of thing that drew questions. Unless you were a pipe runner, why would anyone ever want to? So one generally found other ways. Those ways shifted over time as the RSF found them, closed them up, and others popped up or were pried back open once the RSF couldn't afford to watch it any more.

There were reasons, after all, however few they were.

Today's reason was the most dangerous of all in a world that actively and aggressively denied the existence of benders.

Weiyuan took a somewhat loose stance. Chae-Won immediately knew he wouldn't even be trying to use regular earth bending any time soon. He would focus on send bending, because he found it easier. Well, it was his loss, then.

"Remember," she said, "no using solid rock to attack. We aren't trying to concuss each other." In case he changed his mind. He nodded. "All right then. Let's go!"

Immediately he swung his arms forward, throwing a wide blast of sand at her. She'd have rolled her eyes if it wasn't for the fact that she'd get sand in them. Instead, she simply parted it, immediately giving away Weiyuan's next move. Their fighters were never anything approaching fair, of course. Most of what he knew had come from her, and she knew all his strategies.

It didn't surprise her that he'd try to close the distance. His control still needed a lot of work and it was hard for him to really attack from range.

As he rushed in, she simply moved ever so slightly aside and called up a pillar of earth below her foot to rapidly drive her knee into his gut, completely cutting his momentum and dropping him to the ground. For a moment, he just lay there, completely stunned and just trying to breathe. She was a little afraid that had been overkill. However, he did recover before she thought to end the fight.

He took a note from her, using the earth to propel his body. He spun himself, swinging his leg up toward her face, throwing up sand as he did. He didn't just kick up a little of it, either, a rather sizeable stream of sand followed his foot, careening toward her face. She had to say it was a good move. She was proud of him.

Anyone else probably would've taken it. Again, however, their fights weren't supposed to be fair.

She stepped back, turning her whole body as she gathered up the attack, spun around, and blasted it back at his chest, slamming him back to the ground and leaving his upper body half-buried by his own sand.

"I think that'd good for this round," Chae-Won told him, holding her hand out. "That was a good try, though."

He spat out some sand, narrowing his eyes at her, but reached out to let her pull him back to his feet.

You said no solid rock... he told her once he was back up.

"Hey. I didn't hit you with it, did I?" she smirked at him. "You know exactly what I meant by that. You're getting better with sand, but you have to get used to all aspects of your bending. If you're gonna keep practicing, you need to know what you're doing. There's no getting away with half-assing it."

He looked away, but nodded. All this was his idea at the end of the day, so she knew he wanted to learn, but she also knew he got frustrated. His actual ability to train was rather sporadic due to his condition, so progress came small spurts at best.

"Don't be too hard on yourself, kid. I'm still learning too," she told him, ruffling his hair, dusting some more sand out of it as she did. "I mean if it wasn't for you, I-..." she cut herself off, swallowing hard. Of course he noticed, tilting his head. "Ah, i-it's nothing. I mean... I just..." She began fidgeting nervously. "I don't suppose you'd believe I wasn't going to say anything, huh?"

He shook his head, You never told me how you first learned.

"I... did not."

Do you not want to?

She flinched, seeing the bit of disappointment in his eyes, but it quickly vanished.

It's OK. You don't have to. He shook his head. I'm happy you're teaching me. That's enough.

"No!" Chae-Won blurted out, gritting her teeth as she got flustered. She ran a hand through her hair, taking a deep breath. "I... I do want to tell you. I don't mind, really, it's just... a lot. Especially when I wasn't really expecting it to come up."

He shrugged, It's fine either way. Not like I'm around that often anyway.

"Hey!" She suddenly grabbed his face in both hands, making him look at her. "None of that, huh?! I don't like you thinking like that!"

Still, he tried to avert his eyes. He grabbed her wrist, but she wasn't letting go. Finally he relented and met her eyes.

"I care about both sides of you, OK? You're not just some wall that only exists to protect your 'other half!' You're... just you. And this is the side of you I met first, remember?" She let her hands fall down to his shoulders. "This is all for you, you know? If not for you... I'd have forgotten all this a long time ago. Someday, I'd have come to regret it, and by then... it would have been too late. So I will tell you all about it, because I want to share it with you, and because you deserve it. OK?"

She could see him struggling to absorb it all, but finally he bit his lip and gave a slight nod.

"And I mean it! I'm not gonna forgive anyone who looks down on you! Including you! Now tell me you understand." She furrowed her brow. Another nod. "Good." She pulled him close, wrapping her arms around him. "It's just you and me, kid..."

Slowly she felt him reciprocate, his arms grasping at her back and face burrowing into her shoulder.

All this was why she had to protect him, and why she had to push him. She never wanted to see him hurt ever again. She needed to know that if, someday, that if she wasn't there... that he'd be OK.


Chae-Won's eyes slowly cracked open. She was... comfortable; happy to stay put for however long she could get away with. Except, her room wasn't that comfortable, a fact she was quickly becoming aware of.

As her mind continued to awaken, she remembered she wasn't supposed to be in her room, but the desert. This was not the desert. She sat up, slowly turning her head left, and then right, taking it in. Were those fuzzy slippers?

". . . what the fuck?"
Cool sheet!


Desert Outpost · Desert Outpost ·
Chae-Won lay on the hot desert sand. Honestly, this was a little too familiar. Why did shit keep exploding around her!? She lifted her head, her adrenaline spiking higher and higher as she took in the horrendous sights and sounds. She quickly rolled over, trying to fight off the feeling of weakness in her concussed body.

"Kid! Come on, we gotta move!" she shouted at Weiyuan who was in a similar position. While Chae-Won was surged with adrenaline, but focusing on what needed to be done, Weiyuan was just absolutely flooded and hyperventilating. He knew, deep down, that he only existed to deal with stressful situations, but this was just too much.

He was almost afraid he'd fracture into yet further pieces if he didn't get a break soon.

"Kid! Get up!" Chae-Won repeated louder, grabbing his shoulder and hauling him up. "O-OK, we gotta buy time! Follow my lead, OK?"

Weiyuan just stared back into her eyes, his whole body shaking. She grabbed him, meeting his gaze.

"Hey, I'm here? I'm right here! Just focus! You know how to do this!"

Weiyuan swallowed, his throat dry and not just because of the arid, desert air. He nodded. It would be fine. As long as he followed Chae-Won it would be fine. His job was to survive. Now he just had to do it.

They could see the rest of the group trying to get their driver on his feet and behind the wheel, so all they had to do was buy time until everyone was ready to go. Hopefully it wouldn't need to be a lot of time.

Chae-Won led him to the side of a vehicle, but not the Kyoshi. Instead, it was the other vehicle just to the left of it. The one whose driver had just eaten a briefcase and wasn't likely to go anywhere, even if its tire hadn't just been blown off. The two knelt down and compressed the sand beneath them, more and more until it almost appeared to solidify into solid stone. They then pulled it all back up, flinging huge chunks up compressed sand into the air. Then, they all burst, throwing massive clouds of sand into the air all at once.

Normally, the sand would have just fallen back to the ground within a few seconds, but it didn't. It seemed to hang unnaturally in the air, and then began to swirl. Faster and faster, higher and higher, around and around until there was a wall of swirling sand spinning around, until it encircled the disabled car and the Kyoshi.

That was part one of Chae-Won's plan done. Now, none of their attackers could see them. The question was would they go for easier to see targets, or hone in one the ones who'd just put on a big show for them?

However, there was a reason she'd centered the sand screen around the other car and not the Kyoshi. If they started firing blindly, they'd be less likely to aim for their escape vehicle. Also...

"OK! Keep it going!" Chae-Won shouted at Weiyuan. There was a brief moment of dumbstruck shock before she suddenly stopped helping him hold up the swirling sands. Immediately the sand slowed, some of it just dumping to the ground, but sheer desperation allowed him to kick it back into gear again, though it was far from perfect. Every few seconds the sand would slow before he could give it another push. Each time, it never quite fully recovered to full strength.

It was clear he could keep it up for only so long all alone.

Chae-Won knew this, which is why she had to put part two of her plan into motion fast. Honestly, there hadn't been a part two at first, but she really needed them to not shoot the Kyoshi. Or worse, there was nothing stopping them from just walking right through the wall of sand to come get them.

Not unless she deterred them a little more.

She threw her arms at the disabled vehicle and the whole thing rocked. It... surprised her. She hadn't expected that much of a reaction to her bending from it. She couldn't worry about that now, though. She just needed one thing from it: the glass. That did react how she expected. The windshield and windows, even the instrument panel gauges, all cracked and shattered. She then pulled back, drawing all the glass to her.

"Alright. Let's see if they're ready for this one," she muttered to herself. She returned to Weiyuan's side, returning her support to the wall, the swirling sands immediately picking up speed again and rising higher. At the same time, the shards of glass flew into the wall, swirling around them and rapidly picking up speed. "OK! Get to the car! I got this!"

Again, he looked at her with worry.

"I'll be right behind you! Now GO!" she urged less gently. He nodded reluctantly, and with a few hesitant steps, dropped his arms and ran to the vehicle, climbing in as soon as he could. The wall of sand didn't slow in the slightest without his help. "OK, motherfuckers..."

Chae-Won furrowed her brow. She knew which direction she'd seen the ones on the ground coming from, even if she couldn't currently see them, nor risk putting a hole in the wall to check. She'd just have to hope for the best.

She changed the movements of her arms, and one by one the shards of glass rocketed out of the wall of sand. Faster and faster like a machinegun, just peppering the area she'd seen the RSF coming from with shards of glass.

Once the wall was emptied of glass, there was naught left to do but join Weiyuan in the vehicle... but she hesitated. The vehicle she'd torn the glass from had been damaged. Shot. The ones on the ground hadn't done it, they hadn't been there yet. The shot had come from the tower.

She glanced at the Kyoshi. Could it take a shot like that? It certainly looked tougher, but did that matter? If it lost a tire, they'd be screwed. They'd never make it through the loose sands a wheel down. Not fast enough at any rate.

But... what could she do about that? Try to keep the wall up from inside the vehicle? She doubted her control was that good. No. Somehow she had to deal with the marksman.

Once she saw the last person climb in, she walked as fast as she could to the vehicle without dropping the wall, shouting in through the nearest open door, "Go on! I'll catch up later!"

Immediately Weiyuan's head snapped around to stare at her in horror. What? Catch up? How was she supposed to catch up to a car!? He immediately scrambled for the door, intending to drag her in if he had to, but she just gave him a sad look. "Just trust me, kid. Have I ever let you down?"

She then kicked the door shut in his face, signaling for them it was time to go.

She also knew that she had to hurry. If they weren't mad at them before, they no doubt were now after she'd just thrown dozens upon dozens of razor sharp shards of glass at them. Accordingly, and in order to drive home that they really needed to leave, she cut the wall in half.

In doing so, she flung half of it in the same direction she'd fired the glass. She was no airbender, so the swirling sands wouldn't last long outside of her direct control, but it had been launched with enough force to at least momentarily buffet their attackers and hopefully slow them down for a moment. After that, she took the remaining sand and spun it as fast as possible, sacrificing width for height.

She then launched that one too, sending the towering, tornado of sand surging toward the tower. She knew she couldn't just walk it there, it would become painfully obvious that someone was standing in the middle of it. She then broke into a sprint, trying to remain as much inside the rushing sand as she could. However, she couldn't keep up with it the whole way, so as it began to outpace her she dropped into a slide, using her bending to propel her through the sand, hoping it would take her the rest of the way.

She had a plan in mind for the tower and the gunman within it...

Desert Outpost · Morning · [&.canaryrose]Desert Outpost · Morning · @canaryrose
Even with their ability to earthbend, walking through the windwhipped desert wasn't exactly pleasant. There was only so much even they could do to make the journey easier, juiced up bending or not. There wasn't much to talk about along the way, especially when one of them wasn't even capable of speaking.

Especially when, as the hours wore on, Chae-Won saw Weiyuan refuse to rest. Resting would mean most likely his other personality taking over again. A personality that had no idea what was going on and, in his mind, that lacked the fortitude to deal with their current situation.

Chae-Won didn't like to admit it, but she was thankful the current Weiyuan was sticking around. She was still anxious about confronting the other one with how things had left off between them. What was worse, this was a very bad time to try and resolve things. There was so much to try and explain.

Once arriving at their first destination, CHae-Won immediately got to work. There was only so much she could do, but after eyeing the vehicles, she at least came up with one thing to keep her busy: make sure she and Weiyuan were placed on the Kyoshi. She was not having it all go to shit now just because they got put on a rustbucket that was about to have its wheels fall off in the middle of the desert.

When fate didn't go their way, some careful manipulating got things back on track for them.

It was not easy, consdiering she had very little to work with, but she made it happen.

"OK, kid. Looks like we got a few people starting to group up. Might be stuck with them for a bit. Wanna go say hi?"

Weiyuan looked over at the Kyoshi and the people begginning to group up around it, and then back at Chae-Won with a stern scowl. Part of him wondered if she'd known who else was assigned to the Kyoshi when she'd been so adamant about them riding on it. There was no denying it was the superior choice, but still...

Chae-Won put a pleasant smile on her face, ignoring the pointed look coming from Weiyuan's baggy eyes, and marched over to the vehicle with him trudging along after her.

"Hey there!" she greeted the two women who'd gotten there before them. "Looks like we're riding with you!" She gave a somehwat nervous laugh, trying to pass it off as her just being friendly. Her facade was crumbling, and the longer she stood near the two the faster it fell apart. "S-so, uhhh, who are you? I-I mean I'm Chae-Won, your names are...?"

They would all hear the sound of Weiyuan's palm smacking against his face in second-hand embarassment. He just stared at her tiredly, simultaneously wishing he could form the words to yell at her and yet happy he had an excuse to stay out of it.

"Oh right! Um, this is my friend Weiyuan! He's also, uhh, gonna ride in the car. Truck? Wh-what would you call it? Ahahaha..." She regularly worked for people who would kill her if she breathed wrong. Why was this so hard!? She was pretty sure she was older than them and everything!

Weiyuan didn't even spare the other two a glance as he continued to just stare at Chae-Won in a mixture of disblief and disappointment. Finally he just pinched the bridge of his nose, massaging his tired eyes and shook his head.

Chae-Won grimaced at that, glancing back at the two women, "OK fine! I'm sorry! I totally know who you two are, I just didn't wanna be that person right now!" she blurted out her shameful admission, face flushed not just from the sun and heat at this point. "Uhh... b-but we really are on the same ride... so... umm... yeah."

Weiyuan, feeling a little bad at this point, nodded that Chae-Won was telling the truth, finally fully acknowledging Kanna and Chu Hua.

"Oh yeah, and Weiyuan can't talk, so don't think he'd being rude or anything." Funnily enough, talking about the kid suddenly had her talking calm and steady again. Again Weiyuan nodded.

In that moment of clarity, Chae-Won noticed the other guy wandering around the modded Kyoshi. He didn't seem like another passenger. One of the drivers, perhaps? Well considering the sate of the other vehicles, it wasn't so hard to believe he'd be curious about something so much nicer. That said, she couldn't quite let her guard all the way down. Anything that might threaten their way out was going to stay firmly on her radar.
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