Geralt of Rivia & Zenkichi Hasegawa
Quarantine Valley- Sector V
Lvl 10 (198/100) +7 EXP -> Lvl 10 (208/100)
Lvl 4 (65/40) +7 EXP -> Lvl 4 (75/240)
Word Count: 1,303 words (Geralt); 2,279 words (Zenkichi)
Kyle took the removal of his Gleaming in stride, cackling with glee at the fight they'd given him. The other Seekers had fared quite well in their own fights as well, and Kyle beckoned them further into the Hermits' hideout, both Phantom and White Wolf giving each other a look along the lines of 'What's up with this guy?' before following him inside.
Once they got into the Hermits' information center, with views all over the city that gave Zenkichi pause (The Administration surely had even better eyes than this, but to see it all at once was outright disturbing) and almost blew Geralt's mind. The Witcher's eyes darted all across the monitors, but most of the places in question he had no frame of reference for. "Hell of a setup you've got here..."
While the two were distracted, Kyle started his explanation, prompted to get right to the thick of things by Goldlewis. They almost missed the name of the drug, but once they realized they'd been left behind in the conversation, paid rapt attention. Blue Evolve, a drug capable of allowing the user to see Chimeras, as well as enhancing the user's physical strength. Zenkichi idly wondered if there was a come-down, and if Hermitonic was a way to get around that side effect. He'd ask once they were done.
With a little more back-and-forth, including Kyle explaining the Hermits' view of Reunion being that of an ally in the cause of protecting the weak within Midgar, the Hermit leader finished by offering a lead on Iron. In the form of a bag that she'd used. Geralt hummed, eyeing the bag. If all else failed, he could likely track her a bit with that.
With the group being dismissed, Zenkichi came up to Kyle with a question. "Hey. I was wondering if you could tell me a little more about that Blue Evolve stuff. Does it have, like, a high or a crash? I was talking with a guy about that Hermitonic stuff before we came round, and it got me wondering where you came up with the idea for that stuff."
Kyle shook his head when asked about Blue Evolve. "Nah, that stuff's just a straight power-up against the chimeras. Don't know the science behind it, and don't care. It lets us do what we have to." When Zenkichi mentioned Hermitonic, his holographic face smiled. "Oh, that? Just a little harmless grifting. After people see the insane price, hearin' about an exclusive membership to get it for cheap drives 'em crazy. Gotta be on the 'in' crowd, y'know?"
He received a chuckle in response. "Heh, sure. All the Hermitonic you want for a measly 10 Z apiece. Just don't ask what's in it. Go nuts."
Well, that was easy. "Thanks, Kyle."
Zenkichi gave in response, though he definitely was not about to think any more on what was in that stuff.
Joining back with the others, he mentioned what he'd been told, adding on that he wondered if the Hermits were being taken advantage of, or if Reunion was genuinely just trying to help. He wasn't 100% sure himself, but part of him doubted it was just idle kindness. "Just seems too good to be true."
"Then it probably is." Geralt cynically added, making Zenkichi sigh and nod. "Yeah, probably. Just wish people would be a little more willing to help each other out, I guess."
Geralt grunted in response, nodding with him.
When Sandalphon asked if anybody had a way to track Iron, and Goldlewis gave his half-sarcastic response, Geralt piped up. "Actually, you kept one on hand." Gesturing for the bag, he closed his eyes, lifted it to his face and took a long, slow breath, trying to get the scent in his head. It reminded him vaguely of the perfumes Yennefer wore. Not that the scents themselves were similar, but in their intensity and complexity. After a few moments, he caught it in the air. "This way," He told the others, and started following the scent. Goldlewis came along, while the others went their own ways, searching the rooftops in case they could find other leads, enemies to collect Spirits from, or salvage such as the freighter that Sandalphon pointed out while they were on their way.
Hal and Sandalphon's warning regarding the red matter came just before Geralt reached the area they called out, and he nodded to himself, quickly casting the Sign of Quen to shield himself before investigating. Signs of a fight immediately stood out to him: the blood, some locks of hair, and a broken vial of a blue substance that Geralt immediately figured as Blue Evolve. Crouching to investigate the drug, he dipped his fingers into it before thinking to himself. If that red matter was a Chimera nearby, he and Goldlewis were sitting ducks. Disgusting as it was, he put his fingers into his mouth and quickly sucked the drug off of them. He shivered a moment as the reality of what he was doing set in on him, before taking his hand away and shaking his head. "Not how I expected today to go, but...Fuck!"
Interrupted by a lance being thrust his way, Geralt barely had time to pivot to the side, the Chimera's weapon skidding along his chest and scraping against the magical shield Quen gave. "Chimera!" He yelled, both to Goldlewis and to Sandalphon and Hal on overwatch, before drawing his silver sword. There was still a bit of Blue Evolve on the ground that Goldlewis could take if he was so inclined, as gross as it was. Quickly stepping towards it and drawing the Sign of Yrden, Geralt placed an Area Trap down, hoping it would reveal and slow the otherworldly monster as it did wraiths and spectres.
Boosted by the Blue Evolve, Ydren did its trick, even against the otherworldly Chimera. Fragments of purple magic clung to the creature, revealing it slightly more and slowing its movements. The little amount of Blue Evolve Geralt had consumed still left it somewhat fuzzy, even with the magic's effect on it. The Witcher charged in as Laius attempted to heft its shield sluggishly, but it was too slow to prevent the first cut from the silver sword slicing into the monster's torso. The large Chimera attempted to retaliate with a sweeping slash of its lance, but Geralt pivoted around its shield arm, the slowing of Yrden giving him just enough time to escape unscathed. "Now!" He called to the Secretary of Defense, cutting at the Chimera with a rising slash while Goldlewis attacked, having also taken the drug that was left on the rooftop.
He followed up with a series of quick slashes to its back while Goldlewis had the Chimera's attention, before the Yrden trap fizzled out and the Laius lashed out at Geralt with a swing of its shield. The creature was still somewhat slow even without the trap, but the difference was enough to catch the Witcher ever so slightly off guard, and he caught the shield on an armored arm, grunting as it weakened the Quen shield. This Chimera didn't seem terribly tough, though without the Blue Evolve the pair would have had a much tougher time even finding it, let alone fighting the thing.
Still, the two-on-one fight was more than in their favor, and after a hearty pummeling from Goldlewis and a vicious stab through the torso from Geralt's silver sword, the Chimera slumped slightly before dissolving into ash and leaving its Spirit behind. Taking it, Geralt looked at the blood on the ground that had originally caught his attention. "Looks like Iron had a run-in with something. We'll have to keep following the scent, but best to let the others know what we found."
Zenkichi chose to investigate the lower area, between the clustered-up buildings, that Sandalphon had warned about not having sight into. In his Phantom Thief attire, he kept a watchful eye out and his ears open as he looked around, before the sounds of crying caught his attention.
It didn't take Zenkichi long to track down the source of the weeping. After a couple small drops down into the shadowy street, he zeroed in on a handful of rusty old metal oil drums sitting in a corner. Though the culprit had tried to hide himself there, he'd compensated for the less-than-stellar spot by hunkering down and covering his eyes as if to block out whatever scared him snow. Plus, his sniffles and intermittent cries would've given him away to any monsters on the prowl around here. Not that Zenkichi had seen anything just yet; in fact, this strange recess seemed unnaturally quiet, without any trace of aberrations or Others, but its ominous atmosphere made him wary. "Agh!" the young boy yelped at the sound of footsteps, ducking his head. "G-get away!""Whoa, hey, relax! I'm just looking around, not gonna hurt you or anything, kid!"
Memories of a very unsuccessful attempt at reassuring a lost child prompted a quick change of strategy, and Zenkichi crouched a bit to bring himself closer to eye level. "Are you alright?"
The sound of a human voice seemed to calm the child, and when he looked up to see a normal -if weirdly dressed- human standing before him, his relief was palpable. "Y-you found me," he quavered, his cheeks wet with tears. "Thank you, thank you. Are you a Hermit? Either way, you have to help, please. There's a ghost!" He stood and stared at Zenkichi with pleading eyes. "My name is Aurele. I'm usually studying, but my brother Verut, and our friend Lovi, whenever they want to play hide-and-seek, I always end up tagging along. We came out to play, but we ended up hearing this ghostly voice. Verut and Lovi wanted to track it down, even though I said it was a bad idea. We ended up falling down here, and...there's ghosts down here! When the big one spooked them, Verut and Lovi disappeared! I ran as fast as I could, but I can't get out of here. You have to save the others. I've heard that the Hermits can fight ghosts. Please!""Uh, yeah, I'm working with the Hermits. Not, like, technically one, but I'm friends with them. Your buddies disappeared, that's not good. Don't worry, though, I'm a cop from Midgar. My name's Zenkichi. Came down here to help you guys out, since everybody else ignores this place. I'll find your friends, promise!"
Admitting his being a cop was probably not the best idea, but Aurele was too excited and anxious to scrutinize that further. "So, where were you playing hide and seek? I'll start there."
"I'll show you, Mr Zenkichi." Aurele said, pointing down the street. "You'll keep me safe, right?""Of course, Aurele! I won't let anything hurt you."
Zenkichi promised, starting to walk in the direction Aurele pointed. As they walked, Zenkichi could catch glimpses out of his corner of the eye of a shadowy figure, though he never got enough of a look to quite see exactly what they looked like. He kept his hands at his waist, ready to draw his revolvers if needed, but they made it to the end of the street without issue.
Scattered around the end of the street in piles were couches, tables, chairs, all sorts of furniture that one would find in any random person's home. As a chill went down Zenkichi's spine, two creatures
, Nya'gai, appeared in front of Zenkichi and Aurele, staring at the young boy. Zenkichi's eyes narrowed at the appearance of the strange and ominous children, but before he could say anything, they stepped to the side, and from the darkness appeared Lady Nya'gai
. As she came into view, the strange, haunting melody vanished, her singing ending and her eyes opening to a horrific gaze. Zenkichi found his point of view suddenly shifted, and a quick inspection of himself revealed why: he'd been transformed into one of the Nya'gai!
Whirling around, he saw that Aurele had transformed into one of the creatures, as well, and he turned back on Lady Nya'gai. "What did you do to us?!"
He demanded, angrily. Lady Nyagai only looked at him, confusion in her gaze at first, and then anger as she pointed angrily at him and commanded the other Nya'gai to attack. Cursing in frustration, Zenkichi reached for his revolvers, only to blink in confusion as nothing appeared. Whatever she did to transform him, his weapons were all gone. As an umbrella crashed into his back, Zenkichi turned to see the five Nya'gai attacking, scowling. "No way am I getting beat up by a bunch of little girls! Valjean!"
Zenkichi cried, a sigh of relief escaping when his Persona heeded his call. "Rakukaja!"
As the defense boost bolstered his small body, Zenkichi became a veritable juggernaut against the...ghostly little girls.
Frankly, their umbrella smacks barely hurt before, and likely only because of his transformation. With magic protecting him, Zenkichi felt almost nothing as he caught one umbrella in his hands, pitifully wrestling it out of his assailant's hands with superior skill, and tried to throw it out of the fight, only for it to land a measely ten feet away.
Okay, new strategy: fight the Lady. Ducking out of the way of a couple of swings, Zenkichi pointed at Lady Nya'gai and called for Valjean to unleash Megido, the magical explosion dealing a serious amount of damage to the frail brainwasher. Lady Nya'gai recoiled in pain before pointing at one of her little minions, stealing its life force while the Nya'gai slumped over, drained to the point of collapse, but not quite death. "Wow, Lady, that's just...cruel."
Quickly grappling with another of the Nya'gai minions and stealing its umbrella, Zenkichi shoved the thing over to the side and ran at Lady Nya'gai, two-handing the umbrella and whacking her ineffectually about the head and body. The other Nya'gai ran in to do the same to Zenkichi, but he called on Valjean to hit Lady Nya'gai, and only her, with a Megido. Leaving her on the edge of the blast radius to not hurt the other Nya'gai, which he recognized as brainwashed victims, meant the attack didn't hit as hard as it could, but the Lady's frailty meant she had to drain another Nya'Gai, though this time she took everything, killing the thrall."How dare you!"
Zenkichi shouted, Fury burning through his veins, and he could feel his tiny body getting stronger as each swing of the umbrella came easier and more quickly, little blasts of energy crashing into Lady Nya'gai. She cried out for the Nya'gai to take Zenkichi down, but a call for a final Megido to crash into the group sealed their fates, Lady Nya'gai fading into ash along with one of the other Nya'gai, the only thing left behind a couple of Spirits.
Aurele and Zenkichi found themselves transformed back into their original bodies, and despair wormed its way into Zenkichi's heart when the other remaining Nya'gai, including the heavily weakened one off to the side, just...stood there. One looked at him vacantly, before turning to stare at a nearby wall, eyes empty. "Oh..."
Zenkichi muttered, turning to look at Aurele, who was starting to piece things together. "I'm so sorry, kid..."
he managed to get out, walking over to Aurele and putting his hand on his shoulder. "I'm gonna try to see if I can find your friends, still, okay? Can you get back to Sector V on your own?"
He asked, quickly trying to try and salvage what he could from the situation. He wasn't sure if Aurele realized what had happened to his friends, yet, but the boy nodded.
"Uh, yeah, I can get back. I'll run home and...wait for them, I guess? I...thank you for saving me from that thing..." Aurele shuddered as he thanked Zenkichi, who nodded. "Of course, Aurele. Of course. Run home, and don't look back. I'm gonna take care of this here, alright?"
When Aurele nodded and started running, Zenkichi stood up, running his head over his face and saying. "Damn...damn monster."
Looking at the Spirits left behind, Zenkichi sighed and collected them, looking around at the miscellaneous junk that had piled up, presumably from Lady Nya'gai's victims. Rifling through the leftover belongings, Zenkichi morosely pocketed some things that looked valuable, and a few that looked sentimental, wondering where they came from. Who they came from. Then he turned around, looking at the lost and dazed Nya'gai that remained.
The sound of three gunshots rang out, and Zenkichi left Nya'gai street alone, carrying an even heavier weight than he entered with. "Halo, Wolf here. I checked out the lower levels. Encountered a...I don't know what the hell that was. Ghost. Thing. It's dealt with. Keep an eye out on that kid that's running back to Sector V, will you?"
His voice was slower, more deliberate than she was likely used to. "Where are we rendezvousing at?"