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    1. Oddsbod 7 yrs ago
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Regularly huffs chili powder.

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Clover and the not-dead MAVERICK agent had rejoined them in time to hear Jaden be seized by the burning compulsion to rap, and Jonas trying in vain to talk over the beatbox-boosted singing.

"--Jonas Lagner, could be faster, think he could ever stand to the G. Had 'im cryin' over his little knee-knee, lil bitch can suck my pee-pee--"

"--scrap him! If he enacts his plan, we lose, end of story--"

"--Because ya'll so lame, I gotta treat this like a game. Only thing ya'll can kill is my vibe--"

"--and you, don't just throw items out willy nilly; for all you know, Jaden could of jacked the damn thing or destroy it just to fuck with us--"

"Mhm," Askin nodded politely, watching and privately enjoying the mess their small run-in with Jaden had turned into.

By the time Jaden vanished in a cloud of smoke, a plan had come together; one group to the tower, one group to face down Oh-One himself.

Askin counted them up like chess pieces, and appreciated Jonas's careful division of forces; between him, Askin, and Otsana, they had the mixed experience and raw versatility to break through the tech of the tower; between the raw power of Brown and Aline and the quick maneuvers of Clover and Isko, they had a combat team that could deal damage and protect its own weak spots.

Otsana flipped the engine on with a warm mechanical purr, running one last check with military efficiency before nodding.

"--hey um sorry about the doctor guy being a bit of a dick, no hard feelings?" Askin said as he backed towards the snowmobile, making a quick hi and bye first with the remarkably intact MAVERICK agent girl with Clover, "--and glad you're not dead! Welcome to the team and all that--"

And then catching up with Brown, "--and hey go kick some ass! Good luck, best wishes, tell me all about it when we're back together--"

The finally drawn back to the snowmobile by Jonas's impatient gaze. All business, as usual, already waiting and ready in the sidecar, while Askin was left to hold on to Otsana, where hopefully his slight weight wouldn't cause much baggage for any fancy maneuvering she might need to execute. He adjusted the goggles she passed him, cinching them tight to the face.

With a brr and a hum and a blast of snow, they were off racing. The tower getting taller, and taller, and even taller. There was a roar overhead; the Justice Rider plane soared ahead, zoning in on another machine titan that had squared up to defend home base. Squinting, Askin thought he saw another figure, a flying woman, zipping around lobbing blue bursts of light at the huge robot.

Then, ahead, more complications; a squabble of drone-bots emerging from the tower's hilt.

"Damn, looks like we gotta deal with this. Askin, pull out Miggy. I'm going to need them soon." Miggy, shoot, which one was Miggy? Askin fingered the bottle he'd named their Reinforcements. One gun out of a dozen, plus ammo chains and explosives and other goodies. Okay, simple enough, just squeeze out a bit, a very precise bit, of the contents. The one named Miggy--

Otsana dragged the vehicle in a sharp drift, just barely avoiding a laser disc. Askin hugged her back tight to keep from flying off, face against shoulders. "Machine gun, now!"

"Oh, I get it! Machine gun, M and G, Miggy--"

Pleased with himself, Askin focused on the bottle; like unscrewing the cap off a shaken bottle of soda, so just a bit of fizz goes shooting out. Big fast shooty gun, please?

A chain of grenades appeared out of thin air; Askin threw a desperate hand out to snatch them before they went flying; second try, the grenades now slung over his shoulder; a massive machine gun, not unlike what you'd mount on a Humvee, appeared in Otsana's lap.

@Savo@Gentlemanvaultboy@redbaron1234@Crosswire@The Ghost Note

Rendezvous with Brown was terse, then boisterous, then challenging, as she popped her arm into place without a second thought then dared anyone with the stones to race her down the hill. Her body radiated steam, and an oddly cozy warmth, so the cold was a little nippier as she took off slogging through snowfalls. "Well, sure! But I have very short legs!" Askin tried calling, shoving through snow after her at a very unimpressive speed.

The others were falling from the sky quickly, efficiently. Clover had already landed, brushing off her parachute like a cobweb, and Isko and Aline straggled behind Brown, Aline over the moon at Brown's feat of near-death.

"Well this is convenient," Otsana remarked. "Usually have to spend a good while getting everyone back together"

"I think it's the team spirit," said Askin, well behind Brown as he struggled over to Otsana. "Before you know it, we'll be so efficient we'll need matching beanies."

Flaming wreckage and pulverized bodies bloom like flowers across the tundra, black and red bruises on the snow. Askin would be glad to put this stretch of hell behind them, but then Clover's voice comes from one of the corpses, "Say, we got a live one!"

"Lets keep moving for now," Jonas called back, carelessly. "If she lives, she lives and can make it to the fight. For now we can't waste any more t-"

And another interruption; the kshk-shks of metal on snow as five--are those CDs?--struck the ground in formation at Jonas's feet. Then there was another person crashing the party; first here, then there, then overthere, reappearing in bursts of smoke as he shouted, exuberantly, with each pop, "Ninja! Ninja! Ninja!" Then, finally settled into

"Well look who it is: Jonas and the Cult of Langer..." He started chuckling, "More like Lagner. Geddit? Because ya'll laggin' behind! I wasn't even gonna show up since I expected you to been have the Power Stone by now, but it seems getting a magic pebble from a tin can is too much work for the great and powerful Jonas Langer so I came here to save you from embarrassing' yourself even further. I know, somehow, that's possible"

"-but if we're lagging," Askin said to himself, "aren't you lagging too since you're here with us, or-"

Jonas broke the CDs with a sweep of his foot and waved off Jaden impatiently, with some biting comments on his music which, Askin privately thought, were not entirely deserved from what he'd listened to.

"Lets get going everyone, the clock is ticking and we need to beat Oh-One's shiny metal ass before he enacts his plan; Clover, again, leave the soldier alone, if they make it, they make it. And since ninja boy seems so keen on talking shit, if he tries anything, sabotage or all that jazz, put him down and return to the fight, though I doubt that'll take much effort to put him down,"

Jonas straightened, like a dog catching a scent. Then, carving through the air, a thin thread of brutal red light cut through the sky; the sound of metal on metal, the sound of fighting. Askin squinted; it looked like there was a fight somewhere way down along the tundra.

"Oh-One," Askin said quietly, mental math tumbling about his skull. "He's away from his tower..."

“So, what’s the plan for when we reach the fight?” Isko asked, tactfully not letting Jaden's showboating or Jonas's grumbling derail them.

With a sweep of Askin's egg-yolk overcoat, a huge wooden coffin appeared out of the thin air; the luggage, and the goodies. Popping open the coffin's side, Askin produced Otsana's snowmobile-with-sidecar. "While the big man's out on the battlefield, we should get a team beelining for the tower, no? How fast can you drive this thing, Otsana?"

They would have ridden to the final battle in comfort and style, easily, theoretically. Isabella with his top-of-the-line Justice Rider™ brand combat jet, or even any of SHINING's jetliners, available instantly should someone say the phrase 'final battle' to one of the studio suits. Less easy was convincing Jonas to spend a few hours in an enclosed metal tube with the Justice Rider camera team; an array of drones and cameras who would be recording everything, at all times. Yes, everything, yes, at all times, and no, it was not negotiable, Jill informed them.

The replacement plane creaked and groaned, and rattled like fingerbones in a tin can. Askin thought of asking where Jonas had gotten it on such short notice, and also will this explode in midair with us inside? before deciding he was happier without that knowledge.

Askin checked his phone, his texts, mentally adding up everyone in the plane with him, everyone with Jill, everyone they'd met chasing down the mad machine Oh-One. Ahead, he could see the little black dots of the MAVERICK planes. Friends, allies, and strangers, all converging on the tower. It would come into sight any second.

"Scenic, isn't it? Askin said, gazing out the window. Strokes of antarctic cloud rushed by; dark, eager waves, untouched canvases of snow and mist, the occasional breakage of coastal rock. "For someone without a heart, the big guy did pick an awfully lovely battleground."

They had just passed onto the Antarctic continent. The tower had come into view like a needle through skin. And it was about then that a thick red line, mind-numbing in its size, its length, was drawn through the sky in a vague diagonal.

Planes whined and screamed where the stroke of the laser passed through them, and they broke like toys. Lobs of metal spun from the sky trailing smoke and fire. Without a chance to react, bodies were yanked through holes in depressurized cabins.

Askin tried to call to someone, anyone, Otsana, Brown, Jonas, Isko, Aline, anyone, but the wind yanked his voice from his lungs.

It was impossible to tell who was who as they fell from the sky, spinning black blurs on the Antarctic gray. If I could get to them in time, if I unload my bottles and store all of us... Askin thought, before correcting himself. They all had parachutes, and preparations, and they were all perfectly capable of something so small as falling from the sky.

So he waited until the ground was nearly up close, ready to meet him. And he disappeared into a little brass bottle. It landed in a mound of snow with a little plff, just within sight of where Brown stood by the cliff and the sea.

He counted, then, when he thought it was safe, Askin emerged from the bottle, popping out of the snow like a whack-a-mole.

"Ah! Brown!" He extracted himself from the waist-high snow, shaking cold slurry from his sunshine-yellow overcoat, waving brightly in the direction of the familiar face just a few hundred feet away. "You alive?"

you thought that was all but i actually have more

He back

I've had to do like a crap-ton of studies of human anatomy and bone structure and all the names of the different bones for art practice lately--I bet I could make a killer skeleton themed nomad.

"Oh. My sincerest apologies, it was to my better knowledge that this was a public event," said the woman.


"I'll grant you the mercy and not assume you'd try and stop this... man from receiving "medical attention", now would you?"


She and her procession were taking up a massive felled oni, apparently to spirit him away. Khan wasn't following the train of thoughts involved in their little party, though he wasn't much interested in trying.

"What are you—Jesus I don't time for this. If you're here to help, or—"

"Weak! Haha!"

From out of the crowd, a body was sent flying, and it hit the ground hard. Human, though Khan couldn't tell if it was a nomad or a normal. The body wasn't moving, so Khan was guessing normal. From where the fallen human had been thrown, an oni emerged from the fighting, grinning. "Humans couldn't give a proper fight to save their—"

When he spotted the metal woman and her captive, he froze, and his face seemed to swell with rage, confusion, and disgust. It seemed like he could see something Khan could not. "Monster! Get your hands off him!"

He lunged, and on instinct, so did Khan, the halo building up in his arms as he intercepted the oni by the legs and sent searing wounds through the life energy in the attacker's hamstrings. Khan and the oni fell to the ground, but in seconds, wincing with pain, the oni was trying to force himself back to his feet, still lunging for the woman.



"Come here! Insolent human!" The Emperor drew in his fist, and the wind rose up with a vindictive howl. Verga was plucked from the ground, the breath forced from her lungs, and the windstorm yanked her straight towards Daichi.

He raised his weapon.

In midair, Verga somersaulted out of control, then straightened. The Emperor was rushing close.

She nearly lost control, again. Like balancing a grain of sand on the tip of a violent-shaking needle—but her body stays upright. Her body burns. The air gouges at her red-raw skin. But, at least, in midair, there was no way for the Emperor make her kneel. Not yet.

For a split second, like a snapping string, Verga could imagine him winning, all his words and gloats and murders adding up to her, beaten, and him, unbowed. There was nothing in the world more unbearable, there was no wound that stabbed deeper. It fought for space inside her head with the poisonous, vindictive delight of wanting to hurt someone, which in the moment was better than love and better than friendship and better than money.

All the weather in the world seemed to bend towards the Emperor's silhouette.

He was on top of her now.

"Come on!"

Into her hands, Verga dragged from out of herself flesh, blood, ki, light, like dredging the depths of a strip mine, and it overflowed burning from between her fingers, and the face of the Emperor was wide and furious, and the mace came down, and Verga came up, and the Time Warp and the Dark Matter and the Antiparticle boiled cruelly through her skin as she brought the cavalcade of attacks up to meet him.

"Oh, hey, we got company," said Askin, knocking his knuckles on Otsana's shoulders. From beyond the bike, down crookedy narrow sidestreet, robots could be seen rushing along the next road over. But after a second, it became clear none would go turning down that sidestreet towards Askin an Otsana. Apparently their loot—hygiene products, electronics, and food, from what Askin glimpsed—was of more importance than the two nomads.


Then, a voice. "Otsy, Klara, Munchkin, where are y'all?"

From the opposite direction came Jonas's tiny approaching figure. "Over here!" called Askin.

By the time Khan reached the stadium, it was in ruins, and the rain was gone. Now, thunderheads the color of a smoker's lung covered up the sky, and in the ruins of what was once an arena, there was a brawl.

hey i'm here
what the fuck what's going on
who's fighting
are you alive?
benny hey

After a few seconds, a reply:

I see you

When Khan found Benny, she was worse for wear, but, looking at the wreckage unspooled all around them, it was clear it could be much worse.

"What happened—what?"

"Jesus, you're a sight. Yeah, okay, so—wait, cover, get behind that wall—"

"Yeah, right— The ground exploded behind them, the source of the attack unclear. Maybe it was an accident.

"I'm thinking that, uh, them, the oni, are the answer to 'what the hell happened here, what the fuck?'"

"Yeah. Thanks for coming."

"You'd better get out of here, I think that street there looks clear—"

Shuffling and crawling, Benny and Khan made their way to the edge of the blast radius.

"Cowards!" Behind them, a mountain of a figure, a mountain of muscle and horns and tattoos, and he hefted a tetsubo rippling with metal studs.

"Keep going, it's cool, keep going," said Khan, as he turned on his butt to face the approaching oni. Benny kept going, after just the slightest hesitation.

"Running is all your kind knows, isn't it? Your fellows are attacked, and you RUN!"

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Benny keep running. The oni spun the tetsubo overhead, and as his eyes moved from Khan to Benny, Khan pounced. Tackling the oni by the knees, something within his hands crackled with the noise of toy bricks and falling trees, and Khan's cirrhosis halo gouged into the oni's invisible life force. The demon stumbled, and he grabbed Khan in a vicious fist as they went tumbling to the ground. A single squeeze, and Khan felt his ribs go weak like jelly. Another squeeze, and one of them popped. Then, before the oni could crush Khan in his hands, Khan threw his bloody hands into the oni's face and, with a word of magic, his blood ignited with dark sorcery, hissing like fire into the attacker's eyes. They tumbled around some more as the oni screamed, and Khan screamed, because the sensation of the boiling eyes was awful and the burning of his own magic was awful and it was just an awful day, all around.

"I'm having a much worse day than you!" Khan shouted, as he and the blinded oni went falling in separate directions. Khan checked his phone: two new messages.

I'm safe
Hurry and get out too.

But now Khan was in the fray, and there were nomads and fighting and no sign of a clean escape. And the, just to make things worse, he looked to his left, and saw a very familiar little group almost right next to where he'd fallen/

"Oh god damnit," he said, to Ivory and her procession.



Faster than Verga would've thought possible, the Emperor spun on his heels and threw out a clothesline of a punch, wide and vicious. His fist and Verga's blue light met in middair, and the resulting blast sent her skidding backwards. She couldn't tell if her attack had hit. Before she could ground herself, before she could counterattack, the Emperor made a gesture, deafening winds came out from the air and surrounded Verga, pulling her off her feet in a screaming vortex of cutting and nicking and buffeting. He's trying to pin me.

As soon as the winds came in, the Emperor made a sign with his other hand, and with a drum-rolling rumble the sky spat out thunderbolt after thunderbolt towards Verga. The first one hit, as did the second one, and by the third Verga had ground her teeth and cleared a blank space in her head—the roar of the wind fought to occupy her every last thought—and a bulb that bent light and air and gravity swelled up around her. The lightning blasts were broken across the barrier into a melt of screaming hot sparks. The barrier wobbled and pulsed. It wouldn't hold for long.

Verga's body was raw from the lightning strikes, like all her muscles had vanished, and her body was holding itself up by the strength of her bones, which felt distinctly like jello. K-RAK. K-RAK. K-RAK. K-RAK The lens was going thinner. Finally, from inside the darkness there was a sound both contrabass-low and bullet-whistle high as the shield shattered, and as it did, as the leftover sparks went scarring over Verga's skin, she hurled out another blade of bright blue time, which emerged with a sudden moan from the heart of the tornado.

The shattering of the shield and the force of the attack was enough to knock Verga free from the tornado on the opposite side, as the time warp went shooting towards the Emperor, mid-bolt. She hit the ground tumbling. Her exposed skin twanged and burned as the dark bruises and angry red tree-shapes scarred into her came in contact with the dusty earth. Digging her fingers into the ground, she forced herself back to her feet.
Very beautiful rp. I might join up. Thinking of ideas and possible character connections.

Hey rad, new person! Would be glad to have you aboard.

The characters right now are split up between different locations, but it'd be easy to have a new character jump in wherever seems most interesting, especially since a lot of the cast don't even know each other yet. The plotline in Germany is a town that's been suffering repeated robot raids, with most of the characters there to collect the reward money offered to whoever can ssolve the mystery and stop the attacks (a big ass mecha-dragon is attacking right now, which's what most of the characters are trying to deal with). The plotline in Japan is the oni clan interrupting a martial arts tournament by destroying the arena, covering Japan in a magic weather barrier to cut it off from the rest of the world, and the oni Emperor declaring himself lord and master of the entire country as vengeance for some unknown human crime. For Japan, everyone's currently in the middle of the arena ruins after a brawl broke out between the oni and the gathered fighters. So, plenty of places to have a character get involved, wherever seems best.
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