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Penelope's Interview

Three weeks ago

Collab with @Tuujaimaa

Autumn Lily

Autumn fingered the trigger as she drew closer to the shade, but it evaporated into the fog. Nothing and no one. A shuddering breath escaped her lips, but the sound of someone quickly crossing the battlefield drew her aim. The sound paused, a shadow came into sight as a flame suddenly bloomed off to her right, while the shadow continued moving away and to the left of her. The fire would outline her against the fog clearly visible from where he would arrive. Hell she might already by visible. Autumn took her opportunity and fired once, trying to predict his movement so as to catch him with the slug in mid air.
Autumn Lily

Hearing the commotion, Autumn didn't hop down from the tree immediately as planned, though she still went through the process of loading the shotgun slugs. She couldn't tell exactly what he had done to the earlier tree, but she somehow doubted it had fallen. Not enough noise. Reaching inward to her aura and her semblance, she activated the second image she had placed. Autumn fell slightly, having to catch herself with one hand as her other arm went out with Twice Shy to steady herself. It made a bit of noise, but Autumn had already planned on making more.

Hopping down from the tree, the sound of leaves crunching followed her landing, followed by a small scraping noise as she stood up. Autumn leveled the shotgun in front of her, twisting it slightly to make the reflex sight run parallel with her line of sight. She advanced slowly forward, happy to be in an area she was used to traversing. Her teenage years spent in forests meant she barely had to glance at the ground to avoid making noise.

The fog was playing tricks on her, dark shapes drawing her eye only for it to be a particularly dense area of water vapor. Finally something came into view and only clarified as she got closer.
Autumn Lily

A small shattering sound happened behind Autumn, followed swiftly by the crack of a gun. The sounds urged Autumn to run a bit faster as she glanced over her shoulder. Noir wasn't visible on either side of the tree, so he was making some other sort of play. Three steps later another sound was made, crumbling and shattering of. . . One of the pillars maybe? It sounded higher up then the first sound. He had made a plan it seemed. The roar of flames behind Autumn caught her attention, immediately worrying that her cover was going to be torched, but what drew her eyes instead was the icy storm above her.

A blast of heat radiated through it, and the air readily carried mist onto the battlefield. A favorable wind carried the mist further in front of Autumn, and it helped clarify Noir's intentions with this play. Noir wanted Autumn to have a hard time attacking from the ranges she preferred. It was a small blow to his own capabilities at range in exchange for a large blow to her capabilities.

Autumn could use her semblance to scout, drawing near him before blinking back to an image and shooting at an approximation of where he was, but that trick would only work once or twice. It cost her more in aura to attempt the trick then it would cost him to block two shots and figure it out.

There was another option though, she could-

Autumn leveled her gun on the tree, center mass, and fired. The gunshot was followed by the crackling of ice this time, and groans of protesting wood. Large shards of ice stuck out of the wood, taller than Autumn was, but decently fragile. Autumn quickly jumped up onto a relatively level shard, her foot slipping slightly before she caught herself and pushed off again. The shard detached with the second impact. Landing on a branch she couldn't reach before, Autumn made quick work of climbing up to the highest point of the tree that still gave her a good view of the ground. A golden aura radiated off her skin as she put an image in this vantage point.

Then Autumn simply hopped down, landing with a roll as she clicked Once Bitten over to its Twice shy form. Quickly she slid two shotgun slugs into the dual barrels, before paying close attention to what was happening around her.
Autumn Lily

The gunshot had shaken Autumn amply, making it hard to think for a split second after. Noir had blocked the bullet with his gun, and looked like he was thinking about how to approach the situation. He decided to try to close the distance to the first image, accelerating much faster than Autumn could.

Autumn quickly stuck her middle and pointer fingers into the side of her left hip dust pouch, feeling around for a quarter-second before pulling out a cool blue ball of gunpowder. She did something similar with her pinky and ring finger to grab a bullet from the pouch nearer the middle before dropping both into the gun's muzzle; the former then the latter

Before Autumn could exactly realize what Noir was doing, he jumped into the air, weapon primed.

That looks dangerous She thought, considering the best approach momentarily.

Autumn hopped down from the tree at an angle, putting the large tree's trunk between the two of them, as she tried to create more distance. She hadn't put the gun onto her back, but instead pressed it against her chest, creating an uncomfortable landing. On touchdown, she reminded herself that she couldn't get too far from her first image, but since Noir didn't know that he would have to remain wary of that image.

Maybe it was just Autumn's imagination, but she thought she heard booing from the crowd.
Autumn Lily

The young purple haired woman was ever so glad that her intuition had been right: Noir hadn't started moving until Autumn had finished loading her gun. Watching him position his weapon, she prepared for an attack and found two. He shot, the crack of the bullet prompting an instant response from Autumn. Autumn disappeared, an after image left on the branch as she appeared directly in Noir's path. The second attack was him moving quickly forward, trying to close the distance. Autumn fired her gun soon after arrival, a gigantic boom filling the air. A beat passed, with Noir doubtlessly covering yards in seconds but Autumn disappeared before he started winding up any sort of melee attack.

Noir's bullet had moved past its mark in the mean time, which meant Autumn had taken up her roost again, preparing to physically jump backwards to create more distance between them. A giggle escaped Autumn's lips, an anxious response. Autumn whistled again, this time two distinct sounds. A cat call.
Autumn Lily

A small amount of Aura became visible around Noir for a split second, as he made sudden nonthreatening movements. She couldn't quite read his face from here, able to gather the big stuff but not the subtler movements. Noir said something Autumn couldn't quite hear, before offering some starting words. A good one. She felt the words in her mouth, the boredom there. Simultaneous to that thought, Noir said "Ladies first?" Slowly, Autumn got her weapon off her back, palming a bullet and gunpowder packet out of two patches before dropping them into the top of her gun. Anxiety was still rubbing the back of her mind raw, but it was smothered by preparation. Idly, she wondered if he actually could figure out why her gun was muzzle loaded by the end of the fight. Quickly now, she turned around and ran towards the nearest tree-only ten feet back. A golden image of her running form lingered behind, frozen in time.

Autumn was confident that the plan would work, but she wasn't confident in her own execution of said plan. A foot from the tree, she did a slightly aura enhanced jump, kicking off the front of the tree slightly with one foot to land on a branch. Turning around, she raised the gun and watched closely what he had done in the interim. From what she'd seen, his capabilities at range didn't come close to matching her own. It's unfortunate for you, Autumn thought, that the fight will be mostly me fleeing.

On a whim Autumn whistled, a single loud note.
Autumn Lily

A small anxious noise escaped Autumn's mouth as she placed her foot onto the slightly elevated platform at the center of the arena. Lifting herself up, she was all too aware of her body. Her hands were shaking a little bit, and she was reflexively clenching them into fists, before forcing herself to unclench them (only to forget and clench her hands into fists again) in anticipation of the imminent fight. Blinking her eyes a couple times, they finally focused on the opponent across from her. Noir was decently tall, but most people were tall to Autumn. She had seen him earlier in the tournament, he was built well, and oh god where was his bird? She craned her neck, scanning the sky but seeing nothing. Was it not allowed to fight with him? The announcers said something about the bird, and Autumn caught the tail end of it.

"-Without his familiar for this fight, though he is still the expected winner," A pained expression crossed Autumn's face momentarily. All she had to do was hit him, she reminded herself. All she had to do was hit Noir. Hit him with Once Bitten, and the fight would assuredly be over. No way he could take a single shot, right? Twitching slightly, she felt the weight of the gun on her back all the more now. Her eyes traced his form, trying her best to gather information about his mood. Slumped slightly, his eyes narrowing whenever the crowd got particularly loud. Had he just woken up? Was he just not taking the imminent sparring seriously?

The scoreboard suddenly lit up with new information, drawing Autumn's gaze immediately. A slot machine's "reel" effect displayed different possible terrains for their battlefield: grasslands, mountains, jungle, all wizzed by. Slowly the two reels locked into place. A light density forest and. . . A frozen lake with pillars of ice? The scraping of metal against metal, of gears turning, met Autumn's ears. She jumped a little, glancing backward as the battlefield began to make itself. Rising from where the large metal slabs had once been was a patchwork of greenery and ice. Giant columns of ice rose into the sky first, coming to uncomfortable points, while tree's of half their height followed soon after. An unfriendly alliance between the two was found halfway between Autumn and Noir, sharp turns allowing an icy spear to form in the forested area, and a large tree to form with icy roots.

A countdown was visible on the scoreboard suddenly, and Autumn met eyes with Noir for the first time, eyes and resolve hardening.
Autumn Lily


Everyone started moving, strained towards different things together. Hermes closed his eyes, listening to the bustle around him momentarily, before opening them again. "I can save people" He thought idly, reminding himself of his own abilities. He walked forward, activating his communicator as he did so to ask for the ones in danger furthest from their meeting spot. At the response, he disappeared. Darkness enveloped him, and it felt more dire now. Amazing, the last thing he wanted, to be alone with his thoughts. His power didn't work differently because of that though, instead it continued depriving him of senses.

The nearest medical tent is only around thirty seconds of darkness away at least. After I finish this group I'll just have to see who else is available. Probably far enough to torture me with this nothingness. That's my luck after all. I wonder how many will actually die here. Christ, actually—I don't want to know.

He tried not to actively think about the fact he could die here as well.

I guess my main goal here is to lower that casualty statistic as much as possible, same as the others.

A strong wind was blowing against him, making him stumble a bit as he appeared on the road in front of an unstable building, the right side sloping off into rubble. He asked for a more specific location, and teleported again. The bedroom he appeared in was in ruins, the ceiling having caved in a bit. Picking his way carefully through the room, he opened the walk-in closet door to find two people hiding. They looked confused and scared, one of them holding a bloody arm. "I can help you get medical attention safely." He said, offering two outstretched hands. He didn't know what they expected when they grabbed it, but they were both plunged into a senseless darkness. Forty or so seconds of absolutely nothing, not able to move or whisper or scream.

Hermes appeared near the middle of the improvised medical tents, two people falling backwards from him the second they appeared. He spent a bit of time making sure someone gave them medical attention before teleporting back to that apartment building. Walking around the building, it took him a bit to spot a small flag sticking out of a window. He teleported into a kitchen, where a young woman was laying on the floor, hand bloodied. Hermes approached her, crouching down as he noticed she was unconscious. He reached forward and felt for a pulse. There was still a strong beating, she could be saved. He moved his hand to her shoulder, and appeared again among the medical tents. There was a red stain beneath where he had appeared previously, though they had moved the people.

A medic ran up of their own accord this time, letting Hermes leave immediately. The apartment building was in front of him again. He looked at a specific window, and asked his power to appear a bit in front of it. He pushed. The room was more damaged than he expected. He went to step forward but something stopped him. Looking down, he saw a mesh of treated iron leaving his chest, the kind used to support the floor above.

A searing pain met Hermes senses, burning away any rational thought. He teleported back to the medical camp after a beat, collapsing onto the ground. He couldn't move his arms, they felt too heavy. A warm darkness enveloped his mind.
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