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Kaeyara Rigas Lagos-Monterrey

SOLITAIRE SONG (Hail To The Jester Queen & King) || The Inevitable End || The Legend of The Throne || Bottom of The River



Kaeyara spent a majority of their life in Volos, Greece. Their mother and father died when they were young, leaving the then nicknamed 'Rigas' with her grandfather and grandmother. For a time, Rigas, their grandmother Cassia, and their grandfather Acacius, stayed in Volos. Throughout this time, Rigas had an obsession with weaponry of all kinds, but firearms drew her attention the most. Her early teenage years were spent in a hideaway-workshop, building with whatever tech she could get her hands on.
The open source incident was a glorious boon.
It was a wonderful time, a long time...
Long enough for Rigas to turn twenty four, get a 'job' selling and making firearms for whoever had the money to pay, and smuggling for those who had even more, before the Lagos/Monterrey family chose to immigrate to America.
According to her grandparents, there was family in the state of Texas.

Which worked out great for her. A 'small forever' of creating, repairing, and trading in firearms and self defense weapons of all types left Rigas aching for a more... Robust market. They got what they wanted, in a way. The Texan market for firearms was varied and vibrant, with far less restrictions on what could be built- and what could be sold. Rigas no longer had to hide their deals under board, no longer had to lie about what they did for work to their grandparents, and finally had space to utilize a workshop.

What she wasn't expecting was the criminal underbelly. Gangs and cartels wanted more arms, and were willing to pay- Or bully- their way into acquiring what they needed. Sometimes 'no' was not an acceptable answer. It only took the one time that Rigas said no too much, that Cassia was used as an example, and cored a hole into the family with her death. "It is okay, it's not your fault." She had said.
Bullshit.

It was at the age of twenty eight, four years into their lives in America, that Rigas would 'trigger' and express the 'Deviant' genes in their blood. The ability to breathe and control four types of 'storm clouds' was... A surprise to say the least. The neighborhood was never quite the same again.

Acacius 'pulled some strings', and managed to get the two of them moved into Titan's Fall. Or at least, the 'basement city' of Titan's Fall.
They took up residence in The Undercity 'Proper', living on the outskirts closest to Lake Denton, where Rigas took up a few new hobbies:

Becoming the masked assassin-rogue named 'Cassia's Gale', managing the incredible grudge she has against gun and drug smugglers, avoiding a lady by the name of Anais who seems to have some religious shit she wants... There's a couple of hobbies.


Likes:|| O Storms || O Guns || O Bikes || O Elk Antlers || O Dancing

Dislikes:|| X Liars || X Boars || X Religious Fanatics || X Drug and Gun Smuggling || X War

Fears:|| V The Dark || V Crowded Public Spaces || V Liars || V Religious Fanatics

Equipment:




Rigas is in possession of four pieces of cyber-ware, as follows:









DEVIANT POWER: Cyclone's Scream
Shaker 7 // Blaster 6 // Thinker 2
As the first deviant in Kaeyara's family line, they had to figure out their powers on their own. Luckily, both grandparents were more than willing to assist in the experimentation phase Kaeyara went through. Their power is the ability to breathe a gaseous vapor incredibly similar in composition to four distinct forms of weather phenomena. Regardless of form, Rigas' only discovered limit is how long they could draw in their breath for, which seems to impact how long the clouds stay. The current record that they have discovered is a cloud ceiling height of 1.6 kilometers. There appears to be a toll for breathing such a large construct, but Kaeyara has not yet expressed what this toll is.
The four forms of storm that Kaeyara can breathe are as follows: Thunderstorm, Hurricane, Fog, and Blizzard. These exhalations are exactly composed as they sound. These exhalations are also, apparently, capable of being pressurized and stored so long as Kaeyara breathes into the desired container.
Kaeyara is also, somewhat ironically and unsurprisingly, capable of determining the local weather patterns of an area of around 50 miles without difficulty. They seem to be able to predict the weather with up to %92 accuracy. This has been the extent of such senses, that Rigas is aware of.

Physical Description: Kaeyara stands at a solid 5 feet and 8 inches, or 172.72 centimeters. They have what might commonly be referred to as a 'light heavyweight boxer's build', and weighs 168 lbs, or 76.20 kg. She typically wears 'modern combat' style clothing, and sports a stylized skull and crossbones tattoo on the back of her neck. A series of lightning bolt like scars stretch up into their hairline, and stretch down from their throat to their waist, a side-effect of manifesting their deviant powers. Kaeyara's face is described as 'fierce' and 'intense'. From her angular features, and predisposition for scowling, they do not paint the most approachable visage.

Full Name: Kaeyara Rigas Lagos-Monterrey
Aliases: Gun-babe, Cassia's Gale, Foggy
Gender: Female/Non-Binary
Nationality, Ethnicity: Greek-American, Greek/African-American
Hair: Black-brown, pulled into cornrows on the left side, the right-side and back are buzz cut short, with the rest cut 'short' and left wild and curly.
Eyes: Hetero-chromatic; the left eye is a steel-gray, while the other is a muddy brown.
Hometown: Volos, Greece
Affiliations: The Undercity Rogues
Face Claim: (unnamed) - Dawn Carlos

Plate Five, Undercity Ceiling




Ah. The target approached. Rapidly gaining speed and distance, like a meteor searing through heaven.
Time had passed enough for it to understand itself, call itself 'Anara'. A-9. It watched, silent and thoughtful, as mana poured in from the very air around it, the [SUN-SERPENT] burned her way closer.
She would try to kill it. Try. It had existed longer than her, longer than the thread of [love-confusion-Fear-motherwaskeepingthis?!].

Ah. Time. That silly thing that those with [SAPIENCE] understood better than Anara understood [MIND]. It was slowly coming to understand it, thinking it over and turning it around in thought and experimentation. There was a before that could never change, a 'now' that changed endlessly from one instant to the next, and an after that would never be known until the 'now'.
How interesting.

Heat was starting to enclose on Anara, and it returned its limited focus to the fore. [PERCEPTION] was so slow, incredibly slow. A wonderful benefit of understanding the [MIND] was changing how it [perceived] the world. The astralshape of the sun-serpent was here, looming over Anara as a gout of flame began to rush forth. [HEAT AND FIRE AND DESPERATION] burned on it's surface. Fuel.
Ah. So this is what the drones felt when they absorbed something? Emotions rushing in like water down a drain. Hungry for more.
Time became more concrete, and Anara suffered in the heat, accepted the burning hellfire that blazed towards it. Converted the [DETERMINATION-FOCUS-killkillkillitnow] into fuel.

A new thought sparked, and Anara stared its' death in the face. Looked past a maw of screaming inferno, gazed past the astral miasma that was whipped up in a storm of [hAzE].
Locked eye to eyes with a human, championed by [The Blaze of The Sun]. Across a distance that could only be crossed by those with the learned, built, or intrinsic talent.
Anara felt nothing, but then, a small trickle of personal emotion.
Sadness. Pity. Loathing. Curiosity.

The fire wrapped Anara whole, coming so close to ending its' existence entirely...
He shifted. Gaze becoming baleful as a [CURSE] lanced through the mana-scape. Seared into the eyes of the astral form in front of it.
"I am Anara, I have lived for two hundred and eighty four human years. I spite thee, o'blazing snake. May the light of your fire wound your eyes. May the warmth of the sun sour upon your flesh. May your sight fail you when you need it most."
Mana shifted with his voice, yanking on the fire around him as Anara wove a spell of gargantuan size with a speed otherwise unexpected.
A curse was a powerful thing, drawing on the very [soul] of the weaver to spite the [soul] of another. The bigger the curse, the stronger a soul had to be.

'Strong'. Hah. Souls were endlessly strong, it was all about 'conviction'. And he was in possession of a soul that fueled him, now. One sacrificed to him in a moment of true desperation.
One shot at this curse, one guarantee that it would be surely settle, seethe, and scour.
Anara felt amusement burn through him, his woven spell becoming complete as his astral and physical form crumbled into dust.
He was dead, dead and gone. Removed from existence forever.

The body that arrived in the depths of a forest filled with mold and fungal growths was definitely dead. There was no now malevolent intelligence hiding within. Assuredly, there was no pillar of salted-marble white, cracked and cracking all throughout, that was immediately supping upon the ambient mana in the area.
Definitely.

Hah.
Justice Square



Felix was expecting to deal with precisely a lot and yet not all that much, today. If he was being honest! But this was certainly something new! The ability for Dawn to just... Zip anywhere she wanted? And in the way that she did? He would've killed for that! And apparently she could do it effortlessly- With some caveats, he was sure.
But still. Beyond the point!

And the way she spoke about it all, complicated sciences through the lens of a woman who was ... Wow was she already kind of sloshed right now? Wild! How much did she have to drink again? Oh jeez. Wait- Would this even be a good idea to do with someone who was ... Eh. It was fine! It'd be fine for sure. Okay, now, focus! She seemed to be suggesting just, what, riding the light to the destination he needed to reach? That would've worked, MAYBE, if his tinker-tech could... Be... Huh. Well, could it be edited to operate that way? He hadn't really considered it, if he was honest. Sounded a lot like some... Magic shit. But, y'know. Magic was just sufficiently advanced technology, right? And his ARMS and LEGS were made of hard-light. Which, y'know! Was IMPOSSIBLE! Hm.

Wait. Focus on the wild array of... Of whatever the fuck, she was putting on the table. And the floor?! What WAS that? He'd never heard of such a complicated or versatile expression of Deviancy! Or ESPER shenanigans. Nothing he'd ever heard of... Huh. Well! There was always something new out there, right?
Oh! She's whispering in his ear now- Kinda hate that! Too close! It's fine, it is totally fine, it's fiiiine. And now they're- Moving-
The world tilted, his limbs... Stopped. Existing. He wasn't sure what this was. The light was everything and everywhere. It was beautiful!
And horrible. In the same way that an explosion could be terrifically horrible. Staring into the sun, letting the disk of blinding white become a circle of prismatic blindness. Numbness settled where he ordinarily felt his 'tech. A cold pressure, a warm suffusion, and an utter calm. And then...

It stopped. It was done! Huh.

Felix blinked, stupefied and utterly unable to cope with the whole experience. He vaguely felt Dawn use him to keep herself stable, only barely. His gaze tracked her as she made her way over to her seated position. Huh. Felix followed her, blinking again as the haptic feedback of his limbs trickled into his awareness like honey and molasses. For a moment, he stood next to her, saying and doing nothing, before blinking again as he made immediate eye contact with someone he wished he couldn't have. There, down in the square, dealing with TFPD and press and civilians besides...
His Boss. Just. Looking at him. Staring directly into his eyes. Oh.

Well he sure was gonna be in trouble, huh. Yeah, there was the shift of her hand, and a raised eyebrow. Uh-oh.
Shit.


Black Iron Workshop




Jemma watched the proceedings in the room with a sort of... Detached enthusiasm. She had put her workshop uniform back on, and was otherwise just silent and watching it all. She was aware that she had been addressed by [SUSPICION-CONFUSED-Amaze...]. Oh. He slipped out of focus for her. That was a first. Lots of firsts within the past thirty minutes or so.
Temujin's voice was a distant rumble of distrust, one which she responded to with a mild-mannered smile. Exhaustion marred her features, and though she didn't know he could tell, Temujin undoubtedly noticed her lack of a heartbeat once more.
Ink had caked into dried smears on her cheeks, flaking away into flecks of pitch that fluttered through the air. She blinked at Koba, watching as he signed. A distant rush of relief and [FAMILY-LOVE-Thank...]. Oh. That was fading too? Why?
Oh. She was hungry. Huh. Wack. Well that wasn't good. Oh. She was being addressed again. Graham was talking to her this time. Or about her, at least.
He was too kind, with all that affection and softness in his light. Ignore the gnawing, crawling want to break the flesh open and drink that light from the center.

Jemma blinked again, forcing herself to remember where she was, and who she was surrounded by. Umbri, and maybe Temujin, were from Northbridge. Which meant that payment for services was always expected. Which... No. No, she would not make this woman pay for more than she needed to. Something cheap... Something cheap... Oh!
"Well... I won't speak for Al- Er... Aegis. But you owe me nothing more than a... Sandwich. Yeah. I figure that's, er, not equal but its good enough for me. I totally disrespected your privacy, so..." Jemma muttered by way of answer, eyes sliding like a reptile, back and forth between Umbri and Temujin. She tilted her head slowly, moving as if just existing in that spot was a struggle. Which... Well.
"So I don't wanna make you owe me much else. Nor do I want you to feel like, uh, asking for medical help requires... Payment. Y'know? It's... It's fine."

She was struggling to continue talking, by this point. Awkward. It was like the world just kept... Not being. Nothing had words or labels, or reality, associated with it, really. Like she was forgetting what anything really was, what anything really [MEANT]. Her body ached for fuel, and that apathetic half was utterly silent, too weak to really shove any impulses up and out.
The shapeshifter KNEW she needed fuel. But... Not right now. It could wait! It wasn't like Umbri and Temujin could... ...
"Oh. Y'know what? Actually... I know something. I'm about to crash, like, so hard. So... If you could like, just, I dunno, watch my house for me? If it's even still around... Heh. Hah. Anyways. Yeah."

There! That was explanatory, right? It was so hard to focus.
Jemma shifted her stance, staring at nothing, as she walked over to a nearby op-table. She tried to climb up onto it, only to give a frustrated groan when her muscles failed her. "I am... So tired, and hungry. Hah... Aw man. Hey, do any of you know what it's like to faint? Are your ears supposed to ring when you start losing focus? Cuz-"
Oh. Hello ring of enclosing black.

Jemma's head rolled back mid sentence, as ink sluggishly crawled over the whole of her form. Flesh and bone vanished under the slow rolling tide, leaving only a sphere of pitch on the table. It was about as big as a 'normal' human heart, but it dripped with ink, and roiled in place. Slow moving flashes of light rolled throughout the orb, like lightning in a storm from far away.
And Jemma 'slept', in a fashion.
[ Titan’s Fall, Castle on The Clouds… for now. ]




That sure was a face that Dawn was making at him! Hah. Ahhh… Well. She was still agreeing to go with him! “Heh! Look, let’s just… ‘Take a long walk and talk, yeah?’ Sound like fun? I think it does!
Chirped the chaos-gremlin. In his ear, and in the corner of his HUD, Sovereign let Felix know that the vocal command was received.

His eyes flicked upward, watching as the spinning symbol of Sovereign processed a series of automatic protocols… His location was sent to Sai and Sai alone. Everyone else? They’d see his location as still at Castle on The Clouds. And if they called, well, Felix had a specific message for them!
Hey! Yeah, sorry! I’m in the middle of something important, and I’ll be heading back to HQ in a bit!
Simple! It worked at least twice before! Before Yue went missing. But then again… Yue… Hm.
Wait! Focus! Goddamn. Medicine never worked the way they described it, huh? Anyways!

She asked about a plan… silly Dawn! Plans were things that happened to other people! And ruined by him, usually! Lord knows Mom and Dad probably— Whoop! Nope! Bad brain-train! Getting off that wild ride of self loathing…
God he could NOT focus! Adrenaline response, maybe? Wait! Dawn! Plan! Right!

Felix abruptly stood, smiling bright and gleeful at Dawn as she followed suit. “It’ll be fine! Besides, if you’re there, your boss’ll have a reason to understand why you might’ve played hooky today, yeah? Or at least why you’re suuuuuper late! Or… somethin’? I dunno, I was NEVER a great liar— Oh! That reminds me.

He turned his head, looking down at his hard-light limbs with an expression often seen on a cat.
Pupils blown wide. Hair standing on end. Utter focus.
Affectionately referred to as ‘his dumbass mode’.
Which was rude! Thank you very much! He was only using optic controls to edit the parameters of his tinker-tech!
The emitters that took place for his shoulders and thighs hummed, brightening some before dimming almost immediately after.

His limbs, connected as they were, became disjointed things. His arms, from the bicep down, at least, disconnected from the emitters. His legs followed in the same manner. Yue had once said it reminded her of a Final Odyssey character— One whose forearms and shins floated away from the main body. Nevermind that that character also had a penchant for meteor hammers and kusarigama or… whatever. Beyond the point!
Felix’ limbs were floating now, somewhat. That was the point.

He continued to stare off into space, adjusting a few more parameters as one arm rotated a full one hundred and eighty degrees. On autopilot, his fingers closed around a surprisingly small stick of plastic, and yanked it from his back pocket.
Couldn’t wait for the cyberware to run its’ self-repair protocols. Had to move now.
He shifted in place, using his newly extremely mobile arms to slot the stick of plastic into a slot along his exposed spinal ‘ware ports.
Let that run its diagnostics, make sure Sai knows he had to use ANOTHER stick of tinker tech [4UT0R3P41R].

When Felix got his hands on that man… They were gonna talk about his naming conventions. Who the hell used L337speak?! It’s 2045 man, come ON.
Wait! Dawn’s staring— He had forgotten to reply! Focus!
He really hoped his medicine would kick in soon, god.

Felix snapped his eyes to Dawn, letting his focus settle back on her as he toned the manic smiling down. “Right! Sorry. Got distracted with— anyways. Uh. Do you wanna ride, or do you wanna just… ‘Walk’ there, hm? Oh! Also! How good are you at disguises? Or can your uh, light… brain… stuff! Can it affect the entire spectrum of ‘light’ or just visible light? Oh! Is it actually like, light? Or just radiation?

Fuck. Rambling. Focus! Ugh.
Shield Town, Black Iron Workshop




A neural network, a spider's web of neurons and synapses and chemical receptors and nerves, branching out into infinity. A face.
The [patient], pressing a face, unbidden, against the flesh. Changing it beyond will.
Fear. Confusion. Mind trying to break, being held together by tape and sheer willpower. Determination beyond the likes of which it had ever seen.
The [patient] spoke, overriding it’s control, a sensation not unfamiliar, but not felt in years either.
Time. A concept so abstract, so… unsustainably unusual. It became familiar, understandable, comprehensible. A small eternity, the agonizing trickle-tickle-tick-tock leaning from one second, to the next second, to the next second…

The [surgeon] never wavered. Let the [patient] speak through it, give the [patient] an outlet. There was work to do. Another face arose, younger, but no less different from the first.

A memory. Played out like it was happening again. [TRAUMA], like a pheromone trail, dragging the overwhelmed Umbri, and the apathetic J-3, down a lane of recollection.
‘Memory lane’, if the street was cracked and torn, if the houses were muddy, foggy, and filled with vines and ink and bone and steel and-

She was too young for this. Standing beside a dumpster, baby in arms, staring at a billboard that danced. Exhaustion laid in her bones, pulling at her everything-
It skipped.
Trapped! She couldn’t get away! [HER-NOTSAFE-WHY-WHY-WHY?!] had her by the hair, kept pulling her around! The bruise on her face ached like a broken bone, a broken heart-
It skipped.
”NO! Fuck off! Stop!” As her arms, her hands, barely able to hold back a blade, grew weaker by the moment. The gravel of the alley bit into skin, into the back of her head. She almost had enough air to scream-!
It stopped.

Anger bloomed.

Stop! Hey! Back off-
Another memory rose.
The thresher. Beaten, being butchered right before her eyes. [GUILT] swallowed everything in her, oppressive in its weight around her throat, in the turn of her stomach. She was responsible! She did this. All of these memories? She was-
It. Better. Stop!

In the space outside the memory, outside the dream, in the realm of the [BODY] and not the [MINDS], ink pulsed. It streamed over two bodies, as one shrank, and shrank, and shrank. J-3 became more human, allowing more of the tentacles that held it up to fuse together into two legs.
Eyes melded back into the body.
Wings vanished.
Horns rose, shifted, and then sank away.
Claws and talons and fangs, returned to humanities normalcy.

It’s mouth opened, as if to opine something… Before it all changed.

Ink swarmed over Umbri’s body, pulsing along with the rhythm of two hearts beating in perfect sync. Venom was annihilated, an anti venom pouring through veins and chasing the necrotic death back into nothing.
Internal damages were mended, stitched back together by ink and focus.
A third face, Umbri’s true face, was exposed, as Jemma well and truly grew angry. Again. Wow.
The maw that had contained Umbri’s head, arm, and shoulders, shifted. It instead became a scorpion's tail of the largest degree, with its stinger-tip just barely sank into the back of Umbri’s neck.
Her arm was no longer enveloped, instead, it came to rest on the top of Jemma’s bowed head. Hypersensitive nerves in her scalp and her hair noted every twitch and change.

You absolute fucking idiot! How dare you! Where is your kindness? She’s freaking out! We don’t scare for no reason! Protect these people! Idiot! Idiot idiot idiot!
A pair of minds, tangled together by [INK] and [MAGIC], were yanked out of a shattered and crumbling memory scape.
Fury raged in her veins, at the sheer unfairness of it all. Who the hell did this to her? To this poor girl? She didn’t deserve it! Didn’t deserve to have all this fear and hurt and pain and scarring! What the fuck?! What gave them the right?!

Jemma’s voice, in the ‘dream’ and out of it, rumbled and roared into the air. Distorted by ink, warped by wrath.
I fucking [PROMISED] no harm to her! What the HELL ARE YOU DOING?! I will destroy you! She needs rest! How dare you! How dare you harm her! She deserves none of it! What right do you have?! May my fang and claw sunder your flesh! Ruined so much for her for what?! FILTHY FUCKING STREET-SAMURAI! LOCKDOWN?! LOCKDOWN! I’ll ruin you! Ruin everything you ARE. FAILURE OF MOTHERHOOD! RIP YOUR MIND INTO MINE! SUFFER AS SHE HAS AT YOUR HAND!

Jemma distantly heard a voice, someone outside of this joined space, away from this protective fury, yelp.
Koba? No. Graham? No… Names and faces were fading again. Time was becoming a slippery nothing. Again.
She WANTED to keep her hold, but… No. Not at the expense of another. Never at the expense of another.

The woman knew she sounded crazy, she knew she was shouting without preamble or warning. But… the Anger of it all. It was so stupid! It was unfair! This girl didn’t deserve that! And she didn’t deserve to see that! Have it torn from a mind unprepared! This should’ve been a conversation!

In the ‘dream’, one of two minds raged. [MIND-SIEVE-COMMUNE] bloomed in the astral, weaving a shaky spell. Nerves and Aetherial [connections] spun a dream-catchers shape, laying intent and purpose down as easy as cards on a table.
Jemma forced herself past the uneasy feeling of ‘haven’t done this before’ and focused instead on ‘must do this now.’
She spoke again, through Umbri’s throat, as the spell slowly worked its way. Her voice, audible within the dream and without.
Hey! Hey no! You’re okay! You’re not gonna die. It’s okay. You have yourself, now, and I’m out. It’s just muscles and nerves now, no minds. You’re okay. Breathe. Slow. I can’t and won’t do it for you. But you have to breathe. I know you can. C’mon.
Jemma’s voice was alive now. Lacking that clinical apathy. She laid out a rabbit-crumb trail. Led the little bit of Umbri’s psyche that she was willing to touch back to stability. ‘Come along, this way to calm again, this way to you disconnecting from me, disconnecting from you’, but with neurological action.

We have to walk ourselves away from eachother. Okay? What’s happening right now, is I’ve disconnected the, um, memories. You won’t get dragged into yours anymore. Okay? It’s okay. I can’t just cut our connection, I don’t want to hurt you. So you have to calm down, and breathe, and ‘walk’ away with me. It’ll be easy! I [PROMISE]. Listen! Like this! You can do it.

Her own body abruptly hitched a breath, sucking air deep into her lung for a count of four. Holding it for a count of seven. Letting it go for a count of eight.
Repeat.
In for four. Feel nerves of your own tingle, muscles of your own shift under your control.
Hold for seven. Let it ground and burn. Focus on the act. Bring it to yourself.
Out for eight. Let the fear and anger go, remember where you actually are. Unlatch your claws.

Oh. They were both crying. Ink. … Well shit.

Procedure complete.
What a shit show.
And only in four minutes! That could’ve… gone so much better.
She needed to puke…
Shield Town, Black Iron Workshop, Main Lobby



The shapeshifter was in awe. Her mind lost its tenuous grasp on focus as she instead took a few moments to stare at the blooming lattice of [POWER-FUEL-MIND-STRUCTURE-BLOCK] that had formed over herself and Umbri. An immediate burst of hunger seated through her core.

It wanted to hold this power, consume it like a succulent fruit hanging from a tree. Turn it into nuclear fuel to keep the meat going for years and years and-
No! Focus! That was a friend! Is! A friend
Jemma shook her head, turning her gaze back to Umbri as she took in the ‘smaller’ woman’s requests.
Huh. Y’know I think she’s actually technically taller than me…” Jemma muttered thoughtfully, seemingly unaware that she was speaking aloud. Welp! Time to begin.
She focused, truly, and felt… Odd. Like she was both falling asleep and waking up. Astral eyes bloomed, and filled the mind with information. The trickle of [LIFE], the wrap of [VENOM-DEATH-Necrotise], and the pulse of [FEAR-DISGUST-DETERMINED-hopehopeHOPE].

Right.

Administering pain relieving agent now.” Spoke the swiftly disassociating Body. Apathy and clinical intelligence swelled in place of emotional reasoning and empathy.
The [patient] would prefer this done quick, smooth, and without complication. Best to move swiftly then.

One of J-3’s tentacles whipped upwards, coming to a rest against the small of Umbri’s back, before straightening out and following along the muscles of her spine. Ink pulsed once along the length of prehensile muscle and fur, but showed no changes otherwise.
J-3 stood still, motionless like a statue, almost unnatural in its lack of motion, before it spoke again. “Anesthetic administered. Noting for patient: agent will integrate with patient body in one minute, thirty five seconds.” The body froze again, shifting focus and tasks in silence before once more speaking.
Applying maw to patient now. Patient will note that movement is highly unrecommended. Patient will note that procedure will not be halted entirely, but can be paused by gripping, scratching, pinching, pressing, or holding the cilia within the ‘Maw’ organ. Patient will note that ‘surgeon’ will then halt. Patient will note that proceeding to pat, squeeze, or tap thrice will re-engage the procedure.
And with that, the aforementioned maw shifted. Umbri’s entire arm disappeared into a throat that led to nowhere, filled with sensitive cilia, like millions of tiny hairs. If the [patient] squeezed or flinched, any movement that prompted readjustment, J-3 would stop. It had [PROMISED]. J-3 halted the maw after a moment, the very end of it pressing against the [patient]’s throat as the fangs laid to rest against the exposed skin.
The shapeshifter waited a moment.

Note: Pain relieving agent in effect. Patient shall move her left leg to demonstrate that movement is unaffected. Patient will note that pain is dulled. Approximately 84.37 percent reduction in pain reciever activation. Patient will note that agent has been replicated a total of eight hundred and forty three times prior to administration in this procedure.
Another pause, before the J-3 continued.

Beginning procedure.

It bit down, and began its work.
The site of entry and thresher-venom injection was the back of the neck, above the beginnings of a cybernetic spine. So the ink dripping fang bit through the skin there, just enough to sink a centimeter or so in.
Veins of ink rapidly spread through the blood vessels, damaging, consuming, and repairing as swiftly as they went. From its recollections, this process was best described as ‘a horrific internal tattoo that was cold and excruciating. Like nerves dying while paper thin slugs of mucus and frost crawled through you.’
With the venom it had given? Umbri would likely only feel as though she was receiving a deeply uncomfortable tattoo, and even only barely as much.
Finally, the veins reached where J3 needed them to reach.

The muscles of the spine, base of the brain-stem, the nerves still surrounding the spinal-cybernetic, and the veins and arteries of the heart. Ink pooled and waited by the heart, as the other tendrils worked their way through blood vessel and cyber-ports.
Note: Patient and Surgeon will experience temporary nervous system synchronization. Surgeon requires synchronous communication between Ink and Patient Nervous system to coordinate proper antivenin distribution and acclimation.
Patient may speak through Surgeon, Surgeon may speak through patient. Surgeon apologizes. Sincerely unforeseen requirement. [PROMISE] remains unbroken.


J-3 felt information begin trickling in, blinking once as the [MIND] and Mind of Umbri clicked in with theirs.
They blinked again, both bodies moving simultaneously, once, and broadcasted to the woman on the other end of the connection a sensation of gentle calm. As if to say ‘Stay calm. Do not panic. You are safe. This will be fine. Everything is okay. You are doing great.’
[ Titan’s Fall, Castle on The Clouds ]




Felix… Listened. For a bit. He did! Truly and seriously and really, and all that! But… Well.
She didn’t get it. Not really, and how could she! No one else had the itch like he did. The overwhelming press and crush of fear. That paranoia against the inevitability of it happening again. He couldn’t afford it, couldn’t relax, couldn’t slack off! Failure wasn’t an option. Stress testing at all times was the only way! If it failed him once, then it would fail him again! She was SO close to getting it!
So close to getting that overwhelming fear of a man out of control, a force of nature nearly ending his short story—
But it was fine. She… Was right. In a way, yes. He couldn’t sprint back to the lab every time something failed. Even if he really wanted to.

Felix shook himself some, ignoring the vague burning pain of his implants continuing to express their overstress. “No, yeah, yeah. You’re right—
Or not.

Ion had arrived, and while Felix genuinely loved the giant oaf, he… Well actually, no this time he was severely appreciated! A quick break from the extremely taxing mental conversation!
Not that Dawn was even being taxing or anything like that, just that he really, really, didn’t want to think about his (definitely) maybe being wrong. In how he was approaching this friendship. And his tinkering. Hm.
Anyways! Ignore that! That whole… thinking about himself, thing. Yup! Forgotten! For now!
Felix shifted a bit in his seat, offering the requisite ‘oh yeah no kidding…’ to Ion, while letting his gaze slide to Dawn’s.

He stared at her, not thinking twice about trying to tell her with all the telepathy available to a chaos gremlin: ‘guess where I wanna go next!’
My thing DID do the thing! Thanks for noticing, Tol King! I… Kinda hope that I did beat her time? If only so I can take over the ‘long distance’ travel part of the job, when I can, y’know?
He flashed Ion a smile, before turning away and frowning, clearly thinking pretty hard.
Hey thanks for the heads up though! I’ll make sure to avoid that area, and I’m pretty sure we’re gonna eat here for a bit anyways. My cyber needs a hot minute to cool down and perform their automatic repairs anyways.” He mumbled, flashing sheepish smile for the two at the table with him.

He raised a hand after a moment, looking appropriately sheepish. “Get some rest when you can, yeah man?” Felix murmured, sliding his eyes to the side conspiratorially. “If you don’t catch some sleep when you can… I’ll be the most eligible bachelor, and your- ah- fans will see you slippin’…

There. That should serve as distraction AND dismissal! And he’d focus on doing his job too well to focus on where Felix would be… Not that that couldn’t be solved with a simple dummy tracker left where he wasn’t.
Hah!
Shield Town, Black Iron Workshop, Main Lobby



Right. Well! This… Umbri! That was a nice name. Umbri. Umbri… Umbral? Umber! Umbridge? Umbel! Like on a flower! Wait. Focus! Focus.
Umbri, was clearly determined here, which was a nice enough thing to see! Jemma just wasn’t quite sure how committed she would be after being told the details of the ‘procedure’. Hrm.

Oh well. The shapeshifter nodded once and gave a relatively controlled smile. “Right! I’m gonna explain this as… Me, I can. I’m going to turn three of these things here,” She raised a trio of her tentacles, waving each in a row before continuing,
Into one large, uh, maw. I’m gonna wrap it around your arm, shoulder, and part of your clavicle. From there, it’s going to form a symbiotic link between your circulatory system and mine. I’ll have to bite into you with a fang. … This, of course, likely won’t feel super great. Nor will the…” She trailed off again.

How to describe them… WAS there a way to describe them? She wasn’t versed on animal biology… Oh!
Show! Don’t tell, duh!
Jemma moved back from Umbri, following through on the changes to her trio of tendrils as explained. From the three limbs, she formed a mouth in the shape of a crocodile… weasel… thing. Maybe it would’ve been cute! If… it also wasn’t about the size of Umbri’s torso. She opened the mouth, revealing the relatively small and unimposing fangs within. From one such fang, veins of ink spiraled out and into the air, like the branches of a tree. Or a lightning bolt. Or blood vessels.

I dunno what to specifically call these yet, but I do know that they are capable of, uh, subsuming any amount of organic matter. And I can choose what does, and does NOT, get subsumed. Then, with the same organs, I can copy, replicate, and modify to my will! Which means I could not only become the snake, buuuut I could just replicate and synthesize an anti-venom!” Chirped the shapeshifting woman, giving Umbri her best version of a ‘reassuring smile’.
Oh! Right. The original point of showing these.
That all being said… They won’t feel super great moving under your skin and through your meat stuffs. So… You may wanna either sit down and hold on to something, or, I can ‘brew’ you up a cocktail of numbing venoms. And muscle relaxants. Nothin’ lethal! Or capable of stopping your heart, or anythin’! Just… good for not bein’ in pain!

Jesus, that was a ramble and a half. At least it kinda looked like Umbri was listening! Right. Finish it off.
Now, I understand that this might sound incredibly unsanitary, but as stated, the… Ink-Vessels? Eh, name pending— Anyways! My ink can subsume basically anythin’ and everythin’ organic! This includes bacteria and viruses, and parasites! Honestly if you’d like I could give you a once over to your entire system, make sure you— Er! Sorry. Focusing. Hoo.

Jemma nodded then, finally slowing her rapid fire summation to a stop. That was all she could think of! And that was after not having been a Fixer or an Engineer! For three years! She stiiiiill had it! … Don’t cry don’t cry don’t cry. Focus!!! Shit!
The shapeshifter shifted in place, again. Her eyes slid to the limbless [NULL-DEMON-MEAN-RUDE-helphimtoo?] nearby. “I know you’re still gonna be upset by this, but as you’re the only person here who I think has her best interests at heart… And also the only person she’s yelled at in this room, which I think is a good thing? I’m letting you know that if I hurt her beyond reason you can absolutely take it out of my hide. I [promise.]

The word ‘promise’ held a weight to it. One that she wouldn’t and couldn’t dare to explain. Jemma just hoped that he would understand she meant it with the whole of her being. So much so, that unbeknownst to her, the noises churning inside her quieted.
Drowned under the forceful ‘Promise.’ that took the place of the noises instead.
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