The Nine Outside

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The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:44 am

Amidst the swirling spirals of raw natural energy the alabaster spires of the Shining Citadel, the diamond-tip turrets glinting in the light of another rising sun. The entire castle was bustling with activity, from servants and children to lords and soldiers. Catapults and ballistae were being positioned high above and far back from the outer-most walls while vats of tar bubbled in giant pots set over roaring fires. The armories were almost completely empty, their weapons handed out to every able-bodied individual in the kingdom.


Outside the walls, towns had been deserted. Houses had been stripped bare of anything useful. Ranches and farms raided and pillaged for food and supplies. Markets laid trampled and ruined. Not a single inhabitant of Altgard remained; they had all retreated to the safety of the Citadel. All that could escape, anyway.


Surrounding the city was the siege army of the Lichborn, a combined force numbering in the tens of thousands, the largest army ever assembled in all the years before that one. The air smelled of ash as streaks of thick smoke streaked from the land to the sky like giant bony fingers gouging out the life of the land. Humans, humanoids, and beasts made up the bulk of the forces, their figures contorted into a half-alive, half-dead state that made them strong and twisted.


Atop the tallest spire stood the king and queen of the Shining Citadel. They had shed their robes and donned the armor of their kin, which gleamed in the early morning despite the smoke that filled the air.


"It's time," King Oran spoke, his voice resolute and determined. The queen nodded and turned on her heels, stepping in time with her husband, not as his wife, but as his companion. Queen Mystria's countenance was regal and graceful, but with a strength that rivaled the toughest opponents of every sentient race.


They, along with two more in ceremonial robes, knelt around the quartz dais in the middle of the throne room, a large circular alter absolutely pristine in color, flawless in sculpting, and perfect in shape. A prayer, they said, to the Creators of their realm, to the gods and goddesses that had watched over their people for centuries. The four beseeched them for their aid once again, to turn back the tide of war that had plagued them for several years.


Unlike some that would turn a blind eye and a deaf ear, Xio and Steele answered, granting the Shining Citadel a shield that surrounded the whole of the castle. Now bathed in a globe of translucent energy, the fortress would have some protection against the onslaught. The massive army below began to howl in rage. Many clashed their shields against their swords, or stamped their feet against the ground.


Xio and Steele, however, were not the only ones listening. The deities Norn and Sekep, rulers over the Underworld, bolstered the advancing horde, adding their own magic to the fight. Their spirits lifted, the first assault began.


Projectiles of every shape and size pummeled the Shining Citadel, but its shield held strong, causing each missile to be crushed against the hard magical surface. After each volley, the shield showed signs of weakening, and though it was slow, the cracks were spreading. Inside, the four continued to pray, pouring their magic into the dais as a gift to their benefactors. For over twelve long hours, they did not falter. Not even once.


Eventually, however, their efforts were rewarded only with severe weakness and fatigue. The shield finally broke apart, smashed by the enchanted boulders of their enemies, which were just beginning to slam into the stone walls of the Shining Citadel, which returned fire in kind. Back and forth the battle went, neither side giving up regardless of the losses. The Lichborn, in the end, just had too many in its army. The inevitable result finally arrived when the walls were breached and the foot soldiers stormed in.


Once the enemy got inside the gates and walls, the battle slowed down significantly. The tight quarters in which they fought were designed specifically to defend against an aggressive enemy, using long spears and shields to provide cover and range to the defending guards, but the hodge-podge of angry attackers were outlasting the defenders in stamina.


A choice had to be made.


With the siege upon the Shining Citadel coming to a close, Oran and Mystria took their swords in hand while the two priests began their final preparations. Upon the dais they placed a large piece of blue quartz the likes of which no one else had ever seen. Their chanting began in a deep baritone that grew steadily in volume as time went on.


"How will she survive, Oran? They will come for her and we won't be there to protect her." Queen Mystria's voice was not panicked or saddened. In fact, it seemed quite determined, ready to smell the odor of blood in the air, blood spilled by her blades.


The queen's question was answered in word by her husband and by the deeds of the priests, whom at just that time had placed another relic on the alter next to the blue quartz. "They will come for her, but they will have to go through him to reach her."


Mystria's eyes opened wide. "A Renzor Beast!? Oran!" Elbowing her husband in the ribs did nothing to stop Oran's chuckle. "You said you destroyed them all!"


"My dear," he replied, his smile remaining on his lips as his eyes refocused on the door. "... at least I came clean before it was too late."


With that, the door shattered, finally buckling under the weight of dark magic. The royal couple charged ahead, their ivory steel clashing against the ebony metal of dark swords until a brilliant flash of light overpowered the entire room. The brilliance spilled out of the windows, shattering the glass as it expanded ever-outward, rendering everyone inside the tower unconscious.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:46 am

Danry's eyes flutter open as the sunlight began to filter through her drawn blinds. It was early on the first Saturday in June. Summer break was in full swing, but the young woman wanted to get an head start on the day. The farmer's market had just opened and she was eager to get there in time to purchase the choicest of the harvests and other random assorted wares. She ran her hair through her long auburn hair after pulling out the ponytail and releasing the fibers from the elastic band. It was still soft and silky; it was always soft and silky.

Laying back against her bed, Danry stretched her entire body, working out the stiffness of the night before, then lost the battle to unconsciousness. When she opened her eyes again, the sun was higher overhead.

"Shit...!" Danry threw her covers off and set her feet on the floor. The long t-shirt she'd worn to bed hung loosely around the tops of her thighs, barely long enough to hide her boy-shorts underneath while she stood still. Darting into the bathroom she quickly stripped down and started her shower while she brushed her teeth, then jumped in, yelping because she'd neglected to make sure the water was the proper temperature before touching it again.

The cold water ran over her for a few seconds before it warmed up further, effectively washing away the last remnants of the previous night's sleep. She didn't stay under the water for long, just barely long enough to wash her body and her hair, then Danry was out and toweling off. She exited the bathroom and crossed the hallway to her bedroom, making it about halfway before the sound of her phone cut through the near-manic effort to get ready for the day.

Bolting into the bedroom, she answered just before her voicemail kicked in. The ringtone was distinct, assigned to one person only, so she knew who was calling before she event spotted the lit screen. "Hey Decker," she said, greeting her boyfriend in her usual casual manner. Danry wasn't a very lovey, sappy person. Though she liked to be called baby or cutie or sweetie, etc, she did not typically use them on others unless she was in the right mood.

"Hey babe," Decker respond. "Are we still on for lunch today?"

"Of course... why wouldn't we be?" Danry slowed just a little, confused as to why he would ask such a silly question.

"No reason. I just wanted to make sure, that's all. I'm hungry as hell." Decker's brain was directly attached to his stomach; whenever he felt the slightest rumbling in his gut he could only think about eating until the task was complete.

Danry chuckled a little. "Alright, alright. I'm going to stop by the farmer's market. I'll call you when i'm done and we can figure it out from there." After a brief goodbye, Danry hung up and tossed her phone on her bed while she finished getting ready. She slid on a pair of form-fitting jeans that accentuated her natural figure and a loose black top that hung off one shoulder, exposing the maroon bra strap while giving just a little attitude to her look. She didn't wear much makeup; she didn't really need to. Her high cheekbones and large grey eyes lended her no small amount of beauty.

She grabbed her phone, the case on which she kept her cards and cash, and her keys then exited her apartment. The drive to the farmer's market was not a long one, much to Danry's relief. She had already been delayed once, her own doing of course. The short commute would make up for a little of that lost time. The street was lousy with eco-friendly vehicles, either hybrids or complete electrics, not because it was a particularly 'hippy' thing to drive, but because most people in the city drove them for the fuel economy.

Danry hopped out of her car and headed in, slowly meandering past the carts and trailers and booths while she browsed their wares. Though she had gone with a specific item in mind, she still liked to see what everyone else brought to the co-op, and often made purchases with them. Priority number one, however, was the fresh honey.

Of all the bee-keepers in their area, Danry enjoyed the Cane Family honey the most. Something about the flavor and texture of their honey called to her, drew her in like a drug, making her crave it often. Her mouth watered just thinking about the sweet gooey substance on a piece of toast or in her evening tea. After the first jar she bought, upon realizing that it would not last until the next time the market was open, Danry had decided to simply stock up with a year's supply so she would never have to worry about running out.


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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:36 pm

Browsing get through the stalls of the farmers market was almost more fun than bartering prices for the things she wanted. Danry had to make sure that she had brought enough with her for the honey she craved so deeply, and anything else that might have caught her eye.  The girl was a closet hoarder. She loved to collect things she would never use, or wear, or show to anyone but herself, unique and odd things always drawing her in. It was proof enough with the honey she had sought to purchase, it's taste unlike any other.

As Danry maneuvered through the mass of people, she occasionally stopped at booths to look over the odds and ends laid out for sale. Handmade items, hand-me-down items, rusted pieces of junk, old electronics and games, food, it was endless. Having wandered for about an hour, the sigh high in the sky, Danry had almost given up on finding something new to add to her collection of the weird and useless, when a beautiful blue stone would in platinum caught her eye. Excitement filled her chest, and she made her way over to the stand, gazing down at the stunning necklace. Having frequented these markets for a while, she knew that she had to downplay her own want for the item in order to get it at a lowered price.

It was mark at $50, and while the girl had more than enough to get it, she wanted to see how low she could barter. "Excuse me," she began, gently lifting the item by its chain, "How much?"

"Fifty." The merchant said, without looking up.

"Hmm.. twenty five." Danry countered. That caused the older gentleman to look up at her, an eyebrow raised in almost offense.

"That is worth more than a measley twenty five." He replied. "Forty five."

Back and forth she went with the man until they settled on thirty dollars. Grinning madly, Danry allowed the man to place it in a jewelery case, then almost greedily stuck it in her bag. Getting a necklace that flawless was a steal! The thin platinum band winding around it looked like tree branches, gently placed over the bright blue stone. The chain was long and sturdy, and she could tell it wasn't a cheap knockoff, it had weight to it. Either the man was gullible, or was losing his mind to sell it to her that cheaply, but it didn't matter anymore: it was hers.

Having spent more time at the farmers market than intended, Danry headed straight for what she had originally gone there for. Her honey. It didn't take long to purchase a full years supply, the only stipulation was that she would have to go and pick it up by the crate full at the bee keeper's farm. Agreeing with a wide grin on her face, she took what she could and headed back to her car. As she slid into the driver's seat, she pulled out her phone and sent Decker a text letting him know she was finished at the farmers market, and asking him where he wanted to meet up.

Before she threw the car into drive, she took one last longing look at her newest piece of jewelery. It truly was beautiful.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Machine Man on Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:47 pm

Danry wasn't the only one in search of something at the farmer's market that morning. Each week the same man appeared at the market, an older gentleman with soft eyes and tanned skin. He had a beard of gray and a belly that protruded slightly from his waistline. His t-shirt was old and faded, but clean and free of wrinkles. The same could be said of the simple blue jeans. He wore a working-man's hands, calloused and tough from years of working the fields, and his skin was dark and wrinkled. The vendor's face, however, was always a pleasant one, smiling and inviting to those around him.

Of course that was only a cover, for a Renzer could disguise themselves as almost anything, as long as it was organic. He'd been watching one booth and one booth alone for months, waiting for someone to finally purchase a trinket, a blue stone with capabilities far beyond any normal rock.

For years he had waited for it to be found, unable to touch it but bound by destiny to be near it. Once a Renzer was bound to an item, it would not leave it until its purpose was complete or the stone was destroyed. At long last, the creature felt the pulse of power ripple invisibly through the air, bringing with it a wave of satisfaction and excitement. Finally he would meet the bearer, the one destined to carry the stone and restore the bloodline that was their birthright.

Leaving everything behind, the beast followed the girl to her car, finding a convenient place to reshape his form. Larger than it's normal size but smaller than a human, he took the shape of a bird of prey, a hawk that followed her vehicle as she traveled, effortless keeping pace with the woman who would set into motion the most phenomenal moments in human history.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:59 pm

Blissfully unaware of the hawk that followed her, Danry returned to her home to take her new prizes inside. It didn't take long to do, and by the time she was done Decker had text her back. He had suggested Applebee's, and she rolled her eyes, chuckling. He always thought with his stomach. Not opposed to the thought of eating there, Danry discovered that she was hungry, albeit probably not hungry enough to eat an appetizer and her entree. Still, it didn't matter. Saturdays goal had been accomplished.

Quickly running a brush through her mildly tangled locks, the girl turned to leave, but stopped short, her gaze drifting towards the necklace case which housed her new trinket. It was too pretty not to wear, she decided. Crossing the room, Danry opened the case and removed the necklace, holding it up in the light. It glinted and sparkled, a deep excitement filling her. With a grin, she clasped the chain around her neck, rushing into the bathroom to see how it looked.

"It's better than I thought," she murmured to herself. Her ring tone cut through her thoughts and she pulled her phone from her pocket. "Yo."

"How much longer you gonna be?" Decker asked from the other end.

"I had to drop some stuff off, I'm on my way. Keep your panties on." She could practically hear him slowly dying of starvation and it made her laugh.

"Okay. See you soon,"

"Yeah, bye." Hanging up, she snatched her keys and headed back out, this time to applebees. 'Let's hope he hasn't withered away by the time I get there,' Danry thought, then laughed again.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Machine Man on Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:10 pm

From his perch in a nearby tree, Renzer watched and waited for Danry to come outside again. The giant bird attracted little attention, simply because the leaves in the trees concealed his presence almost completely, giving him ample time to wait. Rushing into a situation would undoubtedly cause more problems than it was worth, bringing him to the simple conclusion to wait it out would be the best course of action. It wasn't long before Renzer was rewarded, for he spotted the young woman heading to her car once again. Visible to him despite the distance and any obstacles, the giant bird could clearly make out the color of the jewel draped around her neck.

Having been active for many years, Renzer had learned quite a bit about the modern world, one fact being that large birds of prey were not typically found in the city. So when Danry turned to head deeper into the heart of town, Renzer changed his tactic. While she sat at a stoplight, he stealthily glided in, dropping low to the ground to avoid being seen. When he reached her vehicle, his form changed again, taking on a more gelatinous texture than solid. Like an ooze he forced her trunk door to pop open, then quickly darted inside, smoothing himself out underneath the floorboard, where he hid in the spare tire compartment. She'd have to close her trunk lid, but he doubted she would suspect anything otherwise.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:52 am

Pulling in to the Applebee's parking lot, Danry noticed a light on her dash. It indicated that her trunk was open, and she frowned, an eyebrow raising. She was sure that she had closed it all the way when she brought her honey inside, but apparently she hadn't. Luckily nothing flew out while she was driving and hurt someone. With a shrug she got out of her car, walking around to the back, firmly closing the hatch.

"There we go." She nodded, placing her hands on her hips.

"Oi, babe," Decked jogged over from his car to hers, calling out to her.

"Hey," Danry grinned, her attention shifting to her approaching boyfriend. She allowed him to sweep her into his arms, pulling her close in a tight hug.

"What took you so long, hm?" He looked down at her with a grin on his face.

"I may or may not have accidentally drove with my trunk open, I was just closing it. C'mon, before you starve to death." Before he could respond, she grabbed his hand and pulled him to the restaurant.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Machine Man on Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:08 am

After her footsteps faded into the background, Rezer pushed his way over the backseat through the cabin access to the trunk, then replaced the seat to hid evidence of his presence. Wary of the male she had met he reformed a human frame and exited the vehicle, curious as to how he would get in to watch over her. There was no telling what horrors could await her inside, alone with that human. Renzer's duty was to protect whomever unlocked the stone, and he would not fail in that calling.

Renzer entered the restaurant and took a look around, quickly spotting his charge at a small table near the window. He took a seat at the bar, tucked away in a corner relatively close where he could spy the couple without anyone really paying attention to him. Even as he sat close by, however, Renzer had to concentrate on them carefully. The stone called to him, attracted him like a pair of magnets, and he had the same effect on it. Though barely noticeable, Danry might have felt it pull ever so slightly toward the stranger at the bar.


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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:37 am

Inside the restaurant Decker and Danry sat, going over the menu, though she was sure that he already knew exactly what he wanted. The waitress came over, introduced herself and took their order for drinks and appetizers. The pair didn't notice the man that had come in after them and sat near. Decker pointed out her new necklace and excitedly the girl explained how she had gotten it at a great price, and how she loved the way it looked; it was her new favorite piece.

After that she explained what she had done the rest of that morning, all the things she'd seen at the farmers market, and tried to invite Decker the next time she went. He rolled his eyes and declined with a laugh. Right as the waitress came back with the drinks and appetizers, Deckers phone rang. Excusing himself with an apologetic look, he took his phone and went outside to answer it.

It was then, in the silence, that Danry noticed something was off. She felt odd, listless. Shifting in her seat she sighed and turned her attention to the bar. There wasn't anything significant about the bar, just a couple of people sitting there. So why..?

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Machine Man on Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:41 pm

Watching Decker wander off on his phone, Renzer rolled his eye and went back to his surveillance, watching Danry carefully while sipping from a cold beer. It surprised him how careless the male was, leaving her alone in a crowded place without any assurance of protection. He could hear every word of their conversation, how excitedly she spoke about her necklace, though he barely offered any real degree of interest in her find, even less in attending the market with her.

When she looked up at the bar, he caught her gaze with his eyes, not looking away even for a split second. He stayed within her hues, the pools in her eyes drawing him in ever more deeply. There was a moment there, just a moment, when the world faded away, and not even the stone was more important as she was.

After several seconds, he averted his eyes, remembering his place was to protect her and the stone so she could fulfill her destiny. Nothing more.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:34 pm

Staring across the bar Danry felt something deep inside of her shift. Her eyes locked on one person there; for a momwnt the sound dulled, nothing between the two of them. After what seemed like an eternity the man turned his eyes away, and the noise of the world came back to her. Embarrassed at herself she turned to look out the window, seeing Decker still talking on the phone. She knew it was work, and by the look on his face she could tell he was not happy. They wanted him to come in.

Absently she wondered if he was going to accept. It's not like they had made any plans after lunch, but it would have been a bummer to not hang out. He finally hung up and came back inside. For a minute he was silent, then he looked at her, and she knew what he was going to say.

"It's okay. Just finish lunch first, then go." Danry grinned.

"You're an angel." He leaned over the table and kissed her head.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Machine Man on Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:10 pm

'What was that?'

The sensation that had passed over the two of them came and went like the tide, drowning him at first then turning him loose just as he got used to the water. It was unlike anything he'd ever experienced before, which both scared and fascinated him. Had she somehow already discovered her new talents and was trying to use them on him?

Decker's reentry into the scene pulled him away from his thoughts, bringing with him the loud throng of the crowd. Obviously the man was upset about something, but took his seat again and continued his conversation with Danry after giving her a kiss. Another emotion started to worm its way into the forefront of Renzer's thoughts, one much darker and less pleasant, yet another sensation he did not understand.

Whatever caused them, neither had anything to do with the stone.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:47 pm

The couple continued to eat and talk for the rest of their lunch together with no further incident. The moment with the man at the bar had almost completely slipped her mind by the  end of the meal, and when they were getting ready to leave, Danry almost completely forgot. Almost. As the two of them walked past the bar, she hesitated, nearly stopping, but she didn't, smiling and acting as if nothing was wrong. At the door, she cast a glance back at the bar in search of that man to see if he was still sitting there.

Brushing it off, Danry moved outside with Decker, the both of them walking to her car. "How long they got you on for tonight?"

"Until the next guy comes in, I don't know. Apparently the guys are behind because the new guy keeps fucking everything up-"

"Stop, it's okay. Really. If we had plans then I'd be super pissed, but I'm not now."

"Seriously, how'd I deserve you?" Decker pulled her close, and she laughed, shaking her head.

"You haven't yet. But I have confidence you'll get there." She laughed.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Machine Man on Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:49 am

After a few seconds ticked by, Renzer pushed away from the bar after dropping a $10 bill next to his glass, which remained mostly full. He'd barely touched the drink, having purchased it more for show than anything else. Appearances meant everything, after all. He moved nonchalantly to the door, where he paused for a moment to watch Danry's male companion leave her in the parking lot before getting into his own car and driving away, their brief exchange of words beyond Renzer's ability to hear with the noisy country music playing through a speaker overhead.

Finally he pushed open the door and started through the parking lot, ready to continue the pursuit of the one chosen to wear the stone until something else piqued his interest. Stopping dead in his tracks, Renzer's ears twitched, picking up a very familiar, very disturbing sound.

"Hey...!" Before he realized it, Renzer was yelling at a strange woman across an Applebee's parking lot, like some sort of lunatic. But it was better than nothing. There was something coming. Several somethings, and there was no time to dilly-dally. "Can I talk to you for a moment?"

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:45 am

For a long moment Danry stood watching Decker leave, trying to decide what to do with the rest of her day. Maybe she'd turn on her ps4 and kick some online ass, or read, or draw.  There were so many options. Siding softly, she turned to get in her car when a voice rang out in the parking lot.  Whirling around, confused,  she saw the man from the bar. Furrowing her brow,  she glanced around as if to make sure he was talking to her.

"Uh.. yeah.  Sure?" Danry didn't move closer to him, but she didn't try to get in her car and drive away. The way he had called out to her, the tone of his voice, it sounded urgent.  Once again she looked around, trying to solidify that he was talking to her, and not someone else, and she wasn't going to make an ass of herself.

Seeing no one, she tilted her head, concern written across her face. "Are you okay? What, uh... what did you want to talk about?"

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Machine Man on Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:11 pm

Much to his relief, the sounds he'd heard slowed significantly when the two started their conversation, indicating that whomever the sounds belonged to recognized there was danger in just pressing blindly forward. That relief, however, was marred by worry, for it showed at least some degree of intelligence, a tool more dangerous than the sharpest spear.

Renzer did his best to hide his apprehension behind a false sense of friendliness, hoping not to put the girl off right away. He could not protect her if she ran without a destination.

"Thanks," he said, breathing deeply. "I saw you inside and I had to ask you about that necklace you're wearing. Mind if I ask where you got it?" Of course Renzer already knew the answer to that question, but he could not think of any other opening lines that would make sense and not make her dubious regarding his intentions. He tried to smile politely, and kept a distance just over an arm's length away, to further put her at ease.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:59 pm

"My necklace?" Danry placed her hand over her new trinket, and after a moment she smiled wide, her excitement over it renewed. "Isn't it pretty? I got it at the farmers market this morning.." She launched into her tale of how she found it, and bartered down the price, obvious happiness in every word. "Even if I hadn't managed to get the price down I probably still would have bought it. It's like it called to me, so I had to have it." She paused for a moment, and chewed on her lip, shifting on her feet.

"I'm not sure if it's one of a kind so I don't know if you'd be able to get one for... your girlfriend?" She had no idea why he would be interested in her necklace, so it was just a curious reach. It wasn't exactly a man's design, but one never knew, he could have wanted one for his own. "I think the market is still open, you could go and see if the guy has another, I mean, I didn't see one, but the vendors there don't put out everything at once. I could write down directions there for you if you wanted."

As excited as she was about her new item, Danry wasn't sure if he'd go that far. Decker hadn't been too interested about the farmers market, and she didn't know this guy so he might not have been either. All kinds went there for trinkets, though, and she had to remind herself not to assume. "Even if there isn't another exactly like this one he had other pretty necklaces and rings."

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Machine Man on Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:37 pm

Doing his best to act as if nothing were amiss, Renzer smiled and rubbed the back of his head, feigning a bit of embarrassment. "Oh no... I don't have a girlfriend. I'm... actually a bit of an antique fanatic. I recognized the style when I saw you inside. I was actually wondering if I could buy it from you." Shifting gears quickly, Renzer started to probe Danry's defenses verbally, first seeing if the stone had actually selected her, and she it, or if it were just a random coincidence.

"It really is one of a kind. The sculptor only made a few cause the stone is really hard to find. I'll give you two thousand dollars for it." A bit of illusory magic would have been extremely helpful at that moment, but alas, Renzer possessed none. Fortunately for him cash was easy to come by for a creature such as himself, even in the modern world. From his pocket he pulled a wad of bills, a stack of Benjamin Franklins folded in half and bound by a thick rubber band.

While the dialogue continued, Renzer kept his ears peeled for the sounds he'd picked up earlier, and while they did not seem to be approaching any closer, they weren't going away either. It was clear to him that they were patient and content enough to wait until they parted company. Did they know what he was? Did they know who Danry was? Was it the stone that attracted them or something more?

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:09 pm

Instantly her grip tightened on her necklace, and she frowned, feeling an unfamiliar emotion tug at her chest. "No. I don't want your monwy, and my necklace is not for sale." It must have been in her mind, but she thought she felt the stone grow warm in her hand.

"I appreciate your love for the rare, but it is most definitely not for sale. Please, keep your money and use it to find something else." Danry took a few steps back towards her car, a frown on her face. How could she give up the thing she had just found? The thing that had seemed to call to her? Deep down inside she knew that she was the only, and rightful owner of that necklace, and she would not give it up for any amount of money. "Well, if... if that was it I think I'll go home now. Thank you for the offer. Have a good day."

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Machine Man on Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:11 pm

Danry had passed the test.

Hardly able to contain his excitement, Renzer replaced the stack of bills in his pocket and turned his attention back to her. "It's not tricky lighting... the way it changes shades. Have you noticed yet? You're the only person who sees it the way you see it. To everyone else, it's just a blue rock." Knowing that he would lose her interest without putting some mystery into the conversation, Renzer tried to maneuver her into deciding to stay, to talk a bit longer, at least until the... things... had retreated.

Unfortunately they decided on an action that could not have been further opposite. Three entities were closing on their position quickly, coming in from three different angles to pinch them in. A normal human would not have seen or felt anything abnormal, but Renzer was sensitive to their presence.

The stone, almost like a human heart, pulsed and beat inside her hand, warning her of the incoming threat. Time slowed down to a crawl around Danry for a moment, giving her the ability to see what was happening around her more quickly and clearly than any human, a defensive mechanism built into the magic of the stone to keep her safe while she realized her full potential.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:09 pm

Danry hesitated in going back to her car, and looked down at the necklace. Did it really change color, or was he just saying those things? She watched the stone in her hand, her brow furrowed as she watched it, then it began to pulse. Inhaling sharply, she let go of it, but it fell against her chest, and she could feel it beating in time with her heart. Her eyes widened in surprise, and she looked up at the man before her, almost questioningly.

That's when she noticed that the world seemed to slow around her. "What...?" Danry breathed, confusion overtaking her. What was going on? For a long moment she considered the possibility of being drugged, and fear swelled in her chest, panic threatening to overwhelm her. "What's happening? Wh-What is this..?"

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Machine Man on Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:20 pm

While the world was slowed down to a snail's pace, the three incoming creatures moved about as fast as a human would normally, if not a little slower. Renzer turned to face the closest one just as it came into view. The creature itself looked like a dog, though far larger and much more grotesque in appearance. As large as an adolescent horse, the beast had a large, gaping maw full of sharp teeth, meant to rend flesh. The eyes were smaller than they might have been, bright green and shape like a reptile's eyes. As it snarled, thick saliva leaked from its mouth.

Renzer moved quickly, side-stepping quickly to stand in its path. Too large or clumsy to evade, the beast continued its charge, hoping to ram its way past him and kill Danry, the bearer of the sacred jewel. To its surprise, not only did Renzer not yield his ground, but successfully held it by gripping the dog's snout and pushing it down and to the side, forcing it to impact against Danry's car.

His opponent out cold, Renzer prepared to face the other two while keeping a defensive posture, hoping to keep Danry safe until he could figure out an escape plan.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:43 pm

Danry cried out in surprise, jumping backwards, the monstrous creature slumped against her car. "What the fuck is that? What the fuck are you? What.. What the fuck is going on?" The more she panicked, the higher and louder her voice got. The pendant still pulsed against her chest, and instinctively she lurched forward, just barely avoiding a blindsided attack from another creature. Whipping around, she put her back to the stranger, her body remarkably close to his.

Her eyes were wide as she watched the massive, grotesquely misshapen beast push itself to it's feet, sharp, jagged claws scraping against the pavement. "Fuck this..." She breathed. Quickly, Danry ran around her car unlocking the doors as she went. Throwing herself into the backseat, she shut the door just as the beasts massive tail slammed into the side of her car.

She screamed, clamping her eyes shut, placing her hands over her ears, as she curled into a ball in her backseat. This is not happening... this can't be real.. Her thoughts were full of panic, and fear, and confusion.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Machine Man on Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:27 pm

'Fuck...'

While Renzer could handle a few dogs, a pack was a different case, especially if he wanted to reduce collateral damage as much as possible. An open field or forest would have been perfect, but in the city, surrounded by random pedestrians, the risk was simply too great. The time to change tactics had come.

Grabbing the tail of the dog still trying to claw its way into Danry's car, Renzer twisted hard at the waist, pivoting and using the momentum to sling the creature against a light pole, cracking its spine as it bent back around the post. Without wasting a single moment, Renzer threw open the driver's door and plopped down in the seat.

"God bless modern technology," he said quietly, looking down around the side of the steering column where he spotted the push-button ignition. No key required. His thumb he jammed against it, bringing the vehicle roaring to life. Stomping on the gas, Renzer barely managed to get them moving before the reinforcements arrived.

"Hold on!" Renzer shouted to the backseat, sliding around the corner and out of the parking lot, disturbing traffic as the pair fled the scene, a pack of vicious demon dogs chasing behind them.

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Re: The Nine Outside

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:21 pm

Still crouched in the backseat, Danry slid against the door as the car hurled around a corner. Her eyes were still clamped shut tightly, hands over her ears. She was trying to block out the noise of the demon beasts, and focus her own mind to calm herself down. Hearing screeching tires as the barreled through traffic, she managed to open her eyes, finally noticing that they weren't in the parking lot anymore, but driving through the city, demon dogs behind them. Trembling like a leaf in a hurricane, she turned, looking out the read window to see the dogs; they were chasing them, but with the way the stranger was driving, they were quickly falling behind.

Facing back towards the front, she looked in the rear view mirror to see his face, her eyes wide and terrified, face pale. It didn't matter that she didn't know him, all that mattered was that he had gotten them out of there and away from those things before there had been anymore damage. Danry tried to speak, but she couldn't muster the strength to get the words out of her mouth. Instead, she curled her knees to her chest and hugged them tightly, her breaths ragged, heart nearly beating out of her chest.

Her brain was quickly trying to rationalize everything that had happened. It all had to be some sort of hallucination. Or maybe she was still dreaming, and it had turned into a nightmare? There was no logical explanation for what had just happened.

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Re: The Nine Outside

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