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[Dragonball Victory] Chapter 1: Return of the Dragonballs

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The tournament went quite well for the host world, Earth.  Though they'd not won out, four of the final eight fighters were from Earth, and one of them would fall in the Finals against the previous year's champion, Garlon, a Namekian of great skill.  Those fighters not in the medical ward of the tournament grounds stood in the stands watching as Garlon was crowned with the championship laurel again, and to the surprise of many a red pillow, holding a small golden orb, with one red star on it, was brought out and presented to him. 
 

"This treasure is a reward for Superior excellence in arms, and the sportsmanship shown by our glorious champion.   May it bring you good fortune All of your days, as it has done for the it's previous owner."

 

In the midst of a group of defeated warriors, A young man couldn't contain his surprise.  "A Dragonball, after all these years..."  He had a sword on his back, something he'd not used in his matches. 

 

The ground began to shake just as he spoke and began growing in intensity.   The crowds in the stands began to panic but crowded as it was they were slow to exit the arena.   When over 2 dozen energy blasts and twice that many missiles landed amidst the crowded arena, the carnage was beyond anything those present had seen.  Half the weakened fighters present were taken out in that first barrage.  From the smoke eight large bipedal robots took shape, each bristling with missile and gun ports, looking very much like alien monsters made of metal, spewing forth death into the crowds.

 

Down on the main field dozens of armored troopers came out firing into the fighters and the crowd killing even more.  

 

What truly started the panic though, was the trio of unarmored seemingly normal looking humans who surrounded Garlon, and in a brutally short exchange, stripped him of his prize, and his life, leaving his bloody limbless corpse in the center of the ring, before there was flash of blue light and all the robots and troopers, and the unarmored trio were all gone,leaving the cameras rolling, to fully capture the screams of the suffering and dying.

 

   The young man making the comment happens to be in the midst of all of you, for ease of gathering you together.  React how you will, though I ask that you not leave the grounds yet. 

 

The young man

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Tetsuko saw the sudden carnage and she seemed to bristle with rage.

"I... I gotta help these people... There has to be something... anything I can do..."

 

She looked over to the man with the Sword. "Hey you! You look like you're in shape! We need to start setting up a triage! NOW! Start helping with the wounded!"

She looked to anyone who was still fully capable of potentially helping in a situation like this. All it takes for people to snap out of shock and saving lives is someone to take the lead. The strong, warrior looking man seemed a perfect pick. "Stop standin' with your mouth open! " She turned to another... "There is a portable defibrulator over there! Get it and bring it here! You! Look for any first aid kits you can find! HURRY!"

 

Tetsuko dashes over to someone with a sucking chest wound. She finds a bag that was left drifting in the rubble, and rips it in half, using either half to cover the holes. One on either side. "Please... stick with me here. Help should be arriving soon."

 

Rebecca OOC *rolls* 2d6: 3+1+10: 14
[Rebecca OOC] 2:37 pm: I hope that's enough to help...
[Rebecca OOC] 2:38 pm: Was just remembering a few things I heard/picked up in
regards of dealing with a sucking chest wound.
[Rebecca OOC] 2:38 pm: Threw that in for fluff.

 

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Shiori was on her feet quickly, but the action took place faster still. A devastatingly precise targeted assassination. It spoke of many things, none of which were good. The strange orb...the champion...his assassins... Questions. Too many questions. There was a simple, overriding concern.

 

"I'll make sure he gets his last rites!" Shiori blurted, and with a couple of long bounds reached the tournament banner where it was anchored near the VIP booth. The other end of it had broken away, perhaps struck by a stray bullet or piece of shrapnel. When she wrenched it off its other fastening, she leaped down to the arena itself, trailing the banner like a cometary tail.

 

Unfortunately, she muffed her landing on that jump rather badly. The shrine maiden emitted a startled yelp as she hit a slippery patch of something and went stumbling forward...windmilling her arms and in the process tangling herself in the banner just before tripping over the Champion's still cooling body and falling face-first into it, with the banner falling in a thick pile over both of them.

 

There was a muffled scream from under that pile, and a moment or two of fists and feet puffing out parts of it as she tried desperately to escape. Finally she found a gap and exploded out, all smeared with Namekian blood and gasping for breath with tears leaking from her eyes.

 

"Oh no, I did that all wrong," the priestess lamented in a thin voice. Coughing a litle and trying to wipe her face clean on her not-terribly clean sleeve, she turned and started pulling the banner back off so she could fold it and make it neat and cover it properly.

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Datura defended herself from the attackers as needed, making sure that they didn’t kill or hurt her. That was the limit of what she was able to do, even if she had been so inclined. The attack was so sudden and vicious that she could only protect her own well-being.

 

In the aftermath, she was left with only the observer’s role. The Saiyan was no healer and when the blue-haired woman started barking orders, Datura pointedly didn’t move to assist her. Instead she leapt into the air and surveyed the area, studying the attack from above.

 

She didn’t have much insight to gain from her aerial surveillance and she gradually drifted back to earth near where she started. The crowds were going crazy, panicked and terrified, even in the aftermath. The cries of the injured were like the braying of animals. Growling, she turned away, not sure what to do now. Leave? That seemed like the best course but she didn’t know where to go. She was supposed to get some kind of proof that she had attended but she doubted anyone was thinking about that right now.

 

She sighed irritably. This mess was infringing on her plans.

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Karmahl stood open mouthed in the aftermath of the attack, she had never seen such real violence unleashed on living beings, she was horrified at the senseless carnage and felt a clod anger begin to burn in her chest. Seeing others start to act she looked at her chaperone and called to him "Frier Laznozen aid that women in her efforts to save whom you can I will see waht i can do about righting this wrong." With her last words she leaps into the arena and moves towards the girl extracting herself from the mess, at the same time she sends a mental command to her Cats <Monte, Christo See if you can find some scent to identify the attackers while i find out what was so important about that ball> The two cats flew after her and began scouring the debris covered ground sniffing in and analyzing the smells separating seeking some clue for her, while she approached the interesting if messy girl.

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The blitzkrieg had been swift and brutal, leaving Squatro with little but only time to defend himself and dodge attacks. As the aftermath settled down, Squatro looked around at the carnage, took a deep breath.... and let it out quietly. He walked aside, and if he seemed far too calm and dispassionate for such a scene, so be it. It was in his training after all. Don't lose your head, keep a clear mind.

 

The whole thing made little sense. A sudden, massive paramilitary attack, with massive collateral damage, all just to get their hands on a.... a....

 

The fighter in the Capsule Corp jacket and carrying the sword had called it a Dragonball. If he knew what it was, he knew why this crime had occurred - and maybe who had done it. Squatro immediately started searching for that man. The government would need answers.

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The young man didn't respond to Tesuko's commands at all, he didn't move at first, Obviously intent on where the "Dragonball" had been.  In  a moment he vanished, reappearing in the center of the ring where Shiori stood over the corpse of the champion covered in blood.  "We have to get him out of here, now."he reached out and touched her shoulder, and his other hand to the corpse and all three disappeared, reappearing atop one of the nearby buildings, the sudden appearance catching Datura's watchful eyes.

 

On the ground, some bystanders were starting to respond to Tetsuko, trying to help their fellow audience members, which left Karmahl and Squatro the last ones in their small section of the stands.  Laznozen quickly began to help tend and stabilize the wounded nearby while the pair of tigers did as their mistress bid.  They returned and shook their heads.  "All we have is the odor of the sea meeting that of a verdant pine forest, no direction mistress, sorry..."

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Tetsuko blinked, the man's sudden disappearance with the corpse of the champion and someone who looked like they were trying to do something with the corpse started to gather her attention. A couple of medics ran up to her where she was attending to the injured man she was helping. "Good... It's obvious his right lung has been punctured... I think I've prevented a collapse. I need to look into something."

Tetsuko stepped away from the medical technicians and closed her eyes, stretching out her senses... A teleport should leave one hell of a trail, hopefully. Both for the terrorists and for the young man.

Tetsuko wouldn't want anyone doing anything improper to a fallen champion.

That and where was her new friend?

Using my Ki Sense... 10km Radius. where are the big pings?
Using a power like teleporting should leave some sort of high power signature, as well.
Although I don't think it would provide a tattle-tail for where Point B is of any teleport.

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Shiori pulled away from the man and looked around. She was surprised, but there was a lack of panic that belied her apparent klutziness.

 

"Why have you brought us here?" she asked warily, moving her hands up to prepare to defend herself if need be.

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Datura watched the strange shift to the roof. The transport caught her attention mostly because she didn’t know how to do that and she’d never heard of a Saiyan who knew how to do it either. Her dark eyes narrowed in consideration as her tactical mind began to consider the combat applications of such a power.

 

Another part of her, a deeply buried part, thought it sounded like fun.

 

Her mind made up, the Saiyan dropped from the sky to land behind the man who had transported them. She caught the miko’s words but also didn’t care about them. They weren’t important. However, his response might be very important, so she crossed her arms and waited for his reply.

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As Karmahl runs towards the girl she sees the young man with the sword suddenly appear next to the bloody girl, watches as he grabs her and the corpse and then disappears just like the earlier attackers!

 

Skidding to a stop just as the young man, the bloody girl, and the corpse vanish, Karmahl clenches her fists in frustration. "By the Holy Foundry! Can this day get any worse?" Having no clue where they may have vanished to she spins and launches herself back into the air with the intention of returning to help the others with the injured.

 

Soaring towards the stands she spies the Saiyan,who was in the stands with her, zooming toward a nearby rooftop with some urgency, altering her trajectory to follow she sends a mental command to her tigers <Monte, Chrsto come, prepare for battle!>

 

Actions
as i fly to help the wounded I will make a heightened awareness roll to see if I notice the young man and Shiro

[Long6] 9:42 am: 2d6+ body if using one of the 5 basic senses
[ninaBMM] 9:43 am: basic vision so i roll 2d6+body7+2 heightened senses

ninaBMM *rolls* 2d6+9: 6,3. Successes = 1. Plus 9 auto successes. Total = 10. The target number was changed to 5.
[ninaBMM] 9:52 am: Thats a total of 18

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With her Ki sense, Tetsuko was easily able to follow Datura, but the other two left no sign, even with what she could only surmise was a power intensive teleport.  Likewise, Karmahl's keen vision allowed her to track Datura's Flight from the arena, and her landing on a building nearby.

 

The Young man, now looking Shiori in the face, but quite aware of the Saiyan female behind him sighed.  "Mostly because the Namekians are freinds to humanity and enough damage has been done televising the death of one of their great warriors.   We didn't need to keep televising his body laying there, not to mention one of our priestesses covered in human and namekian blood.   That sort of thing doesn't send the right message."

 

"The other reason is that our world's Guardian is likely very, very angry that his nephew is lying dead on this rooftop I just can't bring it there with my transport techniques, not after the battles I had today."

 

His eyes narrowed slightly.  "As to why I brought you, I figured you had enough of being in the spotlight after that gruesome battle in the quarterfinals, and I want to know why you have his blood at the corners of your mouth.."  he indicated the corpse.

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Shiori's face went slack with horror and she bleated, "WHAT?!" and immediately started pawing, scratching at her mouth. "EWWW!! Oh kami! I fell on him, and he was all bloody and I screamed!!"

 

She managed to find a clean patch on her kimono and scrubbed madly at her face before having to pause to hyperventilate.

 

"...I feel sick."

 

On looking up she frowned a little and nodded at Datura. "Who's that? Is she a friend of yours?"

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Tetsuko opened her eyes to the tragedy unfolding around her again.

 

"Something tells me if anything happens to the Champ... there would be enough there to handle the situation..." She thought as she looked about. Some people were still looking to her for direction, including the Capsule Corporation technicians who ran to the scene to check on her.

 

She looked over to one person who was managing to get a piece of shrapnel out of the shoulder of a still ambulatory spectator. "Alright... try to collect any shrapnel in whatever you can..."

 

The person looked at her quizically. "Take it to one of the tecnicians... it's officially evidence and I am guessing my superiors will be called in to assist."

 

The suddenly drafted CSI lab tech kept working on the person before her as Tetsuko walked over to a CC technician.

"I'm alright, but the people here will need everything Capsule Corporation can bring here. Try bringing one of those small lunar habitats your Aerospace engineers have been working on here, to serve as an emergency triage tent. Also... someone handle the collection of any samples of shrapnel or anything we can get our hands on. I have a feeling that might serve as a tell as to who was behind this."

 

She adjusted her blood covered suit. "I hope to god this wasn't the work of the Red Ribbon, but the level of technology used here today suggests otherwise, I'm afraid... I have a feeling we might be going to war."

 

"We need all the intelligence we can get."

 

Using her still active Ki sensors, she uses that to act as a method to gauge a level of triage, looking for more wounded to assist. Ones that still had a chance.

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The young man teleporting away, annoyed Squatro, but the Saiyan's movements brought his gaze over to the logical path.... BINGO!

 

Squatro jumped into the air, and started Sky Walking his way towards the priestess and the jacket-wearer. It was clear to them when they saw him that he wanted to have a word with them.

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Datura’s eyebrows rose at the young fighter’s information. A slight change came over her features and she looked at the dead champion with renewed respect. When he asked his question, her eyes narrowed as she looked to priestess. The small woman’s answer satisfied and Datura relaxed a touch.

 

“I will take the body of the fallen up to the World Guardian.” The Saiyan ignored the miko’s question about her status. She was no human’s friend; she didn’t even know this one’s name. “The fallen deserve honor.”

 

“I appreciate that,” the young fighter told her with a smile. “That’s actually my current plan of action, and I would welcome your company. You as well,” he added to Shiori.”

 

Datura interrupted the feel-good moment. “We have incoming. Are they allies or enemies?” As she asked, she summoned her energy, enveloping her body in a white nimbus of power.

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Swooping up flanked by two grinning NA-Tigers, who were happy for the thoughts of coming battle even though they had never really been in one before but battle was encoded into their gene matrix , Karmahl paused at the sight before her.

 

Not truly aware of what was going on but sensing the tension she positions herself to defend against the now glowing Saiyan.

 

She addresses the young gore covered girl, “Girl, Shiori right?", recalling the tournament info about the girl as well as the Saiyan called Datura the man however she did not have any knowledge of. "Are you alright? Are these two threatening you?"

 

The Tigers re-position themselves so as not to be caught in a single attack with Cristo sending a warning of another person approaching walking on air!

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Shiori looked over at the new girl, and her tigers, and shook her head, breaking into a welcoming if still somewhat shaky smile.

 

"Threatening? Not at all! They seem like really nice people! We were just getting acquainted, and they wanted to help give this poor warrior his last rites, I think." She sighed at that. "I really messed it up." The moment passed almost immediately, and the priestess perked up again.

 

"Anyway, I'm Shiori Kiba!" She bowed quite respectfully and formally. "Very honored to meet you all!"

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"They're fellow fighters, warriors in their own right."  The young man sighed.  "I really don't have that much time to go into detail, it's going to be a long climb up the tower as it is." 

 

He looked to everyone else who had arrived.  "If you want to know what's going on, I'm going to see this world's Guardian, if thinks you should be told he will tell you everything he feels you need to know about the situation, and most likely try to enlist your aid before it gets any worse."

 

He seemed to be drawing himself inward,   each of them could feel a massive upwelling of energy.  "Form a circuit, where everyone is touching me, or someone who is touching me, and i'll get us to the tower, The climb afterwards is going to be for everyone else to deal with on their own."

 

"I only have enough power to do this once right now so decide fast if you're in or out."   

 

In the end everyone was In, curiosity or honor motivating them, One didn't get to meet the Guardian every day, it was very rare, and for this young man to be bringing them there directly, well it said something of his own importance.   The circuit was made, and they all vanished, reappearing at the foot of a massive tower easily fifty yards across.  "From here we have to climb, how far depends on all of you."

 

He looked at Datura, it was evident he was now fairly winded, "Is your offer to carry Garlon still good?  I can use my jacket to make him easier to carry.."

 

   You must physically climb the tower.  Superspeed, flight jumping teleporting, all do not function.   All climb this tower as mortals, at least the first time.  You are of course free to find this out yourselves IC, but the effect is the same.   What I'd like is a post from each of you describing the beginning of your character's ascent.  after we have everyone I will post and then give you all a chance to deal with what I have planned, then get us to the top. 

 

Back at the arena, Tetsuko received  priority secure transmission.   "Tetsuko, this is Priority alpha-one, go to the following coordinates at your highest speed.   There you will need to climb the tower physically.   You will be more effective there than where you are now.   To ease your conscience I'm sending several Medical Response teams to the area, I need you to do this without question, and trust in me, and those who await you."   -  The image of Director of Capsule Corps Sora Briefs  flickered and her vision returned to normal, albeit with a stream of coordinates encoded into her internal navigation system guiding her east over 500 miles away.

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Shiori looks up at the tower curiously, then around at everyone else.

 

"So this is where the world's guardian lives," she murmurs. "It's huge."

 

She approaches the wall at the base of the tower. It's unbroken by stairs or doors, but there are carvings set into it, which offer hand and footholds to those confident in their abilities. Shiori doesn't hesitate to begin climbing, though she doesn't show any sign of the preternatural speed she showed i the arena. The priestess begins her ascent at a measured, even careful pace; the pace of someone who has all the time in the world.

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Datura peered up at the tower, wishing she could fly or teleport. She wasn’t afraid of the climb but the tedium of the task. She vastly preferred to fly, if only because of the time involved in both tasks. However, their guide had made it clear and it wasn’t like she couldn’t climb.

“Very well. Your jacket will make an acceptable harness to support the body.” The Saiyan permitted him to touch her long enough to secure the corpse to her back. Beyond that contact, he attempted no more, so it made her feel somewhat better. He didn’t seem to be like the dogs who had forced her to leave home.

Datura shifted her shoulders once, sliding the burden into a better position. Then she reached up, found her first handhold and started to climb.

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"Monte, Christo go find Frier Laznozen keep him safe I will be fine." She reached  touched a nearby shoulder...and was elsewhere. The sensation was not painful or alarming but it was different, "That was cool! How do you do that? Can you teach me how?"  Karmahl's excitement at teleporting and sudden lack of decorum drew various looks from her new companions but she was too awed and overwhelmed by the sight of the tower now to notice them or to realize her lack of manners could be found offensive in the current circumstances. "Wow!', Her faced broke into a huge grin, "We get to climb That?", laughing she takes off climbing up the wide tower shouting over her shoulder "First to the Top!"

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Squatro sighed when he realized that any expedited methods of transport were out. Of course, he had no issue with the physical effort - but really, why couldn't you just reasonably save time? Grabbing onto some handholds and beginning the lengthy ascent, Squatro mentally reconsidered, reminding himself that it DID make an excellent security measure against potential hostiles.

 

Still, he didn't really want to have to replay the boot camp section of The Radish Farm all over again...

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Tetsuko hovered upward, facing the coordinates.

 

I recognize that... something hard-coded in my positronic neuro-net... Priority Alpha One... Oh god... I don't know that protocol but I know following the orders designated that have to be followed without question... Odd...

She saw in the distance the inbound medical and SAR teams. Time to go.

 

She accelerated until when she was at a safe height she created a small sonic boom. As she arrived at the tower she already saw a few small specks starting to make their way up as she headed to the ground, noticing as she got closer and closer her anti-gravity system was being counteracted rather easily.

Landing, she saw the majestic tower in front of her. "Well... this shouldn't be outside of my talent... I've free-climbed on numerous combat and environment survival training excersises." She said to herself as she started calculating out each foot and hand-hold for the first 200 feet.

She started up with machine-like efficiency. If someone saw her... it would seem artificial. One of the few things she does that doesn't have the careful polish to be as human as possible.

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The first half of the climb was purely physical,  made through effort of the body.   Anyone with the right training could do it.     Somewhere though, roughly halfway  if there was such a thing, it became more.    There was a tugging in the heart, that seemed to reach into their very souls.   The winds around them whispered their darkest thoughts, secrets none could know.   It spoke of hopes and dreams, of boundless despair.   Blood and violence, Honor and Rage,  and quiet steadfast integrity.  For those aside Datura, it spoke softest of all of love.  

 

The sense of it all became overwhelming the further the continued, It was now up to them if they would finish this climb, or descend back to what they were before, unworthy.

 

  Everyone needs to roll 2 checks one Body at DC 13, the second Soul at DC 13.  Success on one is required, success on both indicates a complete coming to terms with the character's past, their acceptance of who they are.  Once everyone posts we'll continue.   If you wish you may "elaborate" on what the winds whisper, what you hear.   You alone hear it, but your characters cannot help but wonder if others do as well...  Those that choose to do this will be rewarded with bonus CP depending on the quality of the words of the wind

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[Rebecca OOC] 4:01 pm: Oh this will be good...     
[Rebecca OOC] 4:01 pm: Body
Rebecca OOC *rolls* 2d6: 5+2+7: 14
[Rebecca OOC] 4:02 pm: Soul
Rebecca OOC *rolls* 2d6: 5+1+7: 13
[Rebecca OOC] 4:02 pm: made it
[Rebecca OOC] 4:02 pm: Barely on the soul.
[Rebecca OOC] 4:02 pm: And I got something... cool.

As Tetsuko climbed there was a melody on the wind for a split second... she strained to hear but it seemed it wasn't a melody after all as she listened closer. It seemed more and more like it was data... but expressed in tones. Then it hit her like a ton of bricks.

 

"You! A machine! Doing this test! You're an insult to nature! You don't belong here!"

She continued to climb. It seemed a weight was bearing down within her... and clouds began to gather in front of her only a little ways away... the stone she was climbing grew cold.

"You and your kind are an insult! Your kind killed my family!"

"How could you understand? You're nothing more than a toaster!"


Her fingers dug into the handholds. The words from different voices seemingly stinging her through the cold barbs. The stone almost seemed slick now...

"How could you be alive? God didn't make you."

"You don't have a soul, Tetsuko... you're just numbers... binary code."


She froze in place... then she shouted out. "HOW ARE YOU ANY BETTER? ALL YOU ARE, ARE COMPLEX PROTIENS THAT MANAGE TO SELF-REPRODUCE! YOU KILL EACH OTHER OVER NOTHING BUT TRACTS OF LAND AND IDEALS THAT SERVE ONLY THOSE THAT CONCEIVE THEM!"

She trembled. "YOU CREATED ME, WANTING TO CREATE "LIFE". AND WHAT IS LIFE? CAN YOU ANSWER THAT?"

The wind grew silent. "I know that answer." Tetsuko said with a grin. "And like hell any of you are deserving of it. You're full of rage, and anger, and hatred. I saw that a little while ago... the worst of you."

"Then what's the answer?" It was like the voice was right there... whispering in her ear. It sounded now like a curious child.

 

"You... you're not just mankind.... you're... something different."

Tetsuko looked around, curious as to what sort of life-form could be testing her... "You want to know, don't you?" She said with a laugh. "How could I fault you... you're not a human being... You're just as curious as I am."

"Of course... you're egotistical enough to claim you've figured the meaning of life... So I want to hear it."

"That's the joke, whoever you are... there isn't a meaning but what you place on it." Tetsuko said. A little irritated.

"Then what is it to you?"

"To be better than I was yesterday."
"To live to my potential, and exceed it."
"To create my future with my hands!!!"

 

That wasn't just Tetsuko saying what life was to her... into the cloud bank that now challenged her every thought... it was Tetsuko taking a oath... or was it an oath she's always followed?

"You don't sound like an Android..."

Tetsuko smiled. "You don't sound like a person... Who are..."

She looked thinking she'd finally see the voice, but still saw nothing.

Tetsuko grinned as she saw the clouds parting that she was about to climb into. Her goal was in sight. The stone face became warm and dry. "Keep climbing... I like you... I wanna see where you go from here."

"Oh... I plan on going... everywhere."

"Do it. I know you don't like making hollow promises."

The weight on her heart lifted, it seemed there was no limit... from here on, her path was her's to follow... she didn't have to prove she was alive, or something better than "just a machine". She was Tetsuko Ueda, Daughter of Ai Ueda. And she was as worthy of anything as any of those challenging this tower today. As worthy as anyone. Tetsuko felt more alive today than she ever did.

She looked down. "That, and next time I come here I'm totally BASE jumping this!"

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Carver *rolls* 2d6: 4+4+7: 15

Carver *rolls* 2d6: 1+1+7: 9

Long ruled that she can make the tower despite the crit fail.

The corpse on her back seemed to pull on her shoulders and back once the whispers started. Grimly, Datura ignored the odd noises and the pulling on her body. It was just the weakness of her body trying to hold her down, like all those Saiyans back home—

“You lie to yourself so well.”

The voice in her ear nearly cost her a handhold and Datura scrambled to recover. Her fingertips lost their grip and she dropped six feet. “Datura!” Gen leaned over and peered at her, concerned. “Are you okay?”

“Yes! My fingers slipped.” Her heart pounded in her chest, from fear. The fall would probably kill her but that wasn’t what had her pausing uncertainly. She was afraid—a Saiyan, afraid! That didn’t happen—

“Fear comes to us all.” The voice still startled her but this time Datura was more prepared.

“Do I need to come down and take Garlon?” Gen actually shifted slightly as if he were going to climb down without her request.

Datura shook her head and resumed climbing. “No, I’m fine.”

“That’s what you want everyone to believe.”

The Saiyan peered casually over her shoulder and found herself looking into Garlon’s eyes. He smirked and winked at her. She gasped and almost powered up; only the lack of reaction from Gen made her realize that something was wrong. “It’s true,” she hissed hotly, pulling herself up another couple of feet. Realizing that the human was still watching her, she told Gen, “I am fine!”

“Okay.” He turned back to his own progress up the tower.

Garlon snorted in her ear, his cold breath raising bumps on her skin. “That’s why you’re here on Earth, instead of at home. You’re not fine, not unless you mean your ass.” Something brushed her backside and the Saiyan clenched reflexsively.

“I’m here,” Datura growled almost subvocally, “because those males couldn’t stop panting after me.”

“You’re here because you’re too pretty. Too lovely to be a real fighter. You know that. Why can’t you admit it?” The Saiyan woman just shook her head; it was a lie, it was wrong. She was proof that Saiyan women were as strong as the men. “They knew your worth. You belong on your back, making babies for warriors!”

Datura clamped her lips shut and shook her head, focusing on putting one hand over the other and pulling herself ever higher. The clouds hid her from the others and them from her sight. She could hear them climbing but they sounded so far away. That is the way. Focus on the climb, not on the things pulling you down—

“You’re the thing pulling you down. Wait until you meet the planet guardian. He’ll know. He’ll throw you to the ground and part your legs and tell Gen to go for it.” She risked a look back at the dead champion to see him wiggling his tongue at her. “Do you really think you’re worthy to meet my uncle?”

“Yes.” Datura knew the whisper to be a lie. She was here because she couldn’t make it on Vegeta-sai. She was here because she’d been born a woman, and she’d never, ever be good enough. Gen, a human, had more right to fight here and to climb to the world’s guardian than she did.

I will not be defeated. Her internal voice, usually so strong, felt weak. Worthless.

“He’ll know. One look and he’ll know that you’re nothing more than a breeder.” Garlon shifted closer to her ear. “You should have stayed home, where at least you’d be seeded by Saiyans. Here, you’ll give birth to half-breeds.”

“No!” Datura hissed the word sharply, glancing around worriedly to see if the others heard. “It doesn’t matter if I’m worthy. I. Am. Doing. This!” She pulled herself higher and broke through the clouds, into the sun. The tower ended in front of her; Datura felt her will harden. She was too close to quit now.

Even if she should quit, even if she shouldn’t dare to profane the guardian with her presence, she couldn’t stop now. She wouldn’t stop now.

She would never stop.

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Karmahl raced up the tower wall finding the hand and footholds instinctively enjoying the exertion the thrill in her desire to be first so she was somewhat annoyed when the warm wind blew across her face throwing dust into her eyes.

 

But wait where would dust come from way up here?

 

She Paused and glanced around the wind was picking up and she could see the dust in the air but it wasn’t dust it was ash.

 

“Do you know what burned child?â€

 

The voice so much like the Abbess startled her, she almost lost her grip.

 

“Look behind you child, look at historyâ€

 

Karmahl looked over her shoulder and her eyes went wide fo stretched out below her wasnt the tower and the earth but a galaxy or worlds all burning.

 

“They built an empire, a million worlds they sought to enlighten all thinking beings living and machine

only to have them rebel. Rebel and destroyâ€

 

Karmahl couldn’t drag her eyes from the scenes of war and death unfolding before her

sh looked around and saw the others had stopped as well in their climb but she couldn’t be sure they were watching what she was seeing. Th voice continued as the scene drew down to one world her world.

“Until this is all that left. One dead world, one dying God...and youâ€

 

Below her she can see the monastery dn like watching a program on the vid screen it rushes in to a close up of her standing before the crashed ship that brought her to that desolate world so far from her own people. The tears start to well up in her eyes.

 

“And you child, what are you? Why do they pin all their hopes and dreams on you a lonely lost little child adrift in space not even the same species not even fro the same galaxyâ€

 

The tears falling freely now sobs escaping Karmahl tries to continue climbling shuts her eyes to not see the bleak vision.

 

“the last War Witch how pathetic, the last dying gasp of a once great people reduced to a simple refugee human who is NOTHINGâ€

 

“no†Karmahl says out loud. “ I am the last Warwitchâ€

 

Crying and her exuberance crushed she forces herself to continue climbing.

 

 

dice rolls
Reb saved my original rolls oh thank you!

[ninaBMM] 4:20 pm: body roll for karmahl
ninaBMM *rolls* 2d6: 6+2+7: 15
[ninaBMM] 4:21 pm: soul for Karmahl
ninaBMM *rolls* 2d6: 2+5+7: 14
[ninaBMM] 4:22 pm: dang customers
[ninaBMM] 4:22 pm: looks like i made it too
[Rebecca OOC] 4:23 pm: Witnessed.

 

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The noises were just background, mere static Squatro tuned out. Persistently, he pulled himself up the vast stonework side of the tower. Just methodical, focused motion. Nothing to worry about.

 

"Hey hotshot, slow down a sec."

 

Squatro came to a dead halt, having just secured himself on a new pair of footholds. This new voice felt as if it been spoken right into his ear from over his shoulder, and it was identical to his own voice. You couldn't ignore that kind of thing.

 

"I'm that voice in your head," the phantom continued with tones of amusement, "that kind you don't want to hear and don't want to acknowledge."

 

"So no offense taken if I ignore you? Kinda busy climbing." Squatro muttered, continuing the ascent.

 

The clicking of a tongue echoed back. "That's not what you should be doing."

 

"Come again?"

 

"Why the hell are you climbing the tower?"

 

"This needs to be asked?" Squatro grunted, annoyed now. Was this some kind of tower defense? He could count enough reasons on his hands flat out on the spot.

 

"You saw them. Three of them against Garlon. Combat measured in seconds. And before you try and say something about numbers - remember. Dead finalist, live quarter-finalist. One will walk all over you and your grave."

 

"Duty to protect the world. I'm prepared to lay down my life if need be." This was a more critical spot. Only one handhold available at shoulder height, and the next in line would require Squatro to reach quite a bit high.

 

"But it'll still be a forgone conclusion. You'll die, or maybe one of the ladies will rescue your butt just in time."

 

Squatro reached out...

 

"Either way, civilians save the day. Again."

 

...his hand snapped shut definitely shy of the protruding stone. Off-balance, his feet unable to support him now, they slipped out into open air -

 

And a sprinkle of stone dust dribbled onto his face, fingers that dug completely inside the rock, just enough to keep him from going all the way down.

 

"Skehehehehe. Yeah, I thought so."

 

"Thought what?" Squatro protested, scrabbling back to regain his footing. It was hollow and he knew it.

 

"Knock it off. You know the point of your job. Your whole life was to prep you for this. And if you fail at this, what does that make you? ...Nothing."

 

Shut up, Squatro said, but weary, only in his head. He swung up again and made the lift on the second attempt, happening to feel his eyes blink and moisten. It was just the dirt irritating his eyes.

 

OOC
[Jeremy] 10:09 pm: Body
[Lobby]: Seanette has left at 10:09 pm
Jeremy *rolls* 2d6: 2+3+7: 12
[Jeremy] 10:11 pm: Soul
Jeremy *rolls* 2d6: 5+4+7: 16
[Jeremy] 10:12 pm: Witnessi? And yes, this is a word now. I say it so.
[ninaBMM] 10:13 pm: its a success
[ninaBMM] 10:13 pm: you is witnessied

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Traversing the tower was a trivial exercise. Strength that was not merely mortal animated her, even down to the fingers and toes she used to grip the stonework in the side of the tower. Any one of those digits could have lifted far more than her body weight. Surely, Shiori thought, there must be more to this.

 

She froze then, as the word traitor drifted to her ear. Her heart immediately started slamming, and she nearly fell off the tower in her haste to twist around and look behind her.

 

They'd found her, somehow. Even here. How?!

 

But the sky was empty save scudding clouds, and no one but the other warriors were scaling the tower.

 

Again it came. Traitor.

 

"Who is that?" she demanded.

 

You betrayed the blood; your family. And then you ran away.

 

Shiori's fingers clenched, carving divots through the stonework. "That's a lie," she hissed. "I protected the family. I refused the order to protect the family! I left so I wouldn't have to fight them!"

 

You swore to obey. To make a blessing of the curse.

 

"They were children," she whispered. "What blessing could have come from that?"

 

It was not for you to say.

 

And with that Shiori Kiba let go of the tower. Rage rose up in her as she realized what was happening. Test or no test, she would not stand and be judged for her actions by this THING. She stood by her actions, and accepted the consequences! Why was she even here?!

 

At the last instant though, the question she snarled at herself recieved an answer, and even as she started to fall, she was able to punch out...her fist piercing into the tower's side and holding her up. Because the answer was crystalline, and beautiful, and coming as it did from anger and despair was all the more gorgeous in its simplicity and power.

 

She could make it all right again. She'd seen how. She really could make a blessing out of the curse, and whatever cost there would be for such a thing would be entirely on her own shoulders.

 

So there, dangling by one hand from the side of a huge tower, her kimono whipped into a frenzy by the constant wind, Shiori burst into laughter...and resumed the climb, with even more energy than before. She knew why she was here now, and what she wanted, and she would knock over the pillars of Heaven before she stopped now.

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The ascent to the tower took them into the night, but when they finally arrived at the bell-shaped top, they climbed up onto the top, a flat perfectly cirular deck tiled with square tiles,   There was a temple-like structure towards the center, and a number of gardens.   Standing near the edge,  There was a much older Namekian, holding a large walking stick wearing white and purple robes.   His age showed in the wrinkles in his skin, and how dark green his skin had become.   He turned slowly as the warriors from the tournament began to pull themselves up onto the lookout.    The only other figure atop the lookout was a Genie with solid black skin, who didn't even look their way.  

 

The young man pulled himself up, and took Garlon's corpse from Datura.  "Thanks for carrying him, after the teleporting, especially so many people, I'm beat."  He turned and walked toward the elder Namekian.  "Lord Dende!"    The Elder Namekian turned and nodded,  "Mr. Popo, take Garlon and prepare him please."    The Genie stopped doing what he was doing in the garden and took the corpse from the young man."

 

"Thank you Genichiro.    I watched the tournament with great anticipation, and I was happy to see him win, but his death, it leaves much undone."

 

He smiled softly.  "Bid your friends come closer so that I might thank them.  I am sure they all have questions.  The least I can do is answer them."

 

Genichiro turned around, relaxing for the first time since the tournament his tail uncurling from his waist, revealing his own saiyan blood and waved everyone forward.  "Everyone, please join us.   Lord Dende welcomes you to his lookout."

 

The Guardian, Dende, nodded.  "Congratulations on climbing the tower.    Only the worthy may do so."

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Datura panted slightly as she pulled herself over the edge. The last part of the climb had been the hardest. Despite the silence of her burden, his words had seeded a doubt in her that wouldn’t go away. The fears of not good enough lay under her skin, in her heart and left her tail shaking.
 
Her tiredness didn’t stop her from blinking at the Namekian guardian. She was a little surprised that the mystical protector of the human homeworld was not actually human. Of course, the Champion hadn’t been human and had been his nephew but Datura knew that ties of family could be spiritual instead of blood. The genie earned a stare, too; the Saiyan hadn’t seen anything like that before.
 
Genichiro approached her and Datura fought the urge to retreat from him; it was too soon after Garlon’s post-death mocking for her to be comfortable near any male, human or otherwise. She nodded at his gratitude but didn’t reply, watching silently as he carried the dead man to his uncle. Garlon didn’t smart off anymore, being as silent and still as he should have been with her.
 
When Lord Dende welcomed them, Datura barely heard him. Instead, she stared at Gen’s tail as if it were a furred snake drawing up to strike. In the silence after Dende’s statement of worth, Datura snarled to Gen, “You’re a Saiyan!” She looked angry, despite the fear in her heart. I won’t let the Guardian turn me into his breeder! I’ll fight them both if I must!

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After Tetsuko had a proper footing, she bowed politely. "I receive your hospitality, Guardian. I thank you for your invitation."

"I am Tetsuko Ueda, daughter of Ai Ueda. I am also a Employee in Capsule Corporation's Security and Military Concepts Division. It seems... the CEO's family has a history with this place as I was ordered here by the current CEO, Sora Briefs, eldest of the Briefs Zaibatsu."

Adjusting her suit she looked at the others starting to reach the top. Noting that there were two Saiyans there, Tetsuko suddenly was enamored. "Oh? Saiyans? Two of you!"

She smiled exitedly, looking like a exuberant child. Particularly when she saw it was the two in the Tournament. "I never thought I'd see two in the same place... well... not without ducking for cover. It's an honor, and a priveledge." She said with a bow. "Particularly as both of you were amazing in the tournament! Your matches provided no end to the combat data I analysed."

Still bowing it looked like she was...trembling. "Thank you... I hope I will not sully your example."

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Unhurried, Shiori finished her climb in third place and spent a moment straightening her clothes and making herself presentable, to buy time to think. The world's guardian would certainly have the resources to see through any dissembling on her part, but she decided that was not a problem...it was an opportunity. Whatever he chose to do would reveal some of his mind to her, and that could only be a useful thing.

 

And old Sora Briefs, eh? What was that devil up to sending this girl here? Shiori remembered her from the Tournament; an artificial being and therefore of little interest to her beyond being vaguely impressed at the technology that built her. Perhaps he had ways of spying through her eyes, listening through her ears. Clever bastard. She'd have to remember that possibility.

 

So she hurried to Tetsuko's side and hastily made a deep, very formal bow, blushing furiously. Her voice was squeaky and nervous as she piped, "Honored guardian, beloved of the kami, thank you for inviting us to your home, and finding us worthy!" She awkwardly held the bow a little longer than protocol demanded, and when she stood up she was unable to look the guardian in the face, all starstruck and fidgeting. "I am Shiori Kiba. I was in the Tournament as well, though I'm afraid I didn't do very well. I will try harder next time!"

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Karmahl pulled herself over the edge of the flat top of the temple and was greeted with a sight that simply amazed her, her displeasure at being fifth to the top draining away into the back of her mind.

 

She step to stand beside her new companions and bowed when they did not really knowing the import of the person before. This more than anything brought home the huge holes in her education holes she promised herself she would fill.

 

She stood and listened to the conversations and when the gaze of the Guardian fell upon her she bowed again, showing  great self confidence, as deep as Shiori but only held it a short time.

 

“I too am honored Lord Dende, I am Karmahl Syn Last of the War-Witches of the Neo-Genisis, and I am at your serviceâ€

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Genichiro looked over at Datura.  "Yeah, just raised here on Earth by my mother and her friends like Lord Dende."   He seemed to think this were no more important information than his name, or that the sky was blue.   To him it was obvious.  "Is there a problem with me being Saiyan too?"
 
Looking to Tesuko, he nodded.  "Well two full blooded ones so far from Vegeta, yeah I guess so, but there's a good number on Earth now with Saiyan blood.  That said it's nice to meet you, all of you."

 

Dende smiled at Shiori and nodded.  "I know well who you are, Shiori Kiba, I am glad in  a way you are here.  What I have to relate to the others will certainly be of interest to you, so I trust you'll be helping with the task I must set before you all."

 

Karmahl got perhaps the most interesting reaction, the narrowing of the Guardian's eyes, and a moment of silence.  "I see.  Well, I must say I do not using the "Last" of anything for tasks such as what i have in store for you, but if you volunteer for it, then so be it.  It is of such importance that virtually all Aid must be accepted at this point."

 

 

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Datura took a step back at Gen’s confession. Her expression twisted with disgust and anger – and for the truly perceptive, a hint of fear. Her own tail unlooped from her waist, bristling slightly, and lashed the air behind her. A male Saiyan, here on Earth. She’d thought she could make her own way on this planet without the overbearing actions of the male members of her species. She’d thought herself safe because Earth was such a weakling planet – the last place a full-blooded Saiyan would go. The irony was disgusting.

The toaster’s reaction was also off-putting. The android was watching her and Gen as if they were the most exciting things ever. Datura knew she was of a superior species but she wondered why any creature would have so little pride to call it an “honor and privilege” to meet her. She also wondered why the thing hadn’t realized she was a Saiyan before; Datura made no secret of her race. The mention of combat data made her tail bristle harder. Why was this thing studying her combat?

The other two barely registered to her; her gaze darted between Gen and the puppy-eyed machine. When he spoke to her, she lifted her chin and met his gaze, anger snapping in their dark depths. “There will be no problem,” she told him icily, “so long as you keep your tail to yourself.”

“Okay, I wasn’t planning on it going anywhere.” He grinned cheekily at her and only his close relationship with the Planet Guardian kept Datura from jumping him. That was probably the only connection that could have stopped her, just from sheer preservation.

Lord Dende cleared his throat softly. “Datura, I assure that Gen has been raised more as human than as Saiyan.” He smiled encouragingly at her. “Further, you have nothing to fear while here under my protection. The danger is out in the world, with the task ahead of you.”

Datura narrowed her eyes at him, taking another step to the side and further from Gen. “That’s the second time you’ve said that. What exactly do you want us to do, Guardian?”

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Karmahl's brow furrowed as she mumbled to her self somewhat confused, "Wha..huh..did he just ...no....huh?"

 

Then she caught the last bit of Datura's conversation with the Guardian and Giving the Saiyan a nod butted in.

 

"Yes as my new friend and companion," another nod and smile at Datura, "Has asked, what exactly are we doing here?"

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Tetsuko read everyone there... Seems her presence disturbed them as much as it did others. She would normally be kept at the central campus and barracks, but this recent field-trip has turned into a full fledged crisis.

"I can deduce one thing from our attackers." She said, crossing her arms. "Either they were a resurgent Red Ribbon, even after all this time, or an alien threat. Either or... I wager that would be one heck of a crisis, indeed, Guardian."

She looked to Datura. It seemed, if it was possible to have a combination of guilt behind a watchful, weary eye, she managed to pull it off. Tetsuko was being careful, but she had weak social skills which was apparent. But she seemed otherwise quite alive, and that would unnerve anyone that a machine looked at them like a person. She did this for a split second before returning her attention to Dende. "There isn't any question as to if I will assist. If this gets to the bottom of who those militants were, the sooner they can be brought to justice. The means will be on if they surrender to reason. Sadly, seeing how they regard innocent life, I highly doubt that."

"To be honest... fighting in tournaments while a good shakedown, is not what my re-purposing was for... But seeing how the tournament grounds were so suddenly attacked with such speed and precision, I am wagering this is more than just mercenaries, this is a military operation with similar force and precision."

She quirked an eyebrow. "So... I doubt I will need permission from HQ to cut loose?"

She was speaking rhetorically, but the paperwork after discharging her on-board weaponry could be... oppressive. Thankfully she had a secretary for that, although Tetsuko wagered she would resign after everyone resolved this crisis...

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"Please accept my apologies for what happened to your grandson," Shiori said, putting her palms together in front of her face before bowing again. "If I can be of any help to you in finding and bringing the ones who did this to justice, I will do my best."

 

And of course, if it means I have a chance to find out if that thing they stole was what I think it is, well then everyone wins.

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