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Old 06-10-2018, 01:50 PM   #530
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: England
Posts: 603
ffs Hermes...

Originally Posted by Maskerade View Post

Blaze’s transformation couldn’t have come at a better time: visibly larger than before, and brimming with awakened power, the Combusken flexes his muscles to a poin where it becomes almost impossible for Houndour to keep a tight grip on his leg. A shower of glistening stars falls upon the enemy, forcing him to relinquish the hold altogether, and in an impressive show of athleticism, Blaze swipes Houndour’s legs out from under him, causing the dog to fall over hard. It does not get back up…

*Blaze has learned EM Crush Claw!*
*Blaze has learned EM Endure!*

Axel, meanwhile, has shifted his attention to the desk’s drawers, using his mental powers to open them – why use muscles at all? – and peering inside with curiosity. What he finds he casually carries across the air and places in front of you with basic telekinesis, but he doesn’t seem particularly selective about what he pulls out, regardless of apparent interest: one by one, items are piled up at your feet, starting with an empty ammo clip, then a rusty screw, a long-stopped wristwatch, a pen… and what seems to be a carefully-opened letter.

*Axel has gained 1 Level!*

The only standing guard falters, on the brink of passing out due to pain, but endures and recalls his fainted Houndour. He picks a second PokeBall from his belt, wincing all the while, and prepares to toss it… until his eyes glaze over and he stops breathing. A bloodied metal blade pierces through the fabric of his uniform, and you realize Hermes has done his job, but he did so with unsettling calmness judging by the snail-paced motion of the edge. He had materialized behind the Shell, then leisurely stabbed him across the back, ever-so-slowly penetrating skin, muscle, lung and heart, before re-emerging through the front of his torso…

*Hermes has gained 1 Level!*

It is then that, with a loud thud, the room’s door is forcibly opened from the outside. Immediately, and with great amount of personal interest, Hermes carries out his assigned task: incomparably faster than before, he removes the blade from the dead guard’s chest and spins 180 degrees, driving the edge horizontally into the abdomen of the invader and almost slicing him in half.

“W-why… M-Molly… I h-helped you… I l-l-lov….”

Blood trickling down his mouth, the red-haired man you met before stares at you with an unsettling, sickly gaze. Anderson’s breathing is shallow, and as his strength fails him, he drops the bloodied knife he was carrying in his right hand and a small piece of paper from his left. Finally, he draws his last breath and passes away with his eyes still open, looking straight at you – in a way, maybe the most pleasant death he could have asked for in his mind.

Blaze picks up the note dropped by Anderson and hands it over to you. There are only three lines of text in shoddy handwriting, the same poor penmanship as the one on the paper strapped to that Rattata from before.

“Cathedral is straight ahead through the main hall. There’s also a passage from the Marquis’s room behind the bookshelf. What you want is behind the pipe organ.”

It dawns on you that Anderson had been the one to point you to the quartermaster’s office. He saw through you in your first encounter outside the Sanctum, but didn’t turn you in then even though he was in Rigel’s presence. In fact, he has been helping you, and no doubt was looking to do the same now, knowing you were trapped in here with two guards.

Things turned into a giant mess, but you can’t say you turned up empty-handed. You know where you need to go, but you remember you are still being blackmailed by the quartermaster, who expects you to return with the code to Cathedral’s secret room. You can look around here some more if there are still any loose ends, but you probably shouldn’t linger…

What now?
"Blaze, that was amazing!" Alice praised of the fire-type, in awe of his evolution. He was beautiful and sturdy and tall, pink feathers puffed out with strength and pride. He was absolutely ready for another round, although they both knew they didn't have time for it. How good, then, that Hermes saw to that! Or not. The ghost-type dealt with things in the way he'd been hoping for, revelling not only in the destruction of body and devouring of soul, but perhaps in his trainer's and fellow Pokemons' reactions.

Alice's face in particular was a picture, expression of determined delight falling with shock. He and Axel both sensed it keenly, so in tune (him, perhaps forcibly...) than the Combusken was - the way her heart boomed, the sick pit in her stomach and the sense of dread and fear and regret and disgust. "H- Hermes, y-- you didn't need to...! Hermes, no!" It was too late. By the time she'd reacted to the door opening, the Honedge had added another life to the list. It was none other than their mysterious ally, the seemingly softer (for a Shell) Anderson. His eyes were still open. Fuck. Tears began streaming down her face, and Blaze had to take pause after picking up the paper because his trainer had stumbled to the side to vomit. She had tried to reach the trash can, but, her insides couldn't wait.

"They would've done the same to you. That man was going to eat your baby bird." Hermes reminded her, voice a haunting echo in the psyches of his team. Of course, Combusken had several years on the sword at least, resenting the condescension. He scowled, equally repulsed by the others' actions, and set a comforting hand on the woman's shoulder to ease her. With the other, he set the letter in hand.
"He-- he was helping us! He was trying to help us!" Alice insisted, shakily holding the note up, the paper audibly crinkling. "He was fucking helping us from the start!"
"Or playing you like a fiddle. Either way, lower your voice before we have to make a bonfire." Hermes suggested, and Alice's breath caught in her throat. She'd practically forgotten the items that were on the floor. The Marquis' room was a fucking mess at this stage.

Hermes was right, though. Quick and quiet was the strategy here. Alice wanted to move the bodies but the splashes of blood would give them away anyway, so best forget about that. "We-- we have to go into the s- secret passageway. Come on..." Alice urged. Blaze stayed right at her side, soft feathers able to be felt comfortingly brushing against her skin. Carefully, not wanting it to crash, he used his strength to shift the bookcase with steadying assistance from Axel, and they tried to find the opening. Hermes hovered, ready to phase ahead or deal with anymore intruders. Axel had forced the door shut (untidily dragging a corpse forward from the doorway to do so) and locked it, and said corpse would add a weight to anyone trying to come in. But still, these Shells were crafty.

He'd have the place redder than the Poke Balls they carried if they kept trying to come in like that. If only the Marquis had tried to make the same mistake.

((Axel: 79 > 80, Hermes: 22 > 23))
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