it was a starry night, as the lone, cloaked navi stood on the remains of a battleground. The earth dead and desolate around him. Broken trees, littered the area. He stood, arms crossed, mixture of excitement and thought on his face.
“I wonder if he will show?” The low, scratchy voice mumbled.
He had set this up elaborately over several days. Despite the boy being very careful with communication, their connection had shifted. Rosso’s appearence changed everything. His lucky shot had given him a taste of freedom from his chains. And with it, the boy’s guard had laxed slightly. While he admitted he could not fully utilize his own powers, as they were both locked and tied to the boy, it was a change from being locked away, alone. With no contact, or stimulation inside the child.
He reflected back to a time.. it felt like eons ago.
From the boy’s first fight against the two-faced poison clown. The boy had lost, but had accept defeat gracefully. Never giving into anger.
From there, he faught several others, the happy go lucky swordsman stood out. The figure cocked his head to the side, remembering. His name was Warrior. And he was the boy’s first true friend in many years. Frankly, he wondered if he would ever get a chance to be free after he showed up.
Fast forwarding, the navi thought of several other battles, including Zane, that fire elemental swordsman, and battles with Turbine and Eon... He reminisced though all of the boy’sstruggles Over the years. And yet, not once, did the boy give into his call to darkness.
Until Warrior made the decision to stab him in the back.
That lone decision forever scarred and changed the boy. Seeing his best friend slay another friend in front of him, just to attempt to slay their opponent was enough for the young boy to lose sight of himself. There was doubt. There was sorrow, and then there was plenty of anger. Pure fury. Combined with his newfound power, as the boy had finally tapped into a bit of the power of the other soul bound to him... the Woman’s.
But knowing it wasn’t enough, the boy caved his spirit was broken, if only for a time. And the cloaked navi took it. He fought against his chains... and forced his way through. He broke the chain and forced his way through the boy’smind... and took his body.
He looked down at his form. The bony structure of his hands overlapping and consuming the boy’s own form. The body he overtook sealed beneath the surface... it was strong, sure. But it wasn’t his own. He was still bound. He looked around at the battlefield, the very place of his first release. Here he had laid waste to the area. In a fit of raw fury. He was only partially able to undo the seal to get free. He was only in the world for a short time... but it was a taste of freedom from the lack nothingness of his entrapment. His plot was thwarted y several Navis. A girl with pink hair, a fire chick with swords.. a purple candevil... and the boxer. The boxer broke one of his weapons, and dealt him significant damage before he could fully free himself. That boxer... needed to pay.
He stared skyward. After fighting Rosso, he managed to find a way to break the chain and take over the boy’s body while he was resting. He first attempted a handful of nights ago while the boy slept. He took over the body, and went to the nearest BBS. He quickly made a posting requesting a boxer fighter with big red gloves and dated this location with the words, “I await thee and shall wait every night after midnight..”
The first night it has rained. The second night, it had stormed. And no one had shown.
He had used the time to get used to the body. He did a once over, stretching. Enjoying the feeling of freedom.
The night grew darker, harsher. Midnight came and passed, as did one, two, three... like so many nights before, nothing came for the avatar of death and destruction who laid waste to the land in preparation for his coming test. Hour after hour passes without the Challenger of fate appearing, and at last the dawn begins to rise; a bright orange light barely staining the black skies above. A light, it would seem, that casts a shadow.
From the direction of the horizon cleared by the destruction brought on by the destructive being, a long, straight shadow drops like a monolith across the barren land. Rising from this horizon is the form of a Navi. Little could be gathered from this Navi; he's wrapped in a black robe with ornate green details around its every opening. At his hands, two small, green lights shine out, staying perfectly in place with his every movements, as if attached to him as he lazily waves his arms at his sides and walks towards death.
...however, the most striking feature of this Navi, and at the same time the least interesting, is a terribly simple sword strapped to his back. The rough, cross-shaped hilt is off-set from the blade slightly, and its color is a worn, almost dusty black. Its scabbard hides the blade and is made from the same unassuming cloth as the Navi's cloak, and to any Navi it would appear as nothing more than a simple weapon just like any other wielded on the net, but something about this sword screams danger. The simple weapon carries with it an innate sense of fear and dread; as though it is the coming executioner's blade from which there is no escape. An executioner's weapon that knows what it's used for.
The Navi walks in silence until he reaches a distance of roughly 15 feet from death, and then opens his mouth to speak with a strange, almost painful to hear voice
Perhaps a comforting contrast from the voice he had heard only moments ago. Perhaps it was just as painful. From behind, the cloaked navi would hear his best friend's voice.
Or what used to be his best friend.
Or a copy of him.
That was indistinguishable now, wasn't it? In the back of his mind, Finale considered that he might very well be continuing Warrior's legacy. Or at least that of Remnant, his own friend who he'd know would never have given up. Not in the way he had.
It stung a little to think like that. Everyone Finale had met was better than him, in that way. Although Finale was gone now. In his place stood Warrior. Or a Remnant of him. A shadow's reflection. Bound in golden chains, his hands already on his blade... Faith? Hope? Cherish?
Warrior F forgot its name. It had no meaning to him. A blade was a blade. Then again-
"And look who shows up." The executioner's blade seemed to defy this sentiment. It was as if death itself had arrived, keen on fulfilling the cloaked one's deathwish. If times were different, Finale- Warrior F, would probably have found joy in meeting death.
The cursed winds howled, and the deathless curse on their breath. Warrior F would not die today. If he took too much damage, he could simply log out, back into the real world.
Finale had no such luxuries.
He walked up, beside the cloaked one, gazing at him and waiting for his reaction.
encore: HOW DO I ADULT EGG, COLIN Colin: it kinda just happens eggs
As Dawn begins to appear on the horizon, Death lets out a small, low growl. While the light didn't bother him, he was aware of the now limited time he had before he would need to return the boy's body to the last location the boy remembered before falling asleep.
But then everything changed. A shadow appeared upon the horizon. His red irises gleamed with interest and excitement as the navi approached, hoping that it was the boxer he so desired to fight. However, his excitement was dulled at the arrival. He was different. Smaller, and carried a sword at his side. But that Sword... it radiated something different than a regular sword. Now he was curious. As the navi spoke, his ears rang, the voice. Then he responded.
"Unfortunately, I have rested for far too long..."
Before he could continue, there was a new presence behind him. It was familiar and yet different. As the second arrival spoke, a small grin appeared on his face, half hidden by the hood of his cloak. He spoke first to the navi behind him, turning to the side, a so he could address both figures.
"A death wish? I could ask you the same thing. You sound like him... Yet are not... And if the boy knew, you might want to reconsider... Unless you have come asking forgiveness... "
His low, raspy yet deep voice spoke towards Finale with a mixture of feeling. He played along for now, as if it was truly Warrior. But he had doubts. Thi one was... Different than he expected to meet. He could play this many different ways. Some would benefit him. However, waking the boy and showing him the warrior behind him may have been a brilliant idea to break the boy earlier. However, with another navi present, the fact that this was not exactly the boy's friend, and he still had not been able to fight his current target, he decided that would do more harm than good. He turned back to the other, green swordsman.
The Navi... assuming this was a proper term for the robed figure, turns his head to the visage of warrior and cocks it to the side, looking on through the shadows to reveal a face largely covered in gray bandages; all but one blood-shot, green eye that stares out with a wide, vacant stare.
With head still cocked to the side, the Navi turns back to the form of death and looks to him with the same twitching eye, raising his arms forward and presenting his hands in an open and welcoming gesture.
His arms then drop dead at his sides, waving slightly when they fall as if he'd simply given up all motor control. He slumps down as his head cocks even farther, but that eye... the eye still looks on with an unblinking, algae-green gaze.
Warrior stood unusually cold. He let the iron broadsword fall back into its night-black leather holster. For a being that reeked of danger, the strange, green one's demeanor was strange. Almost polite.
Crossing his arms, Warrior simply shook his head, no. It wasn't a lie, at least. Though he had seen her just that night, Embera could be anywhere. He held his position, uneasy. Merrill had been calling himself "the boy", and talking in third person did not seem like something he normally would do. At least, not in the little that he had learned from Remnant or Warrior. In fact, the whole demeanor of the cloaked one seemed different.
The area was a crater. Filled with death and destruction. Barren trees, deposed of their colors. Ashen, lifeless earth. The moonlight was dark. It was the antithesis of what little he knew of Heckentash. He was a bringer of life, and a defender of the light.
This... this was someone different.
There was a sigh of disappointment as Warrior realized that his mission was beginning to turn up fruitless. Then a concern for his friend as the strange, green navi mentioned her by name. What did he intend to do with her, exactly? Send her to rest...
There was a pit in Finale's stomach, and it wasn't the gnawing hunger for bugfrags that filled him normally. The air seemed to be choking with dread.
As the green cloaked figure spoke, he could only shake his head. He scanned through his mind anything he could remember on “Embera.” He also looked through the unconscious Merrill’s memory, but there was nothing on Embera. So he shook his head as well.
“Unfortunately, I cant help you. I do not know this... Embera. Can you tell me anything about her? Also, what do you mean, send her to rest?”
He waited a second, the words echoing in his head.
“...Are you looking to kill this Embera?”
As Finale had not spoken, Death crosses his arms, awaiting to see what unfolded.
The strange, cloaked Navi looks out from the overhang of his hood to both death and warrior, looking at them with an obvious anger before turning away from the clearing, re-gaining silence as he moves on without a word.
Warrior scoffed as the cloaked navi turned and left.
So much for that... still, the air of danger hung over him like a dark cloud. Whatever that thing was, it was hunting Embera, a fact that left the platinum-gold 'navi' uncomfortable. A chill ran down his spine. Perhaps, just the wind.
He turned to Death. "I have come on information on the red one - Rosso. That's to whom you issued this challenge, correct?"
If anything, the night was silent. It was the type of silence that cut through the air, gripping at your throat and threatening to steal your breath away.
"You know me! Always looking to save the world..." Warrior looked away, unable to make even the simplest lie. He choked then, coughing up some kind of a luminescent fluid. It dripped down the corner of his mouth.
Too many tells that he was a fake - it was his flaws. Even new systems couldn't make Finale any more interested in keeping up appearances. Halfhearted lies was all that was left.
"You were there at ground zero in Element City, right? You should know better than anyone about him."
encore: HOW DO I ADULT EGG, COLIN Colin: it kinda just happens eggs
His crimson red eyes stared down Finale. He stepped forward until he was a few feet from Finale. Finally, he lifted his arms up to the hood. He slowly removed it, revealing the bone colored face of his, with his pitch black hair. He gave a small grin.
"Let's stop lying to each other, shall we?"
His voice was a low growl. As he talked, his canine teeth were noticeably sharp and longer than normal.
"You are not the one who set me free."
He folded his arms again. His face dropped the smile to a neutral expression.
"Oh no... I've been revealed..." Finale sighed with not a single hint of genuine disappointment. It made little difference at this point whether Merrill, rather, this... not-Merrill.
Finale would mirror Death's actions, removing his visor to reveal the full of his face. Even though the body was that of Warrior's, the eyes were unmistakably his own. Right eye, a dim, bored gold. It seemed to see through things, staring blankly into the far distance without focus.
Left eye however...
Less an eye, more like a crack in porcelain. An [smear:E77A22]orange-yellow[/smear:#ebd159] puss flowed in and out of the crevice. It was a yolky substance, that seemed to ebb and flow regardless of gravity or physical constraint. It gathered all in one spot, forming a pupil, and focused directly on the ghastly navi standing in front of him. It seemed to almost pull at the navi.
"It seems I'm not the only liar here." The voice shifted, much like the shifting fluid emanating from the absent void of Finale's eye. It turned to a soft, almost childlike pitch, rather than that same voice pretending to be a Warrior. "You're not the one I seek either..." now that was a sigh of disappointment.
encore: HOW DO I ADULT EGG, COLIN Colin: it kinda just happens eggs
As Death looked into Finale's shattered eye, he could feel his own eyes being pulled from their sockets, with a low gravitational force. His skin and armor would flake, tiny globules of [smear:#ebd159]yellow-orange data[/smear:#E77A22] being pulled from his being. Despite this, the low pain of tearing data, it didn't seem a malicious effort. It seemed to be as natural as looking into Finale's eyes - a simple side effect. He licked his lips.
"It's rude to stare, you know." Finale put on his visor, and Death's eyes settled back into their sockets. The rogue gravity of Finale's glare hidden once more. The viral Warrior shook his head and sighed. How unfortunate that what he came for was simply... not here.
"Hmm... It's as if I'm here to ask you the same..." Finale sighed. He had only a limited, cursory knowledge of Rosso, from secondhand accounts and a small amount of recovered video data. From what Finale had gathered - he was red. That's all the virus cared to remember, at least. The charred ground came into vision as he hung his head.
"However, perhaps we can be of some assistance to each other..." Finale looked up once more, his shape and color seeming to melt away, into something... shorter. The red sigil of World 3 shone blood red, as the illusory form melted away, and Finale resumed his preferred body. A hand idly traced up from his thigh to his chest, reveling in his own beauty. Finale liked very few things gained from his work with World 3, but of them, he took pleasure in his body. A form that wasn't constantly on the verge of falling to bits.
"I am the most advanced search engine in history." A tall order, but perhaps not entirely inaccurate. Finale may have been exaggerating a small amount, though there was still truth in those words. "And you... you have all the info I need from you stored in your data. I could taste it." A chuckle.
Vampiric tendencies were one thing, but Finale was more than a leech. He could taste the color of memories, and the few that he gleaned just from a look-