(Free for all, no judge, 3 posts per person +1 intro post +1 outro post. May go longer if we get into it. Mirror's intro post will come after Warrior and Merrill show up)
Nestled in the mountains of a forgotten network once on the Creamland server is a wide, mirrored building, low in profile, a mere single story tall. Weathered by time, most of the facade has crumbled, shards of mirrored surface reflecting in fragments, while pieces lie scattered across the ground in the immediate vicinity, giving a somber but still satisfying crunch to any who would set foot here.
Not that many would, or even have. This location has since been abandoned by those who had inhabited it, years ago. Though few would recall, there was a group that made this hall their home some years ago. Not simply a one story building in a remote location, the above ground facilities of what was once The Crusading Hall are but a fraction of the complex. Multiple underground floors once housed training facilities, rec halls, kitchen and dining area, residential rooms, conference halls and operations rooms.
Eager to retrace the steps of a former life, one navi finds himself back in this place. Having since forgotten the particulars of their adventures, he has vague recollections of the time he led this faction. He walks the perimeter of the building, one hand outstretched and running along the cracked surface. How much time had actually passed? Did it even matter if it was two years or twenty? Would his brothers in arms, Merrill and Warrior, remember him if they were to meet?
He finds himself imagining the last time he might have been here with them. They would have likely sparred. As they would often do. As most navis of their caliber have done, continue to do. He would have used their abilities against them, as was his method of combat. How would a match against them fare these days? As MirrorMan realizes he's stopped walking, staring off into the sky, he dares ask himself just what he is worth, no longer being able to emulate others. Is it some cruel joke that he is incapable of living up to his namesake?
In their world, there was no end to combat. Always some new cause to raise arms for, some new threat to the world that calls for those who would fight to stand against it. If he were no longer the combatant he was, does he have any meaning? Or is he just an observer, a bystander, powerless?
Hopeful for the future, despite his frustrations with his current situation, MirrorMan composes an email to Warrior and Merrill, short and to the point. A call to meet him at the place they once called home.
Approaching the hall was an unfamiliar fellow, depending on which tidbits of MirrorMan's memories he still kept, but the figure had an aura of familiarity about him despite any holes Mirror's recollection would have had.
Jacob Rayner wasn't the same Warrior he'd remembered during the days of The Crusading Shield, that one was now called "Remnant". Quite literally, Jake was a different person, but MirrorMan had still met him in person years later during another one of their reunions with each other and Merrill.
It was a long and confusing story, one that this new Warrior would surely not keep to himself forever. It was regrettable circumstance that Remnant, "the original Warrior", could not join them for this occasion. Sadly, he was the among living no longer.
Warrior cast the confusing exposition from his mind as he continued his approach toward the ruins of The Crusading Hall. He'd noticed MirrorMan's location near the building as he was still making his perimeter of it and called out to him as he finally made his stop.
"It's been some time, hasn't it?"
Warrior's color scheme and weapon would bear enough resemblance for MirrorMan to recognize who he was supposed to be. Perhaps someday he'd share his full backstory with MirrorMan, but there was a time and place for that. This time and this place, however, was to reunite with an old friend.
"I'm glad to cross paths again."
Last Edit: Nov 13, 2018 18:10:47 GMT -8 by Warrior
Last but not least, Merrill had reached the area. Overcome with a myriad of emotions. So many memories here, he was honestly scared of how he would react seeing them again. After reminiscing and telling stories of Mirror and the Warrior, "Warriors", of old, he was too overcome to face them. At least, right now.
"This will be a perfect opportunity for me. You shouldn't feel ashamed. We can both benefit from this experience. I'm kind of excited to interact with them!"
As it was no longer raining, the figure shed the cloak. Merrill's armor shown with a little more white light than normal. And the light armor was much more of a sky blue color, than it's usual teal and gold. As he approached, the eyes noticed Warrior first. They heard the voice of Warrior as well, calling to a figure slightly far off. Was that Mirror?
She couldn't help but feel giddy. It felt so strange, walking again. Being more than just existing in that soulspace with the other spirit. It felt so good.
But on the other hand, she was just as nervous as Merrill. He was trusting her. Trusting them. They had often tipped the scales for him in times past, offering a tiny bit of aid with his body here or there. But this was different. With the chains unbound, they could experience more than just the darkness. More than the nothingness. For the longest time, they couldn't communicate with anyone, not even each other. The boy could never hear them, despite their shouting and screaming at the various situations Merrill ended up in. She was always curious about the world and such things.
Now through him, she could experience it.
She slowly walked up towards Warrior. His eyes were no longer their gold and silver, but a sky blue. His energy was definitely vibrant, something unfelt in a long time, to anyone who could notice.
She was unsure of how to proceed. Should she reveal herself through him? Or would they notice any difference if she didn't? Merrill had already chosen to close himself, no... Seal himself, and therefore, the angry one away as well.
Life bowed to Warrior first, offering him the first interaction. She too, stared out towards Mirror, waiting patiently, excited and nervous.
SETUP POST #2. BATTLE MAY COMMENCE AT OPPONENTS DISCRETION
The arrival of friends brings MirrorMan back to reality. As Warrior said, it had indeed been some time. He was unsure of how long it had been, actually. A few years, at least? Which was why he wanted so dearly to see his friends. To have a connection again, to re-integrate into the world. He might not remember his past, but he could build a new one with them.
"It's been... too long, I must say. I hope the two of you have been well. I apologize I've been gone for so long..."
MirrorMan trails off, unsure of how to continue or broach the subject.
"I suppose I should fill you in on why I called you here? Well.. yeah, that's a good place to start. I have a vague sense that a lot of time has passed, but I can't seem to remember much. I remember the two of you, and a few others. I remember our time here, as Shields, but the interim of then and now is a haze at best... To add insult to injury, I can't reach Jameson at all, and most mysteriously I find myself unable to use any of my emulation abilities. So much for being a mirror, man..."
Looking over his friends, he notices how different they look from their last encounter and smiles. They both looked more confident, more able, but matured as well. Like they had endured more than their fare share of trials over the years.
"To be honest, part of me misses the days as Shields more than anything. Some of it is nostalgia, some of it is our boundless idealism. I called you for a few reasons. I miss you, to get the sentimental stuff out of the way. But I also am rusty, at best, and was wondering if you two would humor me and engage in one of our sparring matches, for old times sake?"
MirrorMan materializes his helmet, cracks his neck and stretches a bit.
"Though, I'm not here to dwell on things and throw a pity party. I want to be proactive. There is a third reason I called you here. I want to re-establish the Shields. Not as we were, broadcasting ourselves with a base and a banner and all the pomp and circumstance. But instead in a way better suited to the world. We all know that things never stay peaceful for long, and the way I imagine the Shields of today is a loose coalition of those concerned with the best interests of the world rather than their own. We would be held only to the code of doing what is right."
Realizing he's rambling, MirrorMan sighs and settles into a comfortable stance, but a ready one if Warrior and Merrill decide to spar and attempt to catch him off guard.
"That can be a conversation for another time, however. We have a lot of catching up to do. So, if you're interested, show me what you've learned over the years, and we'll catch each other up on the details while we fight!"
Even though Warrior knew Merrill would be here, he was still unsure how to handle the situation between them. When he noticed the different eye color though, and the fact Merrill greeted him with a bow, he realized something was different about him but couldn't quite pinpoint as to what.
Regardless, there didn't seem to be as much tension as he expected so there was no need to raise any. He gave his attention back to MirrorMan as he went about his spill.
"Sounds like a fair code by me. We'll get you warmed up and back into the groove of fighting in no time."
Being the natural initiative taker that he was, it made sense Warrior would make the first move. He drew his sword and held it to his side as MirrorMan took his own stance. Warrior gave his own short spill as well to give Merrill time to prepare too.
"A lot has definitely changed with me, too much to even go over for now, in fact. I haven't been too caught up with the happenings in the world, but have spent most of my time training as you'd probably expect."
Warrior laughed at his own words. They sounded remarkably similar to something Remnant would have said. He held his sword in both hands now, giving clear signs to his friends that he was just about to initiate.
The smile on his face sank to a more serious expression as the wind gently picked up. The atmosphere almost changed in that very moment that his countenance did.
" ... I'm much stronger now. I've experienced stuff you'd never believe. So know that this time, unlike others, I'm holding my punches. "
He sounded far more confident in himself than usual. The Warrior they'd remember was always someone who felt incomplete to the point that he constantly trained in attempt to eventually reach that feeling of completion. The Warrior that stood before them now sounded as if he had not only reached that point, but far exceeded it as well. He almost sounded as though he regreted it.
" I'll give you a demonstration of what I'm now capable of. The explanation behind it all will come in time. "
The wind stopped completely now.
Suddenly, from Mirror's perspective, Warrior seemed to just "appear" in front of him and cut at him with his sword.
Strangely though, from Merrill's perspective, Warrior had done the exact same to him.
Which did he swing at first? Did he swing at both simultaneously? It was difficult to determine as the moment only lasted for a fraction of a second, and then Warrior was gone again, back in his original position.
His swing was a very telegraphed and familiar motion to the both of them, so they'd have no trouble blocking or evading it. But what even just happened?
And then it happened again: though Warrior never moved from his original spot, his image appeared before each one of them and slashed at them again with his sword. Another easy-to-defend strike of course, but there was no hint or indication of when or from where the attacks were coming from until literally the millisecond before they occured.
" I'll have you know that I can't create clones or copies of myself anymore. This is something far beyond that, and it is a force capable of much more than you're witnessing now. I've only scratched the tip of the iceberg with this one. "
And as if on queue, a third simultaneous attack came from a nanosecond-lifespan image of Warrior that appeared before each of them individually before vanishing again. The full string of attacks was just Warrior's generic "three hit combo" that they'd seen millions of times, so reacting to it would have come natural to them.
" ... I believe it's called Temporal Flux. "
Last Edit: Nov 18, 2018 22:52:53 GMT -8 by Warrior
Life nodded, looking at Mirror, following his words. Without warning, Merrill offered some memories, showing her images of his time as a Shields member. Memories of laughter, of training battles. Realizing how Merrill felt in those moments, gave her thought as to how to respond.
"I agree to the code as well. We should do what is right."
She didn't look at Warrior's face as he responded, as so Merrill couldn't, if he was paying attention. He seemed to have disappeared again. No matter, she was going to enjoy this time, make these memories for herself.
As Warrior spoke, she listened intently. She could feel him preparing to strike, and energy began flowing around Merrill's body. She allowed her energy to flow freely for the first time. White energy began seeping around her form as Warrior laughed at his words.
"Much has indeed changed. The world has been a darker place with both of you away. I have been constantly on the losing end of many fights as of late. From a new threat, a flame swordsman. Reaverbots descending from the sky, and no answers have I found."
Life trailed off a moment. Had she said too much? Had she taken their defeats too literally? Would Merrill have said that? However, before she had time to really ponder, Warrior 's expression had changed to a much more serious tone. She too, stood at the ready, although weaponless. The wind stopped. She was curious, and eager to see just what Warrior was capable of. She felt that meeting him in person for the first time, compared to some of those memories, he was confident. Very confident.
The first strike came, and to Life's surprise, as well as Merrill's, as Warrior managed to strike at them both. She took the attack, raising an arm to prevent the slash from hitting her face.
"No clones, eh?"
The second attack struck, and again, she took the attack, feeling the life energy she was building grow stronger with each glancing blow. The final strike was absorbed completely by the energy as she raised her hand.
Life felt Merrill's presence for a moment.
"Don't hold back against him. Make him have to not pull his punches."
Life thought about it. She was just as curious, but it was risky considering Mirror was here and their goal was to help him. For now, she would do this her way. Merrill's presence vanished again, just after Warrior called his new ability, "Temporal Flux".
"Interesting technique. I look forward to seeing more of your skills. But do not insult me by "holding back."
Despite their losing record, that would just add insult to injury. There was a gust of wind as the light intensified, swords made of light appearing around her body. Death floated at the apex, right above her head. This form would be much closer to what form Warrior had seen the last time they had fought together... When Xylia and Feint had been slain.
"You may have picked up several tricks. But so have I."
She lifted both hands up, the blades of light moving with her. They were like a set of armor almost in their own right, covering her. She slammed her arm into the ground, light erupting forth. She sent two blasts of light, one at Warrior, the other at Mirror. She then jumped skyward giving her some distance. She then whispered quietly, a small smile appearing on her face.
"Let the fun begin..."
The light around her body intensified slightly, as the swords began to have a sky blue hue to them. Life thrust her hands outward, blades from each arm streaking towards Where Warrior and Mirror both stood. A similar opening move that Merrill had used in the past, but this time with a dozen swords rather than just the two. Each Blade targeted their general area, so if they dodged the first, another would be hot ton it's heels. Each blade that would miss, would strike the ground, causing whatever it touched to grow and be filled with life.
To finish her initial move, she clasped her hands together, a sigil appearing beneath her feet. More light swords began appearing behind her already sword-armored form. She then fired a quick burst of energy towards Mirror's location, aiming just behind him of where the last sword would strike.
If Warrior was going to hold back, she would too. For now. She opened her arms wide, as her swords returned to her, covering her arms now once again. She was curious to how they both had faired, but looked towards Mirror first. No need to be overzealous early. From what she had seen, Merrrill had always fought a slower paced style, until recently. However, with his body slowly adjusting to their spiritual prowess, he could afford to power up quicker, which allowed him to react faster. Which lead him had begun to calculate better, and was able to be more effective, despite their losing record.
She wondered how he would react in this situation. But he was silent, and she couldn't feel his presence.