No Judge 1 intro post each 10 battle posts each Version Off (Matched at V1)
~ Giga City Metropolitan Park ~
In the center of Giga City's network, a massive Christmas Tree towers above all nearby buildings and structures. It stands in a rather large park among the city so as to give it "breathing room" from the surrounding buildings.
There weren't very many other trees in the iconic park at first, but waves of Navis who had volunteered to help decorate the scene came bringing their own evergreens of various sizes to adorn the recreational area among the plenty of benches, lightposts and sidewalks branching about. Most of the ground was covered in snow, colorful Christmas lights drooped between lightposts topped with mistletoe, and many lifeless snowmen stood to gleefully welcome passersby. The snowmen were wearing Red Hats that were free for anybody with a naked head to warm themselves with.
The great Christmas Tree itself isn't adorned with much more than the falling snow that has collected on its needles. Its lower half glowed with a vibrant red from the massive collection of Red Mystery Data that was rewarded out to those that helped liven the place up.
- - -
As activity was buzzing with various Navis coming in and out to present their trees and claim their red mystery data as the town's tokens of appreciation, one miscreant saw an opportunity she just could refuse.
Countless, red swirling data lying unguarded beneath a giant tree?! Christmas indeed!
And what better way to treat herself than to steal all she could! Naughty-list Shine swooped in and scooped as many of the Red Mystery Data as she could hold and nobody was there to stop her! She would steal all of it indeed!
" One... Two... Three... Four... "
... all of the Information, that is!
Random facts? Useless facts?! False facts?! She was queen of them all!
And after she finished counting the Mystery Data in her arms, she put them back down and scooped up another bundle of them, too.
" Five... Six... Seven... "
And so the process repeated. Just how many were there under this massive tree?
That's right! Nobody knew!
But someone would know after tonight! And someone else would pay for that knowledge, too!
And thus, in the pursuit to earn her fortune through her profession as an Info Thief did she completely overlook the chance to earn her fortune by simply being an Actual Thief. The story of her life, as it were.
Post by 🆃ʀɪɴɪᴛʀᴏᴛᴏʟᴜᴇɴᴇ 🅼ᴏɴᴏᴍᴀɴɪᴀ on Jan 1, 2020 23:17:34 GMT -8
"I highly doubt those things are worth much."
The floating observer sat on thin air with crossed legs, digging a spoonful of NetCream out of that red mug he's holding. How long has he been floating there? It's like his presence was so underwhelming to the point of inexistence. Even now, it seemed like he's fading into view as they speak.
"You are planning to fence them, yes? Well, don't let me stop you. I'm just here to observe."
He put the spoon in his mouth lazily as he eyed the thief from head to toe. The way his gaze lingered on... specific spots, it would disturb most people. Maybe that was his intention.
"A less well-off Navi probably needs those more than you." He commented blankly, while still ogling her and nibbling at that spoon, even as all the NetCream had washed away. Between the pathetic attempt at guilt-tripping and inducing discomfort, maybe he's trying to provoke her in a subtle way.
A small grin escapes his lips. A little pinch of excitement. The monotony of just eating and hovering around was slowly getting into his head.
Shine continued her counting as Grade made himself known, her eyes staying on the prize as his eyes looked over their own prize while she obliviously went about her quest.
" Three-thousand six-hundred and ninety-two... Three-thousand six-hundred and ninety-three... "
" A less well-off Navi probably needs those more than you. "
" Twenty-seven... Twenty-eight... Twe-- ?! "
Wait just a-- that didn't sound right, she suddenly noticed! She stopped mid-sentence and turned around to him now, huffing and puffing almost to the point of smoke blowing out of her ears and nose.
" You made me lose count! "
The fiend! Here to sabotage her, was he?! She would have none of that!
" Now I have to start all over! "
A haphazardly thrown shuriken flew in the air, its trajectory miraculously aimed perfectly at his mug of ice cream despite her not really taking aim before the throw.
And with her assertive display of unhappiness shown, she turned back around and begrudgingly began her counting once again from the top. Like a kindergartner counting blocks, she'd pick one up at a time, declare out loud which number she was on, then put it down and move on to the next and do the same.
A long and arduous process no doubt, but foolproof all the same!
Post by 🆃ʀɪɴɪᴛʀᴏᴛᴏʟᴜᴇɴᴇ 🅼ᴏɴᴏᴍᴀɴɪᴀ on Jan 3, 2020 0:38:15 GMT -8
As her arms swung to throw the... odd, sharp trinket, Grade's eyes glowed their emerald and sent waves of air at the bladed thing, slowing it down just enough for it to pierce his mug but not shatter it... or so, he thought. As he turned the mug to see the damage, a crack emerged and shattered it entirety, falling straight to the floor along with all the NetCream in it.
He sighed. He liked that pure vanilla flavour. Sure, he could just buy another mug of the stuff a mere 20 steps away, but it was also a waste to see it splattered on the floor like that.
How dare she too, having the gall to feel inconvenienced while committing such a petty crime. No, Grade's not gonna have any of it.
He was then determined to avenge his ice cream mug. Oh, and too do the right thing, of course... but mainly, the mug.
He slammed his hands together and then crossed his arms. An exhale later and he spread them out, sending a wave of air towards the piles of Mystery Data scattered around. Electricity crackled between them and the giant tree, and most of them began to float slowly upward.
Then, the first Red Mystery Data darted towards the tree's trunk and affixed itself on it... and another... and then all of them subsequently tiling around the tree, layer by layer. All the while, Grade placed his hands in his pocket and landed on the ground, staring calmly at the thief. "Alright, I've decided to stand in the way of you and those gems. I gotta tell you, stealing from charity doesn't bode well for anybo--"
As if on cue, Shine cut Grade off in the middle of his sentence as he landed after disrupting her count yet again.
" You scared them all away! "
And she was so close to finishing, too! She would stand for this no longer! From her belt's pouch, so pulled out a handful of the small shurikens that she had thrown at his mug earlier, lining them up between her fingers as she marched away from the tree finally.
" You'd better put them back! "
Well, they hadn't technically gone anywhere, just they were more organized now if anything else. The intrusion at all seemed to bother Shine though.
She swung her hand forward, letting all of the shurikens between her fingers fly at once. It was an impressive pitch, all things considered -- the sharp projectiles nearly vanished from sight during their approach, moving so quickly that the light in the area just barely had time to reflect off of them.
As a result, each of the different colored festive lights bounced off of a different shuriken and made it seem as if there were glittering sparkles of christmas lights closing the gap quickly between Grade and herself in the eyes of any beholders.
How many there were in total was difficult to say, she sort of just grabbed a handful and chucked them without much forethought. Their multicolored display would end upon either missing or landing -- in the former case they would disappear into the dark night beyond Grade, and in the later they'd be recognizable as just the plain black shurikens she had thrown earlier, no longer moving too quickly to fool the eyes.
There wasn't much left for her to do after that, in her mind. She'd cross her arms and wait for him to do as she asked, because of course nobody could possibly decline one of her requests or anything.
Post by 🆃ʀɪɴɪᴛʀᴏᴛᴏʟᴜᴇɴᴇ 🅼ᴏɴᴏᴍᴀɴɪᴀ on Jan 3, 2020 20:38:44 GMT -8
Instinctively, Grade swung a hand out and deflected nearly every shuriken that came his way with... What did he use to deflect them, anyway? Multiple metal clinks rang as the shuriken fell to the ground; the shuriken alone and nothing else.
His head was suddenly tilted back. One of the shuriken embedded itself on his forehead. He groaned, disappointed at himself for missing it. It would've been so cool too if he pulled it off flawlessly.
He adjusted his head back only halfway, just enough to be able to look down at Shine in a way, even though their heads were at the same height. His extended arm pointed towards Shine's general direction.
"No, I don't think I will," he uttered, not at all addressing the fact that she thought he scared the Mystery Data away. He wasn't sure if such naivety was a coy, so he decided to just play along with it. If it weren't a coy, he was sure it'd tick off Shine even more.
Something about angering her just made him excited. He was trying so hard not to smile.
His assault then began... It wasn't visible, but it could be heard swishing through the air, or felt impacting the skin like a thrown rock. It seemed to be emerging from his fingers too, as he teetered them around while Shine moved.
He looked up for a while as his free hand pulled the shuriken out of his skin. Electricity was sparking out of the crumbling dent on his marble face. He spun the bladed trinket on his finger. Interesting weapon, he thought.
Shine flinched at the sudden sensation of something pelting her in the shoulder.
" ?!! "
It happened again and again, too. As if she just being barraged by invisible rocks -- not quite able to put two and two together that Grade was firing from his fingers at her until she finally took cover behind a lightpost in the park and noticed movement of his hand.
" I'll just have to make you! "
She at least had an idea of how to deal with that attack. A shadow copy of herself rose up from Grade's own shadow and reached forward to grab the wrist of the hand that he had been shooting with -- the assumption being that if he couldn't move it anymore, he couldn't shoot.
Feeling confident in her tactics, Shine stepped out from behind the lightpost she had used for covering with arms crossed and a smile of triumph on her face, thinking she had him in checkmate now.
Post by 🆃ʀɪɴɪᴛʀᴏᴛᴏʟᴜᴇɴᴇ 🅼ᴏɴᴏᴍᴀɴɪᴀ on Jan 4, 2020 19:55:46 GMT -8
"I would rather you did that, yeah. That's on the list of things I'd like you to d--" His retort was interrupted by a shadowy version of Shine pulling him at the wrist. "Do... Is this a clone of some sort?"
He tilted his head slowly, and the shadow responded by tilting its head too. He tossed aside the shuriken he was holding and reached for the shadowy figure's cheek, but it responded by grabbing that wrist too and pulling it aside.
"No? Stingy." He jested. At this position, he could actually still attack Shine with the same invisible barrage as long as she doesn't figure out that he could just hide behind Grade himself, and he wasn't about to wait that long to let her figure that out. He tried pulling his wrists out, but it wouldn't budge. He was durable, but not strong. Well, not strong enough. Not in this manner.
He activated his Float Shoes and rose up, until he was floating parallel to the ground, and he began to push forward with all of his body and the thrust of his soles. Gradually the thrust increased, but it'd still only barely push it back, it's as as if the clone's affixed to the ground.
The ground... The shadowy bludger emerged from his own shade! What if his shadow wasn't there then? Grade looked down and shone a harsh green light out of his eyes and straight at his own shadow, in turn dissipating the clone and, with the thrust from his shoes, began to dart towards Shine with speed. At one short point, his metallic crest scraped the ground sparking as he flew too low, but he recovered from it.
With teeth bare and arms reaching, he seems to intend to bite at her.
Still smiling smugly, Shine watched the scene play out before her, until suddenly Grade came flying at her with incredible speed!
" Eek! "
She instinctively ducked down as he came near, getting pretty lucky that he chose to recover some altitude after flying close to the ground initially.
" WAULGH! "
It sounded like a cat choking on a fur ball.
When Shine ducked, her scarf lingered behind her more slowly and got snatched by Grade as he flew overhead -- jerking Shine's entire body along with it as she got dragged by the neck through benches, posts, and defenseless snowmen scattered about the park.
The sacrilege notion of just discarding the scarf didn't cross her mind, so instead she reached for his ankles and abruptly raised them while they were in flight, intending to cause his sudden change of trajectory to drive his head straight into the ground but not really considering the possibility of her own body being slinged-shot as a result.
Post by 🆃ʀɪɴɪᴛʀᴏᴛᴏʟᴜᴇɴᴇ 🅼ᴏɴᴏᴍᴀɴɪᴀ on Jan 5, 2020 6:28:24 GMT -8
Perhaps this jolt of force was delivered too much, as Grade found the space to flip overhead entirely that he dragged through the pavement with his feet, but that wasn't his main worry-- At that split moment, Shine still had her momentum, and what lay in front of them was a park tree, and it was tall and wide. No how else to turn.
He wasn't about to let Shine get hurt in an actual, dangerous way. That would sit with his conscience none. He wasn't even intentionally hurting her in the first place. Yet, there was only so much he could do in this moment.
Tugging that scarf again would be a potentially fatal choice; it would break her neck at these speeds. He'd just lost all of his own momentum to fly up and catch her before she hits, either... However, what if he didn't physically have to be there to catch her?
With his eyes glowing their emerald, and both a physical and metaphorical aura of determination surging, he turned around and extended his arm as if to catch someone. On the other side, Shine could feel those same hands somehow touching her as if he were there. He jumped back to match her speed, while gradually pushing towards her with his Float Shoes, but...
There was not enough space left to slow down, and this other instance of Grade -- be it psychic, quantum, or other -- was crushed inbetween Shine and the tree, cushioning her from most potential damage; and the real Grade felt all that damage back in the form of swift and terrible pain erupting all-throughout his body. Cracks emerged in his undersuit, bleeding out data and otherwise vital electricity. He collapsed with his left cheek on the snowy pavement scraped by his greaves.
Compound that with having smashed through multiple park obstacles himself -- after he accidentally bit her scarf, it covered his eyes throughout the flight -- he was overall in a world of hurt.
He did not mind it, though. Not as much as he wondered whether she was okay or not. He tried to look 'down' and towards her but he could barely move, and his sight was blocked by snow and his own arm anyway.
Shine closed here eyes as it all played out -- one thing led to another, and by the end of it all she had plopped on the ground relatively unharmed and Grade was quite worse for wear. Thinking it was "all her" doing, Shine flipped her hair and, with a haughty smile, skipped joyfully back toward the Christmas Tree unimpeded.
" ... "
The mystery data was all still cascaded until the tree though, and her kindergarten-level intelligence couldn't count in organized groups. She stopped midway to her destination -- the smile turning to a frown as she tried to think up a solution to the dilemma.
Well, there was only one, really.
" A deal's a deal! You have to put those back now. "
Grade would find himself fully restored, or at least enough to be fully functional again, as a result of Shine's Dark Recovery chip being tossed at him and dispersing into a blanket of energy that bathed him as it drew near. So while she was too oblivious to be grateful, karma was still looking out for Grade at least.
" ... "
Meanwhile, the tree that Grade had indirectly collided with took some pretty decent damage itself, the top half of it being split off completely from the impact. And standing next to it was a displeased-looking woman in a black bodysuit who had worked very hard to cut down a tree this size (despite it being considerably smaller than most of the other ones that were brought in and planted around the park).
She rolled her eyes at Shine's mischief and turned her attention to the event coordinator that was handing out Red Mystery Data as prizes for the tree she brought in -- said tree now being considerably shorter than even the minimum required height for compensation.
" I'm still taking two for this. "
And indeed she did! And the coordinator sure as hell wasn't going to stop her! And so she left her broken tree on the ground and grabbed her prize before calmly leaving the area before Shine could cause her anymore headache.
Post by 🆃ʀɪɴɪᴛʀᴏᴛᴏʟᴜᴇɴᴇ 🅼ᴏɴᴏᴍᴀɴɪᴀ on Jan 7, 2020 18:03:25 GMT -8
"Y-you could've just counted them all alr--already... What is wrong with you?" Grade replied as he raised his head up off the snow. He saw the chip flying towards him and caught it and looked at it. The purple coating, blackened image data, and just the sheer dark energy emanating from it...
He flicked the Dark Chip back to its source. "I'm not gonna use one of those things ever again."
He moved until he was finally sitting upright, and then tore open the collar of his jacket, just down to the Navi crest that binds it to his body. Two trinkets popped out, tied around his neck -- a slightly cracked star-shaped glass trinket, and a pinkish red pillar shard. He held the two together and then jammed the shard straight into the glass star, and energy then flowed from the fused trinket to him. Cracks in his body began to heal, enough that he could stand up and somewhat fight again.
"Didn't even thank me for saving your life... No, we've never had a deal. If we did have a deal, well... I'm not honoring it anymore."
He breathed deeply to calm himself down... The more he did, the more the space around his arms distorted due to the energy concentrating in them.
It hurt to admit, but he himself was irritated. Forget how attractive or naive his adversary was; he was determined to actually hurt her for real. At least just once.
Shine caught the chip that was tossed back at her -- her return-favor being rejected after a favor she was forced to receive. She pouted her lip and crossed her arms after returning the darkchip to her belt-pouch while Grade managed to pull himself back together without the need of her evil trinket.
" Fine then. "
Even at the brink of death he didn't comply, so Shine was at least bright enough to understand that there wasn't anything to do to change his mind at this point. She rolled her emerald eyes and accepted the loss as she twirled around and continued on toward the tree, but Grade would still feel her eyes on him even as she seemed to dismiss the situation and go back to what she was doing before.
Post by 🆃ʀɪɴɪᴛʀᴏᴛᴏʟᴜᴇɴᴇ 🅼ᴏɴᴏᴍᴀɴɪᴀ on Jan 8, 2020 16:12:51 GMT -8
He stood there staring at Shine, the energy in his hands still brimming, ready to attack... and then, it all dissipated to no effect.
Is Grade really going to damage her just because he slightly irritated her? No, that didn't seem justified. It was just petty. He was better than this, he thought. So what, then? Is it because she's planning to steal the Red Mystery Data? Did he really even care enough to defend those worthless things from thievery?
Grade doubted his own reasons for having done all of this so far. Even his excuse to 'avenge his fallen mug of NetCream', that too felt moot. So, what is it he really wanted out of Shine? He wondered.
Prod it with a stick and maybe she will give him the answer herself... so prod it, he decided. He slammed his hands together and then crossed his arms, then he whipped them both forward to summon a harsh wave of wind towards Shine, followed by the same invisible pellets that have pelted her a while ago.
"I'm still not letting you steal that data," he yelled. He was about close to grinning too, for he knew that what he just said was a lie.
Shine tumbled forward from the blast of wind that struck her back, landing face first in the snow. Admittedly, it hurt a lot more than she gave it credit for, but she was tough enough to get back to her feet and give Grade a striking look of contempt.
As he fired more pellets at her, Shine's own shadow stood up this time to take the blows... but they just wisped through the shadow instead, as should have probably been expected really. Taking the matter into her own hands then, Shine bounced like a flee from obstacle to obstacle to take cover behind, reaching for the shurikens in her pouch again but not finding any of the sharp pointy ones like she had used before.
So she'd have to improvise then. Well, or toss some other things in her possession, but she'd rather hang on to those.
Scooping up some of the snow, Shine made a dense snowball and chucked it at her oppressor...
" Steal them?! "
... but the snowball was just ripped apart by the invisible pellets mid-flight. Shine looked around for something else to throw, then suddenly grinned mischievously as her eyes brightening up when they found a suitable object while she continued her retort.
" That would just throw off my count! Where would I even put them all anyway?! "
Well, half of that was sort of a solid point at least. Sort of. Before Grade had much time to question that logic though, he'd discover a snowman-head being launched in his direction, its face an unwillingly frozen smile as it drew near to its own demise, unimpeded by the invisible pellets littering its body.
And once Grade was finished with that, he'd notice Shine still wearing her malicious grin as she held the rest of the snowman's body above her head, ready to pitch that at him as well.