Cherish stared coldly at Sara after she had asked her question, as if the fact that she was wearing nothing but a bathrobe right now was enough to answer the girl's question.
"What do you think?"
And that was that.
On Warrior's side of the scene, still standing just behind Cherish, Xyph had more or less won his trust with the presentation of the message sent to him by Xylia. Cherish peeked over her shoulder as the scene unfolded.
"Urgent enough. Tell him I'll be there shortly."
Cherish chimed in now. Jacob may have trusted this new character, but she certainly didn't.
"Last I checked there was still a hospital exploding in the Real World, where real peoples' lives are at stake. And you're more concerned for digital beings? Pretty pathetic, Rayner."
"It's bigger than that, Cherish. I've fought that mysterious navi before -- he's capable of much more disaster than what we're seeing here if gone unchecked. Merrill and I couldn't take him together and he certainly can't take him alone. He needs my help."
"Right. So now you two fighting together will suddenly be 'enough' this time, even though it wasn't before."
"I don't have time to argue with you, Cherish. I need to borrow your Pulse Transmission before things get worse. This may all be connected; This may just be the beginning."
"Well that's too bad, because I'm not in a generous mood."
" ... "
Like she was ever in a generous mood.
Jacob and Cherish made aggressive eye contact for a moment, as if having a staring contest over who was right and who was wrong right now. Jake needed the briefcase that Cherish held, but if she wasn't willing to hand it over, he'd be much farther away from Merrill right now than he'd like to be.
"... Besides, I'd prefer not to drag your unconscious body around."
Cherish popped open the briefcase and put on what appeared to be a silver headband connected by a wire that she handed to Jake for him to plug in to his PET.
"... You're going in?"
Well she was all set and ready to Pulse In to the Cyber World. Perhaps she wasn't so stiff-necked after all.
"I've beaten people that have beaten you. This time will be no different."
"Without your suit or your gun, you'll be left with just my sword."
That sword that was, conveniently, stored in his PET which she would use as her gateway into the Cyber World.
"I'd say I handle it better than you, but you'd take that in all the wrong ways."
Jacob smirked at her witty comment. It wasn't often that she gave one, but when she did they were on point.
"If I wake up with a concussion or without this bathrobe still covering me, I'm splitting your skull. Jack me in."
"As you wish. I'll find a safe place to Pulse In as soon as I can -- I still think we'll need more to stop this guy."
As Jake plugged her headband's chord into his PET, Cherish's body suddenly fell limp while her consciousness left its usual home and traveled to the Cyber World via Pulse Transmission. Jacob caught her, of course, and held her in a cradling position, making her look like nothing more than an unconscious victim of the building that had exploded just a few yards away from them.
He turned to Xyph again, still holding the raven-haired, bathrobe-clad woman in his arms. She looked a lot more gentle in her sleep than when she was awake.
"A friend of a friend is a friend of mine. Good to meet you Xyph -- I'm Jacob Rayner, an associate of Merrill's. Circumstances have cut our introduction short, I'm afraid. You'll have to excuse me while I go carry out his request."
As Jacob Rayner stepped away, a silver-haired woman approached and took Cherish from his arms.
"Is she okay?"
"She's just Pulsed In. Hold on to her, Faith. I need to grab something."
Jacob Rayner passed Cherish Pele's body into Faith Nymphra's arms. He could have asked her how she had arrived on scene so conveniently, but that would have slowed him down in his urgent quest.
Time was of the essence and Jake wasted none of it as he ran back into the exploding building, disappearing into the smoke and debris that burrowed out.
Xy had no time to respond before Jake dashed into the building. Well, Merrill did say he was bold. He looked over at Cherish. He wondered if Merrill trusted her like he did Jake. Either way, he wasn't allowed back inside. He had found Jake, only to have him dash off.
While he waited, he looked at the pulse technology. He had seen only a few times, himself. His job had it's perks. Ignoring the fact that she was just there in a bathrobe, unlike 99% of all males, he was very interested in the pulse technology. He had questions, but they would wait.
While they waited for Jake to return, Xy spoke to Faith.
Amidst the chaos that ensued thanks to whatever caused it, Shakeem glanced around in the crowd, slightly unsure what he would do now...
He had made it out of the building in one piece, but no further ideas seemed to come to mind.
'Actually...maybe I should get out of this wheelchair first...' he thought to himself. He had grown tired of being confined to it already...though was he wasn't sure his body was ready for it just yet.
Inhaling deeply, as if preparing himself mentally, Shakeem gripped the wheelchair tightly as he hoisted himself from it.
With two cautious steps, he was free and back on his feet.
'Ah, that's better...' he said, stretching his arms toward the heavens.
"You seem more than a little relieved." a voice spoke from an orange-colored PET that he had clipped onto his belt, secured by a holster that matched it.
"That'd be quite an understatement." Shakeem replied, receiving a chuckle from his accomplice in response.
"From the commotion, it seems I missed something big." Glassman said thoughtfully, noticing the people that were all crowded around his operator.
"Yeah, there was an explosion of unknown origin here a moment ago..." Shakeem replied, filling Glassman in on whatever details he had...which were little to none.
'Hmm...wait, Glassman wasn't here...?' Shakeem pondered to himself...though it was possible he left him in sleep mode a bit. Maybe he'd ask him later...
"But first things first, think I'll look for someone who we can assist with this situation..."
Glassman nodded as Shakeem slipped the orange PET back into its holster. Glancing around, he looked for anyone who he could consult about the situation at hand...
Noticing a woman who had seemingly collapsed into the hands of a silver-haired lady, somehow they seemed like a good bunch to converse with...and to probably find out what's going on.
...and they looked more than a little familiar somehow, too.
Walking toward them, Shakeem stopped, noticing someone else had already engaged them in conversation...
'Hm...guess that won't be happening for now...' he thought to himself, with a bit of a sigh. He was getting nowhere fast without any leads.
"You could always wait a bit...though we don't know if there's something else happening elsewhere..." a voice spoke from the 2nd PET on his belt.
He was nearly surprised by the female voice speaking up...since it wasn't a common event.
"Yeah, that's true. Guess that's one of my options right now." he replied, glancing over at Faith and the others for a moment, then up at the building with a concerned expression on his face.
Nymphra smiled as she introduced herself to Xyph; she was happy to see that this stranger didn't pay too much attention to the particular attire of her would-be sister-in-law.
"A friend of a friend. My name is Faith."
Clearly she couldn't shake his hand, but she nodded her head once to gesture her greeting.
Not long afterward, Jake finally came running back out of the building, carrying with him a familiar blacksuit. Concealed in his jacket was a familiar firearm, but he kept it hidden to avoid frightening the public. It wouldn't be good if they labelled him as a terrorist simply because he was holding a gun.
"I have what I needed."
Faith looked at the item that Jacob had acquired from inside the building. She instantly recognized it as Cherish's skintight "Kevlar Catsuit", as others had dubbed it.
"Jacob Rayner, please tell me you do not plan on wearing that!"
"It's not for me."
Man, even Faith had jokes today. Unless she was being serious -- Jake was too focused on the larger problem at hand to be sure.
Faith and Jake locked eyes for a moment, as if communicating by mind and understanding each other completely. It wasn't long before he broke the stare and turned his attention to their newcomer while he traded possessions with Faith, taking Cherish from her arms as she took Feint's suit from his.
"Follow us, Xyph. We'll need you to watch over us as we Pulse-In somewhere safe."
And without further ado, they were off to go join the fight in Aqua Net.
[Jacob Rayner -> Faith's Apartment -> Aqua Net] [Faith Nymphra -> Faith's Apartment -> Aqua Net]
Having lost sight of the group he had been observing, Shakeem heaved a sigh. It seemed that whatever they were involved with had carried them away from the area.
"Hm...what should I do now...?" he pondered to himself.
The authorities and whatever emergency crew was likely enough to handle the explosion...and whatever caused it. Unless he was able to assist them, it seemed wisest for him to get away from there as soon as possible.
"We're mostly out of leads, I think..." Glassman spoke from his PET, which was held tightly in his Operator's right hand. He hated to admit it, but it looked as if they were limited it what they could do now...
...and then the sound of a broadcast playing on the PETs of those nearby , as well as from his own two PETs, caught his attention.
"Wait, what's going on...?" the young adult asked, listening closely to the broadcast that seemed to almost echo thanks to it playing on so many terminals simultaneously.
As the character mentioned inviting all navis to the "final salvation of the living", Shakeem gritted his teeth at the offer. Did this guy think he had the right to rule over all navis...?
'Wait...what exactly does he mean by 'final salvation of the living'...?'
Listening on, Shakeem was surprised to hear the explosion was a result of someone trying to take out this threat themselves...it sounded like a flawed plan that this navi had seen right through...
As the navi seemingly id'd the cause...something seemed greatly 'off'. Almost as if he cared only about protecting navis. Could he really be that selfish...?
Witnessing the navi's devious smile, Shakeem felt a reason to fear this insane navi...his words and even his composure reeked of a twisted personality.
As Juno went on to reveal his plan to eradicate all of humankind, Shakeem felt as if his stomach churned. The very notion of Juno being so happy to wipe out an entire planet's life made him feel sick to his stomach!
Fighting the urge to lose his breakfast, Shakeem looked on as the broadcast shifted to...a satellite?
The operator had not much knowledge of that satellite...but if it was pivotal in the madman's master plan, they'd have to do something about it.
As the video ended, Shakeem stared at his PET with a horrified expression...
"The next few hours...?" he spoke, as if verifying what he had heard. The idea of disappearing from existence...everyone and everything on the entire planet being gone...
Curling up his left hand into a fist, Shakeem seemed to begin trembling...
"Shakeem..." Glassman spoke, concerned for his operator and friend.
'That shaking...I hope he hasn't been paralyzed by that fear...' Glassman hoped to himself.
He recalled to mind whenever he had been deleted...but he could always be backed up and restored...
Then, he felt a throbbing pain in his head as he recalled what had been done last time they faced a global catastrophe...having made a sacrifice to try fixing the world by means of a mysterious navi's power...
'No. We can't rely on that kind of power again...' Glassman silently thought to himself, looking up at his Operator.
"Keem. I know this is a...shocking situation. But we really can't afford to stall here either." the gem-studded navi said, doing his best to choose his words wisely. "This is our planet. And that makes it our duty to smash anyone who threatens it. And that means it's our duty as navigators of the Net to protect you humans too!"
Biting his lip as his friend and comrade spoke, Shakeem was aware of the truth behind those words...they had fought together time and again, this was really no different than before...
Inhaling and then exhaling heavily, Shakeem looked down at Glassman from his PET, chuckling to himself.
"Yeah, you're right, Glassman. Fighting for this planet is I guess what many of these conflicts boil down to, huh?"
"Yeah. The stakes are a bit higher this time. But losing isn't an option! Nor despair."
"Exactly!" Shakeem agreed. Without a doubt, they had their work cut out for them...and so far their only option was Elysium itself!
And in a matter of moments, Glassman was on his way...
<Glassman to Elysium Core>
Last Edit: Jul 13, 2016 15:28:16 GMT -8 by Wackoguy
Standing among the sea of flames, fire licking at her heels, was a girl, her complexion a charred grey, pallor. She seemed oddly serene, hidden away from the emergency services, staring up at the statue of Megaman and Lan, in the center of the school's garden.
She stared up at the larger-than-life statues, then up at the sky. The pale blue of the earth's atmosphere slowly dimming into the blackness of space and a large light as bright as the sun.
She remained there, even as the world was burning around her. She frowned.
encore: HOW DO I ADULT EGG, COLIN Colin: it kinda just happens eggs
The strange girl spun in place, dancing in the burning idyllic gardens. She spun and spun, facing the whirling colours around her. To her south, White Building. Then Red. Then Yellow. Then Blue. Then Green. and back to white again. Eventually her clockwise spinning came to a halt, and the girl fell dizzy onto the floor.
Eventually this spinning girl was a puddle of tears upon the ground, wishing that she were the one engulfed in flames.
encore: HOW DO I ADULT EGG, COLIN Colin: it kinda just happens eggs
The school was still burning. As soon as Juno's announcement had gone out, Blake had taken a few moments to freak out, as he needed to, before he had realized that there was work to be done. Juno had pretty much just given the answer to their quandary with his words, whether or not he'd meant to. The fact of the matter was, if the attack at the school had come with the sole purpose of attempting to destroy Juno, that meant that, of all the places that they should look for the physical servers for Elysium...it was at the school's remains.
He slid to a stop then as he came across the building. It had only been a few hours, but the inferno still raged. Emergency personnel had left the school at Juno's broadcast, leaving it an empty, burning shell. His gaze flickered around to the area, trying to see if he couldn't find something, or someone, that seemed either out of place...or something that might somehow give him access to the underground. He imagined that if the school itself hadn't really escaped any danger, then there wasn't much chance that the servers were above ground. They had to be kept safe below...and he needed to find them.
"Anything?" the boy's voice called out as he looked down to the PET.
"I'm not finding any unusual signals, no," Kajira spoke in response from the PET. She was all over the local networks, trying to find something, anything to latch onto, to see if they could find a way to wherever the servers were located. But even then, they couldn't even seem to find the server at all, let alone a way in. "But I haven't stopped looking."
"I'll keep looking up here. Let me know if you find something," he spoke, before he took a step forward into the blaze a bit...before he paused at the sight of what looked like a statue. Megaman.exe and Lan were the object of it, but he'd seen that before. What he hadn't seen before was what looked like a girl. He picked his way past what emergency personnel still remained, most of them just ignoring him as he came closer to the girl. She seemed...off, somehow. "Hey. Are uh. Are you okay?" he asked, not entirely sure if she would even respond to him...but he couldn't tell from here if she were hurt- but she was on the ground, and crying both. That was all he had to draw inferences from.
Looking up at the building, Shakeem wondered if he was even remotely correct in his answer to the riddle. But he would be surprised if he was at least a little correct...
Taking a deep breath, Shakeem then ran into the dangerous building, careful of any hazards along the way.
After a bit of running around, he managed to reach the last area he had been to within the school grounds - the statue of Lan and Hub Hikari.
"I may not have the best memory...but I definitely think this is the place." the Operator said to himself.
Standing before the statue, Shakeem began to think back to the riddle once more...
" 'Kindred spirits forged in FIRE. Brothers who saved the world. Lan and Hub Hikari, feet firmly on the EARTH, eyes on the HEAVENS. May we never forget their contributions to this world.' So, let's see..."
Well, his own feet were on the Earth and looking up at the statue, his eyes were on the heavens...so what was he missing...?
Inspecting the statue once more in case he missed anything, Shakeem decided to follow where the statue was pointing...
Having noticed where the statue was pointing, Shakeem glanced around at his surroundings. Aside from him taking note of the colored buildings in the vicinity, the red building seemed to have caught his attention most of all.
"Hm...is it possible that ties in with the 'fire' part of that riddle...?" he pondered to himself thoughtfully. It made sense to him...but whether that was correct (or not) was soon to be seen.
Repeating the riddle in his head, a brief gust of wind seemed to blow a green leaf right pass his eyes. A common occurrence if anything...
"Earth..." he said to himself as something clicked in his head. "Of course!"
Turning to look at the Green Building, he was confident that covered the second part of the riddle.
Two down. One more to go!
As for the 'heaven' segment of the riddle, Shakeem had no doubt in his mind that if any color was associated with heaven it'd be the color white. Anyone could figure that out with a little thinking...
"Hm...so even though I've got the colors...there are only paths there..." he said to himself, walking around a bit as he thought to himself...
It would seem logical that the answer didn't lie in the colors themselves so much as the location of the buildings...relative to the statue.
"Hm. That's a clever riddle. The navis by themselves couldn't get that alone."
A very true statement. It seemed even now they were still all working in tandem. Humans and navis.
"Okay then! If it's the directions, then I've got the solution already!"
He said to himself, pumping a fist heavenward.
"Glassman! Fiera! I've got the answer for all of you! Walk down the paths in this order..." he spoke, tapping in the order from Southwest to Southeast and finally South.