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Screeches of terror filled the moonlit sky. Feet pounded the dirt ground in a deseperate struggle to flee the beast hot on their heels. Few were foolish enough to fight back, only to fall into a dozen pieces. The air shivered as the cause of the hovac huffed out growling breathes amongst the carnage. Behind it, smaller and less grizzly pants echoed quietly together a hundred yards away. Soft whimpers and hiccups followed before hushed whispers urged them to quiet and just go. Several teens dashed out to the west from their hiding place while the beast huffed, confident of its inability to sense them. Unfortunately, no direction they traveled would save them this night. The blood in their veins and on their hands a beacon. A petrifying cry froze the last group in their tracks. Unwillingly, they bodies ticked around to face the horror they birthed. As feared, the hulking beast hovered no more than four feet away. Wide eyes begged for mercy. Neither eyes or facial structure were visible; only the buttons and cloth greeted their desperate expressions.

Bleary sky blue eyes flickered to the conscious world. In a gentle hum parted chapped lips. "Hm..." It had been years since he recalled that part of his memories. None could imagine the immense satisfaction he gained the morning he regained a clearer mind. Guilt and sorrow gripped his heart beside it, but they barely hindered the sense of justice done. His mother did not deserve the fate given to her. Nothing she nor he had done warranted the punishments handed. If the people were less fearful, perhaps their demise could have been avoided. Not that Pharos gave one lick about it. What had happened, happened. As his mother told him, "There will be times where nothing you do will fix the mistakes already done. Those affected will hold you responsible and refuse to let you forget. In those times, you may feel helpless and trapped. Don't let the past harm your future. The only power it has over you is the power you give it." She told him that the evening he confessed to fighting with another boy, and the strange incident that followed. Afraid of her reaction, he toppled his mother over in his relief. He could hardly imagine his situation if she pulled away from him too.

The familiar shout of Silver fully snapped him to the present. Though she warned against wallowing in the past, he was sure reminiscing filed in the okay zone. If he corrected her that way, he could easily imagine her pouting indignantly. With a warm, amused smile, he rose from his napping area: the captain's roof. No one bothered him up there and the view was lovely. As long as no one approached without greeting, he slept like the dead. Of course, the prospect of food promised a swift rise. On that subject, Pharos threw himself off his spot to land gracefully on the ground and stride to the mess hall. He wore his "plain" black tunic with a white sash and pants, and knee-high tan leathered boots. It had taken a few weeks of haggling to convince the tailor to keep his attire simple. Of course, the conniving fiend did it his way. On closer inspection, one could not miss the intricate designs placed on each piece of cloth. Technically, the man fulfilled his request. Compared with his own outfit, Pharos' fitted the bill.

A quick sweep of the area located said tailor along with several new recruits. Another mereman from the looks of it and two humans. They stood beside one member he recognized: Lolin Cifer. A sweet birdy with issues that Pharos wanted to cuddle away! Sadly the sentiment had to wait till Cifer loosened up, a task Pharos held little qualms over. Even if Cifer desired space for weeks to come, Pharos had others to occupy his time with.

Delicious aromas replaced his musings for hunger. How long had it been since he last fed? Not concerned with the answer, Pharos plopped down the seat closest to the server window. The sooner he filled up, the sooner his continuous battle with the captain could continue. Or greet the new guys. No need to be rude since they were no doubt going to be at sea together for a long time. A clunk notified him of the full plate of awesome before him. Without a second to lose Pharos devoured his helpless breakfast.

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[In the corner of the Silent Room, stood an unseen male with flaming red hair, a striped shirt, and light blue jeans. His solid brown eyes studied the lone figure in the straight jacket. For several weeks he watched the teen shout heatedly to the air, strike at an invisible being, and return to the room he obviously despised. At first, the ghost pondered if Dylan suffered from a haunting. Considering his own existance, Alphonse doubted fault in the idea that a vengeful spirit clung to this young man. Upon his death, Alphonse considered torturing his murderer. Escape from this area proved impossible. The first day Alphonse awoke in his new form, he never knew of his demise. A full day passed with eyes blantantly ignoring his flailing arms and hoarse shouts. Realization struggled past his denail on the truth of his new state. Once it had, indignant fury bubbled forth.

Death had claimed him. Why? Because the "good doctor" ******** up in his lobotomy. How could this man still be in practice? Where was the justice! Several weeks after his awareness, Alphonse followed the murdering b*****d. Every chance presented to him, Al attempted to make his life hell. He did every typical "ghostly" techniques to frighten and wreck the doctor's psyche. Nothing worked. One day Alphonse snapped at the unfairness of it all. Why was none of his efforts working?! An enraged howl erupted from his lips before a burst of flames spontaneously ignited a potted plant. The occupants of the cafeteria jumped ten feet in the air before chaos ensued. Patients flipped over tables, trampled fallen residents, and screamed in terror. Once security finally doused the fire and secured the scene, the doctor himself demanded to know the cause. None of the nurses could articulate what had gone down; their eyes focused on one another rather than the "crazies." Most of said crazies failed to produce a believable explanation. Who could accept that a watered plant to mysteriously flame up on its own. A few cried it was an evil spirit. One even suggested it to be Alphonse seeking revenge. Of course, the murderer scoffed at the ideas and stormed off. Security and restrictions increased tenfold.

Throughout the exchange between doctor and his patients, Alphonse floated in pure shock. Fire erupted because of him, by his own power. HIM! Suddenly, his desire for vengeance whisked away to usher in tentative esctasy. Before his head surgery, Alphonse rarely found opportunity to coax his flames. Day by day, the teen endured weeks of solitude longing to scratch the nearly insatiable need to burn. Alphonse's sorrows festered without the fire's physical presence to distract him. During those times, the mere thought of his beloved light reminded him of his scars and why they existed. Guilt borrowed deep into his system and often kept him awake at night. Generally a pacifist, the depression further smothered any violent tendencies he possessed. He understood his fault in his current misery. Why lash out on those who had nothing to do with his uncontrollable desires. Every so often though, he would flip out and desperately search for flammable objects to ignite. He would settle for a few minutes of sucess, if only to gain miniscule reprieve from his tormenting thoughts. Predictably, his efforts rewarded him into the Silent Room. The lack of noise hieghtened his awareness of time and his own mind. Luckily, his despair encouraged unconsciousness to shut his mind which held off the maddening regret in his heart. Years went on with this behavior till the fateful day of his passing. Though his grief still clung to him like second skin, Alphonse finally felt happy.

Death provided him one silver lining in his shitty situation that he could only dream of: the freedom to conjure fire as he pleased. Granted he required practice to summon that power without tiring out, Alphonse's mood lightened considerably. Not even the arrival of his new friends shifted his disposition. Certainly the addition of the doctor's ghostly company dampened his spirits, but he cared not to focus on his past anger. They were already dead. What more could Alphonse do to have him regret his wrongs done to his patients. Plus, time spent plotting his revenge could be better spent with his fire skills. Periodically, Alphonse wondered why he was stuck in this boring place with company who generally sucked at social interaction. Was it punishment for his unintentional slaughter of his beloved parents? Or was his uncontrollable urge to set the world on fire the reason? Alphonse mused for hours- even days- on the subject. Eventually the siren calls to summon the flames broke his train of thought.

For twelve years, Alphonse openly baked the soon abandoned asylum. Week long naps were the only reason he had not succeeded in completely obliterating the cursed grounds. Before he knew it, living people reclaimed the decrepited building. At first, Alphonse wished to chase out the intruders especially since the owners wished to reopen the place as another asylum. If he could help it, Al would prevent another b*****d doctor from ruining more lives. Thankfully, Al did not need to interfere. The man who decided to run the place was a decent fellow who abhorred lobotomy, and reminded him so much of his father. So instead, Alphonse decided to observe the new patients.

The young man Al currently watched drew and worried him the most. No apparition hovered over him, so his excitable behavior stemed from his mind alone. His invisible companion possibly manifested because of his remorse (Al took a peek at his files). In a way, Dylan and he were kindred spirits. Both barely slept and agonized for deaths they did not mean to happen. Of course, Dylan deserved the clutches of regret less than Al. Al's tendencies to set (controlled) fires on various objects were bound to result in a horrible backlash. Switching seats barely sprung thoughts of termination of one's best friend. Regardless, the teen suffered in this growing hellhole.

In the beginning, Alphonse failed to notice Nathaniel Burke's activities with the new doctor. Evertime he spotted the old man, Nathaniel hovered languidly behind him. Nothing more, nothing less. Alphonse assumed him to be curious over Walter Foster's techniques that differed from his own. However, one night Al caught the ghost overtaking the aged practitioner. But instead of calling out the b*****d in the act, Al decided to wait it out. Who knew what Nathaniel wanted from Walter. The obvious could not be that obvious right...? Would the dead doctor really go that far?

Even if it were true, what could Al do? Alphonse lacked the knowledge on how to prevent him from possessing another. If he raised his suspicions, Nathaniel could get desperate which would immediately worsen the situation. Unsure of the proper course of action lead Al to his current predicament.

As the pale haired fellow unstrapped the younger teen, Alphonse collected his energy to his throat. When the nurse called the tired schizophrenic "sweetheart," Al idly commented, "Patronizing much?" The ghost doubted the nurse would hear him, but the main goal was to have Dylan hear him. Hopefully, the connection Al felt with him would increase the chance of the brunette of catching his words.]

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Tao Mochi

Current location and company::The mall, Old Pops then a familiar detective and schoomate


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A head full of chocolate swirls tied into a messy braid bobbed with each nod of the short girl's head with gold and silver winged headphones. Molten amber-orange eyes gazed unseeing up front. Despite the lack of focus, her silent feet gracefully navigated through the hordes of rowdy teenagers towards a small weapons store in the mall. Small hands brushed open the unlocked shop while the owner called out a brisk greeting. An old man that stood behind the cash register jumped at her voice. His pruny face crinkled further from the toothy smile he offered. "My little Mochi~. You came all this way to see wrinkly old me at my boring old shop! Come now~!" crooned the elderly fellow with thick snow white, curly hair in a playfully admonishing tone as he continued, "You see me and your mother everyday. You must get tired of our faces by now! Go see some fresher meat, if you know what I mean~!" he winked mischievously at his young "daughter." In return, the female student glared balefully at the silly man. Her voice struck with steely resolve,."Honestly, I would rather slice meat than meet it." Oppresive silence reigned for a couple of seconds. Suddenly, the old man snorted before huffing out in a fit of laughter. "O-oh hahaha Tao! I see what you did there ahahaha! Meet meat!!! You are getting better at this!" The frown that marred the young teen's face bloomed to a full-blown grin at his merriment. She too giggled and shifted through the counter to give her chortling "father" a warm embrace.

With their routine bit out of the way, Tao scouted the new shipments. Though she lacked the skill to wield the tools, the young teen appreciated the designs and structures of the weapons. Half of the store's inventory were meant for decoration rather than actual usage. Thus, beauty and elegance trapped unsuspecting customers to the quaint nook near the back of the mall. People often requested to see swords and daggers, but Tao personally adored the naginata. It held the benefits of a spear, but retained a fluid grace that could leave audiences in awe. Perhaps her fascination stemed from the notion that naginatas were a woman's weapon. Tao spent hours pondering to figure it out. As the short brunette inspected the merchendise, her old father wiped down a few pieces beside her. They remained in companionable silence till a loud growl alerted them into attention. A small blush tinted the girl's cheeks once she realized the source had been her own stomach. Her father on the other hand just smiled with fondness. "Why not get a bite to eat around here? I will be here when you get back." He swiftly leaned over to peck her on the head, then proceed to push her out of the store; Tao did not bother to protest but kept her heels to the ground. No need to make it easy. Aged hands deftly pocketed a several bills into her school uniform when she made it outside. Tao turned to stick her tongue out to the silly man behind the glass door. All that got her was a noisy rasberry.

Another giggle escaped her lips as she walked to the food court. With her hand on her stomach, Tao casually strolled past table after table. The music played a jolly tune for the upbeat girl as she idly recognized the female detective of Yumegawa with a student that went to Tao's school. Why the two hung out at this moment, Tao hardly cared. She had no business with either one. The cafe behind them on the other hand interested her. As she walked by, the song ended just when her sempai spoke of a dream that was red. The words jarred her to a halt a few feet away. Memories of the previous night tickled her vision, and bled into the present. Instead of the lively hustle and bustle of people, there was no one. Blue skies that filtered up above turned blood red. Anxiety chilled her bones to the core. The crushing reminder of absolute emptiness had Tao burst into a cold sweat. Wide eyes shifted to the older teen in desperation. Once they landed on their target, everything returned to normal. The buzzing signs of life washed over her. Extremely relieved and in shock, Tao plopped onto a seat nearby as her legs buckled. With her back to the two, she shut off her music and listened carefully. Even if the subject at hand was about something entirely different from what she thought, she needed to know so she could move on. Those hellish nights drained her every time with its cruel hollowness. Even the mere reminder had her body shaking.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, she was not alone with this problem. However, the detective's theory trampled her hopes of a possible solution. If Tao's subconcious mind was responsible for the frequent dreams of Yumegawa with a red sky and no people, Tao had no way of stopping it. For many weeks to come she would have to endure one of her worst fears: being abandoned again. The whole upper half of her body curled onto the table with her fists clenching against the cool surface. Her amber eyes narrowed while her lips pursed in frustration. "That can't be true..." she unintentionally growled outloud to herself.

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Fortune Arcana

"Happiness is the best revenge"
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High Ruler of Lateo Thilros

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Under the beaming sun, a group of workers surrounded one of the factory entrances, where the sound of battle could clearly be heard. Each man and woman crowed in delight at each clang that rung the heated sky. Deep bated huffs and heavy stomps kicked up residual sand from the rough ground. To the side of the building laid a small line of battered men. They were the loudest in their clamour of cheers and jeers. The center of this rowdy crowd stood two distinctly different figures. A tall, bulky man with cropped blonde hair and soft brown eyes faced a significantly smaller female with long brown hair and solid amber-brown irises. His tanned monster pair of hands gripped an impressive claymore. Its sharp blade shone brilliantly in the light from each mighty swing. The oppenent of the sword's wielder who fell short to his chest possessed a staff with a curved blade at one end. SImplier than the man's lengthy blade, it rested delicately by the woman's side. Despite the man's obvious advantage with hieght and strength, he provided the source of heaving breaths that rocked shoulders up and down and the heavy steps that threated to give out. She, on the other hand, stood relaxed and poised as if just beginning. Irritation and disbelief swirled within his half-glazed eyes. Why was she not tired by now! Man after man had fought against her. He lead a strong team and was one of the best! How could a woman so tiny beat them? Beat him!? Why was this happening?

The petite figure before him smirked indulgently as if she could tell where his thoughts were going. Tired, angry, and a touch afraid the muscular man roared before charging the smug little b***h. A few feet from his target, the woman disappeared. Momentarily confused, the man did not expect the painful blow to the back of the skull or the subsequent shove behind his back. Luckily, his claymore skidded to the side before his body landed in a broken heap. "Haaa! You say you are the best yet you would not be able to harm the lowest soldier of Thilros!" She tsked in disappointment. Unlike many women, her voice was not light or smooth. The victor's pitch ranged a little lower and softly crackled to a growl with every word. The loser flinched from her comment. Unexpectedly her voice carried as much weight as the steel he regularly worked with. Shame welled up in his gut while his pride crumbled. The man slowly rose to his feet to kneel before her. "Please forgive our insolence. It would be a great honor to have you correct our mistakes. If you will have us, my Queen." Gone was the sneering man she met earlier that day, replaced with a humbled warrior who gazed at her full or respect. In return, the dark-haired woman's lips softened to a smile. The people who witnessed the fight roared in triumph. Even the line of men lost their jeers and stared on in amazement.

Soon after, the people dispersed and Nyx approached her temorary lodgings. One of her guards that had walked beside her whistled in awe. " I always forget you were a skilled warrior back home. The King will have a fit in knowing the meeting with an old friend turned out to be subduing rogues." Amusement colored his words as Nyx chuckled aloud. Indeed her overbearing husband quickly lost his composure when she was involved in "non-royal" circumstances. It was funny to watch his face redden like iron ore. "Well it is not like I meant to stumble upon them. Besides," her lofty posture turned hard with slight annoyance, "I cannot stand for Thilrosians behaving so shamefully. We must work together as a nation if we are to succeed gathering other nations." The armored man beside her nodded and bowed low in respect. "Of course, my Lady." Nyx did not bother to correct him. Regardless of what her last oppenent believed, she felt the strain of battling seven men in a row the old fashioned way. Being a Queen left little room to practice endurance in a normal fight. I need to remedy that when I return. If I cannot use my metal, I must not be utterly powerless. She thought quietly to herself while she slipped into bed. No one dared to bother her as she slept for the next few hours.

Location:: In a village between Dinosaur Valley and the Direth Mountains
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Tao Mochi

Current location and company::Out the mall to the streets with an old bully on her heels


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Her stomach's demands snapped her out of her shocked daze. Crude.. Obviously she needed to get up, but at the moment Tao felt too unstable to lift herself from the cool table. A mere mention of the crimsion dream had her in shambles. A self-depreciating giggle softly exited her trembling lips at her weakness. At least when she had been abandoned three years ago, there were traces of life all around. Plus, with the extra two years of neglect before Tao felt satisfied with being lonely but not truly alone. Unfortunately, during the dream realm of Yumegawa there was nothing. No sound, no people, no sign of life besides herself. Completely isolated. Because of the frequency of those terribly lucid visions, Tao begun to get paranoid. Was it sign from Fate that her time of joy was coming to an end again? That the destiny laid before Tao would be worse than any she could possibly imagine? Tao reluctantly recalled the past few months. They were some of the happiest she had ever been second to her time with her biological father. Why must she lose such a basic joy? Was it punishment for a past life or something?

Reminded of her current family situation, Tao forced herself to get up and walk to one of the food stalls. Since the first time her elder parents found her, food had been one of their major worry buttons. If she returned without gaining her fill, they would personally go out of their way to make sure she did. The worry on their faces and the time they spent on her instead of their jobs wrenched her gut with guilt. With slow steps, she approached a noodle shop. Hopefully the broth could settle her quesy stomach. Out of it, Tao unintentionally crashed into an upperclassman. An upperclassman she recognized unfortunately. "Hey watch i- heeeeey~!" the previous growl turned to a sneer. The taller boy had short dark hair and fair skin; he wore the boy's uniform to Tao's school. Her face paled further. Tao had known him since childhood. He had been the one to convince everyone to ignore her. All he said was that she had cooties that kept her from speaking or understanding. If no one approached her they would be safe. Any person who brushed off the warning were teased mercilessly. None could stand the abuse, and Tao found herself alone again. Even after her peers grew out of the belief of "cooties" she continued to be ostracized through middle school. The only company she really had was this teenage boy before her. For whatever reason, he took pleasure in pestering her. It ranged from poking fun at her to shoving her against the wall. Fortunately, no marks were left behind so Tao could at least not worry her folks.

Because he had moved to another city, Tao had not seen him for at least three and a half years. She had completely forgotten of his presence and walked with less weight on her shoulders. Now, with him leering down at her in glee Tao bolted. His teasing and pushing hardly rattled the girl anymore, but their last encounter had been... traumatizing to say in the least. After school on the roof, he cornered her against a wall. Basically, he spewed out his "hidden longing" for the small girl and wanted her to go out with him. No shot from her lips before she could think. He did not appreicate her rejection. If it were not for a stray student, Tao doubted she would be able to be near another male ever again. She had lived with her neglectful "parents" at that time, so Tao could not properly inform a police officer of what had happened. The next day, Tao fretted over seeing him again, but blissfully he moved that very day.

Behind her, her old tormentor shouted for her to slow down. Though he had lengthier legs, Tao had desperation on her side. Weaving through the confused crowds, Tao eventually hid in a clothing store. She watched with baited breath as the older teen rushed on by to enter another store. Eager to flee, Tao's eyes spotted the mall exit and sped toward it. To her immense relief, he did not notice her racing form as she traveled down the street. With her feet pounding the ground in tuned with her rapid heart, Tao swiftly turned a corner. In her haste she failed to notice the hulking figure until it was too late. With an alarmed yelp she ricochetted to her side several feet away. On shaky arms, Tao sat up with her head hanging low. " I'm sorry.. I-I wasn't looking." she grumbled hastily in English before attempting to get to her feet. Unfortunately, her small reserve of energy finally emptied and resulted in her back on the concrete. Without her adrenaline fueling her, she begun to feel the strain she had placed on herself as well as the hunger she had yet to remedy. I need to get up...I can't rest here...what if he gets back... A soft whimper escaped at the thought. But no matter how much she urged her body, it refused to move. Too exhausted to shift much less look at the man she rudely knocked onto, Tao laid there panting softly.

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Fortune Arcana

"Happiness is the best revenge"

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