Leeta's Story

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Mamma Peach
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Leeta's Story

Post by Mamma Peach »

Leeta's story

Chapter 1: Finding the Right Master in New Locura
(The story has been reformatted from it's original RP form. It's original form begins in here, in New Locura.)
Mika looked out the open window his room held, looking at the Zuerst streets below...or, well, what was left of them. Clean up had definitely not been the best it could have been, he thought, and much of Zuerst was still kind of ruin-y.

You really have gone to chatkill, haven't you? He thought, grabbing a pack of cigarettes from the nearby table. Lifting a small lighter from his pocket, he put the second-to-last stick into his mouth, lighting it ablaze before returning to his view of the city. Half destroyed, corruption filled...and I'm off fightin' baddies. Can't even take care of the chatkill in my own back yard. He drew back at it, letting out a puff of smoke in the air. But...there's not much to do for now. Contact with my forces has been...shaky, to say the least, and I gotta put a stop to even the most minor of villains if I can. Besides, I think we have some groups on the right side... He moved away from the window, throwing the butt of the cigarette into the street below.

Moving to his bed, he laid down upon it, closing his eyes lightly. Times like this...I feel like I should be relaxing. Clearing my senses for the challenge. But...something is making me nervous...what is it? What is it making me so...nervous? He shook his head. Stop thinking so hard, Mika. Just relax...

A girl in the street narrowly missed being hit by Mika's cigarette butt. She was seemingly in her early twenties, and rather pretty without being overly so. She had tan skin, gold eyes, and knee length green hair that was swept away from her face by an odd hair fastener that vaguely resembled a pair of white ram's horns where it came out from behind her ears and curled around her hair. She wore a silvery jumpsuit with decorative white bars around her joints and no other markings, or identification, except that she had 13374 tattooed on her left wrist. Actually she looked pretty common as Locurans go (green hair and gold eyes seeming to be the new norm).

Her face had a vacant stare as she looked up to Mika's window. Then she began to walk deliberately around the building to the front door of the Inn, absently avoiding contact with passers by without even seeming to see them.

The green haired girl walked into the Inn.

With a vacant stare she walked through the lobby, avoiding physical contact with people and ignoring everything that they said, and headed up stairs and through the halls. As she passed by the room Mecha was in she stumbled and fell against the door, which made a noise as it shifted suddenly in it's frame. Then she picked herself up and continued on until she reached Mika's room. She stopped and tried the knob, but as in all hotels it was locked, so she knocked on the door.

Mecha, who was in Hibernation mode, suddenly jerked away, his arm exploding with weapons. Seeing no one in the room, but someone walking in the hall (Thermal vision), he sat back and retracted his weapons back into his arm. He then stood up when he heard the knocking, suspicious and paranoid, and walked to the door, opening it slightly to see who it was. Of course, slightly for him wasn't exactly slightly for the normal person...

"EH?!" Mika's voice shouted from inside the room, sounding a little off. The door cracked open, Mika looking down on the girl through it. The crack was large enough to see some of his face, along with the fact he seemed to be some kind of empty bottle of his hand, but that's about it. "Eeeeh? Who're you? Room service?"

The green haired girl reached out for the door and fell through it (literally if Mika was holding it firmly shut), and against him, not very heavily as she weighed very little.

"H-hey!" He shouted a little nervously, stepping back as the door got flung open by the girl's reach. Or perhaps it was a bit of a panic from the girl falling through his not so well held crack. He wasn't really in the best position to think though, pushing the girl off him. "Alright, who the hell are you, lady?! I wasn't expecting no one and I'm not very apper...apprei...happy with you bargin' in like this!" His arm swung at her a little.

The girl looked up at Mika from the floor (as he had neglected to catch her), the pupils of her eyes becoming iridescent flowers as they met his, but they also looked rather sad. "I - I don't know. I think my name is Leeta," she said softly, brushing stray hair aside with her tattooed hand, "and I belong here... with you."

"Riiight." Mika just moved to the door, closing it. "Look, just...don't make too much noise, alright? I'm trying to conshuntrate." He glared at her a little. "And if this is some illegal racket, then I had nothing to do with it and you dragged me into it." Throwing off two of the empty bottles, which one might noticed looked like some very old beer brands, he cleared off one of the room's two chairs. "If you wanna sit, then here's a spot." He said, sitting on the bed and trying to take a drink from the empty bottle. "...Empty. Of course." He chucked the bottle behind him, said bottle shattering as it hit the wall. "Ah well, that was a bad bottle anyway."

Leeta moved over to the chair, very quietly, and sat down. She looked over at Mika, as if expecting something, though she wasn't sure what, and then around the room, and back at Mika.

"...WHAT?!" Mika shouted. "Whadda want?! Food? Money? Something to drink? Or did you just come in here to stare at me and maybe get a free night of rooming?!"

"I'm sorry!" she said softly looking down. "I just... I... Can I do something for you? Get you something? If you just want me to sit here and be quiet I will. I don't really need anything."

Mika just sighed a bit. What, did someone buy me a slave or something? Well...uh... He shook his head. Jeez, I'm too tired for this...

"Don't need anything? What, you photosynthesize or something?" He asked.

"I don't know." she said, and it sounded like she really had forgotten everything she once knew. "I just don't feel like I need anything. If... if I'm bothering you, I could wait out in the hall. You could call me when you want."

"Nah, don't do that. A perfectly obedient girl, or at least so it would sheem, all around in an Inn of who knows what kind of people, with no one there? I get the feeling I would be helping a few crimes if I let that happen." He sighed. "Uh...lesse...you said your name was...Leeta, right? Well, if it isn't, let's just go with that. I can actually remember it." He rubbed his forehead. "Do you know if you sleep? Will I need to get a second bed up here or something or...?"

"I could sleep anywhere you wanted me to. I could even clear a place on the floor... but a bed would be nice," she said wistfully. "I don't want to put you to any trouble. And don't be concerned about me obeying anyone else." She looked into his eyes and her pupils did that iridescent flower thing again. "I will only obey you."

"O...kay. That's a little creepy, but whatever." He sighed. "Well, I'll have to talk to the managers of this place about getting a room with another bed or getting one up here. But until then, uh..." He grabbed one of the two pillows he used to sleep, along with a very large sheet, and threw them a little off-target at the girl. "You can use the sheet as some kind of mini-comforter. Usually, I sleep with two pillows, but I can go with one. Ain't I a nice guy?" He chuckled a little.

"I suppose so," she said smiling a bit as she deftly caught the sheet and pillow. She seemed just a little bit more at ease. "Were you sleeping when I interrupted? Would you like me to go to sleep now, and wake when you are finished sleeping? Or would you like me to do some cleaning, or anything else?"

"Nah, I was just drinking. You're free to help yourself to that, by the way." He replied. "Aside from that...uh...do what ya want? I don't really have much I want you to do..."

"Do what I want..." she mused. "I want to be useful to you, to help however I can, beyond that... I can't really remember. I only know what I feel at the moment. I don't really remember if there is something I want to do besides that. And I don't yet know what would please you." She looked around the room, at the mess and the shattered glass. "Do you mind if I clean for a bit while you drink?"

"Sure. Why not." Mika replied with a shrug, getting up. "Better then doing it myshelf, I guess." Retreating to the mini-fridge, because any man worth his weight in salt buys the inn room with the mini-fridge, he procured another one of those drinks.

Leeta went about the room cleaning with a quiet gracefulness. She organized all of Mika's stuff (by similar kinds) on the surfaces (which she wiped down with one of the washcloths from the bathroom, she also wiped the mirror, the walls, and the worst spots on the floor) and in the drawers, made up Mika's bed, and a little bed in the corner for herself, and picked up the trash and put it in the waste bin. As she was picking up the shards of glass, still slick with the remnants of beer, an idea occurred to her. She didn't know if she could do it without a direct order... but he had said "do what you want", and she did want to please him, even if it was just a trifle. She held out her hand over the shards. For a brief moment nothing happened, then the shards came together forming a whole bottle, and then stray atoms and molecules came together inside the bottle reassembling to fill it with a very good beer. She knew it was even though she didn't know how she knew. Then she handed the full bottle to Mika.

"Wait. So does this mean your power is...like...the ability to make beer out of thin air?" He asked, staring at the drink somewhat skeptically. "...Lady, I think that this is the beginning of a beaut-i-ful relationship!" Glug. Glug. Glug...

"That would be nice," she murmured with a smile, her eyes going all flowery for a moment. She had actually managed to please him. "My 'power' is whatever you wish, whatever you command. I am here to serve you."

If she had truly remembered the past though, she wouldn't have freely told him of his mastery over her, or as easily revealed her forgotten abilities. But the heart aches of the past were forgotten with everything else. At the moment she only wanted to please him, and have him like her in return. So she waited, as he had just said (("Wait.")), for the next order.

"Hmmm...this is kind of fun." Mika mused. "I'm not entirely sure how this works, though..." And a snap of the fingers signaled the calling of an idea. Of course! If she does whatever I say, then I just need to tell her to tell me what I need to do for that to happen until I stumble on the words to make it work! "Oh, that's smart. Anyway, uh, Leeta I think it was. Whatever. I...uh...command you to tell me how this whole "obedience" thing works."

"Eons ago," she began, giving information that she didn't know she had, "an irremovable curse was put upon me to obey a master's orders, as a perversion of my original purpose to serve and maintain the world of my origin. Once a person has become my master, which is shown by a change in the pupils of my eyes, I must obey that person and only that person for as long as that person lives, or until such time as I am ordered to seek out or serve a new master. I am able to obey any command, even ones that require me to alter my shape or objects around me in ways that are usually considered impossible, though such difficult things I can not do on my own without an order. For example, I used your order to "do what you want" to make that beer, because I wanted to please you and it was your order to do what I wanted. It was more difficult to do because the order was not a direct one, but I couldn't have done it at all without that small order. If you had said I 'must' or 'will' do something, said 'I wish', or made an off hand statement like when you said 'Wait,' and 'just don't make a lot of noise' I would have to follow those as if they were a direct command, even if you didn't really mean it. A question though, or a suggestion, like 'you should' or 'you could' would not be a command, and I couldn't answer your questions about my past, who I am, or why I came to you, because I was at one time ordered to forget my past as a standing eternal order. When you cease to be my master, I shall forget you too," she said sadly.

"Though I have no memory of my past you could get me to tell you things that I don't remember by a direct command, as you did, or by saying 'Tell me...' and asking a question. You could also just ask me to remember and I would, until you ordered otherwise, or you ceased to be my master. I do have a will of my own, and I could sometimes interpret, or stretch an order beyond the exact statement to fit the needs of a particular situation, like I did with the beer, but my will is... well... my actions could be clouded by my desire to... to win your approval and affection... and my desire to help people and other life forms. It would be easy to over ride my own self interests and do myself harm... or allow myself to be hurt. Also... If you truly wanted to destroy innocent people, or the world... I might actually subvert a weak command, so as to help others... though it would case me pain to go against my master's true wishes."

She looked up at him, her eyes all flowery, and yet sad in a hurt puppy sort of way. "I hope... I hope you are not the kind of person who enjoys hurting others," she murmured. "I don't think you are." She didn't even react to the distant sound of breaking glass. She was fully concentrated on Mika.

"Riiight. Okay." He rubbed his head. I'm way too smashed for this...and this room doesn't have any lamp posts... "Well, I'm getting kind of sleepy, so..." He rose his hand, as if a king commanding servants. "I command thee, the knight Leeta, you're a knight now by the way because I say so, to go to bed while the king sleeps. Use the bed I made with the pillow and sheet, because I can't fit two people on the bed." He promptly passed out on his bed.

Leeta immediately went over to her "bed" in the corner and laid down, falling into a deep sleep. As she did her clothing made not so subtle changes. Her hair fastener transformed into a kind of winged helm with her hair neatly braiding itself into a long plait, and her jumpsuit became a finely linked mail shirt with a padded under tunic that extended to her knees and was fastened by a metal studded leather belt at her waist. There was even a sheathed dagger on the belt. She also wore calf length leather boots with a metal shin guard on the front, and protective metal arm bands from wrist to elbow. As she slept a sword and a small round shield formed beside her. The sword's pommel was a large emerald, and the shield had a green tree and a white swan painted on it.

Leeta stirred in her sleep and woke with tears on her face. It must have been a dream, she thought, and a dream based on a forgotten memory too, as she couldn't remember anything. She was thirsty and uncomfortable in her mail shirt and helm, but she couldn't get up until her "king" awoke. So she went back to sleep.

Fortunately, she wouldn't have to wait long, as Mika got up more than somewhat uneasily.
"What hit meeeEEeeEE...?" Mika said uneasily, rubbing his head. "Yo, little lady, wake up!"

"Yes, my liege," she said getting up on one knee to bow. "Do you require my assistance?" Then noticing how his head seemed to be hurting him she said more softly, "I could make your head feel better, sire. Do you wish for me to help you with that?"

"Yes, that would be nice. Make it so!"

Leeta asked Mika to sit down and then she began to massage his head and neck. As she did so his blood chemistry and fluid levels returned to normal, making his hangover disappear (not to mention that the massage itself felt good).

"So...like..." Mika said with a contented smile. "Whenever we find out who made this, I've got to give him a big thank you."

"I'm glad that you are happy, your majesty, even if you do make me wear strange clothes and speak in this unusual manner," she said with a smile. Her own needs for food, water, a bath and clean clothes, were forgotten for the moment. "But who is it that you want to thank? What did he make that pleases you so?"

"Well, whoever made you...like...all able to get rid of hangovers 'n' stuff." Mika replied. "I mean, we can presume it's unnatural, right? Therefor, somebody did it, and that somebody must be a genius."

"I gather, from the information I gave you last night and what I feel, that I was always able to do these kinds of unusual things, for the good of my world. That was my purpose for existing... only it was diverted by the curse to serve just one person, as a slave," she said rather surprised at the idea of someone making her in the first place, though it was possible. That kind of person would have to have amazing powers and wisdom, great enough to make the world that she served, but if that was so, why was she allowed to become a slave that could be forced to destroy everything that she was made to preserve? That was a puzzle she had no pieces for. "Also," she continued with a bit of an angry edge, "that curse limits my abilities. I have to have an order to do these things. I know inside that I was once able to do these things freely of my own will. So... are you going to thank the possibly non-existent person who created me, or the one who enslaved and limited me?"

Her own anger surprised her, "I'm sorry my liege," she said quickly. How could she have talked like that to him? "Please forgive my outburst. I truly want to help you with whatever you need. I'm glad that you find pleasure in something that I can do. If you want to thank someone for making me that's fine." She hoped he wouldn't hold what she said against her. It didn't even occur to her that Mika should probably thank the one who sent her to him, since she had forgotten.

"Aaaaw...does little Leeta have a button?" Mika said, basically unfazed, poking Leeta a bit playfully in the forehead. "Also, stop talking funny. You sound like those stuck-up knights from the old days. And if your one of my knights, you don't talk all "My liege" like. You talk naturally." Mika sighed. "But man...there's a whole world of people like you? Locura got snuffed by evolution, I guess. I mean, if we had a species like that, we would never have to worry about hangovers again!"

Leeta smiled in relief he wasn't angry at all. "Thanks... umm, master? Do your knights wear something different than this armor? Because this stuff is pretty uncomfortable," she asked. Maybe she should ask more, and not be so afraid that he would hate her or something. "And I don't know if my world had more people like me or not, that standing order to forget my past you know. If you asked me to tell you, I'd know it then."

"Yeah, sure. I mean, I'm a knight and I wore rags like this back then. So, feel free to wear whatever you want. If I need to formally order it...uh..." He coughed a little. "I, master Mika, command thee to wear whatever you wan, of which is comfortable for you! And so it was written, and so it was done!"

Leeta gave a delighted and natural laugh. "You don't need to be so formal with orders, master Mika!" she said, her stiff mail shirt transforming into a soft pale green and white dress and her boots into slipper like shoes, while the helm reverted into the hair fastener that she had before, only with stylized "feathers" instead of ram's horns. The sword and shield still lay on the floor by her "bed".

"I like having some freedom to choose! Thank you," she said. "And I think your name is beautiful! Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"Actually, yes, there is. But not here." Mika replied, opening the door. "Come on. Walk with me, talk with me." He quickly left the room, heading down the building's stairs.

Leeta followed quickly, catching up with Mika to walk beside him.
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Mamma Peach
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Re: Leeta's Story

Post by Mamma Peach »

2. In the Streets of Zuerst
"Leeta, how much do you know about Zuerst? And when I ask this, I mean how much you know without me commanding you, not how you go into that "I know more now 'n' stuff" state or whatever when the past is asked." Mika replied, exiting the building.

"Master Mika, I don't remember anything before I looked up at you from the floor of your room where I guess I had fallen," sighed Leeta. "Though I do remember something!" she said hopefully. "When I saw the city outside the window, while I was cleaning, it looked all broken, like a war had happened or something. I wasn't thinking about it at the time. Is that Zuerst?"

"Yes. The city we are going into is Zuerst. Do you know how old Zuerst is? Of course not, I'd imagine. Some historians still argue the exact date, but the answer is 5,000 years from now. Do you want to know how I know that?" They exited into the streets, wherein the conversation continued(AKA Zuerst Streets. Is where replies should be goin'.)

"Strange, there don't seem to be many old buildings," she said looking around. "It must have been built over a lot. There are three reasons why you might know exactly how old this city is," She added to answer his question. "One, you might be a better historian or made an important discovery that said so. Two, you might have known someone that old who told you. Or three, you might be that old yourself. What happened here?"

"Yes, few old buildings survive here. It's a shame, isn't it, to see history go like that? Oh well, I guess. The new stuff is far safer." Mika replied. "But yes, you made a good guess, even if it was the last one. You see, I'm what one might call "Immortal". I am not truly immortal, as I can be killed. However, I am unable to die by natural age. Because of this, my organs don't deteriorate. That's why I can drink and smoke like I do with no ill effects. Of course, this is only part of it. I shall answer your question now, at least." Mika finally took a breath. "Anyway, Zuerst is...uh...very screwed right now. The Council, that's like the government here, is fighting a two-sided war. There is a revolutionist group, P.A.S.S., who one might call "Terrorists". They're fighting from within the city, and are primarily fighting the government force and army. Oddly enough, it's mostly made up of small girls. Funny, hm? But, enough of the inside. On the outside, they're facing N.I.D.A., a group I believe is connected to the Nasbie faction. I don't know as much of them as I do P.A.S.S.. The massive destruction here is a combination of an attack from P.A.S.S. and many bombing runs from N.I.D.A.. However, the two aren't working together, i believe. That is Zuerst's current state."

"So, things are in state of chaos, with multiple factions," she said as if she had been through this kind of thing before, or at least she understood it. There was something nagging at the back of her mind. "Oh, I hate it when something seems important but I know I can't remember it! When you said you were immortal, it was like that was really important, but I just can't push the parameters of my memory to include it. If I could only just remember my last master... I just have to let it go then," she sighed exasperated. Then her voice softened. "You said you could be killed, but your organs regenerate a bit, at least to off set damage from toxins like alcohol. How much can you regenerate? How much damage can your body take before you... before you stop living? I don't like the idea of you getting killed."

"It's varying. It's hard to pinpoint, really. As you can tell, I haven't fully tested that!" He let out a hardy laugh. "But basically, stick something sharp or a bullet through a critical organ and I'm probably a goner. Same for a major artery. But, if you strike something minor..." He shrugged. "Prob'bly fine then."

Leeta got in front of Mika and put her hand protectively on his chest, temporarily stopping their progress. "I want you to order me right now to not let you die!" she said very serious. "I don't want to be in a situation where you are unable to speak... to order me to save your life... but my power could save you. There is no reason why you should not continue to live forever!" She took her hand away and looked aside. "If for any reason you should wish to die... you could always rescind your order later. Though I wouldn't like it," she said softly.

"Nah. Sorry, but there's a few reasons I'm not doing that." Mika replied simply. "First off, it brings the idea of a "complete" immortality to the table. That's always iffy for me, y'know? After all, I got enough going on to stop me from being bored with this. Secondly, one of those thrills I get are battle, and well...invincibility just kind of makes that boring." He shook his head. "Thirdly...well...I kind of like the option, y'know? Can't do it yet, but if you need to do somethin'..."

"Please, couldn't you issue some kind of order to for me heal you?" she begged.

"Okay, fine. My command goes as such...you will heal non-fatal wounds I receive if instructed." Mika said. "Happy?"

"Not really," she said looking down and stepping out of his way, "but it's obvious that you won't change your mind. If you die in battle though," she wiped her eyes, "I will likely end up belonging to your enemy, unless... unless you have allies close by."

She waited for their walk to continue. "So, where are we going?" Her stomach picked that moment to make little gurgley noises.

"Well, you see, we're going to meet an old friend. Then, it sounds like we'll be getting something to eat." Mika replied.

"Hoy!" And the man of the hour came down the window, almost surfing down the first floor of the dilapidated building towards the two. He wore a plaid hat, much like a golfer's, with a small hole in it revealing uncombed black hair. He had dark green eyes, and a short stubble on his face. He wore brown gloves that seemed to be once full, but were now worn down and scratched to fingerlessness. His dirty gray and slightly holed tee was underceded by a brown vest, which had two holes on the top of each shoulder. His pants were relatively clean, only a slightly dirtied pair of white business pants, ripped at the bottom. His shoes seemed to be made of some kind of soup cans. "Hoy is what they say now as greetings, right? Well, no matter. How is it, Mika?" And so the man landed.

"Doin' well, old buddy!" Mika shouted in a hearty tone, the two giving each other a hug and a slap on the back. "How's it been?"

"Well, it's been doin' fine. War's been making some homes for us hobos. An' you...?" The man replied with a nod and a smile, noticing Leeta "Oh, well, what's this then? Going loli or something?"

Mika chuckled a little. "Oh, stop that, you little joker." He sighed. "I'm here for a decently important reason."

"Oh?"

Leeta gave a slight bow. "Greetings, friend of Mika," she said softly, so as not to seem an interruption. "And I'm much too old to be considered 'Loli'," she added.

"Yeah, sure." The man responded. "Anyw-"

"Waitwaitwait." Mika responded, holding his hand out as if to stop the man from speaking. "Watch this, quick." He turned to Leeta. "Leeta, tell me your height, weight and bust size for your current form."

The man quickly grabbed Mika's shoulder. "Dude, what hell are you doin'?"

"Just watch." Mika replied simply.

"5 ft 2 in, 100 lbs, 34A, or my full measurements - 35-24-35," said Leeta wondering why he asked.

"Dude, how'd you do that?" The other man said with a little surprise. "No way some random lady just tells you her measurements."

"I dunno exactly, but she's like...been programmed to follow the orders of whoever her master is, and she chose me. It's actually a pretty sweet deal, even if I gotta be a little careful with my words around her." Mika replied.

"I see then...does she qualify for the international loli measurements?" He asked.

"I'm not entirely sure." Mika replied, sliding up next to Leeta. "On one hand, the breast size seems prototypical of a loli..." His hands swiftly moved forward, making a tweaking motion over the breasts in question. "On the other hand, the height may be a few inches taller than expected." And now his hands moved to have one on her feet and one on her hand, like a faux measurement. "And the weight..." Light rubbing of Leeta's belly, before moving out of creepy mode. "...Well, it's kind of in the middle. Probably good, given the height."

Leeta looked a tad embarrassed by all this by all this. "Why am I being compared to 'loli standards', master Mika? I don't look that young, do I? It would be inappropriate... I mean... I'm much older than I look..." she said with some confusion. Was Mika just joking around with his friend, or... did he really go in for that sort of thing? He was rather good looking to her... but loli?

"Well, I dunno, it was my first thought." The other man replied in kind.

"Well, first off, it wasn't always inappropriate. People just kind of decided, "If were evolving and getting more mature as a species and stuff, then we need to throw out some of the old stuff that others might find icky." and after much deliberation, it was one of the things slowly integrated into law. In my day and age, a man and a loli were no oddity. So, for me, it is not." He said, with an amusing air of casuality about him. "Then again, perhaps you wonder if a loli appearance is inappropriate, or if the fact you are in such a form and yet in your age is? I suppose I'm not good at reading you, so I could be confused on exactly what you mean. Also, to answer your first question, it's because my initial thought placed you in the "loli" category. Perhaps it's the breast size, although your height and weight could conceivably fit into it. Plus, he started the conversation here with that and I felt like expanding it. It was somewhat amusing, no?"

"Not really..." she began. "Perhaps I misunderstood. I thought a loli was a child... and sex with a child is... inappropriate. I do not look like a child, do I? I am much older than that, though I do look much younger than my age would suggest, but what would someone my age really look like? Is it so odd to look forever young? Besides... " How was she going to say this? She was certain that it was true. In one way it made her very uncomfortable, but in another way she didn't think it would be too bad... "I am certain that some of my past masters... I don't know what their preferences might have been, but... but in my position..." Now she was blushing terribly with embarrassment. "I would only hope that your preferences would be more appropriate, Master." She almost mumbled the last part, she was so embarrassed.

"Well, while loli can mean that, it can also mean one who is older than the age of a child but retains heavily child-like features, usually seen in media and not in real life. And inappropriate...it's a hard use to word here, I feel, but perhaps it is because of my time of raising. However, I would like to say it is not a preference. My first wife, for example, was a splendid woman in her late thirties. However, when you get as old as I do, and after the...way the first one ended...well...you try things, you know? I can remember my last loli, just a few years prior to the time that the first anti-loli movements began. But I digress, the point is, it is inaccurate to say I am a loli lover, but it would be more accurate to say I am also a loli lover." He concluded.

"Oh," she said, not really sure what that meant as far as she was concerned. Of course he would be older than the women he met, so age would be less important. What he might or might not ask her to do was unknown, so she would just have to wait and see. It would take time to get to know her master, Mika, his likes and dislikes. Undoubtedly he would need time to decide what to do with her too. There were still some unresolved things in her past, but as she really couldn't remember them they would have to remain unresolved. "Then excuse me for interrupting. I believe your friend had business with you."

Leeta heard lightning towards the South part of the city, and looked in that direction. She really couldn't see anything in that direction, but she could see that there was nothing much in the way of clouds in the sky. She could also sense snow that way, but not natural at all. Unnatural weather? No, it must be more magical in origin. She asked herself how she knew that, but there was no answer. She really wished she could get past that forgetfulness sometimes.

The other two did not seem to notice. Perhaps it was because they were used to these phenomena by now, or perhaps it was because in Locura, it seemed like magic waiting to kill you was around every corner.

"Yes, well, sorry if I made you to uncomfortable Leeta. But it was amusing, at least, and I now must attend to business." He turned to his friend waiting for no response. "I trust you know why I am here?"

"I can guess."

"The Chromatics. How are they? Are they back under control?"

The man sighed. "Not so good, I am afraid. Something has them on edge, and they don't respond to me that well unless you are there. It's almost like they're...on edge for some reason. Fortunately, they still respond to you reasonably." He replied. "Physically, I find no abnormalities. If I had his research, I could make something out of it..."

"No." Mika replied bluntly. "What other news might you have for me, perhaps of the other members?"

"Aaeru is still off doing whatever he does. Something with Pistopt? I don't know. Night is as elusive as ever...yeah." Shrug.

"I see...been keepin' up with the news?"

"Yeah." He nodded. "Been interesting, huh?"

"I suppose...well, I've nothing more to ask for." He sighed. "Should I be going, then?"

"If you want, though your little lady might have some questions for us, don't you think?"

"Little we can answer, though."

"Oh, don't be so tight-lipped, Mika. You act like everything has to be a James Bond secret!"

"Not everything...just important things." A clear and obvious distinction meant with a tch,

"I'm sure that if there is something my master Mika wishes me to know, he will tell me," Leeta said politely, "and if there is something he wants to know about me, he will ask me to tell him. I am quite dependent on his will, whether I like it or not, though I would prefer liking it."

She heard the distant sounds of weapon's fire. There must be a battle of some sort. She was half remembering the feeling of recently rushing off to help, but then it was cut off. She had once more wandered into the area of remembering a past master and her life, and was left with a nagging lack of memory. She would have cursed the one who ordered her to forget if she hadn't had the feeling that it had somehow been for her own good. Still, it would have been nice to be able to remember, at least a little. What ever the battle was her master Mika seemed unconcerned, and even if she had her own way to help she wouldn't know what the factions were or who was right. Her only duty was to her master. She did think of one question though.

"Friend of Mika," she said hesitantly, "there is one question I have, is there anything I should know that would help me to please master Mika, and serve him better?"

"First off, call be Eibon." The friend said, moving to the woman. "It's my pen name, y'know." A long groan from Mika. Perhaps this fact was displeasing to him? No matter.

"And for the second part..." He leaned in for a whisper. "Mika is very touchy about his past. He'll be open about some things, and very secretive about others. But don't forget your questions and ask them later, and eventually he'll tell you more things. That should give you some more material to work with getting buddy-buddy with him, y'know?"

"I'm not very good with questions about the past, Eibon," she said softly. "I have trouble finding out about my own, and I think it tends to hamper my questions to others sometimes." She paused for a second in thought. "Do you think his problems with the past might be the reason he doesn't ask me to tell him about mine?"

"It's entirely possible." He nodded. "Sensitive people treat others as if they are sensitive in that subject, I guess."

"But I don't like having this emptiness where my past should be. I want to know, and I think he has a right to know..." she sighed. She paused at the sound of an explosion and looked it that direction. "Maybe it's for the best," she said half to herself. "Maybe he doesn't want to know. Perhaps knowing would be a burden." She heard the sounds of fighting, closer than before. It sounded like hand to hand, perhaps with blades, and some special power that felt strange. "Anyway," she concluded, "I just thought you might know some of Mika's likes and dislikes."

"Well, to be honest, it's hard to say any more. Ask me 5000 years ago, I can tell you. But Mika...I don't think he lives life quite the same way. Rough living the same way for such a long life, you know? Well, you just might." Eibon went on, a little ramblish. "Well, there is one thing I'm sure he likes. If there's some evil dude runnin' amok, he enjoys beating them down if their a challenge. He's an avid eater of most types of food and drink, and exercises enough. Chronic drunk and addicted to cigarettes...OH, and don't try to get a dog. That will only end in horrible, horrible pain." Small chuckle, but he sure seemed serious about everything in there.

Leeta felt glad to know that Mika was a hero type. She was uncertain of the drunkenness and smoking but could work with it, and his liking food would be easy. She wasn't too sure what the dog bit meant. "Okay," she said, distracted somewhat by the increasing noise from the general area of the explosion from before.

There was an awful lot of fighting going on over there, and it was difficult to ignore. "There is quite a commotion going on over there," she said looking off in the direction of the battle, but still unable to see anything. "What is it? It seems some very strange weapons are being used too?"

"Huh. I guess so." Eibon turned to the battle. "But these things are kind of..."


"...Excuse me a moment, Leeta." Eibon rushed forward, grabbing Mika and dragging him away a bit. "Mika...do you see who's battling over there?" He semi-whispered pointing to the group.

"I see...dragons, a stabbaholic, Equisoldats..." Mika paused for a moment, snapping his fingers. "Yes. I see what you mean. What is he doing here?"

"I don't know, but it looks like their getting their asses kicked..."

"Indeed." Mika nodded. "Should we...?"

"Well, you don't have anything to do, right?" Eibon asked. "Besides..." He leaned in, whispering more. "...I think the little lady wants something to do. She's at a loss, you see. So you can do what you do and maybe bond some more. Aye?"

"I suppose...and I do need to get out more. You can hold everything down?"

"Of course." A large smirk from Eibon.

"Okay, fine." He broke the whisper with Eibon, running past Leeta and towards the Yavol battle. "LEETA! COME ON! WE'RE GETTING IN THIS FIGHT AND I'D LOVE SOME BACKUP!"

"Okay," said Leeta. "Just command me to be able to battle."
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Re: Leeta's Story

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3. The Battle Against Yavol
((This section will take some time to digest from the original "game" format which took 107 pages to get to this point...

Leeta was feeling angry and embarrassed. She had been forced to fight barehanded and without armor, or any other protection, because Mika was too busy to give her a command. If it hadn't been for a couple of potions she had found (she literally had to throw the potion over Mika, which made it less effective), and the healing powers of the other fighters, she and Mika would probably be dead. Her hair was mussed and dirty, her dress was torn, and she'd lost her shoes. Who was this person they were fighting anyway, that not even dragons could put him down?

... and 7 more to get to here...

Leeta threw the last potion she found on the exhausted Mika.
Leeta->Mending Remedy->Mika
Then she sat down on a piece of rubble and pushed back her dirty, messed up hair, and smoothed her torn dress, while looking around to locate her lost shoes.
Leeta healed Mika
Mika is feeling weak. (30%)

... which was just after Yavol was defeated in this "game" style of combat.))

Betrun got up, seeming dazed. Well, more so than usual. "Aw, man, you took out my drinking buddy. We were having a grand ol' time, and-"

"ENOUGH!" Yavol suddenly shouted, standing back up as he held his head with his one remaining hand. "First, you." Yavol said as he made a hand motion towards Betrun. And away he flew, wheeee!

Yavol quickly regained his posture and became calm once again, despite still missing half his torso. "Well, Zuegan, since you're an old friend, I'll enlighten you a bit before I finish this. You know how they say that going past the speed of light is near impossible, and it gets confusing when one does it? Well, perhaps you don't." Yavol chuckled a bit, "But that's certainly the case. Now, just how fast do you think I have to go to jump from planet to planet without suffocating? Well past the speed of light, I assure you. Do you know what I see? I see the gods of this universe. They're not bearded men, or formless beings, or what have you. They're mostly teenagers with too much time on their hands. They dictate all that happens, all that will be." Yavol smirked. "And they dictate that I'll die. And yet, here I am, struggling onwards. Does that make me greater than the gods?" Yavol prepared himself. "Well, let's see."

Meanwhile, a few minutes into the past, when Yavol began his little speech, Ron approached Zuegan. "Remember how I said I was a dance magician? Well, it's time I prove it." he said, grabbing both Zuegan's hands. "Just follow my lead."

And thus, the two swayed to and fro, doing what most would know as the waltz. As it went on, one might notice what looked like static forming around them.

Ron then stepped back from Zuegan. "Now it's your turn. Do your dance magic." he told her, before telling everyone else, "Everyone! Do as Zuegan does. It's our last chance."

Zuegan was a bit taken aback by this, but she'd be darned if she questioned what was probably her last hope against Yavol. So, doing as instructed, she placed both her arms at each side of her head, sticking her hands out. Finally, she began swaying side to side, flapping her hands up and down.

Caramelldansen~

Leeta stared, open mouthed. She had never seen or heard anything like this, though she couldn't really be sure without memory. She was just very surprised at the moment. She waited for orders from Mika.

Mika jumped in immediately. "This looks fun!" Getting into the hip groove of things, he put his arms to his head, doing the hand stuff and swaying hips. "Dun dun dun...Caramelldansen~...dun dun dun....come on Leeta, join the fun!"

Samuel just got of stepped away from this newcomer, somewhat disturbed, and hesitantly caramelldansened the night away.

Starsky, meanwhile, floated and attempted her best to caramelldansen. Unfortunately, as a star-thing, it was extremely impossible, and it seemed more like she was seizuring. Good times.

Aneu has started doing the dance without question.

Slowly, but surely, Malik joined in.

DEM was swept in by the beat, dancing along to the music.

Jayson stood there watching the crowd dance, a strange look creeped upon his face ecstatic with joy. "What a beautiful sight. All bodies connected, all thought intertwined. How wonderful! How magnificent that I get to witness something of this caliber! Truly inspiring!" And then had joined the dance himself.

Leeta imitated the dance. It was rather fun, and helped take her mind away from how upset she was about having to battle unarmed and unprotected because of Mika's lack of orders.

Epona followed suit, imitating the dance.
Hartmx also did so, although rather awkwardly.
Tanis, however, refused.
He crossed his arms. "No. No way, no how. You cannot make me."

All of DG90 imitated, Mariko included.
Some (Libra, Sakura, Mariko) more willing than others (Agni).

"Tanis, if you don't do it, the entire world might explode~" Mika said in a cheery, somewhat gay voice as he caramelldansened. "You are on that planet, you know~"

"It's do or die!" Tejas said, dancing.

After hearing all the commotion, Anime, Nimexa, and crew came to the area the fight took place. "Oooh, look a dance party! Come-on-we-should-join, Anime!" He started dancing. "Dance with me!"

He started bouncing in a similar way to everyone else... "Um... Uh... Okay... I guess. If everyone else is..." He felt strange, he never joined big group things like this.

"...fine...fine...whatever...You owe me..." Tanis danced, if only just to save the world.

Jenna quickly followed. Now, she wasn't a stripper, like certain other magic-users in this group, but she did know how to dance, and so she started boogieing to the groove like it was 1999 again.

Solandra and Amethos reluctantly did the dance, Solandra feeling just as embarrassed about it as Tanis probably felt.

The Equisoldats, bewildered by the impromptu dance party that had begun inexplicably, attempted to mimic this seemingly ritualistic dance as best as they could under the weight of their body armor.

Meanwhile, Mahh was nowhere to be seen.

Verrlich wasn't sure what to make of all this. At first, he decided to run up and stab Yavol again, but was stopped by Krote. Reluctantly, he joined the dancing, having a dagger in each hand as he did so. He eventually grew to enjoy it, though darned if he didn't want to just stab the guy s'more.

Krote sighed and joined, and eventually actually smiled a little.

HAPI busted out some wires as substitute limbs and began joining as well, not being one to hide his enjoyment. Then again, he thought it was just a random dance party.

Ron was, of course, the first to join, aside from Zuegan herself.

The static around the Ron and Zuegan was much larger, more visible, and denser now. Finally satisfied, Ron stopped dancing, and prepared by standing in one place for a bit as the static began to concentrate itself in his right hand. With his left, he picked up several rather large pieces of debris as if they were nothing, and tossed one after another in the air, using them as stepping stones until he had leaped directly above Yavol, a small ways up.

"May this hole of justice be filled." Ron said as he aimed his right hand in front of him, and finally, a huge torrent of static launched down toward Yavol. As a result of all this, Ron's hood was sent down, revealing his dark blue eyes and long, bluish-gray hair that covered much of his face, being about shoulder length (also, a picture).

"--Well, let's see." Yavol finally finished as he prepared himself, right before the torrent was launched. Noticing this, he looked up briefly, then back at Zuegan. "Well, looks like I was righ--" he began to say before being interrupted by, well, being shot by it. The beginning of the last word, though, had a very strong enunciation, almost as if--

Oh, shi--

Suddenly, the one eye Zuegan had left starting bleeding profusely, the eye itself being no longer visible. She collapsed to her knees, holding her eye--or what was left--in pain.

As the static coming from Ron's hand finally dissipated, leaving a very vacant crater behind, Ron dropped to the ground, and ran over to Zuegan to see just what was the matter.

((OOC: Just to clarify, in case anyone didn't understand, the "right" at the end of Yavol's sentence was him breathing especially hard with the intention of, well, killing everyone. But since he was cut short, he just got Zuegan's eye.))

Mika, after Caramelldansening a little after the entire Yavol destruction thing, /RUNned over to Zuegan. "Alright, how badly did he kill you...with...breathing?" He asked. "Doctor's offices must be hell."

Samuel, meanwhile, quickly ran to Verrlich and his group. "Zuerstian security might be down here soon. We should be prepare to fight our ways out." Starsky just floated to Verrlich.

"He got... my eye..." Zuegan said, still holding her hand over it. So as to make the damage plainly visible and so the side of it wouldn't irritate the wound, her hood was pulled down, showing her simple brown hair that was tied back in a ponytail. It wasn't the tidiest, but it wasn't really messy, either.

Ron was kneeling in front of her, looking between the damage it did and the city around, to see if there were any hospitals or anything of the like still up.

Verrlich, meanwhile, replied to Samuel with "Meh, fine, let's go then. We got what we came for, I suppose... Unless you know of a weapons dealer around here. Do you?" as he sheathed his two daggers.

"Well..." Mika's eyes flashed with the astound mention of something unheard of in the modern world. AN IDEA! "...If the author would stop being so cheesy." =( "I was going to say I think the general hospital is open. The military is funding it now a little and it serves as a rest stop for soldiers...let's go?"

"Uh...I know this guy in downtown Central. He's got...well..." Resisting to talk about peanuts, walnuts and pineapple shells, he continued. "Lot's of stuff."

"Alright." Zuegan said as she got up and began heading towards the hospital. Ron walked beside her, lest she need help for whatever reason.

"Alright, sounds good. Where is the guy? I don't know my way around this town." Verrlich responded to Samuel.

Mika followed the two. Half out of the goodness of his heart, half out of FFFing boredom.

"Sure. Why not. Follow me I guess?" Samuel went /RUNing off somewhere.

Verrlich followed Samuel. Not much else to say there, really.

Krote, figuring the job was done, went off, likely to search the town a bit more for the Black Platypus.

Leeta found her shoes and followed Mika, torn, dirty, and feeling dejected in spite of how the dance had made her happy. Why did Mika not give her orders? She could have fought much better, she could even heal that woman's eyes, both of them, if he ordered her to.
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Re: Leeta's Story

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5. At the Hospital
At Zuerst General Hospital

Zuegan came in, hand still over her bleeding eye socket, with Ron alongside her. Immediately, they tried getting her to the emergency room or what have you.

Quickly answering the group of three, including the eye-bleedy Zuegan, Doctor Emer G. Enecy could already tell he was going to have a fun day.

"Alright then, would the bleeding eye be the only medical emergency in your arsenal?"

"Yes." Zuegan answered.

"Alright then." He began walking the two to the emergency room far too calmly for good tastes. "Could I see the injury as we move along? It's good to assess the situation before you go into stuff. Still, not the worst I don't think. Why, just last week, we had a guy who was drunk and had somehow managed to lose half his torso! Hooo, I don't think anyone coulda pulled through that..."

Zuegan moved her hand from the wound, showing it to the doctor. Ron was still walking alongside.

"Well, it looks like a heavy breathing wound. We've had an unusual amount of those lately. but it's no trouble to have more. Although...this one is obviously pretty bad. Your...uh...other eye works, I hope?" Emer asked, sounding a wee bit more nervous, and his pace hurried. Mika followed suit.

Zuegan blinked vacantly because OH WAIT THAT'S RIGHT SHE CAN'T. HAHAHA. I'm probably going to Hell for that. Er, wait. She has no eyes, not no eyelids, so I guess she can. Hmmm. At any rate, she replied with a "No."

"Alright, you two stay here." Down Mika. Down boy. "Zuegan's going to be in surgery for a while, so you might want to get something to eat..."

---

WOOSH FLANG BLAM

The surgery seemed to go by all too fast, as if it had been skipped over for plot purposes, aside from the occasional call of "Scalpel" or "Razor" or "Glove" or "Slice of pizza". Soon, Zuegan was ready to be put into a room to recover from it, complete with a bandage eye patch to cover up the nasty...lack of eye.

Leeta stood pretty much ignored behind the group, having eluded people in white who wanted to know why she was so torn and dirty, and if she needed help. The mention of food sounded good in her dejected state. But of course her master had more important things to do than remember her existence and purpose. These people might even be friends of his. So she said nothing.

"Well, it looks like Zuegan is...uh...as alright as she can be, I guess." Mika looked over Leeta and Ron. "Maybe we should get ourselves checked up? I don't know about you two, but I want to make sure I have a spleen still going into the future."

(convo between Sprache and Zuegan)

Mika, meanwhile, was getting his persons examined. Fortunately, so far, he had nothing wrong, but they said he had exerted himself a lot and that he should take it easy. Advice well taken.

(convo between Sprache and Zuegan)

Leeta submitted to being examined by the people in white for damage. There was none as she had been healed during the battle, even though some of the rips and tears in her dress had her blood on them, suggesting that there had been. Fortunately no one examined her internal organs or they might have been tempted to keep her there for further research. Instead they said that there was nothing wrong with her that a good bath and a change of clothes wouldn't solve.

Leeta hated being away from Mika, especially since she had no orders to follow and was already feeling rather down, so she went to rejoin him as quickly as possible. Breakfast, a bath, and a change of clothes would be good, but she wondered if her master would even notice. He seemed to have a good heart, she assured herself. Surely he was aware of her dependency, or was he? Actually she was suffering more from a common feminine problem of feeling neglected than any real physical complaint. This was made worse by the fact that she really couldn't even take care of herself properly without some kind of command. "Do what you want" would only go so far. If he had been more specific... like saying "You can take care of yourself"... or something like that, she might have done better. So she hung around, looking like a ragged street urchin, waiting for Mika.

Leeta wondered how long she had been waiting. Time seemed to be unmeasurable here. Either the world's time was broken or her ability to measure time was. A few moments could have passed, or hours (she didn't think it had been days yet though). She didn't know what to do while waiting for Mika, but she couldn't just dwell on her misery. "Learn!" came to her mind, the remnants of a former master's command, programmed into her. She looked around her for things to read, or for other information sources.

She read the wall posters and Public Service announcements. ((OOC: What they are I don't know since I don't run this place.)) Then she picked up a news paper, The News that Knew, and read it.
http://www.falcon6.net/old_forums/viewt ... 64&t=33871

It wasn't making sense to her. Grammar Nazis, Nasbies... little girl lolis a new army tactic? Mika said that the government was fighting a two-sided war against P.A.S.S. (who he said were called "terrorists" and were made up of little girls and fought within the city against the government and the army) and against N.I.D.A. (who attacked from the outside and might be a Nasbie faction). ((OOC: That's what Mika actually said.)) But this paper said these girls were on the government's side, and that terrorists attacked in the South Border today. She knew that the fight in the south involved the dragons that had helped them against those very powerful men. The dragons were hardly evil, or contained. Then there was this person "Yavol's Ghost" who said that Caramelldansen should be banned because it killed him. That was the dance they used to defeat that person who wanted to destroy everyone. Wait... Yavol's Ghost! Could that guy write from beyond the grave? Then everyone was praising the Council, but Corporal Wuthren said that the Council would allow him to shoot at a granny with a rocker! Pure evil! She would have to ask Mika if she was to truly learn anything about what was going on.

Leeta threw the paper down. It was obvious that she would learn very little of use from such illogic and likely outright lies. She picked up a home and garden magazine to read. At least the recipes would be useful. Mika did like to eat.

A few minutes later, Mika entered the room, sitting next to Leeta. "So, I'm guessing you checked out, then? I asked them to do a few more in-depth checks while I was here, since I don't go to the hospital often."

"Oh, I see," she said, all of the negative feelings that she had fading away with Mika sitting next to her, even though she was still dirty with messy hair and torn clothes. "I didn't really like them examining me, but I'm glad that you are doing well." Her eyes flowered a bit.

Then she put the magazine down by the paper. "This news paper is confusing, master Mika. It says that the one that fought at the Southern Boarder are terrorists and were 'contained', I suppose that means jailed, but those that fought at the boarder were the dragons who helped us in the battle. I recognized their attacks. It says the Council is good, but a Corporal Wuthren said that the Council would allow him to shoot at a granny with a rocker. There is also a note from 'Yavol's Ghost' who said that Caramelldansen should be banned because it killed him. How could that be? And it says that little girl lolis are a new army tactic, but I thought you said P.A.S.S. was composed of little girls. I do not think it speaks the truth, but what is the real truth? Who were the people we were with, and the man that we fought? Is the Council good or evil? And what side are you on?"

"I think it's evil to let people who work for you kill innocent people. I guess you can't tell if the Council would do something like that or not. This news paper seems to be worthless for real information, so there is no way of telling."

"So, what are we doing now, master?" She smoothed out her dress and realized again how disheveled she was, and the reason why. She wanted to ask why Mika hadn't given her any orders, but she didn't. It would sound rather accusatory, and she was just glad he was there with her.

"Well, there is one thing that was bothering me. During the battle, you seemed...I don't know, lost? Is that because of lack of orders? We'll need to work on that. I won't always be there to order you around, and in some battles ordering you aloud will just alert the enemies to our plans. We'll have to find some way to have you battle more on your own devices..."

"You could just tell me to take care of myself, if you don't want me to get involved with helping or healing you," she said looking down. "You could tell me that I can have a weapon, or armor, or be able to fight even... There are many kinds of standing orders you can give as to how I can or should do things."

"Without any orders at all... I'm just an ordinary girl. I have no real defenses or attacks. I can't even heal myself." Her eyes began to tear up. "I can suffer pain and be killed... With very specific orders though," she continued, "I could have the power to destroy worlds, or to heal incredible wounds. I could have healed that woman's eyes. I can be a terrible weapon, or a force for healing and building, depending on what I am commanded. I understand if you don't want me to interfere, it seems that this world is not a straight forward place and any action could cause as much trouble as it solves, but I would appreciate it very much if you took my well being into consideration at least. You are the master though. I have no real rights nor should I expect anything." She looked up into his eyes. "But I always hope that you would care about me," she said softly. "I care very much about you."

"Well...very nice speech, Leeta. Here's some specific orders right now. In a battle, which you can decide whether one is or not, use as much or as little of your powers as possible. To simplify the order, I demand you use force you deem adequate in anything you measure as a battle. I also give you the orders to decide what a battle is of your own cognitive thought, only to be overridden by any direct orders contradictory to them. However, don't destroy the world. And I also would like to tell you not to do dramatic healing without me either. We can't play God in this world. Now then, is that adequate, or can we go now?" Mika said with a calm, almost cocky smile.

Leeta smiled. "I think that will do very well for battles, and I would never want to destroy the world!" she said emphatically. "But," she said looking at her torn dress and fingering her tangled hair, "could you also give me an order about my personal care? Either that or I will have to have new clothes, hair care products, and all of the other things that normal girls need to take care of themselves. I don't want to burden you with such things if I can take care of them myself."

"Alright, sure. I was never really good at fancying people up anyway, as you can tell from my outfit..." Mika shrugged. "Alright, so, I order you to take care of yourself. Real good like. That means like, personal hygiene. So feel free to." SHING; "Now then, shall we go?"

"And clothing too?" she asked standing to go, the dirt falling from her skin and hair, her hair untangling itself and falling naturally around her shoulders. Really, why did he have to add these limiting factors? If he had just left it at "take care of yourself" or said "that means personal hygiene too," she could have done many things to care for herself, but no, he had to word it so that it only covered hygiene.

"Alright then. I guess I'm not too good with words, huh? But yes, that's included. Shall we go now?" Mika asked.

"You would probably make a terrible 'Grammar Nazi', if those people really have anything to do with grammar," she laughed as her dress changed to a new one, with a sturdier cloth in neutral earth colors and a simpler design, along with cotton knee socks and sturdy shoes. It was not as comfortable and flowing as the first one, but it would hold up better, and she wouldn't loose her shoes. She was feeling happy, and didn't stop to think why. It took so little for Mika to make her happy.
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Re: Leeta's Story

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6. What Happened to the Inn
"So, where shall we go?" she asked, taking his arm. "You are probably hungry now too. Will we go somewhere to eat, or back to the inn? I can cook, or make food from almost nothing too, if you want me to. Or is there something else you want to do first?"

"Well, I dunno. I feel like kind of...wandering. You know, you don't really remember much, so getting the knowledge of the lay of the city will be good. Plus, I haven't been out enough lately." With this and a smile, but lacking a wink, he left the hospital.

"Alright." Mika claimed to no one particular, stretching out his arms. "Right here, we're on Main and 4th. Main goes North/South, basically the whole city, but it turns into Manwets Avenue near the outer north limits. 4th runs East/West, turns into Buldur Boulevard on the east side about three streets away and Bumount Street three away on the west."

"Oh, hey!" Anime ran up to Mika, "You were with that large dance party thing... and why did that one woman lose her eye? Is she okay?"

Nimexa rattled off as usual, "It was all dance-dance-happy-fun-time and then BWOOSH! Her eye is all bleeding and her eye is GONE! Do things like that usually happen in parties here?"

Zuegan and Ron came out of the hospital, near Mika 'n' pals.

Meanwhile, HAPI joked with "It's never a real party unless someone gets hurt."

"Well, you see, it wasn't exactly a party, but...well, I guess parties are kind of like battles...except with more booze...and you usually lose something more than your eye..." Mika let out a little chuckle. "But yes, I guess it is kind of common for battles around here. Not from breathing, but uh, yeah."

"Hello," said Leeta to Anime and Nimexa smiling pleasantly. "I also saw you at the 'dance'. Who might you be?"

"A battle? What had happened? A lot of weird things have been going on around me lately...." He turned to Leeta, his voice changing from the hard tone he used with the older people to something softer, "Hi, I'm Anime, and this is Nimexa, Jenna, and H.A.P.I. Who are you?" His voice returned to normal as he returned his focus to the others. "And, who are you? I don't believe we've met."

"I am Mika." He replied. "As for the battle, well, there was this one guy with, like, infinite power, and he was all gonna blow up Locura, then a hobo got him drunk and he punched out half his body, then he said something about god-teenagers and got blown away with Caramelldansen. You know, the usual."

"Ah. So... the woman who lost her eye? Is that her? Will she be okay?" He asked. Nimexa was running around, probably pretending to be an airplane or something.

"Well, she'll be as okay as one without eyes can be, but yes, that is her." Mika nodded.

"I am Leeta," she said to Anime and his friends. "I'm with Mika."

"She has no eyes at all, Mika?!" she exclaimed, though softly as the woman was near by. She also narrowly avoided calling Mika master, since they were with strangers and she thought perhaps he would rather not want to advertise what she was. "I didn't know. I'm so sorry. Will someone... look after her?" She was really thinking, but couldn't say anything about it, if there were some way for the woman's eyes to be fixed since Mika didn't want her to use her powers to do it.

"Well, I would imagine so. Someone with a disability like that will get disability benefits, since she's essentially blind she would probably get seeing dogs or an assisted nurse...plus, who knows what else?"

"Um... One of us can help. Does she have somewhere to stay? Maybe Jenna or I could watch her? If she doesn't she could stay with us at the Clock Tower, though, it's not very comfortable there." Anime offered.

"We can be really-really-really good helpers! Helping is fun! We should have more f-" Thunk. Nimexa fell. Probably from the lack of sugar. He'll be okay. Maybe.

Anime lifted Nimexa over his shoulder, "What's wrong with him? H.A.P.I. could you do a scan?"

I just said you moron. Anime mumbled something about not letting the narrator ruin his plot device.

"I could help, I guess." Jenna spoke up. "I mean, I'm not doing much else in-so important, so..."

"That sounds pretty good, I guess." Mika said off-hand.

HAPI did a quick scan. "Hm... needs more sugar. Maybe a little salt, too, then just broil him, an-- I mean, he seems to be reliant on sugar highs." he finally replied, "Maybe we can use my lasers, get him to a fine cris--I mean, if you just get him some sweet stuff, he should be fine again. Well, conscious, anyway. I can't imagine relying on sugar highs is good for your health. At all. His insides are probably shriveled husks at this point."

Zuegan finally chimed in with "Well, uh, to answer your question from earlier, I don't really have a place to stay. As for how I'll get around blind, well..."

"I'll help her." Ron answered, "I've been recently removed from office, so I'll be much less busy. Plus it doesn't seem like I can do much at this point..."

"Oh, okay, we can get him that later... Would you guys know any jobs around here? Or places to stay that aren't clock towers?" Anime asked.

"Well, there is the inn that we are staying at," said Leeta (not knowing that the inn had been destroyed while they were in the hospital), "and I'm sure there are a lot of jobs in building and security here, but it would be a good idea to check out your employer when you find one. There seem to be a lot of dangerous people and factions here. Maybe the people who run the inn need help. We could go there now." She waited to see what Mika would say.

"Sounds good to me. I've got nowhere else with a pressing need to go anywhere and it does make sense, so let's go." Mika replied.

"We were staying there, but we were getting short on GLC. I guess we can go to the inn with you though. Maybe they have a job opening there? And they might have something sugary for Nimexa to eat there." Anime then followed them.

"Alright then. Away we goooo?" Mika said, leaving towards the Inn.

Mika, presumably with the rest of the group, came upon the Inn.
....Er...well... Lack of an Inn?

"This is quite troublesome." Mika quipped. "It would appear our place of residence no longer exists. At least it itself is a natural tombstone for itself."

Noir crawled out of the rubble.

"Ow.... my head....." He said, climbing out. It was a good thing he was always prepared for a building collapse.

"Who are you? What happened here?" Anime asked.

Leeta pulled Mika aside and spoke softly so no one else could hear. "Master, I could fix this building. No one would need to know what else I could do. They could just think that my power was to fix buildings, after all I wasn't very powerful in the battle. A lot of people need a place to live, including us. The two who look alike, Anime and Nimexa, could run this place letting us have free lodging because I fixed it. If the people who owned it before come back, we could negotiate some kind of deal with them too. What do you think? Should I repair the building, or not?"

"Noir," the man in the rubble replied. "I was staying here when this building collapsed on me. And you are?

"...Alright. As long as we don't let them know the complete extent of your powers, we won't have a massive snowball effect, so let it ride." Mika nodded.

Leeta winced at Mika's slang. She just knew it was going to have some weird effect as she walked over to the rubble and held her hands over it. The rubble and dust began to rise, then a strange sort of track formed, like an intricate mini roller coaster as high and wide as the inn. All of the bits and pieces of the inn and it's contents rode around on the roller coaster, mending themselves, to finally drop tetris like into place as the inn reassembled itself. Soon the inn was exactly as it was before the explosion, except that Mika's room was now a suite, with a small kitchen and full sized refrigerator fully stocked, a bar that was also fully stocked, a living area with a sofa and wide screen TV, and two bedrooms. Finally the roller coaster dissolved into thin air and the landscaping around the inn sprang up. Leeta hoped that the dramatics hadn't been too over the top, but it couldn't be helped. Mika did throw the oddest phrases into his commands sometimes.

"It looks like this inn is going to need someone to run it now," Leeta said to Anime and Nimexa, "and I think Mika and I should get free lodging for my repair work," she added as she walked back over to Mika, feeling somewhat woozy. It was almost like she had used up most of her energy resources. How long had it been since she had "recharged" her energy? Not since she had come to be with Mika, and who knew how long it had been long before that. She really was hungry now. "Are you hungry, Mika?" she asked. "I could cook something for us in our room."

Anime was a bit dazed after what happened. "Um... Free? Yeah, sure. It's the least I can do. Thanks for getting me a place to stay, and work." He walked in to the front desk still carrying Nimexa. He looked at him, and then asked Leeta and Mika, "Hey, do you mind if we eat with you?"

There was what looked like a pokeball inside one of the rooms, apparently leftover from the previous "inn-carnation".

"In our room?" she said hesitantly. "I think there was a fully equipped restaurant in this inn that just needs a cook..."

She was distracted by the sounds of troop movement and gunfire from the central part of the city. Not again! She could also sense undead things over there, though barely. She was still feeling woozy.

"I can't cook, and I don't think Nimexa knows how. H.A.P.I. might, but I don't exactly trust him with the food. And by that I mean not at all. Jenna, you know how to cook?" He asked.

"Well..." Jenna rubbed her hands together, giving a positively evil smile. "Why yes. Yes I can. Of course, if you want feeling in your tongue, I might not be the best person to ask..."

"I, too, can cook." Mika interrupted. "After all, after a while, you learn to do those essential life skills down pat..."

"Well, um, uh... I'm sure you have better things to do... But would you be our cook?" Asked Anime.

"Well, sure." Mika replied with a shrug. "It'd be good work." He completely ignored the bloodshed on the streets.

"If Mika is going to cook, I can cook with him," said Leeta. "We should go to the kitchen and start cooking now, so that we can eat soon." She remembered Nimexa's need for sugar, "And Nimexa could get some sugar there too."

Anime put Nimexa on a couch in the lobby until they got him something to eat. "So, I guess we've got this place set." He headed toward the kitchen, "Do we have ingredients?" He asked.

"The kitchen is fully stocked," said Leeta.

"Alright then...what does everyone want?" Mika said, rubbing his hands as he entered the kitchen. "I'm not particularly picky, myself."

"I guess I'll have some rice or something, I don't eat much. Not sure what Nimexa would want... you might as well just poor him a cup full of sugar. From H.A.P.I.'s scan, it is probably as healthy as whatever he regularly has." Anime said.

"I'll get Nimexa's first, because it won't take barely any time at all." And in less than that, Mika came out with an extraordinary feat: Sugar covered in sugar, cooked in sugar with a side of liquid sugar.

"Er, I was only joking but okay..."

Anime started feeding it to Nimexa. He slowly woke up from the couch. Sitting up straight now he starting eating more sugar.

Everyone there could hear screams nearby.

Anime promptly ignored it as it was no different from the streets regular sounds.

Leeta put rice in the steamer. Then she began a stir fry in a large wok, first sautéing thin strips of beef seasoned with soy sauce and ginger, then quickly chopping a variety of vegetables and adding them to the beef with more seasoning. It was obvious that she was quite skilled in cooking, and it had nothing to do with her power or orders. Of course being a slave would have encompassed cooking at times, and skills learned by practice rather than education or "magic" tend to stick with a person even if they loose their memory.

Leeta heard the screams, and the gunshots of the defending army. She wondered if Mika was going to get involved this time, or wait it out. She didn't like him taking unnecessary risks, but then she didn't like innocent people to suffer either. Perhaps the local military was taking care of this... She began snacking on some of the fruit she was dicing for a fruit salad, to replenish some of her energy, just in case.

Still wearing an apron over her new clothing, and hair net over her long green hair that was coiled in a braid around her head (looking a bit swiss in her sturdy clothes), Leeta set one of the tables in the restaurant for everyone that was eating. Then she plated the food that had been prepared, just like in a professional restaurant, and brought it to the table, along with several different beverages, including a bottle of wine, and a pitcher each of cola and tropical fruit juice.

"Supper is ready!" she called, and then went back to the kitchen to remove the apron and hair net.

Anime went over to the table to eat, Nimexa joined them with his pure sugar.

Mika joined them at the table, giving Leeta thank you. He wished he had helped out more, but he was more in the mood for food and drink than cooking, and Leeta was good enough he wasn't quite sure he could match up. After all, while he had learned to make edible food during the years, he still wasn't a gourmet chef.

Grabbing some rice and wine, especially wine, he sat down and chowed down, with the drink of red and white wines on the side.

Leeta sat next to Mika. She managed to eat a great deal more than you would think from some so slender, opting for the fruit juice though rather than alcohol or sugar laden soda. Her demeanor brightened considerably, as she felt energized. The truth was that she could replenish her energy by a number of means, including the photosynthesis Mika had joked about, but eating was by far the easiest, requiring no orders, and was the most pleasant especially with the right company.

"So, you guys." He haphazardly pointed to the Animexa combo. "What you doin' in Zuerst?"

"Things get a little blurry, I think I came here for a job. And then this guy appears," He points at Nimexa, "Some cloaked guy claims he's my Nobody or something. Said I should be dead right now."

Nimexa started speaking, "I just woke up here one day. It was really weird. I don't really know what happened before that. Mr. Shady Cloaked Man claims I don't-exist-or-something. He told me that I was born when a Heartless killed Anime."

"Hmm...well, that is how Heartless and Nobodies work, I believe." Mika commented. He'd heard a little of these things in his time, but he admittedly was mostly unknowledgable. "That explains the looks, then. Do you get a lot of people shouting for ho yay?"

"...Ho yay?" Anime was perplexed by this. He should visit TV Tropes more.

"You know. Ho yay. A fanservice or innuendo among two males in a series. Alternately, the fan's making this in it and shipping."

"Um, I haven't know Nimexa for that long... And I don't think we have any fans or anything."

"Ah...well, it's only a matter of time." Mika mused, sipping more wine. "Ah...the good stuff..."

"Do you have any idea how I'm alive? I really don't know much about this stuff." Anime asked Mika.

"Uh...not really, to be honest. My knowledge on this subject is extraordinarily rare. I wouldn't know."

"So, what do you do?" Anime asked.

"I bet he's a super secret agent! He gets a black suit, and cool shades, then he sneaks around getting information and fighting shady operatives! And sometimes he hides in a box!" Nimexa chimed. He must of been regaining his energy.

"Uh...well...nothing, really. I guess I wander and occasionally do heroics, but I like to stay in Zuerst. There's a reason for that, but if I told you, I'd have to kill you." He chuckled. "...No, seriously, if you find out, I'll track you down and murder you. Most likely."

"Huh. I've just been working for this organization called. G.O.A.M. The government of all minds. Basically we have to keep everything in order." Anime said.

"Ah. Well, that sounds like an important job. You done anything useful there?"

"I'm a field agent. I just work out kinks in peoples minds. Though not exactly sure why I came to Locura. We don't visit places outside the Mind Realm much." Anime replied.
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Re: Leeta's Story

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7. Tejas Turns Traitor
Tejas and company returned to the site of the old inn. "What the-?!" Tejas said, dashing in.

Anime noticed them and went outside, "Oh, did you come to get a room?" He asked.

Mika and Jenna came down as well. "Oh, hey, it's the old owners!" Mika said with a smile. "How's it?"

"And returning to the previous question..."He said to Anime, "maybe it's something to do with you and Nimexa's mind and stuff, Anime? This whole thing could perhaps be something you two must solve in this working realm or something? I don't know." He postulated.

HAPI seemed oddly quiet. This Mika guy seemed strange...

Finally, thinking of something, he joined told Anime "Hey, I could keep track of the guests and stuff. You guys would probably get distracted easily or forget, something along those lines. Yeah, I'm sure it can be real difficult, having such a shoddy brain, but that's why us computers are here to keep you guys in line. It can be a tough job." he offered, rapidly inflating his own ego.

During the meal Leeta listened to the conversation, most of which she didn't understand. When Mika mentioned "ho yay" the inflection made her feel very uncomfortable. Just what horrible things were in her past? The thought of Mika as a spy made her giggle though. "That would make me the stereotypical female companion then," she had said under her breath.

She left the table with Mika, planning to do the dishes later if no one else would, and went with him to the front desk where she saw Tejas and the others.

"Greetings!" she said cheerfully bowing to a surprised Tejas. "I have repaired your inn. I was hoping that Mika and I could get our room for free as a return favor, and these people," she said pointing to Anime's group, "needed a job, so I said they could run the inn until you returned, and that perhaps they could continue running it if you were otherwise occupied."

Tejas tried to repress a grim expression. "It's going swell.... sorry we abandoned you guys." Tejas replied.

"So, is it all right if Mika and I stay for free," she said sweetly, noticing the tension in Tejas's voice, "and can Anime, Nimexa, and Jenna work here too?" She was wondering if they were imposing too much on the owner, or if there was some other problem. "None of us seem to have anywhere else to go, even if the city weren't in such a ruin." She didn't realize how cute and innocent she appeared as she said this.

"It's no problem, Tejas." Mika said with an understanding smile, but a questioning thought. He seems tense...I wonder if something is up. "You had no knowledge of what was going on and made the logical choice."

Tejas nodded. Libra tried reading Mika's mind.

Something is making me uneasy here. Those battles noises...that familiar presence... "Are you hiding something, Tejas?" Your moment of armored weakness...what did you do?

Leeta wanted to say thank you to Tejas, and ask Mika what he wanted to do, but the conversation had taken a serious turn.

"I have nothing to hide.... I'm shell shocked..." He replied.

"...Did you happen to be in the battle outside?" Mika asked. "I thought I felt something odd outside. I didn't check it out, but..."

Tejas nodded. "I'm getting sick of this chatkill.... no matter what, I can't finish the fight..."

"Did something happen?" Mika asked. Something isn't right, is it? But what...what, exactly, is it?

Tejas stared at his sword.

"Goodbye... Mika." Tejas said, aiming to run him through.

Mika's hand stopped the blade. Blood dripped from his hand as the sword dug into it, damage done but the blade stopped.

"...Everyone, get back." He pushed Tejas' sword back, most likely flinging the man into the wall. He clutched his sword tightly. "I would like to handle this myself." His sword lit up into a battle position. Something small, unnoticeable, happening to everyone as he did, their shadows stretching out, as if light were being cast in front of them.

Tejas pressed his feet against the wall springing off slightly. He felt like he was hit by a truck. "Ugh... what the hell?!"

Mika didn't respond. He just rushed forward. His speed was blinding, a straight rush waiting to break and commit to one side and take on whatever was there. His sword whirred through the air as he did so, his hand holding an unsteady grip on it.

And then his magic kicked in. Maddening Doubt

Black, barbed tendrils shot out of the DG90 group's shadows, rushing out from behind them. They looked to pierce the vital movement joints, immobilizing the group. Here, Mika's strategy became apparent, to trap them between a head-on battle with him and an immobilizing skewering with his magic.

Tejas, Agni, Sakura, Richard, and Clive did their best to avoid the tendrils. Tejas actually tried subduing it with a few well placed photon spheres.

The rest, however, were a little late.

Sakura probably avoided it best, thanks to a combination of natural speed and trained dodging. However, being the one unscathed by the attack, she was exactly who Mika went after, delivering a hard slash across her chest as he passed her by whilst she dodged the last.

Tejas' tactics were a mixed bag. On one hand, it did not stop the attack, as the light merely created his shadow elsewhere. However, it did scatter the accuracy of the attacks, and the attacks were reduced from immobilizing to flesh wounds, albeit fairly big ones.

Agni got out of it relatively unharmed, although his left leg got a pretty good hit. Clive was about the same, however it was his hands that got the hurt then, while Richard got the best of the three.

Libra was the most unfortunate, her legs being nearly directly stricken. She wouldn't be moving anywhere meaningful on those things for a while, and her arms were being pounded now as well, some of them moving to hoist her into the wall and immobile her.

Annette faired a little better. Her legs were mostly in good condition, so she could still avoid them, but her arms were getting hit pretty bad. The tendrils attempted to do some of the immobilization trick here as well.

Annette had cast a levitation spell to try and even the distance.

Sakura was knocked to the floor. She tried to throw a kunai at Mika's shadow.

Kojiro realized that Mika had forgotten about him, and tried so create a wind shock wave.

Tejas just stopped caring about himself when he saw Libra and Sakura in pain. "You have no idea of how stupid that was, Mika...." he said.

"....So, you're a master of the darkness as well...." Agni inquired.

"No! Please!" screamed Leeta frantically, as she blocked Kojiro's attack. Though she had been too slow to intercept Tejas's initial attack and then ordered to get back, forcing her away from the action, she had not been ordered to not interfere at all. "Why are you all doing this? Why are you fighting each other?" She turned to Tejas, "Why did you try to kill Mika? What has he done to deserve such an attack? I thought you were good people. Why did you do this?" And then to Mika, "Mika, please, there must be another way! That thing you sensed... I sensed something powerful too, among all the other confusing and evil things... Is that what is causing this?" Then generally, "This should not be happening! There is no reason for this!" She was quite beside herself, not wanting anyone hurt, and being completely unable to even help her master heal, or fight, because he wanted to do this alone. "This is so stupid!"

"He tried to kill me." Mika's voice had harshly shifted. His usual calm, citizen-demeanor had fallen away. This voice was a bored droll, with a hint of repressed anger in the background, an almost psychotic laziness added to it. "It probably doesn't matter why they attacked me. They just tried to quite plainly murder me, not even into a war, despite the fact they seemed quite pleased to be a "good" person. Something must be done." He grabbed Leeta by the shoulder, somewhat roughly moving her out of the way, griping his sword tightly. "Tejas. Agni. Sakura. Kojiro. Clive. Richard. Libra. Annette. You have attacked the permanent protector of this land, the immortal Mika. You have one last chance to salvage yourselves before you are lost." He pointed his sword at the group. Lightning arced from the ground, sparking just below the group, but certainly looking like an aimed attack from a distance. "...Who sent you? Was it a man named Night?"

"Yes..." Tejas said. "He told me what kind of monster that you were you son of a chatkill! I must carry out my duties as Dragon God of Light... unless you can counter this claim."

"But Tejas! Night sai-" Libra interrupted.

"I don't care. I must know." Tejas replied.

Mika was silent for a bit. Then he chuckled a little. Then the chuckle went overblown. "The Dragon God of Light? How old are you? I'm 5,000 years old. I founded this damn city. I've protected it from far worse than you. What do I have to prove? Might I remind you that you attacked me." His hand shot out. Threads, not of anything but what seemed to be white cloth, shot out, constraining Libra and hoisting her up, though certainly more went after the group. "Besides, you know that's chatkill. Did you really come here out of some righteous cause? Knowing Night, hell no. He offered you something and this was the price. Quite willing to sacrifice your ideals for a quick boost, aren't you?"

"Ah! T-Tejas!" Libra squealed. "All he did for me was transport me here to deal with those chatkill outside!" Tejas replied. "Money had nothing to do with it!"

"I never said it was money." Mika replied simply, pulling Libra toward him. He made sure to keep her in front of him, so that attacks would risk damaging her. "I've heard plenty of excuses over the years. I've also heard so many different things given. Either way, you were willing to murder the founder and protector of Zuerst, at what seems to be the drop of a hat for transport. As you might of seen, the Zuerst military has stepped up. I'm here, although I did not interfere with such an insignificant threat." Okay, so I didn't interfere for other reasons, but CONTINUING MY SPEECH! "Now then, "Dragon God of Light"..." Libra was right next to him now, clearly constricted. "Where is Night? I will deal with him now."

"He's on that freaking airship." Tejas replied, trying to hide his anger.

"Thank you, Tejas." And so, he slowly lowered Libra down, unconstricting her... "You seem clueless enough. And, you did give him up..." He kicked Libra hard back to Tejas, right in the face, most likely causing bleeding and copious amounts of pain. "Don't come back to Zuerst or I'll kill you. Feel lucky that you're off the hook for now." Mika turned. "Now then, I'm off to get to Night. Leeta, please escort our "friends" outside town. I believe they are in...Ygalef, now? It is the most logical choice."

Tejas was bleeding, and Libra was unconscious.

Mika left.

"M- Mika said nothing about healing your people, Tejas," said Leeta wiping her eyes, "so there is nothing I can do about that, but he did say to escort you out. So..." The air shimmered around Tejas, the DG90, and Leeta and they vanished from the inn to reappear it the in the inn at Ygalef.

Tejas and the DG90 appeared, with Leeta, in the lobby (of the inn in Ygalef). "I'm very sorry that all of this happened, Tejas," she said sadly, her gold eyes cast down, "but next time be more careful who you side with, what you believe, and what you promise. And don't ever do anything evil, even for good reasons. You will regret doing it for the rest of your life. You have a choice in life. Choose what is good." Then Leeta vanished.

Leeta reappeared alone in the lobby of the inn, with a rather subdued demeanor. She turned to Anime and Nimexa, who must have been flabbergasted by the whole scene. "It looks like the inn is pretty much yours to run now. It might be best to forget everything that just happened, if you can. Oh, and could you have HAPI do the dishes? I really don't feel like doing them myself right now." She turned and went upstairs to Mika's room.

She entered their suite and went to the bedroom that was for her and flung herself on the flowered covers of her bed and cried. She had only managed to make things worse with her interference. She must be the worst servant ever. Whatever she did on her own failed, and accomplished no real good for anyone. Now Mika was fighting a powerful enemy, and didn't want her help, or even to be there to mess things up. It was obvious that he didn't need her at all. There was no point or purpose to her life, and worst of all it would go on forever.

Anime was pretty neutral to the situation. He then went over and kicked H.A.P.I. "You. Dishes."

Nimexa probably thought they were playing patty cake.

Leeta fell asleep only to wake a short time later from a nightmare that she could only vaguely remember as having been ordered to do something really horrible, and suffering some kind of abuse at the hands of her master. There were memories still there beneath the surface, but out of reach to her conscious mind because of the imposed forgetfulness. Even the dream of them was erased leaving only the feelings behind.

She was sure that the violent confrontation between Tejas and Mika, and the helpless fear she had felt at seeing Mika so enraged, was what had brought whatever those memories were into her dreams, but she knew that Mika wasn't like that. He couldn't be. It was like he said, Tejas was clearly at fault and deserved worse than what he got. A truly evil person would have tortured and killed them. Even a merely pragmatic person would not have let them live, yet Mika had. He was rough at times, but that was understandable. His past was a hard one. In a way she envied his ability to remember his past, both good and bad. It didn't occur to her that some would envy her forgetfulness.

Leeta got up and took a hot shower, changing her clothing again. This time to a red dress and shoes, made of a sturdy but comfortable material, and white stockings. When Mika returned she would apologize for her interference, and ask him how she could serve better.
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Re: Leeta's Story

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8. Battles, Destruction, and Strangeness
Leeta watched the Grammar Nazi's broadcasted threat of plague on the wide screen TV. She was only marginally worried about it, after all it was just a threat at the moment. She herself would be immune. Even if the plague could affect her kind the combined battle command and personal hygiene command would more than cover it, and by her master's command she could heal anyone else, yet that did mean a lot of deaths if it was carried out. What concerned her more was the absence of her master. She had run out of things to do, and there was still no sign of Mika. She wasn't used to being idle, and she was worried about what might be happening. All she knew was that he was definitely alive, since if he died... well... she wouldn't be sitting there wondering, that's for sure. She would be wandering the streets in a daze looking for a new master until somebody touched her. She shivered at the thought.

She turned off the TV and left the room. She needed to find something to occupy her time while she waited, and she also wanted to see if she could find out anything about Mika's battle with Night. Leeta went down stairs to the inn office and got a few GLC's out of the safe in case she found a store. She supposed that would be all right. Who actually owned the inn hadn't been decided, but she was sure that both Mika and herself had at least part ownership. She also picked up a cell phone. Creating a small belt satchel she put the money and phone in it.

She left a note for Anime at the front desk with her phone number, and asked him to call if Mika came back, or if there was any trouble that needed her attention. Then she went out.

Outside the inn Leeta looked up at the sky and saw the airship. She wondered how Mika would get up there. It would be impossible for her, without some kind of order. There was as yet no sign of conflict aboard the airship, and all conflict on the streets had completely died down. She sighed and decided to walk around a bit.

She came upon a section of abandoned houses that had been damaged in the last battle. After taking care of the needs of a few abandoned animals, and helping the surviving plants to establish a new life amidst the ruins, she looked at what the people had left behind. There was a large amount of books that were still in good condition, so after repairing a large sized child's wagon, she loaded it with books to read, from text books to novels. She also found a small sewing kit and added it to the phone and the money. None of the people here seemed to be into handcrafts or sewing. She would have to find a shop somewhere to buy thread and material. Reading and sewing could keep her occupied back at the inn.

Towing the wagon load of books behind her she continued walking towards the center of Zuerst, occasionally looking at the airship to see if anything was happening.

Central Streets of Zuerst:
Mika walked up to the airship, stepping up the ladder to the deck.

Maybe I was too rough on Anime and Manga and Leeta and the group back there...I could of stood to use some assistance then. But...Night's personal. I can't bring them here. Mika mused to himself as he studied the deck. Of course, Night was not there. Mika figured he would know better than to be in plain site, but one could hope.

And so, into the depths of the ship he went...

---

It was the third floor deck. Mostly unimportant, but the steps of two men made this meeting place undeniable.

"So, Night, you decided to stay and fight me face to face." Mika noted, turning to the steps and not being disappointed seeing Night there. "Ready to atone?"

"You need to atone, Mika! Her death is on you, and your murder has gone unpunished!" Night shouted, his scythe at the ready. Mika slowly unsheathed his sword in response, wearing a small grin. "Why are you grinning, dammit?!"

"Your ignorance. It still amuses me." His hand shot forward. Threads flew out from his hand, himself charging after Night.

Night didn't miss a beat. He rushed Mika as well, his left hand grabbing the thread with amazing safety precision and ripping it towards him, accelerating Mika as he moved his scythe into position to block the sword. The two were locked into deadlock.

"Heh. Haven't lost a step, huh Mika?"

"Nor have you, chatkill!" The pushes were done on both sides, but no progress made. The strings were ripped and thrown to the side by Night, as the two released their weapons to clash again. Intricate combinations were interrupted by each other as the two battle flawlessly.

"Why did you send people at me? You know it continues to fail." Mika asked and said, the scythe and the sword catching each other barely as they made passes at each other.

"I like my privacy. I'd rather not having you bug me every time I tried to eliminate you." His scythe dug deep into the sword, but again the attack was thwarted. The two jumped back from each other. "Now, why don't we stop this low level battling and g-" A loud beeping resonated throughout the area. A red, flashing light inside Night's pocket began to flash, as he quickly took it out;a small remote. "F-chatkill. Who turned on the self-destruct?" He tried to keep his voice down, but he did not do it enough. Mika definitely heard. And so, the two raced in opposite direction's towards a window, making a DYNAMIC EXIT through them. Of course, this was seconds before the airship did the required explosion.

Dammit...where did he go?[/I[ Mika thought to himself as he landed, looking through the explode-y remains. Night didn't seem to be anywhere to be seen...

...Dammit... Mika sighed. I'm going "home" then, I guess... Mika began walking slowly to the Inn.

---

From a nearby building, Eibon stood on it's dilapidated roof. His book closed. "Quite sorry to interrupt your fight." He said to no one in particular, watching Mika walk away. "But you both have roles to play. But, yes." He looked at his watch. "I do believe I have somewhere to be. Goodbye, then, readers." And he left the building.

Leeta had wandered into a section of Zuerst near a large building with the sign Krandall-Mart on it. In spite of it's damaged condition, it looked sort of like it was still open for business. She was about to go inside to shop for thread and fabric, if they sold such things, when she heard a loud explosion. Turning to look she saw the destruction of the air ship. Her heart skipped a beat in horror as she watched it explode, but as the seconds passed she realized that Mika was still alive! Somewhere he was still alive. If he wasn't hurt too badly he would head back to the inn. Forgetting about her shopping she ran back the way she had come, towing the books behind her.

As Leeta ran through the east side of Zuerst she felt his familiar "power" near the inn. He had arrived back before her! She ran more quickly.

Leeta entered the inn, took the note she had left, and went to the elevator with her load of books, composing herself as the elevator went up to their floor. As the doors opened she exited with the wagon and went to their room, unlocking the door. She looked around as she entered, but didn't see him. Yet he was there.

Leaving the wagon in the living area, she went to the door to Mika's room and tapped on it. "Master?" she said.

"Oh, Leeta. Hello." Mika said, sitting up from from his bed before lifting off, opening the door. "...Come in." He sounded quite tired. "Before you say anything...I'm sorry for running off like that."

"That's all right," she said. "I wished to apologize too, for interfering in your battle like that. You are not hurt?" she asked looking him over. "I was worried about your battle with Night, and the exploding airship."

"Oh, well...it was basically a draw. None of us got any wood on the other. But then he was all "OSHI- WHO ACTIVATED THIS SELF DESTRUCT" and then we jumped out and there were explosions and yes." Mika replied. "Friggin' dumbass, still coming after me like that..."

"He is a persistent adversary?" she mused, moving over to a chair by the bed as she noticed he was tired and should rest, but she still wanted to talk a bit. "How far back does his animosity go?"

"Well...we weren't always adversaries. But, it all started five thousand years ago. It was a tumultuous time in Locura's history. All kinds of wars raged across the world...Grammar Nazis, Lucius..." He sighed. "They were good times, in their own way. Everyone even banded together so the moon didn't obliterate the world. However, for my thought, the biggest threat to the world...was Mora. An amazing specimen, really. She was always a paranoid woman, born in the quaint village of Voreisuar. It was more commonly called Vor, but I digress. She grew up alone in a temple, a self-imposed exile, and became somewhat paranoid in this time. It would of been fine...well, except that she began spreading it. I'm still not sure how, but her very existence began to spread madness across the world. It had to be stopped. I was searching for a direction in life at the time with my friend Eibon. I found it. I banded together a small squad to fight madness. This was the Death Squad of Eight. It composed, obviously, of eight members. Myself, Eibon, Noah, Yamato Takeru, Valian, Flanny, Aaeru and...Night. Together, we fought madness, and Mora. However, Night's wife succumbed to madness during this time. At a moment in time, she attacked us, and Night tried desperately to convince her to come back. I killed her when she made a move. Night maintains she was surrendering with this move, and I will maintain she was simply preparing to attack in a moment of weakness. After we sealed Mora up, Night was never able to forgive me, and he's been trying to avenge her for the last...oh...four or five thousand odd years. That's the animosity, it's beginnings and it's origins."

"So, Night was your friend," she said sadly, "and he blames you for her death. This Mora woman is still around too, I gather, all sealed up. Master... have you been married?"

"Many times. Nothing quite like my first wife, but...when you've been around for so long, you remarry. It's been...I think thirteen times now? Maybe fourteen..."

"During peace, or troubled times?" she asked.

"Both. It's usually peace times, but I have comforted some women during times of hardship."

"Comforted...?" she said. She hadn't thought of that aspect. "Here I was wondering how they dealt with you being in dangerous situations, or when you were not there."

"Well...I generally avoid truly dangerous situations better. But the world is getting pretty bad lately, hasn't been this bad since...well...five thousand years ago. So the danger is more apparent."

"Oh... A bad time for me to be here." She looked at Mika. Maybe... maybe not for him though. "Is there something I can do for you, Mika... Your hand, is it all right... or maybe I could just give you a back rub, or something?"

"Huh?" Mika looked somewhat dazedly at his hand. Oh...yeah...I injured that. "Oh, no...it will be fine. Don't worry about it. The back rub though...yes. Do so."

She asked him to lie down on the bed, and then began to massage his tired muscles.

"Oh, yeah...that feels nice." Mika said leisurely, yawning. And soon, despite trying to fight off sleep, he drifted into it.

After he was asleep, Leeta tiptoed out of the room. She quietly put the books away on a shelf in her room, along with the money and the phone (she never did get the thread and material she was going to buy), and stowed the wagon in her closet. Selecting a novel she sat on the sofa in the living area. She was thinking about how she might just have found her purpose. She would try to make Mika's life as pleasant as possible between battles in this troubled time. She wouldn't worry about the danger to herself if he died. She would just trust him to stay alive.

Jeanne, who was trapped in a wall due to the reconstruction, burst out of a wall in the foyer.

Aware of the broken wall, ((OOC: and somehow unaware, until now that someone was in it,)) Leeta put down her book and went downstairs, repairing the wall as she went ((OOC: but not trapping Jeanne)).

She soon reached Jeanne and said, "I'm so sorry you were trapped in the wall! I didn't notice you there when I repaired the building. I thought all of those trapped in the blast had come out. Are you all right?"

"Yeah..." She said, clutching her forehead, her sword sheathed at her side.

Anime was alerted of someone bursting out of a wall, mostly due to someone bursting out of the wall is something that does not happen quietly. "You hear something?" He asked the people around him.

"Probably just a huuuuuuuge bug or something. Like a giant mutated bee!" Nimexa said.

"Giant... mutated... bee?" Nimexa asked sounded a little scared and also possibly wondering if that sentence needed more ellipses.

Jeanne got up and began to stagger a bit. Her borrowed sword, Ryuseiken, was sheathed on her back.

"It's been a very confusing day," said Leeta catching her by the arm and holding her steady. "Sorry for trapping you in there by accident. Are you a guest here?"

"Yes... I was..." She said. "And it's not a problem... where are the old owners... I just remembered something important."

"They are at their inn in Ygalef right now," said Leeta. "I suppose you could call them on the phone in the office."

"No... I need to say it in person..." She said, staggering over to the door and tripping. "Ah!"

Leeta stopped and thought for a moment. "Are you a member of the DG90?"

"No... I am merely a bystander on a mission of her own." She replied. "However, they helped me at a critical moment... even after I had stolen from them."

"I'm sorry then," said Leeta. "I really have no means of helping you, nor do I know how you would be able to travel quickly to Ygalef. You should not try to travel in your condition though. Would you reconsider using the phone?"

She shook her head. "This is my sin." she said, trying to get up, and falling over. "I have wronged them, and I will make it right."

Slowly waking due to the commotion, Mika rose. At first, he just kind of sat there, waking up slowly from the events of the past few, but then he went to find the source of the noise.

Long story short, Mika walked up to the two.

"Oh...hello. Who are you?" He asked Jeanne.

"I would just say good bye and good luck," said Leeta shaking her head at the woman, "but how are you ever going to make it all the way to Ygalef? You can barely stand up?"

Jeanne was cringing from the pain. "M-my name is Jeanne..." She said, trying to get up again.

"Oh Mika!" said Leeta. "This woman was trapped in the wall. She says she needs to get some information to Tejas right away, but she won't use the phone, and obviously can't travel. Since she wasn't a member of the DG90 there was nothing I could do."

"Hmmm...well, the wounds aren't too serious. Leeta, heal Jeanne." And so it was written and blah blah blah.

And so, Jeanne was healed. She slowly rose to her feet. "Thank you.... Leeta, was it?" She had replied, brushing her blue hair out of her eyes.

"Yes, it is Leeta," she said. "Now that you are able to travel you may do so, by whatever means you can find, though Ygalef is still rather far. I hope your information isn't too urgent."

"Thank you..." Jeanne replied. Jeanne stoically walked out the door and headed in the direction of Ygalef.

"Well, that takes care of that," Leeta said after Jeanne left.
She turned to Mika. "I don't know how I could have over looked a person trapped in the walls. Master, something must be wrong with me. I also seem to have a problem with tracking time. I can't seem to make out what time of day, or night it is, and how much time has passed since I first met you. I know that I slept twice, once for a long time and once for a very short time, and have eaten one meal, and we fought a long battle, but was that today or yesterday? I am confused. I should be able to tell what time it is with great accuracy even without a clock, but even with external time devices and looking out the window, I am at a loss as to how much time has passed or what time it is. This is very disconcerting."

Mika looked at Leeta very seriously for a moment. The only way he could be more serious was with a mustache.
...Then he just shrugged. "Meh. Locura's just kind of wonky like that. Just figure...uh...now is now and then is then. Hopefully."

"So I am still functional, but just unused to this world's oddities," Leeta mused. "That means we must eat and sleep when we can, or feel the need to. Are you hungry again, master?" she asked.

"Eh...not really. Well, just a little, I guess. How about toast? I love toast. Everyone loves toast."

Leeta brought him some nice buttered toast from the restaurant, and some Irish coffee, in case he liked whiskey in his coffee, along with the sugar and cream.
"So, do you have anything you plan to do today?" she asked. "You don't seem to have regular activities that you engage in."

"Well...I really don't have any, to be honest. I mean, sometimes I train, but I usually just lounge around and relax. Sometimes I meet with people to get on the up and up, but..." He shrugged. "I'm usually not that busy. The key, after all, to not being found by people who would want to abuse some immortal like myself is to stay low key. ...Plus, there's rarely anything to do. Although, the current world climate seems to have shifted to action..."

"If you want to go back to the room to lounge, that's all right with me," said Leeta. "I found a variety of books earlier to occupy myself with. I also found a sewing kit, but didn't have the opportunity to buy cloth and thread. I was in front of a place called Krandall-Mart when I saw the airship explode. I knew you were alive so I went to find you."

"Hmmm...Krandall-Mart...isn't there where that P.A.S.S. set up shop?" Mika asked. "Then again, I'm pretty sure they kept the shop open...you wanna go?"
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Mamma Peach
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Re: Leeta's Story

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9. Krandall-Mart
O_O
"I... I didn't know the terrorists were there," said Leeta shocked, and she looked at Mika. He didn't look like he was kidding about going. "Are you sure it will be all right to shop there? There won't be any trouble will there?"

"I hear their quite amicable people, so I don't think there'd be any trouble. I even hear one is some kind of magician. Maybe he'll put a magic show on for us." Mika replied, shrugging. "Want me to go with?"

"I would rather go with you than without," said Leeta smiling at Mika. "For one thing, I would less likely be mistaken for one of those loli soldiers they are fighting if I were with you."

"I have to admit too, that I am a bit curious," she continued. "Amicable terrorists would be unusual, I would think. Also, the way this city is, we might have to meet them under different circumstances. It would be good to know something about them at the very least, especially if they don't think of us as a threat as a result. Also it is a good place to shop."

Nimexa opened the the closet door of which Mika and Leeta were standing in. If you were wondering why they were there you have two choices, blame Locura or blame Ruki (If I were you, I'd go for the former.)

"Hey, guys. What are you doing in the closet... or what-is-the-closet doing around you? Well, it doesn't matter." Nimexa said, "Anime said you guys were going to the store, and he-wanted-me-to-pick-up some stuff since we're running the inn now."

In a closet... in the Lobby... This is too much! >_> Of course Leeta would have to fix such a glitch in the building. Either that or ignore it as not real... which it might be. She didn't say anything about it though.

"I don't mind you coming with us," said Leeta.

"Well...I guess it'd be no problem, Nimexa." Mika replied. "Just don't be too overboard. We could even get you an extra-sugary treat." And so, Mika came out of the closet. Not like that, you simple simians!

"Shall we go, then?"

"Of course," said Leeta. "Just let me get my bag." She ran upstairs to her room and picked up the belt satchel with the phone and the money in it, as well as a note with her phone number, and fastening the satchel to her belt, she ran back down stairs and put the note on the counter. "Okay, I'm ready!" she said, a little out of breath.

((OOC: Ruki had informed me that it didn't matter where you were, and had suggested to try the closet. But I still blame Locura.))

"I'll be super-extra-double good!" He said with glee, leaving with them.

Mika waited a moment for Leeta to catch her breath. "Alright. Let's go." And Mika left the building, most likely with Leeta in tow.

Outside of Krandall-Mart:
"So this is the place," said Leeta.

Nimexa also arrives. This can only end in the best way possible.

Mika arrives. "Oh, yep, this is the place." He entered first, the wonderful ding of sliding doors opening ringing through the air. "Oh, do we have a shopping list, Leeta?"

"I only need thread and material," said Leeta entering with him. "You might want some cigarettes. But I think Nimexa might have a list."

"Oh, that's true...this pack is running pretty low, and the home front is short. Anyway, Nimexa, you got a list?"

"So, what kind of fabric do you like?" Leeta asked Mika. "And do you have a favorite color?"

"Uh...anything bright is good for a colour, but I like silk or cotton. I can't stand poly-blends for some reason." Mika replied.

"You would look good in silk shirts," said Leeta, "but wool is usually better for suits... I kind of like tweed myself. Still a good solid cotton cloth, like what you have now, minus the rips, does well. I wonder what I should make? I would like to make something for you, if I could."

"Yeah!" He took out his a list written on a small notepad given to him by Anime. "I need to stock up on foodstuffs, cleaning supplies, utensils, and-other-useful-things."

"Are you going to be able to carry all that?" Leeta asked Nimexa. "I don't think they deliver things for you here."

"Sounds good, Leeta. Maybe some kind of scarf? I don't think I have a single scarf. And Nimexa, I'll help ya find and carry the items, a'ight?"

Leeta began looking through the aisles to see what was there. Every once and a while she looked towards the stairs that went to the upper floors, wondering if anyone was up there, and if they would come down, and what they would do if they did.

"Oooh, yeah. I need something to carry it with. Maybe a box or something-like-that." Nimexa said.

"...My over-the-top sense are tingling." Dia stopped her relentless camera assault and looked over to the stairs. "...I must make haste, and waste. Where's the bathroom?" And with that, she dashed down the stairs.

Nimexa ran over to the person who came downstairs and asked, "Do you work here? Are you one of the big-and-scary terrorists?"

Two things did follow. One, she slapped him in the face. Two, she kicked him in the face. Third, she bashed her own face in the wall, then offered a high-five. No takes? Fine.
"I'm the terrorist that should be asking you questions about the terrorists." She turned her Beret backwards and reached for a lamp, shining the light in the face of the shopper.
"Tell me sir... if train A leaves the station at 7:30 traveling 15 mile an hour and train B leaves the station 9:00, and are both heading for the same crossing, which is 50 miles away... how many apples do I have?"

Upstairs:
"Well..." Egotist sighed, looking away. "I think we should pick a new leader. Given how the last time I lead something like this worked out...I'm just not comfortable leading another expedition against Stakes. So, then, we should hold another randomized leadership trial. Minus myself and Arsonist, of course. But..."

"Sorry to interrupt." Arsonist stood up. "But since I'm not involved in this trial, I'd like to go down and...do some unfinished business, if you would. Excuse me." She began to leave.

"Wait a moment." She froze. "I just wish to say one last thing, a final order if you will. Which is to say...always be aware of the Stakes. Don't just expect this threat to go away, though I'm sure you all understand the gravity of the situation. But even if they look like their on the ropes, this is a sturdy organization. Make sure to remember that. ...That's all, I guess. Just making sure you all know to keep this near the forefront of your mind." Arsonist shrugged, leaving. Leaving down the steps to the first shopping floor...

Mika had picked up his cigarettes by now, and had begun looking for his liquor. He had plenty of light stuff at home, so he was looking for some hard stuff today, and he made sure to keep his monetary funds in mind, even if it was scant an issue.

Leeta had a hard time finding what she wanted, as everything seemed to be stocked randomly on the shelves. She found thread in one place, decorative things in another, and patterns in yet a third. She even found some very odd things in the produce section, some of which were not edible at all. Her shopping basket only had a few small things in it, and she had yet to locate any fabric, when she heard the commotion by the stairs and Nimexa and some other person's voices. She was in a place where she couldn't really see the stairs.

She quickly located Mika and went to where he was. "I think Nimexa has gotten himself into trouble. Do you think we should explain that he is just a shopper, and not very smart," she added under her breath."

"Ehhh..." Mika hesitated, looking between two bottles in his hands. "...Sure. Let's go." He put them both in his hand-cart, walking slowly and calmly towards Nimexa's voice.

---

Arsonist walked down the stairs, passing Nimexa and Dia with but a faux hat-nod, though without the hat.

---

"...Uh...hm." Mika said slightly aloud to himself, looking over the area. "I could of sworn the stairs were this way...and his voice was, too. Ermmm..." He looked around again, luckily finding a woman sitting on the nearby bench. She was dressed in a fire hazard suit, clearly flame retardant, but seemed to have the helmet part off, exposing long blond hair, just long enough to touch past her shoulders, which was being brushed.

"Um, excuse me, miss customer?" Mika asked, walking towards her. "I was wondering, do you know where the third floor stairs are?" The woman just sighed, putting down the comb she was using. "...Miss?"

"First off, I'm not a customer, just so you know." The lady said, turning to Mika. Her faced looked in pretty bad shape, bad burn marks and untended, coloured scars along her face. The area that seemed most unaffected was her eye area, which was surprisingly well kept, and her bright blue eyes seemed vibrantly alive among the scars and dreary attitude. Her bangs seemed to be uneven and slightly charred. "Secondly, it's right over there, above the large shelf with dish soap, laundry detergent and bananas. It's tall, so it blocks the view from this angle, but it should become visible once you go around."

"Thank you," said Leeta pleasantly to the slightly charred woman. "The man who was shopping with us seems to have gotten himself into trouble with one of the... Uh... owners. He's relatively harmless, and means well, but sometimes says odd things at the wrong time," she said trying to smooth things over. If this woman wasn't a shopper, she was probably one of the group upstairs. "We should explain things before he gets hurt too badly."

"Ah. Well, he probably didn't run into any of my colleagues, their in a meeting...I excused myself to fix myself up." She shrugged. "It's probably just the moogle or the reporters or someone. Maybe Polly. As long as he isn't attacking, he'll be fine."

"Should we check anyway," she asked Mika, "or continue shopping?"

"Well...he's right around the corner. Won't hurt to have a look." He turned to the lady. "Well, pleasure meeting you, miss...?"

"Arsonist. Just call me Arsonist." She said. "No miss, please."

"Right. Well, pleasure meeting you, Arsonist." And Mika rounded the corner to meet Nimexa.

(Leeta too.) As they rounded the corner Leeta thought about the woman. Arsonist... setting fires... She looked like she had been burned badly herself. It was also likely that she had been involved in the destruction of the downtown buildings. The buildings looked like they had been badly burned. Leeta couldn't be sure though, since the paper hadn't been clear about specific damages that the "terrorists" had done. She wondered briefly what these people's motivations and goals were. The woman had seemed pretty tired too... Oh well, it was not her place to say who was right or wrong. Her place was only to serve her master. Still, there was something within her that wanted to see peace and cooperation, rather than war and strife. She wondered what things had been like on her world, before she had become a slave. Another useless endeavor, since without her master's help she could remember nothing.

As they rounded the corner Leeta saw Nimexa and Dia, with a lamp in her hand, staring at each other, apparently saying nothing.

Nimexa slowly got up using his air magic. He grumbled his teeth and said in the most hard boiled manner possible, "You have three oranges."

"... You are a sly one." She semi-complimented whilst bonking him over the head with the lamp. "But you failed to realize one simple thing."
"The Jell-O in the fridge....has Pineapples, thus, we will be having chili at noon tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to be the next Bar Maid?" As incoherent as this sounded, she gave him the most serious face she could muster, and suddenly, there was a canoe on her head.

Leeta began to wonder if she were hallucinating, or had suddenly lost the ability to understand language, because nothing made sense here. Then she remembered the other oddities of this world. Maybe what she was seeing and hearing was normal? In her confusion she didn't know how to act, or what to say, so she did and said nothing. Then she began to wonder what would cause a world to function so strangely, but gave up on that as she had no facts or remembered experiences to go by.

"Well, that depends, my fine young woman!" Mika replied, sliding in between the two. "From what region would I reside? Africa or Europe?" He would of added with a shing.

Nimexa stared hard at Dia. "I'm the minute-made." He said sending a gust of wind at her (more like a slightly strong breeze. There's a reason why he's called The Gentle Breeze.)

"Then it seems, we have a lot in common my friend...or should I say...Anemone?" Her canoe was replaced with a cowboy hat as the breeze blew dirt in her unblinking eyes.
She pulled up a hairdryer. First she blew it in his face on the lowest setting, then the highest, then smacked him upside the head with it.

Mika moved out of the way of this fierce, completely hard-boiled and serious battle.
"...Welp, Leeta, looks like he has this under control." Mika shrugged.

Leeta looked at her basket and saw that there was a good assortment of fabrics in it too, all tagged with bar codes on slips of paper, and she had no idea how they got there.
"I... I have every thing I need," she said to Mika. "Shall we check out?" She pointed over to a self serve checkout counter.
She wanted to leave this store. Something here was seriously messing with her sense of reality. There were even multiple instances where she felt like time was a sticky syrup that she was trying to wade through. Her curiosity about the terrorists had diminished considerably. After just seeing two, understanding them seemed impossible.

"Um...sure. You check out first, I still have a few things to get. And I'm getting them alone, don't follow me. Wait by the entrance after checking out." Mika replied.

Nimexa did the only logical thing at this point: He took a bowler hat and monocle off the shelves (because they stock those, you know) and wore them. "I say, old chap. We duel!" And with that he got a pair of gloves, and put them on. As soon as they were on he took it off and slapped Dia with it and throwing it to the ground afterward.

The air around him formed into 'strings' centered at his hand which wrapped into a ball before exploding a gust across the room with a sword forming in his hand. "You should come with me...." He said, his voice raising, "FOR A SPOT OF TEA!" He sent a gust across the isle sending a barrage of tea cups at his worthy foe.

"Ahh! Fine China! One of my many weaknesses!" She began to physically assault the writer's shift key as she maneuvered around the tea cups. BUT THEN, One was coming right at her! She did the most logical thing possible. She slammed down the X key, release her Bomb attack! Which involved summoning the power of Anime to inflict a non-lethal laser beam applied directly to Nimy and the tea cups.

Spell Capture Failed...

"You made me waste a bomb! Now you leave me no alternative." She dashed and dashed and dashed around the isle, grabbing various things and possible stuff. "Faster then overnight delivery!" She shouted in an Amazon like fashion, before pulling up a table before Nim and place a plate of Clam chowder before him.

"Please Accept this food as a token of our deepest and most admirable friendship." She stepped to the side. The Hours ticked away....oh wait, that's the second hand. Never mind then.

".....I SAID EAT IT." She slapped the back of his head, sending him face first into the chowder.

He lifted his face up from the dreaded chowder and grunted, "I accept," he said while giving a thumbs up and winking. He smiled a smile that you were sure was sparkling. He lowered his hat, which at some point was replaced with a sombrero, over his non monocled eye. A tumbleweed (which, for some reason, had a price tag on it. Most likely for moments like this) flew between them. "See ya around... kid." He then took a long drag on a cigarette he may or may not of taken from Mika. Nimexa then went into a coughing fit after realizing he didn't smoke, and dropped the cigarette stomping on it. He headed toward the check out with the stuff he was going to buy.

Stage Clear!

Clear Bonus: 500,000
Graze: 9,999

Challenge Next Stage!

And she run up the stairs back to the meeting room. She began taking photos of the Narcissist, but with anyones luck, he'd turn out like a Vampire and won't appear on film.

Anime then left and found Leeta (by the entrance or checkout, whichever she was at.) "Hey, I got my stuffs! I got to play with this really nice girl I met... I'm not sure what her name was, I don't think she told me, but it was really-really fun! We all learned the value of friendship and everything! ...Where-did-Mika-run-off-to? I want to tell him about my super-awesome day!"

Leeta was standing by the entrance outside waiting for Mika, having done exactly as he commanded and checked out first. "I'm glad you had such a good time," she said in reply. "You seem to have a lot in common with that girl. It's amazing how well you understood each other. Oh, Mika is still inside the store. He had a few more things to get."

Upstairs, 3rd floor:
"Then we'll burn the Stakes at Fairy Blue." Arsonist replied. "Should we g-"

"So. Fuji IkuJaku Temple." Arsonist moved swiftly, flamethrower pointed at the voice, a man known to others as Mika, who was bobbing his head to each side as the words came out. "What's the great P.A.S.S. going there for?"

"...It's you." Arsonist stated simply, continuing to point it.

"Ah, yes...the burnt woman, I presume?" Mika asked. "Don't worry, I ain't no government official or nothing. Just a concerned patron of this fine town. A protector of sorts."

Meanwhile Leeta still waited down below on what used to be the sidewalk near the entrance, with Nimexa (supposedly, unless he already went back to the inn). She was synchronizing her internal sense of time to the world around her so that it wouldn't seem like a long time had passed, even though it was only a few minutes. In the process she was aware of everything that surrounded her, especially living things. She noticed that Mika was on the third floor with some other people (the terrorists she supposed). Since that could be construed as "following", she withdrew her senses from the surrounding area. She had enough of a feel for things to synchronize her time anyway. Now waiting wouldn't feel so long.

Upstairs, 3rd floor:
The Darwinist came pretty quickly, and fired off in about as belittling a voice as he could manage, "And just who are you supposed to be?"

The Absurdist's attention was completely directed to the newcomer, and he had a very bemused smile on his face, cocking his head to the side.

But the Anarchist would be damned if he left any kind of talking to people to the Darwinist, operation leader or no. Besides, he could tell that this guy wasn't normal very easily. Granted, nobody was really normal in this place, but this one was more abnormal than most. Still... "More importantly, what exactly is it to you?" Nobody had ever said he was much of a diplomat either.

"There's some very nasty powers in that Temple." Mika replied, completely ignoring the Darwinist. "It's very personal to me, you see. I don't like snooping around. So I'm wondering what such an...interesting bunch as yourselves is doing there."

The Darwinist seemed like he would say something. But, perhaps better for this sort of thing, he stayed any remarks. In fact, he didn't even seem to be fuming. "Powerful, huh...?" He muttered.

"Well, I'm not really much for handing out details to people who snoop on meetings." The Anarchist's face was pretty stern. It didn't look like he'd budge on the point. "However, if it makes you feel any better, we were unaware anything was there until you said so just now." He thought for a moment. "So...whatever would make you so concerned about something lurking in a likely very old temple being tampered with by us..." To some extent, he wondered why he felt like trying to patch things up. But it felt, to the terrorist leader, that choosing to make it look like they were trying to do something swell was not a good idea with this man. It's something in his eyes, He thought.

"What our leader means to say..." The Absurdist was speaking a bit distantly, "...would be that while we are by no means people who are safe, we have no intentions of being intentionally unsafe about this." He allowed some of his confusion to drop to present a more genuine, amiable smile to Mika. Then he turned to the Anarchist, "Oh, my apologies."

"It's nothing, Absurdist." The Anarchist nodded. "That was pretty much what I was getting at."

"Ah. In that case, finally getting to the small one's questions, you can call me Mika. I'd prefer not to give out my last names, if you wouldn't mind." Mika gave a light bow, moving into the room more. "Are any potentially malicious groups coming to this temple, then?" He continued to pry, remaining calm in spite of being in between many dangerous terrorists. And a retarded bird.

"Depends." The Anarchist shrugged. "By all accounts, we'd be the malicious ones." That was about as simple as it got, when it came down to it, and beyond that, he wasn't entirely sure what to say to someone like this. There was just a feel to this Mika that went a bit beyond the fact that he was calm, and in-control despite, well, the fact that, according to the higher ups in this town, he and his allies were fairly likely to just blow you up.

"And were we to know of groups..." The Absurdist chimed in, "...we wouldn't be entirely sure if their intent were malicious or not. After all, they're the very picture of innocence." He allowed himself to chuckle at that one. So at least someone was moderately amused.

"Hey, I don't judge. You're whole stick is that you're for the people, right? I don't know barely anything about you nor the government's inner working, now do I? The only thing I know is..." His voice seemed more dire, if not still cordial in origin. "People are messing with what shouldn't be messed with. I want to know who."

"Well..." The Anarchist began darkly, "That'd be a broad term, Mika. I can think of several people who mess with things that shouldn't be messed with." Something about the man bugged him. The only way that the young man would have been able to put it was that his eyes looked older than the rest of his face. But something about this guy rubbed him the wrong way, that much he knew.

The Nihilist seemed to have been staring at Mika for quite some time. Whatever he saw, it was either very fascinating, or the stare was just completely coincidental and part of the teen's habit of staring blankly into space when something didn't occupy his attention.

The Absurdist seemed to have taken note of the apparent tension in the room, and, in his own way, attempted to defuse it. "As you can see, sir, we don't really know much about this." He stared up at the ceiling for a split second, then returned his gaze down to the stranger, and took on what could best be described as a bright neutral expression. "Though I believe I speak for those of my comrades who have sound minds when I say that we do wish you the best of luck on this business of people tampering with things that you don't find terribly appealing."

"Hmmm..." Mika sighed. "Well, thank you for your time. Oh, that reminds me...I didn't quite catch your names, and I don't much read the news." He began to finish, as awkward as that sounded. "I'd love to have names to go with your faces."

"Well, sir, I'm..." The Absurdist began, seeming a little pleased that some degree of cordiality, no matter how abnormal, was present now.

"The Anarchist." Said leader was a little stiff, but he nodded at Mika all the same. "I'm the leader of this band of freedom fighters. Or as close as we are to one." He directed a glance at his older colleague. "My bad. Go on."

"Erm...yes." The grin faded for a moment, and the Absurdist seemed mildly sheepish. "Right. I am called the Absurdist. And if you all do not mind..." He trailed off, taking a look at everyone in the room. "The delightful young man trying to bore a hole through you with his eyes is the Nihilist."

The boy did not react to this at all, which was probably expected.

"And the other, even younger one, who's being oddly quiet all of a sudden..." The trench coated man chuckled. It was most likely in good humor.

Regardless, the Darwinist gave him a very hard glare, but otherwise didn't say much.

This seemed to amuse the Absurdist more. "...He is called the Social Darwinist. And then... Well..." He paused from his recital, as if some odd idea had crossed his mind. "...the rest have remained rather quiet. Gentlemen, and lady? Would you care to speak up? At least be polite enough to set the good sir on fire or shoot to show him you're paying attention?"

"Huh?! What?!" The Arsonist asked, apparently waking up, pointing her flamethrower around wildly but not firing. "Set who on fire now?!"

"Ah, yes, that's the Arsonist." Tardy spoke up. "You can call me Tardy, and the not-so-charming Canadian fellow over there is Misogynist and the other extra is known as Egotist."

"I'm not an extra!" Egotist shouted, whacking Tardy in the head.

"Ah...well..." Mika looked over the odd group with a look of intrigue. "Well, I will take my leave, then...and finish checking out." He chuckled loudly. "I guess I got caught up in all this and forgot why I came here, aye?"

"Perhaps." The Absurdist directed a conspiratorial glance at Mika, inching just a fraction closer to him. "This store is quite amazing, and they're not trying to take over the world." And he of course said this in about the same tone someone would tell another where the illicit magazines were. In fact, knowing the Absurdist, it wouldn't have stretched the bounds of probability that he had somehow slipped secret code in there that imparted just such information.

"You've looked at those?" The Nihilist murmured with some degree of astonishment, while not turning away from Mika at all.

Mika...really wasn't sure how to respond this. "Well...it certainly isn't trying to take over the world..." Flustered. "I hope."

The Absurdist let out a slightly long blended expression between a chuckle and a laugh. When it stopped, it seemed that in spite of the modest dimensions of his kind smile, that it had taken on a very large quality. He raised a hand and waved. "Good luck finding check out, sir!"

The Nihilist was slightly, just slightly, blushing. The agonies of catching on to subtext.

"Uh...r-right." Mika turned about. "I'm checking out now goodbye!" And so, Mika ran out, quickly self-serving his checkout before returning to Leeta outside.

"Such a fascinating man." The Absurdist shook his head wistfully, as if he had just made a fond memory.

There was a long silence from everyone.

"...Are you finished?" The Darwinist said, irately. "We need to get a move on. Or at least figure out when we will do so."

"GAAAAAAAAAH!" Sheriff Moogle shouted as he threw himself at the doorway as Mika left. This, of course, lead to the sheriff hitting the door just as it closed. Slowly, he slid down to the floor, then fell on his back. "COMPLETELY IGNORED! I WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS!" he went on to shout as he flailed about randomly.

Deputy Chocobo walked up slowly, a tired look on its face, and picked the sheriff up by the back of his neck in the deputy's beak, carrying him back slowly as Sheriff Moogle continued to flail at the air. The deputy simply dropped the sheriff back where they were before, then laid down and went back to sleep.

Polly just sat there being boring idly.

"Did you get what you needed?" asked Leeta as Mika came out.

When Mika didn't respond, Leeta looked at him more closely. "Is something bothering you?" she asked. "You seem to be lost in thought."

"Huh?" Mika replied. "Oh, yeah, I guess. I did get everything, though. And I completely blame my silence on my lazy-chatkill author." He turned away, glaring at nothing. I'll get you yet, lazy poster...mark my words, you WILL pay!

"So nothing is bothering you then?" she said thinking about the fact that he had been upstairs with the terrorists. She picked up her bag to go back to the inn.

"Eh...not really. They don't seem like too bad a people. Someone else might be going there, but..." He sighed. "Gotta wait 'n' see."

"Is there anything else you want to do, or shall we go back now?" she asked Mika.

Nimexa followed the two leaving Krandall carrying the boxes off stuff he bought, "OH, MIKA!" He shouted, "I had a fun day! Did you? It was super-duper fun! I had a showdown with a mysterious stranger who I thought was going to be all evil and mean and terrorist-tastic but it turned out all they wanted to do was be my friend! Oh, and I tried one of your cigarettes to be all cool-and-quiet like you are but it was nasty. How do you stand them? Anyway... What did you do today?" He asked.

Nimexa's enthusiasm made Leeta smile. It was good to see someone enjoying life.

"Hmmm...well, the cigarettes are somewhat of an acquired taste, but I almost enjoy the...smokeyness. And as for what I did, well, I restocked my beer and cigarette supplies, made sure some things were set straight with those fellows up there, and didn't afraid of anything."

Nimexa then headed to the inn, talking of various things with Leeta and Mika. Apparently, he had left the monocle, top hat, and sombrero at the store.

"How did they react to you 'setting them straight'?" said Leeta with a grin.

"They were somewhat cordial, but kind of confused, almost like a hermit in the headlights." Mika replied. "I managed to put the Arsonist one to sleep!"

Leeta giggled.
"So, what kind of people are these terrorists... what did they call themselves again?" she asked.

"Well, the leader was Anarchist, there was this snot-nosed kid called Social Darwinist." He coughed. "Morelikesocialdweebinist" Cough cough. "Lesse...the most amusing one was definitely the Absurdist, real nice fellow, if not...well...somewhat absurd. There was this quiet dude called Nihilist, not much to note from what I saw, uh...Arsonist, of course. Some Canadian-French-Buffalo dude, Misogynist, and his buddy Egotist, and some DEFENDER OF JUSTICE! Tardy." SHING;

"Very odd names," said Leeta. "I assume they have regular names too, but use these for their organization. What do they call their organization again?" she asked. "And what are they trying to accomplish?"

"Well, it's P.A.S.S., it stands for like...People Against Silly Statesmen or Sinister Statesmen or something." Mika replied. "Their goals are, well, I 'unno. I assume liberating the people or something."

"Liberating people from the government then? Was... Is the government a repressive one?" said Leeta.

"It's had it's ups and downs. I dunno about the current regime. Then again, I'm using a word like regime, so..."

"But but but!" Nimexa objected, "They made the toaster law! We require that for our safety!" He emphasized.

"A toaster law?" said Leeta. "What kind of laws do toasters need?"
She wondered, was this some kind of Locura weirdness that needed special laws or governmental stupidity?

"Well, it goes something like..." He paused, as if to get the voice perfectly tuned. "All toasters must toast toast!" A perfect impression of CD-i Mario! Amazing!

"Isn't that what toasters do," asked Leeta, "toast toast? Though they could also toast waffles, pancakes, toaster strudels, bagels, buns, and other things."

"Well, I wouldn't recommend doin that, 'cuz toasters are only supposed to toast toast. I, personally, like to think it's because they've secretly replaced our toasters with hyper-toasters which can better toast toast, but due to an error in the system, breaks down when not toasting toast." Mika replied. "Perfectly reasonable, no?"

"Do you mean to say that it is actually against the law to toast anything in a toaster besides toast?" said Leeta incredulously. "What if people have old standard toasters, or there are no new toasters like you describe, or if there are they are all recalled and the defect fixed? How are people going to toast their bagels and toaster strudels? Isn't an open fire or frying them more dangerous? Why didn't they just mandate a warning label on these toasters, if they really did exist?"
She was glad that Mika told her about the toaster law, and that he hadn't asked for a toasted bagel or toaster strudel earlier, but asked for toast, or she would have unintentionally violated the law.

"Yep, that's how the law works! I mean, isn't it obvious! They're called Toaster! For Toast! I hear some people are trying to develop Bagelsters and Strudlesters, but I don't think they're going to work." Nimexa said.

"I dunno, the Strudelster sounds very promising, I think." Mika replied. "Though, I think toaster strudels can be microwaved now. Hm. Then why aren't they called microwave strudels...?"
Meanwhile, at least one man was shouting the answer through his commercial. And it was strudel. Or he was having a c/c/s breakdown, we can't tell.

Nimexa put on a very serious and pondering look. "What I don't get is why we don't cook our food with flamethrowers."

"I can see why you're not a very good cook," said Leeta. "Flame throwers are too hot, burning the food, and they leave chemical residues that taste terrible. Though if a person was really hungry, it would do in a pinch. Oh look, we're here already." And so they were. The inn was right in front of them.

Leeta entered the inn. "Do you need help putting those things away, Nimexa, or can you handle it yourself?"

"Going back to the flamethrower for a moment..." Mika began. "What if you, like, just put the flamethrower /above/ the food and cooked he food under it? Still too hot?"

"Over or under, there still isn't enough fine control, too large of a blast range, and a nasty smell," Leeta replied. "A small blow torch would do better, and even that would work best for quickly browning foods, not fully cooking. Besides those who love the fire of flame throwers are rarely satisfied with merely 'well done'."

"True enough." Mika replied. "Although flamethrowers are cool...I wonder if you could flash freeze food with an icethrower."

"I've heard of snow blowers, but not ice throwers... I think," said Leeta there her memory failed her, again. "I suppose if it used liquid nitrogen, or something like that, it could flash freeze food."

"Help, would be nice, Leeta! If you're offering to give me assistance, I except. And if you're not, it would be just mean to ask if someone needs help, and to then not help them. I wouldn't speak to you for the rest of the day! (However long that is,)" Nimexa had followed in behind them. "and what we really need are Refrigerators Backpacks."

"Refrigerator backpacks would be something! Though I suspect a bit heavy," said Leeta helping Nimexa take the grocery items to the restaurant an putting them away, and helping with whatever other items needed help with.

"Thanks for the help Leeta," He smiled, "What do you think about Refrigerator Backpacks, Mika?

"Sounds 'bout right." Mika shrugged. "You could have a grill backpack, too, to cook it."

"Or a combination refrigerator-grill backpack," laughed Leeta, "for added convenience!"

"Yes!" Mika shouted, pumping his fist. "It will be just like a portable Grooler!"

Leeta giggled at the name. Grooler.

"Nimexa," said Leeta, "I could cook in the restaurant when needed, seeing as no one else but Mika can cook, but I couldn't do it any time someone wanted something. I'm already 'employed', and might not always be around. If a group of us got together and wanted to eat a regular meal though I could. You might want to say something about that to any guests, so they know that the restaurant isn't open all the time. If you happen to get a lot of people here, you might want to hire someone to cook. With so few people staying here though it wouldn't be worth it right now. Oh, and if something needs repairing, let me know too. My cell phone number is at the front desk. You and Jenna and Anime will have to take care of everything else. Okay?"
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Mamma Peach
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Re: Leeta's Story

Post by Mamma Peach »

10. The Past, and The End...
Seeing that Nimexa was gone, and she and Mika were alone again, Leeta decided to ask him something she'd been wanting to ask for a while...
"Do you ever get curious about things? I mean do you ever want to find out why things are the way they are, or about some one's past?" she began.

Though Nimexa was not there, Anime was. "I don't think Nimexa's fit to run the inn." He spoke. "But that sounds like a good idea. I'll put put a sign or something informing that it won't always be open."

"Thanks," she said to Anime, blushing a bit that her private question to Mika had been overheard. Though if she had thought about it for a moment she would have seen that there was really nothing blush worthy about the question.

"I try not to pry." Mika replied with a shrug, ignoring the fact Anime was there, using the Mika Skill: One Track Mind. "I mean, sure, I do get curious, and I want to, But, after a while, you get tired of hearing people's problems. You start to stop actively searching and start to just catch what their willing to say."

"Is that why you never asked me to tell you about my past?" said Leeta making sure that Anime was gone or out of ear shot before continuing. "You never asked me to tell you anything beyond the rules of my obedience, and my measurements. I wasn't sure, but I felt that my other masters must have asked me far more. I mean, wouldn't you have at least been curious as to why I came to you? Under the rules I would belong to the first person who touched me after the death of my master, or my master sending me away, yet I came to your door and practically fell into your arms, or at least against you and onto the floor. I must have passed many people before I came to you. Why?"

She looked down, fidgeting a bit with her skirt, absently smoothing it out. "The trouble is... I have all sorts of feelings about things without understanding where these feelings come from, because I can't remember anything without your help. Those memories are just waiting there, so close, and yet completely out of reach. I'm sure that there are a lot of things that I would rather not remember. That's probably why I was caused to forget. But there are also a lot of memories that must be good, and even the bad ones could be brought out by less traumatic means than reliving them. I would like to understand why I had horrible nightmares that I can't even remember after your 'battle' with the DG90, or why I felt so queasy about being called a loli, even if the memories that caused them are ones I don't want to remember. I'd like to know about some of my past masters who were kind. I'd like to know how I came to be in a world I know I've never been in before, or how I know that I've never been here. I'd like to know why my name is Leeta, and how it could be indelibly tattooed on my wrist, or who was it that gave me the urge to study. I have hundreds of questions that can never be answered, unless you were curious enough to ask me to tell you, or tell me to remember."

"What would it be like for you, if you could never remember the past at all?" She looked into his eyes, half afraid, half longing, with all sorts of emotions bottled up, just churning under the surface.

"I..." Mika wasn't entirely sure how to respond to this. Leeta was certainly pouring out much of her soul into this, "I don't know. It seems nice, to me, but...I suppose that's because I can remember. Sometimes, you can't appreciate something until it's gone, you know?" He sighed, absentmindedly twirling around his hair in no particular manner. "It's obvious you want to remember yours, however. And I doubt it is my place to stop you from doing so. But, we should go slowly. I don't think a rush of new memories would be good for any one person." He nodded, as if agreeing with himself. "Alright, Leeta, remember your last master. Then, tell me about him or her. Or it." ...I hope that's how it works. I'm still not good at this.

A flood of memories opened up. Brilliant memories. Exciting ones. Some terrifyingly so, and some very sad.
She looked up at Mika, her eyes shining. "Danny Korliss!" she exclaimed. "He was a dimension traveler, a very extraordinary person. We traveled together in the Dimensional Activation Travel Entry Station, or DATES. He would always joke about how we were going on a date, but he was always rather paternal, though obviously I was far older than he was. I was his partner in adventure, and nothing beyond that, but we were real partners. We shared the same love of setting things right and helping people, and he used my powers for some very extraordinary things, in many different dimensions and worlds, not this one though. We never came here before, but if we did I'm sure he would have tried to tackle this world's problems with the same optimism and flair that he did the others. He was a brilliant man, and though we didn't always win the day and avert disaster, those times were few." She paused for a moment, remembering some of their many adventures... and then the end.

"The last time was one of those times," she sighed, "though we almost won. Danny underestimated Baalrock, a guy who was trying to enslave the people of Tarin 7. He was very powerful, but Danny thought he could beat him, especially with my help, but Baalrock had an insane streak, the kind that takes everyone down with him. Somehow, Danny never had time to explain it to me, Baalrock had rigged the planet to blow itself to bits when he died, and at the same time poison the one who killed him. Baalrock even managed to damage the DATES. Even I couldn't hold a planet together once it began to explode. I could have healed Danny though, but not if he used my power to save all of the people." Leeta's eyes began to tear up. "He ordered me to use all of my power to transport the people to us, to send them through a portal fixed by the DATES to another world, while at the same time delaying the explosion. We did it, though by the time the last few thousand people went through, the DATES was erratically sending them to random worlds, and Tarin 7 was breaking up completely. I was only able to hold the portion we were on stable. The DATES portal almost failed on the last ten people. When the last one was through Danny was at death's door. I still wanted to try healing him, as desperate as it was. I knew that I couldn't die, not permanently anyway. He felt differently though. The DATES was almost ruined, though I think I could have fixed that too. I'm sure I had enough energy left. Anyway, it didn't matter what I thought I could do. In that last moment he ordered me to find a new master, one who could take care of me forever, and he shoved me through the portal." Leeta wiped the tears off her face. "That's how I ended up here, the random chance of the portal before it closed, and Danny's last command must have sent me to find an immortal who was kind. So I found you. If there are other such immortals here, you must have been the closest."

"Thank you for the memory, Mika," she sniffed. "I didn't know it, but this head band I'm wearing actually connects me to the DATES. Though it's too broken to respond normally, but I think that combined with my power I could actually bring it here and fix it. Though Danny's body is probably still inside. You were right about taking memories in small doses. Just these memories alone will take some time, and Danny had me remember things too, though those memories are not as clear."

Mika listened intently, his entire focus weighted on the girl as the epic was woven in front of him, memories poured out from a pure state of mind.

"Hmmm. This Danny certainly seems like an amazing man." He said, nodding. "And this DATES...interesting as well. I wonder, though. You can basically do anything, ze?" He asked. "Could you bring him back to life?"

"No," she said sadly. "I can do a great many things that would even seem god like to some people, but even I have limits. I can't bring back the dead, anymore than I could restore an exploded planet, or a star that went supernova. Actually those two might be easier than bringing someone back from the dead, though I couldn't restore them either. I could heal someone on the brink of death, and that covers quite a bit that many people would consider dead, but there is a point when no amount of healing will do any good."

"Hmmmm...well, that's understandable, I suppose." Mika replied. "Well, you probably want to go absorb this, don't you? You're free to do so."

"So, what are you going to do?" asked Leeta.

"I dunno. Sleep. Maybe spy on those temple proceedings...I do quite wonder what shall go on there."

"Temple?" said Leeta, not knowing anything about his conversation with P.A.S.S. "Would you like me to go with you?"

"Uh..." Mika blinked. "I guess. I mean, if you can process all that at the same time, you think..."

"I don't have to go over all those memories right now," she giggled. "I can do that anytime, and then maybe come up with some more specific things I want to remember. It's just good to have them there when I want them. My main purpose is still to help you. Besides, I like helping, and I will learn more about this world going with you than staying here mulling over my memories."

She turned a bit more serious. "While the past shapes the present, it's the present that we live in. What once was can't be brought back, and the future is uncertain. There is only now. Danny Korliss was my master. You are my master now."

"Hmmmm. Alright then, Leeta. Follow me!" He seemed quite enthusiastic, marching out of the door thereafter. As long as she followed him, which he would make sure she did, she would find herself being led to some most likely unfamiliar mountains...

Even further behind (the STAKES and PASS)...

"It's up this mountain, Leeta." He nodded, looking up. "It's a quite important place, even if it's only been "recently discovered". An old relic, if you will..."

"It's amazing how quickly people can traverse distances in this world," said Leeta. "What is this temple dedicated to?"

"It's dedicated to the founding of Zuerst, actually." Mika replied, walking up, silently as they climbed through harsh brush off the beaten path. "I renovated it from an...older area." WITHHOLDANCE! "Of course, it became forgotten and I quickly buried it. I guess it was recently opened, or rediscovered, or what have you."

"So it has to do with the battle against Mora..." Leeta began to ask, then her eyes grew wide. "She wouldn't be sealed up in there, would she?"

She hoped it was just an innocent old temple, but then why would they be there if it was. Temples like that notoriously held sinister secrets... Like Danny Korliss verses the Doom Goddess of Vortax 3, where the young priestess was duped into putting the artifact into the slot on the altar and unwittingly sacrificed her life to awaken Ssahassra... Danny always did think his adventures would make good books. Maybe she would write them up sometime. Of course she'd have to change her own name in them. Anyway, back to this temple.

Mika paused.

"...Of course. It figures you would be smart enough to figure it out. I suppose I'm getting rusty in my deception." He sighed. "Yes, Mora is sealed far in there. I doubt that part is even close to being discovered, but..." They were getting closer to the temple, and as they moved closer it seemed as if an unease washed slowly over them. It didn't seem natural, this feeling of unease and, perhaps slight paranoia.

"It's entirely possible they'll find it later, so I want to make sure it's found at the correct time." His brow was sweating, either from the trip or the feeling, and his hand seemed to be very interested in his sword.

Leeta felt an external sense of dread, almost a paranoia, influencing her emotions. She used Mika's battle command to use her power in a mind shielding technique Danny had her use when they went against the Fear Master. Now she could discern the source of the unease, if called upon to do so, while not being affected at all by it. She looked over at Mika to see if he was being affected. "Are you all right?" she asked Mika. "I can shield you from external influences on your feelings, if you need me to. I've had to do that sort of thing before." Danny under the Fear Master's control was not a pleasant memory, but he had provided her with the means to get him out of it, so all had gone well.

"Ah. Of course, you would have something for blocking it..." He smiled. "But no, I'd prefer not to, actually. It's good to get used to it, I think, given the possibilities inherent within a breach of containment. Besides, it's almost nostalgic..." He shrugged. "I'm betting you can guess from that where this feeling comes from, ze?"

"Mora, right?" said Leeta. "You battled her before, so I guess you would probably not give in to the madness, as Night's wife did, but if you feel otherwise... please accept my help as an alternative, for my sake as well as your own."

"Don't worry, Leeta, I'm fine." He paused and put his arm out, stopping the two. "Alright, we're here..." He peered down the side of the cliff-like drop they were on, seeing Tsubasa and an approaching group in front of the temple...

Now, at this point, Tsubasa was still certainly in the middle of philosophicalising(It's totally a word!), but even she knew damn well to never let her guard down.
So when the Tardy came rushing at her, she went into equally swift action, throwing the signature bundles of swords for her style into the air, the police tape flying out and attaching to the temple's pillars, a clear circle for the battle. In the time it took her to set up, she barely had the time to block Tardy's sword swinging for her torso.
But she did.

"Fascinating. It appears we have two opposing forces here." Mika noted. "Leeta, make a fully functional camcorder than give it to me."

Leeta handed Mika a top quality digital camcorder, as she watched the action unfold.

Polly looked over at the battle between Tardy and Tsubasa taking place. She carefully thought to herself how to handle this. ... Blocked by the very tape you abandoned. It makes no difference, even their weakest will overpower you. Polly stepped back from the tape, seeming aghast. She closed her eyes and shook her head from side to side, trying to get back to her senses. "I'll just continue on." she assured herself as she walked by, "He can definitely take care of himself."

"So, why are you recording this?" whispered Leeta to Mika.

"Once the rest of the group goes in, we're going to follow them in and watch what they do. I don't know which side I agree with, nor if any are actually going to mess with Mora in the foreseeable future, so I need film to study on both sides. Thus, I will leave the recorder here while we go in, and pick it up later." Mika nodded.

"What happens if the ones outside don't go in?" she asked.

"Then we make a distraction and follow whatever group the guard girl might be guarding." He nodded.

The Anarchist seemed unperturbed by whatever vibe the temple gave off. Certainly an imposing structure... He took a moment to note Tardy and Tsubasa.

"What should we do, sir?" Absurdist asked, standing at his leader's side.

The Nihilist had clearly decided his course of action. Without even giving a second glance, or even a first to what was occurring in front of the temple, he ran inside with a litheness that seemed almost foreign for someone of his build. I wonder... I think I can feel it. It was as if there was something beating in his chest. Not a heart, no. That was...difficult. But something similar. And it was exerting a strong pull on him.

"Nihilist! Wait!" The Anarchist yelled. Then he shook his head. "I guess he has the right idea. Tardy's a big boy. He can handle himself. We go into the temple proper." And he barely gave a second for this information to be observed before he ran off after the boy.

Absurdist shook his head, chuckling. "My, my, quite impulsive today, aren't we..." There was a rustle in his trench coat as he took hold of the shopping bag. "Guess we'll just have to hope things play out in my favor, won't we?" With that, he walked into the temple with far less urgency than his fellows.

"Heh." Tsubasa seemed somewhat amused, the two warriors still in a deadlock as the group entered the Temple. "I guess you're all alone."

Tardy pushed her back, the two stumbling a little as they broke off the deadlock. "Why would I need them? I'm plenty strong enough to beat you down myself."

Tsubasa grabbed a second sword from the ground. "We'll see." The two rushed each other.

"Distractions can be fun..." said Leeta remembering numerous distractions she and Danny had employed, including one time she changed into a crying infant, "or we could just become invisible. What did you have in mind? It looks like everyone's going inside except those two."

"Hmmm. I do want to test if the one's inside can see me, so invisibility is out...I think that we can sneak past those two, then I know the Temple much better than them, so we should be able to stay out of their sight." Mika nodded to himself. Yeah, good plan, Mika. Good plan. "Now...we wait."

There was a loud metallic clank as the two warriors met, dual swords splitting a block against a single one.

They broke off, swiftly slashing at each other, each other clashing off the other's blades with movements swift.

"Hm. It seems we're at an impasse, aren't we?" Tsubasa asked, as the respect blocks were thrown, Tsubasa's off-hand blade catching the top of Tardy's and her main hand keeping the bottom half of the opposing sword down pat.

Tardy just laughed a little, one of his fingers reaching down the blade and stroking down it, small drops of blood dripping from the sharp edge as he activated the blade. "Impasse, you say?" He made a swift kick at her, clearing space as she jumped back to dodge. "I see no such impasse." He said, slowly sucking his meager finger wound, slightly stopping the minuscule bleeding as two strings, shadow-like, almost like a moving liquid, jutted out from behind him, lunging forward and grabbing two of the swords implanted into the ground, flinging them at Tsubasa.

Well, this certainly just got more interesting... She thought, throwing one of her swords at the incoming projectile sword, running and sliding under the remaining one to grab it by the hilt, using the momentum to swing it back and slice at the shadow string that had rushed toward her, cutting it clean in two.

"Okay...now, Leeta, let's go." Mika swiftly commanded, setting the camcorder down and jumping off the small cliff, his sword gashing into it's side as he slid down it, hitting the top of the temple and swinging in undetected.

Leeta disappeared from the top of the cliff and reappeared inside the temple, next to Mika. He was never very specific about these things, and there was no obviously stealthy way for her to get down and inside, though his way did have a certain flair.

"So, what now?" Leeta whispered to Mika, looking around.

"Now we watch and wait, I guess." Mika whispered, the group of Anarchist, Nihilist and Absurdist trudging along (Presumably) in front of them. "They've got to run into someone eventually, you see?"

Leeta simply nodded in reply to Mika, since if they were that close, she didn't want to be heard.

----

Leeta used her power to keep the falling rocks from crushing Mika and herself, while still trying to stay out of sight. It had been so hard to keep from laughing at that absurd story and giving away their covert position. She wondered how long they could stay hidden.

"...Hm. Alright, Leeta, conjure me up one of those camcorders and set it on that rock, right next to you. It'll give a good view and it'll be protected." Mika commanded. "After that, make us both invisible, and then make it so we can phase through the rocks blocking our path further in."

Leeta made the camcorder and attached it to the rock where Mika said to. Then she held Mika's hand. After a few moments they became nearly immaterial, like ghosts, though Mika could still see, and feel, both himself and Leeta.

Leeta spoke in an eerie ethereal voice, as she released Mika's hand. "Even though we can see, hear, and touch each other, no one else can, unless they have some kind of supernatural sight, in which case they'd probably notice us whatever form we took. I'm not sure that you should stay in this form for extended periods of time though. It might have unintended consequences. An hour or two wouldn't be much of a problem. Also, if you concentrate you can affect solid objects as if you were solid, without being seen."

Moving across the battlefield, Mika carefully led Leeta forward, careful to avoid the strikes of Kotomi. He could notice that from anywhere, that...dimensional manipulation. Amazingly precise, he had to note, though he was afraid that it could disrupt this beautiful invisitangity of theirs... Fortunately, they were not hit, and they passed through the obstruction further in clearly.
"...I recognize that girl from the front." Mika sighed. "How...disappointing."

"Why, who is she?" asked Leeta.

Mika sighed. "Tsubasa Inoue...she was just a kid at the time, but I remember reading about her after...well..." Mika closed his eyes, leaning his head back. "Well, after I killed her mother."

Leeta gently touched him on the shoulder, like a caress. "What was the reason, that you had to kill her mother? Was this girl left all alone? Is that why she turned to this group, for refuge?"

"Her mother was a bodyguard, you see." Mika explained. "She was guarding a particular person, who I was on charge to kill, and defended it herself. She died. It's that simple." He shrugged. "She came from a long line of bodyguards, so I guess Tsubasa learned from her. She used the Infinite One Sword style...it's very difficult to master, but provides a strong battle and balances attack and defense."

"I see, then this group must have picked her because of her talent." said Leeta.

"Mika," said Leeta, "something odd seems to be happening up ahead. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I can feel it."

"Hmmm." Mika stopped. "...You're right. It's definitely Mora's power, but...I wonder. This kind of surge would suggest someone was tapping into it, and I don't think there's anyone alive today with such extensive knowledge." He paused. "...Wait..." His voice got low, to a whisper, one would have to strain to hear him. "...Noah, you fool. Is this your game...?" He shook his head. "Leeta, we should hurry the pace. I want to see what's going on." With that, he began his sprint forward.

Leeta ran along with him.

----

Leeta was wondering what was going on, and if they would get wherever it was they were going quickly enough.

After at least five posts of the seemingly required running, which was totally not forgotten, Mika and Leeta finally arrived in the room.

"Hm." Mika deadpanned, watching the battles inside. His eyes narrowed, a mix of tranquil fury and delicate thought, as he saw the revival. "Usually, I wouldn't want to interfere with such a lovely battle, but given that revival..." His voice got lower, growling towards the end, as he pulled out his sword. "He's tapping in to her power. I cannot allow that."

"And I cannot allow you to interrupt." Mika quickly turned to face this voice, but it was no use. A punch smacked his face, sending a flurry of thoughts into his head. Who escaped his notice? Did he let go of Leeta's hand...yes, that must of been why he could of been hit.

And, even though the hit wasn't that strong, it pinned him to the wall. His vision was shaky as he tried to get his bearings, but he could vaguely make out the figure that was grabbing his neck, hoisting him up a bit.

Then he was throw away from the wall. It was a very light throw, he didn't even fall down, but it put the man between him and the door inside.

"Eibon, what the hell are you doing?" Mika asked, looking up at Eibon, the figure who had stopped him.

Leeta materialized near Mika. "What should I do, Mika?!" she said in alarm.

"...Nothing, for now." Mika commanded, smirking a little. "I want to see what game he's playing." He whispered as he walked forward and past her, in such a way she could hear and he could not.

"So, Noah, what's your game?" He asked, still smirking, his sword out in a defensive staff.

"..." The other man paused. "So, you're using my real name, are you? I suppose we are dropping all pretenses now." Noah sighed. "Mika, do you understand how this "madness" works?"

"What's that got to do with anything?!" Mika shouted back. He clearly didn't like the implications of that question.

"Precisely. You do not. Nor, in fact, do even I, the great librarian of the world..." He sighed. "We don't have the team of years past. We can't go in without understanding our foe this time. We must learn how "madness" works."

"Why? Mora ain't back, and as long as I'M around, she isn't going to." Mika replied, confident smirk and arrogant as ever.

"Mika, stop being a fool." Noah gave a somewhat playful slap to his compatriots face. "Zuerst is excavating. Their expanding. They're stuck in social upheaval. You can't keep this from them. And eventually, they'll dig her up. And what then? Any number of unknown variables could lead to her revival..."

"I'll just stop them from getting there, then." Mika chuckled, as if he had just forged an infallible victory. "It's pretty simple, isn't it, No~ah?"

Noah sighed, looking down as his right hand moved over his eye, scratching just behind his ear. "Simple and clean is the way that you're feeling, huh? And, to all the people who come looking? I'll assume they'll just...never return from their trip." He let out a deep chuckle. "Of course. These are your kind of tactics..."

"Just get out of my way." Mika said calmly, leveling his sword at Noah. "Two on one, after all."

"Tch. If we battle, all that's going to happen is she'll escape while you deal with me and prevent me from gathering. How about a compromise, instead?" Noah suggested.

"W-"

Then he cut off Mika before he replied. "I honestly don't care what happens to that revived girl after her revival. Truly, such a person has no purpose in the world, as you might spin it." He shrugged. "You're problem, while rooted in letting the process go, is also deeply seated in her existence, no? Would you not have no problem if she ceased after her revival?"

"...So, that's it? We let her revive for your, admittedly twisted, research, and then the natural order of things is restored..." Mika chuckled a little, his feet rubbing against the ground. "Ooooy, you're a tough negotiator, but an old friend. I suppose I can...how should I say, give you a break?" He extended his hand forward.

Noah shook it with a firm grasp, before he got a slight jolt from it, pulling back.

"HA! Hand buzzer!" Mika shouted with a smile, pocketing the hand buzzer. "That gets you every time..."

Noah just groaned a little. Who still thought hand buzzers were funny?!

Leeta watched to see how this would play out. It looked like Mika obviously knew what he was doing. Then she felt something disturbing from the direction of the city.

"Mika..." said Leeta with a shiver, "I think something horrible is happening in Zeurst. It's like a hole was ripped to another dimension... and something came out! I-I don't know what it is. As soon as I sensed it my defenses went up to block it out. The only word that comes to mind to describe it is 'corruption', deep fundamental corruption to the core of being. I'm scared."

Before Mika could answer the feeling left. Leeta gave a sigh. "Whatever it was just left. It's gone from this dimension now. I wonder what it could have been?" She composed herself and waited for Mika and Noah to finish whatever it was they were going to do.

----
Leeta didn't know how long it had been or what had happened. It was as if her senses had been twisted in this time distorted world. More than time distorted... Something was terribly wrong. It was like something was wrenching her guts and made her want to vomit. This world... What was happening?

"Mika! Something's terribly wrong..." she said, and then she did throw up. Emptying her stomach didn't make her feel any better though.

----

The girl stops.

This place.

You know it

You've seen it

Believe it.

This is it.

The destination.

The rite.

The right.

The wrong.

The left.

The bag continues to drag. You move up the mountain. The feel of rocks blood assails the bloody feet blood as you blood up the mountain.

This place.

It started long before me.

You never saw it coming.

No answer.

Just drowning.

You stayed in isolation.

Yet in our darkest nightmares...

Just shadows cast before you...

You remember what should have been and never was.

The power.

Won't leave me.

This pain will last forever.

The madness...

The sadness?

Your knee scrapes against one of the numerous fallen swords of the entrance, the vanguard of a fallen warrior, the bloody end.

. , .

Can this be...or is it...?

What is this...

It can't be?

---

Leeta's voice reverberates through the air.

There is no reply.

It echoes back.

There is no reply.

Is something wrong.

There is no reply.

He is here.

He is here?

It's here.

A creak opens but no air comes out.

Stagnation.

No decay.

There is no reply.

. . .

It...

---

Who are you?

I know you.

The door opens.

My shadow cast before me.

Walk into her circle.

Footsteps. Yours. Suddenly you're there. In front of her. Looking.

"You wouldn't." You say as if there was something to reply too.

Or would you?

You lean back a little. You stop.

She stops.

The bag stops.

Everything seems to stop.

It doesn't stop even though it's stopped.

Blood drips to the blood floor as you stare into her blood eyes with an inquisitive stare.

Your head turns blood as you examine the blood around you and there is no blood but just blood.

Your eyes return to blood as you turn back to the blood girl.

"Leeta."

Why.

Her trigger.

Your darkness.

You know it.

But do you mean it...?

. . .

You wait for a reply.
----
"Who are you? What... What do you want?" said Leeta. All of her insides were twisted around. The world... something was wrong with the whole world, with all of reality. She felt like she was dying... but she knew... she knew that she could never really die, only suffer with the death throes of this world until she was released from it. Now this person had come, spoken her name, and a chill ran down her spine.

----
"You."

Who?

Her.

"I know you. Don't I."

How?

Do we ever?

For a second it seems like the entire room shakes but nothing happens.

"Leeta. That is truly your name."

A pause.

A flicker.

You whimper.

When?

"Mika."

She pauses.

...

And then you are on your ground and you're grasping for breath.

"You." You she pauses again. "Why are you here."

----
Alarmed Leeta replied. "Leeta is the only name I know. Who are you? What do you want with Mika? Are you..." she was going to say alright, but nothing was alright here. Of course she was not alright, whoever she was. "Something is wrong... What is happening? Mika!? I don't know what to do..."

----
From somewhere, somehow, she heard Mika's voice.
"I can't be giving you orders anymore. You're going to have to get a new 'master' to follow around. This is my last command... Fix that DATES machine you're connected to and get out of Locura! Go find yourself a new master somewhere else. This isn't the place for you..."

Leeta's eyes took on a vacant stare as a set of doors shimmered into existence against the stone wall of the room. She felt the death throes of Locura as she walked over to those doors, but showed no physical reaction to the global destruction that was twisting her insides. As she stepped over the body of the adventurer Danny Korliss lying on the floor of the control room the doors closed and then shimmered out of existence. Leeta was gone.
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Mamma Peach
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Re: Leeta's Story

Post by Mamma Peach »

11. Suzaku, a New Master in a New World
Suzaku stood near the summit of Suzakuyama with the cold north wind ruffling his golden hair and playing with its vermilion highlights as the first rays of sunlight gilded his right shoulder. Lord Genbu's realm was definitely in the height of its ascendancy even if the snow clad peaks of the Chushinchiku Region could barely be seen by his sparkling blue hawk like eyes due to the curvature of the earth. That the cold winter air should reach so far into the southern region was another difference from the old world. His realm had always been one of sweltering summer heat. In the wide valley below numerous villages hidden in the jungles of the Hebinaga River would be rising from slumber to harvest their winter crops and go about their other daily occupations.

Frankly, Suzaku was bored. The War of the Three Cities had been an interesting diversion, but that had been nearly two months ago, and he hadn't thrown a party for several weeks. Perhaps it was time for another one. Things had been entirely too peaceful of late. Even as lord of an entire region there had been nothing that required his intervention in the last few months. He needed a diversion to distract him from the monotony of his immortal life. Byakko had his dojo and training. Genbu had a slow, meditative, taciturn personality and his sharp intellect (he was a serpent/turtle after all) as well as his erotic perversions to keep him occupied. Seiryu had his gardens as well as his interest in the sister of the Dragon Emperor. What did Suzaku have, besides a bevy of obedient dolls and his parties? Up until recently the duties of being a daimyo had been more than enough to keep him busy, but now with the growing peacefulness, and his younger friends growing older and taking on responsibilities of their own, it seemed that the time between parties dragged on. Even the parties had become less wild and farther between. Perhaps it was time to cultivate a younger crowd of acquaintances? No, not yet. He would still be growing older himself before his next immolation in flames to renew his youth. A younger crowd wouldn't fit with that. He would just have to find something other than parties to occupy his time.

Suzaku leapt down from the peak and skidded to a halt as a set of doors appeared out of nowhere, right in front of him. the air around them shimmering with an unknown power that twisted reality. Suddenly the air hissed and popped as sparks flew, and the shimmer became solid - a metallic box the about 12 feet square with torn panels exposing charred wiring that continued to smoke and spark alarmingly. It was obviously some kind of machine and a badly broken one at that. What's more there was a scrabbling and knocking on the door that suggested something alive was trying to get out, and not a very strong something. A cursory look at the doors showed that they were the sliding type rather than hinged and deeply seated in the metal shell. There were no handles to open them with so he concluded that a mechanism was used to open the doors and that it was also broken. The crack between the doors was so close that not even a sheet of paper could be slid between them, let alone fingers, and if he was correct in his assumption there would likely be some inter-meshing of the doors to create a solid fit.

"Stand back!" yelled Suzaku to the one inside, not even knowing if he could be heard or understood, and he plowed his fist into one of the doors. The whole metallic cube lurched backwards, digging into the rock of the mountain, as the door crumpled creating a gap through which an acrid smoke curled. Suzaku grabbed the door and wrenched it from its socket. Casting it aside he entered. The room inside was surrounded by various instruments and button panels that were sparking and even flaming while on the floor lay a man and a young woman. The girl looked like she had tripped and fallen backwards over the man, probably when Suzaku had struck the door, and she sat up as he entered, her feathered headband sliding off her long green hair onto the floor. She had well tanned skin and golden eyes, but her eyes had the most blank and soulless look that he had ever seen in them, and tears were still fresh on her cheeks. A flashing red light distracted his gaze from the pretty but empty face and he saw with alarm that it was a warning indicator. Snatching up both the man and the girl he dashed back out of the room and ran some distance from the cube before setting them down carefully, even though he could tell as soon as he picked him up that the man had been dead for quite some time. There was a fearful crunching and scream of metal being twisted as the box imploded on itself leaving nothing behind but gouged rock, acrid smoke, and a single crumpled door to show that it had ever been there.

Well, that was interesting, he thought to himself as he looked again at the pretty green haired girl in the red dress. She was gazing at him with adoration as she brushed her long green hair away from her face. She had the number 13374 tattooed on her left wrist and the pupils of her eyes became iridescent flowers as they met his. The flowery eyes were just a little off-putting or Suzaku would have gone into his "I just saved your life, how would you like to spend the night with me" spiel. Instead he said, "Who are you? Where did you come from? And what the hell happened with that machine?"

"I-I don't know," stammered the girl in all sincerity.

"Seriously?" said Suzaku in an exasperated tone. "You can't just forget who you are, where you came from and why, or why you're with a dead man! What kind of person just forgets those things?"

At the words "can't forget" The girl's memories of what had happened returned. She remembered Mika and her time in Locura. She remembered her name and origin, and all of the other things that Mika had allowed her to remember when he let her remember her former master, Danny Korliss, including her last minutes on the dying Locura and her master's orders, "This is my last command... Fix that DATES machine you're connected to and get out of Locura! Go find yourself a new master somewhere else. This isn't the place for you..." and the tears began to flow again.

"Thank you, master..." she said between sobs, "for ordering me to remember. My tears were all bottled up inside with no way to come out... because I couldn't remember what I had to cry for! Thank you."

Not knowing what to make of her speech Suzaku just stood there until she had finished crying and wiped her eyes. "I think I can answer your questions now, master" she said. "That machine was a Dimensional Activation Travel Entry Station, or DATES. My former master, Danny Korliss," she gently brushed her hand across the ginger colored hair of the dead man's head, wistfully identifying him as her erstwhile master "used it to travel to other dimensions with it. It was nearly destroyed on our last mission saving the people of Tarin 7. Danny sacrificed his own life to send me away from Tarin 7's destruction, to a world named Locura, while his body remained behind in the machine. He ordered me to find a new master who could 'take care of me forever', so I became attached to a man named Mika, an immortal - like I am... I was once a being that took care of a world but was imprisoned by an evil man, cursed to eternal servitude, helpless to do anything without the order of a master... but Mika was not my master for long. After only being with him for a short time the world of Locura came to a horrible end. At the last moment my master Mika ordered me to fix the DATES machine and leave Locura to find a new master. The strain on the nearly destroyed DATES machine must have been too much for the Quantum Drive. It collapsed forming a gravitational singularity. Though why the resulting black hole simply consumed the DATES machine and vanished instead of instantly evaporating with a radiation greater than that of the sun is beyond me. My name is Leeta," she indicated the tattoo on her wrist, "given to me by another master from farther back in time, Jalynn Norton, on our wedding day, though he too died and left me. You were the first to touch me on arrival here. You are now my new master," she concluded looking up at him with those flowery eyes.

Well, this was far more than he had expected from such a calm winter morning, mused Suzaku, trying to wrap his head around what the pretty green haired girl had said. He was her new master? "Just how many masters have you had?"

"I can't remember that, because one of my masters left a standing order for me to forget my past, but I can only assume that it has been a very large number," she said very sadly. "May I ask you a question, master?"

"Sure, go ahead."

"Could you tell me your name, and the name of this world?" she queried.

"My name is Suzaku, Lord Suzaku the Vermilion Bird, daimyo of the southern most realm of Yokaisekai, Minamichiku, and this world is named Triudomhan," said Suzaku. "I suppose we'd better give your previous master, Danny Korliss, a proper burial, and then... I guess I should take you to Morrigan. She's going to want to ask you more questions, especially since you were in Locura just a little while ago."

Suzaku walked over to the barren spot where the DATES machine once stood and blasted a hole in the ground with spirit energy. Then he returned to the green haired girl, Leeta, and picked up the man who had been her former master. He was a well built human in his early 40s with medium length ginger hair and well kept beard and mustache. His clothes were rather tattered from battle and his weapons belt was empty. Suzaku imagined that the man knew his way around a battlefield and the look on the dead man's face said that he had died satisfied with his actions. He placed the man in the hole and covered him with the dirt and rubble he had blasted out of the hole. The warrior had earned his rest, thought lord Suzaku as he bowed in respect.

"Please," said Leeta who had followed him, "could you order me to put a tombstone on his grave... and some flowers?"

"Alright," said Suzaku raising an eyebrow at the request. "I order you to put a tombstone on his grave and some flowers."

Leeta held her hands over the grave and the elements of the rocks came together into a beautifully decorated tombstone with Danny Korliss's name, date of birth and death in a time value that was strange to Suzaku, and a statement about the brave adventurer's heroic deeds. Then alien flowers and soft grasses sprouted all over the grave. The girl had powers that were almost fay like, thought the yokai daimyo as Leeta stood and said a brief farewell. "Were shall we go to now, master," said the girl when she finished.

"Home for now," said Suzaku taking the girl's arm in his, giving her one of his charming smiles. "Later on we will take a trip to Queen Morigan's castle. I'm sure she will be interested in you!"

As he led the girl down the mountain to his front door he wondered, just what had he gotten himself into?

----
Suzaku and Leeta entered the mountain through a side door and were met by two of Suzaku's dolls as they entered. "Greetings Master," they said in unison. "Your breakfast is waiting in the lounge as you requested." Leeta looked at the voluptuous women in maid outfits that were perhaps more decorative than useful, and saw that they were lifeless automatons. A nagging emotion in the back of her mind bothered her, almost like the time Mika had compared her to a loli, though it was obvious that her new master preferred something a bit bustier.

"Good," said Suzaku. "We will be there shortly. This is Leeta who will be staying with us. After breakfast you will find a room for her and supply all of her needs. She is the mistress of the house now, so all of the dolls will obey her commands, with the exception of commands that I have issued."

The dolls bowed to Leeta. "We are yours to command," they said in unison. Then went about their business as Suzaku took Leeta by the arm and led her to a comfortable room with a fire place, surrounded by divans and a multitude of soft pillows. In the center was a table with a platter of various dishes, some roasted meat and sliced boiled eggs, something that looked like tofu slices around some small round pieces of toast and a bowl of roasted soy beans. There was a small pot of coffee and a cup. Another doll, with the same dress and the same kind of build but a slightly different face and different hair and eye color, came in with another cup and a pair of plates. "Is there anything that you require? Would my mistress prefer a different kind of food?" she asked.

"I don't know what you would like," Suzaku said to Leeta, "so order anything you want to."

"This will be fine, if there is enough..." she looked hesitantly at Suzaku.

"Then we shall share," said Suzaku handing her a plate and dismissing the doll. He began putting food on his plate and poured coffee into the cups. "Feel free to change anything to your taste," he said to Leeta. "My taste tends towards the bitter and doesn't usually suit most people."

"Thank you," said Leeta, and he noticed that her coffee took on a creamy color as she drank it. Her powers of altering substances were quite remarkable.

Suzaku filled his stomach while he watched Leeta daintily eat from the food on her plate, each item taking on slight differences as she did so. Queen Morrigan should know about this girl right away. Perhaps he shouldn't wait until she was settled in.

"Do you have many servants and people living in your house?" asked Leeta breaking the silence. "I believe that is customary for a great lord," she added apologetically.

"I am the only one that actually lives here. I have a great many dolls to serve me, and guests come and stay here from time to time. At least once a year there are a great many guests here for the celebration beginning Summer, including the King and Queen. Other than that I live pretty much alone,"said Suzaku.

"I see..." she said.

"I'm sorry if I'm not your usual 'master' type..." he added not sure what to say. Being her master was rather awkward. Normally he was used to flirting with anything female and pretty, but the very fact that she was incapable of saying "no" to his advances put her in a category that made such advances so very wrong.

"No, I've had masters who were used to living alone before," she said. "There is no 'type' for masters."

"Perhaps you could tell me about some of them," he said picking up his coffee cup. "And please, just call me Suzaku. The dolls call me master."

Beginning with Mika in Locura, Leeta told Suzaku all about the masters she could remember, Danny Korliss the dimension traveler, Jalynn Norton the astrogator who had married her, and a number of others that Danny had questioned her about. By the time she finished Suzaku got the idea that every one of her masters had to figure out what to do with her on their own, and that whatever likes and dislikes she might have, she had to adapt herself to what they wanted (or didn't want) out of her, even if that meant changing her whole body to do it.

"Suzaku?" she asked when she was finished. "Would you prefer it if my... my body looked more like one of your dolls?"

"No," he said quickly. "There is a reason my dolls look the way they do... but they are not alive and can regret nothing. It is better that you remain as you are. You seem to be comfortable with your present form anyway, it suits you, and it is safer for you to appear younger... less available... to my guests."

Just then a couple of the dolls came in and asked if they were ready for the food to be taken away, and if the mistress was ready to see her room. Suzaku indicated for them to go ahead. As Leeta left with one of the the dolls she wondered what he meant by that last comment. Maybe she didn't want to know.

"Is my room near Suzaku's?" Leeta asked as she walked along with the doll, who pointed out various parts of the house as she went, to familiarize the newcomer with the rambling underground complex that was Lord Suzaku's home.

"Lord Suzaku's room is over there," she pointed down a hall, at the end of which was an ornate door in flaming shades of red and orange. "No one is allowed in there without permission. Your room is this way," she said turning down another hallway and stopping at the first door opening it.

As Leeta went in she saw a comfortable suite with an overly large bed, undoubtedly like many other suites in Suzaku's house. There were actually a few dresses in the closet similar to what she was wearing in various colors and textures, as well as silky undergarments, stockings, and nightgowns in the drawers, and on the night stand was a small bowl of chocolates. "Is there anything you require to make your stay more comfortable or need changed, or things you need to help pass the time? Your new shoes will be ready in an hour."

She looked around and realized that there would be little for her to do. Her master already had so many servants who attended to every need that there was nothing left for her. "Books," she said with a little sadness. "Do you have any books? It is obvious that Master Suzaku has no need of my service."

"We have a few," said the doll without any change in her lovely voice that might indicate sympathy. She was just a doll after all. "Do you wish to go pick some out?"

"Yes," said Leeta and she followed the doll out of the room.
----
Suzaku checked a small hand held computer screen for the day's security reports, something new that had been provided to the daimyo by the Security Bureau (of course that meant the Morrigan). Not much of interest, a con artist from the Capital had fled into his region, had last been seen heading into the lower West Bend area... Good luck with that, he thought. The West Benders would probably eat him alive, literally, and it would serve the fool right. He turned to world news and skimmed over it, barely paying attention, before turning the device off and putting it away. It was no use, that green haired girl was still on his mind. It was a cruel trick of fate to drop that one in his lap. At first glance she would look like a dream come true... a girl with the ability to have more forms than the celebrated Lien Hua, and likely a huge backlog of experience, with a lifespan that could easily outstrip his... someone he could actually make an emotional investment in... but no. If she had been tied to him in any other way he might have made it work, but to be absolutely obedient... even to the point of having to love him if he ordered her to... She had about as much free will as one of his dolls. It wouldn't really be love that way, he would only be using her. What's more, he would be abusing her to do it, and would never know how much damage he did because of her cursed attachment to him. No, he would have to treat her as the innocent young thing that she looked and keep his distance, for as long as they both lived. Not an easy thing to do considering her relationship to him. Well, maybe Morrigan would have something to say about that. He got out the device again and sent off a message to Morrigan about his impending visit before going to look for Leeta.
---
After a short search Suzaku found Leeta and the doll sent to escort her carrying some books back from the small library he had somehow accumulated, but never really used. "So you like to read," he commented.

"I think one of my masters must have 'encouraged' me to study in my spare time," said Leeta a bit wistfully. "There isn't much else for me to do here. Your dolls take care of every need."

He was about to ask if she didn't have a hobby or something that she liked to do for fun, but of course she wouldn't. Under the curse she would only exist to serve. It would be purely up to him to find her something to do. Unlike the dolls she couldn't exactly sit in a corner until needed. "Let's put the books away in your room for now," he said instead. "I want you to go to Queen Morrigan's house with me. She will need to see you and talk with you since you are now in her realm."

"Okay," said Leeta and she continued to walk to her room. The prospect of going somewhere with her master would have made her happy if it hadn't been for the way he said that the queen of the land wanted to see her. That part made her a little apprehensive.

As they reached her room Suzaku mentally noted the proximity to his. No doubt the dolls thought it necessary. He should have been more specific. Perhaps it was better that he could keep an eye on her though, even if the proximity did cause him discomfort. He looked around at the relative plainness of the room as they went in, like all of the other temporary rooms in his house. She should be allowed to customize it for herself if she was going to stay there... forever... and she would be since she was his slave for as long as he lived. His periodic self immolation would probably not count as any kind of death in the matter, and he wasn't sure he wanted to trust her powers to another anyway. Forever. That was far too long to keep a static relationship. Something would have to give way eventually. He kept these thoughts to himself and put a carefree smile on. Live for today, not tomorrow he reminded himself. "Leeta," he said cheerfully "feel free to change this room and your things in any way that you want to, add whatever you need in the way of decoration, clothing items, whatever you want. This is going to be your home so make yourself comfortable in it."

"Thank you master!" she said and the room immediately began to morph. The end result struck Suzaku as being remarkably fay like with it's organic lines, nature motifs, and actual plants growing very naturally in pots, not that only fays liked such things. If she was something akin to a fay Morrigan would know. Leeta put the books away and paused. "Suzaku, should I wear something special to visit the queen. I don't want to make her upset, or think badly of me..."

"The Morrigan doesn't care about a person's outward appearance," said Suzaku. "Dress however you like."

Leeta looked at the handsome man with his loose fitting brilliant red tunic fastened with an elegant belt and loose orange silk trousers that were gathered to his ankles with a band like cuff. Even though he was bare foot, with rather sharp toenails, he gave off an air of casual masculine elegance that would be acceptable for a great lord. She felt rather under dressed, and a little grubby after the past events. With her master's commanded permission she began morphing her clothing, while self cleansing since there seemed to be no time to shower. Soon she was wearing a loose silken green gown with an embroidered green velvet and gold bodice, embroidered satin slippers, and jeweled hair pins holding the edges of her long green hair back. Suzaku couldn't help but burst out laughing.

"Is something wrong with my dress?" said Leeta rather crestfallen. "I just thought..."

"No, not at all," said Suzaku taking her hand. "You look very pretty, like the jeweled colors of a bird. I think it suits you. Come, we should go now."

He lead her out to a hangar and transformed into a huge bird, somewhat resembling a phoenix, with feathers in every shade of red and orange. "Climb up on my neck and hold fast to my feathers," he told Leeta. He felt her climb up and take hold of some of his long neck feathers. Taking a few running steps off of the edge of the hangar he opened his wings in mid air and soared on the thermals rising up the mountain. As he opened his wings he felt Leeta shift and slide further down into his feathers till her thighs rested on the bare skin of his neck. He began to wish that he had added more instruction like "tuck your dress under you," or "wear some pants". With only silky panties between them nothing was left to the imagination and he had to keep reminding himself that she was off limits or he would have landed in some secluded area and seduced her. It became even worse as he crossed the edge of Shinzoko lake and the mountains of the central region as the blasts of cold air made Leeta burrow deeper into his feathers to keep warm. Unlike his dolls this girl could feel cold and pain, warmth and pleasure, perhaps even love and also betrayal, but she was still a slave, incapable of defying her master's will but very much able to feel the pain of being compelled to obey. Undoubtedly that is why her memory had been blocked, because so many had abused their power over her. He needed to be more responsible than that towards her. He needed to be the safe haven for her that her master Danny Korliss had wished.

They crossed the Sabakutani desert and scaled the heights of the mountain range that was the walls of Shiro no Morrigan, Morrigan's castle.

------in Shiro no Morrigan
Suzaku descended over the green bowl of a valley with its placid jewel like lake that always seemed to defy the seasons, and landed past the north shore of the lake, a few yards in front of a large stone throne in which sat a beautiful woman with flowing red hair, deep green eyes and a cloak of raven's feathers. He told Leeta to dismount, changing back into a young man when she did so, and lead her forward to the seated queen of Yokaisekai.

"So this is the girl you told me about, the one from Locura?" said Morrigan.

"Yes, your majesty, she is," said Suzaku. "Leeta, this is Queen Morrigan. You will answer any question she might ask you."

Leeta faced the woman she had been ordered to answer. There was a great power in that woman, a power that was at once surprisingly familiar and yet totally alien. What kind of creature was she, and why was that power so familiar to her while still being something she had never known before? Morrigan also noticed a familiar yet strange power about Leeta. It was like the great fay powers of Primavaldia, and yet very unlike.

"I am sorry about your loss, and trust that Lord Suzaku has treated you equitably considering the situation," the Queen said politely to Leeta. Leeta nodded and Morrigan continued. "Tell me all about Locura... What was it like and what happened there?"

Leeta began with her arrival, memoryless and helpless seeking a master at her previous master's command, and her attraction to Mika. She talked about the war torn, broken conditions of Zeurst and her master's connection to that city; about the strange way that time and nature behaved in Locura; about P.A.S.S., the Nasbies, and the strange battle with the insanely strong Yavol and her inability to do much of anything in it because of her master's lack of commands, but that Yavol had ultimately been overcome by the multitude of fighters and the power of dancing, through a woman named Zuegan; and afterwards, the hospital, meeting Anime and his Nobody Nimexa (along with H.A.P.I.), and repairing the broken Inn that had belonged to Tejas and the DG90. She talked about the unfortunate encounter with Tejas, who under the orders of Mika's one time friend turned enemy, Night, tried to kill Mika and how he defeated them and had her transport them to Ygalef, and how she had spent anxious time waiting while Mika went to confront Night. Then she talked about their encounter with the strange members of P.A.S.S. at Krandall-Mart, and Mika helping her to remember Danny Korliss. Finally she finished with the journey to the Temple in the Yamato Takeru Mountains, where Moira was sealed away, and the horrible end of Locura altogether while they were engaged in spying on the proceedings. Describing the horrible end of Locura left Leeta feeling rather drained and depressed.

"So, do you think it is the same Locura?" said Suzaku to Morrigan when Leeta had finished.

"It's hard to say," said Morrigan. "It sounds very much like Locura rebuilt, with a new history and such, but it could be an alternate Locura, like the alternate Earths that have come to light with the differing experiences of Father Asa, the transformer Captain, and a few others that came from 'Earth'. If it is the other part of our Locura the part about Tejas is very disappointing. I had higher hopes for him." Morrigan made a gesture and a floating copy of the world of Locura that she had known appeared. "Is this what Locura looked like?" she asked Leeta. "Can you point out various Locations that you know of?"

"Yes, that is the world I just came from," said Leeta, "but I don't know many locations... and I know nothing about these continents," she said pointing to North and South Vulpes. This is Zeurst, in the Coeur Plains, and lake Ayei here, the Mysterious Mountains and the Obi Desert, and the Yamato Takeru Mountains here," she said pointing to the locations.

"Were there ruins here?" said Morrigan pointing to a place near the lake.

"Yes, I believe there were," said Leeta. "The map in the book called them the NSider Ruins."

"The same," said Suzaku, "only this Zeurst instead of Falcon 6 Town."

"Was there an Organization XIII Cookie Cafe in Zeurst?" asked Morrigan.

"I never saw a name like that, but Zuerst is... was... a big city," said Leeta.

"Continue then," said Morrigan.

"Ranul with Ygalef and Erawrats City here in the north; Okawa in the east; and Kousen with the Narna Desert, the Badlands, the Land, and the city of Lumière to the south of North Erinaceus," said Leeta indicating the places as she mentioned them. "Then there are the Tahgla tropics, the Spiney Back Mountains, and Olyia in South Erinaceus. Here is the Greater Inselort Islands including the Beast Islands which vanished into another dimension before the end of Locura, Hreek, and Flamme which I think has something to do with a place called Paysmortellia according to the book. There is the Aeste Island Chain and the Hazlex Island Chain. That's about all I know."

"But you know that the Beast Islands went to another dimension... how? ...and what of Tejas?" said Morrigan.

"I just felt them leave, and yes Tejas and the DG90 went with them," said Leeta. "I can feel the world, it's workings, connections, nature... Locura was a difficult world and caused trouble with my senses, but yes I felt Tejas's connection with those islands as they left." She didn't say how strongly she felt the connection of the land she was in to the red haired woman in front of her. It was as if she controlled the land in a way that seemed strangely familiar.

"Extraordinary," said Morrigan dissolving the floating globe. "Leeta, what kind of creature are you? Where did you originate? And how did you become a slave?" Morrigan rose from her throne as she spoke and began to circle Leeta with fluid dance like steps as the girl answered.

"We had no name for ourselves, but others called us 'Friends'," said Leeta as if reading lines, and with no memory behind any of it, "and our world was just the World to us. We were the caretakers. It was our job to take care of the World and see to the needs of everyone and everything in it. The sorcerer Hashad Cuerl wanted our power for himself so he trapped me, one of the most powerful, in his spells and and bound me to eternal servitude, a slave. Now the power that I have can only be used by the expressed command of the one who is my master."

"A djinn?" asked Suzaku.

"No," said Morrigan stopping her dance. "She is much like the great fays of old, like Etarlam and Eadaoin the firstborn, and yet not like. Her power, if unbound, could perhaps rival a Mediator. She is much greater than a djinn, and yet far less in her present form. Under this curse she can do nothing more for herself than a weak, mortal, girl could do, less even. She can't lift a finger, or speak a word against her master. What's more the curse is strong and binding, using her own power against her, so that none can break it. Be very careful in your use of her, Suzaku, and watch over her. If she becomes too burdensome for you, give her to me. Our powers are not a good match, so I would rather that you care for her, but better a mismatch than for her to fall into the wrong hands!" Morrigan returned to her throne and sat. "I am also convinced that the Locura she came from was built from the pieces of the world we knew and that it went to destruction. Whether a new world was born from that I can't be sure, but if it did I have little hope for it. At least Tejas was not there at the end, though it seems that all my work was for naught. You may take the girl home now."

"Yes, your Majesty," said Suzaku with a bow. He walked a little ways from the throne and changed into a bird again. "Leeta, wear something more suitable for flying, like pants, and climb on to my neck," he commanded.

Leeta's beautiful dress changed into a drab brown flight suit from the early days of aviation as she approached, and then climbed onto Suzaku's brilliantly plumed neck. The flight back was rather gloomy as both were lost in unpleasant thoughts.
----
Suzaku dropped Leeta off in the hangar, briefly changing form out of habit to speak with her before leaving again. "I'm going to go on patrol," he said rather absently. "Find some things to occupy your time with. Remember the dolls are there to serve. I'll probably see you later on today, perhaps at the evening meal." Then he turned away to change and leave.

"Suzaku," said Leeta causing him to pause. "Am I a burden to you?"

What a question to ask, he thought to himself. Of course none of this was her fault. She had no choice in the matter. "A pretty little thing like you?" He flashed her one of his winning smiles. "Of course not!" he said smoothly. She smiled back at him and he transformed into a bird again taking off. The less time he spent around her, for now at least. the better. He had never thought he would have to learn self control this late in the game.

Leeta felt better after her master's reply and smile. The nagging thought that he was somehow displeased with her went away lifting her spirits. In that mood she explored her master's home, making note of all of the tasks that the dolls were performing in their upkeep of the daimyo's house. She would find her place in all of this, she thought to herself, and would eventually be able to serve her master well. It would take time to find out how to serve him best, but in the meantime she could help the dolls with their daily chores. After all, she would likely be spending many hundreds of years with Suzaku.

Hours passed and Suzaku did not return. Leeta found herself waiting eagerly for the evening meal in hopes of seeing him again as she settled down in her room to read. It was very late as Suzaku finally returned to his mountain. He had flown over his territory many times, visiting a number of districts, and even dealing with the con artist that had fled to the West Bend area, returning him to the custody of the police in the Capitol, likely saving the yokai's life in the process. The sun was beginning to set and there was nothing more for him to do. As he came in for a landing he saw some yokai coming up to the entrance. As he transformed he went to greet them. They were two Tournament fighters from Team Blackwater that often came to his house with three yokai women of obviously mixed, though not unfavorably, parentage hanging on to them, and some jugs of sake. They looked like they had already been drinking.

"Bariki, Toso!" said Suzaku. "What brings you to my house so late in the day with such lovely company?" Even with mixed parentage the women seemed way out of their league in the beauty area.

"Hey Suzaku!" said the one called Bariki, a large oni that was neither red nor blue but a sort of mottled purple like a giant bruise.

"The girls insisted on meeting you," said Toso, a rather handsome yokai except for the bluish scaled skin and shifty yellow eyes, "so we brought them here to party. We even brought one for you." He pushed a buxom blue oni girl with a cat's tail and ears towards Suzaku while hanging onto a blond with gold bird wings and a fox tail himself. The woman with Bariki had a wolf's tail and ears, but kappa markings on her smooth skin and luminous eyes.

Suzaku was delighted to have such a pleasant diversion brought to him and turned up the charm as he lead the group inside, ordering the dolls to set up the room with the fireplace and divans with food and entertainment.

It grew late and Leeta wondered why Suzaku had still not called for her or returned to his room across the hall. She put down the book she had been reading and went to out, asking the first doll that she found if the master had returned for dinner. When the doll replied that he was eating in the same room that they had eaten in previously, the Fire Room, she headed off to meet him there. Long before she came to the room she heard seductively beautiful music, but turning the corner and entering she was shocked by what she saw. The light was low, almost exclusively lit by the fire, and standing by the fire group of naked dolls was playing seductive music while one danced in a very provocative manner. To one side a horned yokai was noisily having sex with a doll while three naked yokai women were... well she couldn't exactly tell what they were doing with Lord Suzaku because the back of the divan hid most of it, but she felt a knot in the pit of her stomach. Whether it was her repressed past or seeing Suzaku like this she couldn't tell, but she felt horrible, frozen in place with panic, repulsed by what she saw.

"So Suzaku has been keeping a little something for himself," said a smooth voice behind her. "So nice, and sweet, like a little bird!" She spun around to confront the voice and saw a scaly skinned, half clad yokai leering at her. "So young too..." He backed her into the wall and caressed her shoulder. "Let's you and me go someplace private..." he whispered into her ear.

"No! Please..." she squeaked in panic.

"Toso!" said Suzaku sternly, looking over the back of the divan. "You know the rules around here. She is my guest and under my protection! Leave her alone!" The man slunk away from her and plopped on a divan. "Leeta! Go to your room and find something else to occupy your time," he ordered.

Leeta fled back to her room at her master's command and shutting the door she flung herself on her bed, crying until she fell asleep.
----
Leeta woke in the morning, still unable to leave the room because of Suzaku's command. She wondered if his "guests" were still there, but abandoned that line of thought because it made her depressed. She bathed, changed her clothes, and got breakfast from the vegetation in her room. She could always call the dolls if she needed something so her incarceration wasn't too bad, though it still bothered her. As per her orders she found various things to occupy her time, reading, sewing, tending the plants, and various other things. As the day grew late she began to wonder how long her master would keep her cooped up in her room. It occurred to her that Suzaku might have even forgotten that he ordered her to go to her room, and might not know how effectively it had imprisoned her. She rang the bell for the dolls and a blond with green eyes showed up.

"How may I serve you Mistress," said the doll with a slight bow.

"Is Suzaku still here, and is he occupied with guests?" said Leeta.

"Yes, Lord Suzaku is in the house," answered the doll, "and no, the guests from last night left this morning and no new ones have come. Lord Suzaku is not busy at present."

"Go ask Suzaku exactly how long I am to stay in this room, and if I am free to move about the house again," said Leeta. "Perhaps he has forgotten that he ordered me to come here, and I cannot leave until he allows me to do so."

"Yes Mistress," said doll with a bow. The doll turned and left the room. She went and found Lord Suzaku and asked him when Leeta would allowed to leave her room.

"Is she still there?" said Lord Suzaku incredulously. He had forgotten all about it. Now he felt rather guilty for keeping her cooped up all day for no reason, just because he forgot about a command that he'd given. He'd have to be more careful in the future.

He quickly went to Leeta's room and knocked on the door, and apologized when she opened the door. "I really didn't mean to confine you to your room like that, and I should have checked on you sooner. Have you had anything to eat?" Leeta indicated the fruit bearing plants in her room. "Then you should have a proper meal," he said taking her arm in his and leading her down the hallway. "Have a meal served to us in the Sunset Room," he said to the doll. He led her on a long walk to a room with a large bank of curved windows, like a solarium, that overlooked the outer western slopes of Suzakuyama towards the sea. This part of Suzaku's house seemed newer than the rest. In fact it had been built just a few months prior, outside the dividing wall of the mountains to view the ocean and the setting sun, along with a twin room to the east that had a view of the southern slopes of Daikazanyama and the rising sun, to keep a watch on the only other entrance to the great walled in nation of Yokaisekai, the western gate Higashimon that opened onto the Great Blue above the Pokemon Islands. The seating was comfortable, but not quite so informal and bed-like as in the Fire Room. Suzaku seated Leeta first then himself facing her with a round, inlaid stone, bistro table between them. The dolls brought food and beverages in on a cart, including a blend of foods that Suzaku and Leeta had a preference for. (They had discreetly questioned her on her likes the previous day.) The bright setting sun warmed the room without the usual glare due to the tinting in the glass. Suzaku made sure that Leeta was comfortable and her hunger slaked before he broached the uncomfortable question.

"Perhaps now you understand what I meant when I said my dolls look like they do for a reason, and that you should look less available?" he began and noticed her blush with embarrassment. So she did have feelings on the subject, feelings he could all too easily override and cause her harm. "So, last night's events were rather uncomfortable for you... especially when unexpectedly happened upon," he sighed. "I won't lie to you... this is a part of my lifestyle and will likely happen many more times, but it is not something I want you to be involved in." He gently patted her hand. "You would only get hurt. Still, I can't just be sending you to your room all the time... You should be free to go where you please..." He paused and thought for a moment. "I will order the dolls to warn you away from areas that these activities are going on in. Do you think you can discretely avoid further embarrassment that way?" Leeta nodded. "Good! I also give you a standing order, that you will be able to say no to any guest that tries to get you to do something you don't want to do, and to protect yourself from any attacks. I can't have you getting hurt just because I didn't give you an order now, can I?" He flashed her one of his smiles and she smiled back. "Now that's taken care of... Tell me, is there anything else that has been bothering you?"

"I feel like I have no purpose here," she softly answered as commanded, though under other circumstances she would have just remained silent. "It is my purpose in life to serve my master, but you need nothing that I can give. With Danny Korliss I travelled everywhere he went and he often used my talents to save people's lives,. Even with Mika, in the short time I was with him, I could give him beer and food, cure his hangovers, and give him a place to sleep, and he took me with him to various places. Here you have all of your dolls to tend to your needs. You come and go without needing anyone. I am just someone who has to be cared for and kept out of the way. If I was not what I am that might be a fine life, I don't know, but being what I am to live that way is painful. I could not be happy with it unless you ordered me to be happy, and even then I doubt that I would be truly happy."

So, keeping a distance from Leeta wasn't something that would work well, Suzaku mused. She would get all mopey and dismal, and why not? She must have a huge backlog of pain under that seal of forgetfulness. The guy that did this to her was a real bastard! "I will see what I can do about that," he said gently taking her hand in his. "I will give some thought to what you can do to be useful here to me and come up with something. I also promise to take you places when the opportunity comes up. We do have festivals, and I have social engagements where it would be appropriate to take you along, and you could meet other people too. In the mean time I will try to spend time with you. This could be our special place." Women always liked to be thought of as special, though he hadn't used this ploy in many ages since it tended to give the idea of a long lasting relationship. That wouldn't be a lie in this case because like it or not Leeta would be with him for a very long time, just not in the kind of relationship that he would have preferred. "Hardly anyone ever comes here and we could be alone together, to talk about things and such. Will that help some?" he said with a smile.

"Y-yes, of course," said Leeta smiling back, her eyes getting all flowery.

Bingo! Thought Suzaku. His idea had worked. It would be difficult incorporating Leeta into his life without trying to seduce her, but he just might be able to do it!
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