/sim/ - simulacrum

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File: 1634403508389-0.jpg (149.37 KB, 1280x533, Sanctuary City (Night) - 2.jpg)

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File: 1634403508389-4.jpg (1.28 MB, 1275x1800, Chase - 12.jpg)


>Date: September 15th, 2017
>Time: 3:00 AM
>Location: Harris Household

>Dim lights from inside of the derelict suburban home appear to pulse warmly, contrasting with the pitch black expanse in the night sky. A series of MRD hovercraft surround the premises, with duct tape serving as a barrier between the house and the larger neighborhood.

>Various MRD officials run through the crime scene, using analysis tools to acquire information, taking pictures and interrogating nearby civilians. In the middle of the scene is Commander Harrison, the new leader of the MRD Sanctuary City division. Successor to Commander Phoenix, Harrison takes out a pack of gum and begins chewing.

>The heavy downpour of rain creates a bright shine in his hair - threading through several strands as water trickles down below. Feeling the glide of his boots against the ground, he then hears squeaky sounds as the water leaves puddles.


>Walking towards the interior of the house, he slowly moves past the living room and makes his way towards the blood soaked kitchen. The body of Ms. Harris has already been placed into a bag as he makes his way to his boss.

>Director McIntyre, the successor to Director Grayson, crosses his arms as he carefully analyzes the scene. Sunglasses obscuring his eyes, he then looks back at Harrison, noting his arrival.

"Notice the coincidences yet, Ryan?"

>Ryan looks around, making a note of the unmoved furniture.

"No forced entry. Perpetrator was inside the house already?"

"Yes and no. Look more closely."

>Narrowing his eyes, Ryan leans down and looks at the position of the body bag. Looking back at the kitchen exterior and then back at the body again, he says:

"…..Wait a minute. Miss Harris was standing here right? Assuming she saw the attacker, she would've started running."

>The Director nods.

"….Chase, the guy wasn't even confused. Whoever they were, they knew exactly how to get in here, didn't they? She didn't even have enough time…."

"…..To react, no. The trajectory of the blood is consistent with heavy pressure - and the uniformity of the blood splatter is consistent with a targeted attack."

>Silence for a moment from both of them.



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File: 1634404362986-1.jpg (86.07 KB, 900x720, MRD - 5.jpg)

File: 1634404362986-2.jpg (48.38 KB, 801x475, Sanctuary City (Night) - 4.jpg)

File: 1634404362986-3.gif (716.98 KB, 500x250, Ryan - 9.gif)

File: 1634404362986-4.jpg (360.88 KB, 587x798, Chase - 9.jpg)

>Ryan looks down at the blood splatter again as a pair of MRD officers walk through the hallway, examining pictures and taking scans of the floor and ceiling.

>He then looks back at Chase as he scratches his cheek instinctively.

"So what? The guy had a bone to pick with her? Teleported in and killed her, then got out?"

>Chase shakes his head as he holds up a set of papers in his hands.

"Miss Harris didn't have any major outstanding debts - outside of her mortgage on the house. Already called the bank to confirm that she was making monthly payments."

>Ryan raises an eyebrow.

"Then what-"

>Chase interjects.

"She didn't have any under-the-table dealings either. No underground activity. No illicit business. Nothing. She's completely clean. This wasn't pre-meditated, at least not by any person."

>Ryan then walks around the kitchen, eyeing the direction of the blood splatter and thinking carefully.

"Then what's the point? Who'd kill her? She has no record like you said, and was just doing her job."

>Handing the papers to a nearby MRD officer, Chase then adjusts his gloves, speaking with a resigned tone.

"It's not her. It's her son. Sying. Investigative affairs says he's an off and on programmer. Had a few jobs, but nothing stable."

>Seeing Ryan about to speak up, Chase narrows his eyes.

"No he didn't kill her. Their life insurance policy obviously wouldn't cover it, and it'd be too easy to prove it was him. He didn't seem to be on bad terms with her either. It was something else that was connected to him."


>After a few more minutes of discussion, Chase and Ryan walk out of the house - through the front door as more MRD agents survey the scene. Hair now becoming wet again, Ryan sighs and brushes it out with his hand.

"So now what? Go round up the kid and interrogate him? He's obviously a person of interest either way."

>Chase closes his eyes for a moment, thinking. Irritated, Ryan then asks him again.

"Hey, boss. What's the plan?"

>Chase then opens his eyes looking at Ryan and saying:

"I didn't want to say this within earshot of the others. The perpetrator's a psychic monster. Not a human, or even a Meta-Human."

"What?! Then you have to go stop it!"

"Not me. Considering what we're up against, I already know someone who's wanting a fight - and this monster's probably the perfect catch."


>Chase rubs his eyelids as he says:

"My damn brother-in-law."


File: 1634405262206-0.gif (1.31 MB, 1024x576, Anachronon Base.gif)

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File: 1634405262206-3.jpg (720.58 KB, 1144x2367, Phantom - 4.jpg)

File: 1634405262206-4.jpeg (172.67 KB, 850x1203, Cynthia.jpeg)

>Location: Anachronon Base
>Time: 4:00 AM [Relative]

>The interior of the magitek lab whirs with a faint sound - metallic gears grinding and shearing against solid steel. Machinery, big and small, continues to cut, melt, solder and construct large electronic circuitboards - as well as other apparatus.

>A woman with light blue hair lays on top of a table - covered in electronic parts and equipment. The scene appears reminiscent of a reanimation procedure - with a series of glowing substances moving through wires connected to her skin.

>Surveying the large table, a man in an advanced magitek outfit watches closely; his armored appearance complimented by an interwoven hood and mask - also fitted with advanced circuitry. The man, Chimera stands at attention, watching over the woman carefully.

"Is the restoration mana working, Phantom?"

>Beside him, a woman in a similarly advanced magitek suit, hood and mask holds a datapad. Phantom, Chimera's recon and intelligence officer, carefully looks over a 3 dimensional holographic overlay of the woman on the table. Her vital signs being shown in red and green lights.

"Yes sir. The regenerative properties of the mana infusion appear to be reactivating her neural network. Axon and Dendrite reformation is working, along with retrograde neural path reconstruction."

>Chimera nods approvingly at Phantom as he turns his attention back towards the woman.

"Good, so she'll be able to recollect her past memories within a few minutes. Activate the machine, and let's see how useful to us she can be."

>Phantom hesitates for a moment.

"…..Sir, are you absolutely certain? She could immediately attack us in a panic. Her last memory was death."

"I'm aware. If she attempts to fight, I'll restrain her with the nanites you injected into her body."

>Phantom nods and then makes a flicking gesture with her gloved finger - activating the restoration system of the magitek apparatus. Glowing lights begin to surround the blue haired woman as the magitek wires detach from her skin - allowing her to revive fully.


File: 1634406714605.jpg (28.28 KB, 599x337, Cynthia - 5.jpg)

>Cynthia's eyes suddenly open, darting around wildly as her bodily functions are still turning back on. She looks straight up, her pupils dilating in the light while the blood brings the color back in her face.

>Now aware of her own consciousness, Cynthia lets out a scream - panicking as she realizes she's in an unfamiliar place. With surprising ease, she rolls off the side of the table - quickly picking herself up to her feet.

>The woman stares at Chimera and Phantom - her vision somewhat blurred as her body continues adjusting back to being in working condition.

"M-Monsters! Get away!"

>Immediately a pair of whip-like waves of pressurized water snap out from Cynthia's palms - slicing through the floor like butter.


File: 1634407251479-0.jpg (84.47 KB, 728x410, NuChimera - 16.jpg)

File: 1634407251479-1.jpg (453.04 KB, 819x1458, Phantom - 3.jpg)

File: 1634407251479-2.jpg (565.73 KB, 1920x1200, Anachronon Garage.jpg)

>Chimera looks at Phantom, who nods and disappears - fading into nothingness with her cloaking technology.

"Calm down, you nearly died, and I saved you from the warehouse."

>Chimera says, lying somewhat in order to gain trust with Cynthia.

>He then quickly moves to avoid the pressurized water whips, weaving in between the slashes as he jumps forward, landing in front of her.

"I'm not here to punish you for anything. I'm just here to help you."

>A bit of truth to his words, Chimera's intentionality can be heard in his voice as puts his hand to his chest.

"You obviously know who I am if you've watched any TV lately. But what you've heard is likely incorrect. I saved you, and kept you alive for a few hours - just enough to repair the damage you sustained to your lungs."

>Feeling the uneasiness between then subside somewhat, Chimera then holds up his hands to his chest - easing Cynthia into his words.

"All I need to know is what you saw before you blacked out for a few hours. Who were you fighting? What did they look like?"

>Chimera waits for a response from Cynthia, refusing to move or attack in order to prove his point.


File: 1634407883172.jpg (31.84 KB, 350x495, Cynthia - 8.jpg)

>Water forms underneath Cynthia's feet, causing her to glide back from Chimera a few feet. Her vision begins clearing up, as her body finally finishes adjusting to life again.

"I prefer keeping my distance from strange men in costumes."

>Now leaning back against the table somewhat, Cynthia asks:

"Where am I? This isn't a hospital. And why do you care anyway?"

>Cynthia's eyes narrow, feeling suspicion despite Marek's attempts to avoid appearing hostile.


File: 1634408453717.jpg (315.06 KB, 758x968, NuChimera.jpg)

>Because the person who did this to you is still out there, and he's being guided by someone who doesn't want to be found.

>Shaking his head, Chimera states:

"I don't expect you to understand, but I do know that you owe your life to me and my crew."

>Chimera then opens his hand, producing an image of a gruesome and foreboding scene. Cynthia is submerged in water as Chimera and the Anachronons surround her, picking her up.

"I was bending the truth a little. We found you dead in the water and without any physiological activity. We could've left you there and tried to find the perpetrator ourselves - but you had potential."

>Dispersing the image, Chimera lowers his hand as he says:

"So we took you in, and we revived you. Because we have the power to do that."

>Silent for a moment, Chimera then presses onward.

"We could offer you much more, financially speaking, if you tell me what I need to know, and you stay here and help us. You're already presumed dead back home, and your revival would cause far more questions than answers."

>Seeing some indecision in Cynthia's eyes, Chimera sees his opportunity.

"Not to mention the various mercenary groups who might have a bone to pick with you - after what you inadvertently did, correct?"


File: 1634408968627.jpg (386.89 KB, 2160x3840, Cynthia - 3.jpg)

>Arms crossed, Cynthia turns her head away as Chimera gets rid of the image.

"I don't owe you anything, Frankenstein."

>Her eyes twitch slightly, as she thinks hard about Chimera's offer. After a minute of silence, she finally says:

"Fine. Whatever. It's better than having to shack up with nasty assholes who think they're hot shit."

>Looking at Chimera again, she says:

"It was some kid with dark hair. He was angry because I apparently got his dad killed. There. Happy? Or do you need more, despite apparently having footage recorded from earlier?"


File: 1634410064786-0.jpg (84.47 KB, 728x410, NuChimera - 16.jpg)

File: 1634410064786-1.gif (893.84 KB, 540x250, Marek - 13.gif)

File: 1634410064786-2.jpg (565.73 KB, 1920x1200, Anachronon Garage.jpg)

File: 1634410064786-3.jpg (720.58 KB, 1144x2367, Phantom - 4.jpg)

>Chimera blinks for a moment, before he then puts a hand to his mask and removes it - revealing his face beneath.

"The man you killed was part of the Harris family. Recently migrated to Sanctuary City from abroad. Not that I expect you to understand or care - given your reckless abandon for human life."

>Closing his eyes for a moment, Marek then opens them, revealing his crimson red eyes to Cynthia.

"We were scouting you as a potential candidate for the Anachronons, and that little stunt you pulled was sloppy. So you can say it was your screwup that made you even more valuable."

>Putting his mask back on, Chimera says:

"If you're wondering why we're after the guy - it's not him. It's what's talking to him. You wouldn't understand."

>Chimera then turns around and starts walking away.

"If you're aware of who I am, then you'll know better than to test your luck. You'll get a down payment of a few hundred million thanks to our latest operation in Africa."

>Chimera then gestures with his hand to the nearby hangar of the laboratory.

"If you do better, we'll give you more money, and more power. But you work for us now."


>Now walking out of the room, Chimera watches as Phantom materializes beside him again.

"So can we trust her?"

>Phantom inquires as Chimera looks out at the windows beside the hallway.

"We can trust her to act in her self interest. But she knows who I am now, so that will make her think twice before defecting. But for a more important matter, I'm aware of who the perpetrator is. It was Sying Harris."

>Phantom blinks from behind her magitek mask.

"…..The son of the man she killed? Why?"

>Chimera looks down at the glowing and pulsating ring on his finger - one of ten rings.

"As I said before, psionic energy. There are ebbs and flows that I feel across the plane, and they always seem to appear in Sanctuary City for the briefest of moments. Now I know why. The monster's talking to him - possibly manipulating him. But now that I know where to look."

>Chimera waves Phantom off to her duties as he says under his breath.

"…..Now I can finally crush it."


File: 1637703568922-0.jpg (565.73 KB, 1920x1200, Anachronon Garage.jpg)

File: 1637703568922-1.jpg (84.47 KB, 728x410, NuChimera - 16.jpg)

File: 1637703568922-2.jpg (72.46 KB, 1024x729, Nu!Fugue - 8.jpg)

File: 1637703568922-3.jpg (240.25 KB, 1920x1080, Magitek Chest.jpg)

File: 1637703568922-4.jpg (176.21 KB, 900x900, Circuit Board.jpg)

>Location: Anachronon Foundry

>Mechanical whirring sounds fill the stale air of Fugue's workshop, while sparks fly across the metallic walls. Shuttered and barred, the walls of the large workshop insulate against heat and natural sunlight - instead lit by an artificial light.

"Have you finished it yet? The siphon?"

>Chimera walks into the workshop, placing his hand on the nearby desk - filled with glowing magitek circuitry. Steadying his hand, he then looks up at Fugue, working in his signature bright armor. His voice being modulated in a manner similar to his commander's, Fugue then speaks.

"You know it's a lot harder to make a siphon for psionic energy than you'd think."

>Muttering to himself, Fugue spins a magitek wrench in his hand, watching as the extended protrusions of the device begin to weld complex nano-circuitry. Potentially trillions of small transistors appear soldered onto a central component board, as the techno-magic genius continues his work.

"I'm a programmer, Marek - not an engineer."

"You're a smart designer, regardless of the interface. I told you to stop selling yourself short, Jakob."

>Scowling behind his helmet, Fugue then continues working for a few minutes at his large workbench. Multicolor sparks continue flying for a few more moments, until he finally stops.

"There. About damn time."

>Standing up, Fugue tosses a large metallic device from his hand - behind him and into Chimera's outstretched hand. Catching the device with grace, Chimera then states:

"Inductive psychic circuits. You actually found a use for them."

>Chimera nods at Fugue.

"Good job."

>Fugue crosses his arms and gestures with his helmet towards the metallic device.

"It's a magitek siphon, so you'll need a mana battery cell to charge it. I don't know how you materialize psychic beings, but you do your magic and make him tangible. Once that's happened-"

>Chimera interjects:

"I should be able to absorb his essence with the siphon, and disperse it back into the Astral Plane."

>Fugue nods and then turns around, starting to pick up his machinery with his hands.

"What's even the point of this? The dude is another glorified mental bug. He's not worth your time."

>Chimera takes the pole like siphon and de-materializes it with magical energy.

"No, he's not. But the man he's using - is."


File: 1637705489181-0.png (1.45 MB, 1440x600, Sanctuary City - 12.png)

File: 1637705489181-1.jpg (263.54 KB, 850x1475, Sying.jpg)

File: 1637705489181-2.jpg (59.43 KB, 600x849, Rigel - 5.jpg)

>Date: September 16th, 2017
>Time: 2:00 PM
>Location: Sanctuary City

>Massive purple psychic chains erupt from Sying's hands - rapidly converging on, and constricting a vaguely humanoid hooded figure. The chains constrict it's body completely, preventing it from moving at all.

>Sying lets out a sigh, and then grabs a hold of one of the chains wrapped around the creature's chest. Looking into it's deep, black eyes he says:

"It's over."

>The psychic pulls on the chain and then lets go - causing it to constrict even more tightly around it's prey. It keeps squeezing tighter and tighter, until finally the entity and the chains explode into a purple, dusty cloud of energy.

>The energy is absorbed into Sying's body through his hands, vanishing completely. Finished, he turns around - stepping through a transparent membrane-like surface and back into the normal world.

>Now walking down the street, Sying places his hands in his pockets, keeping his head low.

"…They're becoming more frequent…"

>Rigel, unbeknownst to anyone else walks alongside Sying. He eyes his companion, and replies:

"It's a snowball effect. The longer they're here the more they attract others like them. And so on."

>The pair turn a corner, and continue walking. Passing by a couple of smaller businesses. Sying looks to the sky, still keeping his head relatively low as he asks:

"So… why haven't any of those vigilantes noticed them?"

>Rigel's shoulders jerk slightly, with him performing the closest thing to a shrug that a wolf can.

"Who can say? Maybe they're just not on the right wavelink."



File: 1637705871558-0.png (1.85 MB, 1280x1198, NuChimera - 8.png)

File: 1637705871558-1.jpg (149.26 KB, 590x300, Mana Particles - 2.jpg)

>As Sying and his psychic compatriot continue walking, a faint hue of light appears around them - seemingly unbeknownst to the average person.

"So this is what a parasite looks like."

>Behind Sying and Rigel, the hooded figure of Chimera appears standing, crossing his arms as he stares at Rigel with his cold, metallic visor hiding his face.

"You're free to make a scene if you want. The perception filter won't break from a psionic attack."

>Chimera then continues staring at Rigel, as more regular people walk around him - completely unbothered by the scene.

"Well have you told him then? What you did to his mother?"

>Faint mana particles appear around Chimera - seemingly a result of his illusion casting and perceptive filter, as it warps the minds of those around them.

"Or should I tell him just how terrible of a friend you are?"


File: 1637706614399-0.jpg (245.87 KB, 640x640, Barriers.jpg)

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>A barrier forms up around Sying and Rigel, made up of energy, chains of runes flow through it, looking like branches of a tree.

"Why don't you start with you being an idiot?"

>A young girl steps out of the shadows, standing between Chimera and the pair. Her clothes look completely put of place for the city, looking more like robes, the linings of them etched with similar chains of runes. A small white dagger hangs on her belt, and her raven hair barely reaches her shoulder.

"My name is Ceridwen Myfi Prydwen, Last Guardian of the Rift of Gwalchmei, and if you want them, you'll have to go through me first."


File: 1637707022688-0.jpg (315.06 KB, 758x968, NuChimera.jpg)

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File: 1637707022688-2.jpg (156.72 KB, 600x338, Force Field.jpg)

>Blinking at the young girl for a moment, Chimera shakes his head, stating:

"And as usual, an impediment shows up at the most inopportune time. How convenient."

>Walking past Ceridwen, Chimera then states:

"And let the psychic trash remain? Need I mention what they did, in the name of their own continued subsistence?"

>Reaching his hand out, Chimera feels a mana discharge burn into his hand. Wincing slightly, he pulls his hand back, thinking:

{"The brat's runes are stronger than I expected. I might have to…."}

>Looking at the rings on his fingers, he then thinks:

{"No. They're not worth the effort."}

>Mana still tracing from his hand, Chimera turns around and looks at Ceridwen, irritated.

"So what exactly is your problem? I'm not going to fight a kid, it's beneath me. But I'm not going to let you get in my way either. So out with it."

>Chimera points at Rigel specifically:

"This animalistic trash needs to be dispersed. It's a psychic monster."


File: 1637707292173-0.jpg (328.34 KB, 1200x1200, Rigel - 14.jpg)

File: 1637707292173-1.jpg (147.4 KB, 850x765, Sying - 7.jpg)

>Confused, Sying's eyes dart back and forth between the armored man and the young girl.

"Rigel, what the hell is happening here!? And what was that guy talking about?"

"Nothing Sying. Ignore it. These magician types lose their screws and get confused easily."

"…Magician types?"

>Rigel rolls his eyes.

"It's nothing"


File: 1637707624463.png (704.8 KB, 648x1590, Female_Marc_FE13_Artwork.png)

"If this fight is below you, you can just leave, those trinkets you have won't help much anyway."

>Ceridwen stands firm, bringing her right hand forward.

"But if you insist on trying to destroy this creature, I will just best you and return him to where he belongs, as I intend to if you step aside."


File: 1637707985167-0.png (1.3 MB, 791x989, NuChimera - 2.png)

>Staring at the magician for a moment, Chimera then sighs in annoyance.

"Any and all blood from the creature is on your hands. Regardless of how some pre-teen thinks they can boss me around - I'd rather not step all over the mess you're about to make for yourself."

>Looking at Sying once more, Chimera then says:

"The creature you're with murdered your mom, and is trying to use you to regain its strength. I can smell the desperation on him from here."

>Pointing at Rigel, Chimera then states:

"When the teenager inevitably fails to contain you, I will come back, and I will atomize you."

>Chimera then turns around and looks at Ceridwen once more.

"….You're just some kid. How could you possess any real power? Whatever. Your blood, as I said."


File: 1637708660060.jpg (108.35 KB, 596x811, 4221178b3a0781cc0efa6a32b4….jpg)

"Proper study of the forces you use as a simple battery. . ."

>Ceridwen lowers her voice so Sying and Rigel can't hear her for a moment.

"Marek Grayson."

>With a click of her fingers, Ceridwen brings her hand back down, the markings on it pulsing with light for a moment.

"Your rings should work again, if you try them, even if I disagree with the choice to let you keep them. . ."

>Ceridwen sighs

"They're cheap mana anyway I guess. . . Now. . ."

>She turns to the barrier.

"Let's get you back to where you belong, far away from anywhere that you can cause harm. . ."


File: 1637709078607-0.jpg (57.52 KB, 1280x720, NuChimera - 18.jpg)

>Chimera reflexively pulls his hand into a fist as he looks down at his rings.

"Arrogant little….."

>Closing his eyes for a moment behind his mask, he then opens them.

"You're her understudy aren't you? No backwater magician on this planet could even attempt what you just did."

>Looking back at Sying, Chimera says:

"I'm not finished with you yet. Once the beast is gone, I'll tell you why I took up your case."

>Crossing his arms, Chimera then nods at Ceridwen:

"Alright then kid. Fix the issue and get it over with."


File: 1637709929838-0.jpg (101.86 KB, 850x613, Sying - 13.jpg)

File: 1637709929838-1.jpg (215.13 KB, 800x1070, Rigel - 2.jpg)

File: 1637709929838-2.jpg (137.38 KB, 892x1200, Rigel - 4.jpg)

>Slowly, Sying turns to face the wolfish figure.

"….R-Rigel? Is what that man said true?"

>Rigel stares at Chimera and Ceridwen in silence. He thinks through his options, before stepping through the transparent membrane and into the same layer as Sying. Staring at him, he says:

"Sorry kid, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I'm sure you'll understand."


>Before Sying can react Rigel leaps onto Sying, sinking his razor-sharp teeth into his throat.


>Rigel tears the flesh from Sying's throat, swallowing it as it changes into psychic energy.

"Well I was hoping to get back to full strength first. But at least you've got enough power to break me out of this shell."

>Sying's body quickly converts into psychic energy, as Rigel rips into it quicker and quicker - causing his entire form to become enveloped in a bright, purple glow.

>The sounds of bones crackling and flesh shifting can be heard, as Rigel says out loud:

"Well I suppose I should thank you both."

>The crackling and shifting noises stop.

"I can stretch my legs sooner than planned, thanks to you. Even if it's not under the most desireable circumstances."

>As the light begins dying down, the glowing silhouette of a human-shaped figure begins to become visible. The figure can be seen stretching in place, getting used to their new appearance.

>As the light finally fades, a man stands in place of the wolf. Sporting blue eyes, neck length blonde hair and a somewhat slim but muscular build. Smirking, he lets out a sigh and says:

"Well, cat's out of the bag now. Time for me to go."

>Rigel clenches his fist and slams it into the edge of Ceridwen's barrier - immediately cracking it.

"You magicians and your damn wards."

>Rigel continues exerting more force onto the barrier, before finally causing it to break apart - freeing him.


File: 1637710257347-0.png (68.83 KB, 774x1032, NuChimera - 5.png)

File: 1637710257347-1.jpg (112.4 KB, 600x600, Magic Rune.jpg)

File: 1637710257347-2.jpg (64.21 KB, 600x439, Energy Binding.jpg)

>Chimera holds his hand out, instinctively.

"Wait, no! Get away from him!"

>Then after the energy absorption occurs, Chimera lowers his hand in resignation. As quickly as his frustration subsides, anger takes its place.

>Looking at Ceridwen for a moment, Chimera then says:

"If you really are as powerful as I think you are, now's your time to prove it."

>Chimera holds out his hand, generating a glowing red rune and a large number of glowing red energy tentacles - ensnaring Rigel whole.

>He then looks at Ceridwen quickly and says:

"Banishment incantation or soul entrapment. If you actually plan to remove him, I would suggest that you begin that - now."


File: 1637710566662.png (929.7 KB, 1684x1920, c039f69f98880f7fa51941ee64….png)

>Ceridwen looks at the remains of her barrier as it falls apart, her face falling.

"That's not right, the wards should have kept you suppressed even if you took someone else's energy. . ."

>She looks between Marek and the new form of Rigel.

"Banishment and soul entrapment wouldn't work here, he's protected. . ."

>She looks down at Sying and then back at Rigel.

"Who. . . What are you really?"

>As she finishes she looks down at Sying again.


File: 1637710940828.jpg (646.26 KB, 960x1200, Rigel.jpg)

>Now restricted, Rigel lets out a chuckle.

"Tentacles? Really? You magician types have the strangest interests, you know?"

>Rigel watches Ceri's eyes, as they dart between him and Sying.

"Sorry, kid. His soul is mine now. You can't bring him back."

"As for your question? Well… to be honest I'm not entirely sure myself. My memory is hazy, you see. I don't remember much before a couple weeks ago."

>Rigel smiles.

"But. I'm sure something will jog my memory sooner or later."


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>Chimera narrows his eyes behind his mask for a moment. The familiarity of Rigel's structure, mannerisms and even voice begins to form a thought in his mind.

"….That voice……Those features….No…."

>Shaking his head, Chimera then says in bewilderment:

"……You remind me of someone I know, and partially loathe. A bit brutish, lacking in manners and general impulse control."

>Tightening the energy bands around Rigel, Chimera then says:

"And now I'm more than a bit concerned, that you're some aspect of him. Deviation. Variation. Possibly even an alter ego. I can't take the risk Thompson. Whatever you are."

>Looking at Ceridwen, Chimera says:

"Call the Sorceress, now!"


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"Thompson? Oh. You mean the simpleton who flies around in a metal suit. Yes. I suppose I do resemble him, don't I?"

>Rigel continues to smile, now flexing back against the tentacles, causing them to loosen their grip slightly.

"You seem like an interesting man to have a chat with. But it won't be long until our metal clad friend notices me. And whoever this sorceress is I'm sure is no picnic either."

>Rigel begins pushing harder against Marek's snares, causing them to slowly begin cracking like stone. Glowing psychic energy seeps out of the cracks, as the amount of force Rigel generates continues to grow.


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>Ceridwen looks down at the body again, then to Rigel, and to Marek once again, then back at Rigel.

"No, even with safeguards, you'd need time to properly bring him into yourself, which means I can pull him out. . ."

>Ceridwen brings her marked hand up.

"-and if you're going to just run either way, I'm going to make you pay for that."

>The mark on Ceridwen's hand lights up, and a single band of white light flies out, shooting towards Rigel. Instead of connecting with him as Chimera's ones did, however, this one flies straight into his body, and the girl keeps her hand steady as if holding a rope out for someone to grab.

"I know you're in there. . ."

>She pauses for a moment as she tries to recall what the "wolf" had called him

". . .Sying! If you want to live, grab on to the light. . . Chimera!"

>The girl quickly turns her head to Chimera, taking out the dagger on her hip as she does, holding it in her free hand.

"I need you to keep him there or keep him distracted, I won't be able to do this properly if he's attacking me - or at all if he just leaves!"


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>Having nearly broken through his constraints, Rigel lets out a grunt.

"I don't appreciate you invading my body like this, little girl."

>Creaking metal snaps and rips apart, as several cars now begin raising into the air behind Ceridwen - stripping apart and taking on thinner, jagged spike-like forms.

"Let's see how good you are at multi-tasking."

>Without another word the metal spikes are hurled down towards Ceridwen, intended to impale her.


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>Straining slightly, Chimera detaches his hand from the rune as the glowing red constructs remain around Rigel's body.

"This better work. Sying deserves that much from us."

>Chimera focuses on the blood red ring on his finger, a member of the set of ten. The ring then glows with a radiant red light as a maelstrom of energy exerts itself on Rigel.

"Binding you is the best bet."

>An omnidirectional wave of force, accentuated with fractal red lights immediately bears on Rigel's body, pressurizing the air and seemingly evaporating the psychic energy as well.

"Imperium serves me again. Always my preferred ring."

>Noticing Rigel beginning to strain somewhat against the force of the red lights, Chimera then explains.

"You have two choices. Either you continue focusing your efforts on stopping the girl's attack - or focus on me. I will warn you though."

>Chimera makes a closing motion with his hand into a fist, as the red light increases in luminosity - exacerbating the intensity of his attack.

"The dimension I summoned to you is energy deficient - and you're plentiful in nutrients for it."

>In his mind, Chimera thinks:

{Whatever he is, he's far more powerful than Azrael was. The draining effect won't last for more than a few minutes, but that should buy the Ceridwen girl enough time."}

>Then to Ceridwen he says out loud:

"He's preoccupied, I'm assured of that. Extract Sying now!"

>Chimera barely registers the formation of the metallic projectiles, his extra-sensory perception at work.

{"What would I have done without these rings, I swear."}

>With his other hand stretched out, Chimera turns around, now facing sideways between the metallic spikes and Rigel himself. Muttering a quick incantation, Chimera then generates a series of small red sparks from his hands as the metallic spikes are transmuted into flowers.

>He then once again looks back at Ceridwen.

"Stay focused. I'll protect you."


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>Rigel groans, as a silvery transparent substence begins exiting his body, pulled along by the girl's bands of light.

>The substance slowly begins pulling away from the bands, before finally breaking free - quickly flying back and into Sying's body. Moments pass, with nothing happening. Then suddenly, the color returns to Sying's skin, and he begins breathing again.

>Annoyed, Rigel lets out a pained chuckle and says:

"Look at that. You did it. Congratulations. You might want to take care of the damage to his body though. He'll die soon with those wounds I left him."

"Now… enough of this."

>The ground suddenly quakes, and then cracks beneath Rigel's feet - shattering the pavement. An extreme wave of force begins pushing back against the glowing red restraints.

>More force is generated, creating miniature shockwave after shockwave pushing back against Marek's spell. In an instant the spell's effect shatters, as Rigel is freed.

>He rubs his neck, and then stretches his arms, feeling relieved.

"Ugh. Finally. So much for conserving energy. I better get this over with quickly."

>An intense ringing noise can be heard in Chimera and Ceridwen's heads, loud and intense enough to cause extreme pain. An invisible force forces them to the ground and onto their knees.

"My turn."


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>With a sigh of relief, Ceridwen's whole body slumps slightly, some of the colour drained from her.

"Never. . . done. . . that. . . before. . . very draining. . ."

>With a groan, she lifts her arm up again and sweeps across, forming another shield.

"That won't hold for long. . . need help to capture him or scare him off. . ."

>Looking at everything, the girl sighs.

"Fine. . . I'll ask. . . Ste. . ."

>She stops herself.

"No, I need to make sure she's listening. . . I hate this. . ."

"Mum! I know you keep tabs on me, we need your help!"


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>Without warning the ground rumbles, as a white hot beam of magical power rips through the air - violently rumbling as it slams into Rigel.

>His body is immediately flung back, catching fire as it tumbles across the ground - slamming into a light pole and causing it to snap in half.

"What… the hell?"

>With his hold on the pair broken, Rigel shakily picks himself off the ground. He creates a gust of wind, putting out the flames engulfing his body just in time to take notice of the new arrival.

>Stephanie holds Ceridwen's hand, helping her back to her feet. Looking concerned, she says:

"Ceri… You know you don't have to call me that."

>Not looking in his direction, Stephanie states:

"Marek. Keep him busy for a moment while I take care of my girl here and that man bleeding out on the floor. You seem like you're itching for a fight anyway."


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>Chimera stares at Ceridwen for a moment in shock:

"…..Mum? I thought you were just her understudy-"

>Witnessing the display of power from the woman, Chimera mutters to himself:

"….Still as powerful as ever, Sorceress."

>Out loud, he then states:

"I don't follow your orders, and I don't need a reason to fight him."

>Looking back at Rigel, Chimera then briefly forms his hands into fists, still staring at the figure.

"She's right though, I am looking for a fight now."

>Chimera then emanates faint particles of mana from the exhaust ports of his armor. Pressure builds around him as all ten of his rings begin shimmering brightly.

>With a moment's notice, he then rushes forward - striking Rigel with enough force to knock him up into the air. Chimera then launches after him, taking flight and begging to strike Rigel with a series of rapid fire strikes. As his hands channel magical energy, Chimera beings striking pressure points at Rigel's body.

{"Should probably move him from the city as well."}

>Creating a large portal behind Rigel, Chimera then punches him through it - with himself following through.


>The portal sends Chimera and Rigel into a rocky and mountainous region - in the Midwest of the United States.

>Chimera then slams Rigel down into the rocky ground below with an overhead strike - both hands crackling with magical energies.

>After the dust settles, Chimera remains hovering in the air, stating:

"I know you're still able to fight. So before the Sorceress gets here and erases you from existence - tell me what exactly you are. I know you're not Thompson - you're too ruthless to be him. So what are you?"


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"It got your attention though. . ."

>Ceridwen groans as she's helped back up.

"I need to heal the man. . ."


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>Stephanie nods at Ceri.


>Rigel coughs out a chuckle, pulling himself out of the rock and soil debris. His bruised body begins healing itself, as he wipes the dust from his clothes.

"You people really are daft. I've brought up my foggy memory what? One, two times already? And yet you keep asking me questions."

>The man lets out a sigh.

"Very well. I'll humor you by telling you what I do know."

>Rigel crosses his arms, as he thinks out loud.

"Now… how do I put this? Hmmm…"

>After a few moments of being lost in thought, Rigel finally speaks up again and says:

"I am a being that has existed for a long, long time. How long exactly is a mystery to me. But what I do know, is that I had a life before this. One that I can sometimes see flashes of."

>Looking back at Chimera, he adds:

"Until recently I was trapped as well. Being held in a state of stasis by a group of pesky spirits. Your little friend's accent leads me to believe she might know a thing or two about them."

"Anyway, to round back to the question. Maybe I am him. Maybe I'm not. I am what I am."

>Rigel clears his throat, uncrossing his arms.

"Now, with the story done I think it's about time I left. That sorceress is just glowing with all kinds of nasty energies. And I'd rather not be on the receiving end of them again."

>Rigel holds his palm forward, causing the light to ripple as a powerful wave of force blasts towards Chimera. Before anything else can happen Rigel's body quickly begins dematerializing into a quickly vanishing stream of psionic energy, allowing him to escape.


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>Seeing the attack, Chimera immediately makes a swiping motion with his hand, generating a counter force of energy to disrupt the wave.

"…..I would've appreciated an actual fight then."

>Silent for a moment, Chimera sighs and then teleports back to Sanctuary City.


>Appearing back where Ceridwen and Crepido are, Chimera then looks down at Sying for a moment, before saying:

"…..He needs help. Psychological evaluation and economic stability."

>He then taps the side of his mask, bringing up a contact on his own personal H.U.D. as well.

"…..My sister will have to handle this."

>Looking at Crepido and Ceridwen for a moment, he then crosses his arms and states:

"….I only did this for him. His father died as a result of a woman's actions…….and his mother did as well, shortly after meeting this 'Rigel'."

>Turning to the side, Chimera crosses his arms and continues.

"Speaking of whom, the man is your problem now, not mine. Since I wasn't able to destroy him in his weakened state."

>He then stops talking, arms still crossed and looking away from the sorcerers.


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>Ceridwen lowers herself down by Sying's head, placing a hand on it and holding it as energy transfers from her to him.

"I could remove his memories, then secrecy is maintained and he won't need counselling. I could even implant a fake memory to explain any money going to him."

>The girl keeps her hand steady, the wounds across Sying's body knitting themselves closed as she does.

"And that creature wasn't a weakened form, it was a prison for the more powerful creature inside, I was going to take it back to where it was meant to be kept."


File: 1637784607227.png (274.56 KB, 353x549, Steph477.png)

"You've done a good job today Ceri. I'm proud of you."

>Stephanie looks towards Chimera, and says:

"Ceri can continue looking into it if she wants, since she already knows some useful information. And I'll ask my brother to help, since this all relates to the Astral Plane."

>She places her hands on her hips.

"I'd help but there's a lot going on at the moment, so I'm having to split my attention and focus it elsewhere. I'm sure you understand."

>Crepido looks down at Sying, as his body is finally fully healed. She looks back at Marek, and then waves her hand in the air. Nothing visibly seems to happen.

"I just created a ward. He won't be able to step foot on the Earth again without someone noticing."

>She looks down at Sying's unconscious body once again, before looking back at Chimera.

"What were you doing here anyway? Just helping or were you hoping to get another recruit as well?"


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>Chimera sighs and keeps his arms crossed as he states:

"I still could've weakened him. That much should be apparent now."

>Silent for a moment, Chimera looks at Crepido then states:

"….As I said before, I felt sympathy for the boy due to the death of his parents. The hydrokinetic Meta-Human I was looking to recruit - she had a history of collateral damage. She's capable, but also reckless - and one of her miniature tsunamis killed the boy's father. Then Rigel manipulated him and killed his mother to push him over the edge."

>Staring at Ceridwen with an expression of discontent and concern on his face, he then says:

"You would go so far as to remove his memories. I would expect this of myself, but not of a child."

>Chimera then thinks to himself:

{"….She may have a reason for this cold behavior. Possibly her past. It doesn't matter, my job is done here."}

>Looking back up at Crepido, Chimera then responds to her.

"This is your brother's responsibility first and foremost. I'm aware of his power, and that echo from Rigel felt too similar. But don't ask him to go alone. My cousin would be wise to help him - seeing as he appears to be the strategically gifted of the two."

>Thinking for another moment, Chimera then says:

"…..You don't need to make inquiries into my situation either. You also don't need to pretend that you care. I have my deal with you, on your terms."


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"You'd be surprised by how much I care about things. Now, you're free. Go back home. It'd do you good to live like a normal person for a bit."

>Stephanie turns towards Ceridwen and Sying, and says:

"Ceri. You and I can get this man's living situation fixed while he sleeps. Then I'll treat you to something, if you'd like."


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>Surprised, Chimera then quickly shakes off his startled response and regains his composure.

"….Right. Then I'll leave you be. I appreciate the assistance."

>Chimera then turns around and makes a gesture with his hands, slowly creating another portal as he disappears into it - teleporting himself away as the portal closes behind him immediately.


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"I don't need treats like a child. . ."

>Ceridwen twists her hand as she manipulates Sying's memories.

"And I only called for help because he had a way of resisting my magic, the wards were perfect, they should have kept him bound like that creature the red-haired one keeps around. I could have handled this otherwise."

"I don't trust that man either, glorified trinkets or not, he shouldn't have the rings, they should be disenchanted and dispersed."

". . .and the man's soul didn't feel right, when I pulled it out of Rigel, completely different from what the library described, I think the book is inaccurate."


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>Stephanie puts her hand on Ceridwen's back, and says:

"Adult or child, I'll get you a treat anyway."

>She watches as Marek has finally left, before turning to look at Ceri once more.

"As for everything else? I've left it up to a friend of mine whether or not Marek should keep those rings. You can talk to him if you disagree with letting Marek keep them."

>Remotely, Stephanie lifts Sying's body into the air and off the hard ground.

"Just remember Ceri. Sometimes things don't always go as planned. Which is why a lot of magic involves thinking on your feet. Keep your mind open and try to learn things outside your normal field of expertise."


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"I know that, this wasn't that. Rigel. . ."

>Ceridwen puts Sying's head down.

". . .defies expectation, I don't know what, but he seemed far older than anything, like he didn't even belong here, it wasn't just simple wards that he was using to keep the magic away, it was like it just didn't match him."

"And I don't need a treat, I failed, even if I did prevent that idiot from just letting him be released."


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>Crepido lets out a sigh.

"You're too hard on yourself sometimes. But alright. I'll make sure Sying here has a place to go home to."

"You're free to look more into this if you'd like. Just let me know if you run into trouble again. I'll be there in a moment's notice. No matter what name you call me by."


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>A portal rips open in the space near the pair. Crepido's eyes narrow slightly, and she thinks:

{"I should consider getting more involved later."}

>Looking at Ceridwen one more time, she says:

"See you soon, Ceri."

>Crepido steps through the portal remotely hovering Sying's body from behind. Once through the portal closes, leaving Ceridwen to do as she pleases.

[To be continued]

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