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Most users ever online was 29 on October 1st 2013, 12:09 am


    Neurasthenia

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    Bad John
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    Lowdown.

    Post  Bad John on March 28th 2013, 12:37 am

    C'mon, THINK. There has to be SOMETHING I can do. SOMETHING. Nine felt a painful lump in his throat, accompanying the cacophony of pain and anger already burning his body to the ground. I got them into this, I HAVE to help her!

    "...You wanna play the hostage game? Fine. Let's do that. While in your ship, I planted a salvo mine in the front section of the ship."

    C'mon. It's a bluff, but it HAS to work. Ash was giving him a serious look, willing to listen, apparently.

    "You saw how I activated the last bomb and nearly blew your damn head off. If I activate that bomb NOW, your metal armed quarter jawed lieutenant DIES. It'll take about thirty seconds." Nine grinned confidently, his good eye faking a look of fiery determination and confidence.

    "So, you believe you're in control? Do it. His death matters not." Ash growled, slowly walking with the girl in his claws. "What a weak bluff. You've lost your touch."

    "...Goddamn you." Nine shifted, his gaze following the girl. "Have you no SHAME?"

    "You'll come with me, or the girl will die. You. Green haired one. You will walk away now. I'll release the girl when the human takes her place.

    Bounty's look of desperation and rage seemed to ebb. Any chance to save her sister was her top priority.

    Nine dropped his gun. Bounty felt a cold chill of grim responsibility for his fate. This boy was sacrificing his life for her sister.

    "...Boy, her life is precious to me. There are not enough words to thank you. But you must consider yourself."

    Nine ignored the whisper of warning from Bounty.

    "Ash, I'm going to say this to you just ONCE."

    Ash's ears pirked up. Life whimpered, and the Promethean tightened his grip. "Quiet."

    That little gesture made Nine forget himself. "STOP THAT! DON'T YOU FUCKING THREATEN HER!"

    Ash and Bounty were taken aback by the sudden bark.

    "You're SO FUCKING PROUD of being a Forerunner. 'ANCIENT BADASS CIVILIZATION. BUILT MASSIVE WEAPON RINGS. Big fucking deal!" Nine's fists balled as he shouted at Ash, a trickle of blood falling from his left eye, his right producing a blue spark that accentuated his rage.

    "Let me ask you, how are you ANY better than us if you're willing to put your hand on a helpless girl's throat?! Your species doesn't mean SHIT when you're that low." Nine took a step towards Ash.

    Nine felt a hand rest on his shoulder. The heat of his anger seemed to apparate from his body. The hand brushed it away.

    "Health. See to him."

    Another woman brushed past him, approaching the Promethean, standing between him and the wounded Spartan. "I will speak on your behalf, boy." Peace stood before Ash, her chin up and her feet square, her robe dragging the grass.

    "Aside woman."

    Peace looked him in the eye.

    "You don't deserve the Mantle. You never did. You're weak, petty, and cruel. You won't get the boy. You won't hurt my sister. You will LEAVE."

    Nine heard himself through her. His anger had been stolen from him, sharpened into elegant, softened commands. A strange, mental judo, stealing his emotional momentum.

    "You grew so tall in your esteem for your killing prowess. Your leader bent the mantle into a paper thin excuse for genocide."

    Ash glared at Peace, his orange facial mask betraying no emotion.

    "A true warrior MAINTAINS HONOR. The boy may have died fighting you to defend that girl. Not beholden to her by anything but sheer compassion. The moment YOUR life, or YOUR objectives were put on the line, you took the cheap, easy way out. You're a BULLY, hiding behind a veil of courage and philosophy that even YOU don't believe anymore. Do you have any illusion that you're not a villain?"

    "Stop..."

    Ash released the girl, clutching his forehead.

    Peace's words plagued him. They pried at his deepest insecurities.

    Worst of all, unbeknownst to him, Peace was simply attacking his mind. She vowed never to do so unless the circumstance was truly dire, but it was her responsibility to fight now harder than ever.

    "The boy meant to ask you, so now, I'll put to you the question. Will you turn away from the Didact? Will you help him stop the endless fighting and bloodshed?"

    Nine outright heard his own voice now. It was as if she were simply stealing words from his mind. Pulling them from his mouth and projecting them.

    "Will you work with the humans to finally put an end to a war than neither of us understand anymore? There's NO REASON to fight. We CAN get along. We CAN be team-mates if you just stop attacking and give us a chance."

    Peace turned back to Nine. He was a grim sight, blood leaking from and into his only good eye, dents, scrapes, and outright missing pieces of his armor.

    "He would do the same for you."

    Ash looked towards Nine.

    Peace's eyes raised in surprise, as a thought, a memory, escaped the safest, darkest corners of Ash's mind. Peace only had time to thumb through it, but it gave him a cold chill.

    Before she could explore it further, Ash took one step forward.

    "The human comes with me." Ash growled. "This is between the two of us, but you have my word, I'll answer that question." Ash stepped forward. "You, however, die here."

    Life was a safe distance, but Ash didn't care. Lifting his hand, a bolt shot formed between his fingers. He aimed at Peace.

    "No. It's as I said, actually." Peace waved her hand, a small, smooth artifact in the fold of her palm.

    Teleportation Override.

    "WHAT?!" Ash felt his armor begin a long distance phase shift.

    In an instant, he was gone.

    Bounty, clutching her spear, finally lowered the weapon, standing upright. "Is he gone?"

    Peace smiled. "Yes. It's over." She wiped her nose, blood leaking onto her sleeve. "I seem to have overexerted myself..."

    "...Four of you."

    The Caretakers turned to inspect him. Health tried to hold him up by his shoulder, but he shrugged her off.

    "Four people...weird hair, weird eyes, weird powers"

    Health gasped. Life clutched Bounty's hand.

    Even Peace was taken aback.

    He knows the Horsemen.

    "Nah...must-a-be-a weird coincide-"

    With a heavy thud, Nine fell face flat on the soil, his eyes finally shutting. Health immediately rushed to his aid.
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    Manny
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    Re: Neurasthenia

    Post  Manny on March 28th 2013, 3:05 pm

    Bad John wrote:
    "Ash, I'm going to say this to you just ONCE."

    Ash's ears pirked up. Life whimpered, and the Promethean tightened his grip. "Quiet."

    That little gesture made Nine forget himself. "STOP THAT! DON'T YOU FUCKING THREATEN HER!"
    In the depths of my soul... I secretly cheered.

    There's a little good in all of us I guess.
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    Bad John
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    Re: Neurasthenia

    Post  Bad John on March 28th 2013, 3:52 pm

    Manny wrote:
    Bad John wrote:
    "Ash, I'm going to say this to you just ONCE."

    Ash's ears pirked up. Life whimpered, and the Promethean tightened his grip. "Quiet."

    That little gesture made Nine forget himself. "STOP THAT! DON'T YOU FUCKING THREATEN HER!"
    In the depths of my soul... I secretly cheered.

    There's a little good in all of us I guess.

    Huh? I don't get your meaning.

    Life whimpered, Ash got annoyed, tightened his grip and told her to be quiet, and Nine got super-pissed. Seems pretty in character for all of 'em.
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    Manny
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    Re: Neurasthenia

    Post  Manny on March 28th 2013, 4:08 pm

    Bad John wrote:
    Manny wrote:
    Bad John wrote:
    "Ash, I'm going to say this to you just ONCE."

    Ash's ears pirked up. Life whimpered, and the Promethean tightened his grip. "Quiet."

    That little gesture made Nine forget himself. "STOP THAT! DON'T YOU FUCKING THREATEN HER!"
    In the depths of my soul... I secretly cheered.

    There's a little good in all of us I guess.

    Huh? I don't get your meaning.

    Life whimpered, Ash got annoyed, tightened his grip and told her to be quiet, and Nine got super-pissed. Seems pretty in character for all of 'em.
    I'm a pretty cynical person, but seeing that act of courage spurred by compassion made me smile a little. Even if it was fictional.
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    Bad John
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    Re: Neurasthenia

    Post  Bad John on March 28th 2013, 4:13 pm

    Manny wrote:
    Bad John wrote:
    Manny wrote:
    Bad John wrote:
    "Ash, I'm going to say this to you just ONCE."

    Ash's ears pirked up. Life whimpered, and the Promethean tightened his grip. "Quiet."

    That little gesture made Nine forget himself. "STOP THAT! DON'T YOU FUCKING THREATEN HER!"
    In the depths of my soul... I secretly cheered.

    There's a little good in all of us I guess.

    Huh? I don't get your meaning.

    Life whimpered, Ash got annoyed, tightened his grip and told her to be quiet, and Nine got super-pissed. Seems pretty in character for all of 'em.
    I'm a pretty cynical person, but seeing that act of courage spurred by compassion made me smile a little. Even if it was fictional.
    Ah. Fair enough. Thanks!
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    Bad John
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    Re: Neurasthenia

    Post  Bad John on April 18th 2013, 12:33 am

    Bounty entered the small, earthen house with her game on her strong shoulder. The felled creature, roughly similar to an elk, dripped blood lightly onto her wrist as she lowered it to the floor. Life had prepared a fire and a spit to roast it.

    "This'll keep our guest fed. When he wakes up anyway." Bounty turned to the shreds of the strange combat skin the man had been wearing. The helmet was hung on the wall.

    Life didn't look up at Bounty. Bounty, however, regarded Life with the utmost attention and care.

    "I'm sorry. I know you don't like it when we have meat, so I got you something." Bounty crouched beside her sister, offering her a handful of berries. Life clutched them and popped them into her mouth, one by one.

    Comfort food.

    Bounty noticed Life's eyes. Glassy, red, and still wet with tears. She'd been crying.

    "I'm sorry. I should have never let that monster touch you." Bounty rubbed Life's neck gently, and drew her in for a hug.

    "It wasn't your fault."

    Peace entered slowly, her hands in her long, white sleeves. "That Promethean brought trouble on us. You did your best."

    "So did the boy." Bounty grumbled. "I threatened to kill him, and he still protected Life. He protected ME." Bounty was sincerely humbled by the person's kindness. "How is he?"

    Health entered, her eyes tired. She'd worked long into the night, studying him.

    "We've made some...interesting developments, but he lives. He may have survived even without my help."

    Bounty raised her brow. "First, he wears armor that nearly triples his weight, next, he falls from orbit and still stands to fight, and you're telling me he would have recovered on his own?" Bounty blew a raspberry at the thought, laughing. "You're losing your touch. No human is that strong."

    "He is. And his armor is superb. It seems to live as a part of him. His neural network has been stimulated. His bones and muscles are dense and hard. In his prim, he must be almost as fast and strong as you, Bounty."

    Bounty's interest was piqued.

    "And his armor, in IT'S prime, boosts that strength, and that speed, and his natural reflexes."

    "Is he a soldier?"

    Peace nodded. "I read his mind. He's a remarkable fighter. He has been tried by fire since he was a boy."

    "...So, humans are more warlike?" Bounty sat cross-legged. Peace sat beside her to answer.

    "No. He is a special breed, bread in a time of desperate war." Peace seemed to regret the words as she spoke them. "Humanity was at war with the Client Species. Sangheili, Jiralhanae, Unggoy, Mgalekgolo...although some were missing, many of the sentient species from long ago still live, preserved. But they turned on humanity."

    Bounty nodded, trying to understand.

    "The boy was an orphan. He and his colleagues were taken by their government, and trained."

    Life nodded. "He grew up with hate and fear and jealousy, trained to be a warrior."

    "Yet he went out of his way to protect Life." Bounty interjected. "Why?"

    "Because he's remarkable." Peace stated. "He and his colleagues believe in the Mantle more than they know."

    Peace's voice and expression changed, as she remembered that she was obliged to share news that was...unsatisfactory.

    "Is something wrong?" Bounty asked.

    Health sat on a log across the fire from Bounty.

    "The Brothers live. They've taken on a different form, but all four were present in his memories."

    Bounty chuckled. "Let them come. I'll handle all four this time if they dare." Bounty cracked her knuckles.

    "Their different form also implies a loss of their original memories." Health noted. "They don't know to come for us."

    "And War...despite his disposition, is doing what he can to defend humanity." Peace noted. "Killing him would destabilize his empire."

    "EMPIRE." Bounty scoffed. "That FOOL has an EMPIRE? AGAIN?!"

    Health nodded.

    "And what of Famine?" Bounty was most curious of the shapeshifter. "I owe him a bite for the bite he gave me."

    "The Famine we once knew is all but gone. The noble hunter is now a volatile, angry predator." Peace shook her head in shame. "He's powerful, too. The man faced him quite a few times in battle."

    "...What of this MAN? Does he have a name?"

    "I decided not to probe that far into his mind. I only took things I needed." Peace sat back, resting. "But, there are things about him that we should discuss."

    "Such as?"

    Health, having made the discovery, stepped forward to speak her mind. "His genetic makeup suggests that he's a part of an ancient project."

    "Ancient? Relative to humans or Forerunners?" Bounty scratched her head.

    Life looked up in recognition. "Project Delphia?"

    Health nodded. "Yes. You're a smart cookie, Life."

    Bounty shrugged her shoulders. "Alright. Tell us about it."
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    Manny
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    Re: Neurasthenia

    Post  Manny on April 19th 2013, 12:50 am

    I'm going to assume Project Delphia is something that was talked about in Spartan Ops.

    Other than that, this seems pretty interesting.
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    Bad John
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    Re: Neurasthenia

    Post  Bad John on April 19th 2013, 6:11 am

    Nope. Delphia is all original content.

    It's cliche, but I had it planned for a while, and I'd rather not turn back on it now.Razz
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    Manny
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    Re: Neurasthenia

    Post  Manny on April 19th 2013, 12:44 pm

    Oh?

    I wonder how his Geas will play into this...

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