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View Full Version : Leoncio (Azure) vs Katrina (Devour)



Azure
04-27-2017, 11:37 AM
So, this battle has ended in a forfeit for Devour. Anyways, here's my side.



“Our greatest glory is not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall.”
-Confucius

-----

Leo looked down at his palms with empty eyes. So much had changed, yet still, somehow, he couldn't clean them. His heart was still chained. Everything he’d done, everything he’d learned… none of it had freed him of his troubles. He was still a burden.

He was still a monster.

The sudden sting to his cheek woke him from his reverie. He looked up, Kizu meeting his eyes with an annoyed glare. “Don't look like that.”

Leo put a false grin on his face. “Look like what? I was just thinking a bit, I didn't think I had any weird look.” Kizu’s eyes didn't waver however; just as her spear, they easily pierced through his heart. The smile broke.

“That’s the same look,” Kizu said, crouching to his level. “It’s the same look Manny gets. You both think too much.”

“Maybe you think too little-” Leo retorted as a blade pressed to his throat. He gulped, a trickle of blood pouring down from where the tip pressed into his skin.

“And you both forget your place,” Kizu says calmly. Pulling away her weapon, she stands up. “The difference is, you can actually die.”

Leo rubs his neck, the blood smearing his neck and searing into his nostrils. “So I figured. Just because Manny went to do whatever, don't take your frustrations out on me. I've got enough lady troubles as is.” Standing himself, he made his way out of the base the Night Creatures called home. The living doll had made him feel even more claustrophobic; fresh air, that would clear his head.

Kicking open the door of the top level, he looked out to the sky, his ears drooping in disappointment. The skies were blanketed with angry grey clouds, lightning filling them with an angry and ominous glow in different patches. It seemed a storm was approaching. It matched his mood. He glanced towards the city. Would there be anything there to take his mind off of things? Maybe. At least there was a chance.

-----

Leo glanced more at the woman calling herself his sister. It was impossible to see any resemblance, though, the mask obscuring her face was the main cause. The smooth white article bore four slats, two on either side, that likely were meant to allow her to see. Between them, a blood-red third eye was painted, and there was a playful cat mouth at the bottom. For some reason, the central eye bothered him the most; despite being paint, it seemed to draw one’s vision into itself. Her deep violet hair had ear-like protrusions at the top, but the way they were shaped, so flawlessly melded with her hair, they couldn’t have been real.

”You know you can ask me questions if you like,” Bastet’s phone spoke in that mechanical voice. ”I’m sure there is much you’d like to know.”

Leo remained silent. Sharon came into the room a moment later, holding several mugs of tea. She sat one down before the two, before sitting down herself, sipping at her own mug. It was the only sound in the room. It offered a touch of relief, and Leo found his voice.

“How…” Leo’s mind had some trouble forming the words. “How… do I know you’re really my sister?”

”A silly question,” Bastet’s fingers danced along the screen. It seemed she was rather adept at using the phone to speak. ”However, I’ll answer. We can both feel it in our blood. Our blood calls out to each other, seeks one another.” Bastet’s mask tilted towards him slightly. He knew she was looking directly at him. He shivered.

“All my blood, my body is telling me is that you’re dangerous. Too dangerous.”

”An expected reaction. After all, we’re meant to kill one another.” Sharon spat out her tea, slamming her mug on the table. More tea sloshed about, further expanding the puddles that had formed.

“Whoa!” she shouted. “You never told me anything like that! First, I find out I’m dating your brother, and now you’re saying you’re supposed to kill each other? What the hell, Basty?” Bastet holds up her hand to stop her, the other picking up her own mug of tea.

”Calm down, Sharon. I don’t plan to do anything. I’m simply stating facts; we’re meant to kill each other. It is programmed into our very DNA; our species seeks to ensure the survival of the strongest of a brood in order to ensure stronger generations. Since… Leo… is at the stage of adulthood, it’s activated within his own blood. So long as we’re around each other, we can gauge the strength of one another and will naturally seek to destroy the other.”

“Except,” Leo says, finally taking his own tea as well. “You’re different. After all, I could tell immediately that I’m no match for you. That means you should be able to feel you can kill me without a problem. And yet here I am, still alive.” Leo rests his hand on Sharon’s. He could feel her trying to hide her trembling. He was sure she could feel him doing the same. “So, why is it that I’m still alive?”

”Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.” The laughter from the phone was so fake it was almost comical. Nobody could really laugh, however. Bastet continued, typing with one hand whilst carefully sipping her tea with the other. Somehow, she managed to keep the features of her face obscured during. ”You see, while it’s true that we’re supposed to seek to kill one another, that’s only under normal circumstances. The two of us, however, were defective. My body was born strange, and you, you weren’t meant to be born.”

Leo’s grip on Sharon’s hand tightened when he heard the next words. Sharon simply covered her mouth.

”That’s why, brother, I killed our mother while you were still inside of her.” The silence became deafening as blood rushed to Leo’s head. Things were clicking into place; his repressed memories that had been unlocked starting streaming before his eyes as Bastet continued. ”While I wasn’t able to kill her from my first attack, I had weakened her considerably. She was getting past the age of fertility; you were sapping a good deal of her strength. Father attacked me, but I was of the manipulation breed; my blood was a weapon, alongside strengthening me. I easily killed him, as he underestimated me too much. Once he stopped moving, I simply needed to finish mother off. That’s when you happened. From within her, your self-defense instincts seemed to kick in. You ripped her open yourself.”

“...are you saying.” Leo didn’t want to hear it. He didn’t want to acknowledge it. He couldn’t. It was too much.

”Yes.” Behind her mask, Bastet smiled a simple smile. ”We killed our parents, and I’m the one who brought you here. I decided to see whether you had the will to live or not. Now that you’ve grown, know, we’ve a much worse enemy out there. The one who was meant to live, the strongest of us: our eldest brother, Hyachuk Enel Law. And if he were to find out where we are, he’d have no problems razing this world from existence.”

-----

Leo blinked as he looked around. Where exactly had he wandered to? So lost in his thoughts, he now stood beside some coffee shop. “The Morning Grind” it was called. Just some hole-in-the-wall shop, not even properly in the view of the street. It looked like it may have been a family-owned place, small and cozy without trying to make too much of a presence for itself. It had its place, and it didn’t feel like overstepping its bounds. A drop of water hit Leo’s shoulder. The rain had come. He brought his hand to the door.

More rain poured. It was blood as it fell from him.

He pulled his hand away. Just as he turned away, he crashed into someone, the pair falling over with him on top. “Owowow, so sorry about that. I wasn’t paying attention-” As he spoke, he pushed himself up, his hand feeling something soft. Firm, yet squishy. Blinking, he looked down at the person he was still atop of.

A young lady, though, likely older than him, was on the ground beneath him. Dressed in a button up white shirt with a black tie and a jacket, there was an air of professionalism and sophistication about her, marred only by barely visible scars and her wild black hair that was slowly getting wetter and wetter. As Leo’s eyes locked with her emerald green ones, she spoke clearly and with a slight hint of annoyance.

“If you keep your hand there much longer, I’m gonna either have to charge you or relieve you of it.” Leo glanced down, and noted that what he had felt was indeed the woman’s right breast. His mind processed this for a moment, before he pushed himself upwards, careful not to cause any harm.

“Sorry, sorry, sorry! That was totally by mistake!” Leo could feel his cheeks burning red with embarrassment. It was certainly lucky that Sharon wasn’t around; she’d have certainly smacked him silly.

“Saying you’re sorry doesn’t have much weight after groping me for almost two minutes straight, kid.” The woman, despite the situation, seemed rather unphased by the entire situation. Glancing up at the clouds, she looked behind him. “Are they closed or something?”

“Um, I don’t think so?”

“Then let’s go in. You’re buying for me.” Before Leo could say anything, she made a groping motion with her hand. He bowed his head, defeated. “That’s what I thought.” Leading the way, the woman entered the shop, Leo in tow behind her.

At the counter, a plucky young lad with a playful dragon tattoo up his right arm and a cheery disposition asked them for their orders. Leo glanced over the menu, nothing immediately appealing to him.

“Double shot vanilla bean mocha macchiato, splash of cinnamon with soy milk please. And some coffee cake.” The young clerk eagerly typed away at the order, then looked expectantly to Leo.

“Um… I'll take a small coffee with almond milk?” The enthusiasm quickly left the young man’s face as he entered the order. Leo felt a crushing defeat for some reason. This was only increased when he heard the price.

“That’ll be thirty-two fifty-six please.” Leo coughed up the money, feeling close to tears as he took the number and found a place to sit. The woman sat across from him at the small table he’d chosen.

“You don't have to sit by me,” Leo said with a huff. “I'm not planning to cancel your order or anything, I've a bit more honor than that.”

“I know. I also know I can sit wherever I please. Got a complaint?” Those eyes of hers saw through him. He remained quiet and looked out the shop window into the rain. There weren't many people around, just a few guests here and there in the small shop. Aside from the boy at the counter, there only looked to be two other employees. A television droned on about the economy and how things used to be in the corner.

Leo glanced at his companion. She too stared wistfully into the rain.

“Do you believe in fate?” Leo asks.

“I believe in a lot of things, but fate isn't one of them.”

“...” Leo looks down at his hand. It looked small, and bloody. “...do you believe in second chances?”

The woman is silent. Leo is silent as well. The clerk is not. “Order for Mr. Cardozo?”

Leo heads to grab the order. When he returns to the table, he noted that the air around the woman had changed somewhat. It was colder. He needed to lighten the mood a bit.

“So, I still haven’t heard your name yet.”

“Katrina. My name’s Katrina.” She takes her drink and coffee cake, taking a small bite of the square. She chews it slowly, as though trying to focus on the flavor. It was obvious that she was just as distracted as he was.

“I’m Leo.” His reply felt too brief. He needed to say more. “It’s short for Leoncio. It’s a bit of a strange name around here, so I typically just go by Leo.”

“It’s not the strangest I’ve heard,” Katrina said softly, as though it were simply a passing thought. Before Leo could speak up, she continues. “How do you all do it? How do you handle living somewhere so small? There’s so much out there, and you’re all caged here. Doesn’t it drive you mad?”

“Well, it’s a pretty big world. Even if it’s getting overpopulated, I wouldn’t say it’s all that cramped yet. I’m just a small person on it after all.” He took a sip of his coffee; even with the almond milk, it was still rather bitter. It wasn’t bad though; the beans were fresh, and it tasted as though they were ground by hand. It was a taste of love and effort.

“Such an old way of thinking,” Katrina said. “There’s an entire universe to explore, planets and species all around to learn and interact with. And yet you all are content just existing on this small planet, in this small solar system. Don’t you ever feel like you’re missing something?” She took a sip from her drink, focusing on Leo now. It seemed like she was searching for something. Leo gave it some thought.

“No matter how you look at it, people are only as small as their experiences. When all you know is your home, then you are mighty. When you leave and see the neighborhood around you, you realize how much smaller you’ve become, and how much larger your world has become. And as you explore and learn more and more, so too, does your understanding of the world around you expand, and you feel smaller.” Leo meets Katrina’s gaze, the next words brimming with a strange power. “One only feels caged when their world is forced to shrink; it is when it is allowed to grow that we feel freedom.”

Katrina sat down her drink. She rolled the words around in her head, molding them, stretching and squishing them. She ran them around, over and over again. There was a truth to what he was saying. In her eyes, these people were nothing but caged birds, ignorant of the vast freedoms of space. But, perhaps the issue wasn’t with them. In ignorance, there was bliss. One only felt caged if they understood there was more available.

For them, they already had the freedom of their time. It was her who was caged. She was the one whose world had shrunken; it was because she was trapped here that everything had begun to spiral out of control. A sad smile appeared on her face as she hung her head down.

“How is it that you know exactly what I’m feeling?”

“Because,” Leo said as he took another sip of his coffee, turning back to the rain. “I’m not much different. I’ve been learning too much, lately. You could say I’m confused, and broken, and inside, I’m like this rain. But even so, I understand that after the rain comes the sun. After the storm, there is a rainbow.”

“That’s so cheesy I’m surprised you can stomach it with your coffee.” Katrina laughed a bit, but the sound was hollow. Inside, she was still trying to work things out. “...I took an innocent life recently. Well, he wasn’t totally innocent, but I didn’t need kill him. I knew he couldn’t do anything to me if I’d just focused on defense. But he was just so damn perfect… it was as though he was the antithesis of me; when I looked at him, I saw every flaw in my life, every flaw about myself. When he attacked me, it was as though I was staring right into my own darkness.” Her hand shook slightly as she spoke. She didn’t know why she was telling this man all of this. Perhaps it was the sense of a kindred spirit in him? Her instincts had never guided her wrong on these types of matters. “I guess, I wanted to destroy him to hide my own inferiorities. I wanted to feel better about myself. But when I did, all I could feel was despair. I took away a light in this world because I’ve been feeling miserable.”

“One should not be happy or distressed over desirables and undesirables, knowing that such feelings are just created by the mind.” Leo holds up his hand. “That saying comes from a swami of my faith. Though my style of devotion differs from theirs, I still find solace in their wisdom.” Within his palm, a small orb-like projection forms. “Strength, weakness, light, dark. Everything exists because its opposite exists. There is never a time we’ve not existed, and there will never be a time we don’t exist. We simply play through the roles we’ve been given, for better or for worse. The journey is discovering just what that role is.” The orb fades, and Leo drops his hand. “Over the years, I’ve done a lot of things. Some I regret, some I don’t. Things I wish I could forget, moments I’m sad I can no longer recall. I just learned, in fact, that I had a hand in killing my own mother.”

Katrina’s eyes widen, though her lips remain shut.

“I’m not saying I condone what you’ve done, but I’m no better myself. In the end, we’re all slaves to our wills. We act as we’re meant to act, not necessarily how we feel we should. Maybe that’s fate, maybe that’s moving down your own path. When it comes to it, it’s a matter of perspective. Faith has decided my answer. What’s yours?”

“...” Katrina sighs. “I don’t know yet. I don’t care too much for religion; if there were a God, they’d have to be a rather sick fuck to allow some of the suffering I’ve experienced, and countless others. But those who devote themselves to something, I respect that. It’s not easy to give your life so willingly to something you can’t really prove.” She crushes her cup in hand and throws it to the trash. It goes through effortlessly. “And it’s not like you’re not saying some nice things there. For a relic, you’ve been pretty helpful.”

“Pretty sure I’m younger than you,” Leo says tauntingly. “I’m eighteen after all.”

“Yeah, well, I was born around ten-thousand years from now. To me, you’re ancient history.”

Leo shrugs. “If time travel shocked me, considering some of the things I’ve seen, then I wouldn’t have reached this stage of enlightenment. But I’ve gotta thank you, Katrina. Though I was mostly answering questions for you, a lot of what I said, I guess I needed to tell myself, too. I’ve been feeling rather broken up lately. My head has been all over the place.” Katrina plucks him in the forehead. “Oi! What was that for?”

“Saying stupid obvious things,” she said. “Anyways, it looks like we both got things off our chests. Consider your debt for groping mine even.” Leo blushes angrily.

“The expensive drink and coffee cake weren’t enough?”

“Try to keep your cool, gramps. In case you didn’t notice, we’re surrounded at the moment.” She calmly spun her finger around in a circle on the table. “Judging by how they’re acting, they’re after me, not you. Didn’t think anyone was that stupid, but what can I say about a bunch of primitives, huh?”

Leo huffed. “Well, seems the rain is messing with my nose. You wanna wait for them to make a move?” He calmly tapped his finger on the table, relaxing his body.

“This isn’t exactly your fight.”

“That’s why I didn’t ask that.”

“You’re a cheeky bastard, you know that?” Katrina rose from her seat, glancing towards the counter. “Hey, kid. Thanks for the coffee. You’re gonna want to duck in the back now. I don’t want you getting caught in the crossfire.” The coffee attendant blinked, confusion evident upon his face. That confusion vanished immediately when Katrina pulled out her gun.

“Thankyouforyourpatronage!” he says in a single breath, hightailing it out of there. The rest of the patrons immediately flee as well, some having their phones already out to dial the police. Katrina simply smirks as Leo holds the side of his head.

“I get the strangest feeling you enjoyed that a lot more than you should have…” Before he could say another word, the room flooded with men in black suits and shades. Heavily armed, they trained their weapons on the two. One unarmed man, an older gent with a scar covering his left eye, moves forward.

“Good afternoon. I apologize for the inconvenience-”

“Then leave,” Leo and Katrina say at the same time. They glance at each other, and fight to restrain their laughter.

The man clears his throat, trying to retake control of the situation. “As I was saying, we would simply like a moment of your time-”

“You’ve already taken several. Mind heading out now?” Katrina’s grin was that of someone who knew they had complete control of the situation, and wasn't going to give it up. The man waves his hand, and the guns’ safety come off.

“I see civility is wasted on you two, so I'll move straight to the point. Miss Katrina, we would like you to hand over your ship. The technology used in its construction is so advanced, it would push our weaponcraft to new heights. We are prepared to make a sizable offering, as well as assist you in returning to your time once we’ve completed our objectives. However, if you insist on being difficult, then we will simply take it by force.”

Katrina blinked, then glanced upwards, hands on her hips. “You know, when you put it that way…” Faster than any of them could react, she placed a shot between the man’s eyes. A stunned look remained on his face as the corpse fell to the floor. “...then you really don't get how out of your league you are.” Without warning, the remaining troops opened fire. Their bullets bounced away from Katrina in crackles of blue light. Preparing to return fire, a piercing scream floods the room.

Standing at the scene is Leo, his hand buried inside the stomach of one of the men. Blood dripped slowly down his arm, matting his fur and pooling on the floor. His tail swishes behind him calmly. “You guys know you didn't even bother not aiming at me, right? Innocent bystander here; this is self-defense now.” Pulling free his hand, he glances to the next closest gunman, directly to his right. The gun was soon pointed at him, then, pointed back at the gunman; he’d been disarmed in an instant. “You really just pointed a gun at me, huh? Well, congratulations guys. I'm now taking this seriously.”

As he proceeded to smack the guy upside the head with his own gun, Katrina took advantage of the confusion and began dropping the others. “Did you guys really get distracted that easily? And you were trying to take my ship?” The gunfire returned to her, but Leo was taking men down just as quickly, splitting their focus. “I'd say don't quit your day jobs, but you’ll be dead soon anyways.”

The duo worked in tandem, covering each other, taking men out with no hesitation. Blood flew, curses soared, bullets were spat in volleys, until all became still. All became silent.

Katrina wiped the sweat from her brow. “Whew! That was a surprise. Gotta say, I'm glad they’re using normal guns. My shield held up nicely all things considered.” She glanced over to Leo, who was reverting to normal. “I'm gonna take a guess and say you’re not human, huh?”

Leo looked back at her, blood covering his face, though his eyes seemed to gleam quite brightly. “Yeah… guess I'm not. But what I am, couldn't tell ya.”

“Well, that's fine. Not many aliens on earth in the future. Still, maybe my ship can look up your species?”

“Huh. Really? That’d be… yeah, that’d be cool. So, uh, how would that work?”

Katrina stretches. “Just need a bit of your blood to cross reference. I can send the results to your phone, shouldn't be difficult. Think of it as payback for the chat, yeah?”

“Cool,” Leo says, a big grin on his face. “Oh, and I took down more of these guys than you did. Kinda sad considering you were the target.”

“Bull. Shit. I totally took down more, and I got the boss. Learn how to count, gramps.”

“Learn to take an L, future girl.”

Bathed in the blood of the fallen, the coffee shop in ruins from bullets and claws, the two laughed like old friends.

~~~~~

Katrina covered her mouth as she looked at the results. She ran the tests once more. It couldn't be right. It didn't make sense. There was no way it was possible.

“Computer, please tell me this is some kind of mistake.”

“No,” her AI responded. “The DNA injected most definitely belongs to the Felinial species, a conquesting race that has a considerable number of planets under their grasp, and this particular sample is definitely the blood relative of its current ruler of our time. Direct relative, not ancestral. Whoever this blood belongs to, they are without a doubt the brother of that monster which has killed hundreds of worlds for their own amusement, the absolute worst of their kind.”

Katrina let out a sigh. “I can't tell him. I just can't. The things that man has done…” She covers her face with her hand. “The guy has enough issues on his mind. I can't tell him his brother is one of the longest living abominations to ever be born.”

Paradox Syndicate Admin
04-28-2017, 11:16 AM
Wow. Did not expect the "I am your sister" twist.